28 June 2020

The Rainbow Tacqueria Of Parkrose

3705NE Sandy Boulevard east of 99th Avenue is a wholly different Sandy Boulevard. This neck of the woods is downtown Parkrose, a neigborhood of outer east Portland that has, along its commercial axis, seen better days, as many areas are in this time of flux.

Sandy Boulevard - a road named not for the little town way out toward Mount Hood but because it stretched toward the Sandy River, according to MacArthur - stops being a diagonal road at this point and follows the general trend of the Columbia River about a mile to the north. This road, once US Hwy 30, used to be one of the principal east-side gateways to Portland, and architectural legacies of that time can still be seen along that mile-or-so of road ... buildings with vague Art Deco lines, which served interstate travellers at one time with nightly lodgings are now shabby-yet-clean motels and small businesses. It's history through a smudged glass.

At the corner of Sandy and NE 115th, there's a building that echoes that Art Deco detail. Sitting at the corner of a lot containing an L-shaped building that appears to be apartments now but at one time must have been a roadside motel is the Antojitos Mexicanos Taqueria.

Up until a few months ago it was content to wear a coat of bland, oatmeal-hued paint. Nothing special. Then, one day, it exploded in color. Now it looks like this:

From the west:

And, from the east:

Simple yet playful, and anything but boring, thanks to an artist named Pablo, who signed the work in the lower right corner of the facade, with a date of 2020.

It, like many eateries still, is closed, only takeout at this point.

Signs Of The Mill Park Times

3704My home neighborhood in Portland, Mill Park, is a pretty sedate and banal place. Or it seems that way. Below that we're just a hotbed of punk, I'll tell you.

Near my house there's this Lutheran church, Gethsemane by name, which has been communicating gentle messages during the emergency time. This was what they had today:

Now, I'll cop out an confession here; religion, as we practice it in America, despite the dogged efforts of those who would work for kindness, continues to bend toward rebuke and performative cruelty. This is not just blithe opinion on my part either; anyone of equitable view seeing the news these days must surely agree. However, this message, in this age of performative cruelty?

That's punk AF, my friends. And those Lutherans are pretty neat people.

Just down Market street, there's a big house on a big piece of land on the corner of Market and SE 113th. It may have been a farmhouse when the land out this way was farms, who knows. It's certainly old enough. And the property itself could be some sort of arboretum. And they usually have signs in their amazingly big front yard. And this is what they had when I drove past today:

Head and heart on the right place, and hands? They sure won't be voting GOP in November. These signs are bright and visible and they've changed over time, and nobody ever hassles them or steals them.

Punk AF.

And, on two stop signs, one at the corner of SE 117th and Market and 117th and Hawthorne Blvd, there are Trump stickers. Now, I react negatively to such things, and told the Brown Eyed Girl, but she pointed out that they actually read STOP TRUMP in that way.


So, if you come out 122nd and Market way, Mill Park, remember, we only look sedate and banal. But, just below that bland exterior, we're kind people who generally wish you well

Yeah, we're punk AF that way. Can you handle us?

25 June 2020

No Wonder The President's Upset At The Media

3703I mean, it's not easy, given our President's character, to be charitable toward critics. Or anyone, really; this is a man, after all, who makes family members sign NDA's, which brings together family with all the warmth of the necessity of having to hide embarrassing secrets from the public. But, really, shouldn't NBC Washington Staff and Associated Press be reporting, and not pulling down statues?

In closing and in conclusion, let me just say that an indifferent CMS (Democratic Underground, in this case), can write some of the best absurdist flash fiction today.

(NB for those still unclear, no, we know that the statue of Pike was not pulled down by NBC Washintgon Staff and the AP and that the President's hatred of the media is because they see what he's really a-doin')

Swedish Fish: Collect The Entire Set

3702Staffing with Swedish Fish is important. Oh, if your needs are small, I guess you can go with the basic staff, but sometimes you can't just stop at getting the basic Swedish Fish ...

... you have to get them some assistants, too.

