Wednesday, November 21, 2012

VW van, seen on the street, No. 7


Taken somewhere in downtown Portland, on Friday, November 14, 2008, at 1:13 p.m.

Update on Sunday's VW van, seen on the street, No. 5--the mystery location has been solved by my buddy Sheryl at work. I took the photo in the public parking lot at the D River in Lincoln City, Oregon. I should've paid attention to the windblown look of the trees in the distance. Three cheers for Sheryl!

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

VW van, seen on the street, No. 6


Another mystery Portland location for this photo, taken at 5:11 p.m. on September 19, 2009, a Saturday. Some sort of collision mars the driver's door of this vintage vehicle.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Looking through a window of a storefront


On the corner of SW 6th Avenue and SW Salmon, there used to be a Nike store in the A. E. Doyle building known as The Public Service Building. At some point in the recent past, Nike moved to another location, then the windows were covered, followed by a complete gutting of the interior space.

As I walked by Friday night, on my way to catch a MAX Yellow Line to the Rose Garden Arena for a Trail Blazers' game, I stopped to look through the now uncovered windows, just to see what I could see. Completely through the building to the parking garage exit, it seems. I'm not sure where the woman came from, but her movement drew my eye from the concrete pillars and the chance to see the innards of a Doyle building. I watched as she walked across the pavement, turned to face my direction and stepped back out of the way to wait.

In moments she had her phone in her hand, possibly texting her ride to let her know that she had arrived at their agreed upon point. I'll never know for sure.

Info from Wikipedia about the building:

The Public Service Building is a historic 67.06 m (220.0 ft), 15-story office building in downtown Portland, Oregon, United states. The building and its attached parking garage have been listed on the National Register of Historic Places as the Public Service Building and Garage since 1996. It was built to house the offices of the Portland Gas and Coke Company and the Pacific Light and Power Company. The building's name reflects the fact that these utilities were "public services."A space in the Public Service Building fronting the corner of Salmon and Sixth streets became the first Niketown store.

Structural details

The north and south wings of the building were originally two stories tall, but were built up to their present height of 12 stories in 1957. Considered a skyscraper, once complete, the Public Service Building became the tallest building in Portland, holding that record until the 1960s. It was overtaken by the Hilton Portland Hotel in August 1962 when that building reached 229 feet (70 m).

The main power plant for the city was once located in the basement. The space is now used to house the city's main power feeds.

Architectural details

The Public Service Building was the third of three similarly Italianate buildings built in Portland by the firm of prolific local architect A.E. Doyle. The project's primary designer, Charles K. Greene, worked on the other Italianate Doyle-commissioned buildings in Portland: the smaller Bank of California Building (1924) and the Pacific Building (1926).[5] Green initiated the design of this structure, but left Portland before the building was complete. Pietro Belluschi then completed the project.

The first three floors of the Public Service Building are faced with gray terra-cotta, and the upper floors in gray brick. The cornices and details are also terra-cotta. The building has a stylized wave motif that can be seen along its moldings. The original roof, like its sister buildings, was clad in red clay tile. Pietro Belluschi's touch can be seen in the building lobby, where he designed elevator doors that represented the utility company tenants.

Taking advantage of its being the tallest building in town, the utility companies added neon signs atop the roof: "POWER," "HEAT," "GAS," and "LIGHT," each aimed in a cardinal direction. At some point all four sides of this sign said "PACIFIC POWER."

A.E. Doyle died in January 1928, only three weeks after the Public Service Building opened.


Renovations to the Public Service Building took place in 1957, 1973, and 1999. The 1957 renovation raised the height of the building's wings to 12 floors. In 1973, the neon signs and original roofs were removed, and a new metal roof installed. The 1999 renovations focused on reducing energy costs with new technology, costing around US$20 million. The building was sold in 1993 to the Goodman Family, also owners of parking garages and lots in Portland, for US$3 million.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

VW van, seen on the street, No. 5


Here's another great VW van! I took this photo on April 10, 2009, at 2:47 p.m. That's my afternoon break time, so I may have been out on a short walk. The problem is that I don't recognize any of the buildings. A mystery location which shall remain so.

Madge, is this like your VW van? Hope so.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

VW van, seen on a parking lot, No. 4


I thought this chartreuse-colored van would look pretty cool after yesterday's orange one, especially since I actually took the photo the very next day, back on July 24, 2008! Serendipity!

This VW van is parked in a parking lot near work--I took the photo while out and about on my lunch hour--sometimes I didn't go across the river to the park bench, I just ate at my desk and went out for a walk.

