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Monday, February 6, 2012

Smell the desperation

The recent re-doing of the Portland transit mall was not really necessary, and it cost a fortune, but the spendthrifts in city government and Tri-Met pushed it through anyway. Meanwhile, downtown has deteriorated to a point that in many ways resembles its bleak state around 35 years ago.

But hey, we've got shiny trains, and this, this morning:

We're not sure what that is. Other than peculiar, and sad.

Comments (33)

When do we rename it the "Maul"?

I like that "Free Fun on the Transit Mall"

Bullet-proof garments not included.

Tragically sad indeed. What a waste.

Sweet! A snow sculpture! But, yeah, it ain't gonna get me downtown. And I sure as hell ain't gonna ride the bus there to see that.

With the few days of sunny weather, I've been treated to the incessant "bucket drummers". Today's energetic fellow moved from the corner in front of Nordstrom's to the corner opposite The Nines to the corner opposite American Bank Building. Downtown cops said as long as he moves once an hour, it doesn't matter how far he moves corner to corner.

I can hardly work in my office 7 floors up with the windows closed. Not to mention the "Luxury" hotel across the street.

I asked the cop who I could write to - he said "your Mayor, not that he gives a shit".


"I asked the cop who I could write to - he said "your Mayor, not that he gives a shit".


Write the Mayor, and tell him that you suspect that the bucket drummer is not properly recycling compostable materials. The Green Police will be out in minutes...

What a great city we live in. It's been reduced to revenue sources. Parking in the same zone twice in twelve hours represents a revenue source. The bucket man moving every hour disrupting life downtown doesn't. Bring back the Occupy crowd. At least it added a little entertainment downtown.

Ha, I love a good, disgruntled cop. When I had my car window smashed upon moving into a new neighborhood, the cop took my report and said something like "Can't really do anything for you though. And even if I could, the judges in this city would give the vandal a very light tap on the risk. Now, it would be different if you lived in Lake Oswego. Then someone might care. But these neighborhoods that you and I live in...nope."

Looks like an Occupy Portland picnic. Better call the Oregonian so they can run down there and cover it.

These "Mondays on the Maul" were around last summer as well. Seemed like mostly photos and face painting back then. Wonder who is paying for it.

I would think the bucket drummers are breaking City sound ordinances - I used to work in the Pioneer Tower, and called to complain several times. However, they have to be caught, and I doubt city police have sound meters on them.

How can this much fun and merriment ever be contained by just one day?

And they called this "The Next Big Thing".

I apologize as I was remiss in communicating what was happening under the Maul Management tent. There was a very skilled man sculpting snow into a Platonic forms and having fun greeting people he knew.

I looked and was hoping for an Occupartier at Ski Bowl snow sculpture, only to find the start of a snow child.

Also, the sand boys were back out on SW 5th and Washington spreading the magic sand again. Like most things, it is exhausting keeping up and eventually, you stop. My epiphany of the day was that the city keeps plugging along and eventually one tires or moves, or both.

I worked in that building (the Congress Center) from 2005 to 2011. My former employer, a Fortune 100 Company, is specifically not renewing their lease in order to find a new location AWAY FROM THE TRANSIT MALL. They aren't the only tenant on a month-to-month lease. NikeTown is also moving leaving 6th Street.

Property values on the Meth Mall are going DOWN!

The Nike store already moved, Mister Tee, to a LARGER location on the TRANSIT MALL, on 5th Ave. Oh, and Apple is also opening a new mega store with it's entrance to be located on 5th Ave, the TRANSIT MALL. Target has started construction on their new downtown store. Three national retailers and two first in Oregon restaurants have also signed onto the revamped Pioneer Place Mall that is undergoing renovation, opening up its storefronts to the street.

Ah, good times! Before long, magic sand and street entertainers are all you'll find down there. Well, panhandlers count as street entertainers....

"NikeTown is also moving leaving 6th Street."

It moved to 5th and Morrison.

I miss the old bus shelters. They left one (just left of the picture) for the overpriced coffeehouse conversion, but sadly painted it boring black, which ruined the bronze / brown tone that defined the old mall motif.

