Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Hall & 14th

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A few photos of the nameless city park at SW 14th & Hall, just across I-405 from downtown Portland. I've mentioned the place before, in these three posts, but I've never gotten around to doing a post about it. Quite possibly that's because it's not really that fascinating. It's a small triangle of land next to a bend in the freeway, and my guess is that it's a leftover scrap of land from when the freeway went in. There are a few flowers, some landscaping, some lights and benches, and a trash bin or two, and that's about it. The place was on my TODO list anyway because it's both obscure and close to home, but I still never got around to going back and taking photos. Then I realized I still had some photos from 2007 that I'd never used, and I might as well go with those. They get the basic idea across, at least.

Via PortlandMaps, we learn that the triangle is designated "R246890". Which isn't much of a name, but at least it's unique. We also learn that the park comes to 0.53 acres, and the land technically belongs to the Oregon Dept. of Transportation rather than the city, although I gather the city (rather than ODOT) looks after it. This is not terribly surprising considering that it's right next to a freeway, and it may explain why the city's never gotten around to naming it, putting up a sign for it, etc.

I've already mentioned, in one of those previous posts, the sole news item I could find related to it, a 2006 change in the park hours. Assuming the policy's still in force, after 9pm you're still free to walk through the park, but loitering is verboten. I would hope that if, for example, you're walking through at 9:04, and you drop your car keys and stop to pick them up, you don't immediately get tased by Officer Friendly. But you never know. Chances are that the real-life policy is to hassle anyone who looks homeless, and convince them to go be poor somewhere else. The park is surprisingly secluded despite being wedged between a freeway and a somewhat twee historic neighborhood. It's down a slope from the street and only accessible from a couple of side entrances, and it's surrounded by trees on all sides. If you're homeless and just looking for somewhere to sleep and not be disturbed, this would seem like an ideal spot.

Note that I said "seem" there. I haven't actually encountered anyone living here, and I'm just deducing based on city policy. Maybe the freeway is just too noisy. I suppose if I was really dedicated to this whole blogging thing, I'd grab a ratty blanket and a 40 of Old E and go try it myself. But I didn't do that, and doing so only occurred to me just now, and it doesn't sound like a very good idea. However, if you're feeling more adventurous than I, and you decide to go try it, I'll be happy to link to you. If you try it, get tased by Officer Friendly for your efforts, and write a humorous or harrowing account of your adventure, I'd be delighted to link to you.

And if you actually live here for real, I can pretty much guarantee I'd link to you. Unless that would attract too much attention, I mean, since I do get visitors here from City Hall now and then. And in the larger scheme of things, a link from an obscure and obsessive little blog is probably not on the top ten (or hundred) list of things you really need, is it?

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