Monday, December 31, 2012

Day 114: Portlandia

Many people are familiar with the TV show "Portlandia", but the name was not made up for TV. In fact, this giant statue (which is several stories tall - her hand is the size of a person!) is the original PORTLANDIA. The statue sits a couple stories above street level on the Portland building downtown and is the second largest copper statue in the United States (the first being the Statue of Liberty).  She is quite impressive!

Here is a fond farewell to 2012. It has been great, but I welcome 2013 with open arms!

Sunday, December 30, 2012

Day 113: Arches

This "wall of arches" is located near the waterfront in southwest Portland. In the summer, the weekend market is held in this area, but on this winter day the area was pretty empty.

Saturday, December 29, 2012

Day 112: A cold time to be homeless

As the weather turns colder, I feel worse for those without homes. This man has a coat and what appears to be several blankets, but I'm sure nights are still difficult.

Friday, December 28, 2012

Day 111: Keep Portland Weird

I'm not sure which came first ... "Keep Austin Weird" or "Keep Portland Weird". In any case, you hear this saying a lot and it related to keeping small local businesses in the community rather than replacing them with national chains.  I think Portland does a great job of that.... and we're definitely weird!  (In a good way!)

Thursday, December 27, 2012

Day 110: Another Sweet Rose

I find the public art in this city really fun. Here is a sweet simple rose attached to the side of this electric box - makes it look so much nicer, I think.

Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Day 109: Winter Themed Window

Brooks Brothers got into the winter theme in their window display - might be the only snow we see this year.....

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Day 108: A TALL order Christmas Tree!

The AMAZING! Christmas Tree downtown in Pioneer Courthouse Square this year is a 75-foot tall Douglas Fir, which was gifted to the city by Stimson Lumber company - a sustainable lumber company.  Did you know that a large percentage of Christmas Trees sold all around the United States are grown in Oregon?!?

Monday, December 24, 2012

Day 107: Vintage Santa

In case you still haven't finished your Christmas shopping, this vintage display in an antique store downtown offers some holiday gift suggestions.

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Day 106: O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree

How lovely are they branches! These beautiful, large, LED lights decorate the branches of the Christmas Tree in downtown Portland in Pioneer square. According to the city, the 14,000 (!!) LED lights that adorn the tree use 91% less energy and last 50% longer than traditional Christmas lights. Portland, the environmentalist!

Saturday, December 22, 2012

Friday, December 21, 2012

Day 104: Bikes on the Train

 All of Portland's city buses and trains are equipt for the many bikers in the city. Here a bike hangs from a bike hook in one of the trimet trains - every car has several of these hooks. There is another bike hanging across from this one and the man on the far left also has a bike in hand.

Thursday, December 20, 2012

Day 103: Shelter

I am not positive that this is someone's home. But, there are many tents/structures like this around Portland - most of which house homeless people. At least this one offers fairly decent shelter from the rain.. though it doesn't look very warm.

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Day 102: Get Your Head Out of the Tree!

Found this piece of "art" while walking in southeast Portland today. There were other "sculptures" nearby, but this was the most striking to me.  You just never know what you'll find on the streets of Portland!

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Day 101: a Chilly Gnome

Woke to a blanket of white this morning. This little guy looks like he may be a bit chilly....and yet, he never stops doing his job

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Day 99:Beware of lighted alligator

We had a fun night at the Portland Zoo's "Zoo Lights" tonight, despite the rain. this guy was one of my favorites - his mouth opened and closed.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Day 98: SNOW!

We had our first snow in Portland. It didn't stick to the ground (though it did stick a little to the metal mailbox and car). It was fun to watch from inside as the huge snowflakes drifted to the ground! Winter is officially here!

Friday, December 14, 2012

Day 97: Sea the Gull?

There are often seagulls perched on these street lights near the river. The coast is about an hour's drive from here, but still, they enjoy hanging out in Portland.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Day 95: Nativities from around the world

Medical Teams International is a non-profit, faith based international aid organization that is based out of Portland.  They send volunteer teams of medical workers to aid in disaster relief efforts and short term teams to help with ongoing projects around the world. Today I visited their Portland headquarters and they had a wall filled with beautiful creche scenes from around the world. There were many more than are pictured here, but this gives a taste of the beauty and variety.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Monday, December 10, 2012

Day 93: Happy Sign......

