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on hanging out in portland as seen in kodak tri-x 400 black and white

PORTLAND, OREGON has pizza and wine and artisan coffee and artisan breweries and a cheese monger who took the national title once upon a time and there are many food carts and many many ethnic restaurants and cocktail bars and lots of wine. After all Portland sits between the vineyards of Washington state to the north and the vineyards in Sonoma county, California to the south and let’s not forget the many vineyards that dot the Willamette Valley and southern Oregon.

PORTLAND, OREGON has a large river—the Willamette—and nearby it has a humongous river—the Columbia. Not too far is a large mountain with skiing and hiking—Mt Hood—and nearby, sort of, are several other mountains, some larger and some smaller but still big, along the Cascade Range.

PORTLAND, OREGON is a short drive to the Pacific Ocean. One can drive straight west across Oregon along the Columbia River to Astoria. Or, one can drive south and west from Portland to Lincoln City. Or, one can take I-5 south toward Corvallis and cut west to Newport Beach. Further south are other ways to go to the beach from Interstate 5.

No wonder the population continues to grow. The admonition years ago to Californians “to visit but not stay” has not worked. Apartment buildings pop up regularly. Leave your neighborhood for three months and return to find a new building under construction or one finished already and is advertising for new tenants.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

No matter the reasons for coming and no matter from where, people quickly and with grace and ease learn how to hang out in PORTLAND, OREGON.

Paris has its brasseries and sidewalk cafés and Portland—dare I mention that other city in the same sentence with Portland—and Portland has its coffee cafés and its sidewalk restaurants. Tables and chairs and benches are often taken.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

The other day, while meandering through the streets of NW Portland, I walked into The Dragonfly Coffee House in the middle of the morning but left without ordering. “Don’t these people have jobs? Shouldn’t they be working? Are they students?” The coffee shop had too many people. I suffer from paranoia picked up during the pandemic and from remembering the warnings we heard almost daily about the danger of contacting the Covid virus.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

It is good to hangout. Walking the dog, reading a book or the phone, sipping an espresso outside when the weather is nice and the air is clean, sitting and looking and wondering and thinking is all good. It is always good to talk. And to listen.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

The photographs here are in black and white, a strange choice since there is so much color in Portland, especially during the summer when the sky is blue and the tree foliage, trying its best to keep us from seeing it, is green, many shades of green, but I like the Kodak Tri-X 400 film stock and wanted to use the look for this subject for no other reason than I can.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

2 Comments Post a comment
  1. I’m always interested in what you have to say about Portland, and your blog in general is fascinating. I don’t know if you remember me, but we knew each other when you were at Lewis and Clark College. I have always loved the NW neighborhood, and I spend a lot of time walking the area. Your photos capture it well. Looking forward to your next post, whether in Oregon or in France. How cool it is to travel back and forth, and document your travels!

    15/11/2022
    • Yes! I do remember you. We were 18 years old when we met at a dance at PSU. Fall, 1967. September. I want to write more but make it more private. I will write to you from your web site. (I am still smiling.)

      17/11/2022

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