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Showing posts from January, 2013


While visiting Portland over the winter holidays, my brother and I made a pilgrimage to the tiny village of St. John’s on the northernmost tip of what is still, surprisingly, Portland proper. I say surprisingly because to get there, you must wend a path through what are, to SW/SE Portland residents, the already far flung expanses of upper industrial NW beyond which surely, I thought, the city simply ends. And keep going. Doing so takes you past the dense catchment of current and repurposed factories and warehouses on and around NW 23rd and up the bipolar stretch of Hwy 30 that runs along the train tracks. The city persists, it turns out, amid the lush, looming hillside of Forest Park and a sparse population of very active industrial buildings and port facilities. It all takes time, covers substantial distance, and I remain incredulous: by the time you get to St. Johns, it feels like you should be anywhere other than Portland.

St. Johns Bridge, courtesy of ZnE's Dad (love…