Sign embellishment seems to be a popular activity around Portland - I have seen several.

Sunday, December 9, 2012

Day 92: Portland Revels

The Portland Christmas Revels is an annual show in Portland and one very popular with Portlanders.  Each year the show features a different country/culture and shares Christmas songs, dance and tradition from that place. This year the theme was Appalatian Christmas. It was an evening full of great music, including audience sing-along, fun dance and Christmas cheer! Can't wait to see what they will do next year!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Friday, December 7, 2012

Day 90: Cuttin' some Cookies

Fun party tonight with a "make your own" gingerbread station. Lots of fun cookie cutters to choose from....and then yummy cookies to eat!

Thursday, December 6, 2012

Day 89: Standing Guard in the Stairwell

I love this!  On my way up the many flights of stairs at Portland State University tonight, I found this little guy strategically placed in the stairwell. What fun.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Day 88: the Cannabis question

So today, in Washington State (and Colorado), marijuana became legal for recreational use.  This was passed with the last election - by the voters.  A similar measure did not pass in Oregon - though, as you can see from this photo, cannabis is legal for medical purposes in Oregon. Some say the measure didn't pass here because the farming and sales of cannabis, as outlined in the Oregon proposition, were slightly less regulated (or at least worded that way) than the proposition in Washington.In any case, it is an interesting question with strong opinions on both sides and hot debate. No doubt this issue will continue to surface at future elections.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Day 87: Sake island

One more photo from fall in the Japanese garden. This one focusing more on the artistry and less on the fall colors.  In this part of the rock garden, the islands of earth are meant to be a sake bottle and cup.

Monday, December 3, 2012

Day 86: lights lights everywhere

This house in my neighborhood always has "interesting" yard decorations. A doll arm protruding from a flowerpot etc... Recently, this collage of lights appeared filling their yard with a chaotic light display. Interesting is really all I can say.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Day 85: morning clounds

When leaving home this morning, there were some faint remains of the sunrise just above the clouds hovering low int he trees. I took this photo from a hill in west Portland. It looked a bit mystical to me.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Day 84: Portland Recycles- a song

This photo is from a recent talent show I attended. These two hilarious ladies wrote an original song about how Portland recycles and composts. The costumes were fabulous, the song was funny and I felt this was such a "Portland" experience!

Friday, November 30, 2012

Day 83: Art Car extraodinaire

 I was at a stoplight in front of this art car. Unfortunately, I could only snap a picture once he had passed me and not from the rear view mirror. This eclectic car was amazing not only in it's exterior, but even more so because it was blaring music and the driver had his left hand on the wheel and his right hand in a large monkey puppet. The puppet appeared to be singing and dancing all around the front seat of the car in time to the music. It was quite an interesting site (though I admit, I was happy to let the vehicle pass as puppeting a monkey and driving don't seem to go very well together!) Ah, Portland!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Day 82: Moss on the bridge

Another rainy day today! Even though many leaves have fallen and winter is settling in, there are still green patches around the city. Grass and moss thrives in this rainy weather!

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Day 81: It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

It has been the tradition in my family to choose and decorate the annual Christmas tree in the weekend after Thanksgiving. After cutting the perfect tree (see previous post) we spent the evening decorating it.  I feel so happy every time I go into the living room now!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Day 80: Loch Lolly Christmas Forest

Many of the Christmas trees around the country come from Oregon! Who knew?  There are so many local "cut your own" Christmas tree farms (and of course commercial tree farms as well). We went out into the country to find Loch Lolly Christmas Tree Farm and on our way saw signs for at least three other "cut your own" farms. It was great fun and we sawed through this poor little tree to bring it home for our Christmas viewing pleasure. It was a fun outting!

Monday, November 26, 2012

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Day 78: Sunset at the Chinese Garden

I happened to be at the Portland Chinese Garden: Lan Su Chinese Garden this evening as the sun was setting. There was, momentarily a lovely pink stripe across the sky, which reflected in the water. I love the light from the sky and the lights from the pavilion. A beautiful, though chilly, evening!

