Tanner Springs Park

Tanner Springs Park
I’m sitting at the moment enjoying the sun in Tanner Springs Park, down the street from my school. It’s an odd little block of open space deep in the Pearl (NW 10th and Northrup) that manages to be simultaneously serene and industrial. Just two blocks away, dozens of condolings are splashing loudly in the Jameson Square fountain, but their cries can’t be heard here.

Folks sit quietly on grassy terraces, most reading, some talking, me blogging. A duck and some koi swim in a mirror-smooth pond. There are benches, but they’re all in the shade at the moment and remain empty. Occasionally, the telltale sound of a streetcar in motion grows to a peak and fades away again. (In all fairness, it’s not as quiet as I’m making it out to be. There’s some traffic, some train whistles, and there have been three four nearby helicopters since I started writing this.)

Prior to today, I’d always kind of overlooked this place. Maybe it was the many signs, urging visitors to stay on the paths as to not upset the ecosystem, or just the grey skies making all parks less lovable. Whatever the reason, it’s gone now. When the sun is out and other parks are full of noise and confusion, the rules and fragility of Tanner Springs park seem to allow it to escape.

8 Comments so far

  1. martin (unregistered) on April 20th, 2007 @ 7:32 pm

    I wish I could find it now, but I recently read an article that said the kids at Jameson Square are not, in fact, condolings. A disproportionately high percentage of them are from the burbs. You know, because no one in the Pearl has children.

  2. Doris (unregistered) on April 20th, 2007 @ 7:54 pm

    Not necessarily from the ‘burbs, just from other Portland neighborhoods where people have children(like Northeast, where it’s an easy hop across the B’way bridge to get there). But you’re right, there are very few children in the Pearl. In fact, there’s supposedly some resentment from the condo crowd that kids use the fountains as a play area. Pitiful, as last time I checked, outdoor public spaces were for everyone (and are certainly paid for by everyone’s taxes…)

  3. Lisa Bellison (unregistered) on April 20th, 2007 @ 10:31 pm

    Nice post. I love the little oasis of this park.

    You said you were posting from there. Is there free wifi in Tanner Springs Park?

  4. Reid Beels (unregistered) on April 21st, 2007 @ 12:33 am

    There’s not officially free wifi there, but there were some open networks spilling out of the condos.

  5. Nino Marchetti (unregistered) on April 21st, 2007 @ 7:55 am

    Looks like a good spot then for a Personal Telco hot spot…

  6. atlas (unregistered) on April 21st, 2007 @ 9:46 am

    I really enjoy this park as well. A new favorite pastime is reading a book in the sunshine along the “steps”…

    I think it’s a myth that there are few people children in the pearl, I see plenty of children. Sure it’s not Ramona Quimby and Klickitat street, but that doesn’t mena there are no children. Look at the great success Sip & Kranz is.

    I also don’t believe that there is any resentement of children at Jameson… none that I’ve been aware of. In fact I see more people walking by smiling at the cheerful energy of adolescence and many people enjoying themselves in the park… exactly what that park intended to be. That said, I love the contrast Tanner provides.

  7. Lady (unregistered) on April 21st, 2007 @ 10:08 am

    I live across the street from Tanner Springs Park and absolutely love it. Peace and tranquility. I also appreciate the folks who visit the park and respect its intended purpose.

    As for Jameson, that too is a delight. Children from everywhere, including The Pearl. Plus music in the summer and a nice place to soak up the sun for us older children.

  8. Lisa Bellison (unregistered) on April 21st, 2007 @ 2:41 pm

    Nino — I would love to see a Personal Telco hotspot at Tanner Springs.

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