Say what you want about the LZ (what I call the transit mall these days), but at least it's quieter than SE Belmont tonight. Fights, arrests and plenty of vandalism in the neighborhood.

Many in this group came out with the intention of starting trouble where people live. Do they really think they are going to make the PPD give up their ways? Between the two of them, the city just isn't safe.

Perhaps its time to embrace the New World Order? Ah, diversity!

Downtown has been in a death spiral since Neil was mayor, 1973-1979.

The downtown decline sped up when Adams and Leonard took over control of city hall in '08. Potter the former Mayor actually didn't care for Adams, and thwarted some of Adams overactive government intrusions. I thought early last summer citizens should have gotten together and sent both lameduck Adams and Leonard on paid extended vacations to ride out the rest of their terms and leave us citizens alone (would've been a huge win-win for all of us). Instead Adams shifted into a higher state of government intrusion as he trys to beef up his "green" resume for future employment opportunity.

So, folks like me now have to deal with flimsy paper bags falling part as we walk or bike home from the neighborhood grocer. And we have to spend an extra hour or so each week trying to plot how we can compress down our garbage so as to wait for every other week garbage can pick up. In the latest bought of craziness, found out Adams has spent city monies (some $300k) funding an adhoc group who's sole mission seems to be to propose a new local tax or fee to fund local art projects.

I hate the governance of this city so much I actually went and bought a second home in a rural setting outside of Portland and Multnomah - a place where a free spirit can still retire and be left alone. Plan to move there in the next couple of years, leaving stumptown and the likes of Adams and Leonard.

What a shining example of tremendous success.

The enormous crowd in celebration. Says it all.

Bless you all the politicians, planners, consultants, editorial board members, reporters and political activists who made it all possible.

Now if we just exterminate the Clackistanis so this can be duplicated throughout the region.

The new Underworld movie just came out. I think I'll go watch the lichens and vampires fighting for two hours, just to distract myself from this crazy city and the people who run it. I sure hope that cute child in the picture isn't living in a homeless shelter.

Bob Clark wrote:
I hate the governance of this city so much I actually went and bought a second home in a rural setting outside of Portland and Multnomah - a place where a free spirit can still retire and be left alone. Plan to move there in the next couple of years, leaving stumptown and the likes of Adams and Leonard.

Right on. Enjoy your retreat Bob! Check out (yes it's a nice legitimate site) for some lovely rustic dwelling ideas. I'm scoping out some roof and awning examples there.

I'm not retired, nor close... but I hope to find a little peace out here. Especially after tonight, with fractious Black Bloc stooges fighting each other and vandalizing some very 99% areas in Southeast. Not going to change any minds there in the old neighborhood.

If they want to trash a residential area (whatever the overt excuse given) and rub it in the faces of the masters whom they are so obsessed with, why don't they go up to Kings Heights or Council Crest or Arlington Heights? Or the ever-loving Pearl District? But it never happens.

It's just easier to roll over and soil their own beds. All part of the self-hatred that's fundamental to the movement. Where I am now, people seem to be somewhat more happy to be alive, and don't need to conspicuously destroy themselves to assuage the imagined guilt.

The live streams tonight are so telling... this is a young person's game. Someday my earnest friends you will be mugged by life. Until then, have a blast tearing up your own crib, and finding fresh distractions to demonize and rail against.

You want to hear funny? Dallas keeps trying to put in dopy "creative class enticements" into downtown, and the mantra over and over is "Well, Portland does this, and we want to be more like Portland, right?" In the meantime, downtown Dallas at night has resembled a George Romero movie for the last twenty years, so the solution by the city was to have more little booths like this in the hopes that it would get people to hang around after 6 on a weekday. Guess what, Portland? You're turning into what Dallas was back in 1992. God help you.

This same crap came to a head in New York during the Dinkins reign. I can't figure out why people the Times pine for those days.

The vacant storefronts may reopen, oftentimes at lower rents.

