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Posts from the ‘Portland’ Category

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 winter trees in northwest portland, oregon

Part of you died each year when the leaves fell from the trees and their branches were bare against the wind and the cold, wintry light.  —Ernest Hemingway

Let us learn to appreciate there will be times when the trees will be bare, and look forward to the time when we may pick the fruit.  —Anton Chekhov

Once upon a time I lived in a two story house on the beach in a small community called Tierra del Mar, Oregon. I spent most of my time on the second floor, where a large window faced the ocean, looking out and marveling at my good fortune. Later, I hardly noticed the view. It was like the wall paper in the room. I did not pay any attention to it either.

Sometimes the weather changed dramatically and a storm welled up and bashed the coast. I took notice then. Or, maybe the sky cleared for a change and the sun would slowly descend in a glorious moment. We have seen them, even though it may have been in a photograph.

Portland is home and so is France. It has been a long time since I passed a winter in Portland. Normally, it would be on the coast in Antibes, a small coastal town between Cannes and Nice in southern France.

I have passed so many winters in Antibes that I ignore the Mediterranean Sea when I walk into town and then back again to the apartment at the Plage de la Salis.  (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.) But wait, there’s more!

a pleasant place to live, my neighborhood

“Nowadays when a person lives somewhere, in a neighborhood, the place is not certified for him. More than likely he will live there sadly and the emptiness which is inside him will expand until it evacuates the entire neighborhood. But if he sees a movie which shows his very neighborhood, it becomes possible for him to live, for a time at least, as a person who is Somewhere and not Anywhere.” ― Walker PercyThe Moviegoer

“I came from a real tough neighborhood. I put my hand in some cement and felt another hand.” –Rodney Dangerfield

“I’ve had times where one of my roommates was moving out of the house in college, and because we were the only black people in that neighborhood, the cops got called, and we had guns drawn on us. Came in the house, without knocking, guns drawn on my teammates and roommates. So I have experienced this.” —Colin Kaepernick

NW Portland is my neighborhood. More precisely, it is NW 21st. It is white, mostly. I have lived within two or three blocks of NW 21st for much of my life. Not much has changed during that time. Some businesses made money and others departed, but the structures have remained.

It is sometimes called the Alphabet District. The streets, forming a grid, are named in alphabetical order. Davis, Everett, Flanders, Glisan, Hoyt, Irving, and so on.

Matt Groening, a Portland native and the creator of The Simpsons, named some of his characters after the streets, Ned Flanders, the bully Kearney, Reverend Lovejoy, for example.

One could place NW 21st in a desert, and travelers would call it a small town with NW 21st as its main street. “Artisan” is a favorite descriptive word. Ken’s Artisan Bakery offers bread that can rival anything the French have to offer. Ken was trained in France. Across the street is the Artisan of Hair. Down the street a short distance is Dick’s Kitchen that serves “Dork Burgers” and burgers made from elk, venison, and buffalo, depending on the day. (Click on any photo to see it larger and in more detail. Cliquez sur une vignette pour l’agrandir.) But wait, there’s more!