07 September 2014

[PDX] Calendar-Worthy Portland

The following shots are candidates for any good Portland calendar.

The Chinatown Gate guards the entry to NW 4th Avenue at Burnside Street. North of this is what amounts to Portland's Chinatown; about a six-square-block area where there seems, these days, to be more gentrification and drunk nightclub life than there is any legacy of Chinese culture any more. but it is, historically, the Chinese quarter of the Rose City.

Down there, in the lower right hand corner of the shot, is the controversial homeless enclave known as Right To Dream Too, or R2D2 as we've taken to calling it. It's not so controversial because of the fact it's a homeless camp, but more because the fight over finding somewhere else to be, which has changed character; sometimes it's a real conversation of the issue of homelessness, other times, more of a fight over who gets to develop the property.

For many years it was a grotty porn shop called Cindy's, which became the just about the last bastion of the way lower West Burnside used to be commonly referred to as Skid Row, Portland's own Bowery. This is actually not as hard on the eyes as Cindy's was.

Three blocks west and one north, at the corner of NW Broadway and Couch Street, I got this handsome shot of Big Pink. that tan building in front of it is the Helen Swindells Building, an SRO lower-income property at West Burnside and NW Broadway. The Brody Theater is an improv house that also hosts local groups and comedy classes; down on the corner there is a shabby quick-shop that holds the barest echo of the way the whole quarter used to be.

… and our own mecca of high culture, the Portland Center for the Performing Arts (I can tell that it's a center for high culture, as I can afford nothing that ever goes through there). The sign is memorable
as it is iconic.

Rumors that I may be planning an annual calendar of my kind of scenic Portland may indeed have some truth to them. Be watching. 


Brenda B. said...

"Rumors that I may be planning an annual calendar of my kind of scenic Portland may indeed have some truth to them. Be watching."

Damned straight, I'm watching!
(You do know that January is only 4 months away, right?)

Samuel Klein said...

I have set myself a bit of an unrealistic goal, perhaps. But I tend to do well under tight deadlines. We'll see how it goes.