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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on October 29, 2009 10:31 AM. The previous post in this blog was Paulson takes a hit from the south. The next post in this blog is Be part of the circus. Many more can be found on the main index page or by looking through the archives.



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Thursday, October 29, 2009

Did you know Portland had a "resurgent retail core"?

Now, that's the kind of fantasy journalism that endears our local daily to all of us.

This latest wad of malarkey was tossed at us in a brief story about the city's new park, downtown where the Nordstrom parking lot used to be. Across from where the Aero Club used to be, and Hamburger Mary's, and the Vat, and Alligator Records, and the IHOP. Up the street from where the Virginia Cafe used to be. Across from where the abandoned construction pit is now.

The new place isn't really a park by any traditional standards. It's a granite and concrete plaza with the mandatory glass roof over part of it. Kind of like Pioneer Courthouse Square, only smaller, and with a multi-story parking garage underneath. Decidedly not green.

But maybe all green-ness is not lost. Many years ago, when I used to park my car on that lot, the parking lot attendant used to sell pot out of the little shack he worked in. The deal was that you gave him the money in the morning, along with your parking fee, and the herb would be in your glove compartment when you picked up the car in the afternoon. Given the climate downtown these days, maybe similar activity will be observed on the property.

Comments (21)

Sweet. Bring back the parking lot.

We have a "resurgent retail core" in the same way that "the streetcar has inticed billions in private development along the line."

Just keep repeating preposterous things until people accept them.

If these blow-hards want to plunk down $1M + to contstruct something out of ego to slap their name on it, why not spend that money on propping up one of our schools? Is it time to start selling naming rights for PPS buildings?
This "park" is utterly retarded, and only exists as a concession for being allowed to burrow down under the city and quadruple the number of parking spaces and revenue. We already have Pioneer square two blocks over.

Dang! I missed that little weed trade!

The article insinuates that this amazing park will be the driving force of some amazing (if not miraculous) economic revival getting set to burst forth within days.

I don't think so.

Gee - just what downtown needs - yet another "Bum Magnet" for the lowlifes. Did the schmuck who wrote this story notice the number of vacant storefronts on Broadway lately? Or that Pioneer Place is very vacant once you leave the main level?

In response to RANZ, the park is named after two persons who are long deceased, not after anyone who contributed land or money to build it.


You didn't inhale did you?

Downtown is dying. I walked to Powell's, then Dan & Louis, then back to work. I was spang'ed three times. There are many more empty storefronts than just a few months ago and the bums outnumber the well-heeled two to one. I walked past plenty of available on street parking, and very few people with shopping bags.

I was going to buy a Swatch, but it appears they closed their store across from Pioneer Courthouse Square. I needed to withdraw a large amount of cash from the Wells Fargo ATM, but given the sketchy characters hanging around downtown, I decided to wait until returning to SW Barbur Blvd. this afternoon.

I'm moving to Tigard next month: I'll cut my property tax bill in half for a bigger house that cost $100k less. I'll just have to spend an extra half hour a day listening to the radio in my car. Keep Portland Weird and keep it away from me!

the park is named after two persons who are long deceased, not after anyone who contributed land or money to build it.

The park is named after Jordan Schnitzer's grandparents. He contributed money to build it.

Maternal grandparents...the Directors.
For those of us ancient enough to remember those folks ran a furniture store. One of their daughters, Arleen, married Harold Schintzer and the result is now Harsch Investment.

My wife & I were in downtown last weekend, Jenn is spot on with her description. O'Bryant Square looked like County Detox on a busy night.

The new park will be overrun by late stage alcoholics and drug addicts within a month.

I've seen that park. How did they spend $9.5 million?

I call downtown the "For Lease" district because some many locations display a sign that says so.

I've had occasion to do business and pleasure down by Auditorium in the past month or so. The place that haunts me is that new CyanPDX Building on Fourth. Completely empty retail spaces on the lower level, and one day it seemed as if there were just two lights on in the entire residential portion.

