Saturday, October 2, 2010

Portland Walk: South Waterfront

We took a nice walk this week and discovered where the waterfront trail ends on the south end of downtown. It stops right under the Marquam Bridge, which is my least favorite bridge here, and there are no runners up because the rest of the bridges are great. But the Marquam Bridge is a big, double decker, ugly interstate bridge that blocks the view of the mountain. And I'll admit I did actually have to google map to find the name of the bridge which I believe means I'm still a Portland newbie. Ah, well.

Aerial tram

Anyway, our plan had been to possibly take the aerial tram, however yesterday seemed to mark the return to normal fall weather. Recently it's been pretty hot and summer like, which I guess is nice, but the regular overcast, cool, pacific northwest weather is why we moved back here. So other than changing our plans to wait for a clear day to do the tram I was thrilled about the overcast sky. (It's clear today, so maybe this weekend.) We had coffee by the waterfront instead. (Uh, yes it was afternoon coffee, which I can't really do without being up really late, which I was. But it was worth it!) Coffee and overcast skies...I've missed them together so much. Maybe I'll even get to start wearing lots of knits soon!

Purple Flowers Lost Birds

So after coffee we walked along the waterfront, as I mentioned, to the end of the trail. Before we reached it there was a nicely landscaped area with all sorts of varieties of flowers still in bloom and I ran around snapping pictures of them. I didn't see any signs around so I'm not really sure what they all were (for example: what is this?) and I'm curious to find out if any of the plants were native species. The landscape design has a very naturalistic quality. I also really appreciated the sculpture Lost Birds, pictured above, featuring extinct bird species: The Passenger Pigeon, Carolina Parakeet, Great Auk, Heath Hen and Labrador Duck immortalized in bronze.

Lucier Restaurant Channel Glass
The area near the end of the trail seems to have been developed recently, within the last few years. Googling tells me it's The Strand at Riverplace by the architecture firm Ankrom Moison, completed around 2007. Overall it's fairly typical of the type of high-end condo projects that were so prevalent right before the economy tanked, but it did have a few pleasant details. Pictured on the left is the building for Lucier, a very fancy restaurant, which Yelp indicates is no more. As for the condos, I was kind of taken with the use of channel glass, as pictured on the right, but Chuck said he'd heard too much about it with his fellow students throwing it into projects left and right in grad school; it's actually pretty expensive. It looks good though, and I like that they used both matte and glossy style glass. 


Mr. Rippy said...

I worked for Ankrom Moisan. They did a lot of work in the Pearl District.

Emma said...

I really love that area, it seems like a very sensible approach to the kind of development that was so prevalent in every city...of course I also can't help but feel like it's also a great place to go if you are rich and want to pretend the crappy economy isn't really happening!