3134.I may be a city mouse of long standing, but I started out as a country mouse. Silverton, to be precise. So maybe it stands to reason that I never become completely jaded of living in Portland, and have it best of both worlds, because even though I was born of a small Oregon town, I've lived in the big Oregon town more than half my life, so I am a city kid now, if only by osmosis.
Stadt luft macht frei. The air of the city leads to liberation.
Nowhere is this more adroitly pointed out to myself as when we, The Wife™ and I, temporarily stranded on one of my hometown's remarkable drawbridges during life. We have more than one kind here in Portland: the Morrison and Burnside bridges are two-leaf Bascule, the Broadway is a Rall-type (meaning it takes a long time to open and close), and the Hawthorne and Steel are vertical-lift structures.
On a recent Sunday, the Burnside caught us. This is never a bad thing, unless you have to get somewhere in a hurry, but then if that's the case, maybe you needed to be slowed down a bit. I can only speak for myself here … but if you're smart, you'll take my advice.
I've taken the above shot before, but the way it presented itself, I couldn't resist. In the far distance, the Fremont Bridge; middle distance, the Broadway Bridge; the near distance, the Steel Bridge; in the far foreground are the ramps connecting I-5 (as the East Bank Freeway) to the Banfield Freeway (a/k/a I-84), and immediately in front of us is the Burnside Bridge balustrade.
The one thing the country mouse will immediately notice on the open leaf of the bascule bridge is the way the streetlamps will stick to it. Of course, they will, naturally … the don't fold up into the bridge and they're not about to fall off. But when you come from a place where there's no such thing as drawbridge, it's the most curious thing you've ever seen.
A friend in the past, wife of a fellow who came here to see us just to visit the Rose City, squealed with delight when she saw this.
"Wow! They stay up on the bridge!"
Well, yes, where else are they going to go … but I'm a country mouse too, so I understood perfectly.
You also get to stay with on the bridge and frame some shots. And I have something of an admission to make; this we circled back around for. The such breaking through the clouds was much more impressive a few minutes before this … but I didn't have my camera out.
Shafts of light breaking through firmament is always an impressive sight, though, even if you don't get the best of it.
|Cue the choir. This here is heaven.|
The building stump, with the crane, sticks out like a snaggly tooth in a perfect smile. That's called Park Avenue West, and it's under construction again, after being in limbo for a few years when, temporarily, the money ran out. At 35 stories, it's going to be Portland's (and, hence, Oregon's) third-tallest building; that monolith in the right part of the frame is well known, of course, as the US Bancorp tower … though you can call it "Big Pink" … and even though it has more floors than any other building in Oregon, 42, it's actually about twenty feet shorter than the forty-story Wells Fargo Tower, about 13 blocks south of that, along the same street.
One of those scenes when you see it, you know you're home.
The one below … when I took it, I was hoping for focus. The camera let me down on this one, but I just decided that I liked it more than I thought I would. The atmosphere is ineffable.