What Portland was and is

Story by JTPosted: 2023-09-18 • Views: 685

Portland is or was a unique and interesting place to visit. It was always fun walking through down town at lunch time and snapping pictures. Capturing the good and the sad of what was once a thriving downtown drawing all sorts of people and businesses. However, sadly over the past few years with the local politicians neglecting their civic duties and law enforcement having their hands tied for the sake of political points, the town has fallen into a degenerate state with record crime, homelessness, drugs, gangs and just about anything that says "stay away". You hear a lot about San Francisco and Los Angeles. But don't forget about it's neighboring state just up north.

Many of the pictures here depict the people of Portland 10 years ago or more thus owing it's "Keep Portland Weired" motto in part to the people you see here.
Mike! Other wise known as the Blue man on 7th and 7th.

I would talk with Mike just about every time I walked down town. Always had something to say about the government and local politicians.

Mike would like to stand on the corner of Broadway near pioneer square and speak his mind. He was the Unofficial "Town Crier". One day he told me he could really do with a megaphone so he could be heard. needless to say, a few days later Amazon Prime delivered one to me and I gave it to him the next day and sure enough, he put it to use almost immediately. 📣
Remember Occupy Wall street ? This brought out a lot of the young Portlanders who apparently have time to camp and protest but not hold a job and complain about income, rich people, and corporations.

Ironically, most of them had i-phones created by one of the biggest corporations in the world, Tents provided by corporate retailers and all other sorts of chattels which makes life more pleasant and convenient for them these days. The hypocrisy is off the scale.

I particularly, love the businessman walking down the sidewalk looking in disbelief of what todays society has turned into.
Young people claiming to be homeless and outside of a food bank. Fore the most part, a friendly group just living day to day.

I wonder where they are today and if they turned their lives around. It's been 13 years since I took this photograph.
Although I prefer the black and white version of this photo. It gives it more of a gritty look and feel, I felt the colors of her eyes was reason enough to show the color version. Incredibly beautiful eyes.

I chose the X-Pan format for this one.

When Pioneer square was the place to be at in downtown Portland prior to it turning into the trash heap it is today, people actually gathered their to pass time, enjoy the day and interact with others.

The chess boards was a popular and always busy part of the square. Here we can see a man deeply in thought strategizing his next move. 😆♟️
A travelers just hanging out by a street corner. His attire is quite unique as is that of many others in Portland. As they use to say, Keep Portland weired.
Young girls from the Oregon State University dance team, doing a promotion in Pioneer square. I have yet to see similar activities in Portland opens space such as Pioneer Square in the past few years. Once a thriving and fun town were a walk was enjoyable. Now a deteriorating town full of homeless encampments, people defecating on the sidewalks, crime and empty stores
A true homeless person in Portland. I never knew his name but was a regular in down town sifting through garbage cans of anything he could find edible.
Unlike the homeless. I truly believe for the most part, the young are living a bohemian life style of the late 60's and early 70's not realizing that eventually they will conclude with them realizing this is going nowhere and having to adjust to fit what is considered the norm.
Just hanging on the corner. Very typical scene.
Again, the young people of Portland Oregon before the town turned into what it is now.

Need $ for Beer was a lot more enjoyable to watch, chat with and photograph then the crowd today. At least there was a sense of humor then.
The economy affects everyone and every industry. In this particular case the fashion industry. As the sign clearly states, an Unemployed Super model.

Today, the signs are a lot different without any sense of humor and darker side to them as so many of the homeless, junkies, gangs and drug dealers have been drawn to the Portland Metro area from other locations because of local politicians not enforcing laws and ignoring crime. Thus opening the flood doors to a more sinister side of the homelessness in Oregon.

Seattle is even worse.

The hustle and busy streets of Portland on a typical day. People and traffic in abundance in any direction.
Looks like a chef taking a break. Many culinary schools in the Portland area.
Phil from Escape from New York Pizza.

Portland has it's share of locations that tourist like to visit such as Voodoo Doughnuts which in my opinion is highly over rated and quite honestly, taste like 💩

Then you have Escape from New York Pizza on NW 23rd which ahs been around for ages serving amazing NY style Pizza. The staff is interesting, the decor is political and the Pizza is great.

I suggest you order a Fresh Pizza that does not need reheating. Its is 10 time better that way.
Outside of a Portland food bank you find all sorts of people. Don't let appearances fool you. For the most part, they are friendly and willing to engage in conversation.

I always found that if I talks with them, offer them something to eat or a buck, they are willing to let me photograph them without any issues.

The following are a few from the same location off of Burnside.
Oh my, I'm so stressed. 😄 Two Portland homeless, engaged in casual conversation.
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