Northwest by North, Day 10: Portland

The Queen of Roses is just about being who you are.  People dive around in Hummers, people sleep in parks, alleys and doorways.  No one bothers either group.  I saw a lot of tolerance in my walk around downtown, the Pearl District and the Cultural District.  I was a recipient of some of that tolerance- getting used to new traffic patterns, to full service at gas stations- with a payment slip handed to me for presentation to the cashier (while the FS attendant fills the tank) and a “24-hour” laundromat whose hours are really 6AM-9:30 PM, made for an interesting Rose City experience.

Breakfast at Tina’s Corner, with a Facebook friend, got the day off to a rousing start.  I enjoyed a fairly wide-ranging conversation and biscuits & gravy that felt as if made with organic fixings.  It lasted me the day.

I admit, a good part of today was spent in Central Library, getting a post together for yesterday’s O-Coast experience, and trying to connect with Facebook and other friends, both in Portland and in other parts of the Northwest.  There were some fine sights in downtown Portland, in the Cultural District and in the Pearl District.

Here is Portland’s Central Library.

These Pegasus figures guarded my car, for the first thirty minutes that it was parked.

Theodore Roosevelt, Rough Rider, stands watch outside the Oregon History Museum.

A bejeweled elephant hold sway at O’Bryant Park, in the Pearl District.

Another great feature of Portland is the lively street arts scene.  Within earshot of each other, a didgeridoo player and a banjo player were competing for audiences, and donations.   The former had the edge- being as he was right in front of Powell’s World of Books  and the other guy was around the corner.

Two more mega-treats were left- a stroll through Portland Rose Garden and dinner at Pastini- one of the best Italian meals I’ve ever had.

O’Bryant Park, between downtown and the Rose Garden

Then, there is Thomas Tyner, the high school senior from the Portland suburb of Beaverton, who scored ten touchdowns last night, his eighteenth birthday.  Finally, there is London, the dog, whose front legs were broken by sadists and had to be amputated.  London gets around in a special wheelchair and has no idea he’s disabled.  Take a bow, Portland, your “just being yourself” is a class act.

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