Monday, January 21, 2008
Part of the "new" Portland. This was taken near the foot of the Portland Aerial Tram, which takes patients and employees up Marquam Hill to the Oregon Health Sciences University from the new OHSU facility and a ton of new condo development along the South Waterfront area, formerly an industrial wasteland. The streetcar conveniently connects this development with the other great Portland yuppie enclave, the Pearl District. The Pearl, which continues to grow out of what was a thriving industrial neighborhood in NW Portland (also along the Willamette River), is packed with entertainment and shopping opportunities. Trendy restaurants, expensive specialty grocery stores, the ever-critical equipment supply stores like REI (what yuppie can survive without lots of togs and tools for the latest activity?) abound in the Pearl, but South Waterfront is still a wasteland. Those tall, totally-inappropriate condo towers sit surrounded by . . . tall, totally-inappropriate condo towers. I did spot one restaurant, and the OHSU facility has the essential fitness center. Other than that? Pretty grim, and the west-facing condos have a charming view of I-5 rather than a spectacular view of Mt. Hood.
It's the middle of January and most of the foliage is gone from the big hedge outside my bedroom window. For a brief period this winter, the sparrows were pretty quiet (and the window and storm window closed all the time). It seems they're back, though, as you can hear. This, really, is nothing. In the Spring and Summer, when I sleep with the window open, this morning chorus is easily three times as boisterous (with occasional contributions from a neighborhood flicker). Cheerful, sure, but LOUD. I don't really understand when they have time to eat, unless they sneak about at night picking off bugs, because their little beaks are busy busy busy all day just like this: