Wednesday, November 30, 2011

#7, Hawthorne Bridge, focus on the circle between the eastbound & the westbound ramps and/or the intersections of the ramps with the surface streets

I look outside on November 17.

At first I didn't see anything other than lots and lots of black cylinders, tossed everywhere on the green grass in the circle.

Then I saw these three men, working at gathering what turned out to be black pots. It makes sense to plant as much as possible on a slope, in addition to the trees which had been planted days before. Hopefully the roots will soon grab hold of the freshly placed dirt and remove the chance that it will erode during Portland's wet winter. You can see the gray-colored path the men made, walking back and forth from their white trailer parked on SE MLK to the bottom of the slope. It says Valley Growers on the side of the trailer.

They or some other nurserymen returned at some other point and planted even more on the slope which goes up to the westbound bridge ramp, on the right of the photo where the dirt is bare. Notice the puddle beside the pile of rocks near the bottom edge of the fall foliage? There is a pretty-good-size pipe resting on the rocks. Your view of it is blocked by the man stacking black pots together, but you can see it in the photo above this one. I am assuming that is the drain for at least one of the several small-box-culvert-looking drain devices built at intervals into the curb--you can see one at the bottom right corner. I believe that bale of hay helps slow down the flow of water which enters through oval-shaped hole in the curb.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

#6, Hawthorne Bridge, focus on the circle between the eastbound & the westbound ramps and/or the intersections of the ramps with the surface streets

On such a sunny day, working outside with a task one could accomplish must have been a rewarding activity.
I took this photo later in the day from when I took the photo on Monday's post, a little over four hours later. A crew poured the rest of the sidewalk on the inner edge of the circle. The white truck is pulled to the curb on SE MLK, which is a one-way street, southbound. The bridge ramp above it is the eastbound exit ramp of the Hawthorne Bridge. The Ross Island Sand & Gravel truck is pulled to a stop on the circle. The man on his knees is creating a recess for the installation of the yellow vinyl section of truncated domes, that rectangle that looks sort of like permanent, wide-spaced, opaque, yellow bubble wrap which you see along the edges of subway stops and in the handicapped ramps from sidewalks down to street level. Truncated domes, which meet ADA requirements, serve as a detectable, tactile warning surface for the visually impaired. I myself like to stand on them at corners while I wait for the light to change, unless there is a visually impaired person there, too. My feet enjoy the massage. You can see what looks like two pieces of yellow, one on each side of him as he scrapes and smooths. I for one am glad to see that the sidewalk is as high off the surface of the circle as it is--I doubt that rain will stand on that sidewalk, ever.


The truncated domes matt has been installed, near the end of the plank the man is standing on near the bottom center of the photo. Now these men are continuing to finish the sidewalk's surface. The man on the left is using a pad attached to the extended-length handle. The other two men are on their knees, smoothing by hand.

In this photo you see more finishing work in progress. The man walking on the plank is crossing back to the street because he has finished using the extended-length handle and pad on the concrete. And you can see the slightly different colored rectangle to the left of where steps, there in the gray concrete. That is the truncated dome matt. The planks that cross from one side of the sidewalk to the other were moved to the right a few feet, and the work continued.

Monday, November 28, 2011

#5, Hawthorne Bridge, focus on the circle between the eastbound & the westbound ramps and/or the intersections of the ramps with the surface streets

I took Saturday and Sunday off, chilled and painted with acrylics on canvas board and such. I'm back now.

On November 10, the view from SE MLK, looking east. I was so taken with the BUMP sign that I failed to notice the area to its right, ready to become the rest of a new section of sidewalk. You see, previously along the edge of the circle, no sidewalk existed, just a narrow paved path with a handicapped ramp to street level, but no crosswalk or signal for the handicapped to use in crossing the circle, however. You can see the ramp and the no crosswalk clearly here.

This photo illustrates what I had said here about the circle reminding me of a tilted bowl. See how much higher the circle looks where the pavement disappears into the leaves on the tree? And see the traffic through the guardrail? That traffic is heading north on SE Grand Avenue. The traffic signal with the One Way sign at the right edge of the photo is the second photo in this post.

Friday, November 25, 2011

#4, Hawthorne Bridge, focus on the circle between the eastbound & the westbound ramps and/or the intersections of the ramps with the surface streets

First, I have to share this exciting comment which appeared on Wednesday's post: This is part of the Streetcar Eastside Loop project. The circles (here and at the Morrison Bridge ramps) are being rebuilt to serve as stormwater treatment facilities for street runoff. In addition, at Hawthorne/Madison, and at Belmont/Morrison, there will be a sidewalk added on the west side of Grand Avenue, to make access to and between streetcar stops and bus stops easier. This includes restricting some of the free-flowing on- and off-ramps onto Grand Ave. New signals are also being added so walkers can cross M.L.King Blvd. easier. The one at Morrison is now working. Find out more at an open house Dec. 1 at the Arch. Heritage Center, 701 SE Grand from 5:00 to 7:30.

