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 of it. (Or ammmmm I?)

This 1989 American crime comedy film was directed by Bill Forsyth, written by John Sayles (!?!!), and stars Burt Reynolds, Casey Siemaszko, and Lorraine Toussaint. The film is about professional small-time criminals.

Their big heist in the film? Oaks Amusement Park. Yep. Big-time money to be had at the park. In fact, there’s a scene where Reynolds and Siemaszko are scoping the place out and watching security guards load BAGS of money from the day’s profits. (Who knew?) This also means there’s lots of great shots of the park.

Anyhow, the film is OK. Not great, moderately watchable. Of course, I loved it for all of the Portland scenes and I’ve screen capped a couple (mostly from Oaks Park – which is one of my personal favorite places in Portland).











Watch the film here:


Speaking of Portland: A new guide from Herb Lester


Just some quick self promotion here. I helped collaborate with Herb Lester Associates out of London on their brand, spanking new guide/map to Portland.

They do exceptional work – and each map from the different cities they’ve covered are designed in a – not really retro- but truly modern style- with a dash from the past.

I hope some history nerd 30 years from now finds a copy and imagines what Portland was like in 2013.

Sign of the times

Portland Penny Diner’s new signage wins Sign of the Year, hands down!

From the restaurant’s website:

In 1845 Frances Pettygrove and Asa Lovejoy determined the city of Portland’s name with the flip of a coin. And we like to think that after the toss they walked into their favorite diner, or as they called them in that time “lunch wagons,” for a celebratory bite to eat. The Portland Penny Diner embraces that spirit, brings people in from the rain and artfully combines the culinary traditions of Northwest immigrants and natives.

Lost: Country Bills, Portland, Ore.

A few weeks back, Country Bills in Woodstock was demolished to make way for Gawd-knows-what (mixed-used condos?). My pal managed to capture a couple of pix of ghost signs that were revealed during the demo.

What else is there to say? Was the food good? Hardly. But it was more than just a restaurant- it had a great bar, signage, and vibe that is quickly disappearing. Another part of old Portland that’s gone forever. Check out some photos from its life, here.




If old Oregon postcards were Smiths’ songs (or lyrics)

(aka, a reason to group unrelated cards under one post)

How Soon is Now? (Amato’s Portland, Ore.)

You Just Haven’t Earned It, Baby (Horseshoe Motel, Florence)

Last Night I Dreamt That Somebody Loved Me (Jack’s Fine Foods, Biggs The Dalles ).
Click here for a more recent (1997) view.

I need advice…I need advice…nobody ever looks at me twice. (Town House, Newport)

Please, Please, Please, Let Me Get What I Want (Trader Vic’s, Portland)

Nowhere Fast (Oregon Motor Hotel, The Dalles)

And if you ever need self-validation just meet me in the alley by the railway-station (Eastport Plaza, Portland)

Pretty Girls Make Graves, (Curio Shop, Pendleton)