Tiny House Expo

For my birthday, Matt bought me a ticket to the Tiny House Expo.  This was a very good present, as I love tiny houses. At the expo, people had a chance to tour several tiny houses as well as visit vendors.

I went early, which was a very good move. Tiny houses don’t hold very many people, which meant even at 9:30 in the morning, there were lines to get into each tiny house.

I loved the curved roof on this model.

Apologies for the blurry picture.  This model had just sold.  It cost $150,000.  (Yeesh!)

This person apologized because he forgot to bring his step.  This was fine by me, as I could easily take the big step up into the house.

Inside the step-less house.  I loved how the kitchen was not skimpy.

I liked the shed roof design of this house.  Plus, this company, Tiny Smart House, has a very fun Build-it-Yourself Program where you can build your tiny house on-site and take advantage of workshops, discounted group material buying.  So smart!

Here’s a tiny house camp trailer, which you can follow on Instagram @tinyhousecamptrailer.  They had a lot packed into a small space.

Here is a tiny house made out of a shipping container. It was very sleek.

I really liked how open and airy these big windows made this house feel.

Here’s the floor plan

A lot of houses were using this water system.

The teardrop camper people were there too.  I love me a good teardrop camper, especially one as nice as this one.

Hiddenbed of Oregon had a very good design.  During the day: desk.
At night: bed.  Nicely done. The desk stays flat, so you don’t have to disassemble and reassemble every night. Cost for a double bed? $2100.

You could also have your own geodesic dome.  I have affection for domes, as they were not uncommon in the landscape of my 80s childhood.

Overall, I had a great time.  Thanks Matt.

Also! The square lights at the Convention Center! So fun!  And my mind boggles at how all those things got into this building.  Convention center logistics must be no joke.

Morris Marks House moved

This house used to sit near the corner of SW Main Street and SW 13th.  That location is very close to the First Unitarian Church, so I used to see it often, coming and going from and to church.  During that time, it seemed to go from minimally occupied, to unoccupied, and I crossed my fingers that it would survive as it has incredibly good bones.

As you may guess from this photo, it did!  It was moved to a grand location where it overlooks the cars exiting 405.  The Oregonian covered the move (because who doesn’t love a good house moving?) and you can read the September 30 story about the moving of the Morris Marks house by clicking this link.

I look forward to its restoration.

Goodbye to this stucco house

This is not my usual route, so I was happy to be passing by before the whole thing was gone.  Here is a nice single family house with a good-sized yard located almost at the corner of Rosa Parks & Interstate.  It’s right next door to Arbor Lodge Coffee.

What will replace it?  Very large single family with no yard? Multi-family with no parking?  It’s either one or the other. Portland tear-downs are predictable.

I hadn’t seen this house for years

This house is on Montana between Lombard and Rosa Parks, also known as the walk to tap dance class.  When I moved to Kenton in 2007, the lot was a little overgrown, but in the 10 years following, blackberry bushes took over and the house disappeared behind the brambles.

The blackberries have been cleared away, giving me my first view of the house in years.

It’s pretty beat up and on a big lot that is very close to the train, the Interstate and two grocery stores.  This house isn’t long for this world.  (Going to that website gave me no information about this particular house.)

Saying goodbye to vintage apartments

I missed taking a picture of these units before the deconstruction began.  Sometimes it’s hard to tell if what I’m looking at is renovation or deconstruction and I miss my window.

This was a five or six-unit complex on Interstate between Rosa Parks and Lombard. It wasn’t in the greatest of condition, but probably could have been rehabbed.

Instead, we’re going for deconstruction.  Which is too bad.  Look at this great fireplace detail!


The siding used to be yellow

I am interested to see what replaces it.  I guarantee that whatever appears will not be in the financial realm of the tenants who used to live here.

Date: Portland City Walk. But in Vancouver.

For our date, Matt and I did one of the walks in the delightful book Portland City Walks by Laura O. Foster.  We did the walk that is not a Portland walk at all, but a Vancouver walk.  It was a beautiful–if cold and windy–day.

On the way there.  Traffic.

Crossing into Washington.

This building at Historic Fort Vancouver was decorated for the holidays.  It is available for rent for weddings and parties.

Gorgeous house, Fort Vancouver.

That’s Marshall of the Marshall Plan. He spent time at Fort Vancouver.

View of the I-5 bridge.

Matt, standing in downtown Vancouver’s Sculpture Garden.  I had no idea downtown Vancouver had a sculpture garden.

Pretty church, all dressed up for the holiday.

I liked the brickwork patterns used to block off the former windows.

A mural of old time-y downtown Vancouver.

Palm tree!  Sparkly stucco house!  Red trim!  Very exciting!
After this picture, it became dark very rapidly.  It was a good walk.

Walking from the #4 to lunch

I had a lunch date and took the #4, then walked through the Mississippi neighborhood to get to my destination.  Here are two things I saw.

There was a period in American home ownership, when reusing pipes as boarders/fences/rails was a thing.  Here is a nice example.  My grandfather also reused pipes for handrails.

I love the sliding nature of this fence. It’s not tipping over.  Rather, the slats were the slightest bit off, and then kept getting worse and worse.  There’s a story behind the creation of this fence.

Saturday morning walk to MLK

We had Friday off from work because we had a work retreat on Saturday.  It was at the Allison Inn & Spa in Newberg and there was carpooling involved. I needed to get to a meeting spot on MLK and decided that this morning was a good time for a longer walk.  Here’s what I saw along the way.

Once upon a time, this lot had a blue house on it. I took a picture of that house (but didn’t tag it properly and now I can’t find it. I also have a view from the alley of the initial stages.  Now it has eight townhouses.  From an infill perspective, I very much like this development.  Why?  Each unit has a parking space.  Also I think they look like small places. Better to have one house torn down and replaced with eight small homes than one huge one. I haven’t been successful in finding a listing, possibly because these have already all sold, and attempts to spy through windows failed because people live there.  But I would like to see the inside of one of these units.IMG_5803 IMG_5804

I think the sudden designation of a street is a little bit of overkill, though.


I’ve admired this house for some years now.  Full basement, okay sized yard, nice mid-century design.  IMG_5806

Once upon a time North Portland had a convent.  (Maybe more than one, what do I know?)  And then the convent closed and eventually the land surrounding it was plotted into owner-occupied and rental housing.  But you can still see the original building.  And people still live in it.IMG_5807

What do you suppose happened to the statuary that was in this alcove?IMG_5808

Brand new alleyway!  New to me, at least.IMG_5809

Interesting design here.IMG_5810 IMG_5811

This elm tree is not long for this world.IMG_5812 IMG_5813

Another alleyway, this one with contrails. And power lines.IMG_5816

Good bones on this house.  It needs some love, though.IMG_5819

Dead car wash.IMG_5820

Dead building.  But such excellent mid-century design.  I think it could still come back.IMG_5823

When I moved to Boston, one of the markers that I lived in a big city was the presence of the Boys & Girls clubs everywhere.  I knew about them from commercials featuring famous people who once hung out at them.  Like this one.  Which is from 2011, and thus not very old.  But watch it and see if you don’t get all teary.  Also I feel like Denzel Washington has done voicework for Boys & Girls clubs for many many years.  Ha!  The internet confirms my belief.  You can even watch his first ad from 1993.  Prepare to get all teary.  Or, as we called it back then (due to Saturday Night Live): verkelmpt.

And Portland has it’s own Boys and Girls club. But just one location. We’re not that big of a city.


Goodbye to a landmark along the way to Fred Meyer

There is one of those great U-shaped apartment complexes on my way to Fred Meyer.  This particular one has three separate structures around a grassy green space.  I’ve long admired it. (And, if truth be told, fantasized about buying the whole thing, renovating one of the structures into a single family house, renting out the other structures and having an amazing garden in the green space. You know, with all my spare money.  And time.)

At any rate, the entire time I’ve lived in the Kenton neighborhood, the same couple has rented this apartment.  I walked by today and they were gone!  The apartment is empty.

I never met this couple, but I enjoyed seeing the poster they hung on the wall of some country star. I always thought it was Toby Keith, but I can’t be sure.  And they had one of those old-timey photos you get taken at the fair. It was framed.  I liked the way they shifted their furniture around every December, to accommodate their Christmas Tree.  I maybe liked this couple so much because they always had their blinds open so I could observe these things as I walked back and forth running my errands.  IMG_5791

I hope their move was a good one, and they are happy in their new place.