The building in the background with the blue trim around the windows is Bright Auto Upholstery. The red brick building is a parking garage. I've never noticed that tower being that much taller than the garage itself--it's a stairwell. Makes me wonder if at one point there were plans to add another story to the garage. Bet there's no money for that now.

Friday, November 16, 2012

VW van, seen on the street, No. 3


Downtown Portland. Lots going on to watch and/or photograph. I took this photo on July 23, 2008, at 11:50 a.m. while on my lunch hour. If memory serves, the bright orange VW van circled the block several times before I got up from my bench and went to catch the bus back to work. The last couple of years the times for bus arrivals at work and departures back to work have not lent themselves to much of a relaxed lunch time in the park. I hope 2013 proves to be much better for me.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

VW Van, seen on the street, No. 2


How about the heart on the door? And the band-aid on the back driver-side wheel well?

I took this photo on May 5, 2007, in Northwest Portland's Alphabet District. The van's parked around the corner from the front door of the Nob Hill Bar & Grill, 937 NW 23rd Avenue. The October, 2006, night that my sons settled Mama and me into our apartment on NW Everett, we three walked from there to the Nob Hill to have a burger and fries. Whew. I was one tired puppy that night, so tired I can't even remember how the food tasted. I believe I ate every single bit of it. And I managed to walk the entire half mile there and half mile back. Felt like more mileage to me.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

VW van, seen on the street, No. 1


I see a VW van heading west on lots of mornings while waiting for my first leg of the morning commute. That van's color scheme is just the same as this one. I'll have to remember to check the license plate one morning soon, maybe even get a photo of it, if I see it coming in time.

In this particular photo, the VW van is near where I work, heading east, right after I got off work August 13, 2010.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

SP 4449 Steam Locomotive, No. 6


Here she comes! Seconds later, steam surrounded me, and I giggled like a kid in a toy store who'd been told, "Take your pick!"

Good-bye to all those lucky, lucky folks aboard the Deschutes Steam Special.

 If you love steam locomotives, you’ll thoroughly enjoy the story and the video at this link.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Sunday, November 11, 2012

SP 4449 Steam Locomotive, No. 5


Imagine with me for a few minutes. Forget that you know that the Willamette River is to the left of Union Station, in this photo. Look at the multi-story parking garage to the right of Union Station. See the metal flag flying atop it, at the corner. Imagine the parking garage to be a multi-deck river steamboat, waiting to begin its voyage, much like the train to be pulled by the SP 4449, once they're linked together, waits to begin its journey.


Here's a view of the steamboat American Queen which gives a bit of perspective to my imagination--from the left of that left-most smokestack, that is. I looked and looked at Google Images for a photo with a similar perspective as the parking garage in my photo--this one is the best I found. The steamboat is docked in Memphis due to low water level on the Mississippi River in August, 2012.

My brother Howard as he appears sans steam. Notice the rain on his hood and the bill of his cap. Wet we were, as Yoda would report.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

SP 4449 Steam Locomotive, No. 4


Steam's heading our way as the SP 4449 continues to back up toward the line of vintage rail cars.

Steam enveloped my brother who stood closer to the tracks than I. Through the steam you can barely see the silver and orange stripes at the bottom of the front of the locomotive. Is that a cow-catcher?

Later on when the train pulled out, I myself stood even closer to the track than my brother in this photo.
Surrounded by steam in seconds, I soon realized that moisture covered my glasses and the camera lens. No photos of that--the camera couldn't find anything to focus on, and I was somewhat disoriented.

Friday, November 9, 2012

Thursday, November 8, 2012

SP 4449 Steam Locomotive, No. 3


She's just about to stop and then begin to back up towards the line of vintage rail cars. Check out the man at the right edge of the photo--he's got her on his camera. Can't tell if he's shooting stills or video.

Steaming up for backing up.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

SP 4449 Steam Locomotive, No. 2

Happy Birthday to my brother, Howard!

About to pass me by and cross the street in order to get the right amount of space between her and the line of vintage rail cars waiting beside Union Station, it's the magnificent SP 4449, seen through the chain link fence.

Coming closer, blowing massive amounts of hissing steam from all sorts of places, the SP 4449. The sight and sound brought a huge lump to my throat.

About this time, the grin splitting my face wide open grew even broader. I wish that I'd had enough sense to take out my iPhone and capture the sounds to share with you, to have to listen to whenever I wanted. My mind just didn't go there, consumed as it was by awe at the power I witnessed.

