Walk to Lowes

I needed to walk to Lowe’s today and because I didn’t have church this morning, decided to take a longer way to see how it connected to my usual route. What I foudnd was a bit of a surprise.

Oregon does this thing I love called “One Percent for Art.” Whenever there is a large construction project, Oregon law requires, “not less than 1% of the direct construction funds of new or remodeled state buildings with construction budgets of $100,000 or greater for the acquisition of art work which may be an integral part of the building, attached thereto, or capable of display in other State Buildings” What this means is that whenever there is a big construction project, we get pubic art. The Max lines are a great place to see art.

This is my favorite art on the Yellow Line. Due to my not-so-fabulous picture, you might not be able to see, but along this bridge between Kenton and Delta park, there are these great flaming comets. They remind me of pinballs and it is fun to see the trains shoot through the pinballs and makes the bridge look like a large public pinball machine. The artist was inspired by 50s car culture. Back in the day, the people who lived in Vanport, a housing project built during the war for shipbuilders, used to race their cars on the back roads in this area of North Portland. Eventually Portland International Raceway was located in North Portland. My normal walk to Lowe’s involves bypassing this sign and walking all the way up to that brown sign in the distance. Then I take a right and another right and voila! There is Lowe’s. Sort of. I still have to walk though a few parking lots to get there. Today I took a right at the sign and figured the road would loop about before I hooked up with Hayden Meadows Drive and Lowe’s.

I turned out to be entirely wrong and for a very rare reason: I had the street running the wrong direction in my mental map. In my mind, Schmeer Road ran East/West, or perpendicular to the freeway. By taking this route, I realized that it actually is a North/South street and runs parallel to the freeway. It was incredibly disorienting, but once I realigned my directions, I realized that this route was about 10 minutes shorter than my previous one.
Schmeer Road looks like many places located next to a freeway. Big box stores, gas stations, chain restaurants, auto parts places. It’s not pretty, but I have no neighborhood hardware store, so I have to wade through all of this to get to a big box hardware store.
Schmeer Road also has Portland Meadows, the horse racing track and also the place where my brother saw a Grateful Dead concert in the 90’s.
I love walking by the Burrito House. It puts a smile on my face because to me “Burrito House” and “Fine Mexican Food” don’t really exist in the same place. Maybe “Good Mexican Food” and “Burrito House”, but anything with “House” in its name doesn’t get to use the word “fine” in my book.
I’m not sure what this building is being used for, but it is very well taken care of. It is always a highlight of my walks when I head North.

One thought on “Walk to Lowes”

  1. I love the art! Yay for progressive Portland and requiring big developments to bring art to the city! I love nice public art. Boise has really started to add more and more. It was very nice before we left!

    Looks like a good walk and a nice shortcut discovery! -S

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