20 August 2014

[PDX] Scenes From A Street Fair: Hawthorne Blvd, 2014

This last Sunday we sojourned over to the other side of the mountain (Mt. Tabor, that is), and went from our part of Hawthorne Blvd to the fashionable part of Hawthorne Blvd to see the people there.

Hawthorne Street Fair 2014 was happening this hot August day, and The Wife™ really wanted to go; me, I tend to stay away from human contact, having figured that, at this point, I've met all the people I need to. But, my love loves going out to these things … there are few things more quintessentially Portland than this … and I realize that she has the right of such things, as not being out in the world isn't really an option if one fancies themselves an artist.

And, besides, I haven't taken Photos on Sunday in a few weeks. That investment in time paid off, as follows in the scenes; one of the delights of curating one of these postings is I get to look at all the photos, re-experience the reality as the memory wells up. Coincidentally, it's one of the burdens as well – I end up sorting through so many pictures I get lost in selecting the ones that tell the story I want to tell.

The story is really the people and the surroundings. Now, mind, I'm not bagging on it, but the Hawthorne Street Fair is, at its nut, a bunch of people coming out to sell you things. I'm not criticizing it, here, but it is what it is.

That said, there's nothing wrong at all with it, it's got a bunch of great stuff and, in the Portland DIY tradition, all the best. We bought artisan soap from an entrepreneur who sold Scrumptious Suds (here's her website, and here's her Etsy shop). We stumbled upon a quite wonderful thing, a soap made with Ninkasi Oatis Oatmeal Stout, which smells a lot better than you'd think it did … warm, embracing, as The Wife™ said (I paraphrase) like a crisp autumn evening when the neighbors  have just stoked their fireplace, all that in the good way.

The old city-neighborhood feel of Hawthorne is endlessly enticing. Businesses have changed over the years … that Blue Star Doughnut shop, whose sign is just behind the telephone pole in the center of the picture there, used to be a Chinese food joint of some 30 years standing … but everything seems just as inviting as the first time, years ago, me and Wife got down Hawthorne and realized that These Were Our People-ish.

The merchants along Hawthorne in that area had stalls out in the street. The above display was apparently being marketed by the owner of the Potala import shop in the building directly opposite. I particularly loved that big glyph over the display of Tibetan impedimenta below.

As I've always said, you can always find your Om on Hawthorne.

The Peterson Building
The theme of the day is people and surroundings; this building has always delighted the eye. The Peterson Building, 3530 SE Hawthorne Blvd, just bursts with imaginative potential. That little niche balcony up there. The two bay-windows toward the building's corner (don't they just make you think of hard-boiled PI's offices?). The hand-painted sign over the main entry to the upper floor there. The individually-painted shop facades. Made my point here, I think.

Again, the people. If those two old lovers aren't as Portland as anything, then nothing is.

One of the merchants on the street. I found her quite beautiful in absolute terms.

Oh, the ubiquty … one of our legendary food carts. I have never met a fried egg I didn't enjoy, so I dug this name for a long time before I found out it was a pun on the title of one of the Cure's most popular songs. But then I never was big on the Cure. Just the way I roll there.

Whatever that old, rusted sign with the light-studded arrow (or it would be, if any power was going to it) ever held, I don't know. But it suggests so many stories.

Tall bikes are a thing here locally, and I saw a couple. This one …

… looked fairly adventurous, and I was duly impressed. But I was really blown away by this one…

… with a fellow Portlander alongside for scale. Seriously, look at that rig! It  has stairs on it. 

I'm not sure what this mute duo's act was, whether they were trying to sell something or just to perform. That costume must have been murder in the heat though … at least as it was beautiful to look at.

They were absolutely quiet. No words.

The beats were as heavy as the pavement was hot:

And it caused not a little bit of dancing.

This dancer, as you can see, she owned that beat.

The Bread and Ink Cafe,  SE 36th and Hawthorne, started out as the original location of the Hawthorne Fred Meyer store (as photos I've seen depict, but none I can find right now).

Diners can now enjoy meals as well as draw on the tablecloths.

Of course, being Hawthorne and being Portland, there's other drawin's and art …

And, again, the surroundings: the building the Bagdad Theater's in has always been pleasant to the eye. Massive and sculpted.

I have a few more photos that I may share in subsequent postings.

But what I'll remember? Tiring … but a good tired. Glad I went. 

No comments: