Category Archives: Portland OR

Portland City Center Art and MSF Exhibit

Every time I stroll from the MAX stop at Pioneer Place to Pioneer Courthouse Square I am amused by the sculptures along Morrison Street. This time I took photos.

I imagine the beavers and ducks reference OSU and OU mascots; I don’t know of any sport significance to sea lions. I do know the sea lions are a feature of coastal towns, in some cases overrunning certain piers.

Pioneer Courthouse Square is the site of many events: festivals, political rallies, craft markets, and sand sculptures among others.  This week it hosted an exhibit produced by Doctors Without Borders (Medecins Sans Frontieres, MSF).

MSF 1

Visitors are greeted, given a refugee identity (mine was a Syrian asylum seeker), then ushered through the various exhibits by an MSF volunteer. The tent pictured above housed a 360-degree video of variousl refugee camps and in some cases modes of transportation as if we were in the train or truck.

A more specific transportation exhibit allowed us to sit in a small boat made for 8 and imagine 20 or more in it as we listened to the benefits and trials of the various options.

MSF boat

The hour-long tour of the exhibit increased my understanding of the physical hazards refugees face as well as political challenges met by various category of people fleeing. Nor are all countries signatories of the UN declaration. Those who are must provide basic needs of refugees; others are under no obligation. And it expanded my understanding of MSF: previously I’d envisioned only field hospital type medicine rather than the holistic care of refugee needs.

If you are in Portland, the exhibit is up till 5 pm Sunday in its west coast travels.

More information on the exhibit here (with a nice photo of Pioneer Courthouse Square) here.

More information on MSF here.

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Filed under Portland OR, social issues

A Week (plus a day) of Rallies and Marches

It’s been a long week, and I’ve felt kicked in the gut most days. While demonstrations alone won’t change anything, they are part of the tool box. So I’ve chosen several out of the multiple possibilities in Portland, OR.

It started with the rally against Fascism on inauguration day.

I didn’t stay for the whole because I also wanted to go to the Ford Gallery’s opening of “Divided We Stand,”  artists’ reactions to the election. I didn’t take any photos there because I wasn’t sure of copyright restrictions.

Then Saturday was a two march day.  First the Jobs with Justice rally. Though it supported immigrants, workers and single-payer healthcare, I photographed different signs.

That rally preceded the women’s march and marched as a group to join up with the women.

Newspapers are reporting the attendance at Portland’s Women’s March was around 100,000. I met my friends about two blocks from the stage. There were so many people that it seemed useless to try to get closer.

womens-march-official-route

Only the news-helicopter video shows the size of the crowd. People moved too quickly for me to get detailed photos of their signs, though some were witty. This was on the main route after I’d been on two overflow streets.Yes, it was raining. That didn’t feel so bad after I read of the people above the Arctic Circle out where the temp was -51.

Then Friday began the next round when Credo  orchestrated a rally against Betsy DeVos for Secretary of Education. Senator Jeff Merkley, one speaker, was going to deliver Credo’s 1.4 million signatures in opposition to her confirmation. He graded her performance at the hearing as F on all points, including oblivion to the Students with Disabilities Act. To highlight that one, a graduate special-needs student spoke of the importance of schooling with her peers. Other objections included DeVos’ dependence on private schools without oversight in Michigan to the detriment of quality. Maybe you can read others on the poster.

Saturday followed. I selected two from the available options. First was the March for Justice and Equality.

People have a way of ruining a photo’s composition. The obliterated phrase to replace “again” is “for once.” My friend and I marched till the group got about a block ahead of us, then we took a street car to the Stand with Standing Rock event.

This was led by Native elders. One speaker, Grandma Addie, wrapped in the green and brown blanket–last photo, reminded us of all the points in our lives marked by water and had us chanting, Water is the First Medicine. She asked us to thank water every time we saw it as in crossing a river or used it as in the shower. She and another elder speaking were in their 90s. She mentioned there being five living generations of her family.  Several speakers reminded us that decisions should be made to benefit ourselves and seven generations.

Several spoke via phone, including an onsite report from Digital Smoke Signalsand Winona LaDuke. Songs and drumming alternated with speeches. There was also a round dance. People formed two circles and greeted everyone as they moved in opposite directions.

Perhaps next week I’ll have time to sew.

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Filed under events, Portland OR

Not the Weather Quilt but Weather

Portland, OR, isn’t used to snow, so this is noteworthy. Usually snow comes to the higher elevations and the lower get rain.

snow-patio-med

I suppose it is part of Portland’s weirdness that we have five “quadrants”: the usual NE, NW, SE, SW and North, where I live. According to the paper, North got the most snow at 12 inches last night. A few more views–in three directions:

Now back to my weather quilt and other projects in waiting.

ETA: Weather broadcast said that we had not gotten this much snow in one 24 hour period since 1980.

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Filed under Portland OR, Uncategorized

Gingerbread

Time for my annual jaunt downtown to see the gingerbread creation at the Benson Hotel.

boldt-castle

I forgot to take one photo with people in it for relative perspective. This year’s creation replicated the Boldt Castle in New York. Made with 100 lbs gingerbread, 50 lbs icing, and 20 lbs of marzipan, it took 300 hours.

boldt-candelabra

I was especially intrigued with the tiny candelabra. Behind it an equally tiny “painting”-about 1 1/2 inch by 2.

Some more details:

If you ever visit Portland during December, remember to check this out.

ETA: When I was a child my family took many road trips, one was to New York State. I am sure we saw Boldt Castle because I remember the detail that it was built on Heart Island and stopped when the wife for whom it was being built died. It would have been in the 50s, before it was bought by the state and fixed up, so I am not sure how much of it we saw or even if we could go inside.

