Friday, September 9, 2011

Lone Fir Pioneer Cemetery

Lest we forget that our city used to be a little river town, that what’s now called Southeast Portland used to be out in the country, let’s go back to 1866.

In that year, Portland was a town of a few thousand people on the west side of the Willamette River. What is now the corner of SE 20th and Stark Streets had recently been converted from the Stephens Farm to a cemetery, and the owner wanted to sell it to the city. But it was deemed too far from town, especially since Portland had yet to build bridges or pave streets.

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Images from Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden

Crystal Springs may not be too peaceful on weekends when the rhodies are blooming -- and forget Mother's Day! -- but it's an amazingly beautiful place. I mean, assuming you like water and trees and flowers and ducks and geese.


Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Peace in the Pearl

Water trickling. Kids giggling. Flowers blooming. Tall grass swaying in the breeze. A duck paddling on a pond.

Where are we? The corner of NW 11th and Marshall, in Tanner Springs Park.

One wouldn't normally associate "Pearl District" with "peaceful," but over here at the north end we're kind of on the edge. Over by the railroad tracks, just across from the river. The point where the streetcar turns west and heads into the industrial area. We still have some vacant lots over here.

Yes, I said "we." I now live at 11th and Northrup, and one of the great finds in my new neighborhood has been the little park across the street, the one with the pond and the grass and the wall of old rail ties. Did you know it's a water-recycling park? That there really are "springs," around which you can sit and picnic or read or just lie in the grass? Irises? Ducks?

One might also see wedding parties or fashion shoots in the park, but on two consecutive evening walks, when most everybody had gone home, I saw a beaver in the Willamette (three blocks away) and a heron in Tanner Springs Park, stalking fish, while a mallard slept in the shore grass. A friend who lives on the other side of the park said he saw an osprey come in once. All of this can be seen from Metrovino Restaurant.

Life in the city continues to impress and surprise.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What is "Peaceful Places in Portland"?

Peaceful Places in Portland is an idea -- a quest, even. As I pursue that idea, I shall blog. And when I've found about 100 of them, I will make it into a book. That book will be published by Menasha Ridge Press in Fall, 2012. And it won't be the first.

What's a peaceful place? For our purposes here, they are in the following categories:

  • Enchanting Walks
  • Historic Sites
  • Museums/Galleries
  • Outdoor Habitats
  • Parks and Gardens
  • Quiet Tables
  • Reading Rooms
  • Scenic Vistas
  • Shops and Services
  • Spiritual Enclaves
  • Urban Surprises
  • Day Trips and Overnights
Got any suggestions for us? Please post a comment.

As I find them, I'll occasionally mention them here. Maybe even share a draft chapter or two.

So stay tuned for the peace and quiet.