Thursday, October 30, 2008

Laurelwood Park

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As I was driving around while putting together the East Park Blocks series, I also stopped to check out tiny Laurelwood Park, at the corner of Holgate, Foster, & 63rd Ave., in SE Portland. I thought I'd take a look and see if there was anything interesting about it, maybe get a bonus post out of the excursion.

Old Masonic Lodge, Laurelwood Park

Well, it didn't turn out to be that fascinating of a place. It's a little triangular wedge with trees and grass and a few tables. Right next door, though, there's a cool old Masonic lodge building which is now the union hall of SEIU Local 503. Probably because of that, the park sometimes hosts events of a political bent, like a Food Not Bombs event every Wednesday evening. There was also an antiwar protest held here around the time the Iraq war started.

Old Masonic Lodge, Laurelwood Park

Also, there are a couple of tables set up for playing chess, if you're into that, which I'm not. People are often surprised by that -- on a number of occasions I've essentially been told, hey, you're a pretty smart guy, you must be really into chess, right? And I'm not. I think it's mostly that I don't like losing, and I don't like having to study a lot and lose a lot just to be good at a game. That may be why I'm not into video games at all either. The park shows up on at least two lists of regional chess venues. So it sounds like the place really gets hoppin' (by chess standards) on summer evenings, 4-8pm. And as an added bonus, I can offer you an ironclad guarantee that I won't be there, not even as a spectator.

Chess Table, Laurelwood Park

A archive page on the local neighborhood association's site mentions the existence of a "Friends of Laurelwood Park". Most "Friends of" orgs around town have elaborate websites explaining what's so great about their little corner of the world. I can't find one for these guys. Which is too bad, because I'm a bit low on material, and it might've given me more to go on here.

The June 2005 newsletter of the Oregon Brew Crew said their annual picnic would be here. They actually meant Laurelhurst Park, which is much larger and has group picnic areas. It's an understandable mistake, though; no doubt the writer had Laurelwood Brewing on the brain -- although sadly, there aren't any Laurelwood outposts anywhere near here, at least not yet. Mmmmmm..... beeeeeerr........

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