Wednesday, December 30, 2009
A PDXmas, VI
In the Portland of my memories and dreams, buildings like this giant jug—once a liquor store, presumably, now a strip club—are everywhere, criss-crossed by overpasses. It's a city of shabby buildings, and exceptionally modest ambition. And above all, it's funky and weird, far from the glossy city that today recalls its former self only in random blocks on the far east side. 25 years ago, Portland was still borderline squalid, with a lethargy that made escaping it an act of utter and complete necessity.
Ironicall, one no longer itches to get away from Portland, Oregon…because while you're actually there you could be anywhere at all. Fortunately, nature endures: If it weren't for Mount Hood and the river spanned by those marvelous and quite ancient steel bridges, there'd be no distinguishing this place from, say, Columbus, Ohio…