Sunday, November 30, 2014


Henry's Tavern has an unusual spot to dine attached to its usual inside dining. Its in an alleyway.

Henry's is located in the Pearl District of Portland, Oregon -- a hipster type of environment. 

As you can see in the photos above -- their outside dining is located in an alley with towering buildings surrounding patrons. 

How's that for an unusual experience.

(What is a hipster? Click here )

Monday, November 24, 2014


Library of Congress


Thursday, November 20, 2014


On a corner lot in a major downtown area, you will find a fenced-in area that is presently home to the many homeless in Portland, Oregon. I found this spot in my wandering of Portland recently. The homeless tenants appear to be well organized with tents erected in the interior of the lot with homemade fencing surrounding it. On a portion of the homemade fencing one can find the sign above, "For Sale." This corner lot is rented by a homeless organization in Portland however its future is not secure. If the lot is sold they are to move from here. If they cannot find enough money to rent the lot in the future -- they are out of here for sure.

This photo shows the entrance to the tented area. Portable johns and water are provided to the tenants. Large tents with cots are lined up inside this fenced area. I did not go inside as I felt that would put me in the position of a voyeur.

Along the one side of the lot is this rather unique folding fence that provides privacy to those within. It is built with old doors donated from a demolition company. Community folks have painted the doors with various words of hopes and dreams. 

Here are some examples of the community art work painted on the doors.

More doors . . . .

And more . . . .

I thought the above door represented a far fetched dream -- social justice seems to be rather rare in this country lately -- those with the most money in this country appear to have turned their backs on the less fortunate as they buy their jets and build their huge mega homes. Also, our politicians and justice systems are rather twisted.

For an excellent accounting of the number of homeless types and conditions in the U.S. put out by the National Coalition for the Homeless click here

Monday, November 10, 2014


This past summer I wrote a post on the Fulton organic community gardens that are located here in Portland. The post can be found here .  So this past Sunday I decided to wander through the many gardens again and observe how some of the organic gardeners were closing down their small individual plots for the coming winter in the Pacific Northwest. 

Above is a raised garden covered with burlap bags. Burlap is nice as it helps maintain the soil at an even temperature while letting moisture soak through into the soil bed.Weeds are minimal under this burlap blanket. 

Tomatoes rest just outside this raised bed -- apparently leftovers that the gardener had no use for. Probably the small critters that live around the gardens will be checking them out.

Sunday was quite cool and I was glad that I had worn my winter vest. It was late afternoon, overcast mostly, with the sun popping out occasionally.

The above sunflower silhouettes were about eight feet tall -- all aged with brown stalks and leaves. It was the end of the trail for them. But even with that being the case they stood regal against the sky.

These entwined bean vines had been picked over and left to show their beauty as they bared their gray branching. 

This gardener had cleared out her garden plot in preparation for next spring's plantings. The gardener had topped the bed with some additional peat and laid leaves upon it -- forming a nice cover to the soil below -- one alternative to burlap mulching.

More burlap used on a small plot.

This watering can was left hanging near a straw (or hay) mulched bed -- another fine alternative way to mulch a plot for the winter.

About five gardeners were out working in their gardens -- out of the hundred or so that had been planted. 

I have always felt that community gardening was a wonderful way to get to know other gardeners and to share knowledge. Plus the extra benefits of getting exercise, and to leave stress behind..