Category Archives: Eastside

St. Johns Bridge and Cathedral Park

I took advantage of the sunny weather last week and visited the St. Johns Bridge.  Because I walked across the bridge on my previous visit, I chose to explored below this time.  Under the bridge on the east side of the Willamette is Cathedral Park.  It’s one of my favorite green spaces in the city because of how beautifully the bridge dominates the landscape.  Walk under the bridge’s span and you will see that the lancet-shaped arches line up all the way across the river (it’s how park got the name “Cathedral”?).

 

Check out my previous St. Johns post here

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Portland Bridge Swim, Submarine, and Clouds

I walked down the East-Bank Esplanade this morning to enjoy the cloudy and cool July weather and to catch a glimpse of the Portland Bridge Swim.  The Bridge Swim is an annual event in which swimmers travel under 11 Portland bridges as they swim 11 miles up the river (the Willamette River flows North, by the way). The race begins at the Sellwood Bridge and ends at the St. Johns Bridge. The Willamette must be so much cleaner than it was when I was a little kid. In the 90s, I assumed anyone who swam in the river would develop mutant qualities or be eaten by some kind of Superfund river monster…

Here are some shots from this morning. I also made a map of the Portland Bridge Swim’s route:

USS BluebackUSS Blueback

Portland Bridge SwimUSS BluebackPortland Bridge SwimPortland Interstate 5OMSIPortland Aerial TramPortland Bridge Swim Map

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Rocky Butte and Joseph Hill Park

I drove up to Rocky Butte this weekend to walk around Joseph Wood Hill Park. Rocky Butte is a 612′ tall extinct volcanic cinder cone, which is part of the Boring Lava Field. In the last ice age, it parted the massive flood waters as Glacial Lake Missoula spilled into the Willamette Valley. Today, it parts the freeways that enter Portland.

I’ve been coming here all my life and have always had an affection for the strange, wonderful, and seemingly useless stone structure at the top. Built in 1937-39, it features an aircraft beacon and panoramic views of the city.  On this visit, Portland was very hazy so I plan on returning soon to snap some better pans of the city and the mountains.

Here are my pictures and some diagrams I made:

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Laurelhurst Park

This week I’m posting some pictures of my neighborhood park, Laurelhurst!  The park was built in 1912, around the time the Laurelhurst neighborhood was developed. It occupies 26.8 acres and features a beautiful pond (which is actually called Firewood Lake, everyone calls it a pond though).  I grew up just north of the park and have been lucky enough to ice skate on the pond once (a rare treat).

 

Here are the frozen pond pictures from 1989. It was my first time ice skating…

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Waterfront Loop

The past weekend was beautiful here in Portland and I had a chance to visit a few places around town.  Here are some sights from the East and Westside waterfronts. I parked near Water Avenue and walked North, crossing at the Steel Bridge (my favorite in Portland) and crossing back over on the Hawthorne Bridge (the oldest in Portland). The signage for the pedestrian/bicycle infrastructure is great. It’s clear, organized, and well-observed.

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Interstate Avenue and Fremont Bridge

I had a chance to explore a part of Portland I rarely visit: Interstate Avenue/Boise Eliot Neighborhood. I walked from Overlook park down to Tillamook Street. The area around Interstate and Tillamook really reminded me of the Arts District in Los Angeles. Bike repair shops, taverns, art studios, rusty trucks, BMWs and barbed wire- a little bit of everything.

I’ll bring my sketchbook next time. This will be a great part of town to draw.

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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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