23 June 2020

NE 82nd Avenue Today

3701It's just a couple of pictures of NE 82nd Avenue, between Burnside and Glisan, across the street from Vestal Elementary School. I do love pictures that center a notable thing, and sometimes, that notable thing ... is no-thing. It is what it, as they say in the aphorism that's becoming used to the point of being worn out, is.

This sort of picture I enjoy because taking shots of telephone poles at a close angle to the line is the sort of image that is as urban to be as anything. It has its own visual rhythm and rhyme.

I found the looking down 82nd toward Glisan from where I was standing very pleasant. I had a lull between traffic signals and could step out in the street for a brief instant. I wasn't trying to get deserted-pandemic street, it just kind of happened this way.

Street Art, NE 82nd and Couch

3700At 103 NE 82nd Avenue, corner Couch, in Portland, there is a building which once housed a Vietnamese tofu restaurant.

And on that building is some of the most exquisite street art I've seen in many a day.

The work, attributed to IWS Crew is both trippy and sinister. For example, on the south end of the building, well ... I'm sure I'm not the only person who wants to know what that tree is on, but I'm sure a lot of people want to have them some. Especially because it apparently allows you to communicate with extraterrestrials.

Meanwhile, the centerpiece of the work apparently is some sort of cautionary tale about being too habituated to being logged in.

Either way, the whole thing is well-done, and looks as though it was commissioned at some point. After the restaurant closed, some local posers added their own touches ... not one of them looking too professional next to IWS Crew's work.

21 June 2020

Drawing the Saint Johns Bridge, Part 2

3699I continue to extend the work on the Saint Johns Bridge drawing.

I am half going with my eyes and half going with my gut, just like I did with Mt Saint Helens. Since the trusses of the span are rather complex, I'm taking it little by little, and it's proceeding as such. But just like I finally decided to push through and go for broke on the Mt Saint Helens drawing, it seems to have done the trick here.

I guess I just didn't trust myself as much then.

Maybe I should have started over with an undistressed piece of Bristol. Oh, well, I'm all in on it now.

The Ziggurats From Four Miles Out: NE 57th And Sandy

3698Portland is a city which, to the Oregon mind, sprawls, but is still personal-sized. Herewith another example.

Portland's got an angle. It's not an insider's angle though, and it's easily findable by anyone on any map; it's called Sandy Boulevard. Starting at SE 7th and Washington and through the Parkrose district, where it more aligns with the Columbia River, Sandy Boulevard is a great diagonal. Rising from the east side center of town to what was once merely the northeast corner at about 30 degrees, it cuts through all walks of Portland life; from the affluent to the merely prosperous, it connects all.

It's more than five miles worth of fork intersections and small flat-iron shaped buildings, has one television studio, it's main-street Hollywood District, its a small clutch of Asian restaurants up near 72nd, the Pirate's Cove with the huge jug-shaped building, it's the good, the bad, the ugly, it's as iconic as any Portland arterial.

Portland's Wilshire Blvd, really, in a way.

It also surmounts the comparatively flat eastside's actually-rather-undulating geography. As one moves east from the Hollywood District's business center, you go up a very long climb, which levels out at NE 57th Avenue. Here, at the crest of the Alameda ridge, you look back the way you came, and you have an extraordinarily interesting POV on Portland's City Center. Thus:

This is just about four miles away from that red rocketship-shaped building. Iconic Portland landmarks you can see from here is that rocketship (the KOIN Center), and the stalwart Wells Fargo Tower on the right. Visible in front of the KOIN Center is the new Multnomah County Courthouse. Just to the right of that, recognizable by its tilted chapeau, is the Edith Green/Wendell Wyatt Federal Building. Right and alongside that is the bland striped buffness of One Main Place. That's the south side of downtown.

To my right here, out of shot, is a lawn and within that lawn is a plinth in front of the German-American Society, and at one time upon that plinth was a statue of George Washington, but then the protests came and began serious iconoclasm. The statue, pulled down, has been pulled off the field of play. We wish it well.

