Archive for the liff in Outer East Portland Category

[#pdx] Photos On Sunday: East Holladay and Earl Boyles Parks

Posted in David Douglas Area, Earl Boyles Park, liff in Outer East Portland, Outer East Portlandia, Photos on Sunday, SE PDX Photos on June 5, 2014 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
Parks here in Outer East Portlandia seem a little few and far between. In a city famed for its green spaces and park system, it’s proving to be a bit of a struggle to solve. Perhaps it’s because someone hasn’t yet figured out how a developer can make a ton of money off it, I don’t know. Who knows.

The neighborhood trees
muscle up to East Holladay Park

Shutting off the cynicism for a moment, part of it is, you just have to know where to look. West of 82nd Avenue, the parks are brazen hussies; they just throw themselves at you, shamelessly; get out of your car, park it, bub, and enjoy me!!! They’re the only part of the empire of Portlandia that isn’t some sort of passive-aggressive. There are awesome parks on the Heavy Eastside, they’re like gold or water; they’re where you find them. This turns the hunt into about equal parts aggravation and treasure quest.

Rose hips, East Holladay Park

This first park, you’ll see what I mean. It’s called East Holladay Park, and despite its geographically-specific name, it’s not just down the road from Holladay Park, near the Lloyd Center, unless, for you, just down the road means a seven-mile trip out the Banfield Freeway and NE Halsey Street. But then, there are some fitness freaks here in Portland …

Oh, me. Anyway. to get to East Holladay Park, you do indeed go out NE Halsey Street into the veldtlands to deep East Portland. Go east on Halsey to NE 128th Avenue, and south on 128th to NE Holladay Street. About 420 feet, give or take, east from 128th, Holladay Street bends and becomes Holladay Court, and that’s where the park’s entry is. What makes East Holladay hard to locate is that this is its only obvious entry, otherwise it’s surrounded by homes on 2 long sides and a PGE substation on the third. Other streets dead-end at the park’s edge and provide local entry that way; the only public parking area is the one where NE Holladay St becomes NE Holladay Ct at the 13000 block.

The parking lot (a dated version of which  can be seen in Google Maps Satellite view) is both visually pleasing to look at and a version of the green ways of doing things we try to put into operation here in Portland wherever we can. Instead of a sheet of asphalt, square pavers form a surface smooth enough to drive or walk across while the seams between open into the soil, alleviating the problems inherent in water sheeting across a normal parking lot and simply sloughing off onto the streets and soil surrounding it, taking advantage of the ability of the ground and the vegetation to filter out the nasty bits in the same way that our unfairly-lambasted bioswales do

It’s also visually charming, making one feel as though one is walking across a cobbled courtyard. Rather sophisticated, actually.

The area of the park is wide open. This was actually a bit disappointing as we were hoping for a place to spread out with art supplies and diary and play, but there’s no picnic tables there. Truth be told, the space is a bit bland, but I can’t hold a grudge against all that luminous green. There is a spiffy new, bright, pretty, fun-looking play area, so the area is undoubtedly getting real-world likes from every neighborhood kid.

Fun time at the park: enabled.
The other one is Earl Boyles Park. I suppose we missed it all this time because there’s no obvious signs leading to it, and it’s similarly ensconced in the neighborhood near SE 112th Avenue between Powell and Holgate the way East Holladay is in its nabe. The best access we were able to find is SE Center Street going east from SE 104th Avenue. On the south, east, and west it’s surrounded by houses and trees; there is an access on SE Boise Street. North side of the park is bounded by the properties of Ron Russell Middle School and Earl Boyles Elementary, on SE Bush Street west of 112th Avenue, and while there’s ready access from Bush Street the space between the north bound of the park and the street is taken up by Ron Russell’s sports field, so the park’s presence is perhaps not so obvious from there.

By the time we’d gotten to Earl Boyles Park, the sun was beginning to get rather low in the sky, and the long rays were being played about with by the foliage, leaving the grass and tree boughs even more luminous than the park before. There’s a water feature which can be activated somehow, and the kids were playing in it … a high, proud fountain. We were delighted by this. We’ve seen quite a few Portland parks in which the water feature was either deactivated or a thing of the past.

