Keeping Portland Weird - Perspective with Film by Ricky Davis
Keep Portland Weird....
It's a slogan you see everywhere in Portland, or at least in all the Made in Oregon stores. This summer I made my third trip to the City of Roses in the last four years. This time I really didn't have time to do a whole lot of anything IN Portland. Sadly, our plans got kind of redone when my wife's uncles unexpectedly passed away and we made a trip down to California for his memorial service. That was really unfortunate but it did allow us to see family that we wouldn't have had the chance to see.
I was able to make my way into Portland one morning for a couple of hours while I was out there. There were things that were the same, and things that had changed a bit since the last time I wandered around downtown.
One thing that has changed in the time I left, I went into some record stores in Portland, actually looking to pick up some records. In 2013, I actually had sold my records before going out because I didn't want to move them across the country. When we came back to TN, I didn't really think about albums but started picking them up again some last year. I honestly didn't want to pick any albums up this year because I didn't want to have to ship them back, but I found a copy of Shooter Jennings debut "Put the O Back in Country." and a Waylon that I didn't have, so yeah, I got them back.
Sadly, one thing that hadn't changed was the amount of homelessness in Portland. In 2013, it was bad. Under every bridge it seemed like a community. This year, when we first arrived I didn't see anyone. I thought maybe things had improved. When I went walking around downtown though, people were everywhere. Some were extremely nice and talked, some definitely had some mental issues. One thing that really impacted me was walking down the sidewalks and the amount of people just sleeping. All around them, people were walking by without seeming to notice. It was almost like two different worlds operating in the same vicinity.
This photo is one of the first color film shots I took. I definitely want to work more on color film, but this sign really stood out to me. I was walking by what I guess was a lot that had been converted into a homeless camp. There was a wooden "wall" built around and tents and lean-to's inside. Outside different people had made signs to put on the wall. This sign stood out to me, with the message of having the right to dream, too. If you think about it, it just seems to be very poignant.
I love seeing different murals, and graffiti. When I was in Portland before, I never was able to really find near as much graffiti and paintings as I'm accustomed to in Chattanooga/Nashville/Knoxville. As I was walking around I saw this, and it was just gorgeous. This was my favorite photo of it. Below is one that has a lady walking next to it, just for size comparison. Whoever did this did an amazing job.
Here's another mural that was farther down on a wall from the other lady. The detail and emotion in this paintings eyes I thought was really outstanding and just drew you to it.
I love checking out different buildings, in different places. I really love buildings that are designed in this style. It's just so much more interesting than typical square buildings.
I'll wrap up this blog with this last shot, another from my Ektar 100. No Boundaries. I guess that could mean a lot of different things, to a lot of different people. It can be a good motivator, and at the same time in the wrong hands "No Boundaries" can be a horrifying thing. I choose to think of it as we tend to set boundaries on what we can achieve, or we allow others to set boundaries on what we are capable of. Really it's all on who we give control. We can choose to believe it, or we can push ourselves beyond what we're told is possible. That choice is yours.