From the Oregon Rail Heritage Foundation's Web site:

Southern Pacific 4449
Built: 1941
Manufacturer: Lima Locomotive Works, Lima, OH
Length: 110’
Weight: 433 tons
Drive Wheel: 80”
Horsepower: 6,500
Boiler Pressure: 300 psi
Fuel: Oil
Donated to PDX: 1958
Volunteer Organization: Friends of the SP 4449

Built in 1941 as a 4-8-4 GS-4 locomotive, she is 110′ long, 10′ wide and 16′ tall. With locomotive and tender weighing 433 tons and a boiler pressure of 300 psi, her eight 80″ diameter drivers and unique firebox truck booster can apply 5,500 horsepower to the rails and exceed 100 mph.

The only remaining operable “streamlined” steam locomotive of the Art Deco era, this grand Lady of the High Iron pulled Southern Pacific “Daylight” coaches from Los Angeles to San Francisco over the scenic Coast Route and then on to Portland until 1955.

Retired to Oaks Park in 1958 for display only, many thought 4449 would never run again. In 1974 she was completely restored specifically to pull the 1976 Bicentennial Freedom Train throughout the United States to the delight of over 30 million people. SP 4449 has also operated numerous excursions since.

She is arguably one of the most beautiful locomotives ever built and kept that way by the all-volunteer Friends of SP 4449.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

SP 4449 Steam Locomotive, No. 1

What can be more American that a vintage steam locomotive on the move? You, on the move to vote, that's what. Get out and vote!

On Friday, October 19, my brother Howard had flown into town from Mississippi for a visit. He's a game guy, so it didn't faze him one bit when I suggested that we get up very early on Saturday morning and catch mass transit in order to be at Union Station to watch the SP 4449 pull out with her train of vintage cars. Didn't faze him one bit!


The last car in the line of vintage rail cars. I took this photo at 7:28 a.m. We had arrived well before the scheduled departure time of the Deschutes Steam Special, took a quick and most-likely-not-allowed trek across the rail yard at its south end so that we could get on the other side the train, away from the station, and walk northward.

I zoomed in and quickly took this photo at 7:31 a.m. and began to concentrate on successfully following my brother's advice--look like you belong here and keep walking--until we could get away from where we really shouldn't have been, crossing the tracks in an operating railroad station. We looked and listened, then thankfully ended up on a regular sidewalk beside a building and even found somewhere to wait out of the rain.

In a few minutes, we saw people gathering to the north at an intersection between a street and the tracks. Then we decided that the SP 4449 must be on the other side of the line of cars from our vantage point, completely out of sight from our vantage point! By 8:07 a.m., we had hurried north to NW 9th and crossed the tracks heading west, just in time to see the locomotive steaming towards us so that it could make the change from the track it was on to the track it needed to be on in order to be connected with the line of vintage rail cars.

The sold out special excursion left Union Station in Portland, Oregon, went to Vancouver, Washington to pick up more passengers, and then headed east in Washington alongside the Columbia River until time to turn south at Wishram where it crossed the Columbia River so that it could go to Bend, Oregon, along the Deschutes River. Folks were transported from the station in Bend to various lodging sites, then returned to the train on Sunday for the return trip.

Here's the back story: I had contemplated buying myself a ticket, but by the time I made up my mind, the ticket selection I could splurge on had sold out. Still and all, getting to stand beside the tracks and see, hear and feel this locomotive that I love made up for not being aboard. Plus, I would have missed my brother's perfect visit--we had a blast, my sons, my brother and I.

Link to a post from someone on the excursion, with a fantastic photo of the train going over a trestle!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Neon glory on N. Interstate Avenue.


I took this photo on October 9, 2012, after eating supper here. I needed to take some photos of the newly refurbished sign at The Palms Motor Hotel, but I knew I couldn't leave for that site before taking some photos here. This one turned out best.

Quick info on The Alibi's Web site: The Alibi Tiki Lounge is located in North Portland at 4024 North Interstate Avenue. We are open daily from 11am - 2am, with Karaoke every night form 9pm - 2am! Happy Hour in the Bar is from 3pm - 7pm with food and drink specials. Call ahead (503) 287-5335 for Reservations!

The History Of The Alibi

A Horse & Buggy Stop Beginning

The orignal home of The Alibi was a nice stop for horeses and buggies as they traveled up and down the dirt trail known as the Inter-state in the late 1800's. "Chat-n-Nibble", as it was known to travelers then, served up some of the finest grub a fellow could find at a breakfast and lunch counter. A small beginning!

The Max Alibi

The next business to call the spot home was a tiny tavern run by Mr. Peterson. "Max Alibi" was a popular spot to stop, and saw much success under his ownership. Peterson gave the business a name that would last far into the 1990's.

