Every June-or-so, a few more City Repair painted intersections pop up here and there around Portland. To be honest I haven't put a lot of effort into locating this year's crop of new ones; given the size of my Drafts folder right now, I wouldn't say I'm in desperate need of new material, and Real Job stuff keeps absorbing what would otherwise be free time to pursue this. In short, I've found precisely one of them so far, and only because I stumbled across it. So with that intro out of the way, we're at freshly painted SE 9th & Yamhill, where a big hops-and-barley design graces the intersection. This intersection's kind of an unusual case in that we're in a light industrial area, not a residential neighborhood. One corner of the intersection is home to Rogue's Green Dragon Pub, while diagonally across is a large Rogue warehouse. So the relevance of the design to its surroundings is kind of obvious here. (And yes, I noticed the thing when I came by for lunch and a beer or two or so.) So this is the bit where I tell you I told you so: A year ago, in a ranty bit in a post about the NE 12th & Beech intersection, I predicted that companies would eventually get in on the act, and the painted intersection thing would evolve away from being a community volunteer effort. I figured tech companies would do it eventually. I didn't figure it would happen the very next year or be arranged by a local brewery, although that kind of makes sense in retrospect. Still, when it comes to predicting the future, when you have a chance to take partial credit, take it.
Speaking of hops, this summer I tried my hand at growing a hop vine for the first time. You can assume by the lack of gardening photos here that it's not going that well. I don't believe I've ever seen that many bugs on a single plant before. Tiny little pinhead-sized bugs, clinging to stems and the bottoms of leaves, sucking the life out of the poor vine. After investing in this plant, I came across a Michigan State extension document about "Hop Insects and Diseases", which begins with an old Kentish proverb about hop growing: "First the flea, then the fly, then the mould, then they die". The remainder of the document is equally encouraging. Still, hops are a perennial (assuming they survive), so maybe I'll have better luck next year.