I feel rather abashed. This is the park we’ve been looking for; pleasant access, a nice grove of trees, a fountain pad for the warm bodies that summer in Oregon naturally obtains. A place with tables to sit and take in the world, and to watch the sun linger on the horizon, like it tends to do hereabouts.

Earl Boyles Park. Sunset. 2nd of June, 2014.

And we just kind of stumbled on it. Well, the best things, you usually find them that way. Serendipity, they call it. Just what you were looking for … but not when you were looking for it.

That’s why life is mysterious, in the good way. 


[liff] Clouds Before The Storm Over 122nd And East Burnside

Posted in liff in Outer East Portland, Out 122nd Way, Outer East Portlandia, SE PDX Photos on May 19, 2014 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis

This is Saturday, the 17th, and the atmosphere was quite active. Those local to Outer East Portlandia and the Greater Russellville Metro Area will recall that the day after was quite active with the thunderstorms and the rumbly and the boom and the FLAVENS!

I guess I’m a sucker for dramatic skies. They have been unusually generous lately.

Anyone can be inspired by a clear blue sky, I suppose; I certainly am. But there’s so much variety and dynamism in a sky like this – I could look at it for hours.

Thank God for digital photography, right? You get to keep it and you can enjoy it on your camera pretty much right away.

The last two days have been of the Don’t like Oregon weather? Just wait 5 minutes, it’ll change variety. Seriously. Bright warm sun followed by fifteen minutes of frog-choker. Oregon weather is just as moody as the reputed slackers we’re supposed to be overrun with, and has more mood swings than a hormonal teenager.

But, do note the gossamer sunlight shafts beaming down in the middle-distance here. This is my favorite of the three for that reason.

Is that you, God? It’s me, 122nd and East Burnside.

[liff] At SE 122nd and Stark, It’s Always Darkest Before The Daw, Whatever That Is

Posted in liff, liff in Outer East Portland, Out 122nd Way, Outer East Portlandia, teh_funnay on May 19, 2014 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
Spotted while going from there to here along SE 122nd Avenue at Stark, on Saturday:

While one can argue that, in Portlandia, it’s always been the Age of Asparagus, one still wonders what dawing is, what is involved in this process (that’s what we’re assuming it is), or how it brought said Age to come about, exactly.

If you didn’t see it on Saturday then you missed it; someone set up the spell check on it, and now all its dawing are belong to us, because I have the picture. of which I share.

[liff] The 3-D Letters and The Synanon Ruler

Posted in liff, liff in Outer East Portland on May 6, 2014 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
The annual Gethsemane Lutheran Church is truly the Gumpian bawx of chawklits. You really never know what you’re going to get.

Oh, there are some things which are verities. The snacks, running to chili, sausage dogs and lemonade, are exquisite. The baked goods, being Lutheran, are immaculate (I’m not really being a cutie-pie here; the Lutherans really do create some immaculate baked goods). The people … really, really sweet. It’s hard to find a group so warm to people they literally do not know.

We found things that we were looking for for a while. A 2-controller electric blanket, a few nifty books, some housewares. And me, I found this:

Cute, huh? Unique? I dare you to find things like this within 15 miles of this place. To cases, then:

Hernard 3-D Title Letters. This was how we did image macros before there was an interwebs. These are small, ceramic letters, about 3/4ths of a inch tall and about a quarter-inch thick, and treated on the back with a stickum, this looks like it’s easily 30 years old if it’s a day. The stickum looks quite fossilized, but the instructions assure me that I’ll get it back if I treat it with lighter fluid.

That’s a relative thing, I’m sure. I wouldn’t consider a coating of lighter fluid such a treat, but that’s me for you.

The literature on the card on the back enthuses with promise. Create dramatic shadow effects with epic 3-Dness! Stick the letters to glass and shoot through them for effects! Carry them with you everywhere! Go crazy!

