Archive for the ‘Urban Survival’ Category

Cops on Film

Earlier today we watched from our office windows as a parade of policeman clad in what appeared to be full SWAT gear assemble on the roof of the parking garage at 2nd & Jefferson. In the center of the roof is a helipad – that doesn’t appear to get much, if any, use any more. One by one they climbed the stairs and over the railing to the center of the helipad. A few even brought their canine cops with ’em.

It was pretty early in the morning, and none of us had enough coffee yet – so my office was fascinated with the procession. Then they all move to the center of the pad in a very orderly fashion and we see a guy with a camera and a ladder. It was photo shoot time! Maybe it was the lack of caffiene, but a bunch of cops lining up for a class picture just cracked us all up.

Do you think they smiled or did they have their serious faces on?
Do you take class pictures at your job?

Where does the good go?

So I’ve been staying at a friend’s place whilst I find a) a job and b) a place to call my own (our own… I’m willing to share with the boyo, I suppose…)

It’s a nice little neighborhood that’s generally quiet, or so I have to assume.

How do I put this?

So I lived in the city of Long Beach in California right on Ocean Blvd. (so chosen for being right at the end of the route of the pride parade) Since we were right on a major street in downtown LB, it never surprised me when the drunks passed by at 3 in the morning, or the random screamer came by letting all the world know exactly what was on his or her mind… nor if there were fights right below the window. It was, of course, the LBC (just ask Snoop!).

That sort of thing here where I’m staying, however, seems out of place. Not so much because it happens on the street here in this seemingly quiet little area, but because it’s all coming from certain someones in this very building. So, while the rest of the street is nice and quiet… there have been things going on here… in this building, putting it out of sorts with the rest of the street… not to mention scaring the hell out of us!

I was reminded of a post that dieselboy posted about incidents on the MAX. There’s all sorts of shenanigans coming from certain someones in this building and it’s pretty obvious that things could go wrong at any minute… and yet none of the neighbors call the police, ask if my friend is ok in her unit, or say one damn thing to the authorities/landlord/anyone. Are they just waiting for things to go too far? What needs to happen before someone gets involved? Could it be that people are so used to their peace and quiet that, unless their peace is specifically interrupted, they don’t want to interfere in case it shatters their own little bubble?

I guess… I guess this was the sort of thing I expected living in the LBC, but never expected here in Portland. Well, at least not in this neighborhood.

Good night all

I sat here for awhile trying to figure out the best title for this post. Alas, there it is. I have decided to leave Portland Metblogs and try something new. I want to thank Metroblogging for the opportunity to write here over the years. I especially want to thank all the readers and commenters who have come and gone leaving behind amazing discussions. YOU are why I wrote. Now off to another adventure. Take care. Be well. Live long and prosper. So say we all. Best of luck. Godspeed. Keep on Keepin’ on. Just deal.

Your Portland blogger,

Dieselboi (aka Brett)

DSCN9561.JPG

Originally uploaded by dieselboi

Ugh, TriMet

As you well know by now, there was a couple of serious incidents on Yellow line MAX in the past week.  Both incidences involved groups of teens attacking or intimidating passengers.  I have usually been a defender of MAX as I think it is one of the best Portland decisions of the past 25 years.  But wow, you would think that after all the negative publicity last winter that TriMet would have maybe figured it out.  They need security on the train!  Plain and simple.

Yet, in this past week’s incident at Prescott Station (where I embark and disembark daily) leaves me realing.  I’m angry with TriMet, but I’m also angry with my fellow commuters.  Yes you, the person sitting there hiding while some young punk starts beating up a woman.  In this most recent incident, a Vancouver woman came to the defence of another rider and was attacked.  I praise her as a hero for standing up against these jackasses.  Yet, as a result, she was injured.  I know for a fact these two women were not the only riders on that train.  6:30pm?  Give me a break.  How many other riders on that train just sat there and watched or moved away from the frackas because they didn’t want to get involved?  People, there are more of us than them and my experience has taught me that if more people confront an issue like this, it will get defused.  Portlanders should have come to the defence of this woman and helped her out.  We’re all in this together.

Let me leave you with this thought regarding the next time something like this begins to transpire.  When you see the aftermath of a disaster or where a group of strangers have been affected by forces out of their control, do you ignore it?  Do you put your head in the sand?  Or do you react and do something to try to help them – donate food, blood, money, blankets etc?  If you are one of those who do rise up to help out these strangers, why aren’t you helping out the person next to you.  They need is just as much.

Where in Portland?

Walked home yesterday evening through SE, NE and North Portland. A pleasant walk. At beers prior, a bike commuter friend proffered that he believed there are indeed less cars on the road. Do you think that? It was pretty quiet on the streets last evening around 7:30pm. Quieter than normal.

So, anyone want to venture a guess where this is? May get you a beer at our meetup next week.