20 June 2020

Even The David Douglas BurgerVille's Sign is Gone Now

3697After a couple of weeks of going, going the BurgerVille organization makes it going, gone.

The familiar sign on the corner of SE 122nd and Stark is, also, no more.

Wy'East, Blue And Cloud-capped

3696This post is dedicated to one Brenda Balin, who's always loved specifically the pictures of mighty Wy'east that I've been taking.

It's kind of funny that I never bothered or took the time to figure out how to emerge on NE Shaver Street pointing the direction that I wanted to. I, after all, have the Portland street grid down cold, but maybe just about 99 per cent of that after all.

While the viewpoint of Wy'east from NE 122nd and Shaver, in front of and alongside the legendary Rossi Farm, is without compare, parking the car to get those snaps have become increasingly complex over the years. In the beginning, I could just park along 122nd in front of the Rossi barn and cross the street. Then they made 122nd no parking from Shaver all the way south to Fremont. Now, you can park on Shaver, but no closer than about 200 feet west or east of 122nd.

It's just as well, though. I could use the walk. Now, the best way to get there is east on Shaver from 102nd, south on 112th (that's a right at Senn's Dairy Park, an adorable pocket park that I'll pict sometime soon) to Shaver, and then east on Shaver to a point more or less in front of the entrance to the Parkrose High School parking lot. And you can tell it's late spring; the garden on the south side of Shaver there has been mown and has not yet been sown, and looks just kind of like a bit of lawn itself.

But it did get me pointing the right way. Today's mountain needed a picture, because it was so stormily cloudcapped. Hard to believe that in two days it's supposed to be mid-80s and sunny, but one thing that remains the same regardless of the vicissitudes of climate change is the chaotic nature of Oregon weather.

And this was the berobed:

The replacement for the late, lamented Canon PowerShot S100, my PowerShot SX 230 HS, is working out surprisingly well. It's got a different dimension of sensor but is still the same 12.1 MPx the S100 was and while it doesn't have the same things in exactly the same places it does boast 14x optical zoom whereas the S100 only could promise me 5x. For my point and shoot purposes it's quite the stand-up replacement.

For instance, I note the the above picture seems to have crisper detail than the S100 did. How good can I get it? I went to max zoom -- all 14x optical plus 4x digital, and here's what the summit looked like this day:

I could do search and rescue with this baby.

The view from the car, about 200 feet back from the corner I like to pict from, introduces a good number of human artifacts and these, as they do, tell a different, and differently-compelling story. I like it as much, but for other reasons. I leave those reasons up to the viewer, and invite them to make up their own.

15 June 2020

Also, We Are Drawing The Saint Johns Bridge

3695We are either languid on one project or trying to do more than one simultaneously.

About three (!) years ago when I finished the drawing of Mount Saint Helens - Luuit - in eruption, I felt great guns to go on to something else. What do I love? Landmarks! What sort of landmark? How about something more geometrical, like a bridge. What's the best bridge? The Saint Johns Bridge, of course.

So I sharked me a picture of it from the intarwebz (this is before I had a good one of my own) and laid down my grid on a big piece of Bristol, and started in. And then, finding the structure in some parts was more complex than I thought, hit a wall.

And this piece of Bristol has lain there ever since, while I painted over it and cats walked over it (don't fret, it's not as nasty as all that ... nothing an eraser and a bit of elbow grease can't fix).

So, today, something told me to get it back up to the top of the stack, said "to hell with the technical complexity, this is about learning something, just stick it out and do the best you can", and I accomplished this:

I am once again painting,which in this case is drawing, and what is drawing but painting with graphite? And after I laid that down, I had that spark, that frisson, that something just clicked. Like with the drawing of Luuit, I finally ... finally ... grasped that I could just possibly do this, just represent it the best I can, take it easy, one square at a time, and come as close as I can.

The Luuit drawing was an approimation, after all, and look how good it wound up!

Yeah, I can do this.

