Monday, July 30, 2012

Today I have a Zipcar.

PicMonkey Collage_flower_car

And I'm glad it's way smaller than this vehicle. Oh, the two dogs are always there at Bright Auto Upholstery, keeping company with the sidewalk. Gotta love 'em!

I have to tell you that the other day when I was out walking at lunch, and I came across this one, I literally stopped in my tracks. A Cadillac mixed with an El Camino? That's what it made me think. So that night I contacted my buddy Ratty Caddy, in my humble opinion Kind of the Custom Caddy, and asked him if such a thing existed off the assembly line. He got right back with me and said to Google flower car. Huh? Flower car? Oh, I see, as in that which transports funeral flowers. Naturally, I had to look some more on the Internet because I saw the insignia on the vehicle, Cadillac Caribou.

I found a bit, here and there. On a message board: Caribou Motor Company (USA) Cadillac custom Caribou pick-up on DeVille chassis, SSA 1992, p.30. CLC member, Tim Pawl, who is also curator of the CLC's Museum and Research Center, owns a 1974 Caribou, several years ago he contacted company that produced them; their records were supposedly lost in a flood. The person he talked to remembered that about 90-94 were produced in 1974, and perhaps as many as 275-300 total over the period from 1972-1976. Tim says also that another version of the Caribou was produced circa 1980-84. Over the past few years, Tim recalls that a dozen or so of the 1972-1976 versions have shown up on eBay and elsewhere. There was an article about the cars in Motor Trend Magazine circa May or September, 1975. These are very rare cars; their cost, when new, was supposedly $ 20,000 over the base $11,000 Coupe DeVille price or approx. $30,000. Typical ones today [2003-2004] have been going for $12,000 to $20,000.

And here's a link to Flickr image and comments about Caribou Motor Company conversions. The info here is fantastic--turns out Evel Knievel owned  a red one similar to this one and Glen Campbell and Bob Newhart owned ones converted into station wagons!


Now I'm off to get ready to enjoy my Zipcar. Here it is, on the road the other day with someone else at the wheel. It's the Mazda 3 known as McMinnville!

Sunday, July 29, 2012

"Pink is my signature color." Shelby from "Steel Magnolias"


Straight out of the camera. Seen on the walk home from the parking space of my Zipcar on July 2, 2012. Growing in someone's front yard.

A second photo, cropped.

Cropped, from the first photo.

A third photo, also cropped.

A fourth photo, straight out of the camera.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Taylor Ct. Grocery, serving Portland's Montavilla neighborhood for 90 years!


Architectural Heritage Center neighborhood walking tour guide Leland, in the daffodil yellow shirt, leads tour participants to the corner-facing door. He'd explained that this local business fills a large need in the neighborhood which doesn't have a nearby grocery store.

Errol, one of the current owners, has been there for 16 years. I read in someone's recent review on Yelp that it's 15 years, but I think he told us 16--must have had an anniversary in the intervening months. Anyway, the pleasant interior reflected Errol's personality.

From that April 1, 2012, Yelp review:

This is hands down the cleanest, most organized mini market I have ever seen. They feature an incredibly diverse selection of foods, an impressive selection of beer and wine, and an assortment of handy things you hope to find at a neighborhood convenience store.

Errol told me they have owned it for 15 years, and it has been in business for 90. Wow! So thrilled to have discovered this gem within walking distance of my place.

And here's one labeled "updated - 8/16/2012":

What the hell?! Was I on crack when I rated this place before? 4 stars? Really? Huh. Let's see, how often do you find a neighborhood store that has:
1. A walk in cooler full of a great selection of microbrews,
2. Vita Coco water in both individual-size and large jugs,
3. Kettle Chips
4. Vegan and vegetarian frozen options like boca, Morningstar, etc,
5. Emerald Valley Salsa,
6. A decent wine selection,
7. A wide array of foods from both large and small brands, and
8. Friendly service...

...? Seriously, it's not often. And for a diamond in the rough, there's no more deserved rating than a full 5 stars.

