Monday, December 01, 2008

Willamette & Bryant

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So here's another of those little triangular nano-parklike bits I've been going on about lately, this time up in North Portland where Willamette Blvd., Bryant St., and Wabash Avenue meet up. You might be wondering why I keep doing this. I often wonder the same thing, quite honestly. I think it's because of the pure absurdity of the undertaking. Driving across town to track down one deservedly obscure non-place after another, taking a bunch of really mundane photos while I'm at it. Followed by a bit of research on the interwebs, mostly to verify that there's nothing much on the interwebs about the place, followed by writing about it as if it was a serious, legitimate topic, and voila, a new blog post is born. It amuses me, I guess.
n willamette & bryant

This particular spot seems to be officially known as "N. Willamette & Bryant", as that's the name it appears under on various official maps of the city. I suppose that's really more of a description than a name, but hey. It's basically a leftover bit where the city's street grid collides awkwardly with the bluffs above the river. This parcel was just a little too small to build on, so it ended up as a ward of the state instead.

Or that's my theory, in case anyone cares. There's nothing much on the net about the place. For all I know, somebody donated it for the site of a huge equestrian statue of some long-forgotten pioneer-era politician. But then the funds were embezzled, and then a meddling historian uncovered the scandalous secret diaries, and to make a long story short, this little park is all that remains of the once-grand project. That's one (remote) possibility, anyway. Feel free to come up with your own alternate theory, if you like.

So the, uh, park is home to a few trees and shrubs, and TriMet stop #6260. The triangle does show up as a park on their map of the area.

The big feature here, though, is the view (or it would be, if it was sunny, which it wasn't when I visited). Across Willamette Boulevard, the bluffs drop sharply and (in theory) there's a nice view of Swan Island, the river, and the West Hills. The bluffs, incidentally, are also in public ownership, and seem to bear the official designation "Bluffs above Swan Island". Which again is more of a description than a name. That is, the chunk of public land is called that; the bluff itself is "Waud Bluff", as a commenter noted below. I guess the bluffs would be another spot worth visiting, if only I was a mountain goat or something. Which I'm not, as it turns out.

n willamette & bryant

1 comment :

mackstann said...

For the record, the bluff is called Waud bluff. The whole area overlooking the bluff is also known as Mock's Crest.