Pioneer Place, Belmont, and Milwaukie

Monday, September 01, 2008
We packed quite a lot into Labor Day this year. I went shopping for fall clothes for the kids this morning down at Pioneer Square. Landon and I actually split up--he took Juniper and I took Samuel. We got off to a rough start as Sam had an accident in the store, so we had to walk all the way back to the car for a change of clothes, then we no sooner got back to the store and he had to go to the bathroom again! I was beginning to wonder if I would get any shopping done at all, but I actually was able to get everything I needed. I sent Landon one one errand--to get Juni a pair of Robeez at Nordstrom's, and he came back with a pair of pink owl Robeez in the right size, so he did good. I found that 4T fits Sam just right, so I bought most things in 5T, which are a little big, but at least they'll last him more than a few months. Our kids are growing quickly, and many of the clothes that go to the giveaway pile are still in like-new condition. Luckily we have lots of friends to pass along these things to!

We walked into Pioneer Place feeling pretty sleepy at 9:30AM, so we stopped at Starbucks and treated ourselves to a lot of espresso.

This was Landon's cup. Evidently, there had been some sloshing involved.

As I mentioned before, we split up, and Juniper went with her Daddy. She had a great time, and she seemed especially pleased with the shoes he picked out for her. I'm not making that up--I think she really does like them.

We met up after our shopping trip at a park. Looks like Landon spotted us as Sam and I were about to cross the street to meet them.

Sam really liked his buffalo shirt after I told him that when he wore it he could be a buffalo hunter. I fully realize that right now, shopping for the kids is simple. I dread the day when shopping gets complicated, and I know those days aren't too far away anymore. For right now though, I love that my little boy likes just about everything I pick out for him.

After our shopping trip downtown, we headed to the east side for lunch, but drove around for a bit until we found some places opened on Belmont. It's Labor Day after all, so most business were closed for the holiday. After some delicious burritos, we went for a long walk around the Belmont neighborhood. The above picture is a community bulletin board someone built in their streetside garden bed. I think it's a great idea, and hope to have one built in one of our streetside beds someday. Such a great idea! I have added it to the queue I add to constantly of things I plan to do one day . . . one day when I have time.

Late 19th and early 20th century homes are my favorite. When we go for walks in old Portland neighborhoods, I am usually prattling on incessantly about architecture and restoration.

Here's a shot of a Portland foursquare, one of my favorite architectural styles, a version of the Prairie style home that flourished from about 1895 to 1930ish. The only way I'd ever move from the house we live in now is if it could be to a foursquare. Fortunately, there's actually a beautiful one right across the street from us with a double lot and beautiful old gardens surrounding it. So, someday, we might move across the street. In the picture above, you can see the deep overhanging eaves with visible brackets. We passed another foursquare later that had its brackets capped, and I thought that was a poor choice. I like seeing brackets on a foursquare, especially when they are painted in the house's accent color. So beautiful!

This antique chair was sitting curbside. I thought at first that it could be restored until I saw that even the wooden armrests had been chewed up quite badly, probably by a dog. I always imagine ferocious dogs commit violent acts such as these against innocent antique furniture items. It is part of my life-long fear of large dogs. This chair could have very well been destroyed by someone with too much time on their hands, but it makes me feel better to blame it on a dog.

This beautiful Victorian (owned by Obama supporters!) is a replica of the house next door to it, which is home of the Pied Cow, a coffeehouse I haven't been to since my early twenties, at which time I frequented it with the ladies of 1935. One of these nights, I'll have to meet friends there once again.

After our walk in the SE Belmont neighborhood, we were going to head home, but I wasn't ready to go home just yet, because the sun was still shining, and it'd been pretty rainy all week, so I suggested we had to Milwaukie to explore the city and riverfront. Here's a view of the Lake Oswego Railroad Bridge, which might possibly be open to pedestrians and bicyclists one day. Earlier this weekend, we rode the Willamette Shore Trolley along the Willamette to Lake Oswego, which is just across the river from Milwaukie, and it was exciting to envision this old trolley line as a future light rail line with nearby pedestrian and bicycling. I look forward to seeing some of these upgrades in our neighborhood in the future!

Looking up into the Lake Oswego Railroad Bridge from the shore below.

Another view of the Lake Oswego Railroad Bridge. We actually saw a bicyclist ride across! Hope this bicyclist was familiar with the train schedules.

We found the entrance point to the Lake Oswego Railroad Bridge, so Landon climbed up while I stayed in the car with the kids and took a few pictures.

We hung out at Riverfront Park in Milwaukie, where Landon took the photos of the Lake Oswego Railroad Bridge. The views from this park were beautiful, but the park itself could be cleaner and maintained better. I think Milwaukie as a whole could be so much nicer. One thing I noticed is that real estate is pretty affordable, and Milwaukie is in a pretty good location. I predict once the Sellwood Bridge is rebuilt that this city might gain popularity. Seems like a good property investment location to me.

Here I am, perched on some rocks on the east side of the Willamette at Riverfront Park in Milwaukie. Lake Oswego is in the background on the west side of the river.

Another view of the Lake Oswego Railroad Bridge. I really liked this shot in particular, and thought it had good contrast. Landon took this one, and all the others in this blog post.

Sam had fun throwing rocks into the Willamette. I gave him a bath once we got home. It's hard not to imagine even the rocks as contaminated due to sewage overflows.


We had fun exploring our city today. I told Landon last week that although our summer has been busy, we haven't done much exploring like we usually do. Today was one of those days where we didn't have any plans, and this spontaneous and explorative outing was just what I needed to get my mind off our friends Joel and Majo and my Dad, who is still recovering at home. Another summer day spent outdoors with my family. It doesn't get much better than that.


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