Posts Tagged ‘Portland’

City Walks

The weather has turned quite chilly — but also clear-skied. We’re getting 20’s at night and sunny afternoons in the 40’s.

Our first city walk was along the “Alameda ridge” … a rocky elevation in the wake of Rocky Butte during the Missoula floods. It was rife with stair cases and glorious (and sometimes historic) older homes.

Having just watched the documentary A Man Named Pearl, I noticed the topiary.

We came across poetry kiosks, Beverly Cleary‘s neighborhood and these lovely decorative sidewalks.

One resident invited us into their backyard to see there spectacular Koi pond. The yard was on a steep hillside. They just built a deck and filled the difference with water!

You can see more pictures of this and other walks in this slideshow.

I’ve been busy lately finishing up the Master Gardener program, taking the QuickBooks ProAdvisor exams and getting ready to leave for a 2 week stint of traveling with my sister in her van in California.


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Joanie Rocks!

Joan2b(blog)Who knew that the Portland Zoo held concerts? I didn’t. That’s where it helps to have a sibling who keeps an eye out for these things.

It was a sell-out crowd. We spread out our blanket and chairs in the “back 40” and noshed on deli items and beer. Some folks had very elaborate homemade spreads laid out. Hmm. I’ll have to keep that in mind for next time. Lots of Tupperware and rolling ice chests.

One perk of a concert at a zoo was that they opened with a performance of wild hawks. They called in three eagles to the stage from somewhere in the surrounding woods. Cool!

Here’s a bald eagle soaring over our heads.

Another perk was getting to walk around and spy on the animals before the concert. The arena was right next to the elephants.

The concert was great. I spend very little time in my assigned ‘seat’. Mostly, I was  down by the stage. Folks were dancing and having a grand time. It’s amazing that more people don’t do this.

Joan Baez is nearly 70. She’s 68 to be exact. (She looks a lot better than Bob Dylan, who’s the same age!) I thought she looked GREAT. She sang about 50/50 oldies and newer, less known songs. “Diamonds and Rust” was my favorite of the evening. This review in Portland, ME applies equally here.

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Each summer, Portland hosts a neighborhood Tour de Coops — chicken coops, that is. So off we went. Walking between backyard chicken coops proved to be equally, if not more entertaining.

Talk about unexpected. I could hardly believe my eyes. This garage looks more like a gallery!

I’m not sure if it’s the economy or just Portland … but there were a lot of parking strip gardens. A woodworker seems to have created all these trellises.


This is an exceptionally neat new plot.

One house had a forest of sunflowers and echinaceas.

The tomatoes were mostly plumping green. These were among the few red ones we saw.

The coops weren’t particularly photogenic. This neighbor’s cat seemed quite put out by all the hoop-la.

After viewing 2 coops in 90+ degree weather at mid-day we were ready for a break. Yvonne whipped up a lovely lunch ~ in her usual elegant style.


Artisan bread, olives and beer rounded out our fare. We had a delightful afternoon despite our minimal coop observations.

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Playing Tourist

Yes, there’s nothing like visitors to get you out doing things you wouldn’t otherwise do. My sister introduced me to Willamette Jet Boats decades ago. It seemed an appropriate treat for my friend Rita who flew up from the Bay Area.

We started out dry and dapper. Pictured is Rita, myself and Yvonne a new friend I’ve made in Portland.

By trip’s end we were sopping wet. The boat driver did “360’s” — complete high speed turn-arounds.

When we weren’t being showered with river water, we motored past fishermen, posh houseboats, industrial mills and finally the Willamette Falls.



I love the scale of large industrial buildings. This door and stairway caught my eye.

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Alberta Art Hop

Portland excels in neighborhood spirit. A friend and I strolled through the “Alberta Art Hop” — a monthly street party and crafts fair.

I spied this lovely sequined gallery doorway.

And this colorful mural …

Ever wanted to write on a car?

Now this is the first portable ATM I’ve come across.

There were lots of plant vendors. I was charmed by these pots. Why didn’t I think of this?!

And how’s this for doggie comfort?

There was a parade too … anyone could participate … whenever they felt like doing so. They were an hour late, but they still got a police escort. Mostly they were stilt-walkers. Everyone was just having fun!

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This has been a long time landmark for my family. My sister took her kids here when they were small. They could run on the trails and there were koi and bridges, etc. It’s a photographer’s mecca. I bought a membership with high hopes of future gems.

Here’s a sweeping view of the main pond. (click on image to enlarge)

This little water bowl is part of the tea garden.

Every nook and cranny has been carefully attended to. Even this little bamboo fence has a woven pattern.

Each path and trail is a work of art.

And what they do with the sand/rock gardens!

We were told that the person who does this starts before dawn. It’s a mystery how all trace of footsteps is concealed.

The iris should start blooming soon. I’ll be back!

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The weather broke up last week and the skies opened — making for dramatic cloudscapes — the kind that conjure fantasies and semblances.

Having lived on the coast my entire adult life, this “cloud life” is new and exhilarating. The coast has its virtues — but clouds aren’t one of them. It’s either fog, overcast “marine layer”, sunny or (boring) scattered clouds.


While I was gazing skyward I caught this view of downtown Portland. It gives you an idea of its proximity to Vancouver, WA.

And PDX (the airport) …

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