Byways has been a classic cafe for the entire time I’ve lived in Portland. It provides solid, delicious food and a fun, kitschy setting.
The owners made the decision to close because they were unable to negotiate a new lease with their landlords. I’m guessing from this for-sale sign, the building owners would rather market a mostly empty building to potential buyers. It’s easier to tear down and put up something bigger.
There were a lot of feelings about this loss in the local newspapers (the daily and weeklies) and on social media.
Would you like to make dozens of people look up? Even while walking? If so, install, and then disassemble, a crane. Not only was I looking up while walking past this, so was everyone else I encountered.
Also, look at this! The wheels aren’t even on the ground! They are being held up by these hydraulic lifts that extend from the crane dissembler thing.
Also. This isn’t a fast process. When I walked by at before eight a.m. they had started and when I left at 4:30 they were still going.
Note from the future. When the quarantine happened in March, the street had still not been reopened. It was close, but hadn’t happened yet.
The main post office has been a part of my life since 2006, when I started working at The Emerson School. It takes up a huge swath of land at the northern edge of the Park Blocks, and it sprawls with an assured sense that the postal mail will always be an important part of daily life.
Alas, this is not the case. The mail processing facility has moved out to the airport for better access to the planes and shipping channels. (Though worse access for most employees, probably). And now this entire segment will be redeveloped into some magical bit of mixed-use Portland.
Here’s the view from Northwest Johnson street, where you can see the train station popping up over the mid-century design.
Later, there will be more photos of the front, but you can see where the mail trucks use to pull out for places near and far.
This building sits at the corner of NW 23rd and West Burnside. It used to be the offices of Barbara Sue Seal Properties. I have memories of it from an early age, when we used to come to the Alphabet District when vising at Spring Break/Christmas/Summer
This article says that Barbara Sue Seal started this business in 1983 and was immediately successful. She sold her business in 1997, but still loves doing deals.
This little blue house has always been one of my favorites on this street. But it will soon not be a house any longer.
The house at 1350 N. Watts was built in 1925, has 730 square feet, plus an unfinished basement and a 500 square foot detached garage.
The assessor detail on PortlandMaps tells me that it sold in April for $330,000. It’s prior sale was in 2003 and was for $142,000. (O! If only I could have bought when I first got to Portland!) It sold for $79,900 in 1997 and $26,000 in 1994.
Goodbye little blue house, with the unfortunately pruned apple tree in the front yard. I will miss you.
We turn to the housing development down the street to see how it progresses. We illustrate the progress with blurry pictures (sorry).
This house used to have a full driveway. It now has a skinny sidewalk. As I am concerned about how this development will affect parking in front of my house (which does not have a driveway because I am also part of the problem) this isn’t great news. I assume the house is staying (but perhaps not?) and eventually those two units will be occupied again and will need parking, just like all the new units will.
And when I say “units will be occupied” I mean by rent-paying people. The squatters who have been living in it don’t come with cars. You can see where the trash has been emptied from the house. Again.
A view from the opposite corner. I can’t remember how high this development will go, but it is probable that eventually the house will not be visible.
The Alder Street Food Cart Pod is famous! It takes up an entire city block. Yes! People can walk the perimeter and find a large variety of choices for their meals.
It’s also going away at the end of the month. A luxury hotel and condominium will be built on the block instead.
These pictures were taken from the streetcar, hence the blurry glare.
There has been talk of relocating some of the food carts to a different area of town, maybe the North Park Blocks, or the underused park on Ankeny and Burnside. But nothing has been firmed up. So in a few days, these carts will be gone.