Archive for the ‘Spotted’ Category

Chalk art?

On my bus ride to work this morning, I noticed a bunch of chalk drawings, possibly names, on NE Broadway between NE 27th and NE 31st. It was in different colors, some were smeared, probably due to foot traffic, and definitely looked planned. Alas, since I was in a moving vehicle at the time, I was unable to gather if it was a art project from the school nearby or some graffiti artist with a lot of exes.

Any ideas?

The Horses (and Pig) of NW

You know I love to see some farm animals on the streets of Portland. Today I was in NW and though I don’t think 23rd has the same farm-animal-to-human ratio as St. John’s, I did manage to find a few specimens. I spotted this horse outside Laurelwood. It was perky and standing upright. Not how I like to find myself after an hour at Laurelwood, but horses, especially tiny wooden ones, shouldn’t consume too much alcohol.

NW Big HorseThis horse was near the Kiehl’s store. BTW: Kiehl’s has new lip gloss that is so cute. It’s a little too gloppy but still cute. Oh yeah, the horse. It’s big. Full-size. But it’s painted in this sort of carnival meets NASCAR theme that I’m not loving. It also has a prissy little sign that says it loves to be petted, but not ridden. Yeah, explain that to a two-year-old.

NW PigHere’s the pig. I don’t know about these things. I hate the way they’re chained up. Reminds me of when I was the PR person for a major circus and I had to tell the media that the stars branded on the elephants’ hind quarters were totally painless and just, like, there. I also had to arrive at the San Diego Sports Arena at 3:30 am to coordinate the morning media hits. One reporter showed up two hours late and drunk. You tell this to some pissed off trapeze artists. You think I’m joking that I did PR for the circus. I’m not. I was also a bartender and a bookseller and a college professor. Not at the same time. But the pigs. Well, they make me sad. This one seems constipated.

NW Sad HorseThis horse seemed out of place in NW. It was a little downtrodden, and dare I say it, lame. Someone had put it out of its misery, and that yellow line reminds of a chalk outline. But I felt bad for it and wished someone would find a new small plastic horse to take its place. Who’s in charge of these things anyway? I felt like a sicko kneeling there on the wet sidewalk taking this picture. But as people passed, I shouted, “I’m Metroblogging, okay?” And they backed the fuck off. I’m tough like that.

Anyone else have farm animals I need to post about?

The Bachelor Club

Bachelor ClubI was on my way to the bus the other day when I came across this very cool building. The St. John’s Bachelor Club. What I wouldn’t give to have a key to that place.

I’m a big fan of BBC historical mini-series (Give it up for P & P, people!) and I fancy this was a gentleman’s club, albeit not in the Regency period, and without Colin Firth (so sad, I know). But I guess in the fifties and sixties, when St. John’s was filled with guys working on the river, they’d retire here for an evening of cigars and scotch and manly conversation. You know their wives were saying, “What? You don’t get enough of that at work?” No, that’s what I’d be saying because I’m sort of a shrew. You couldn’t have guessed, I know.

There are no windows, so I couldn’t check in to see if the stove and fridge were immaculate due to disuse and if the toilet was a bio-hazard from too much use, but I like to imagine this was the case. Hey, get off my back, bachelors. Just like not all women have permanently open mouths and inflatable limbs, I know not all of you are lame in the kitchen. But some of you are and I try to encourage stereotyping at every turn.

There was a little sign saying the space was rentable. On my way to the bus stop, I had a few little imaginary parties in that place. They all involved my girlfriends and me dressed in drag, complete with faux five o’clock shadows, smoking and drinking beer and grousing about the ball and chain back home. We played a bit of poker and hired a stripper. Good times.

If you’re interested, this place is at 8204 N Central. If you know anything more about it, drop me a comment. I’d love to have more fodder for my bus-time day dreams.

–end again

end againI’ve been posting on Metblogs for a few months now and I really love it. Granted, not every post has been Noble Prize winning material, but I’ve had fun. And as I reflect back on my career here at Metblogs, I can’t forget my first time. Sitting at my little red desk, my head in my hands, trying to work flickr and Moveable Type. But I had a message for the people of Portland.

