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The dream of the ’90s

January 19, 2011
Portland Vino

The Vino really should be backed up to the curb... (Orin O'Neill photos)

I meant to post these pictures while I was in Portland.

I enjoyed living there, and had some things worked out differently I would have stayed. Not that I don’t like Bellingham, oh, no. But Portland is a much bigger city, and there’s much I didn’t get around to exploring while I was there.

Of course, a high-speed rail line between Vancouver, B.C. and Eugene, Oregon would make everywhere it stops commuting distance from everything else. But that’s so not gonna happen in my lifetime.

Race Central scooter

This scooter was parked near the Bipartisan Cafe on SE Stark Street. Race Central was a business catering to the grassroots motorsports community (and one that received a lot of my money during my racing days). Scooters are actually pretty common in raceday garage areas, due to the need for drivers, crew members and officials to navigate the racetrack grounds quickly. In fact, Kymco is the official scooter of the IZOD IndyCar Series. It seems every scooter I ever saw in the paddock had a piece of tape on the headset with “please turn the key off when parking” written on it. Their riders must’ve been shutting them off with the emergency cutoff switch.

Blue Bird Vespa

This Vespa was also parked near the Bipartisan. If you’re in the neighborhood, check it out—good sandwiches, good pie, and the place is decorated with political memorabilia. Blue Bird is a company that makes (or maybe it’s “made”) school buses. I’m guessing the emblem was chosen because it fit the crash bar rather well.

Like a Big Ruckus

Met at Mickey D's

Like the red Adly Lambretta, this Big Ruckus-lookalike was frequently parked at the Fred Meyer on Glisan. This design was apparently sold under several brand names, with considerable differences in quality. This particular bike seemed well-made, and it was at Freddy’s rather often, so it must’ve worked well for its owner.

This Honda Metropolitan was frequently parked in this spot at the McDonald’s at 82nd & Stark. I think it belonged to someone who worked there. I redeemed a lot of coupons for McCafe® drinks there while I was working for the 2010 Census.

That’s an Aprilia Atlantic parked next to the GTS. They were in the parking lot at the Village Inn near Mall 205. Somehow, I always managed to miss out on Pie Rush Wednesdays™. 😦

GTS and Atlantic

If I were able to watch TV like a normal person (instead of having to wait for a red envelope to show up in my mailbox) I’d be able to see Portland regularly and often. The TNT series Leverage is filmed in Portland, which almost got named Boston, which is where the show takes place.

There’s also Life UneXpected (yes, that’s how it’s supposed to be written) on the CW, which is about a teenager who finds her biological parents after growing up in foster homes (and probably wishes she hadn’t—after all, they named her after a dishwashing detergent). Each episode contains at least 10 minutes of Portland b-roll (downtown skyline viewed from the east bank of the Willamette, MAX, Pioneer Courthouse Square, Steel Bridge, etc).

The IFC channel is giving Portland its Almost Live! moment with Portlandia, a show that acknowledges Portland’s status as a city White People Like. The music video at the beginning of the first episode pretty much nails it. Especially the part about being the “place where young people go to retire.”

Just don’t try to tell anyone in Seattle that Portland is cooler. Even though it is… Favicon

  1. jon permalink
    January 19, 2011 9:58 am

    I had never heard of the show/series Portlandia. I watched the clip (what the heck-I’m laid off) and it looks like it’ll be on IFC starting in a few days. I don’t know if I get IFC but i suppose Hulu will have it on the internet? I actually enjoyed the clip. Portland is a pretty cool city. I had lots of relatives in oregon-mostly Eugene, so I’ve been there many times over the years. My all time favorite motorcycle trip was doen the oregon coastline. My Mother passed away on Jan 23rd, 2009, and she grew up on that coast in the towns of newport, Waldport, and Wheeler. She was 91 when she died, and we had just taken her down and stayed in Yachats for a week the October before she passed away. I have often thought what it must have been like there 90 years ago. Some coastal towns back then had no roads you could drive to get there. You had to drive on the beach, and you had to plan it so you didn’t get stuck somewhere at high tide!


  2. Jack Riepe permalink
    January 19, 2011 11:53 am

    Dear Jon/Via Orin:

    I’m glad you had a week with your mother before her passing. I sincerely hope that week was uncomplicated by anything like Alzheimers. My significant other and I used to rent a house on the dunes, down on the Outer Banks (North Carolina). Getting there meant an 8-mile drive in the sand. It was wonderful.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

  3. jon permalink
    January 22, 2011 6:46 pm

    Thanks, Jack. My Mother was lucky in that she kept her mental faculties right to the end. She was always afraid because her Mother lived to be like 98 but her mind had been gone for years. And both sisters, my Aunts, were the same and both of them lived well into their 90s, but their minds were out of it. My Mom loved to play pinochle and we went over every weekend and played cards with her and took her to lunch. She always kept up her end of the games just fine. She was a great Mom and had loads of very long time friends.


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