Tag Archives: Portland

Today in Confusing Graffiti: Portland’s Cathedral Park

Because the sun set at approximately

4:16 p.m. yesterday, I thought we could all use a little break to remember what fall looks like. Trees, apparently from time to time they get these “leaves” that “fall” every year after “turning” to a red/golden shade. I know, right? Crazy!

So last month, before the really cold snap, Yean and I took a little jaunt to Cathedral Park in St. Johns, which is in the waaaaaay North part of Portland in the little armpit of land where the Willamette starts curving West. I used to commute there from my rented room in Beaverton at like five in the morning when I first moved to Portland, and by the time I got off work I had no energy to enjoy the splendors of Lombard St., let alone to drive home without running five red lights. So it was a bit of a revelation to go back there and experience the neighborhood as a consumer rather than an employee.

The St. Johns Bridge is probably my favorite Portland bridge, and I still lament not getting this one apartment in an old Victorian with absolutely stunning views of the bridge and the hills, flaky shiny-shirt-wearing landlord notwithstanding.

Now, its important to point out that the St. Johns was not, in fact, designed by the same guy who did the Golden Gate. They’re both suspension bridges, they were both depression-era projects, and they’re both, um, fanciful colors, but the dudes who built them were actually rivals, or at least that’s what Wikipedia and the Portland Neighborhood Association tell me. I think they both rock. Asking me to pick one is like asking me to pick a favorite child, or possibly a favorite stressful traffic situation. Ol’ St. Johns may not have the Gate’s steep toll, but I did have to drive across it once in a snowstorm and the memory gives me stress cramps to this day.

Obviously the park gets its name for the Gothic-ish towers that support the bridge, which make a picturesque place to picnic, canoodle with your teenage lover or, as we found out(MOTHER DO NOT READ THIS IT IS GROSS), write confusing graffiti:

To this day we still debate whether this was two people, one who wrote “pussy” and another who added “fart,” or one person who simply meant “pussy fart.” I also could have sworn there was an “e” on the end of “fart” but looking at the pictures maybe I imagined that exciting tidbit.

Right after I took this I asked Yean if there was poo on the ground next to her:

We think it was just dirt though.

I mean, we’re pretty sure.

Oh, Portland.

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Yeah, The Pearl Is Great. For Me To Poop On.

Continuing this blog’s focus on only the most mature and tasteful news stories, I’m proud to report that the Portland Water Bureau found E. coli in a Washington Park resevoir this weekend.

That’s right. Shit in the water.

Thankfully, the areas being advised to boil their tap water before drinking are strictly west of the Willamette, so yours truly didn’t have to deal with feces in her Nalgene. The most (well, only) awesome thing about Poopocalypse ’09 is perhaps that the affected areas include the relatively pricey, hipster-and-yuppie-infected West Hills, Pearl District, and Northwest 23rd neighborhoods. Flip on the news and its all “GHOST TOWN in Uptown!” and “I bought this SoBe cuz’ they’re out of Aquafina but oh wait what about brushing my teeth” and “how much bottled water can you really carry on a bike anyway?”

In fact, I’m starting to think that someone shit in the water for THIS VERY REASON. Like, why THIS resevoir? Because it’s hilarious. And what better way to dissuade would-be PDX immigrants than a demonstration that the Rose City does not, in fact, actually shit roses?

(related video: Outkast!!! We love them. They’re freaky, though. Not just because they talk about girls pooping, which NEVER HAPPENS.)

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