14 June 2020

Unboxing Paris Flower Shop, Dimensions PaintWorks #73-91651

3694Done with the last work, on to the next one.

We have before us today the Dimensions PaintWorks Kit #73-91651, Paris Flower Shop, design credit to The MacNeil Studio which represents artist Robert McNeil (who has a Facebook page here and the I found the original at artlicensing.com here).

Parenthetically, I must add that looking up these artists is giving me a great visual lesson in artistic voice. And here is another way that PaintWorks kits are more than just an idle PBN habit. They're always teaching you something you don't know.

Anyhow, this morning I opened the box, which looks like this:

... and removed the contents, which look like this:

The standard stuff, really. Hey, it's PBN: you couldn't expect more than this: The media itself, thick card, 20 inches by 14 inches, the mixing chart and painting diagram, 18 acyrlic colors in PaintWorks' splendid paint pots, and a round, #2-ish brush.

A couple of technical points of interest: the brush matches the quality bar of the other components of the PaintWorks line that I've come to enjoy. It is a cheap brush, but it's a well-made cheap brush, good-quality gold fiber bristles (no doubt synthetic), fit and finish of the ferrule is good. Though I usually use one of my serious brushes for this, I'd use the provided brush. And usually the provided brush in a PBN is more than a hindrance than a help and it typically really only good for throwaway things like spreading masking fluid, but these are just a bit better than that. Also, the painting and mixing chart which, up until now, has been both sides of one sheet, is half-on-one-sheet-half-on-another. PaintWorks usually provides two, one being the painting chart and the other being a sheet of instructions and tips in English, French, German, and Spanish, but they split the duties this time.

The finished scene is certainly romantic and intriguing with all the different things in it to paint, and I think this is going to be another good one. I'll be documenting my progress by the day as I go, posting them all here.

13 June 2020

Drybrushing The Moon

3693 Now, as I said before, Lighthouse In Moonlight is essentially finished, but for a few areas of drybrushing. And, in the past, being the impatient artist that I am, I basically blew it off most of the time. This time, with such wide areas of drybrushing to do and the potential to improve the painting, I decided to really apply myself and try.

Hence the two graphics.

The first is the painting before, the second, after. And there is something to be seen and learnt here.

Before Drybrushing

After Drybrushing

Doing PBNs you learn to process the posterized look of them, it's just part of the visual language of the thing, so you learn, in your mind, to interpret. PaintWorks kits give you the opportunity to kick it up to the next level by encouraging these little painterly techniques. Its directions for drybrushing are: load the brush with the lighter color, use a paper towel to wipe off the most of it then, with a realtively dry brush with enough color to leave on the painting, dab into the darker color. The resulting thin, translucent layer of paint seems to blend in from the lighter color to the darker color, disappearing into the darker and setting up the visual blending. My original attempts were unsatisfactory.

Then, The Brown Eyed Girl, who had drybrushed with aplomb in painting her RPG miniatures, suggested I pinched the belly of the bristles rather than wipe. And I tried this. It helped a great deal, if only to give me the courage to go in again and be ready to make a mistake or two. In places I laid it down a little too thickly and was able to blend it out before it dried too hard.

The results are fairly satisfying if not wholly accomplished. I don't doubt I have a ways to go, but practice will bend toward perfection, if not ever actually getting there; the hard, posterized color edges around the Moon and on the lighthouse tower have been softened and the soft layer of light color visually influences the darker color in a kind of atmospheric way. The first image is before I tried; the second, after I decided I was through.

I'm pronouncing this effort a qualified success, and am much more likely not to blow this step off in future works.

10 June 2020

PBN Today: The Process of Lighthouse In Moonlight

3692Of the PBN boon provided me by my Brown Eyed Girl on my birthday, I've breached the first and have largely conquered it. And here's the general arc of the diver.

The PBN in question was PaintWorks by Dimensions' #73-91424, Lighthouse in Moonlight, based on a painting by artist Al Hogue. This work is very much his artist's voice, if you see the other works on his site: soft-focus stylized landscapes drenched in moonlight made of magical realism. All very dreamscape-like.

