Welcome to the latest edition of A Walk On the Weird Side – An Exploration of the Weird and Wonderful Fabric of Portland. – By Anna Alexander
The Goose Hollow Neighborhood is one of Portland’s oldest neighborhoods with a rich sense of history and place. Remnants of the neighborhood’s history can be found on the sidewalks, MAX stations and art installations. For this trip to Goose Hollow, I suggest leaving the Barbie Corvette in the garage and taking the MAX as parking is at a premium. Tri-Met has a very informative guide to the art installations along the MAX lines and I recommend you pick up a copy.
Our first stop is at Civic Stadium Station aka Providence Park. Those who use this stop the most attend Portland Timbers or Thorn matches. Hidden amongst the ticket scalpers and sea of green and gold are some gems worth seeking out. The first items of interest are the soapbox, stump, and pedestal. These bronze podiums invite the public to speak their hearts about whatever is on their minds. There’s also brief history of Portland etched on the stainless-steel communications building and punctuation marks used to form seating and accents.
From here, let’s walk along SW 18th to SW Jefferson along the Trail of Impressions. People who lived in this neighborhood contributed to the etchings in the sidewalk including a poem about coffee, a note and drawing from Portland’s first female teacher and imprints of bare feet, books, and sneakers.
The next stop is the Kings Hill/Salmon Street MAX station. Make sure to pet the bronze goose representing the geese that roamed freely here and were the source of many conflicts. You can also read about Tanner Creek in a granite paving insert near the station platform.
We’re going to take a short walk to Lincoln High School – Portland’s oldest high school and check out the art fence and the etching of Bart Simpson the sidewalk behind the school. When I visited, the area behind the high school was under major construction and Bart could not be found. I hope he was relocated.
Our final MAX stop is Goose Hollow/SW Jefferson. The etchings of geese and houses in the glass canopies celebrate the neighborhood’s history. My favorite was the house etched in the glass that searches for a home when the sun shines through it at the right time. The etching representing the changes to the neighborhood and increase in housing prices.
You are probably famished after your walk as this neighborhood has steep streets and is a bit of a thigh-buster, so we’re headed to the Goose Hollow Inn. This neighborhood watering hole is a popular gathering place before or after sporting events and is owned by former mayor Bud Clark. The Rubens here are extremely popular and tasty and I was impressed with the libation menu.
The last landmark I want to point out is the Vista Bridge. In a city known for its bridges, this one is my favorite. Vista Bridge is majestic and beautiful and takes my breath away each time I see it. Those who live here know about the history and I get the chills when I walk across it.
Construction of I-405, MAX lines and new development changed the shape and feel of Goose Hollow, however, if you take the time to walk through it and admire the art and history, you can almost feel the geese walking near you and hissing at you for getting too close.
I hope you enjoyed our walk of this neighborhood. For the next installment, I might stay on the west side or find another neighborhood begging for my attention. Do you have a recommendation? Let me know.
(Cover illustration by Mike Trapp Art)