I’m going to live caption my cats. After The Wife™ sews me back together, I’ll let you know how that went.

The other thing is a thing, and a strange thing, and a thing of a certain hobby of mine. Some people enjoy comparative religion. Not me. Much too straightforward and cute. It’s got to be abstruse, eye-crossingly obsessive, and hard to follow. I ‘collect’ artifacts from some new religious movements. Sometimes, the sketchier the better. For a while I was collecting scripture books … I have a very old copy of Science and Health with Key To the Scriptures  that I’m rather fond of.

I stopped short of getting a copy of The Urantia Book, though. We have enough doorstops around here.

Anywhoozle, when I saw this, I couldn’t resist … hell, at a tag price of twenty-five cents, I couldn’t afford not to!

Synanon, for those who don’t know, was a self-improvement creed that grew out of a drug-and-alcohol rehab group started by a man named Chuck Dederich back in the last 60s. It grew and prospered and eventually collapsed of its own weight. But they did have some small manufacturing base, and apparently some of that was devoted to making logo items.

Really, I recommend the Gethsemane yearly rummage sale to everyone. It’s a fun experience. And you really do never know what you’re gonna get there. 

[pdx] Photos On Sunday: An Outer East Portland Cloud Atlas

Posted in liff in Outer East Portland, Out 122nd Way, Outer East Portlandia, PDX photos, Photos on Sunday, SE PDX Photos on May 6, 2014 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
Sometimes I have a theme, sometimes the theme has me.

I wanted pictures last Sunday, but there was nothing I could come up with to go out to particularly. But this was the Sunday that lived up to the immortal Oregon dictum if you don’t like the weather, stick tight for five minutes, and it’ll change

A world in the sky. 14500 Block of SE Stark St

The sky was in its gentle turmoil. Since the power of a raindrop is so small and you only get little bits of it at a time, and clouds are wisps of vapor, so it’s easy to forget how much power there is there. The sun drives a great engine above us.

Westbound on SE Stark Street near SE 139th Avenue

There’s also a local adage that instructs the layman on how to use Mount Hood to forecast the weather. it’s a simple, 2-step process:

  1. If you can see Mount Hood, it’s about to rain.
  2. If you can’t see Mount Hood, it’s raining.
Very little of Mount Hood was seen this day.

Where you can get actual typewriter ribbons.
The phone number’s there on the window.

They call Portland’s east side ‘flat’. That’s only in comparison. It’s flattish. Surprising ripples and ridges obtain. It’s comparatively flat. There’s extinct volcanoes, ridges produced by the Missoula floods, buttes, small gullies. But it is flat enough that you see things coming your way. We watched a rainstorm approach from Out 122nd Way.

Looking west from the Bi-Mart at 122nd and Halsey. We love that Bi-Mart.

Stopping at Bi-Mart to complete an errand, we look west, and see unsettled gray. We look east, however, and see the last rainstorm leaving. A blue-gray-green gradient, all the way down to the deck. It’s that unearthly sort of thing. There’s a feeling to storms in every part of the country. This storm gives a uniquely Oregon feeling.

Looking east from the Bi-Mart parking lot. If they don’t sell it, you don’t need it.

All sorts of energy here. And bits of blue. And a cell tower, too.

West down Halsey from NE 122nd Avenue. Cropping just-so to give
the feeling of a telephoto effect. 

A long look down Halsey west from 122nd hints another storm coming our way. After the library stop, it’s to the Burgerville for supper … and it’s gotten closer and macho’d up considerably.

Majestic, powerful, and coming our way. The clouds fair to tower over one.

Standing in the middle of SE Stark Street, a silly thing to do.

The big billowing storm in the distance, going from the middle toward the right of the photo, is full of visual drama. I couldn’t take my eyes off it, neither could The Wife™. I took a risk of standing momentarily in the middle lane of SE Stark Street, which was silly, but my girl was off so that she couldn’t see me. Avoided a boxing of the ears that way.

