Saturday, July 9, 2011

Portland's NE Alberta Street at dusk on July 4th

We visited Portland over July 4th and enjoyed walking leisurely along Portland's recovering NE Alberta Street.  The old store fronts are being reclaimed by artists, artisans and cafés.  Our stroll commenced at 9:02 p.m. and concluded by 10:10.  The shops were mostly deserted that Monday evening, but many windows were illuminated.  The streets were essentially deserted, though some boys were still stocking up on fireworks.  And the fireworks were increasingly in evidence, initially mostly by sound, and then by sight.  I could not believe that the city would tolerate fireworks exploding at such low levels, and indeed, a restaurant burned down later that evening.  But there was nevertheless a very real sense of celebration in the warm evening air that cloudless evening.  It was a slice of Americana. (Of course the major fireworks were down by the river--apparently spectacular, but I prefer the real ones on side streets.)

Some families pooled resources for firework displays for their small children well before bedtime.

Graffiti and spray painting look different at dusk.

Pure Americana--form, function and colours.

How can a photographer, married to a librarian, possibly forgo this?

One of three places that was open.

Business was brisk.

Champs Élysée it ain't.

Now you know where we are.

Jay walking was an option.  Taking time exposures while standing in the middle of the road was also an option.

Do guitars actually make music?

Universities without students are wonderful in August; closed restaurants are sad.

Car coming (possibly).

It's everywhere, by now I hear it's even in Japan.

No helmets?  In Vancouver they are mandatory.