Archive for the Cascadia Category

[pdx] Come To The River: See the Missoula Floods Without Getting Wet Or Killed

Posted in Cascadia, Missoula Floods, Oregon Natural History on April 22, 2014 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
3067.
Spend any time looking into Oregon prehistory, you’ll find out about the Missoula Floods. They went a long way toward making the Willamette Valley the way it is.

Goes like this: between 13 and 15 kiloyears ago, when the last Ice Age was waning, a glacial dam across the Clark Fork created a great sprawling lake in the mountains of what is today western Montana called Lake Missoula. Sources I’ve read say it held at least 500 cubic miles worth of water. Glaciers being what they are during a period of melting about twice every century, that dam would give way, and the waters would gush across what is now eastern Washington, scour out the Columbia Gorge, and back up into the Willamette Valley, making great temporary lakes along the way (the filling of the Valley was called Lake Allison).

This happened dozens of times over that 2,000 year span. And, as a result, we have thick, rich, beautiful agricultural soil here in the Willamette, while Washington just gets the channeled scablands. In as much as Washington also gets the hot tech companies and professional baseball, I think it about evens.

Along the esplanade, alongside OMSI, is the above plaque. Embiggening it should give one enough of a view of the graphic to impress. The artist’s conception is, of course, of the Missoula flood at its greatest height, if Portland had been there at the time.

The floods rose to a depth of more than 400 feet, it’s estimated. How deep is that? Well, a picture is one thing, a bit of reality, another. The above plaque is set into a worderfully-designed kiosk-like object, as seen here:

Those two tubes, on on each side, are sights. The end is specially covered so that, sighting down them, you’ll see just what would be left above the waves. And just what is that?

The upper 6 or so floors of the Wells Fargo Tower, and just a few condo units at the KOIN Center.

Oregon … things do look different here.

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The Horizon and The City: “Bluffing” Portland

Posted in Cascadia, city planning, Iconic Portland, liff in PDX, pdx_geography, pdx_photos, Portland Geography, Portland Street Scenes, Portland visual history on July 15, 2009 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis

2152.Another thing we did on a day simply pointing the car in whatever direction and taking whatever picture we felt was there are, as everyone knows, great places to get long-view skyline photos of Portland.

Visual Portland is a treat. If you could eat the view, it would taste like your favorite food and would never get you fat and never give you heart disease. And we have great viewpoints that we can take our leisure at. Here’s a few we found, and if you want to view them embiggened, then click on the words “Posterous Link” that should appear beneath each photo. If you want to see my whole Posterous stream, it’s at http://zehnkatzen.posterous.com.

One great place is the University of Portland. The very cheerful campus, located in north Portland, is located at the lip of a cliff called Waud’s Bluff. It affords a commanding view of the working harbor of Portland, Swan Island, and the Swan Island lagoon:


View Bigly at Posterous

If you move just a schoshe to the west, you have a handy-dandy, neato-mosquito ready-made visual frame made out of foliage:


View Bigly at Posterous

In the first, you get a great view of the harbor and Swan Island. In the second, you get a layered effect; nature, Island, and bustling city in the distance.

I’ve got to say also at this point that the UP is a very welcoming host. Me and The Wife™ wandered onto campus with a camera and just started pointing and shooting, and as soon as Campus Security realized we were just takin’ landscape snaps, they let us be. Thank you, UP security. You rock.

At the other end of town there’s a bluff which I don’t know the name of, which overlooks two very special Portland places. One is the wetland known as Oaks Bottom, which is an urban wildlife paradise, and the other is the Oaks Amusement Park, one of the last of that old-fashioned breed, 104 years old and just as popular as ever, with a legendary roller rink.

At the lip of the bluff overlooking the bottom, there’s a shortish street called SE Sellwood Blvd. Narrow, pleasant, and lined with homes that are so very modest and charming you just know they cost more than $500,000 each, even in this economy.

Well, you do get quite a view for your coin, especially at sunset:


View Bigly at Posterous

If you let the land dominate, rather than the sky, you get this view:


View Bigly at Posterous

These two shots demonstrate a certain thing that I always had a feel about but didn’t really realize solidly until I saw it. It’s true in the University of Portland shots but it really jumps out to you in the Oak Bottom pair. The upper shot, containing just the sky and the skyline, is very warm, very dreamy – almost ephemeral. The new buildings in the Portland skyline almost make it a truly-futuristic thing. But when I let the land dominate, it changed the color balance entirely, making it very cool and less Brigadoon like.

On the UP photos, including the nature in the foreground softened up and gave the view a boundary. But with the Sellwood/Oaks Bottom photos, it goes between dream and reality.

Such is the magic of composition. No matter what camera you got, you can choose for effect.

And Portland makes a very cool model. I frigg’n love my hometown.

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Yamhill County Transportation Area: A Logo Expressing Service

Posted in Cascadia, Graphic Design, local transit, logo design, transit graphic design on January 14, 2009 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
1913.Yamhill County (a place whose name has nothing to do with either yams or hills) is a charming place; small towns, wide agricultural spaces, the legendary bottleneck/speed trap at Dundee, and capital of the State of Pinot Noir.

But it’s growing up. Population estimates put the number of inhabitants near 100,000; the county seat, McMinnville, has recently notched a population of 30,000.

Yamhill County, though, no matter where you go in it (it fairly sprawls for a small county; from the Grande Ronde area of the Coast Range to the right bank of the Willamette) seems one community. So it stands to reason that the most effective way to serve it in many ways is on the country level, and it’s that level from which the transit system has sprung.

You might be surprised to learn that Yamhill County has fixed-route regular daily city bus service. Actually, it’s had it for a while, courtesy of Yamhill Community Action Partnership and senior service organizations, first as Dial-a-Ride service, then as minimal fixed-route service (anyone with knowledge is welcome to correct me on this; I’m working on recollection here). But latterly it’s expanded to three regular routes in McMinnville proper, with link routes connecting the outlying communities to not only McMinnville but also to TriMet and Salem’s Cherriots. The city service in McMinnville is Monday-Friday on the half-hour from 6:30 am to 8:30 pm, which is no mean feat for a small town like “Mac”. Newberg is served by what is called the “Town Flyer” route which connects to the 99W Link route.

Anyway, this is about the graphic look, and with the growing up of the transit service In Yamhill County comes a more polished, accomplished graphical appearance. And they have it.

The logo of the Yamhill County Transportation Area (YCTA) is deft in execution and meaning. The letter Y is incorprated into a symbol that appears to be highways merging, in an ever-appropriate green, but the totality of the symbol expresses a hand supporting a tray, in the manner of a butler or waiter/waitress.

How may we be of service to you, Yamhill County? A very effective use of symbolism, a deft execution.

The understated-yet-effective look continues into signage and tickets/passes (as pictured)

Whoever created the look knew what they were doing, had a firm grasp of the message they were trying to communicate, and knew their audience: a rural county where everyone’s your neighbor. They keep it friendly and approachable.

(graphics nicked from the YCTA website, which is a well-designed bit of work. I encourage a visit; you can find it here: http://yctransitarea.org).

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Yamhill County Transportation Area: A Logo Expressing Service

Posted in Cascadia, Graphic Design, local transit, logo design, transit graphic design on January 14, 2009 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
1913.Yamhill County (a place whose name has nothing to do with either yams or hills) is a charming place; small towns, wide agricultural spaces, the legendary bottleneck/speed trap at Dundee, and capital of the State of Pinot Noir.

But it’s growing up. Population estimates put the number of inhabitants near 100,000; the county seat, McMinnville, has recently notched a population of 30,000.

Yamhill County, though, no matter where you go in it (it fairly sprawls for a small county; from the Grande Ronde area of the Coast Range to the right bank of the Willamette) seems one community. So it stands to reason that the most effective way to serve it in many ways is on the country level, and it’s that level from which the transit system has sprung.

You might be surprised to learn that Yamhill County has fixed-route regular daily city bus service. Actually, it’s had it for a while, courtesy of Yamhill Community Action Partnership and senior service organizations, first as Dial-a-Ride service, then as minimal fixed-route service (anyone with knowledge is welcome to correct me on this; I’m working on recollection here). But latterly it’s expanded to three regular routes in McMinnville proper, with link routes connecting the outlying communities to not only McMinnville but also to TriMet and Salem’s Cherriots. The city service in McMinnville is Monday-Friday on the half-hour from 6:30 am to 8:30 pm, which is no mean feat for a small town like “Mac”. Newberg is served by what is called the “Town Flyer” route which connects to the 99W Link route.

Anyway, this is about the graphic look, and with the growing up of the transit service In Yamhill County comes a more polished, accomplished graphical appearance. And they have it.

The logo of the Yamhill County Transportation Area (YCTA) is deft in execution and meaning. The letter Y is incorprated into a symbol that appears to be highways merging, in an ever-appropriate green, but the totality of the symbol expresses a hand supporting a tray, in the manner of a butler or waiter/waitress.

How may we be of service to you, Yamhill County? A very effective use of symbolism, a deft execution.

The understated-yet-effective look continues into signage and tickets/passes (as pictured)

Whoever created the look knew what they were doing, had a firm grasp of the message they were trying to communicate, and knew their audience: a rural county where everyone’s your neighbor. They keep it friendly and approachable.

(graphics nicked from the YCTA website, which is a well-designed bit of work. I encourage a visit; you can find it here: http://yctransitarea.org).

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Viaduct? Vhy Not A Tunnel?

Posted in Cascadia, Ecotopia, liff in the PNW, That City, Urban Growth on January 13, 2009 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
1910.Meanwhile, in New York Alka-Seltzer, the shouting is over, and the preferred replacement to the Alaskan Way Viaduct will be a deep-bore tunnel, saith the Seattle P-I.

Going down!

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Viaduct? Vhy Not A Tunnel?

Posted in Cascadia, Ecotopia, liff in the PNW, That City, Urban Growth on January 13, 2009 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
1910.Meanwhile, in New York Alka-Seltzer, the shouting is over, and the preferred replacement to the Alaskan Way Viaduct will be a deep-bore tunnel, saith the Seattle P-I.

Going down!

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