Portland

Wildlife in the city

August 12, 2008

“Daddy, I see raccoons,” Atticus says over breakfast today, his third birthday. The raccoons frequently visit our garage roof and use the ladder leading to our Portland backyard.

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Obsessive close encounters

August 11, 2008

An autopsy photo? A closeup of an alien’s skin? Or nature in all its bizarre beauty and symmetry? Hint: I captured the image today at Hughes Water Garden south of Portland in Tualatin. Going there is my crack cocaine: the sound of running water and plants everywhere.

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Dogs back in the picture

August 3, 2008

Two dogs and water. Enough to bring to mind my dogs, not in a Portland fountain but following me forever ago as I race off a boathouse roof. A kid leaping toward a Florida lake below, the dogs airborne too.

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Drummer points the way

July 31, 2008

“You just changed the course of my son’s life,” I tell Phil Bondy. Phil’s a young guy pounding away on a full drum set at the corner of Northeast Alberta and 13th in Portland. Atticus, who turns three in less than two weeks, is enthralled. The occasion is Last Thursday, the once-a-month event when the […]

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It’s hard not to spot a woman riding a bike and wearing a skirt. I mean that strictly from a safety standpoint. After all, it’s a benefit given how cyclists and motorists in Portland struggle at times to share the road. Don’t believe the safety bit? You shouldn’t.

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Nothing stops more people along our precious corner of Northeast Portland than these towering July beauties. I sit on the porch, unseen by passersby, and eavesdrop on the oohing and ahhing. Luckily, the flower thieves haven’t struck; some regal lily blooms were snipped last summer.

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Losing it

July 24, 2008

As I pedaled south on the bike trail, I heard him behind me, louder than the bleat of children at a nearby amusement park. His shouted curses, accompanied by the occasional clanking of cans, nearly made me swerve off the blacktop.

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Gnome finds a friend

July 24, 2008

The Gnome’s lonely vigil, which I commented on last week, isn’t so lonely anymore. A little buddy has joined him in watching the world pass by in Northeast Portland’s Irvington neighborhood.

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It’s oddly comforting to walk along my street and see the Gnome. He’s always there, sheltered inside the hollowed-out base of a tree. He’s been there longer than the five years I’ve been walking past. His expression never changes, even when vandals spray-painted him black and broke his arm, or passersby deposited flowers at his […]

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I’m hardly an art critic. And I don’t abide by the cliché, “I know good art when I see it.” Like many people, I gravitate to images that trigger an emotional and visceral reaction that lingers. That’s the experience I had last night, stumbling upon Steampunk wallpapers while cruising boingboing.

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More than one thousand bicyclists crowd beneath the Broadway Bridge, waiting for the annual Night Ride to start. Some sway to the sound of fifteen young people pounding away on drums and cymbals. When the din ends, bike bells ring in applause. Red and white bike lights are flashing, mine included. Bewildered Amtrak passengers leaving […]

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Bridges to nowhere

July 10, 2008

Is there a direction and meaning in lives beyond the individual’s own will? That, Thornton Wilder said, was the underlying question of his acclaimed 1927 novel, The Bridge of San Luis Rey. The book explores the lives of five people who fall to their deaths when a rope bridge in Peru collapses. I don’t think […]

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Where did all the creeks go? That’s what I’m wondering, thanks to a Google terrain map of my Northeast Portland neighborhood. Zoomed in as close as I can get, I see unlabeled squiggly lines in several parts of Irvington that typically indicate water’s fickle flow. One crosses my street a few houses to the south. […]

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