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?

Westwind Apartment Building

Grabbing these pictures now, because the Westwind Apartments are going down.

I love the blue accents against the stucco, dingy though they both may be.

I think lighter color buildings work well in Portland, and I find them especially cheering in the winter.

There must be a photo of the original entrence, which was probably much grander than the current incarnation.

What will be put on the site of the Westwind? Here’s what my favorite site Next Portland says:

Construction of a new, 7-story, mixed-use building on a quarter block site. Project includes 100 deeply affordable units of permanently supporting housing, including 72 transient housing units (SROs) with PHB funding, and 28 studio apartments. It will also contain ground and second floor CCC Office space and community functions. There will be a small retail space at the northwest corner. 

Next Portland

So that’s, exciting, that the building torn down will house the same population it has been serving. This is funded by the housing bond we passed in 2016.

When I was looking for the name of the building, I found reviews on Google Maps. I thought I would drop them in here for posterity. The average rating for the Westwind Apartments is two stars. There are three reviews.

Spent 5 plus years at the Westwind. Interesting place, not for the faint of heart. A wide cross section of the down and out along former & soon to be street people again. Medical emergencies and police & parole officers frequently visit. Close to train, bus, local bus, metro light rail, with easy access to the metropolitan Portland area and the Ptl. Airport. Willamette River a few blocks away with its river side parks and walks along both sides of the river. Free food and services for those in need abound if one looks and asks question of the local residents. Many medical services nearby plus the VA Hospital and its services. China town nearby, much reduced from its former glory. Multiple temporary shelters in the area along with services such as food, shelter, training, referrals,. Downtown Portland core six or so blocks to the north, bus, light rail handy. Basic room, bed, sink, refrig, chair & desk plus overhead light. Common bathrooms. No elevator, three levels access via stairs. Parking on street, limited, very limited. Local parking lots with rentals spaces abound but a bit of walking necessary; Bring your own fan or air conditioner, radiator heating in the winter. Bring your own cell phone or use the lobby payphone. Local residents have cats and dogs, BUT! ask Management for permission !!! Rating ???. Well it was interesting, Be ready to wait for an open bathroom. Raymond J. Metzger, aka Doc. former apt #37

Raymond Metzger, posted c. 2013, three stars.

this place is overrun by cockroaches bedbugs Bratz junkies slumlords but slapstick maintenance workers highly overpriced and 555 months small room trashed dirty self centered on site management smack also shares the same corner as the worst gang bug hoodrat hugens so there crack on in the middle of Chinatown

jeremy Wolverton, posted c. 2016, one star.

It’s better than being on the streets, old building, bad location, has a life of its own.

Cecil, posted c. 2018, three stars.

Alder Food Carts Space Big Hole

As last reported in June, 2019, the Alder Food Carts have been scattered to the winds. The luxury hotel is digging down before it builds up.

We are able to see what’s happening, thanks to this mesh barrier.

And what we can see is there is a big hole being dug. This is where the parking for the luxury hotel and condominium will be.

The street looks very different with the food carts gone. On the other side of 10th Street, where there were a few more food carts, there is another tall building being constructed. We’ve gone from not-quite-one-story structures, to very tall structures on both sides of the street.