Thursday, November 13, 2008
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Today's adventure takes us to Lair Hill Park, off Barbur just south of downtown Portland. More precisely, we're mostly visiting "Land Form", another of those big rusty 70's sculptures people used to be mad for. I've mentioned it in passing before, in an old post about the tram, and I don't have a lot more to add now. It's just that I have photos this time, so enjoy, or whatever.
If you want to know anything more about the sculpture itself, Portland Public Art has a amusing post about it, its creator, and his other works around town. I linked to the same post last time, but the URL's since changed, and it's a fun read if you're interested in this sort of thing.
There is, obviously, more to the park than the sculpture here. It's actually tucked away in a less-used corner of the park, and it's kind of camouflaged due to its, uh, "organic" color, so you barely notice it's there unless you already know it's there.
The park also sports a playground, tennis courts, walking paths, lots of trees, and a vast army of squirrels. I'm not a tennis player, so there's not much for me to say about the tennis courts, and I don't have kids, so I don't really have an opinion about the playground either. If you're interested in that, I did come across what looks like a great review of the playground, with several good photos. The verdict: Not fabulous, and kind of outdated, although the "pesticide-free" bit is a definite plus.
People also walk dogs here a lot, but I don't have one of those either. Here's a cute photo of a dog here, right next to the sculpture. I bet dogs pee on "Land Form" a lot. I would, if I was a dog.
Back in the 60's and 70's, the park was apparently quite the hippie magnet, our own vastly smaller version of Golden Gate Park. The park's mentioned in a couple of great articles about that distant era: "Something Happening Here...From JDs to Hippies" and "Music on the Cusp: From Folk to Acid Rock in Portland Coffeehouses, 1967–1970".
If you happen to be of the Boomer persuasion, I can see how you might take issue with me calling it a "distant era". But, you know, the Oregon Historical Society is busy cataloging psychedelia. The Oregon freakin' Historical Society. And, look, it was 28 years from Pearl Harbor to Woodstock, and it's been another 39 from Woodstock to the present day. It's not that I'm coming out and calling you a geezer or anything. And if I was, I'm sure there's probably an upside of some sort to being a living fossil, like being able to semi-remember all sorts of trivia from the mists of time that nobody younger than you is even remotely interested in. That sort of thing.
One more useless factoid, and then we're done: There's no hill called "Lair Hill", here or anywhere else. The park, and surrounding neighborhood, are named after William Lair Hill, a lawyer/historian/editor of the pioneer era, who owned land around here for a while. So now you know. Amaze your friends! Confound your foes!