Looking west down SE Oak Street from SE 122nd. 

The storm boiled up, came over us, and rained. And it was all very quick. Titanic as it came, gentle upon arrival.

As the day wore on, the familiar salmon tones in the clouds. Dramatic, somehow,even though it was subtle.

Boiling, like the sea. Framed by The Wife™. Art is where you find it, or,
in this case, where she did.

The world from the Burgerville dining room.

And, to close, here’s one that looks like God hissef could come down out of the cloud … Something Cecil B. DeMille-Bible-storyish about that notch.

Almost thought I saw Chuck Heston, there. It made sense. 

[pdx] Photos on Sunday 1: Division St Grocery Outlet

Posted in liff in Outer East Portland, Out 122nd Way, Outer East Portlandia, teh_funnay on April 7, 2014 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
Sunday is our market day, The Wife™ and myself. We depend on two sources; one, happily, has become the 122nd and Division Grocery Outlet.

We go for more than some pretty neat prices and availability of stuffs you won’t find anywhere else. They are a very cheerful crew there. Their senses of humor keep us smiling.

Browsing the freezer case then:

We found the above on the pi case. I mean, pie case. Er, rather, pi pie case. Or something.

They are also mad concentrated on making life easy for customers …

Although I would point out that breakfast isn’t just for breakfast any more.
122nd and Division Grocery Outlet FTW, yo.

[brand] Spearmint Rhino Is a "Gentlemens Club". No, I Wouldn’t Have Guessed Either.

Posted in branding, identity and branding, liff in Outer East Portland, liff in PDX, Outer East Portlandia on April 5, 2014 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
Living in Portland, one develops a certain blasé mien toward strip clubs. Not that they are necessarily something that one welcomes to a neighborhood, really. More a recognition, much as the seashore recognizes the tide is coming in whether it likes it or not, that it’s coming … like it or not.

Personally, I don’t have a problem with strip clubs as such; I don’t patronize them, I don’t like a lot about them, but people are going to want them and others are going to set them up for those people. Sex sells, and almost everyone’s buying. ‘Specially here in PDX, where the reputation for such establishments is nothing short of legendary.

We can, each one of us, I suppose, differ on whether or not there are are too many of them. I don’t think Portland needs any more, really, and I have proof that they’re getting a little too common (if that be possible; they’ve long since run out of names for them that are impossible not to mock.

I figured we were in a dark place when a local Division Street dive bar of long standing, the Peanut Farm, at 12646 SE Division Street, became yet another strip club … but called itself the Pitiful Princess. That’s the most depressing name I can think of for a strip club. Pitiful Princess. It’s like naming a strip club Daddy Issues. 

Well, the sun rises and sets, the tide goes in and out, and, like the ticking of some sleazy clock, another strip club has opened in Stumptown, and it’s called …

Spearmint Rhino. 

Wait … what?

Yeah. Spearmint Rhino. It doesn’t seem to be code for anything, it isn’t some bizarre and obscure name for a hitherto little-known bit of male or female intimate anatomy. Spearmint Rhino. A name designed to leave you scratching your head. The logo (right) isn’t particularly brilliant or inspired, but at least it looks like someone spent some time on designing it. If you really want to say something for it … hey, nice font, I guess.

Give it that.

So, Spearmint Rhino, a name that will come to signify something in the annals of something somehow, has opened its doors in PDX. Yayz. And you know what else? Hey, it’s an international chain! Yayz again! According to Wikipedia, the club opened in 1989 as a supplement to the existing Peppermint Elephant Restaurant. So, there’s that.

So, we missed out on the Peppermint Elephant, but we do know that it took supplements.

Stay tuned for what are sure to be newer additions to the panoply of being able to see naked women in Portland:

  • Vanilla Zebra
  • Raspberry Giraffe
  • Licorice Bison
  • Habañero Hippo
  • Butterscotch Buffalo
Oh, we could go on.  But we won’t.

No, I ain’t giving you directions. You got Google. Find in yourowndangself.