One morning last spring I came to work, settled down at my desk, and had just begun to check my email when I heard the crash of breaking glass outside. I stood up and craned my neck to look out the window and down to the sidewalk. Two figures were scuffling, rolling around together and throwing punches.
From appearances, some young man had decided to harass an older man, and had dumped out his bag of collected bottles and cans. I think the young buck may have underestimated his balding opponent, because the older guy was connecting with more of his punches. After a few moments they separated. The kid postured and threatened a bit, but he wasn’t pressing the issue. “Get your fucking mess off the sidewalk,” he taunted, then strutted away down the sidewalk.
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The website Organic City Sounds is Evan Tenenbaum’s attempt to introduce the world to the city of Portland via their ears. The website includes audio clips in the categories of Portland Speaks and Organic Sounds, but it is perhaps the audio Portraits that are the most interesting and ambitious:
Every week I’ll bring you an audio portrait of Portland. It may be a personal story, a collection of interviews on a subject, or a piece of sound art. You can expect to hear an eclectic collection of voices, sounds, and stories throughout my project. Some may intrigue you, others may repulse you, but hopefully they will all give you a sense of my little corner of the world.
As of right now, you can listen to two audio portraits about Portland; one focused on the Food Cart Scene, and another on Kirk Reeves — better known as the Mickey Mouse guy, or the trumpet player on the Hawthorne Bridge.
Check it out, and join me in wishing Evan nothing but the best of luck with this worthwhile project.
Dominic Holden of The Stranger has written his own little mini-manifesto on why he dislikes chuggers (charity muggers). He is far more restrained in his language than I would probably be.
Best of all he provided a link to these nifty cards (originating in Portland?) that you can print out yourself, stick in your pocket, and hand to that next chugger who approaches you with his or her hand outstretched wanting “just a second to save the environment.”
If anyone knows where the original came from, let me know in the comments so I can give proper credit for this fine idea whose time has come.
My last visit to the Original Pancake House on Barbur Boulevard, way back in 2007, ended up being the subject matter of a Portland Metblog post. I found their policy of not accepting credit or debit cards, a policy that required me to leave my children in the restaurant while I found an ATM, incredibly short-sighted in this modern age of electronic transactions.
In fact, I had been sufficiently irked that I hadn’t gone back, not for four long years. There are after all plenty of places to get pancakes on the west side.
But this morning I was craving pancakes, and I wanted something special. My memory of the whole credit card debacle had faded to the point that I thought the Original Pancake House would be a good place to go. Besides, on a Wednesday morning, there wouldn’t be a line to get in.
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And a fairly blatant one at that.
Everyone I know has been swept away by the good-natured silliness of IFC’s Portlandia as it gently mocks some of the more beloved eccentricities of our Rose City.
But Concept Designer David Levy is working on a little project that reminds us that you can’t fix everything by just putting a bird on it.