Now. We're back to the series of photos which I am sharing about the changes in the intersection at the east end of the Hawthorne Bridge, either as part of the curve between the eastbound and westbound ramps at SE Grand or as the circle of earth between them, which is also bordered on the west by what is now SE MLK.

There's a whole lot going on in this photo. I love it. So, these two morning commuters on SE Madison are heading west towards the Hawthorne Bridge proper. Once they cross SE Grand Avenue, running left to right on the photo, they will soon go over the Willamette River and be in downtown Portland. Between them you see dug-up pavement, some sort of heavy equipment which surely moves and/or digs, the orange-and-white traffic bollards, and the workers' port-a-potty. Notice the white plastic on the pavement, almost hidden by the bicyclist? It is covering concrete-filled forms which now extend south from this westbound ramp to the eastbound ramp, creating a curb which prevents vehicles from driving hell-bent-for-leather around the curve, coming east and going west in a loop. You can see one of those vehicles, a white SUV, here in Monday’s photo. Now in order to make that loop, drivers will actually make two left turns. The curve has been obliterated, redesigned as part of the Streetcar Eastside Loop project. One more really neat thing. See the bit of turquoise and white, just about in the low center of the photo, in the opening between the trees? That is the roof of a TriMet bus, the #6. It has just come off one-way, southbound SE MLK, and will either stop at the bus stop there beside the Hawthorne Bridge, or it will just continue around the loop and head up onto the westbound ramp and take its passengers over the bridge into downtown. You can see it's route on Monday’s photo, too. It tightly curves closest to the snowy evergreen shrubs. Those shrubs are now removed. Knowing that the roof of the bus is just about even with the roadway gives you an idea of the difference in elevation between the two parallel streets, SE MLK and SE Grand.

Quite a bit going on in this photo, too. The TriMet bus is stopped at the traffic signal, heading east off the bridge ramp onto SE Hawthorne Blvd., after it crosses SE Grand, the street going left to right across the bottom of the photo. The last white car on the right in the stopped traffic is at the spot where vehicles used to be able to curve left to make the loop back west. Now you can see black plastic covering the forms-and-concrete curb that has been installed to prevent traffic from flowing that way. And you can see the rest of the white plastic covering the southmost end of that new curb. I have to tell you, that I couldn't figure out what would come next because there has never been any pedestrian traffic allowed on that west side of SE Grand. Curious over here.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving from Portland, Oregon

I count my blessings, past and current. I count them every day. I thank the Lord for them every day.

I am thankful to live in Portland, Oregon, where I am with my two sons, where Mama and I thoroughly enjoyed the years between June, 2006, and January, 2011.

While I don't have actual photographs of all of the special people for whom I am thankful, I do have some, so I'm sharing them with you today, Thanksgiving Day 2011.

Mama and Duncan, Kailey and Ginger and Leland, Lamont--Christmas, 2008

My brother Howard, my sister-in-law Vanessa, my older son Lamont, my younger son Leland, his sweetheart Kailey, my friend-as-sister Kay, my friend-as-brother Milton, me, and my friend-as-daughter Casey--August, 2011.

Photos from our trip back home, October, 2009.
Lucy, our sweetheart-of-a-friend. Kay, Mama, Milton, and my beloved Aunt Baker who joined Mama and lots more loved ones in Heaven on April 17, 2011. Aunt Baker had given me a ride to meet Kay and Milton on I-20, eastbound, so that we could be on our way to Talladega for the fall NASCAR race. She and Mama rode on back to Aunt Baker's house where they had a good time together until I got back several days later. Then Mama and I flew back to Portland.

Good friends: Jamae, Libby, and Jean. Fran, Yvonne, and Janet.