Every time we roll in to Taylor Ct Grocery thinking "oh, they won't have this," or "no way will they have that," we're constantly surprised to be proven wrong again and again. They don't have absolutely everything, but it's miles ahead of even your average Safeway when it comes to local brews and similar.

4 stars...

*shakes head slowly*

Well at least I got it right this time.

Friday, July 27, 2012

Seen through the windshield of my TriMet bus

I love all of these highway signs and street signs and reflections and traffic signals.

On the way home, stopped at the intersection of East Burnside and NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. The green car heads south on MLK. The next intersection is with Grand Avenue. I'm on the 19. Up ahead, pulling to a stop at the bus shelter, you've got the 20 first, then the 12. There's one woman standing at the bus shelter, waiting for either the 12 or the 19, I'm guessing since she hasn't approached the 20.

By the time my bus pulled up to the traffic signal at Grand Avenue, the bus shelter had emptied of people.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Seen from the TriMet 12 bus on the way home after work last Friday

PicMonkey Collage_burnside_bridge_900_square

I decided to take one photo of someone we passed on the bus, which led to another photo, and naturally to others. Can't help myself, y'all. I love this city and what goes on here and there. We're heading east from downtown Portland on Burnside, the street that divides Portland into its north and south sections. And since the Burnside Bridge crosses the Willamette River, the east/west divider, at some point I must be in the exact center of the city. My photos: a man and his dog walk west with one of the Italian Renaissance towers reflected behind them; a man on his bicycle rides east; typical I-5 traffic, most of what you see is northbound; and a man with a child in a stroller, walking east.

About the Burnside Bridge, from the Multnomah County Web site:

One of four Willamette River crossings built in Portland during the "Roaring Twenties," the Burnside Bridge stands in age right behind the County's Hawthorne and Broadway bridges.

This 1926 structure is located on one of the longest and busiest streets in the Portland area. The five-lane Burnside is a direct connection between downtown Portland, Beaverton to the west and Gresham to the east. Last year, about 40,000 vehicles a day used it. So did more than 1,000 pedestrians and bicyclists each day.

In addition to its important daily work load, Burnside plays a key role during emergencies. Burnside Street and bridge are designated as an official emergency transportation route. The bridge, as part of this "lifeline corridor," is the one non-freeway river crossing which emergency vehicles and suppliers are asked to use.

Burnside's artistic side - The three-span Burnside is a historically significant structure. It is the only Willamette River bridge in Portland designed with the help of an architect, a result of the early 20th century City Beautiful Movement that called for adding architectural ornamentation to engineering designs. The bridge's distinctive Italian Renaissance towers reflect the trend. Burnside is eligible for the National Register of Historic Places and protected by preservation laws. Originally designed by the firm of Hedrick and Kremers, Burnside was completed by Gustav Lindenthal (1850-1935). Burnside's opening mechanism, or bascule, was designed by Joseph Strauss (1870-1938), whose Golden Gate suspension bridge would open 11 years after Burnside.

The Burnside Bridge main river structure consists of two 268-foot side span steel deck truss side spans and a 252-foot double-leaf Strauss trunnion bascule draw span. The bridge originally had six lanes of traffic, but in 1995 the City of Portland requested that bike lanes be added to the bridge, so one lane of traffic was converted into two bike lanes. There are sidewalks on both sides of the bridge. The overall width of the structure is 86 feet. Vertical clearance of the closed bascule span is adequate for the majority of river traffic, with openings necessary only about 40 times per month.

Only minor modifications have been made to the bridge since its construction. Electric street car rails were removed in the late 1940’s, lighting and traffic control devices were updated in the late 1950’s, automobile traffic gates were installed in 1971 and the bascule pier fenders were replaced in 1983. Several deck resurfacing projects and expansion joint repairs have also taken place.

The east approach to the bridge is approximately 849 feet long and has two distinct types of construction. The first eight spans consist of steel plate girder spans ranging from 75 feet to 106 feet in length. The steel girders and steel interior floor beams are completely encased in concrete. A concrete deck spans the floorbeams. The next seven spans are composed of concrete stringers spanning continuously over concrete columns and floorbeams. Six of these spans are 22 feet long and one is 40 feet long.