Makes those SoWa condos seem full.

Hows that new Transit Mall working out for business?

AND...coming very soon street cars on MLK and Grand. Not being content to totally destroy the "downtown retail core" the developer weasels and the Goldschmit toadys are now about to destroy what is left of business on the east side of the ditch by digging up the major streets over there and charging the taxpayers for the privilege.

Ummm...that Transit Mall is a disaster and only contributes to the decay of the downtown core....

No worries, though, Mayor Creepy is busy dreaming up a repackaging in "resurgent retail core"...

The park is named after Jordan Schnitzer's grandparents. He contributed money to build it.
Jordan Schnitzer's grandparents are long deceased.

I walked through the park yesterday and was struck by two things: how many more vacancies there are and how there seem to be more vagrants than ever downtown. I noticed that two high-end women's shops on Broadway next to Pioneer Square are closing or have closed. The number of panhandlers and drugged out people with dogs is staggering.

We need city leadership to clean this up. Unfortunately, we have city leaders who don't really see a problem. I wrote recently to the council members about the blight of shopping carts on our streets. The only reply I got was from Amanda Fritz and her reply was, to paraphrase, what do you want the street people to do with their stuff other than to use shopping carts?

Ummm...that Transit Mall is a disaster and only contributes to the decay of the downtown core....

The addition of light rail to the bus mall actually reduced its capacity. Light rail trains require larger headways because the lumbering trains take so long to come to a complete stop. Because the "trains" consist of only two cars, they only have about twice the passenger capacity of a bus (usually the high passenger capacity of multi-car trains, assuming it is used, makes up for increased headways on rail lines). Buses you can pretty much run bumper to bumper, at least at the speeds they're operating them at on the mall. The fact that the trolleys weave back and worth, impeding bus movement, probably doesn't help either. But the cuts in bus service should take care of this problem.

I'm in the downtown core every day. The only thing resurgent is the smell. There are as many bums as workers some days.

Every self-respecting enterprise knows that the city is uniformly anti-business, and already took off. What's the benefit to having your employees get attacked?

So that leaves some crummy chain stores and restaurants, coffee houses, non-profits, PSU, and the government itself. It's all self-serving.

The transit mall is an accident waiting to happen. All I hear all day is bus and train horns. The traffic rules are too complex for a reasonable person to obey.

I'm surprised that my employer is still there. We must be getting KILLED on the taxes. I think we should move everything to Washington County.

In a few more years, downtown will be a Potemkin village, suitable only for Belgian urban-planning geeks to take pictures from their eco-friendly pogo stick transports.

Missing from the picture: People who aren't moochers or civil servants.

I miss the Vat. Best place to eat in Portland, hands down. All the tipsy attorneys and judges were amusing to watch, too.


As a lawyer/blogger, I get
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In Vino Veritas

