Whenever I get to a rendevous early, out comes the camera for a tour of the neighborhood. I like to meet people at my son Din’s coffee shop, Ristretto Roasters over on Williams St in North Portland. Not only is the coffee extra special, but I just might run into Din or Nancy and get caught up on their busy lives. Anyway, here are a few shots of the surrounding neighborhood.
Heading down a side street, this guy was the first thing to catch my eye. I knew this was going to be a fun walk.
Recently completed hardscapes in this garden, a half-block away from the gargoyle, were of a more serious nature. The impressive gates lead into a vegetable plot. In the foreground, curved beds are separated from pathways by cor-ten steel barriers.
Here, square metal boxes are set within the curved bed. The plantings are all brand new. It will be interesting to revisit this garden as it grows into its “bones”.
Turn a corner, and WOW…these people are not afraid of COLOR.
So of course there was an abundance of colorful plant material about. I hadn’t seen this Echinacea before, but now I will be on the lookout.
This has got to be what is meant by “vine covered cottage”…and around back, a vegetable garden.
Across the street was this understated, subtle paint job with a jungle in front.
Time to get back for my coffee fix. As so often happens on these expeditions, I was surprised at how far I had wandered. This whole block of parking strip was barkdust mulched with the occasional rock to break the monotony, but clustered near the corner was a mature clump of yuccas. The city might have something to say about that spilling over the curb, but I find it charming.
Back on Williams, intense efforts to bring the neighborhood back from the brink have resulted in lots of new construction.
New projects are going forward even in this down economy.
With gentrification come many things, but in this case the neighborhood has kept its sense of humor and identity.
…right down to the large corner lot devoted to a thriving community garden. And now for arguably the best cup of coffee in Portland. Hey! Other people swear by it…not just his mom.