The west approach is approximately 604 feet long and consists of 19 reinforced concrete spans ranging in length from 22 feet to 62 feet. The first 13 spans average 22 feet and consist of reinforced concrete stringers acting continuously over concrete columns and floorbeams. The next three spans average 40 feet in length and are of similar construction. The last four spans are 62 feet long and consist of four main simple span concrete girders that carry interior concrete floor beams and stringers. A concrete deck is cast with the girders, stringers and floorbeams.

From Wikipedia: A bascule bridge (sometimes referred to as a drawbridge) is a moveable bridge with a counterweight that continuously balances the span, or "leaf," throughout the entire upward swing in providing clearance for boat traffic. Bascule is a French term for seesaw and balance, and bascule bridges operate along the same principle. They are the most common type of movable bridge in existence because they open quickly and require relatively little energy to operate. Bascule bridges may be single or double leaf. Both have any truss structure and counterweights below the deck.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Voodoo Doll Doughnut from ...


... the Voodoo Doughnuts van, in place at the entrance to the PDX Bridge Festival's celebration in honor of the Steel Bridge's 100th birthday on Saturday, July 7, 2012.

Official words from the Voodoo Doughnuts Menu: Voodoo Doll Raised yeast doughnut filled with raspberry jelly topped with chocolate frosting and a pretzel stake! (characteristics of Voodoo Dolls are all different) My friend Ann enjoyed every morsel of her purchase.


Here's the van in a photo taken on a different date, parked at Voodoo Doughnuts Too on NE Sandy.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Union Pacific Railroad comes to Portland's Union Station

Union_Pacific_150th_PicMonkey Collage_900x900

As part of the celebration of the 150th anniversary of Union Pacific Railroad, a special train came to Portland's Union Pacific. All three of the Union Pacific owned Streamliner EMD E-9s--2,400-horsepower (1,790 kW), A1A-A1A passenger train-hauling diesel locomotives--stood at the front of that train. First in line, the 951, next the 963B--a cabless unit doing duty as a head end power car, and finally the 949.

My photos: Union Station against Portland's blue sky; a close up of the 951's brake pads (brownish) and leaf springs (resemble silver-colored thick slices of cheese); looking at the length of the train cars and the locomotives from both directions; there I stand in my sun hat with my hand on the 951; the lady's 1956 and the man's 2012 (period costumed performers, right down to her hose with seams); and the sign which welcomes travelers to Union Station.

From UPRR dot Com:

Union Pacific Railroad Celebrates 150th Anniversary in Portland

UP 150 Express Tour Includes Legendary E9 Locomotives and Traveling Museum Car

Portland, Ore., July 13, 2012 – Union Pacific Railroad began its final 150TH anniversary celebration as part of the Pacific Northwest segment of the UP 150 Express tour today at historic Union Station in Portland. The two-day celebration in Portland is the last of a series of events in Oregon, Washington and Idaho commemorating 150 years since President Abraham Lincoln created Union Pacific by signing the Pacific Railway Act. Three immaculate Streamliner locomotives brought the UP 150 Express to Portland pulling a recently unveiled baggage car that has been converted into a rolling museum that tells Union Pacific's 150-year history using art, graphics and the latest in touch-screen technology. 
Streamliner Locomotives 951, 949 and 963B are the last of Union Pacific's high-speed diesel-electric locomotives built for service on the memorable streamliner and domeliner passenger trains. Also known as E-9s, the Streamliner locomotives pulled famous trains that included the City of Los Angeles, City of Portland, City of San Francisco, City of St. Louis and the Challenger.
"Union Pacific's 150TH anniversary gives us a special chance to celebrate our historic past with the communities that are most important to our future," said Scott Moore, vice president, public affairs – west, Union Pacific. "We are proud to celebrate 150 years of building America with the city of Portland."
As part of the festivities today, Union Pacific officials made Portland an official part of the railroad's Train Town USA Registry. Portland Mayor Sam Adams accepted a commemorative Train Town USA sign that will forever designate Portland as a city that has a historic connection to the railroad.
The Train Town presentation kicked-off Union Pacific's 150th anniversary community celebration as Portland residents were treated to an up close view of the classic E-9's, as well as a tour of Union Pacific's just launched Promontory baggage car that has been transformed into a state-of-the-art traveling museum. The traveling exhibit in the baggage car closely replicates the full-scale Building America exhibit that opened May 12 at the Union Pacific Railroad Museum in Council Bluffs, Iowa.
Period performers walked the halls of Union Station as Portland residents of all ages took a turn operating locomotive simulators and viewed Union Pacific's Heritage Fleet of passenger cars up close with Union Pacific offering the city of Portland a complete railroad-themed experience. The UP 150 Express will be on display on the tracks immediately behind Portland's Union Station July 13-14, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
About Union Pacific
It was 150 years ago that Abraham Lincoln signed the Pacific Railway Act of July 1, 1862, creating the original Union Pacific. One of America's iconic companies, today, Union Pacific Railroad is the principal operating company of Union Pacific Corporation (NYSE: UNP), linking 23 states in the western two-thirds of the country by rail and providing freight solutions and logistics expertise to the global supply chain. From 2000 through 2011, Union Pacific spent more than $31 billion on its network and operations, making needed investments in America's infrastructure and enhancing its ability to provide safe, reliable, fuel-efficient and environmentally responsible freight transportation. Union Pacific's diversified business mix includes Agricultural Products, Automotive, Chemicals, Energy, Industrial Products and Intermodal. The railroad serves many of the fastest-growing U.S. population centers and emphasizes excellent customer service. Union Pacific operates competitive routes from all major West Coast and Gulf Coast ports to eastern gateways, connects with Canada's rail systems and is the only railroad serving all six major Mexico gateways.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Friday, July 20, 2012

For me, Zipcar fun meant winning on the wheel when spun!

I spun the wheel, and I liked it! 'Cause I won $10 in Zipcar driving credit. Then I got to come home and have even more fun playing around with this photo at BeFunky.


Underpainting. This is my runner-up favorite effect.


Orton Style. This is my favorite effect.


Thursday, July 19, 2012

Lone Fir Cemetery, a fitting setting for Shakespeare's Hamlet

Portland Actors Ensemble presented Hamlet over several days at the historic cemetery, free. I saw it on Friday the 13th and enjoyed the entire evening, although it is Shakespeare's longest play. It is among the most powerful and influential tragedies in the English language and being in the cemetery on a superstitious date enhanced the experience.

Towards the end of the play, Hamlet confronts his mother.


Hamlet exhorts his father's ghost early on in the play.

According to the program handed out to the audience prior to the beginning of the play, the company, Portland Actors Ensemble, presented Hamlet in their 8th Annual Twilight Tragedie by William Shakespeare series. Around 450 people came on their bicycles, walked from nearby, rode mass transit, or parked their vehicles on the neighorhood streets surrounding the cemetery. They came with blankets and pillows or chairs of varying heights, with simple or extensive picnics suppers, ready to enjoy themselves prior to the beginning of the play, then settling down to be one of the quietest, most attentive audiences I've ever witnessed.

About the site of Friday night's performance, Lone Fir Cemetery, from Wikipedia: Lone Fir Cemetery in the southeast section of Portland is owned and maintained by Metro, a regional government entity. Listed on the National Register of Historic Places, the first burial was in 1846 with the cemetery established in 1855. Lone Fir has over 25,000 burials spread over more than 30 acres.

And from Travel National Geographic in 2011: Lone Fir Cemetery in Portland, Oregon, ranked #9 out on their Top 10 list of cemeteries to visit around the world. "Roaming this natural landscape—one of the few cemeteries that allows the planting of a tree or garden to commemorate the dearly departed—is like turning the pages of a Portland history book. You’ll find graves of pioneers; Block 14, a memorial in the works for the Chinese immigrants who helped build the city; and crypts of captains of industry, like the imposing Gothic-style MacLeay family mausoleum."

