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Posts from the ‘Oregon’ Category

on the vanishing point of portland streets in color & black and white

The vanishing point in paintings forms part of a linear perspective scheme. It is the point in fictive space which is supposed to appear the furthest from the viewer – the position at which all receding parallel lines meet. —National Gallery

1 : a point at which receding parallel lines seem to meet when represented in linear perspective
2 : a point at which something disappears or ceases to exist. –Merriam-Webster Dictionary

When the neighborhoods in Portland, Oregon—my home town—were planned, I suspect a city planner took out a sheaf of graph paper and a ruler, then chose parcel of land, and set about drawing straight grids, checkerboards from the sky, with streets straight and long with vanishing points at each end.

Portland is flat, more or less, and in most neighborhoods, including mine in NW Portland, one can stand in the middle of the street and look one way and then turn 180 degrees and look in the other direction and see two long, diverging lines to a vanishing point in the distance.

Few hills obstruct the view. Few buildings will abruptly block the gaze.

Most of these long and narrow streets are lined with trees whose branches extend out and over, touching and overlapping from one side to the other. They are one more example of the tree hugging reputation that exemplifies the liberal Portland.

But wait, there’s more!

on reflections in the glass, self-portraits

Occasionally there I am, hiding behind the viewfinder of the camera, not hiding well, I might add, sometimes distorted by the light and darkness of the glass. I catch my self in a reflection from a window.

Vivian Maier, the street photographer, who died unknown, took self-portraits well and with humor.

Later, after her death when John Maloof discovered boxes of her photographs at an action, undeveloped, a book dedicated to her self-portraits was published.

I look around my apartment and I see one passport photo sticking out from a book; I am using it as a book marker. If I pull out my driver’s license, I see what I looked like a few years ago. I have no other photographs of myself in the apartment.

It is not uncommon to see someone on the street, holding up a smart phone, and taking a selfie. Friends who gather do it. Family members capture that moment with their phones. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.)

But wait, there’s more!

on reflections in the glass

The senses deceive from time to time, and it is prudent never to trust wholly those who have deceived us even once.  –Rene Descartes

On the other hand, movies are inherently constructions, with the capacity to fabricate. “Blow Out” has already lied to us by opening with an elaborate fake-out: a sequence from the point of view of a slasher stalking coeds that turns out to be a film within the film.  –“Don’t Get What Makes Brian De Palma an Auteur? Try These Two Films,” New York Times

Serious thought or consideration: he doesn’t get much time for reflection. An idea about something, especially one that is written down or expressed: reflections on human destiny and art.  –Reflection

The act of reflecting, as in casting back a light or heat, mirroring, or giving back or showing an image; the state of being reflected in this way. An image; representation; counterpart.  –Reflection

When my days pass, each one I recognize. My neighborhood seems the same, more or less. My routines change but the days appear the same. I reflect back, and I am sometimes not sure which day was which.

I have seen a word in the context of a text and looked again; it was not the word I had seen, or thought I had seen. Somehow my mind had suggested one word, but I discovered a second or two later that it was not the actual word on the page. I saw the word “excellent,” for example, but on the page was “excitement.”

Once, the name “Sherlock,” as in Sherlock Holmes, seemed odd, truly impossible as a name. “Holmes” was all right. That seemed correct. But “Sherlock” was alien. It was if I had never heard the word before. I have been reading the “Adventure of Sherlock Holmes” stories since I was a kid.

I remember when the clever Perry Mason pulled into court a look-alike of his client to test a witness’s veracity. In another case, a witness did not divulge that she wore glasses when she saw the suspect commit the crime.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.) But wait, there’s more!

on the waterfronts of wheeler & astoria

Nothing behind me, everything ahead of me, as is ever so on the road.  ―Jack Kerouac, On the Road

Friday, 22 January 2021. On the road again.

The Oregon coast is dotted with small towns and unincorporated communities. While driving US Route 101 one comes often upon clusters of homes, maybe with a store nearby, probably not, probably no filling station either.

These are small, quiet communities. Some are far enough away from larger towns with stores and gas stations; they have not attracted the city folks, those Portlanders and those California-types, who might be looking for a beach house.

Before heading further north to Astoria, I stopped in Wheeler. It is not large–Wheeler–but it does have two hotels, which makes it big. On the west side, in the middle of Wheeler, there is a rest stop that offers views of the Nehalem Bay, Neahkahnie Mountain, and the river estuary.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.) But wait, there’s more!