Saturday, June 17, 2017

She Flies With Her Own Wings

The next mural we're visiting as part of our ongoing project is She Flies With Her Own Wings, in the Alameda neighborhood at NE Regents Dr., Ridgewood Dr., & Alameda St. This is another one with an RACC description:

The inspiration for this mural comes from the Oregon state motto—”She Flies With Her Own Wings”—and displays the state bird, insect, flower, tree, and fruit. The creation of the mural involved the participation of nearby kindergartners, their teachers and parents, and neighborhood volunteers.

I have gotten the distinct impression that every weird blog project of mine eventually requires a trip to Alameda. First there were a bunch of tiny not-quite-parks to visit, thanks to the neighborhood's winding streets and tangled intersections. Then there were some public stairs that needed a visit, which I didn't visit the first time because I wasn't doing stairs then. And now there's a mural, which I didn't visit the previous two times because I wasn't doing murals then. As far as I can recall, I think these are the only times I've been in the Alameda area in years, so if you happen to run into me there, it probably means the neighborhood has painted a local intersection, or they've somehow gotten themselves a new bridge or something.

I think I've said before that I don't claim to be a journalist, nor have I ever been accused of journalism. While I was taking these photos, a woman jogged by, saw I was taking photos, and told me she'd worked on painting the mural. A real journalist would have seen this as a great interview opportunity. I just said something to the effect of "Oh cool, I like it.", and she smiled and kept jogging. A real journalist would have headed back to the office, filed a Pulitzer-worthy story just before deadline, and headed off to a nearby dive bar where the bartender calls everyone "pal" or "mac". I created a draft post and then forgot about it for close to a year and a half, and the closest thing I'll ever have to an interview here is being recounted from memory. In short, if you're looking for examples of the groundbreaking internet journalism of the future, this is not the place to look, and I'm not the person to ask.

Pu'u o Kaimuki

Next up, a few photos from Honolulu's Pu'u o Kaimuki Mini-Park, on the hill behind the historic fire station in the trendy (and often rainy) Kaimuki neighborhood. The park isn't very big, and the hill it's on doesn't seem that tall, but it has great views in most directions, and it's not crawling with tourists, so I thought it was worth a quick visit. A few of the photos in this set show a tall metal pole with a bunch of wires attached to it; I couldn't figure out what it was at the time, but it turns out it's the neighborhood Christmas tree.

"History of Land Use in Hillsdale"

The next installment in this humble blog's ongoing mural project is History of Land Use in Hillsdale, at a bus stop at the busy intersection of SW Terwilliger & Capitol Highway. Its RACC blurb:

The artists Angelina Marino and Joel Heidel enlisted the help of over 120 community members to develop the concept for this mural which addresses historical and cultural aspects of the area. The site is located on Capitol Highway at a transition point where forest met with what was once dairy and orchard land. In a stylized manner, the content considers land use from the days of the settlers who established the dairies to the current day results of the Terwilliger Parkway reforestation. It speaks of cultural diversity by use of colorization and the bells on the cows that, by shape or content, represent the diversity of residents, both historically and according to the current census. The plants used in the mural also tie decades and cultures together, including domestic flowering and fruit trees mixed with indigenous forest plants.

This one was tough to get photos of. It's usually viewed -- briefly -- from a moving vehicle. I finally managed to take a couple of photos once when I was stopped at the light, but it was around dusk and the photos came out poorly. My usual approach in recent years has been to do the blog post anyway while making self-deprecating remarks about the subpar photos, but I had to draw the line somewhere. A few weeks ago I went for a hike in Marquam Nature Park, with no particular destination in mind. I ended up walking south along Terwilliger, and it occurred to me I could continue on to the Capitol Highway intersection & then catch a bus to the Sasquatch brewpub in Hillsdale for lunch (Capitol Highway lacks sidewalks, so walking the rest of the way would've been a poor idea.) Then I remembered this mural was at the bus stop, so I could indulge this occasional weird blog project while I was at it. So a plan took shape, and here we are. I suppose it would have been simpler to just take a bus to the bus stop, take some photos, and then get back on the next bus, but this way it was part of a nice walk with beer and a burger at the end.