That doesn't change the fact that employers of significant size and reputation are dissatisfied with the dregs of humanity they now share their sidewalks with...The Transit Mall didn't start this trend, it merely magnified it. The suits are leaving the Transit Mall, in many cases they're moving to Clark, Washington, and Clackamas Counties.

National retailers, particularly those with global appeal, will always flock to downtown Portland: that's where the Asian tourists come to shop tax free. Not to mention the well healed Californias, Hawaiians and Washingtonians who will come to Portland once or twice a year for major purchases (cameras, watches, jewelry, etc). Target is simply filling the gap left vacant by the departure of Kitchen Kaboodle and other houseware retailers who skeedadled long ago.

The Meth Mall isn't good for most businesses. If you're selling cheap booze, hypodermic needles, or smokes, it's LAND OFFICE business.

What's going on under that canopy? Somebody cooking meth? Can't see.

I saw that "event" on my way to the Coliseum to pick up some tickets for the Winter Hawks. (Something that Portland can be proud of.) Bunch of young (teenaged) girls dancing and prancing around...a pedophile's dream come true. At that stop, some old woman came aboard and was yelling and screaming "Make it stop! Stop everything!" and cussing. Fortunately she got off at the next stop, but not without falling down the one or two stairs from the high-floor to the low-floor section of the train. Her companion was nice enough to hold the door open, delaying the train, as she was cussing everything out and limping off the train saying her knee was broken.

You can't get away from it in Central Oregon, either ... here's this morning's headline from the Bend Bulletin:

"ARTS GROUP LEAVES DOWNTOWN SITE - Nonprofit says unsavory activity made historic Bend location untenable. Classical music didn’t work. Neither did the sign telling people they’re under surveillance. Now Arts Central, fed up with the unsavory activity occurring regularly outside its windows, is leaving downtown...."

This transit mall side is the other shoe to drop n the Green line fiasco.

Metro's Michael Jordan and others had already admitted the Green Line out at I-205 was built in the wrong place. There's no way for it to spur
development. Of course not. But that wasn't what they were saying as they ushered it forward.

And now the reality of the Transit Mall makeover-boondoggle having no success at reviving the businesses along the mall means the entire Green Line-Transit Mall project is a bust. Just like WES and the rest of MAX.

Yet the exact same model, promises and chicanery are being used to advance all the next chapters of this madness.

The Lake Oswego Streetcar, Milwaukie Light Rail, Barbud/99 light rail & CRC/Light Rail are all being advanced the same way.
Primarily by avoiding or prohibiting public votes.

THAT is quickly becoming a risky business.

M, it sounds like you are excitedly awaiting the arrival of several "big box" stores downtown, e.g. Target and other "national retailers." Pardon me for asking, but don't these stores depart from the good mayor's preference for "keeping it local"? Just curious!

M, it sounds like you are excitedly awaiting the arrival of several "big box" stores downtown, e.g. Target and other "national retailers." Pardon me for asking, but don't these stores depart from the good mayor's preference for "keeping it local"?

Naah, just trying to put Fred Meyer's longstanding store on West Burnside out of business. Nevermind that they're the most "local" of all of our big box stores, with still a major corporate presence in our city. Target doesn't even have a distribution center in the Metro area - they truck in all their goods from Albany - and truck a lot of containers that came from China, on a ship to Portland, and truck it down to Albany - just to truck an empty container back to Portland, to send the truck sans trailer to Albany, to send a loaded trailer of goods to the downtown Portland store, then haul the empty trailer back to Albany empty, then the truck back to Portland to pick up another container of good Chinese made goods.

But...WalMart is bad. (I guess their distribution center is in Hermiston...maybe Portland just has a thing against eastern Oregon...we dump our garbage in Arlington, our electricity comes from burning coal and spewing toxic rain over Boardman...) Albany is at least on the way to San Francisco where Sam Adams has been preoccupied with celebrating the 9th Circuit's ruling today - while ignoring all the potholes in our streets up here in Portland (you know, that city where he was somehow elected the Mayor of...)


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