Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Wed. May 21st

Today we discussed Tuesday's election results. First, we discussed the results as a class and then traveled over to Earl's (Barber Shop) to ask him how he felt. Last time we talked to him, he said he was rooting for Sho Duzono for Mayor. Interesting, he seemed to be okay with Adams winning, simply saying, "Well, You Know, that's the way it is." His client at the time jumped in and began telling us how he felt about the elections. Everyone there, including the class, seemed pretty happy with the Clinton-Obama results here in Oregon. The most interesting part of today was the chat with the barbers at Terrell Brandon's Barber Shop. A woman getting her hair done, was incredibly suprised that we (a large group of white people) voted for Obama over Hillary. And even more surprised that we (white women) would vote for Obama and not Hillary. I thought it was so interesting to see her totally surprised. The barber doing her hair said, "See! I told you!" They were really fun to chat with. Very personable and funny guys. They enjoyed talking with us as well. The one thing that was a little sad was when the woman said, " I don't vote. The person with the most money is the one who wins anyway." It's been awhile since I've seen a sort of "jaded" perception of the political process. I got used to the buzz and excitement that Barack Obama has infused in my surroundings on campus and around Portland. All in all, however, I learned that we can make assumption about our neighbors and through communication with them, learn that we were totally wrong and have much more in common than we may have once thought. It was a Good day.

Chit Chat with someone in the neighborhood

Wednesday May 14th, Graham and I went out to set up a meeting with Kara at Tumbleweed. Our assignment that day was to strike up a casual conversation with someone. As we were walking around, a man named Laolo was enjoying a cup of coffee outside a local coffee shop. He stopped Graham and began talking about Graham's shirt. Displaying art work from a San Francisco artist, R. Crumb. The man was really excited to see it and commented on how he new R. Crumb's brother when he lived in San Francisco. The interesting thing for me was to see this man become truly excited about the shirt. It was nice to see someone that happy over something that most consider totally unimportant.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Fun Stuff in the Yard

Walking past a small duplex on Alberta, we saw a wooden picture frame wired to a cyclone fence with a piece of cardboard attached that read "Portland". We had to ask. A young guy named Scott answered the door. Looking like he just woke up, messy hair and shirtless. We asked him about the frame and Portland Sign and he said his room mate had just moved to New York and put it there. Because they have a lot of random piles of stuff through out their place he didn't know the significance of the portland sign, but figured it was just something his roommate found before he left. The Frame itself, however, had been wired to the fence when they moved in.'

The first house that Graham and I found was down the street from the yard statue place. The yard was gardened with care but had a really eclectic assortment of plants and a metal sculpture. (See Grahams' Blog for photos) Gerard was the man's name who lived there. He was really nice and enjoyed chatting with us. His wife made the sculpture in College and the plants in the yard were all stuff that people gave them. The house numbers were really interesting. Handmade, colorful, and fun!

Wednesday 4.30.08

A NE Adventure in April.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Vanport Flood

The Vanport Flood washed away Vanport City, the largest public housing
project ever built in the United States, at 4:05 p.m. on May 30, 1948, when
the dike holding back the Columbia River gave way. The city, at one time
responsible for housing nearly 50,000 people after construction was completed
in 1943, was underwater by nightfall. Fifteen people died in the flood. The Vanport flood had a huge affect on the African American community in Portland and has been compared to that of Katrina.

Click this link for a list of resources (photos, oral histories, books, etc) about the Vanport flood.

Interesting photographs

Some photos I found interesting while doing some research...
This is the corner of NE 29th and NE Mason. Now and Then.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Monday, April 7, 2008

Experiencing The Neighborhood

The morning visit was my first real trip to the NE Alberta area. I have driven down the street twice but only driven, never stopped. Simply, I was headed somewhere else and the route took me through the neighborhood. I immediately noticed that streets were pretty quiet. Blame it on the cold, rainy weather or something else. I'm not too sure. The few business on Alberta street that seemed really busy were Helser's on Alberta and the Tin Shed. Both two local breakfast shops. Walking around with Graham and Andy, we were hoping to find people out and about through the neighborhood, so we ventured off of Alberta and into the residential area. Unfortunately, nobody was out. Again, probably something to do with the not so great weather and the fact that it was 11 am on a Monday. But, we really noticed the speckled neighborhoods: Well Keep homes and Lawns, Neighbored to homes that looked abandoned or small low-income triplexes. Talked to a market owner on 15th and Prescott, she mentioned matter of factly that the area has continued to drastically change in the three years she has owned the store. She lives in Lake Oswego and has a daughter attend AI in the Pearl. She said the "dirty people" have left and that more "white people" have chosen to reside in the neighborhood driving the cost of housing way up. She mentioned the "dirty people" have relocated to Gresham. I found it interesting that on our way back to the lot to meet up with everyone, Andy and Graham mentioned that the helped having a girl with them. They felt they looked much less threatening and the shop owner, Jenny, was more willing to talk when she saw that I was with them. After they mentioned that I thought about our conversation with her, and thought they were completely right. She seemed really stand-offish to Graham when I was on the other side of the store, When he mentioned we were a group and walked over to join him she seemed much more at ease, smiling and engaged. All in all, I felt really good about the experience and am excited to go back.