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Sunday, August 20, 2006

Keepin' it real

Shocking! In today's O, one of the urban studies gurus at Portland State actually says he likes part of Portland just the way it is -- without yuppification!

It's a rare moment, people, so check it out.

I hope it's not a spoof of some kind...

Comments (1)

Along the same lines, here's a piece written a few years ago...

Posted by: Jack Bog at August 20, 2006 11:33 AM

Note to the author: 82nd continues for many miles into Clackamas County - but I guess that would have been too much work (or a 3rd zone on the bus ticket) to investigate for the article.

Posted by: Hinckley at August 20, 2006 01:53 PM

Imho, Abbott and others at PSU are at their best when they are talking about real life and real planning and not lining up in lock step with the Goldschmidt agenda. Abbott and others know something about history and its hard to imagine that don't sometimes flash on Robert Moses (The Power Broker) in New York and/or William Mulholland in LA when they think of Neil.

Posted by: Cynthia at August 20, 2006 02:06 PM

Having studied with Carol Abbott, I'm pretty sure I remember him talking about Neil Goldschmidt (circa 1970s) as being a counter-example to Robert Moses.

Of course, the 1990s edition "Big Dog" was much more akin to Moses.

Why are we still talking about Neil Goldschmidt? Isn't he holed up in a ski lodge in Idaho now, ostracized from humanity?

Posted by: Kari Chisholm at August 20, 2006 08:33 PM

No. He lives in Dundee now, and is still giving "suggestions" to your boy Teddy through lieutenants like Tom Imeson.

Posted by: Jack Bog at August 20, 2006 08:35 PM

and is still giving "suggestions" to your boy Teddy through lieutenants like Tom Imeson.

Heckuva charge... source?

Posted by: Kari Chisholm at August 21, 2006 01:38 AM

This is one of the few areas of Portland that I like and can still relate to. It is much closer to the Portland that I grew up in, the people are open, honest and really good folks versus the attitude that accompanies (many) people in the Pearl, etc. Thankfully there isn't alot that city hall sees that they can exploit (like they are the waterfront) so this section of town might remain 'real' for several more years. While I only go downtown when work calls, I don't mind going out 82nd way at all.

However, if this professor keeps talking like this he just might lose his job. Need to keep 'the vision' you know.

Posted by: mmmarvel at August 21, 2006 02:42 AM

It's a refreshing perspective to advocate leaving parts of Portland alone, but it will be a sad, sad day when 82nd ave. is held up as one of the last examples of authentic 'old' Portland.

Posted by: Tom at August 21, 2006 06:33 AM

Since I live about 3 blocks away on 79th I can render an honest opinion of 82nd. As much as there is to like about 82nd, there is also a lot to be discouraged about. This article paints a glossy (or should I say rustic) image of 82nd yet prostitution, heavy traffic, violent crime, and at least one used car dealer who almost swindled me are also prevalent on 82nd. I would like to say it is a mixed bag bat best.

Posted by: Todd at August 21, 2006 08:29 AM

I attended grade school at Vestal, which is on 82nd just north of Burnside. I grew up hangin' at the library on 80th, the Academy Theater at 79th & Stark and the soda fountain at the drug store at 80th & Glisan. I'd say 82nd is a mixed bag. I still think it's an eyesore, and I'd be a lot happier if they toned down the visual pollution.

That said, I understand what Carl is saying. Such streets gotta exist. They serve a valid urban purpose. Carl's got a point, but his is waxing a bit romantic. Columbia Boulevard is another street like 82nd, but catering to the heavy equipment crowd, rather than recreational vehicles.

I, too, studied under Carl at PSU. I found him to be an engaging and insightful teacher. He's not so much a "planner" as he is an urban historian. His class was "Portland's History Through It's Neighborhoods" and in the process every student in that class wrote a historical walking tour of a Portland neighborhood. I did one for Richmond neighborhood, of which I'm still quite proud, despite it's being somewhat dated.

Carl Abbott is a pretty good guy, and it seems to me that he has a more than adequate understanding of Portland's economic class structures and their geographic distribution within the political bounds of the city.

Posted by: godfry at August 21, 2006 09:38 AM

You should post your 'walking tour of Richmond' I think it would make a fascinating read. His class sounds like one taught at PSU back in 75' by a young woman named Marie Hartman who was a graduate student at the time and was teaching her first class called 'The Physical Environment of Portland', it was probably the most fascinating class I ever took at PSU an overview of our city from historic perspectives, geological, and biological incorporating how a city operates and alters the environment around it as it grows. We also were assigned a neighborhood that we had to 'survey'.

Posted by: tom at August 21, 2006 09:56 AM

I never took a class from Carl Abbott at PSU, but I had friends who did who enjoyed him. More recently, I saw him on a panel convened to discuss the aftermath of Measure 7 (precursor of 37) on which he was vigorously defending the neo-urban agenda. Maybe the fact that he is not a "planner" explains that, because planners are trained to see the nuances, even those who chose not to for economic reasons or to win popularity contests.

Posted by: Cynthia at August 21, 2006 10:17 AM

And Kari,
Can you prove Neil is in Idaho? And even if he were, couldn't he be emailing Ted and Ron from his lap top?

I always get a kick out of people who insist there can be no collusion because parties are in separate locations. In what century are they living?

Posted by: Cynthia at August 21, 2006 10:23 AM

I thought Neil was in France?

Posted by: Anthony at August 21, 2006 11:59 AM

I saw Neil filling his car at a gas station in Kalamazoo.

Posted by: Anahit at August 21, 2006 03:14 PM

Didn't I see Neil on TV last night being escorted by the police off of an air flight from Thailand? Oops, no, my mistake, that was a different child molester.

As for Carl. I too took his History of Portland Class and a couple of others. He's a great historian and cultural observer, loves this city like no one else I know, and is a true Portland gem. Plus, he's just an all around reasonable and nice guy.

You should check out his website for more of his writings:

Also, he has written at least 6 books, non of them your typical boring and wonky academia crap. All are great for learning more about our city and region.

Posted by: Portland_Prospector at August 21, 2006 04:17 PM

Can you prove Neil is in Idaho? And even if he were, couldn't he be emailing Ted and Ron from his lap top?

I don't give a damn where he is. (That was just what I thought I remembered.)

Maybe he's emailing his pals, and maybe he's not. I'm not the one making the accusation. Burden of proof is on the guy making the charge.

Posted by: Kari Chisholm at August 21, 2006 08:35 PM


Mailing Address: PO BOX 9, DUNDEE, OR 97115

Property Address: 771 NE WORDEN HILL RD

Posted by: Jack Bog at August 22, 2006 09:02 AM

Carl Abbott knows more about cities in general and the history of Portland in particular than all of you GOFs combined. And I'm guessing that he doesn't consider Toledo to be the greatest achievement in urban development over the entire history of mankind the way some of you do. I'm also guessing that the neighborhood that he has chosen to live in is nowhere close to 82nd Avenue...

Posted by: scott at August 23, 2006 10:23 PM

Carl Abbott is someone with a specialty who is entilted to respect for that. He is not a guru or a god. It seems to me that we would make fewer mistakes and have greater government transparency if we weren't always out looking for people to worship(and others to demean) and more cognizant that learning and planning are both processes that require broad input and participation. And that no person is above making mistakes.

Posted by: Cynthia at August 24, 2006 11:35 AM

[Posted as indicated; restored later.]


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