Day 180 – The Pearl


There is an area of Portland near downtown called The Pearl District.  No idea where the name came from – and I’m too lazy to look it up.  But, this is an area that if you had seen 15 years ago, you would not recognize it today.

The first time I saw it in 1993, it was all old warehouse and industrial buildings left over from when the port used to extend that far into downtown.  The roads were bumpy (and still are) due to the exposed cobblestones as well as the miles of railroad track that has long since been left unused.

Now, the Pearl is a hip place to live.  They converted a lot of the warehouse space into lofts, retail spaces, etc.  Then they added in some great new buildings.  The new buildings all have their own architectural styles.  Some look straight out of the 1950s or 1960s while others look very modern yet Scandinavian, in my opinion (a mix of concrete, exposed wood, steel and other materials).  All of it coexists in a way that just works.

And, in true Portland fashion, they have green space (otherwise known as parks) tucked into spaces.  Portland understands that adding parks creates a neighborhood feel – a place for people to meet.  (Portland has a 5100 acre park in the city limits known as Forest Park to give you an idea of how seriously they take green space.)

Tonight, we took the kids down to the Pearl to play in Jamison Square – a park that has a large water feature where kids can play in the water.  We let the kids play, we sit in the shade reading (or being geeks browsing the internet), then we usually get slices from Hotlips Pizza.  (Because I must, I have to throw out my love for Hotlips Pizza.  They use local ingredients which they can tell you the farm they got them from.  And, they are committed to composting.  In fact, most everything they have can be composted.  Lastly, they support the local music scene by spotlighting the music in their restaurants which is pretty cool, IMO.)

Here are some of the images of our trip tonight.

3 Comments Add yours

  1. Osbasso says:

    If I’m not mistaken (and I very well could be…), I believe my sister works smack dab in the middle of that area. Maybe a bit south of it. I’ve always just thought of anything bounded by Washington, 405 and the river as being “downtown”.

  2. Just me... says:

    Cool pics!! Looks like a great place for familes to hang out together!! :):)

  3. Emmy says:

    Os – your definition of downtown isn’t bad. While some of that area is technically not in downtown, it’s close enough really.

    Just Me – That whole area was meant to attract “DINKs” (double income, no kids). The fact it is attracting so many families has been a point of great debate in the city. And the park we went to was at the center of the debate. Funny how people who paid insane money to live there will quibble over kids – but not so much about the homeless people sleeping in their parks, the drug dealing that occurs within blocks of this area, etc. Kids are definitely much worse! 🙂

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