Little Free Library: Recommending a Book

As part of my morning walks that have replaced morning swims, I’ve been making the rounds of the Little Free Libraries near me. There are about six that are easy to swing by regularly. I drop off books, see if anything has appeared I want to read, and tidy the shelves.

This book has been in this Little Free Library since March. I’ve read it, it’s the second of a multi-book series about a family living in California that begins with the San Francisco earthquake. I read the series in the 90s and really enjoyed it. The last book is memorable because there was a major typo near the end that had a character dying three weeks before the book killed her off.

Clearly the book’s presentation wasn’t turning any heads, so I wrote up a recommendation, added it to the book, and set the book front and center when I tidied.

Reporting from the future, I can tell you that even with my recommendation this book sat around for a few more months before it disappeared.

If you are interested in reading the series, the first book is called The Immigrants. I’ve just looked at the original cover of that book, and it has a similar style of cover, but with a half-naked woman among the mix. Apparently (and perhaps because of that?) The Immigrants was adapted into a miniseries in 1978.

My Vision, Manifested

As I walk around my neighborhood, I make plans for the houses I encounter. The tiny house in this picture, I’ve always planned to buy, move into, and then use the huge open space in the lot to grow a million vegetables.

Mostly those plans are scrapped when the property is sold, the small house is torn down, and what is built leaves no room for gardening. You can see that has happened on the lot next door, where the blue house dominates.

So you can imagine my thrill when these marigolds appeared in this lot. It’s not oodles of vegetables, but it’s close.

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.

One of My Favorites on the Block

It’s the development notice sign. Which means it’s time to get out the camera and take a picture of something that soon will cease to be.

When I first moved to Portland, someone pointed out how Portland had so many little apartment complexes, ones like this that are single story and have both parking and greenery. I always thought I would live in one someday. But I’d better act fast, because they are being replaced by taller structures with no parking and little greenery.

This complex has been one of my favorites. I’ve featured it before. In the picture above, you can see (if you squint) where several paint colors were sampled. Those paint samples have been there for years.

I’m worried for this tenant. She always has a ton of potted flowers. I’m guessing she will have to relocate when they start building the new place and I hope her next place has opportunities to grow things.

The plus of the coming demolition is that this new complex will be affordable housing located very near a Max station and a Fred Meyer. But I will miss this little spot. And I don’t look forward to a year of walking in the bike lane after they fence off the sidewalk.

A walk in Kenton, Arbor Lodge and Overlook

This unit of the apartment complex down the street from me always has such nice flowers.

I love that you can see the bones of a standard tiny bungalow hiding behind what I would guess was a renovation to give the house a Spanish-style facade.

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Take note!

The Overlook neighborhood doesn’t love that Adidas North American Headquarters shares the neighborhood. But I also bet they didn’t love it when that building was a hospital.

Also, I would recast that sign to read: This is not an adidas approved Lyft or Uber transfer point.

  • I left the “a” in Adidas as a lower case “a” because of branding. However I used uppercase in my writing because that’s what is standard practice in reporting.
  • “Nor” goes better with “neither” which doesn’t work in this sentence.
  • “Pickup” as both a noun and an adjective is one word. It’s two words as a verb.
  • “Drop-off” does use a hyphen
  • However, the use of a compound word and a hyphened word when they have a similar structure is confusing, so I changed “pickup or drop-off area” to the brief phrase “transfer point”
  • I would also consider replacing “Lyft or Uber” with the word “ridesharing” to use a more generic term.
  • I chose “ridesharing” over “ride sharing” because Google’s Ngram Viewer indicates that the compound word is used more often.

Another house in Kenton is headed for the wrecking ball

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.

Fence creeping closer

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.