Wednesday, May 11, 2011


On my way to work this morning on the #77 bus as we were crossing over The Steel Bridge above the quietly surging murk the Willamette River has become of late, I noticed an enormous tanker hawsered up to the granary on the east bank. You know--the granary. Those odd silos rowed up to the eastside waterfront with that hideous, gargantuan adspace owned by the Trailblazers facing back toward the Rose Quarter? The signage that screams, "RISE WITH US" and seems to suggest that their committment to Portland fans includes some kind of sacrifice with all their devoted dedication to the righteous purity of sport? [Really? Sacrifice?? Blazers, please. When is someone going to tell Paul Allen that his PR guys need a spankin'?]

I digress. The thing I noticed right away was the name of the tanker: FULL SPRING. Like that. In full caps and huge letters. Might as well have been called AS IF. There was so much clutter of floating crap around the hull that I longed for my camera. The irony was too painful.

I love Portland so much. It is an incredibly beautiful location for a city, and has a kind of neighborly coziness that no other town of its size on the west coast can approach. Portland in full spring is gorgeous; no other word. And from some locations you can't even see the bedrolls and human remnants under the bridges, making the transcendent views even more astonishing. I have a consistent emotional response to the view of downtown Portland from The Steel Bridge regardless of the weather, but overcast sky or descending fog has the effect of stunning me with the city's complex beauty.

I swear, someday I will be up early enough to station myself on the bridge with a tripod and my camera and will finally capture some essence of that view--bedrolls, homeless guys with shopping carts, cyclists, trains and trees and all.


Last month I was so excited to get to spend time with Oscar and Rachel when they arrived for a short visit. The Canon XS was strategically positioned on my greatgrandmother's oak table all ready for their arrival. Even Shanna and Griffin came over. I managed to get off a few shots as we were getting settled and then, nothing. Nothing. The camera completely died. No response. Even after I'd shut it off, rebooted (so to speak), pulled the battery and put it back in; to no avail. DEAD. My other cameras were not so satisfying (and to tell you the truth, I almost never use them so I forget how the settings work, dammit) and I ended up just thwarted and defeated as a photographer. The visit was awesome and fun and Oscar is perfectly adorable and cuddly, Rachel and I had a chance to talk and it was lovely to spend time with them. You will have to take my word for it because I have no documentary evidence apart from the shots I've posted below:

PS~the problem was with the $60 lithium battery, now replaced. Sheesh. The whole Philly Family is coming back in July and I am definitely looking forward to the photographic opportunities; I hope they are.


Wade said...

You used the word "...hawsered..."

God bless ye Elizabeth, oh preserver of our paltry lexicon!

elizabeth archers said...

Awww, shucks. Thanks, Wade.