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Day 77: Feed the Birds

This sweet little guy was delighted to be handed a yummy treat amidst all the snow.  He took it right out of my hand!!

Friday, November 23, 2012

Day 76: Snow near Mt.Hood

We spent some of this holiday weekend up near Mount Hood - an 11,000ft peak that can be seen from most parts of Portland and the surrounding areas. Though there is snow on the peak for much of the year, it has started actively snowing in the area around Mount Hood. Drivers are encouraged to bring their snow tires or chains when driving in the area. Although the day we went up, the roads were clear - there was evidence that winter is coming.

What a beautiful mountain!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

Day 75: Gobble Gobble

An inflatable turkey near our home. I am not sure why these are popular, but I saw several of them this year. Gobble gobble.....

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Day 74: Frozen puppy footprint

We found this sweet puppy footprint frozen into the mud on our hike this past weekend. It was preserved just perfectly!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Monday, November 19, 2012

Day 72: Smith Rock

Another hike from this weekend led us to Smith Rock - a beautiful state park in Oregon and one very popular with rock climbers - with many routes for all levels of climbers. This park is located in the high desert of central Oregon. Though we did not climb today, we did hike about 5 miles around (and over .. pant pant pant....) this incredible rock formation. We could not have asked for more perfect weather!!

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Day 71: A Sign of Winter

Winter is showing it's beautiful, though chilly, face in  the high desert and mountains of Oregon! We awoke to some ice and light snow this morning. The sun was shining and the air was crisp and cold. And the day whispered "Winter is Coming..."

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Day 70: Rays of sun over the river

My husband and I took a weekend trip to Bend, Oregon.  Since it is East over the mountains from Portland, we actually had some sunshine!! You can see the rays of sun showering over this peaceful river. We hiked about 10 miles on the banks of this river (the Deschutes River) and it was just beautiful. The rocks you see scattered throughout the water are volcanic rocks - there were several "lava islands" throughout the water from eruptions many thousands of years ago. Really wonderful!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Day 69: Temple of Fall

I love the Portland Japanese Gardens (said to be one of the best outside of Japan) and try to get there at least monthly. Today the garden was full with signs of fall. I love this small temple on the side of a pond covered with moss and colorful fall leaves!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Day 68: It's a beautiful day in the neighborhood!

What a GORGEOUS day it was today. No fog. No gray. No rain. Just cold sunshine. It was crisp and beautiful and just like fall should be (if you were somewhere other than the Pacific North West! ha!!).  I got the best view of Mount Hood I have had the entire time I have been here. In the summer there were forest fires out East and the view was hazy. Lately, there has been tons of rain. But today - wow, oh wow! What a view. You can see the mountain int he background with downtown Portland in the foreground.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Day 67: Fall on a country town

Doesn't this look like a quaint country road? One thing I just can't get over is how magically you can pass from a city feel to a country feel - all within the city of Portland. this curve, just minutes from where we live in west Portland could be any beautiful country road.  I also love the evergreens next to  the beautiful fall colors.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Day 66: Draw Bridge Thuroghfare

I drive this bridge at least twice a day - often more - and though I have known it is a drawbridge, I have never been on route and stopped while it was raised. In fact, just a few days ago I was thinking how interesting it was that this had never happened (as I drive it many different times of day depending on my schedule). Well, what do you know! This morning on my way to work, I joined these other vehicles on the bridge while we waited for the ship to pass through.

In some ways, it is pretty amazing to me that THIS particular bridge is a draw bridge, as this Burnside Street - one of the major thuroughfares that stretches from far East Portland to far West Portland. It is always full of car and bike activity.  Once the bridge was lowered, cars, bikes and pedestrians poured across it. I wish I could have made a video of all the bikers!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Day 65: Manicured Trees

For some reason this style of tree is very popular in Portland. Many people prune their shrubs and trees in ornamental designs. I particularly enjoyed this row manicured in this way. They are like leafy clouds hovering close to the ground.