Island Inspirations

The third owner, Roy Ell, saw a jewel of a restaurant in this little stop. He leased the building in 1947 and renamed the place "The Alibi". Roy spent some time traveling to Hawaii and felt his friends and neighbhors deserved to experience the beauty and style he found on the islands. Polynesian decor was his goald to enhance his restaurant, even though it was hard to find suppliers.

The '50's found "The Alibi" expanding to a full restaurant and lounge. The building engulfed a home which sat behind the restaurant and The Alibi was proving itself popular. The famed food and delightful exotic surroundings kept bringing folks back for a piece of paradise right in their own community.

Taking Over The Neighbors

In the 70's, Roy added a magnificent 3-dimensional mural and had carved rails installed in The Alibi. By the 80's, The Alibi was a grand replica of the South Pacific, even businesses from overseas came to copy the decor.

Roy took his next step, purchased the property from Mr. Peterson, and engulfed the Texaco Station next door for parking.

Today, Like Yesterday

In the 80's, The Alibi was leased once again, with the agreement that the decor would not be altered. In 1991, the current owner, Larry White, took over and has agreed to keep the style and flourish that has been so magnificent for some 40 years.

Like A Tropical Paradise

As you sit in The Alibi lounge, restaurant, or one of the many nooks and shelters, under shell lamp shades, you can almost feel the cool summer breeze blow across the beach. Sipping tantalized tropical drinks, letting the atmosphere sink in, nibbling on seafood appetizers and entrees, it's easy to relax and enjoy a mini vacation in the midst of your day.

I posted the neon sign at The Palms on October 10, if you'd like to take a look at it. It's worth the bit of time to go find that one at the blog.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

Rainy autumn in my neighborhood, No. 6

PicMonkey Collage_fall_leaves_2

On Halloween, I took the photo of the street that runs beside my apartment building through the windshield of my Zipcar. I was stopped at the intersection, nothing dangerous going on with the camera and the car. The other three photos are ones that I had taken last Sunday on my short walk.

Saturday, November 3, 2012

Never expected to see this among the autumn leaves.


On Halloween after I had parked my Zipcar where it lives over on SE Ankeny at SE 20th, I did a walk around, checking it out before walking home. As I stepped up onto the curve, look what caught my eye. Someone's lost Zipcard had been found and carefully placed so as to be seen.

Gosh, I hope that person who lost it comes back to get it. One cannot open your reserved Zipcar without one's Zipcard. You must place the card on the card reader at the top left of the windshield to unlock the door and start your reservation's clock ticking. When I'm out and about in a Zipcar, I continually reaffirm the location of my card.

And guess what extra benefit I got with my card on Wednesday? I drove to the downtown Zipcar office, parked in front of the Multnomah County Central Library next door, walked into the office and showed my card to get $10 driving credit. All because I had a Halloween headband on my head, complete with a couple of bats on springs. Way cool, Zipcar. Thanks!

Finally, I have to say that I love this space because beside the two parking spaces where two Zipcars live, you find at least one bike rack--notice the back tire on the right side of the photo. And one block north on East Burnside, you find on diagonal corners bus stops for the 20. Alternative modes of transportation abound!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Fans chanted, "Beat LA!" Blazers played ball. Blazers beat LA, 116-106!

I'm so glad to find that referee's wrist and hand signaling a three-pointer at the bottom of this photo!

Because for me, this three-pointer by Nicolas Batum says it all about last night's game. The vaunted Lakers could only stand and watch as our Portland Trail Blazers kept comin' at them, fulfilling the prediction projected on the outside of the Rose Garden Arena.

I can think of no better way to open the basketball season!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Rainy autumn in my neighborhood, No. 4

From nearby fully-opened blossoms, the scent of roses wafted in the wind. But not from these rosebuds. Possible late-bloomers? My guess, they'll become never-bloomers. Hmmm. Can you become a never?

The red door and white trim at Albertina Kerr's headquarters becomes the best background possible for this red rose bud.

I like the peachy orange and bright yellow rose bud contrasted with the dark green leaves and maroon stems. No color alterations here. These photos are just as they came out of my iPhone.


A fading pink rose bud seems the perfect lead-in for this poem I found on the Internet:

When the Rose is Faded by Walter de la Mare

When the rose is faded,
Memory may still dwell on
Her beauty shadowed,
And the sweet smell gone.

That vanishing loveliness,
That burdening breath,
No bond of life hath then,
Nor grief of death.

'Tis the immortal thought
Whose passion still
Makes the changing
The unchangeable.

Oh, thus thy beauty,
Loveliest on earth to me,
Dark with no sorrow, shines
And burns, with thee.