Prior to the beginning of the play, I walked the paved road to visit a discreetly positioned port-a-potty. On the way, I took this photo of the MacLeay family mausoleum.

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

The Wet Spot Tropical Fish, Hollywood District


At the recommendation of a family getting settled into their various bicycles so that they could ride home from the Hollywood Farmers Market, I stepped into The Wet Spot to take a look at the beautiful fish.

Were they ever right!

Here's what I found at the About link on their Web page, see link above:

We’ve got things to keep everyone entertained!

Our show tanks have some of the coolest fish you’ll ever see. Come in and view our 500 gallon Lake Malawi microenvironment. Sit and relax in our newly remodeled showroom and visit Francis, our Fahaka Puffer. Check out Snuffer the Fire Eel, and Mikey the Bichir. See our large Goldfish including Pig, Tomato, and Pudgy.

 - One of the largest collections of African Cichlids in the U.S.

- Fish you’ve only read about or seen pictures of, including Bichirs, Knifefish, Rainbowfish and Killifish.

- An assortment of fancy Goldfish year round, and Koi in the spring and summer.

- A special Betta section of the store, with all sorts of beautiful Bettas coming in weekly and all the Betta supplies and accessories you need.

- A broad selection of Discus, including wild types.

- Catfish, Loaches, Cory Cats and other bottom dwellers.

- Plecos and Algae eaters of all different sizes and shapes, including rare and unusual species.

- An amazing seasonal selection of freshwater puffers.

- An unparalleled selection of Tetras, Barbs, and Danios

- Many different Livebearers – the best way to have baby fish and watch them grow up.

- Central & South American Cichlids of all kinds.

- A diverse array of live plants - with something for (almost) any tank – and fertilizers, utensils, and complete CO2 systems available.

- Everything you need to set up a nano aquarium and stock it with the coolest micro-fish.

- A huge selection of dry goods in stock at all times, including specialized Aquarium books.

- A knowledgeable and informed staff to help your aquarium flourish.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Hollywood Farmers Market, July 7, 2012

Hollywood_Farmers_Market_PicMonkey Collage

Just a bit of what I saw at the market, clockwise from the top: Rainier cherries, tomatoes, flowers (and a flower-covered bicycle and its owner, wine, triplets along for the ride, cabbages and onions.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Finally my Wifi's back in business, been off since Tuesday! And I've uploaded all of my recent photos to Flickr. Back to blogging!

Susan_serendipity_PicMonkey Collage

More serendipity on my way to the PDX Bridge Festival's Block Party for the Steel Bridge's 100th birthday! I'm walking more blocks than I figured I'd be walking, due to some strange directions from TriMet's Trip Planner.

So, you can imagine the utter joy I felt when this yellow VW pulled to the curb as I crossed at an intersection and the driver got out. "Lynette!" she said, "What are you doing over here? Going on a neighborhood walk all by yourself?" Grinning the whole time. "Susan?" I replied. "I can't believe you're here, we're here at the same time! What are you doing here?"

Turns out Susan was somewhat lost looking for an event she planned to attend. We'd met each other at the Architectural Heritage Center's lectures and walking tours. When she learned that I was out and about, headed for the bridge birthday party, she just laughed and offered me a ride the rest of the way. Wonderful! Blissful! Serendipity! I put the address in my Google Maps' app on my iPhone, and in mere moments, Susan delivered me to the party's location.

Before I climbed out, I asked if I could take her photo for the blog. She agreed, so I snapped it and the rest of these as she pulled away, waving and smiling! Hooray for Susan!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Serendipitous find from Saturday, The Freakybuttrue Peculiarium


On my way the the PDX Bridge Festival Block Party, a celebration of the 100th birthday of the Steel Bridge, I walked up to this sight at 2234 NW Thurman Street. I admit I jaywalked, after looking both ways, so that I could get this photo and the next two.