In the past my overall strategic approach to one of these paintings was to find a color and hit it wherever I found it, trying to get as many of, say, color 4 (or any given mixture) in one pass. This has been efficient but ultimately unsatisfying. The layout of the painting seemed to speak to me to try a different approach: doing one region at a time even if it meant I'd be remixing and reopening pots later on. It made it a very rewarding experience.

I started with the sky because enclosing the Moon appealed to me in a gut way.

The clouds and moon precipitated out of the sky like those old Polaroid instant photos developed. It was fun to watch it happen.

Once the sky was sufficiently filled in, I moved on to the promontory.

This is a painting with a great many small fussy areas to fill in. It's not uncommon for me to regard these as small countries, with areas you get familiar with and then move on once you've done your time there. Specifically satisfying was to watch the colorful foliage display blossom under the brush. Al Hogue knows from palette; the colors, warm and cool, coming out with a lush, rich sense of calm and comfort.

I then worked up the tower of the lighthouse, ending at the rather detailed filling in of the light and structures around it itself. If I get nothing else from PBNing, the dexterity workout is worth it alone.

Last but certainly not least I entered upon the sea and the waves. I'm always charmed by the way the interplay of color, thoughtfully selected, makes for the illusion of a phosphorescent, translucent, yet solid wave of water. This painting had that and more. At this point, I hit that moment of epiphany, got that feeling of frisson when the painting became more than just a pattern of lines I was filling in with color but a thing I was creating, that had volume and space and depth, that I was a participant in. I'm convinced that this is part of the magic of art making, whether you're creating original work or rotely following directions. You get into it and it gets into you.

This makes completing a mere PBN more than just following directions. PBNs are an easy way for the non-pro to get a taste of what the pro feels when they're in the zone, and it's a great feeling to have, that moment of realization. I recommend it to literally everyone.

In the more practical wise, it was satisfying to watch the waves emerge from the ground the way they did, and it was also easy to recognize that it was the interplay of light and dark colors, perspective generated of contrast, that made it all so.

Next, and cruising into the homestretch now, we get the colors that define the foreground and cause the small wave in front to emerge from the pattern just like the bigger wave in back did. Warm colors reflecting the lighthouse and reddened moonglow and darker greens giving dimension to the water's surface tie the whole thing into a coherent whole.

All but completed. All the colors are filled in but I'm going to confront a thing now. The extra added feature of PaintWorks kits, as I've said before, is that it gives you more than just a pattern to follow, it encourages you to take it a little farther. There are blends that would make this painting even more of a visual treat, blending the borders between the gradient bands circling the Moon and the shadows on the lighthouse tower and these call for drybrushing, which the kit, as all PaintWorks kits do, give you instructions for.

PaintWorks' system gives you actual instruction in some basic painterly things. Drybrushing is the most common. However, not only am I an impatient artist, I also am having a bit of trouble grasping drybrushing. I've tried in on a few of them and have been dissatisfied with the results. However, the Brown Eyed Girl, whose skill with painting RPG miniatures I've sncerely not matched elsewhere, gave me some protips on drybrushing and I learned something there, and I'm going to try them here. I'll work around the Moon first, then try them on the tower if it works.

So, stay tuned for that.

09 June 2020

Positively Southwest 4th Avenue, September 2008

3691... and another throwback photo from twelve years ago. On the same walk me and the Brown Eyed Girl took around the south end of downtown Portland back in September 2008 I found an angle I adore looking north, as I did in entry 3686, which inspired me to take those pictures.

It's a lovely prospect, truly. And in 2008, here's the way it looked:

The Wells Fargo tower on the left, the Portland Plaza on the right. Must be something about being born a country mouse that I have never really tired of looking at and walking amongst the tall buildings in downtown. And there's a thing about Wells Fargo - strangely, it's austere beauty doesn't work for everyone. I can't understand this. It's a lovely simple thing, poetic in its minimalism. Flares gracefully yet modestly at the bottom (a little of that can be seen here if you look), and seems to encapsulate the aesthetic that seemed to inform everything in the 1970s from telephones to the look of the space hardware in 2001: A Space Odyssey. It was clean, simple and hopeful. I mean, there are people who bitch and moan about this building but I sure won't be one of them.

