23 March 2015

[PDX] Maxfield Parrish Light in Central Portland

I inaugurate here another attempt to shatter the ennui and start posting again on a regular basis. Reasons, reasons, reasons. But also a lot to say and sometimes one gets tied up trying to do it. But enough maundering. On to pictures.

There is a painting by Maxfield Parrish, called The Dinky Bird, which exemplifies what I'm going to rattle here about, that shows clouds lit by what looks like a setting sun, in the distance behind a castle. Kurt Vonnegut spoke of "Maxfield Parrish light" in The Sirens of Titan. And sometimes, in reality, the setting sun combines with enormous puffy cumulus, and rarefies them in just that exact way. And that's what we saw today on our perambulations.

Starts, as many of our wanderings do, from the corner of 10th and West Burnside. Powell's Books. You can't get more Portland than we do.

Actually, we'd come out of here after getting me new shoes. First pair of Dr. Martens, and it's because they're built to last. But we look down West Burnside toward the core of downtown, and here's what we see:

There's that "Maxfield Parrish light". It's plain what that guy was thinking when he painted those skies. Who wouldn't want to reproduce that, to bend weather to one's will?

The neat thing about sunsets like this is they seem to last forever. We crawled around the formerly-affordable areas of inner-eastside Portland, stopping at 7th and East Burnside to take the above picture. There are these buildings like the above, three or four of them in this section of East Burnside and one similar to it over at 28th and NE Glisan, which have these delightful arcade fa├žades, that will hopefully not be developed out of existence.

Here in Portland, I like to fancy, we tend to take our history a little more seriously and knowingly than other places. For now it seems to be thus.

The above picture was taken at about NE 10th and Flanders. The industrial buildings in front of us here are part of the United States Bakery … but locals know it as the Franz Bakery, where that great Northwest brand still is made every day.

In the lower center, there's a long sign which may not be terribly visible in this resolution, but you have the blue Franz oval, and below it the sign which reads off the company's august slogan,  "Flavor beyond  compare¨ . And that underline word is in red, as though to really impress upon you that, well, your views are your views, but if you compare that Franz flavor with anyone or anything else. you got trouble, fella. That's just not done here. Don't push it, chum.

And, as a close-out, here's the fading light making a delicate display as seen from the parking lot of the Goodwill Superstore at SE Grand and Caruthers. The Maxfield Parrish light is beginning to go, but seems somehow more grand and sweeping for all that.

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