22 September 2015

[pdx] The View From The Stadium Fred Meyer Overlook, 3rd Floor

We've been to this view point before, but one level down.

I miss some things about NW Portland. I lived there at one time, long before things got fashionable and expensive, in a house between 21st and 22nd on NW Flanders Street. It was a good time. I can't go back to this area without thinking about it.

My first drawing board, real drawing board, was bought at Stadium Fred Meyer. I still have it; it's my wife's now. It was an entirely different building then. Now, of course, is the days of Trader Joe's (formerly the Thriftway on NW Glisan), conveyor belt sushi in the Stadium Fred Meyer, and a luscious 3-floor viewpoint in that Fred Meyer that you can see good things from.

The earlier vantage, the 2nd floor was good enough. The third floor?

"Get that western sky, said Wife™, meaning this view to the southeast (well, it's a Western sky, no matter which way you look, innit?). That tallest building is the lamented and overdue Park Avenue West, about to be the 3rd tallest building within the boundaries of Oregon, at 31 stories. And it's almost done.

Some people are pretty lucky. You look west and south at the hillside, and you see some of them:

The Wife™ noticed this aspect and zoomed in on the house on the right; I chose a wider angle. The big askew building is the grand old Vista Saint Clair apartments, named for the street they sit at the corner of. The cornice in the foreground belongs to the home of the Kingston Tavern. That house and the motel-like apartments to the left of it, those are located on SW 21st Avenue, and they look out (obvs.) over all those buildings and get a great view - or blinded when the sun reflects off the Wells Fargo Tower. Either way, with rents being what they were in this area … it'll cost you.

One corner that seems marooned in time is the corner of West Burnside and SW 21st Avenue, seen here:

Unlike most signs which stand for their historic value, the VOLVO isn't up there for the sake of atmosphere. That glossy teal building is still, to this day, the home of Jim Fisher Volvo, was probably since before I was born (a point we shan't explore apresent). The little brown building in front of it is Levine's Dry Cleaning, which sports the same sign it had back when I lived along NW Flanders back in the 80s. 

Like I said, good times. Behind the cornice on the lower left? Down that street used to be the studios of KPTV, Channel 12, back the in glory days. 735 SW 20th Place. Classic Portland, right there.

At least you don't have to pay rent to watch the view from the Stadium Fred Meyer, not just yet. And, if you look up NW 20th Avenue, just over the trees …

Yep. The arch of the Fremont Bridge. 

Real Portland.

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