An interesting occurrence on NE Alberta

“Hey! You can’t take pictures of my building!” I heard that phrase, repeated, as I was, well, shooting a picture of a building on NE Alberta last Saturday with my daughter. This time of the year is perfect for shooting pics of buildings. The leaves are gone, revealing structures, details, hidden gems that are usually […]

Ralph Friedman disses Milwaukie, Ore.

If you’ve never read Ralph Friedman’s books, get to it. His first self-published (before it was called DIY) book, Oregon For the Curious, cost $1.95 in 1965 and sold thousands of copies. If roadside places he covered back then were lost or almost lost, you can be sure that the hand-drawn maps he used and places […]

Illuminating ‘ghost signs’ with glorious light

Last February we attended the premiere Portland Winter Light Festival at OMSI. The outdoor celebration promised to illuminate “Portland’s waterfront through contemporary light-based art installations, engaging performance, and fun activities for all ages.”  We thought it’d be a mellow affair. Ya know, stroll around and look at some light installations. Not quite. It was packed. […]

That other gritty 1989 movie shot in Portland

I remember seeing a poster or an ad that featured Burt Reynolds lounging in his bachelor pad at the Portland Plaza building from a movie still a few years back and then forgot about it. Wait, Burt Reynolds shot a film in Portland? Indeed he did. It’s called “Breaking In.” I’m ashamed I’ve never heard […]

Building renewal meets local food economy

If Portland’s Central Eastside is hot now, in the late 50s it was on fire. Literally. Using newspapers and matches, a lone arsonist torched more than 20 warehouses and various properties throughout the area. Thankfully, the firebug, Darrell Roesbery, a tire repairman, confessed to his landlady, telling her “I didn’t steal anything or kill anyone,” […]