Sunday, August 23, 2009


With only one day to spend in Portland on our way south, it was difficult to choose what to see as we launched ourselves away from the visitor's center at Pioneer Square.
We countrified types took about 15 minutes to understand the various parking meters which are 15 minutes for regular meters, all day for several strategically placed ones about the downtown district and then those you can buy into for a limit of 90 minutes, over and over again. Transportation by bus and metro trains is efficient and discourages taking the car to town. One way streets and bus only lanes, well, I won't dwell on how impressed I was with the traffic control and ease with which seasoned Portlanders have to get around their beautiful city. If you go, take public transportation.
The square itself is the heart beat of the city, with sculptures and water fountains everywhere, including the type you can drink from. People congregate here for music, relaxation, restaurants and convening informally with the rest of humanity. Fascinating how a brick stairway can also be a wheelchair or stroller ramp at the same time. Ingenious!

We headed for the culture district and oohh, I found an M.C.Escher exhibit at the Portland Art Museum. Escher isn't cherished by everyone but in my book he is as fascinating as a kalidescope. Pictures were not allowed but I have several examples of Escher at home that I am mentally regarding with a new appreciation.
A quick peek into a couple other exhibits and we continued our walk. We missed many of the municipal waterfalls but even so, beautiful parks, some great old historic buildings and statuary. They have a posh shopping district for those who enjoy shopping as entertainment. Not for me. In that area, Jim and I agree. I have to have my art fix once in awhile, but Jim can definitely live without ever seeing another Escher, or bus, or parking meter.
We drove out to the famous Washington Park Rose garden. A wrong turn brought us on a delightful drive to the top of the city. I enjoyed the view, anyway. I'm kind of chuckling here, unfairly, because Jim does all the driving and it is frustrating not to know where you are, even temporarily
The garden of roses is so much more than roses but, that's another blog.
For more photos of Portland, check the link:

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