I wouldn't have been here if my trip planning through TriMet's Web site had turned out differently. The second of three buses left early. I saw the 15 leaving as I got off the 20 to supposedly wait for it. It left maybe five minutes before it was even supposed to be there. I knew that the next 15 takes a somewhat different route but, when I got on and asked, the driver told me he'd get me as close as he could. So, when I got off, I put the destination address into my Google Maps on the iPhone and started walking. It was hot enough that doofus me, wearing a black Los Lonely Boys t-shirt soon felt a drop of sweat sliding down my back from bra to pants' waistband.

Found on the Web site, peculiarium dot com: Famed and yet unknown Portland adventurer Conrad Talmadge Elwood had a dream, but forgot it when he woke up. Still he spent a life time traveling the globe in search of the inexplicable and the freaky. Established in 1967, The Freakybuttrue Peculiarium is a one-of-a-kind store and snack bar devoted to Elwood’s blurry vision. Under strict instructions, Filmmaker Mike Wellins, Lisa Freeman and Eric Bute have built the Peculiarium to house previously unknown elements of the darker side of Pacific Northwest history. Visitors can discover interactive displays for all six senses, including retro candies, toys, novelties, gags, books, original artwork, tricks one-of-a-kind oddities, ephemera and more. All while having a light snack, complete with edible insects and the likes. In Conrad Elwood’s words, the Peculiarium is a store dedicated to learning and terror.


After I took the close-up above, something just inside the door caught my eye. "What the heck is that?" I wondered. I walked in, seeing no humans at first, just this gigantic hairy-fur-covered form. Then, I noticed a young woman at the register and asked, "What's this?" Her answer, "Sasquatch." Duh, Lynette. She proceeded to answer my question about its height, "Ten feet tall. It's a model based on the biggest one ever sighted." OK, I thought, thanking her for the info and promising to return someday when I wasn't about to be late for a party.

Seen on the TriMet 20 bus, heading west on West Burnside


Hats came out on a sunny day in Portland, Saturday, July 7. At first there was just the man in front of me with the hat. The bus stopped. The other man with the hat got on, followed by the woman with the hat. Had to take a photo.

I guess she couldn't see well enough without propping up the brim of her hat. Had to take another photo.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Where are these people in line? And a bit more with Josh Hailey and Photamerica.


Smiling, posing people, three among many in a long line on a sunny Portland sidewalk. Enough clues yet?

Photo finished. All returned to the line, snaking and turning. Her T-shirt says it all, "Go The Distance." One more clue, top and just left of center.

Ah, yes. Voodoo Doughnut, site of the often lengthy line of folks bent upon getting there to get their sweet fix in downtown Portland at SW 3rd and SW Ankeny. Where's Josh Hailey in all this?

Here's the multi-tasker. On the phone, buying additional parking time at the kiosk. Today, Sunday, Josh no longer needs parking time in Portland. He's off to the state of Washington. Un bon voyage, mon ami. Voir les sites et les personnes, Photamerica!

Friday, July 6, 2012

Red, white and blue, re-do!

vehicles_resized_red_white_blue_PicMonkey Collage

Seen-on-the-streets of Portland, vintage vehicles, a patriotic trio.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Here's some more with Josh Hailey from Monday, July 2, 2012


My favorite item in Josh's van, this miniature bottle tree installed on the dash! Wards off evil spirits.

My next favorite item in Josh's van, this relief map of the USA attached to the ceiling.

Josh waits patiently for me to return from feeding the meter--I had a Zipcar Monday on my vacation day. He interviewed me!

Can't you just see this young man's zest for life?

He's been around Portland and over to the coast, interviewing folks, taking photos, and making Facebook posts; he loves Instagram. I imagine he'll head to other points in Oregon tomorrow.

Here's an article about Josh and his Photamerica tour in this week's Jackson Free Press, the alternative newsweekly in my hometown:

On the Road with Josh Hailey By Aaron Cooper Last updated on Wednesday, July 4, 2012 5:07 a.m. CDT Josh Hailey loves every second of his couch hopping, frequent gas stops and random interviews with Arizona Border Control as he road-trips across America, collecting faces and moments for his "large photographic research project," Photamerica.