I guess it means something to me that's kind of atmospheric and ineffable. and even though I'm a certified city mouse of decades'-long standing, there's still a bit of the Silvertonian country mouse in me, and there always will be.

At least enough to go rapt at the tall buildings downtown.

Photos courtesy of the Vivitar ViviCam 3705. 3.3 MPx of technological wonder.

Portland's Lovejoy Fountain, September 2008

3690There is a part of downtown Portland called Portland Center. This is the part of downtown that used to be a charming and somewhat ramshackle area full of blocks of Italian immigrants and Jews, until the City of Portland got that fever that cities all over the United States got during the 1960s and 1970s, urban renewal. They created an area called the South Auditorium Urban Renewal district, created a few nine-square-block 'superblocks', erected posh apartment towers and made it over so thoroughly that you need pictures and a vivid imagination to picture it the way it once was, charming, vital, and ethnic.

Sic transit gloria mundi. Anyway.

Today it sits between the equally-toney Riverplace area on the east (or is that south?) and the still-on-the-rise University district on the west, bounded on the south by the Stadium Freeway and on the north by the south edge of the central business core. The streets that ran through the area have been replaced by wide pedestrian walks, and in the midst of all this tree cover and hidden by the apartment towers, there are these pocket parks. And, despite the acid cut of the jib of this prose, they are very lovely places worth a walk-to.

And when you get to the park, located in the center of the superblock bounded by Southwest Market Street, Southwest 1st Avenue, Southwest Harrison Street, and Southwest 4th Avenue, you'll find a plaza with this in the middle:

Portland does fountains.

This, as well as the picture in the following entry, were taken by my first digital camera, the Vivitar ViviCam 3705, the 'Plastic Fantastic', which had a imaging throw-weight of 3.3 MPx, which was something in 2008, and had nothing but digital zoom which resulted in some delightfully small pictures, and basically obsessing on on the specs of a camera you can now find on eBay and Amazon for as little as five or ten bucks kind of takes the intimidation factor out of the fact that this picture is nearly twelve years old, so there's that there.

So it goes.

07 June 2020

Fence Charming on 117th

3689This delightful production, fencing off the front yard of a duplex about 200 feet north of Southeast Market Street on the east side of Southeast 117th Avenue:

Two frames with class, a patchwork of mismatched boards, just this cute, happy, delightful thing to look at.

Well, out here in Mill Park, we MacGyver stuff all the time. Making it fun comes at no extra charge.

Spiritual Hygiene Is Important In Days Of Covid

3688Actually, this may be something of an old joke by now, what with all our nerves shot by the ongoing pandemic-will-we-won't-we-open-up-and/or-contract-the-'rona, but if it's sweet enough for the Lutheran church around the corner (Gethsemane is located at SE 117th and Market), then it's good enough for us:

Also, think clean thoughts.

Our Primary Election Ballots Are Counted At Last

3687It's been a long wait ... a bit too long. I had faith but that faith was being tested.

Covid-19 has caused wholesale changes in everything, and if you doubt that, understand this: our household's ballots were dropped in the drop box out front of the Mighty Midland Brand Library two days before the election day. This is usually more than enough time to have them logged in as recieved before or the day of the election. Usually. This time, not only had election day come and gone but the weekend after that and Multnomah Ballottrax had not recieved word that our ballots had even been accepted. 

Multnomah County Elections are solid. What it caused was for everything to slow down because of the necessity of new regimes of social distancing at work. Wouldn't do at all to have someone come down with Covid just for working the election.

But, today, I checked Ballottrax, and found this:

06 June 2020

Positively Southwest 4th Avenue

3686This is a couple of views northward down Southwest 4th Avenue, one of the princpal north-south through routes through downtown Portland (the other being Southwest Broadway).