Good friends: Barbara, Renee, and Libby. Eve, Rusty, and Peggy. Sorry, y'all, the rest of the photos I took that night are blurry--I was just too tickled to see everyone that I couldn't be still!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

#3, Hawthorne Bridge, focus on the circle between the east-bound ramp and the west-bound ramp

The CAT dumps dirt from its bucket into the second truck bed of a dual-dump-truck rig. I don't know the official name of the rig. Do you? By the time a few days had passed, the earth-movers had the ground sloped smoothly from the circle down towards SE MLK, the street you see with the crosswalk. The circle reminds me of a tilted bowl, low rim down by MLK. And on the left of this photo you can see the east-bound exit ramp of the Hawthorne Bridge.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

#2, Hawthorne Bridge, focus on the circle between the east-bound ramp and the west-bound ramp

Here's the same circle from yesterday's photo--no snow because I took the photo on September 14, 2011,standing on SE MLK which is the street where the UPS truck was located in yesterday's photo. I couldn't imagine the purpose of digging up everything. The west-bound approach ramp for the Hawthorne Bridge is just beyond the tree beside the CAT. You can see a bit of the structure between the two green trees on the left of the photo. And those narrow horizontal rectangles to the right of the CAT are guard rails on the ramp. Notice that all of the shrubs from yesterday's photo have been removed.

Monday, November 21, 2011

#1, Hawthorne Bridge, focus on the circle between the east-bound ramp and the west-bound ramp


No, it's not snowing like this in Portland right now--thank goodness. I needed to set the stage, to give you the big picture, of what this circle used to looked like. I figured I'd really get your attention with this snowy photo, especially after I altered it with the Picnik special effect HDR-ish.

You're looking at a spot between the exit and approach ramps which go east and west at the east end of the Hawthorne Bridge. I took this photo January 27, 2009.

You can't see the east-bound ramp which exits the bridge--it's on the left, just out of the photo. The white SUV on the curve is either turning left off it and heading back west-bound on that circle, or it's going to head for the north-bound street you can see a bit of at the bottom right corner of the photo. The west-bound ramp to the Hawthorne Bridge can also be reached by driving on the lower circle, closest to the trees and shrubs. You curve onto it from southbound SE MLK which is the street where you see the UPS truck through the snowflakes. The west-bound ramp disappears out of sight between the roofs of buildings on each side of itself.

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Sunday Bridges: Marquam Bridge over the Willamette River

Sunday Bridges at San Francisco Bay Daily Photo

June 4, 2008, during the Rose Festival, I took this photo standing on the west side of the Willamette River beneath the Marquam Bridge. The upper deck is I-5 North, the lower deck is I-5 South. The lowest ramp must be for either entering or exiting the bridge from nearby surface streets. Due to its height and the fact that it also curves, I stay away from this bridge when driving, if at all possible. Too scary for me, although I have been south once and north once, talking to myself the entire time about staying on the bridge. You see, I not only have a fear of heights, I have a getting-better-all-the-time fear of bridges.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Lamont's new old Volvo station wagon.

Lamont came over Sunday to take me to the grocery store and to show the new old Volvo station wagon to me. He told me he parked here in particular because he knew I would want to take a few pictures of the car, so he figured the fall foliage should be in the photos, too.

The car came with that Thule pod and the rack! Wow! How cool! Well, he said that maybe all of the decals made him look more like a soccer mom than ever. Somehow I don't think anyone's going to mistake my son for that, just his car. Ha, ha.

One last photo to share with you. It better shows the actual color of the car. He's now the third owner of this vehicle, which I think is super.

Now for the story of why Lamont has a new old Volvo station wagon. (After the story, see photos of the old old Volvo station wagon.)

For the past few years, Lamont has enjoyed driving a 1989 Volvo station wagon, when he didn't walk to wherever he was going. He bought it from Kailey, Leland's girlfriend. The Saturday night before Halloween, three weeks ago today, he drove along a shadowy, curved road on the way home from a friend's apartment--I think it is a two-lane road, too. In front of him, a Ford Econoline van stopped all of a sudden. He stopped. It started again. He started again, wondering what was going on. The van stopped again; he stopped again. Just as he was about to blow his horn, the van's driver put it into reverse and rammed the front end of his Volvo. Alarmed, he locked the doors and rolled up his windows. Who would get out of the van? Turned out it was a woman who admitted that she was trying to find somewhere and thought she'd driven past it, so she backed up! Ruined his car is what she did. Totaled his car is what she did, $3000 to fix it, which of course didn't make any sense due to its age. She does not want to ever meet me.

That Volvo station wagon had been the car that Lamont drove to take Mama to all sorts of doctor and physical therapy appointments. It was the vehicle we picked up and dropped off my brother at the airport when he came to town to help move me to my new place after she had died, early January this year. In November, 2008, it was the car that took Lamont, Leland, and me to the woods, mushrooming. Earlier that same month it had taken Lamont, Mama, our friend Lucy (visiting from Mississippi), and me on a great tour of the Columbia River Gorge and over to Hood River, Oregon, then south around Mt. Hood and back to Portland. And since then he's driven it out of town several times camping and/or bouldering, having fun with his brother and/or friends. For his 36th birthday I had given Lamont a repair of the passenger window motor and a general tune-up of that car. All of that for naught now--blast that irresponsible woman. Good memories remain, however, and serve to dim the aggravation.

