Thursday, August 07, 2008

Wandering PDX

Aside from spending sometime up at the Portland VA, pondering my future, I've been walking the streets and taking in the spirit of the place.

This walking about includes discovering and cataloging all of the city's small monuments. A plethora of monuments, after all, is what makes a big city big. This includes monuments to city fathers, to pioneering feminists, pioneering families as well as pioneers in general; to engineers, to firefighters, to 19th century industrialists and ship's captains; to forgotten warships named for the municipality and the state; to drowned fishermen and other mariners; to former presidents, to military heroes from wars long past and to the fallen of more recent conflicts, to wartime interned Japanese-Americans and displaced Indians; to the documents of laws, manifestos of rights, and to letters of national apologies; to farmers, to markets, as well as to the spirit of commerce herself. All of these small civic and national shrines are part of the warp and weft that helps to weave the raw material of nature into a distinct cultural space.

Note the salmon punching through the building. Yes folks, we really are in the Northwest.

These foot journeys also include learning the feng-shui ley lines of commute, of mass transit, of snarled private transit, and of peak hours and quiet minutes in which to travel unmolested.

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