Last Thursday, my painting buddy and I went to Oaks Park to paint.
Every city has them — the small hidden gardens that only the locals know of, sources of delight for dogs and children and even jaded adults.
Portland’s Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden is one such place. The end of August isn’t as exuberant as the middle of May, but when it’s a hot summer day, the greens are cool, the water delicious to see and hear, and the birds, fowl, dogs, and people are thoroughly happy.
This grove of trees is adjacent to the English garden at Shore Acres State Park, along the Oregon coast south of Coos Bay. The visitor center is to the right.
I am, as some of you know, fond of city eccentricities. Some of these are quite peculiar (think of my paintings of Plant 5 in the SE Light Industrial District) and some are just, well, down home SE Portland. To the dismay of many, I’m not much into grand houses, grand buildings, gorgeous historical features, or even bucolic scenes in the midst of city life.
So, here’s one neighborhood, neither Grand nor Bucolic, where I was hanging out the other day:
Looks sort of bucolic, but then… the Thrift Shop, the scabby fireplug, the mysterious artifacts here and there, the bus stop…
The Buena Vista Ferry, near Independence, Oregon, is one of three ferries that cross the Willamette River. The others are at Canby and Wheatland. The Buena Vista Ferry, which can carry six cars at a time, is used by commuters as well as tourists like us. It operates from 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. every day all year round between Polk County, on the near shore, and Marion County.
The Lan Su Garden (formerly the Classical Chinese Garden) sits in an unprepossessing part of Portland, old Chinatown which is also home to various musical and night life venues and soup kitchens. The area may or may not get itself gentrified. But the Garden is the kind of gem that in, say, a European city would have tourists taking photos by the thousands. Oddly, I didn’t realize this about the Lan Su until I saw a set of my own photos, taken in pursuit of an art project which was entirely removed from the notion of the photo tour by an enthralled tourist.
Sunset Bay State Park is one of many parks along the Oregon coast. We visited this one and several others in April.