Tuesday, 10 November 2015

Murals & Statues: Portland Street Art

I stayed in Portland as a guest of Railbookers.com.au and Travel Portland, though I paid for my own airfare to the USA.

I was really looking forward to visiting Portland, Oregon on my recent visit to the USA.

Largely it was because I'm a fan of Portlandia, the TV program which makes fun of the hipster culture of that city (and by extension, of all cities). I was curious to see whether Portland's reputation for quirkiness was deserved.

I'm please to report that it was. And while we're waiting for my investigations to eventually see the light of day in various publications, here's some fine street art I spotted as I made my way around.

These first three examples I encountered were along and near Alberta Street, a cool shopping strip in the city's northeast:




I particularly liked that third one, which read "You are confined only by the walls you build yourself."

I spotted the art below on the wall of Eastside community radio station KBOO, with lots of energy to it:


And here are two more conventional pieces of street art. The first is the Downtown statue which gave its name to the TV series, Portlandia...


... while below is the Skidmore Fountain in the city's Old Town district, erected in 1888 in honour of a late businessman. It was modelled on fountains Skidmore had seen in Paris at an international exposition, and is such a landmark that there's a nearby light rail stop named after it.


On a more offbeat angle, this pillar of famous books stands at the entrance of the vast Downtown bookstore, Powell's Books. On this side you can make out the titles of A Thousand and One Nights, Hamlet, Tao Te Ching and The Odyssey:

 
Finally, I saw this embedded in an Old Town sidewalk. No idea what it's about. Anyone know?