Thursday, October 23, 2008

Oct 23, 2008 - Portland Sights

Portland is a city of statues, artwork in stores and in the neighborhoods, a city of fountains and parks and a city of culture and diversity and, of course the city of roses.

The elk statue has a drinking trough for horses around its base. It was given to the city in 1900 when there were still horses using the main streets. The elk is in commeration of the wild elk that use to (before 1900) roam the streets.

The 38-foot figure of Portlandia (located on the Portland Building) is made of hammered copper sheeting over a steel armature - the same method used in the Statue of Liberty. Her image was adapted from an old Portland city seal.

Across the street from the Portland Bldg is an insurance building that features this inviting plaza at street level. These two men are enjoying their lunch hour in this tranquil setting. These type of plazas and

terraces are very common, making the downtown area a nice place to work and to visit.

Portland has some notable buildings. The KOIN bldg is definitely easy to recognize in the city scape. It's the 2nd tallest bldg in Portland - the tallest is the Wells Fargo Building. Wanted to mention that for Shaneen. The scale of many architectural projects is relatively small, as a result of the relatively small size of downtown-Portland blocks (200 feet by 200 feet) and strict height restrictions enacted to protect views of nearby Mount Hood from Portland's West Hills.

Another fountain/sculpture that we passed in our short

morning in downtown Portland is titled Quest. That name for that fountain explains why the locals call this piece of artwork Three Orgasms in a Fountain. No further comments!

Portalnd has a large China town. On a previous visit Candleman and I ate at an authentic Chinese restaurant. Though it was an interesting experience and fun, I won't ever do it again. I'll take my Chinese food Americanized from now on.

All three of us had visited Powell's, the largest independently owned bookstore in the world, on previous visits and with other people. The main store - Mom is standing outside the main store - is a city block in size and 3, 4 or 5 stories high. Both times we felt overwhelmed. It's not the kind of store for a brief visit and I think it would help to have in mind a few books you're interested in before entering. We showed up at 4:15 in time for me to meet a book blogger friend in the coffee shop. We visited for 40 minutes. Candleman had been roaming the store and picked up a couple of items, but he wanted to buy all the Odd Thomas books by Dean Koontz in hard back - it wasn't good enough that we owned all the paperback editions! He said I could mooch those. Mom had found a couple of books, but spent most of her time visit with SuzieQ and I. That left 10 min. for me to choose something. I had seen a lady reading a David Baldacci book at one of the lighthouse we visited earlier on the trip and the section for him was right nearby, so I bought Hour Game. Then when looking for a book by Charles de Lint (I bought my first by him here) I saw a big, nice, illustrated book of Wee Free Men by Terry Pratchett. I loved reading that book earlier this year so I grabbed it and headed for the checkout. My Powell's experience was totally delightful, especially meeting SuziQ.

The last picture is of a building I especially like for its architecture and colors.

A picture we didn't get that I wish we had was of Paddy's Bar and Grill. Candleman and I have been looking forward to a 2nd visit. Once before in the middle of the day we were walking around the Tom McCall Waterfront Park and needed a cold drink. We walked up and down a few streets looking for someplace, anyplace that would suffice. Finally we stumbled on Paddy's. We shared a sandwich and a whole pitcher of ice cold lemonade. Oh, it was so good. We didn't keep track of the name, so looking for Paddy's took us a little time, but when we found it we knew it was 'the' place. Tonight it was rock n'rolling and loud, but fun. It was quite a dramatic change from our afternoon in the tranquil Chinese Garden. The lemonade was great. Candleman order Banger and Mash, Mom tried a Barbeque Pulled Pork Sandwich and I had - gee, I forget! We all were very happy with our choices.

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