Out for a Sunday drive
Sometimes, on a Sunday afternoon when there is nothing pressing, DH and I like to get in the car and just drive around. Sometimes, we drive around out in the country. Yesterday, we drove around in the city. Sort of checking out old neighborhoods we have lived in and seeing how they have changed. On the east side of town is a little dormant volcano known as Mt. Tabor. The whole top of the mountain is a wonderful city park. This is the view from the east side of Mt. Tabor, out to Mt. Hood.
Mt. Hood, by the way, is one of our best weather indicators. If you can see Mt. Hood, you know it's going to rain. If you can't see Mt. Hood, you know it's raining.
One of the changes we have noticed is the way neighborhoods close to the city center, which twenty years ago were decaying slums, are now centers of gentrification and urban renewal. It's wonderful to see the old houses, built in the teens and twenties, now being renewed, repainted, re-landscaped, and re-loved! People are using much more daring color schemes now, as well. Lots of fun to see a dark khaki house with vivid Chineese red trim and a light grey roof. The mustard yellow house with the intricate kelly green, purple and teal trim would take a bit of getting used to. I was too stunned to drag out the camera for a photo in time.
A true Portland icon which has been around since my mother was a fifteen-year-old wild-child is this marvelous restaurant.
It used to be in Chinatown, above a storefront. Chinatown was a "bad" neighborhood at that time. The streets were populated with winos and weirdos and pushers and hookers. You walked up a dark flight of narrow stairs, wading upstream against a slow river of exotic aromas. The place was always open, and quite ecclectic in its clientelle. Jazz musicians mingled with med students and business men and, of course, large Chinese families. Every visit was an adventure, and when I went to college, a dinner at Hung Far Low was considered quite a bohemian date.
Chinatown has gone upscale, and rents have gone through the roof. The delightlfully seamy old location has been cleaned up, and the restaurant has moved out of downtown and into an emerging Asian neighborhood. There are many Thai, Vietnamese, Chinese, Japanese and Korean restaurants and grocery stores in the area. The neighborhood is still low rent, but doesn't have the "slumming" cachet of the old place. Still, we just might have to take ourselves out for noodles one of these rainy nights.
The blanket is just a few half-squares awaay from completion. Photos tomorrow.