Observations About Portland
July 13, 2021
I am writing this post with Eve Ewing's quote in mind.
I can best describe my time in Portland as a sampling. I have been here in the wintertime and it is dreary. That was 20 years ago but the winter gloomies probably haven't changed.
Yesterday as I drove into the city and then back out a different way I was struck by the number of tents and the graffiti; they were everywhere. I saw tents in downtown and I saw "tent cities" alongside US 26. If I saw one tent, I saw 500. I am used to seeing graffiti in cities but this was way beyond what I'd consider normal. If it is a result of the recent protests, I would have thought it would have been more concentrated around downtown. Physically, Portland reminded me of inner city Baltimore -- rough, functional buildings not a glittery downtown. I am sure there are beautiful parts of Portland -- I just didn't see any yesterday. I was left thinking that there is no way the A's come to Portland -- at least into the city. There is too much -- the word is not poverty. Maybe a better way to say it is that based on what I saw, I would not head into Portland for an evening.
The tents are tough on me. There are people in them but I can't relate. They scare me. I find myself walking by trying to ignore them. But that is not right; they are human beings just like me. There must be a better answer than to leave them living on the sidewalks.