King Estate, Pinot Gris, Backbone 2014
Oberon, Napa Cabernet 2013
Apaltagua, Envero Carmenere Gran Reserva 2013
Chateau des Arnauds, Cuvee des Capucins 2012
Nine Hats, Red 2013
Benziger, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Roxy Ann, Claret 2012
Januik, Merlot 2012
Conundrum, White 2013
St. Francis, Sonoma Cabernet 2012
Villa Antinori, Toscana 2012
Decoy, Cabernet, Sonoma 2013
Marqués de Murrieta, Reserva Rioja 2010
Kendall-Jackson, Grand Reserve Cabernet 2009
Seven Hills, Merlot 2013
Los Vascos, Grande Reserve Cabernet 2011
Abbot's Table, Columbia Valley 2014
Forlorn Hope, St. Laurent, Ost-Intrigen 2013
Upper Five, Tempranillo 2010 and 2012
The Four Graces, Pinot Gris 2015
Topsail, Syrah 2013
Jim Barry, The Lodge Hill Shiraz 2013
Robert Mondavi, Cabernet, Napa Valley 2012
Adelsheim, Pinot Gris 2014
Boomtown, Cabernet 2013
Boulay, Sauvignon Blanc 2014
Domaine de Durban Muscat 2011
Patricia Green, Estate Pinot Noir 2012
Crios, Cabernet, Mendoza 2011
WillaKenzie, Pinot Gris 2014
Dehesa la Granja, Tempranillo 2008
Abacela, Vintner's Blend #15
Selvapiana, Chianti Ruffina 2012
Joseph Carr, Cabernet 2012
Prendo, Pinot Grigio, Vigneti Delle Dolomiti 2014
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Otazu, Red 2010
Chehalem, Pinot Gris, Three Vineyards 2013
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Monmousseau, Vouvray 2014
Duriguttti, Malbec 2013
Ruby, Pinot Noir 2012
Castellare, Chianti 2013
Lugana, San Benedetto 2013
Canoe Ridge, Cabernet, Horse Heaven Hills 2011
Arcangelo, Negroamaro Rosato
Vale do Bomfim, Douro 2012
Portuga, Branco 2013
Taylor Fladgate, Late Bottled Vintage Porto 2009
Pete's Mountain, Pinot Noir, Kristina's Reserve 2010
Rodney Strong, Cabernet, Sonoma 2012
Bookwalter, Subplot No. 28, 2012
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Trader Joe's Grand Reserve, Napa Meritage 2011
Kramer, Chardonnay Estate 2012
Forlorn Hope, Que Saudade 2013
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Bottego Vinaia, Pinot Grigio Trentino 2013
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Pete's Mountain, Elijah's Reserve Cabernet, 2007
Beaulieu, George Latour Cabernet 1998
Januik, Merlot 2011
Torricino, Campania Falanghina 2013
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Chloe, Pinot Grigio, Valdadige 2013
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir 2013
Kirkland, Pinot Grigio, Friuli 2013
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Portuga, Rose 2013
Domaine Digioia-Royer, Chambolle-Musigny, Vielles Vignes Les Premieres 2008
Locations, F Red Blend
El Perro Verde, Rueda 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red 2010
Chloe, Pinot Grigio, Valdadige 2013
Edmunds St. John, Bone-Jolly Gamay Noir 2013
Kirkland, Pinot Grigio, Friuli 2013
St. Francis, Red Splash 2011
Rodney Strong, Canernet, Alexander Valley 2011
Erath, Pinot Blanc 2013
Taylor Fladgate, Porto 2007
Portuga, Rose 2013
Domaine Digioia-Royer, Chambolle-Musigny, Vielles Vignes Les Premieres 2008
Locations, F Red Blend
El Perro Verde, Rueda 2013
Chateau Ste. Michelle, Indian Wells Red 2
If You See Kay, Red 2011
Turnbull, Old Bull Red 2010
Cherry Tart, Cherry Pie Pinot Noir 2012
Trader Joe's Grand Reserve Cabernet, Oakville 2012
Benton Lane, Pinot Gris 2012
Campo Viejo, Rioja, Reserva 2008
Haden Fig, Pinot Noir 2012
Pendulum Red 2011
Vina Real, Plata, Crianza Rioja 2009
Edmunds St. John, Bone/Jolly, Gamay Noir Rose 2013
Bookwalter, Subplot No. 26
Ayna, Tempranillo 2011
Pete's Mountain, Pinot Noir, Haley's Block 2010
Apaltagua, Reserva Camenere 2012
Lugana, San Benedetto 2012
Argyle Brut 2007
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Anciano, Tempranillo Reserva 2007
Santa Rita, Reserva Cabernet 2009
Casone, Toscana 2008
Fonseca Porto, Bin No. 27
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The Occasional Book

