Line 15 currently detours across the Hawthorne Bridge due to a temporary weight restriction on the Morrison Bridge, which is under repair. I hopped off the bus at the west end of the Hawthorne Bridge, passed the Salmon Street Springs Fountain, and walked south along the Willamette to the eye clinic, just over a mile upriver. I saw some strange markings on the sidewalk, as if math really is fun. A gaggle of signs befouled the views, whispering orders, dangers, and cautions. I noticed there were no warning signs near the mooring bollards, and wondered how many people walking along ogling the view have tripped over them. Rarely do I have to yield to slower traffic.

Just south of the Hawthorne Bridge, I noticed an interesting, kind of improvised, lean-to-dock moored just off the west bank between the bridge and the park beach, downriver from the yacht harbor. The boat and dock set-up reminded me of Anais Nin’s “Houseboat,” and of Penelope Fitzgerald’s “Offshore.” And the usual gaggle of geese casually befouled the park beach area. I don’t mind the geese, though the city has been taking precautions to minimize the goose poop problem. But I was wearing the new Fila walking shoes Susan recently scored for me, and I wasn’t sure the goose path was how I wanted to break them in. Portland is called the City of Roses. You would think the roses wouldn’t mind the geese.

Modern accommodations for travel, appurtenances for getting around – what a mess! Just north of the Ross Island Bridge, workers were just about finished dismantling the Project Pabst Festival. It was a little early to be thinking of a cold PBR Tall Boy. I walked along “River Place,” above the small harbor, and passed by the “River Walk Cafe,” enjoying the cliches, and at the corner of Meade and Moody thought, how about “Mead Place,” or the “Moody Walk Cafe”?

A rowing crew rounded the pilings of the Marquam Bridge (a concrete brouhaha that spans and expands the definition of bridge), the submarine moored behind them on the east bank, below OMSI and the Portland Opera. The Pabst Horse trotted off on a trailer. The Portland Aerial Tram (constructed at a cost of $57 million), juxtaposed with the old Ross Island Bridge, reminded me of the 20th Century: “Turn! Turn! Turn! (To Everything There Is a Season)”.


  1. bristlehound says:

    Joe, this looks like ‘Urban Kitsch’ for the urbane of the future.
    Are they geese or Plumed Whistling-ducks? I guess you can tell by the excreta.
    We, here is Aus, are currently socialising graffiti to the point where tours are held for interested bus loads, to gather in gaggles about back alleys. Clever usage of a once horrible blight on the buildings of the city.
    I wonder about the producers of such initially character bereft things. Do they conspire in pokey little rooms about how to offend all and sundry with their designs?
    I guess the joke is on us when everything old and everything kitsch, becomes the new ‘Look’.
    Geese or ducks! Beautiful one day, disgusting the next.B

    1. Joe Linker says:

      Hey, B. I think they are Canada Geese. Urban post? Yes. Urbane and kitsch? I’m not sure. If I were all that urbane I’d not have been on Line 15, but I suppose there’s always room on a bus for more pleasantry, but you’ve got me thinking: Pretty one century, unfathomable the next. The bus is the pilgrimage vehicle of the 20th Century. But what about the pigeons? I forgot to mention them, and the picnic benches, and the “Petro Mariner” barge? “Urban Kitsch” … Ouch!

  2. Dan Hen says:

    Follow the signs , I mean obey the signs , and I’m sure all will go well .There may be a problem interpreting the signs . Perhaps you should read them literally to avoid heresy and falling into the hands of the devil . When there are conflicting signs , or signs that have fallen down , then , I’m afraid , you and your Fila’s are on your own . Nice tour of part of Portlans signs , though . I hope enough signs were placed to get you home safely .

    1. Joe Linker says:

      There are more signs on the streets & sidewalks these days than stars in the night sky.
      plural noun: signifiers
      a sign’s physical form (such as a sound, printed word, or image) as distinct from its meaning.

  3. Ashen says:

    What an obstacle race, and wonderful journey. Love the Meade Street/Moody Ave sound. The half horse on a trailer – as if it had grown out of concrete, rearing towards the sky,
    In my little town getting around (by car) is constantly obstructed by road closures due to long over-due repairs. Concrete and tar won’t regenerate, like natural materials.

    1. Joe Linker says:

      Joyce once joked that a Dubliner could not cross Dublin without passing a pub, no matter what route taken. Here, it’s impossible to cross town without encountering some road construction event going on. Yet it’s still the City of Bridges no the City of Roses no the City of Potholes.

    2. Joe Linker says:

      another thought, something about under most cities is another city…& did you hear about the supercity being built around Beijing? It’s to be the size of the state of Kansas. Turn, turn, turn.

      1. Ashen says:

        Huh, Beijing, a megalopolis.
        I’m just dipping into the early architecture subculture in the USA, reading Ayn Rand’s ‘Fountainhead.’ The novel stretches ethics, but is sprinkled with admirable sections of writing.

        1. Joe Linker says:

          Not an Ayn Rand fan. Prefer Sontag, Didion, Diski, Beauvoir, Simone Weil, et al. But check out this doc on Reyner Banham in Los Angeles: https://vimeo.com/22488225 and he wrote a book I liked: The Architecture of Four Ecologies. Though ultimately I love LA for reasons different from his. Of course every day it’s not the same LA as something old disappears and is replaced by something sin-thought-ick.

  4. PBR?? How about an IPA? I love the city romp anywhere around Portland.

    1. Joe Linker says:

      Hey, John! Thx for checking in. You remember this walk? We didn’t go as far before cutting up to hop the trolley,no, the streetcar. The geese are grazing where the main stage of the Blues Fest was setting up.

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