After painting trees in the past few cities, I decided to tackle this
decidedly un-organic bridge. Every morning I'd walk down to the river,
where I'd paint for one to two hours. Afterwards, I discovered its name
is the Hawthorne Bridge, and a friend pointed out that I hadn't strayed
from the tree theme at all.
|Letter to a friend:
"Yesterday while I was walking around this glorious downtown, on a
whim I jotted down some random thoughts about Portland and why I like it
so much. Well, it's a walking city, and driving is discouraged by
Park-and -ride programs and encouraged by the free Trolley program in
the core area. There are bike paths everywhere, and the cheap and
plentiful buses have racks on front so you can travel with your bike.
Sidewalks are made of brick, and are very wide (20 feet or so) to
encourage pedestrians. There are cafés and funky neighborhood bars
everywhere, a very good art museum, excellent library, lots of book and
clothing stores (both first and second hand. Trees, oh yes, lots of
parks and fountains designed for nothing but enjoyment and refreshment.
It's an exceptionally clean and relatively safe city, not to mention
friendly (lots of good, off the cuff conversations with locals). It has
a great environmental and recycling program, and takes other social
problems seriously as well. Right now there's a very good, five day
International Blues Festival taking place. The price of admission? Five
bucks and two cans towards the food bank, with all the money going to
the food bank program.
local newspaper won the Pulitzer Prize last year for community service.
There's both a Farmer's Market (organic locally grown produce), and a
very large Saturday Market, a hybrid of high-grade flea market, food
center and arts/crafts extravaganza. It has the best bookstore in the
world (this is no mere hyperbole; Powell's is huge, insanely well
stocked, and the staff is friendly and informed. It's a bookstore to get
lost in for days). The streets have clean sight lines and unobstructed
views. Thoughtfully placed and interesting sculptures are commonplace.
From many vantage points you can see Mount Hood, the snow-capped dormant
volcano, and the city is surrounded by incredible, easily accessed and
unspoiled nature. And did I mention Powells?"
|In conversation, one of the guests at the hotel,
asked me what kind of a clown I was; "Are you a sad clown?"
For a moment I was nonplussed, but Laura, who was also standing there,
said," He's the kind of clown who, after they see him, people feel
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