Monday, January 26, 2009

Stumptown Daze

Last weekend Seth and I went up to Portland (fondly known as Stumptown --an old revitalized nickname) for the Portland Old-Time Gathering. Three days of a rollicking good old time at the Norse Hall (I'm glad they have a link as I neglected to take any photos of it--very old-school cool) in North-East Portland--just north of Burnside on 11th. Seth and the other members of Molasses got down with some other folks in the ladies powder room! There were jams everywhere! I went to a clogging workshop, and the blowout square dance on Saturday had well over 200 people spinning in circles (and squares!).

It was extra pleasant because we got to stay in our friends' cool old-school apartment building up in North-West.* I have a lower tolerance for jamming than Seth so I visited Washington Park with Chris and Heather. It is the largest urban park in the United States, and it's only a few blocks from their place. Of course, since it's the largest park, it's close to many people!

We saw Mt. Hood on lovely display, but there was a big ugly building in the way, and though it was quite majestic in real life, it looks pretty weenie in the photo (it's coming out of Chris's left ear).

While Chris sketched the lampost, Heather and I crossed a cool bridge from 1925 into a hidden neighborhood saw this old gate leading up to a big house on a hill:

The big synagogue in their neighborhood was also built in the 1920's and looks very classy (wood shakes on the roof and everything--very rare in modern urban settings, or anywhere much anymore).

Portland is still a young city compared to Boston, Pittsburgh, Cleveland, etc. but it has a sense of history, and they haven't willy-nilly torn most of it down like they have in Eugene (sniffle).

*Portland Geography Primer: Portland is split North-South by the Willamette River which gives it and East side and a West Side. The roads that run north-south number out from the river congruently. I.E. there is a 1st Ave East and a 1st Ave West;a 2nd Ave East and a 2nd Ave. West, etc (well, more or less unless they've been re-named or dead end, but you get the idea). It is split North and South by a big road that runs East-West called Burnside. If I'm wrong about Burnside being the splitter street, please let me know. There are various semi-predictable, semi-alphabetic street names for the East-West roads, but they don't hold up under much scrutiny. Anyhow, so that makes Portland divided roughly into 4 quadrants which are known by their directional names. Clear as mud? No, Mudtown is the old name for, clear as a clearcut in Stumptown?

P.S. I swear I tried to indent my paragraphs, but this blog program just erases my spaces!

1 comment:

Ferrell Rose said...

Glad to see you're back to blogging and that you guys are having so much fun! I bookmarked you, so I'll be checking up every day....pressure, pressure.