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Originally uploaded by dieselboi

Steel Bridge Closed for 3 Months

Yikes! The Steel Bridge closes tomorrow and won’t open again until the end of August. They’re replacing or upgrading the MAX line that crosses the bridge – so that’s a good thing – but long closures are such a pain for traffic.

Of course they do have their good points as well – when the Burnside Bridge was closed – the traffic on Sandy Blvd. wasn’t nearly as heavy – and it doesn’t seem like it’s regained as much traffic as it had prior to Burnside being closed for so long.

But you know the first few weeks in that area near the Rose Garden are going to be a mess as people figure out their best new routes. If that’s your normal commute – good luck!

(Oh – and this is only for cars – the lower deck for bikes and peds will still be open.)

Sick of it yet?

Happy Wednesday, kids. This week is already too much for me – dealing with the day job and the boyfriend being sick has left me no patience for dealing with the nutters on the MAX. Sure enough, there are copious amounts of visitors unfamiliar with our city to whom I am glad to be of service, but the screaming children running up and down a moving train, their parents gleefully ignoring them, is a bit nerve-wracking (especially directly after work). I’ll be taking some photos of the new ships on the Willamette in between a dentist appointment and the Timbers match against Minnesota tomorrow afternoon, so here’s to hoping the clowns won’t be getting in my way this time.

For those of you sick of or too good for the Rose Fest (specifically the Rose Floral Parade on Saturday), Dave from Dave Knows: Portland has some great tips on how to avoid the festivities (there’s also an amazing time-lapse video of the fireworks from last Friday, if you missed it). As this is my first (collective gasp) Rose Fest, I might get up early enough to become part of the throng downtown or at the very least, try to talk the crew at the Horse Brass into tuning in the broadcast while we’re enjoying morning brews and breakfast.

Busted! Someone named Tower is in trouble

Yesterday, when it was sunny, I walked about 2/3rds of the Rose Festival Parade route looking for duct tape. The good news is that people who normally were taping and reserving spots almost 2 weeks before the parade got the message. The bad news is that today, someone used spraypaint to reserve their spot.

According to the City, “The use of duct tape, chalk, paint or unattended personal property, such as lawn chairs, to mark or reserve a spot along the parade route is prohibited. “

Now, I wonder if the Portland Police are going to be out enforcing said ban. It is a $100 fine if you are caught. Will they go out Friday evening/Saturday morning passing out fines? Will they let it slide this first year? Anyone know how to get stats on that?

Oh, and to be honest, this actually may mean Tower as in placement of. But hey, let’s get this party started!

Duct tape

Originally uploaded by dieselboi

Going Postal for Hunger

So are you bummin’ over the thought of your sushi getting more expensive because of the rice shortage? Or maybe you’ve canceled a summer vacation – like we did – because the cost of flying/driving is just ridiculous? Sucks.

This recession we are in hits everyone differently – and I may whine about the price of airline tickets or fresh salmon, but I’m not worried about feeding myself or my family – and as we all know for a lot of Oregonians that’s a more than real problem. Tomorrow when they deliver your mail – your postal carrier will also be collecting canned goods and other non-perishables as part of the USPS’ Stamp Out Hunger program. We had a plastic bag delivered with our mail yesterday to place food in for our carrier to pick up, but even if you didn’t simply put out canned goods next to your mailbox prior to your mail delivery tomorrow and they will take them.

It’s so easy. If everyone put out even one can of beans or box of macaroni think how many people that would feed.

Stuck on the bus

Moving to Portland was partially to get out of a town I really really really despise, and partially to get to live in a place with an extensive public transportation system. I grew up in California, between the south SF bay area and a town north of Sacramento. As the time I spent there was all pre-driver’s license, I relied heavily on the public transportation there, which in the bay area (at least at the time) was awesome, but was severely lacking 100mi north. VTA (Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority) hours were long, the waiting time was little, and I felt safe on the bus and lightrail (in San Jose). One thing about the busses down there was that they were dirty – kids were always putting gum on the backs of seats and most of the windows had become translucent due to the myriad of scratches that had built up over years of wee taggers satiating their need to mark yet another solid with his/her scribble, as well as any other surface.

TriMet vehicles tend to be really clean and comfortable to ride. Sure, there have been a couple of late-night puking sessions on the MAX (not me, thankyouverymuch), those who don’t shower, and once in a while the bus and even the MAX get to capacity, but for the most part, our public transportation is great. The only big problem I have with TriMet currently is the sometimes missing busses (walked a full 2 miles along my path before the 71 went zooming by one day), and the damned machines that never work (but I have a monthly pass, so that’s moot to me for the most part). What do you love/hate about TriMet? Do you actually send requests into their “comment” lines? I might be notorious for letting them know at least once a week that the machine they’ve never fixed at the 60th Ave MAX stop is indeed still broken…

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