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Monday, September 20, 2010

The Sketchbook Project - Portland


In my sketchbook about Oregon I'm moving from west to east, now pausing in Portland to have a look at a bit of the downtown. Our largest city has a vibrant core, anchored by Pioneer Courthouse Square with the MAX light rail lines radiating from there out to the suburbs in four directions, to Clackamas, Gresham and the airport, to Vancouver, and Hillsboro. Crossing that grid is the streetcar line and a large bus complex. Transportation is easy with free Max rides downtown and computer parking lots in many suburb communities.

Assuring that no one should be thirsty our city fathers placed drinking fountains all over the downtown area, 126 of them. These provide clean, cold running water from 6am until 11pm every day unless there's ice or high wind. They're called Benson Bubblers, after Simon Benson who ordered the first ones to be placed.

My cousin once visited me and when we went downtown in the evening he was amazed at how many people were on the streets, lounging in the Square, bustling to theatres, heading for a restaurant, or simply strolling along the Willamette river that runs through the center of town. It's quite safe in most areas and because many retail stores and restaurants stay open into the evening it doesn't feel closed down and deserted like some cities.  I like it here, a lot.

3 comments:

  1. I want to go to Portland now. I've been through but never spent any time.
    I absolutely love how you drew the picture into the page. wonderful

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  2. very cool dimensional effect.

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  3. Great pages and great commentary! I'm enjoying learning about your state-love those water fountains!

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