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Layers of time

I visited parts of Portland yesterday that I hadn't been to in years. It was a beautiful, comfortable day, good for a walk, so I committed to that: first a walk to and through the Woodstock neighborhood, then boarding the bus in front of Reed College, riding the bus through the Moreland and Brooklyn neighborhoods (including past the apartment building where I lived from 2002 to 2014) and across the Ross Island Bridge into SW.

I got off the bus at Portland State University. I did one class there for one term, in fall 1996, to earn one last credit I needed to officially graduate college. I didn't really connect to the campus, back then. I wandered it yesterday, getting to some unexpected corners (like the greenhouse on the southwest edge of campus) and wondering what was there that I'd missed back then and what's been added in the 20-plus years since that term. I peeked into the Peter Stott Center, the basketball arena that was there back then (built 1966) but recently remodeled.

After some time at the Central Branch Library (built 1913, hugely remodeled 1997), where I got online and where I also picked up the books The Season (William Goldman's non-fiction account of Broadway in the late 1960s) and Anne Brönte's The Tenant of Wildfell Hall, I walked again, backtracking slightly to the Goose Hollow neighborhood. I poked my head into the longtime restaurant Goose Hollow Inn (owned by Bud Clark, Portland's mayor in the Eighties, since 1967), then went around the block to go past the house on SW Madison where, if my information is correct, my Grandma Jean lived in her youth. That house was built in 1906. There's a park block across from it; I thought It probably wasn't a park block when Jean lived there. What's been at that spot?

Nearby at Providence Park (originally Multnomah Field in 1893, becoming Multnomah Stadium in 1926, then Civic Stadium, PGE Park and Jeld-Wen Field before getting its current name in 2014), the Portland Timbers of Major League Soccer were preparing for their game against the NYCFC (New York City Football Club), and I went by to soak up the ambience of 20,000 soccer fans preparing for, they hoped, a beautiful game on a beautiful day. I didn't have a ticket, but I will again one of these days. Instead I zig-zagged through downtown, got on another bus, and rode it to Beulahland (opened in 1997, four years before I became a Portland resident) to watch the game on TV. After that (yay 3-0 win for the Timbers!), I walked over to the Hawthorne Fred Meyer (at its current location since the 1950s) to buy groceries before heading home.

I was trying to feel the history in Portland. There's a reasonable amount of it, by Western U.S. standards.