Archive for the Outer East Portlandia Category

[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.


[Out122ndWay] Outer East Portlandia Sunrise With Added Ron Tonkin

Posted in Iconic Portland, Out 122nd Way, Outer East Portlandia, Painfully Portland, Portland Commercial History on March 15, 2014 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
Sunrise in Outer East Portlandia.

This contains all the things that cause anxiety to people who don’t actually live out this way, but which, if you look upon things with a kinder eye, are just kind of homey.

This street is one of the ‘miles and miles of unpaved streets in Portland’ which seem to make so many people so unhappy. The homes are careworn, many of them, but they are also cared for; that little complex there on the right may need a coat of paint, but it’s got nice people living within.

Just because this is Portland, it all has to by glossy and neat, I guess.

But I love it.

Meanwhile, southbound on NE 122nd Avenue at Glisan …

There it is, in the middle distance. You see it. Down there, on the left. A monument to an era. Once upon a time, two brothers … Marv, and Ron … opened two auto dealerships out 122nd way. The first one gave us a memorable jingle (though mayhap you moderns never heard of it. I pity you). Marv Tonkin Ford was where Courtesy Ford now is: the building, with integral arches giving a distinctive roof line, has been funadmentally re-modeled, and no trace of Marv’s hand remains.

The other gave us a more visible monument:

… which is persistent and nostalgic, reminding of ages when the monumental neon sign was all. The lights still sparkle in the first name, and you can still see it from a looooong way off.
We no longer have either Tonkin with us, Ron having left us earlier this year, and Marv several years before that. There is still a surfeit of auto houses up and down 122nd between Burnside and Halsey, but Tonkin … for the love of cars … is still the king, surviving waves of Thomasons and Carrs and Alexanders and Lyman Slacks (long may their memories linger).

[Out122ndWay] Famous Model Photoshopped By Local Photog! ZOMG!

Posted in Mount Hood, Out 122nd Way, Outer East Portlandia, PDX photos on March 8, 2014 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis

It’s true! Like many photographers, I have a favorite model, and occasionally I nudge a bit in Photoshop.

Well, it’s Mount Hood again. I don’t know whether the same ethical rules apply, but I find my favorite model voluptuous.

Today I went up 122nd from Sandy because of the beautiful slate-grayness of the clouds and how the bright-white of the mountains stood out against it. I got a photo of the mighty mountain that looked like this:

… and here’s where I actually admit I tell the lie. But it’s not a lie, not really, it’s an interpretation; the way cameras have trouble reflecting what I’m actually seeing. The mountain, since I know how to look at it, appears a certain way in my mind. More like the above, and less like this, which is close to what it actually looked like:

Not actually too bad, Wy’east is always gorgeous no matter the weather, provided it can be seen, of course (you know the old joke? You can use Mount Hood to forecast the weather. If you can’t see it, it’s raining; if you can, it’s going to). But a bit of tone and contrast adjustment in PS and it pops better, nudging the curves function makes it even better.

This next photo is more of the above (again, it’s cropped to give the mountain the scene-composition that it really needs to dominate) …

 … and I showed it to you so I can contrast it with this:

What a difference, yeah? I really went to town in the adjustments … earlier, I realized when I adjusted the curves thus and such, that rose-colored area emerged out of the left hand side of the picture. The clouds in the sky take on a certain nacre-like quality, and the scene, on the whole, acquires the feel, sort of, of a pastel picture.

[pdx_photo] Mt Hood and 122nd Avenue … Cropping Out Some Of The Crops

Posted in liff in Outer East Portland, Mount Hood, Out 122nd Way, Outer East Portlandia, PDX photos on February 28, 2014 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
So, this is where I find myself, coming home after pulling some overtime, and I treat myself to going home via East 122nd Avenue … the 122nd Way in Out 122nd Way.

I adore 122nd. I don’t know, nor do I really care, who thinks that a bustling 4-lane boulevard with a turn-lane, capped at one end by a care-worn Kmart and at the other end by a 7 Eleven and businesses who habla Español with a vengeance would be treasured by someone as some of the most beautiful city-scape in the world would be a crazy or stupid thing. Pfui on the rest of you, Portland, for pretending that everything east of I-205 is unworthy of that peculiar Portlandia-style cool. We rock out here, and this is my heart.

122nd Avenue. Damn right.

Here, on a bright, fresh, clear morning, at the end of February, in the year 2014, is a picture of Mount Hood, that most perfect of volcanic cones, from a 1972 VW Beetle parked just south of the corner of NE 122nd and Shaver and just north of the entry to Rossi Farms (a little green stamp that remains of what was once farms all the way from 82nd Avenue to Gresham):

Just wonderful and poetic. The ice-cold peak, new in an even thicker blanket of snow than last month (twice what it was last month, and just in time too … we’re up to about 90% average snowpack in this basin, and it was starting to look more than a tecch dicey for the summer) wearing the clouds about it like a robe. The high clouds enhance the feeling of a distant chill; and the trees and buildings in the middleground, and the verdant spread of the Rossi property in front, juxtapose all that together and frame it thus-and-so, and you get the idea that the mountain fairly looms above you.

I don’t know where I’ve found my compositional mojo latterly, but I’ve found it; the pictures I’ve been taking of Wy’east latterly have come closer to my subjective impression of size and space than anything ever.

And an improvement, by cropping out more of the crops and eliminating the competition from that tall tree:

Look, I don’t get to participate in a lot of Portland. Despite my best efforts at schooling, all I can get anyone to give me is shift work that keeps me busy when things are happening and doesn’t give me enough scratch to get too involved if I could show up. No matter. It wasn’t the social whirl that attracted me to Portland anyway. It’s the landscape, the precious background to whatever it is I’m doing. I can go out to Division Street, ride with my wife down to the Dutch Bros at SE 136th, and the working class neighborhoods are warm and humming, the strugglers are struggling, the stragglers are straggling, we out here aren’t trying to be anything more than what we are or what we feel … and in the distance, this beautiful mountain peak, watching over all and saying “You’re all OK. I can see that from here”.

That said, if someone could see to it that I were a bit more well payed, I wouldn’t fight it. Daddy does need a new pair of shoes betimes. 

[pdx] The Ice Trees We Grow In Portlandia

Posted in liff in PDX, OregonSnowmageddon 2014, Out 122nd Way, Outer East Portlandia on February 10, 2014 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis
The Mighty MultCoLib wasn’t open over the weekend (smart move, but dang!) but we did go by the Mighty Midland to return some books

You don’t see trees like this in Oregon very often:

Ice: it’s a bumper crop in Portland this season. 

[PDX_liff] The Family Pictures at Midland Library

Posted in liff in Outer East Portland, Midland Library, MultCoLib, Outer East Portlandia on January 26, 2014 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis

At the time of this writing, along the back wall of Midland Regional Library, on SE 122nd Avenue at Morrison Street, is a series of pictures. They’re large format, and hard to miss.

There is a similar lineup on the other side of the building, these gorgeous photos of families. Well, as detailed by the poster in the next photo:
It’s We Are Portland, an arts initiative by MyStory Portland, which describes itself as:

…a mobile arts organization that brings photography workshops to underrepresented Portland youth. Our programs give young people an opportunity to explore their lives through the lens of a camera, and strengthen their communities through the arts. We collaborate with community organizations in building programs that empower low-income and recently immigrated youth.

So, it’s arts to the people, who always had it to begin with, but tend to get talked out of it repeatedly by our rather dysfunctional culture, which has kind of lost what it means to be an artist and to make art in many ways. So this is a thing of which you would possibly assume I approve of, and I do.

They do take great photos, don’t they?

And the explanatory poster has this logo in the corner, which is just worth showing off.

Now, there are other pictures there. I didn’t include them because discovery is most of the fun.

Maybe a visit to the Midland Regional Branch of the library is in order, so that they may be seen. Couldn’t hurt. Got books there and everything.

[design] The Talking Leaves Of The Midland Library

Posted in liff in Outer East Portland, Midland Library, MultCoLib, Out 122nd Way, Outer East Portlandia on January 26, 2014 by Samuel John Klein Portlandiensis

There is a big painting on the right as you enter the Midland Regional Branch of the mighty MultCoLib. It looks like this (as taken from the complete other end of the building because art, don’t argue with me) …

The title is Talking Leaves. It’s a biggie as one can see, stretching from about head-level to almost the ceiling. Below it, behind a clear panel, is what looks very much like conceptual sketches, in charcoal, of the creative process leading up to the panel.

The whole thing is abstracted trees and leaves, and the stories they tell about themselves. The beguiling gray and white and gradated thing on the right is noted as a ‘lollipop tree’, a fanciful thing. The suggestion of the lazy-8 inside always causes me to kind of space into it. Above is a leaf and another abstraction of that takes up the left. In the lower left corner, a seed.

There is another meaning of talking leaves, and I hope some of you who may be reading this arrived there before I tell you this: it’s what Sequoyah called books.

It’s only logical, therefore, that the motif be drawn out from the painting to cover the whole building. As it is, if you look along the high ceiling …

Th leaves alternate all the way down the center aisle, anchored by the seeds at the four corners of the design.