Habitat for Humanity Building Update

The ground floor unit is finished and they have helpfully left the lights on at night, so I can capture the layout.

The front part of the house is a great room.

Next to that is a porch and a laundry room.

Here’s a bedroom with a closet.

And here’s the second bedroom.

There must be a bathroom in play somewhere, but it’s not on this side of the building.

I wonder if the bathroom is on the other side of the hallway?

I think this is the porch to the unit on the back half of the building?

Clearly, I’m lacking a guided tour, but I’m glad to have at least this view.

This is Becoming Increasingly Rare

This street, at least on its south side, doesn’t have cars parked on the street.

I think this has to do with every house having a driveway, and every house being a single-family dwelling. Once multi-family dwellings appear, street parking picks up, since builders aren’t required to include parking.

This is a pretty wide street, but a lot of Portland side streets (this is especially true in a lot of southeast neighborhoods) feel unsafe to drive on when cars are parked bumper to bumper on both sides. It’s not unusual for a car driving down the street to pull over to let an oncoming car pass them.

I’d like to see the Portland City Council get on top of this, but they aren’t likely to. Fixing things would be a pain, and the fact that we have city-wide representation, rather than districts means that people can’t really band together in an area with unsafe parking situation and demand their representative do stuff about it.

Someday we’re going to revamp our city’s governing system. And then we can actually start being the city that works.

The Burning of Downtown Kenton

Some of the protesters at the Police Union building took a turn down Denver and did some burning and property destruction in the Kenton Downtown area. I went for a walk the next morning to take in the destruction.

I support protestors call for racial justice. I’m not a fan of property destruction. I think the anarchists are doing a great job painting all protestors as destructive which isn’t the case. But being anarchists, they are quite happy to destroy a movement for their own pleasure.

I was out in the seven o’clock hour and things had already been tidied.

This part of Denver Ave. has been cut off from car traffic so the businesses (many of which are restaurants) can have more room to sell things. This is a program that has been happening in commercial areas around Portland this summer. You can see how they make the stencils for the sidewalk chalk shapes that indicate walkways and then use the stencils to partition areas into rooms. I find this to be a very clever use of materials.

I think this might have been the part of town where the dumpster was set on fire. You can see some charred wood.

Here is a bit of stencil that wasn’t wholly consumed by flame.

This is another one was burned a little. You can see it in the lower-left corner.

Here’s a bit more melting.

I think Bart’s Barber Shop had already had their window smashed in. It wouldn’t have been boarded up so quickly. I think the graffiti is new. You can also see some other graffiti on the window over the logo and some old graffiti on the Kenton Lodge cornerstone.

I wanted to take these pictures because when people hear “riot” and “fire” and “property destruction” I think a lot of them picture rubble and complete decimation. As you can see here, there is property damage that will cost money and that sucks. But it’s not complete destruction that businesses need to rise, Phoenix-like out of the ashes.

Peaceful racial justice protestors deserve our support.

The Police Union Building

Among the things I’ve learned in 2020? That the nondescript building not far from my house is the headquarters of the Portland Police Union. How do I know this? Because it’s become a regular site for nightly protests in my neighborhood.

Though I’m close enough to walk to this corner in ten-ish minutes, I don’t ever hear the protests, or smell the tear gas. But sometimes on my morning walks I see the remnants of the previous night’s protest.

I think the fastest way for the police to end the protests is to stop acting aggressively when faced with people protesting that the police are too aggressive.

Another thing I learned in 2020? A lot of times (especially this summer) when police declare a protest a riot it means they want everyone to go home.

Out and About in North Portland

This is my first time walking on this sidewalk. Prior to this building being built, I had no reason to walk on this side of the street as it was fenced off, and maybe it didn’t have a sidewalk? But now the corner of N. Interstate and N. Argyle Street has a huge affordable housing complex, which I’m quite happy to see. And the sidewalk is great for walking on.

This house has been one of my favorites. It’s just down the street, anchoring N. Watts, right before the street loops and turns into N. Minnesota for one short block. When I first moved to the neighborhood, I’d guess that the house was owned by an older couple. They did a great job keeping it tidy, and they planted a garden in the empty adjacent lot every spring.

The house has been sold and the new owners aren’t as fastidious. [Checks Portland Maps] As I suspected, it’s owned by the Gates Family Trust, and the address is out of state. So it’s a rental. They’ve also sectioned off the lot next door, which sold for $74,900 in 2015. The owners of the lot aren’t fastidious at all, nor do they plant a vegetable garden. Instead, they seem to apply pesticides to kill the weeds now and then.

The sale of this section of land had me crossing the little green house off my list of next places to potentially live. I wouldn’t want to move in and then immediately have all my light blocked by new construction.

Nearly Able to Walk on the Sidewalk at NW 10th & Davis

It’s been a very long haul, as I posted about this corner back before the building was torn down, but the sidewalk is very nearly open! It looks like they were doing the demo in June of 2017, which means it has been nearly three years since this street and sidewalk have been navigable for anything other than construction workers.

Reporting from seven months in the future, I can say that I’ve still not walked on that sidewalk. A few days after I took this picture, we were told to work from home and two days after that we were told our positions would be eliminated as of March 31.

Having no office to go to any longer, this corner is not on my daily route. I’m pretty sure the sidewalk is open now, but who knows?