The vistas are thanks to Portland's advantageously-hilly geography, the white shadows due to the stuff'n'nonsense on our dashboard (I had to take the picture through the windscreen of the old battle-wagon Subaru):

We are looking north on Southwest 4th from about Southwest Hall Street. Two buildings of note here: the nearer tall one on the left is a triangular apartment complex with rounded corners called The Portland Plaza, and it comes from a day that such buildings weren't so common. Still a pretty posh place, and iconic in its way.

The vertically-striped one has been, since the early 1970s, and still is today, Portland's (and the State of Oregon's) tallest building, despite it having two fewer floors than the US Bancorp Tower fourteen blocks farther north and one block west. I adore the slender lines and the minimalist style of it.

The beauty of Portland cityscapes is that if you frame it just so, you wind up with something that looks much less urban than it really is. Southwest 4th Avenue is one of the most urban streets within the bounds of the State of Oregon, yet if you zoom and frame just so ...

It looks like you're driving into and through a park.

05 June 2020

Social Distancing in Clackamas County

3685This is how they tell you how it's done at the hi-tech second-hand and pawn joint in Clackamas next to the 7-Eleven at SE 82nd Ave and Otty Road, that place called simply Stuff ...


They're serious about it too. We have a mask to hand wherever we go now, and we donned them before entry. But while we were there, we saw them turn away more than one chucklehead who couldn't be bothered to pay attention or thought maybe they could get a pass

No, pal, not even. We've all read about intubation and we're not really in the mood for that, thanks. You go shed 'Rona somewhere else.

The Very Last Day Of A Very Good Burgerville

3684Over my days off, we got the word. We were at the drivethrough, getting our favorites, and the kid in the window hands us out these three coupons for one free cheeseburger each, and encourages us to patronize another location, because this one will be closing permanently.

Either tomorrow or the next day.

Farewell, David Douglas Burgerville, like it says on the sign.

Forty-six years. Forty-six years?!?! Yes. Since 1974. As I understand it, when it was built, the drive-through window was on the wrong side which, I imagine, meant that you were handing food and cash across the passenger's lap.

This was before our tenure in David-Douglas-landia, which began nearly 20 years ago now. This has been our trusty neighborhood burger dive for all that time (when you live less than five minutes away, you don't not patronize your Burgerville ... you wanna be that way about it, go live in Boise, pal). Uncounted hamburger meals looking out the window at that strange office building on the west side of the property and wondering what goes on there, watching (and taking pictures of) sunsets, enjoying the traffic coming and going through 122nd and Stark.

We're gonna miss this place.

Know what I'm thinking of right now? There's this fortyish-fiftyish guy, goes everywhere with a heavy backpack and a small armful of personal electronics, might be houseless, it's hard to tell, but during our Library Days he'd have his electronics out on a table in the library and then on those days we'd repair to the Burgerville for our repast he'd already be there, using the free WiFi and inhabiting a booth toward the south end of the building.

I wonder where he's going to get his late afternoon-early evening WiFi fix now?

It was a lovely place, and we got Burgerville options nearby, nearest is 92nd and Powell, and there's a couple of DQ's in the area. But we've always been fond of this place, and we wish it wasn't going away.

And ... so that goes.

Meet The New Church, Not The Same As The Old Church

3683There's a new tenant at the old building on the southwest corner of SE 122nd and Oak. Up until recently, it was a church, the Shepherd's Gate Church.

It's another church, Universal, and, reading the other graphics affixed to the building, it's a church that caters to our local Latinx population.

SE Stark Near 122nd Is Still Kinda Empty

3682This is what SE Stark Street, looking west from SE 117th Avenue, looked like today around 7:30 AM.

I know that I've perhaps been a little low-key melodramatic about the lack of traffic on these pandemic days, but Multnomah County is the sole county in the state that has not yet embarked even until Phase One of the 're-opening' journey, and this is all we still have to show for things in the early stages of rush hour on one of Portland's principal arterials.

Still pretty empty.