Claire Vaye Watkins - Gold Fame Citrus
Markus Zusak - I am the Messenger
Anthony Doerr - All the Light We Cannot See
James Joyce - Dubliners
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William Golding - Lord of the Flies
Saul Bellow - Mister Sammler's Planet
Phil Stanford - White House Call Girl
John Kaplan & Jon R. Waltz - The Trial of Jack Ruby
Kent Haruf - Eventide
David Halberstam - Summer of '49
Norman Mailer - The Naked and the Dead
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Christopher Buckley - Thank You for Smoking
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Bill Bryson - A Short History of Nearly Everything
Cheryl Strayed - Tiny Beautiful Things
Sara Varon - Bake Sale
Stephen King - 11/22/63
Paul Goldstein - Errors and Omissions
Mark Twain - A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court
Steve Martin - Born Standing Up: A Comic's Life
Beverly Cleary - A Girl from Yamhill, a Memoir
Kent Haruf - Plainsong
Hope Larson - A Wrinkle in Time, the Graphic Novel
Rudyard Kipling - Kim
Peter Ames Carlin - Bruce
Fran Cannon Slayton - When the Whistle Blows
Neil Young - Waging Heavy Peace
Mark Bego - Aretha Franklin, the Queen of Soul (2012 ed.)
Jenny Lawson - Let's Pretend This Never Happened
J.D. Salinger - Franny and Zooey
Charles Dickens - A Christmas Carol
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Deborah Eisenberg - Transactions in a Foreign Currency
Kurt Vonnegut Jr. - Slaughterhouse Five
Kathryn Lance - Pandora's Genes
Cheryl Strayed - Wild
Fyodor Dostoyevsky - The Brothers Karamazov
Jack London - The House of Pride, and Other Tales of Hawaii
Jack Walker - The Extraordinary Rendition of Vincent Dellamaria
Colum McCann - Let the Great World Spin
Niccolò Machiavelli - The Prince
Harper Lee - To Kill a Mockingbird
Emma McLaughlin & Nicola Kraus - The Nanny Diaries
Brian Selznick - The Invention of Hugo Cabret
Sharon Creech - Walk Two Moons
Keith Richards - Life
F. Sionil Jose - Dusk
Natalie Babbitt - Tuck Everlasting
Justin Halpern - S#*t My Dad Says
Mark Herrmann - The Curmudgeon's Guide to Practicing Law
Barry Glassner - The Gospel of Food
Phil Stanford - The Peyton-Allan Files
Jesse Katz - The Opposite Field
Evelyn Waugh - Brideshead Revisited
J.K. Rowling - Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone
David Sedaris - Holidays on Ice
Donald Miller - A Million Miles in a Thousand Years
Mitch Albom - Have a Little Faith
C.S. Lewis - The Magician's Nephew
F. Scott Fitzgerald - The Great Gatsby
William Shakespeare - A Midsummer Night's Dream
Ivan Doig - Bucking the Sun
Penda Diakité - I Lost My Tooth in Africa
Grace Lin - The Year of the Rat
Oscar Hijuelos - Mr. Ives' Christmas
Madeline L'Engle - A Wrinkle in Time
Steven Hart - The Last Three Miles
David Sedaris - Me Talk Pretty One Day
Karen Armstrong - The Spiral Staircase
Charles Larson - The Portland Murders
Adrian Wojnarowski - The Miracle of St. Anthony
William H. Colby - Long Goodbye
Steven D. Stark - Meet the Beatles
Phil Stanford - Portland Confidential
Rick Moody - Garden State
Jonathan Schwartz - All in Good Time
David Sedaris - Dress Your Family in Corduroy and Denim
Anthony Holden - Big Deal
Robert J. Spitzer - The Spirit of Leadership
James McManus - Positively Fifth Street
Jeff Noon - Vurt

Road Work

Miles run year to date: 69
At this date last year: 110
Total run in 2015: 271
In 2014: 401
In 2013: 257
In 2012: 129
In 2011: 113
In 2010: 125
In 2009: 67
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In 2004: 204
In 2003: 269

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