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The far east. Side.

January 31, 2010

The GTS in the land of big-box retail (Orin O'Neill photos)

I ran across the Borders gift card in one of my boxes of stuff. Hmmm, I thought, I’d better hurry up and use this, recalling Borders’ mention in an article listing retailers that might not be around by the end of the year.

There’s a Borders in downtown Portland, but the parking meters are enforced on Sundays—like all local governments, the city is scrambling for revenue wherever it can find it.

The next closest one is in Gresham. It’s been a while since I’d ventured east, so why not?

Borders in Gresham

The Borders is located in an area that would appear to be standing in for a downtown retail district. All the usual big-box suspects are present and accounted for, but as is the fashion at the moment, they’re clustered on actual blocks with actual street names. But the blocks surround a sizable sea of asphalt parking lot.

This particular Borders is much larger than the ones I’m used to, and there’s a Seattle’s Best Coffee in the back. A mocha and a cookie sounds good.

Surprisingly, there are still coffee snobs who will tell you, “I never drink Starbucks’ coffee—I only get coffee from Seattle’s Best.”

Which is a Starbucks subsidiary. And used to be served at McDonald’s, until they started the McCafe thing.

Coffee and cookie finished, it was time to leave. As I saddled up, I spied a MAX stop a short distance away. Gotta check it out.

City Hall MAX station

This is the City Hall station, so named because Gresham’s City Hall is on the opposite side of the tracks from where the picture was taken. The big-box stores are only a couple blocks from here, an easy walk. The end of the east side MAX line is two stops away from this one. You can ride MAX to just about every major shopping area in metro Portland. IKEA will even knock 20% off the cost of delivery if you show them a MAX ticket.

Division Street is a short block south. Okay, let’s go back that way. Favicon


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