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our little town

Quick “this old house” update: our sofa finally arrived, so everything is pretty much done now. Hank and Maggie immediately made the sofa their favorite place to hang out.

With the house in order, we’ve started spending more time getting to know our little town. The heart of downtown Portland is Pioneer Courthouse Square, called “Portland’s Living Room”. There’s a MASH-style signpost, with directions and distances to near and far places of interest, and some of Portland’s sister cities. My favorite (in the back at lower left) is Tipperary — how far? “A long long way” :-)

There’s something going on in Pioneer Square just about every weekend. This particular day, there was a rally raising awareness of the humanitarian crisis in the war zone of the Darfur region of Africa, but there are also concerts, and later this spring the Square will host a flower festival. The Square is also the transit hub for the whole Portland area, with light rail trains passing by ever few minutes.

Downtown Portland is located on both sides of the Willamette River, which flows north into the nearby Columbia River. The whole waterfront on both sides of the river is a park, with walking and biking trails. There are a lot of bridges that cross the Willamette, and all but the newest are drawbridges.

What I find most interesting is that all of the bridges are different: the bridge in the middle picture has a center section which raises straight up into the air (see the two huge orange counterweights?), while the bridge in the lower picture has a center section in two parts, each of which rotates upward light a castle drawbridge.


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