I had a message and it came from –end. Or maybe just end. Here’s the post. Remember that? How much fun was that walk down memory lane? So much.

I was so pleased to find this message from –end in the parking lot for Jefferson’s Young Women’s Academy at Tubman, where Wacky Mommy has started a knitting circle. By the way, we’re taking donations of yarn and needles. There’s a basket at Naked Sheep for knitters who’d like to de-stash for a good cause. We’re also taking donations of knitters who want to knit with the girls. Contact Wacky Mommy if you’d like to spend an hour knitting with some exceptional young women.

Back to –end. This photos is a little tough to read as it was pouring rain and –end had written on a gray wall with yellow paint. It says: if basquiat hadn’t written on walls, there’d be no modern day brooklyn. — end. Basquiat! Oh, –end. How you win my heart.

Hey –end, if tagging N Portland were a presidential campaign, you’d be winning both parties. XOML

It Might Be Cold

Fountain NW 10thI’m just saying it might be a little cold.

I spotted this fountain (glacier?) on NW 10th.

Even Neptune seems a little *ahem* retracted.

The Next Big Duct Tape

Good ol' duct tape

You have to love a city willing to use Duct Tape to fix a traffic signal.

A Big Hole

Big Hole 2I sort of love standing outside a chain link fence and staring down into a big construction project. Mainly because I love ditch witches. I understand Ditch Witch is a brand of huge construction tractors and stuff, but I like to believe I live in a world where ditch witches are magical things that carve out ditches and then cackle maniacally while bobby pins fly from their tresses. Was that too deep into my brain?

I found this giant hole on Mississippi. It was pretty cool and the guys working inside looked really small. But their machines looked huge.

It was a good hole.

I have no idea what the project is.


Now I grew up in Kansas – my high school got hit by a Level 4 while I was taking a history test and my poor little Volkswagen was turned into a Flintstone-mobile…. little tornadoes mean nothing. But Here? In January?


When I first saw this little box a couple of weeks ago, it was mounted ten feet up the wall at the Smart-park on first and clay. It’s screen was off and Christmas music was blaring from it’s speaker, and I thought OK fair enough. Now the screen is on and it’s being used for…you got it, advertising. It was placed there by a company called City Broadcasting, about which I can find very little, and features a scrolling news ticker, weather information, and advertising spots for local businesses. Another screen proudly claims that it will soon be featured in every Smart-park in the city, with more locations to come.

I’m trying to decide if this is a good thing or a bad thing. I like the use of technology, even if it does somehow remind me something you would see in Logan’s Run, but I also dislike the idea of having metal boxes shrieking at me downtown telling me where to go for the best Chinese food in town or what the weather is like ten feet away. I guess as long as they don’t start listing the names of people who need to report to Carousel, or dispatching robot police if you are seen littering, I see no major harm. What say you?

Duck Duck Seagull

So I went to a meeting with the mommy cabal today at the Thursday spot — University Park Community Center indoor park. I’m a St. John’s Community Center girl, so I’m used to the ghosts of tall men in actual Chuck high tops shooting hoops around me. What I’m trying to say is that St. John’s Community Center is old skool.

University Park is not. University Park is sah-wankay. Floor-to-ceiling windows, electric gizmos that lower the eight hoops from the ceiling. Swank-city, baby. And all the cars and toys are new and shiny. They have a weight room and a kitchen and dining room for seniors. And wow, did I mention that it’s swanky?

But they do have this really peculiar thing happening on the baseball field: a million ducks. Really. A million. I marched over there to take a picture of all those ducks and halfway there, I suddenly got that salivate-y feeling you get before you barf because there was just something about seeing three million ducks in one place that flipped me out. And the seagulls roaming among them. And I had a feeling that just because they were hanging out on an entirely man-made surface, well, maybe this was something not meant to be borne witness by humans. I took out my camera, snapped a picture and then backed slowly away. I’m still a little flipped out just thinking about.

If you’re bored in North Portland today, you might head over to University Park and see how close to the ducks you can get before wanting to run screaming. It’s like going to a cemetery at night. Or wearing double-knit polyester. Face your fears and all that. Good luck! Or should I say, good duck.

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