08 September 2014

[Photos On Sunday] September Sunset, Hawthorne Blvd, Portland

We have one of these once every day, I promise you … and I also promise you that, because this is Portland, Oregon, we do sunsets more beautifully than you.

Shh! This is Portland, now! Just accept it!

Seriously, though, the light had an amber quality as the sun cut into the West Hills today. It wasn't too hot, and as the rays got longer and took on a more red and orange quality than usual, it was hard not to feel adored, coddled … even seduced, yes, I said it … by the light.

See? I told you we did sunsets more beautifully than you. I guess I kinda meant it.

This is SE Hawthorne Blvd, along an area I think of as Lower Hawthorne … between SE 12th and SE 30th, going up the hill from the big five-pointed intersection at 20th at the NE corner of Ladd's Addition … almost but not quite to the fashionable part, which stretches east from SE 30th through 50th Avenues. The signboards on the street are outliers of Kruger's Farm Market, at 23rd and SE Hawthorne, a fine place to go if you like farmer's markets but can't always get to your neighborhood edition, which seems to always close a little too early for us night-owls. Good prices too; less than eight dollars got us a pretty hefty haul … corn, squashes, potatoes, onion … all grown locally.

Sure, it helps if you're all pretentious about it, but there's no requirement to be.

The sun threatens to immolate Oregon's tallest building, the Wells Fargo Tower, that vertically-striped, black and white monolith there in front of the West Hills. That smoky orangeness pervatded the air in a way that a mere photograph can't really picture, it was an atmospheric thing … but this one comes close (or, long sight lines means Sam's about to play with extreme zooms again …) :

This is letting the lens play games with the bright light and having something delightful happen. Another in-camera special effect.  I think I was whispered to by the memory of this:

Which is, of course, a screen grab of a Los Angeles freeway from the opening titles to The Rockford Files. I came pretty close, I thought.  Anyone thinking of scripting and getting illustrations or visuals for any upcoming hard-boiled Oregon style PI shows can contact me for the rights.

Another extreme closeup! featuring some downtown landmarks, being bathed in the late summer sunset …

The Wells Fargo Tower, I've told you about; the silvery, boxy one to the right there is still called the PacWest Center, though PacWest Bancorp hasn't existed for about 25 years now. Still, it's nice to see something still being called what it always has been. Here in Oregon we're more interested in that sort of history than some places I can name, but that's no guarantee that things will maintain.

Gosh … Isn't that in-lens reflection just the thing, though?

Now, up on Hawthorne at  43rd … which is, by the 20-block-to-the-mile rule, 1 mile east of where we just were, the sun was well into its setting task, and the light had taken on a different quality. Still warm and seductive, a bit more firey though.

Yeah, extreme closeup! again.  And it reminded me that, no matter how much I'm in love with the scenery around here, how easily it is to miss things. I hadn't really dwelt on the fact that you can still see the downtown towers from here – that rise that crests between SE 28th and 30th Avenues puts the city center at your back and then you go downhill into the heart of fashionable Hawthorne, and you kind of forget it's back there. But you look in the distance, and there it is … the Wells Fargo Tower and, to the left, under a just-visible pyramidal roofline, is the KOIN Tower,  that orange-red sun, a glowing kindness.

It's doing it's best … we'll be going into fall soon, and then comes the clouds and the rain … well, if the shaky weather the entire continent is dealing with hasn't shaken up too much yet.

The rosy color deepens, and this picture is mostly because Fat Straw, a favorite place … boba tea, Banh Mi sandwiches, we love the place and I'll move on before this veers off into a food-obsessed post, but nifty place and go.

And the lovely, lovely light.

Do you take pictures thinking this would be a lovely album cover? Because I do, and this last one is just about color and form, silhouette and shape, and any band that wants to purchase this for their album, you know how to reach me.

This is the sort of evening we'll all remember round about mid-October going into November, when we can't remember how we complained about how warm it was in the summer because we're too busy bitching about how cold and gloomy October is.

Well, you guys might be. In general terms, I won't; you don't grow up an Oregonian hating the gloomy winter. You accept it. It's home. 

No comments: