Saturday, November 5, 2011

Wandering Down Hawthorne, Aerial Tram, Dinner, Donuts and Art




One day, November 3, 2011 to be exact, Jackie had an appointment on Hawthorne and I accompanied her. While she was in the office, I decided to walk and take pictures. I had an hour; that would be more than enough time. If you have never been to Portland, this is a pretty decent description of this area:
Undoubtedly, Hawthorne is one of the most unique, and most popular areas in Southeast Portland. The area is known for its wonderful restored Old Portland homes, liberal residents, and fun and funky feel. The street is lined with unique restaurants and shops, and has a definite Portland-local flair. There are a lot of words you could use to describe the locals who live in the Hawthorne District; activist, environmentalist, educated, opinionated, hippie, hipster, Gen X-er, entrepreneur...and more.
The first time I had been to the area was when I visited during the summer. I was downtown and decided to walk back to my hotel. Unfortunately, I got massively lost and ended up in a not-so-nice area after dark. But the walk through Hawthorne was great!

The Walk Down Hawthorne

First off, I had no plan or idea where to go. I figured I could simply walk and walk and walk, continuously, until I was 30 minutes up the road, then come back. At first I was walking past some nice houses. Now that I have an okay camera I find myself taking more photos. But then I get self-conscious. What if these people get angry I am taking a bunch of pictures of their house? Nobody has yet. I guess that is a good sign.


I probably should have gone to see Clap Your Hands Say Yeah...




As I got closer to the bridge, the buildings increasingly became businesses instead of houses and apartments. First were some restaurants, then some car part places, then office buildings, then a strip club. And the whole thing became much less warm and bohemian-whatever and a lot more cold and industrial.




Girls, Girls Girls!

Next to the Hawthorne strip club



"Beware the revolution, for we will harm no soul but property is gonna catch hell!"

Somebody was sad Macho Man Randy Savage died.
One of my favorite places to take photos is on the bridges that cross into downtown Portland. I hung out there for a bit. I ended up nearly halfway across the Hawthorne bridge when I decided it was time to head back.






Portland Aerial Tram at OHSU


By the time I got back, Jackie was done with her appointment and we decided to go see the tram. The Portland Aerial Tram shuttles people between two parts of OHSU. It takes people, including hospital personel, patients and normal riders, across I-5 and the Lair Hill neighborhood. The view during the trip is great, but the view from the platform at the top is spectacular.


Flying over the city just like at the end of Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory!





Trying to Eat at Slabtown

By now we had both built up quite the appetite. Using Jackie's Android phone, or "fancy phone" as I like to call it, we found a place tagged with "rock n roll · pinball machines · dive bar · paul collins · garage rock," all things I enjoy. The place was Slabtown, located at 1033 NW 16th Avenue. We walked in and there were three people at the bar, two people playing pool and no employees in sight. There was no sound other than the pool balls crashing into one another. No music, no talking, no tv, nothing. After walking around for a few minutes, perplexed, nobody seemed to want to sell us anything so we left. Fortunately we saw this cool construction sign with a Super Mario sticker affixed to it.


Actually Eating at Bridgeport BrewPub and Bakery

Frustrated and even hungrier, much like hippos, we googled "restaurants" and found a place within walking distance, Bridgeport BrewPub and Bakery at 1318 NW Northrup Street. It had pretty good reviews. So off we went. We were seated pretty quickly despite it being Happy Hour and starting to get busy. The service was great. After the horrible place we had come from, what a relief. It looked nice and upscale inside, but had plenty of good priced food and drinks. (I am by no means a rich man, so if I can afford it most people can) The food happened to be tasty, a great value. I got a hamburger because that is what I do. Even though it got a bit loud in there on our floor, it is a two story place, Jackie and I were able to converse without too much problem.




Doughnuts!

As nightfall set in, we headed to the legendary Voodoo Doughnuts at 22 SW 3rd Avenue to meet Jackie's friend, Rachelle. I had never been there before, but had passed by a few times and seen the long lines. The line was not bad for us. Jackie asked the guy at the counter about the doughnut selection since there are a ton of them. He was very helpful, patient and informative. An older White Stripes record played the whole time. The selection is insane. There are doughnuts covered in cereal, some with all sorts of cream in them, some covered in cookies, M&M's, and on and on. The names are insane too: Old Dirty Bastard (chocolate frosting, Oreo’s and peanut butter), Marshall Matters (vanilla frosting and mini M&M’s), Butterfingering (chocolate cake with vanilla frosting and Butterfinger crumbles), Miami Vice Berry (vanilla frosting, blue raspberry powder and pink sprinkles), No Name (chocolate frosting, rice krispies and peanut butter). And they are not expensive at all. But tasty as well!


Pearl District Art Walk

Our final event was the First Thursday Art Walk in the Pearl District. Some of the artists I enjoyed more than others. There were a great deal of colorful characters stuffed into these tiny rooms displaying the art. You enter one, walk around, browse and move on to the next place. We ended up at p:ear, a larger gallery dedicated to working with homeless youth. We spoke with one of the important people there. She was greatly enthusiastic about the work they do. Older and obviously well off, she spoke of the importance of p:ear. At one point she mentioned how these kids, these poor kids "hadn't ever been skiing," and could not believe that. Jackie, Rachelle and I looked at each other. None of us had been either. And I'd say I did not come close to being poor growing up (well, maybe I came close, but luckily, my dad always kept his job when there were rumors of the plant closing). But nevertheless, she was passionate about her work and that is of the utmost importance. Dedicated people are hard to find. For some reason I did not taking any pictures of the Art Walk. It was quite the experience.
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