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On January 8, after I walked westward over the Hawthorne Bridge into downtown Portland, I ended up on the bus home which takes me eastward back over the Willamette River, on the Burnside Bridge. OK. I know what you're thinking right now--she's crazy, she goes west to go east, to get home after work! Yes, I work in Southeast Portland and live in Northeast Portland. But, I promise that there's a logical method to my madness.
If I go straight north after work for 22 blocks by bus or walking to catch that last bus home on East Burnside at NE Grand Avenue, I have to stand up in the aisle of said bus, hoping I can balance myself from one of those high-up straps, for the 20 blocks until I come to where I get off the bus. Not always. Sometimes a person gives me, the senior citizen, his or her seat. And if I do stay on the east side of the Willamette River, you'd think I'd save some time, get home quicker. Nope. The only way I can save any time is if I manage to catch the streetcar right in front of my building, but I've only done that three times since it started running last September.
If I catch a westbound bus after work, and I have three possibilities by 5:06 p.m. or so, I get off at SW 6th and SW Main, walk three blocks north and catch the last bus home (I have two possibilities) in just a few minutes, and I get a seat. I feel much better about riding a bus when I am sitting in a seat, being a senior citizen and all.
Anyway, I took this photo looking through the windshield from my seat on the bus last Tuesday. I like the red taillights and the red and green traffic signals; the row of green street signs on the left of the photo; and all of the white, double-light street lights. One of the best things about this photo is the huge neon sign for United Finance, atop their building on the northeast corner of East Burnside and SE Grand Avenue, the cross street. You can see the opposite side of the same sign, in Vintage Portland’s post with a 1963 photo of the Burnside Bridge. In order to thoroughly enjoy this fabulous photo, click on it to enlarge it, then click on it again to make it even larger. Then scroll towards the lower right corner--you'll have to scroll across and down, probably. You'll see the sign then.
And if you scroll around to see more of the bridge itself and notice two white-roofed buses, one behind the other, on the left of the photo, the bus I was in when I took the photo above is in that lane and close to the intersection where the white car is making a turn south. That intersection was then Union Avenue, the cross street, and Burnside--in 1989 Union Avenue became Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Did you notice the green street sign in my photo? In the top right corner? NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. is the street we're stopped at in the bus. The next green sign might be legible to you--it's NE Grand Avenue.
Thanks to Vintage Portland, those of us who subscribe to it, as well as those who come across it randomly, get to see all sorts of fine vintage photos of our city and its environs!