Tuesday, May 02, 2006

Grafitti Cleaned Up

Disjecta appears to have finally moved in to the R.J. Templeton Building at the East end of the Burnside Bridge. Over the past several months, the building has been cleaned up and now looks good again. Somehow, they were even able to restore the small murals that had been covered by grafitti. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, November 06, 2005

Grafitti Mars the R.J. Templeton Building

RJ Templeton Building


After being so excited about Disjecta moving into the RJ Templeton building over the summer, I am now disappointed about the state of the building. While I appreciate grafitti art, I do not appreciate "tagging" and I really hate it when it mars historic buildings. The panels on the side of the building have murals showing the history of the building. These are now almost entirely covered by tags and inane grafitti, with no apparent effort being made to slow or abate the regular new additions to the walls. When I last posted about grafitti on this building, in June, there was only a small amount. (To compare, look at the pictures below).

Friday, June 10, 2005

The one night of the year when it is A-Okay to camp with your family on the Burnside Bridge. (And, apparently, to block the bike lane with your SUV while also taking up the entire sidewalk.) I love the enthusiasm and the ridiculousness, but I can get irked when people seem to have lost consideration for those around them. Many bikes had to swerve into car lanes while this SUV was in their lane. And the tenants of the Union Arms have a family playing monopoly right outside their windows right now. Besides those few examples, our walking tour of the east side of the parade route tonight was nice and made us excited to live in a city where people are so enthusiastic for a parade that they will sleep out overnight like Star Wars Fans.
Good night for a walk on the bridge...

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Hooper Detox Center

Hooper Detox Center reserved seating for Grand Floral Parade.

The Hooper Detox Center is one of our more interesting neighbors. It is run by Central City Concern, which is a huge (but local) conglomerate of non-profit housing, drug-recovery, and service programs. The network they have built makes it possible to avoid some of the major beaurocratic wrangling that can occur when trying to move recovering addicts and people living in poverty between programs. CCC states as their philosophy: "It is the core philosophy of CENTRAL CITY CONCERN that in order for a person to successfully achieve self-sufficiency, they must not only have access to housing, support services and employment opportunities, but also must be building positive relationships with those who have had common experiences and can offer support." Along these lines, I will note that their staff has kindly chalked off some of their sidewalk for parade day for the VOA, one of the other great service providers in town.

Hooper has a reputation of being one of the better detox centers in the Northwest, if not a wider region. This is due in part to their willingness to adapt over the years. At one point, they were only equipped for alcohol detox. When they realized that people with other addictions were using alcohol in order to get into their program, they expanded. Later, they integrated accupuncture into the treatment and found that those with drug addictions started making it through the detox phase at much higher rates. Hooper and CCC are not perfect, but they work hard every day to save lives and lend a little dignity to the citizens of our city who are the most in need.

We've noticed that sometimes people will arrive very late in the night in order to get into Hooper when they open in the morning. These people sleep quietly in the doorway or nearby. The other people who arrive at Hooper at odd hours are those who come in the famous CHIERS vans. Both of these aspects of Hooper make us worry about what will happen after the Bridgehead Development is built. I can already picture yuppies pitching fits about having to live so close to a detox center, especially when sometimes you can see the guests outside of the building before they check in.

While I've done the job of civic booster and concerned citizen here, I hope that my co-blogger will share some more colorful stories soon...

Critical Mass on the Burnside Bridge

Riders on bridge with police escort - 6:45pm, Thursday, June 9, 2005.

Riders in front of Wentworth's new construction - Burnside between Grand & MLK

Monday, June 06, 2005

DISJECTA: A Perfect New Use For R.J. Templeton Building

After our post the other day, we noticed a sign that Disjecta will be moving into the historic R.J. Templeton building. This is a better "anchor" for the Eastside of the Burnside Bridge than anything the PDC will approve for the Burnside Bridgehead. Disjecta states that it seeks to create "an arts epicenter by launching its new interdisciplinary arts facility in the Templeton Building and creating a beacon on the inner-Eastside for the visual and performing arts".

This is a neighborhood development that we welcome. It is putting an historic building to productive use. It will provide a possible focal point and meeting ground for the many independent artists who live and work in the neighborhood. Disjecta will compliment and enhance some of the best things that are already happening in our neighborhood.

Like other neighbors, we wish that the PDC had cared enough to take the pulse of this neighborhood before fixating on certain uses for its parcel of land at the North side of the East end of the Bridge. (The PDC did make a show of public involvement, and the response did seem to change the plans a little, but it did not change the PDC's fixation on fitting the area to the plan instead of the other way around.) Disjecta's plans give me some hope, but they also show in plain relief how far astray the PDC has gone in its planning.

[For background on the Bridgehead Development, please browse the archives of Portland Communique which has covered the issue extensively and provides links to other sources.]

Wednesday, June 01, 2005

PDC Funds Update Storefront

Near the East end of the Burnside Bridge, on the South side, is the historic RJ Templeton Building. The facade has a series of paintings depicting the variety of uses the building has been put to over the years. There have always been taggers, but lately a new more sophisticated grafitti has taken root here.... we understand the PDC is funding this as an "urban" update for the old building. (At least that's our best guess, since they seem to be handing out money left and right.)

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Bird Head on the Burnside Bridge

At the top of the stairs to the Eastbank Esplanade, we found a tasty morsel on the way to work this morning.

Where is the rest of this little birdy? Was its head left behind as a warning to the other crows...