Most of the time Hailey is alone in his '92 Chevy, which he proclaims a "creeper van" and lovingly calls "Casa Blanca." His companion on the road is usually just his iPhone, which he says he uses for everything. The van is divided into two distinct areas by a curtain he found.

Up front is the cockpit, covered in a wealth of objects he has collected and gathered over the years: stickers from friends, postcards with drawings on the back, a glass dashboard bottle tree made by a friend and two speeding tickets (one from Oklahoma and one from Arizona.)

In the back, lit by a string of purple Christmas lights, is the second living space, the bedroom. Hailey sleeps on a comfy pallet surrounded by four bins (one for clean clothes, one for dirty clothes and two for camera equipment) and a cooler filled with water and tea.

"I want to make it to Ohio," Hailey says. "I can only imagine what the people are doing there, the lives they live in this ever-changing country. ... By face value, our lives may seem completely different but the closer and closer you look, the more similarities pop up."

In a single day, Jackson native Hailey takes more than 300 snapshots with his iPhone and more than 100 higher-quality photographs with his Canon 5D Mark 2, and uploads the best to social-media outlets such as Facebook and Twitter, as well as his own websites ( and He photographs everything that catches his eye, from southern weddings to Gay Pride San Francisco; interesting architecture to familiar smiles; a man selling bath and shower salts in southern California and a 6-foot crab made solely of plants and scrap metal at the entrance of San Francisco's Fisherman's Wharf.

Hailey says he is attempting to sum up "His America," and the culture within, through his camera lens. Hailey plans to visit 50 states in 50 weeks. He began in Hawaii this January. "I flew to Hawaii first while my van was still getting rigged up. It was a way for me to kill two birds with one stone, getting the one state I couldn't drive to out of the way and using that extra time to get my van fixed," Hailey says.

Through funding from programs like Kickstarter and new friends with cozy places to sleep whom he met via websites like CouchSurfing, Hailey is crossing the country in a van he got at an auction for $2,000.

"The beauty of the Internet made this trip possible for me," he says. The Internet continues to shape the project—Hailey and his van are willing to move and shake wherever, or however, he is invited. At the end of the project, Hailey plans to compile his favorite and most interesting photos into a book to be released in 2013.

The photographer is making big moves with Photamerica, a movement that is as open as the wind and completely loose. "I am going where I am asked to go," he says. "I am talking to people online who want to talk to me, through friends who ask me to visit and kind faces on the streets, and I am moving like word of mouth from place to place."

Hailey enjoys exploring the "cultural fondue pot" of the nation, challenging societal norms, and meeting vibrant people with ideas of their own who are willing and brave enough to share them with the world. He says its all about sharing those beautiful moments and images with the world through social media and the Internet—truly capturing America in its current state, with its current inhabitants showing the real faces, the real lives, and the real laughs.

"I am a liver of life, a lover of many and, most importantly, a sharer," Hailey says.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Red, white, and blue -- just for you -- Happy 4th of July!

Talladega_900_round_corners_red_white_blue_PicMonkey Collage

Talladega Superspeedway, 40th Reunion of NASCAR Aero Cars, Parade Lap, Sunday, November 1, 2009. I had a blast!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Josh Hailey's in PDX on his Photamerica Tour!


A creative young man on a mission, that's Josh Hailey. Since I supported his successful Kickstarter campaign, I've been patiently awaiting arrival of Josh in Portland. He got to the city on Sunday. Serendipitously, I had taken a vacation day on Monday, so we got together for brunch at my favorite breakfast spot, the Bijou Cafe, downtown on the corner of SW 3rd and SW Pine. Here Josh is talking with my favorite person at the cafe--Eve. Mama and I met her on our first visit there in July, 2004.

After enjoying talking and eating and laughing, we both fed the meter (Josh has a van he's driving across the county, I had a Zipcar for the day so I could do errands), and then Josh interviewed me! More photos coming!

Here's what I found about his Photamerica tour, online:

50 states in 50 weeks: A unique interpretation of modern America, by Jessica Festa

What does it mean to be an American in modern times? That is the question propelling Josh Hailey forward on a mission to visit 50 states in 50 weeks and capture modern America in a visual way. The final project from the road trip will be a 100-page photography book.

