The other day, I got sick of sitting in traffic, and jumped the freeway for a shortcut through the remnants of Portland’s NW Industrial area. There was something about this building, with the Fremont bridge in the background, the gray, overcast skies, and the weedy patch in front of it that really spoke to me.
The weathered corrugated siding, the darker recesses of the roll-up door, combined with the softer straw colors of the vegetation in front of it, and with the splash of red parked next to it – well, I really thought it was beautiful! Buildings like this really are becoming a symbol of a different time in Portland’s history – a time when the city had a lot more grit than in its current incarnation as a polished yuppie playground. A time when the free-thinkers and creatives that made this town so attractive to others, could actually afford to bring their ideas to a place with similarly minded, and settle down to shape their lives in a way they desired. There has been a lot of outside capital invested in the hot Portland real estate market lately, and every neighborhood have gaping wounds where once more modest housing stock stood. People are outraged! Rape and pillaging still seems modus operandi in the culture of invaders, as profit trumps affordability. It is my fear that these kinds of views will be rendered obsolete as the condo developers try to outdo each other. So, while I still can – I’m photographing them for posterity. Get off the beaten path yourself -take a different route home. You will likely gasp at what you see.