Also dimming the aggravation. The woman's insurance put him in a rental car and paid him $75 less than he needed to get the new old Volvo station wagon. Serendipitously a woman where Lamont works had the car for sale. By the end of the second week of dealing with an insurance company in a different time zone while working 40-hour weeks, Lamont got that money from Farmers and sold his old car to this wonderful repair place just east of where I live, Atomic Auto, for a fair price. He ended up with the new old Volvo station wagon and $25.

The new old Volvo station wagon checked out fine with the Atomic Auto guys (they were the ones who fixed that window, etc.), has half the mileage on it that the old old Volvo station wagon had on it. For all of us, this entire event turned out so much better than we could have ever hoped. Prayers answered.

Now for some photos of the old old Volvo station wagon and our mushrooming trip. If they make you hungry for all of the trip which was quite a lot of fun and very successful, the posts are on November 26, 2008; November 28, 2008; and November 30, 2008. You won't believe the forest and the mushrooms and the ferns and the trees and the guys.

Lamont and Leland arrive at our old apartment--I was waiting out front, excited about our pending adventure.

Lamont and Leland in the old old Volvo station wagon, as we pulled away from the curb.

Lamont and Leland getting ready to hunt chanterelles.

Just before we started the hunt, the guys posed for me.

Once we got back to the old old Volvo station wagon, hours later, the guys posed for me again. Look at our mushrooms!

We got wet, but who cares? I didn't fall down once, thanks to my wonderful sons. And I found the very first golden mushroom, too!

Friday, November 18, 2011

Veterans Day Parade, 11/11/11, No. 7

37th Annual Ross Hollywood Veterans Day Parade

At first I thought, "Don't know which veterans are riding in this vintage Cadillac." Then, "Oh, yes, I do. Lucky veterans to get to ride in such a beauty!" Then I found this online at the Oregonian about the folks and the vehicle: "Supporters of JOIN, a group created to help homeless veterans, ride in a 1958 Cadillac automobile during the Veteran's Day Parade Friday in the Hollywood District." Cool.

More lucky veterans in this vintage Ford Fairlane. Flickr friend Terry says it is a 1957. That was what I figured, but it's nice to have back up. While I love two-tone vintage vehicles, this one is actually a three-tone vehicle because the roof is a lighter version of the sort of steel blue gray on the lower portion of the side of the car. Very exciting to see for me, someone always head-over-heels where vintage vehicles are concerned.

AMVets Post 66, AMVets Riders Chapter 66, Portland, Oregon, in a vintage Dodge Coronet.

AMVets Post 66, AMVets Riders Chapter 66, Portland, Oregon, in a vintage Studebaker. This is the happiest car I think I've ever seen. It seems to be smiling broadly, proud of being included in the parade.

Here it looks like a little Frenchman to me, complete with a silver mustache.

1st Cavalry Division Association, Columbia Willamette Chapter. Gotta love this Chevrolet Apache pickup truck.

It's a two-tone beaut.

Picture perfect vintage Ford pickup.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Veterans Day Parade, 11/11/11, No. 6

37th Annual Ross Hollywood Veterans Day Parade

Several vehicles had banners or signs that identified their riders.

Military Order of the Purple Heart, Portland, Oregon chapter. I adore that smile.

American Legion members on a trailer. The woman on the right is so lovely to me.

Women Marines Association. Another special smile.

USMC, the United States Marine Corps. This wonderful vintage vehicle, which Flickr friend Terry has identified as a 1940 Deluxe Ford panel truck, is the perfect lead-in to tomorrow's post, the last of the ones which feature veterans on wheels.

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Veterans Day Parade, 11/11/11, No. 5

37th Annual Ross Hollywood Veterans Day Parade

Vets on some sort of tracked vehicle. I certainly don't know for sure, but it looks like an Army tank of some sort to me. Does anyone know? I'll bet that little guy in the middle had a great time riding up there. Don't miss the driver. The concentration on his face is impressive.

The sign on this Jeep reads, "25th Infantry Division: Pearl Harbor, Guadalcanal, New Georgia, Luzon, Japan, Korea, Viet Nam, Cambodia, Bosnia, Haiti, Afghanistan, Iraq."

This Jeep followed the tank. Definitely Army.

Here's the motorcyclist shaking hands with a vet in the Jeep.

One more vintage Army vehicle.

Is this a Jeep, too? Next to the tank, it's my favorite of these Army vehicles. Something about it just appeals to me.

I like the flags on this one.

Definitely some sort of truck. Troop carrier?