The project will go further than photography, however, as Hailey plans to conduct interviews and shoot video footage, as well. He says, "I want to understand what people feel about America and what it means to be an American in modern times. Asking a series of open questions, people's answers will be documented on camera and compiled as a film that will be both aesthetic and thought provoking and will hopefully capture a wider picture of America in 2012."

To follow the journey, view photographic artwork, host Hailey with accommodation, leave feedback and comments, or donate money towards fuel, visit his website, Photamerica. (

And here's what I had read, written by Josh, at his Kickstarter campaign:

ABOUT THIS PROJECT PHOTAMERICA: 50 States in 50 weeks: a unique interpretation of modern America.

This project was born out of a very long road trip that saw me drive cross country twice in a matter of months. An avid photographer, naturally I captured the weird and wonderful beauty of my journey, absorbing the culture of every individual state and enjoying the random conversations I’ve had with Americans along the way. It dawned on me that this experience is one I could build on and share!

In 2012 I intend to do it properly. This time with two goals in mind:

  • I want to capture modern America, visually. State by state, place by place, person by person and represent this all in a photography book to be completed and published 2013. 

  • I want to understand what people feel about America and what it means to be an American in modern times. Asking a series of open questions, people's answers will be documented on camera and compiled as a film that will be both asthetic and thought provoking and will hopefully capture a wider picture of America in 2012.

I’ve estimated a week in each state, give or take a few days and am asking you to follow my journey and take part in steering my course on our website This website will be all encompassing in that you can see day by day where we go, the artwork we are making, and take part in hosting us or helping us find things of interest to photograph.

This will be a unique and interactive site where you can leave comments on places of interest for me to see and also get first glimpses of the artwork I’ll be creating with the images from the road.

The book, estimated publishing 2013, will be a large and thorough interpretation of each state in many different camera mediums from digital, to cell phone images, to film.

In terms of the documentary film, this will be observational in nature. It has always amazed me how different and diverse America is, and the contrasts and conflicts that are present within each state, let alone across the entire country. I’m hoping this will be an insight into the intimate perspectives of the people I come across. I intend to sit down with 3 to 4 subjects in each state from a range of socioeconomic backgrounds, to ask a question about how people feel in these modern times, and especially in America.

Whilst I am an artist and photographer, I am wanting to make this project as legitimate and as well researched as possible, and have currently been speaking with numerous esteemed academics and professionals who have assisted me in gaining a better understanding and perspective on how to go about this and move forward my approach.

I am budgeting this trip solely on the gas to make it around America. I have good friends and couch surfers in most States and hopefully can find a place to stay with people helping host on the website. At the present the current gas pricing is upwards of 20,000 dollars to get enough gas to go to all of the states I intend to. This is about far more than a substantial amount of gas money, it is about being part of the wider journey and ultimately about being part of a moment in time.

Whether you’re a fellow artist/ photographer, a road trip enthusiast or just a curious American/ non American, this project has huge potential to be an informative, interesting and beautiful piece of art that will depict a raw, honest and insightful picture of modern America! Get involved! Please visit to see more! and watch the incentives video below to see what art you can score for helping make photamerica a reality! thanks so much. Josh

Monday, July 2, 2012

Bike rack - a recent addition to apartment building's basement


I don't ride a bike, but I am proud to see this for those that do. And I have a vested interest in the fact that this many bike-riders live here.

On the smallest scale, that many bike-riders in the building means all the more possibility of there being a parking space available when I unload purchases from the occasional Zipcar.

On the largest scale, that many bike-riders in the building can be ex·trap·o·lated across Portland as taking a great big bite outta our carbon footprint. (I do my part by riding mass transit and walking and not owning an automobile. And every once in a while, since I live in such a flat neighborhood, I wish for an ol'-lady-sized tricycle.)

I pray for street safety and for observant-of-traffic-law-and-each-other bicyclists, motorists, and pedestrians.