Monthly Archives: December 2011

Water Avenue

I’ve only just begun to explore Water Avenue on Portland’s Eastside. Although it’s heavily populated during the day and somewhat gentrified, there is still a rough industrial feeling throughout.

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Broadway Bridge

This was my first time walking across the Broadway Bridge. I’ve driven over it countless times but never had a chance to appreciate the complex structure.  Compared to other bridges in Portland, the Broadway is the most comfortable to cross on foot. The wide walkways are cantilevered off both sides of the roadway with the support structure between you and the cars.

Side note: The Broadway Bridge is painted International Orange (like the Golden Gate).  Looks like we could use a fresh coat though…

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St. Johns Bridge

My visit to the St. Johns Bridge reminded me that I have a fear of heights. It’s the tallest bridge in the city with 400 foot Gothic towers and a 205 foot high road deck.  Walking across this span was a lengthy endeavor as well as a loud one, but the view makes it worth the effort. Cathedral Park is located at the base of the bridge on the East side. It never seems to be crowded and offers beautiful views of the bridge.

I’ll add more sketches in the future…

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Mt Tabor

One post will not be enough to document my favorite park in Portland. Although it’s located in Southeast Portland, Mt Tabor is almost the geographic center of the city. It also has the badass quality of being a dormant volcano.  Side note: Portland is one of only two cities in the US to have a volcano within city limits (the other is Bend in central Oregon).

This is a great place for hiking /jogging/walking.  There are trails with elevation variation as well as flat paths. Many of the paved surfaces are even off limits to cars. On Wednesdays no cars are allowed at all. Don’t be fooled though, on Wednesdays Mt Tabor is not the peaceful car-free paradise you might expect.  The City of Portland trucks are zooming up and down the roads doing maintenance work throughout the park.

Here’s a map I drew and some photos.  I’ll post sketches soon.

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I walked down the Eastbank Esplanade from Water avenue to the Steel Bridge today.  I only encountered a few people the whole time. Although the Eastbank is dominated by Interstate 5 running along the water, it’s more exciting than its west-side counterpart.  The esplanade weaves under bridges and has a long stretch of floating walkway in the Willamette.

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(I love) The Steel Bridge

Despite the near-freezing weather, I took a trip to the Steel Bridge this morning.  It’s easily my favorite structure in Portland.  Aside from being the world’s only double-deck bridge with independent telescoping lifts (trust me, that’s awesome), it’s also a very pedestrian friendly structure, connecting Old Town/Chinatown with the Rose Quarter.  I’ve walked across the upper deck before but today I chose to cross the lower.  No trains, so it was relatively quiet.

The lower deck raised once while I was there.  This bridge was built in 1912, and yet, watching that lower deck disappear into the structure of the upper is still amazing in 2011.  I wonder how many Portlanders pay attention to this system?

My photos and sketches:

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