 

 

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Vision and Vigilance Candlelight Vigil

Around 200 people gathered in Waterfront Park at the Japanese American Historical Plaza/Bill of Rights Plaza to say, “Never Again.” The memory of the Japanese incarceration during World War II is much more vivid here in Portland than anywhere else I have been. The experience is more real–people have family who were sent away; others knew people who were sent away and imprisoned. One of my friend’s neighbors was sent away; her family managed to keep the farm for them to return to–many were not so lucky. The occasion for today’s vigil was to say, No, to President-elect Trump’s attempt to use the Japanese imprisonment as precedent for making a list of Muslims.

stone

In this memorial space, the stone to the left has engraved on it the names of the places where the Japanese families were herded and kept behind barbed wire and guarded. Another significance of the space was mentioned in the invocation: We gather here on land ceded by the Tribes of the Grande Ronde.

The vigil opened with Taiko drumming.

taiko

Speakers represented many religions–Jewish, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Native American–as well as city and state government and human rights organizations.Overall the message was of unity and solidarity: if they come for one, we will all be there.
I learned of a resistance to the Holocaust, an Imam in Paris had quickly registered Jews as Muslims to protect them.

The city councilman reminded us of Portland’s non-discrimination policies and assured us that Portland would remain a sanctuary city.

An Asian high school student told how important it was for her to learn of various ways Asians had been active in the Civil Rights movement and other crisis situations.

We closed singing John Lennon’s “Imagine.”

candle

Edited to add link to Oregonian article and professional photos.

 

 

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F2F January

January’s blocks have made it across the pond, so now I can post; though it is the second post on quilts from Sherri Lynn Wood’s book, it is the first attempt.

The January request is for greens.  That and a preference for modern. Perfect timing since I am ready to play from the “scores” in Sherri Lynn Wood’s Improv Handbook for Modern Quilters.

My limits. Color green (as requested); 12 1/2-inch blocks (Footsquare–the second F is for Free style, any block we choose). My plan was to start with Score 2, strings, then use the string set in Score 7, Layered Curves. (Combining Scores is part of Score 10, Showing up, so you could say I am starting at the end. The book is well enough cross referenced that this is possible.)

Green block 1

12 1/2 x 12 1/2

Wood invites reflection after each piece.

What surprised? I was surprised by how little the blocks shrunk I’d started with 9-inch “squares”  and ended with 8 1/2-inch squares so had to trim off 2 inches. (She does say to expect to lose 1/2 inch with each cut; however, I’d missed that on the first read.)

What was satisfying? I liked the couple places where I could make use of “bleeding,” blending two shapes into one. I liked the flow of the outer lines that created an irregular square in a square; I liked the piece in the lower left leading into it, but what was dissatisfying was the big light (it really is a light green, not white) piece in the lower left. It drew too much attention to itself. But to trim it more would have eliminated other colors I liked and needed.

What to do about it?  Maybe not use #7 when I have a set size and a need to trim (or start smaller and add rather than trim). The main problem was the predetermined size. Still I don’t think it is totally  impossible to combine defined with improv.

Where go from here?  On to the next block.

Block 2

12 1/2 x 12 1/2

This one was made from two light squares and two strip-set squares. I’d started out thinking some Drunkard’s Path arrangement so cut the curve and stitched. (#2 and #7 again). On a whim instead of following through, I cut the half square triangles (HSTs) and assembled.

I was quite surprised that I couldn’t arrange the squares in BOTH a pinwheel and an interrupted circle. (Geometry was never my strongpoint.) Once I realized that, I played till I got this setting and was quite satisfied.The design has a coherent rhythm; it was actually helped by having to be trimmed though I lost some color repetition.

Finally, what to do with the Sunny Lanes traditional block that I have been making for each month?

block 3

12 1/2 x 12 1/2

At first I considered cutting it all out irregularly, and I might have followed through on that if I didn’t have the size restriction. I decided to make the HSTs regular and play with what would be 4-patch blocks in the traditional version. I used the last of my strip set in the center and learned that if I want to alternate the direction of subcuts from a strip set, I really need an even number of strips to get a checkerboard effect;however, the center “stripe” doesn’t look too bad (successful “bleeding”?).

Ideally I’d have had some strip set left for the corner “4-patch” block substitute. Since I didn’t, I made do with left over bits. I did have to cut a strip of the bright green because I wanted it in each corner.

This was my first venture with Wood’s book. Other experiments have been blogged (Diluting Orange posts) about before you see this. Check there for my “What next?”

I’ll link up with AHIQ when the time is right (button in the sidebar).

 

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Filed under design, Portland OR, quilting

Last Lan Su for awhile

The Lan Su Chinese Garden is closing after Thanksgiving for some major repairs to the lake–the lining needs to be replaced and they are creating places for the koi to hide from the herons that pass through for dinner. That pushed me to make a visit before it closed, and the timing led to some spectacular color.

The star red tree–front.

Fall redFrom the back

LS red 1 back

Through the arch

LS red 1 through archWith that little penjing as an accent. I remember the first time I saw one of those miniaturized trees changing with the season. After my surprise, I thought, Of course!

There were other more delicate colors, as well as an exhibit of mums and floral arrangements.

And the most persimmons I’ve seen on the tree. Maybe I should say the most I remember seeing–I didn’t go back and check old photos.

There were indoor floral arrangement demonstrations too, and we watched two. But my photos of their arrangements didn’t turn out. Two very different styles, and fun to see both. And mums everywhere.

And the ritual landboat shot–with persimmons to the left and lotus in the foreground.

LS landboat

The view through the keyhole arch was spectacular too.

LS key hole arch

 

 

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Filed under photography, Portland OR