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.