November 02, 2007

PhoPo: Photoblogging Portland #1.

On Wednesday morning, once again with the blinding fog, I rode to work past the increasingly weird intersection of Interstate and Greeley avenues. This time, having camera in hand, I stopped to take pictures.

Here is the intersection as it presently looks. It's a nasty piece of work as intersections go, thus the accident last week and thus the enormous heap of flowers. But that's been discussed ad nauseum in every blog and newspaper in this city, and I would rather talk right now about the stuff that people have been leaving there. Flowers, yes. But this is Portland.


Junk sculptures! I am deeply impressed by this. The little man riding the bike is made entirely out of rusty chain, and I haven't got the faintest fucking idea how someone got it to stand up like that.

And let's look at the flowers again, anyway. Under the heap is a ghost bike, which presumably has the typical black-and-white "A Cyclist Was Killed Here" sign on it somewhere, but bike and sign are both obscured by the rest of the heap at this point. Other things tucked away in the pile include: biking medals, a paintbrush, fingerless gloves, a small gear mounted on a board, a bandana, a water bottle, a spare chain, what appears to be a shoelace, and a couple of rubber bands. (Edit: and my cycle computer, which is stuck reading 8.9 mph at all times. I saw it this morning and decided to helpfully illustrate the moderate speed of the locked, stationary, nonfunctioning ghost bike.) I can't figure out whether it's more like leaving things that the dead might want to have in the next life (dude you do not want to be without your water bottle), or just people leaving whatever they happen to have on them when they pass by. Nor can I really figure out which idea I enjoy more; they both tend to make me go "awww".

In conclusion:

It didn't help this time, but damnit, it never hurts.

Posted by dianna at November 2, 2007 07:31 AM

Kingman is on notice.

Btw, Peanut makes a handy art stand.

Posted by: Ping at November 2, 2007 05:42 PM

Wait, where is that? Is that in the bike room?

And yes, she does. Mostly it's the way that she never moves, ever, if she can help it, even if people are putting stuff on her.

Posted by: Dianna at November 2, 2007 11:15 PM

Also BTW, I've been receiving requests from friends for stickers. So I think you should make more and send me some so that Santa Cruz will also be put on notice. Also, just because I think the contact paper idea is a genius one that I happened to come up with (think about it! some of the stickers could have a background with sweet little flowers!), I looked, and you can get a roll at the drugstore for like 5 bucks.

Posted by: katie at November 3, 2007 05:42 PM

Hey, that looks just like a sticker I saw on the bike rack outside Moffitt!


Posted by: lisa at November 3, 2007 06:18 PM

Oh, wow. I like the sweet little flowers idea, and that is much cheaper than the sticky mylar (although I do appreciate the recognizability of having them all be shiny and silver; I think I saw one of my stickers on Google Street View). Do you think contact paper can withstand rain? 'Cause if not, I will insist that you go around every week and replace the soggy ones.

Posted by: Dianna at November 3, 2007 06:22 PM

Holy crap, they're on campus? I love you.

Posted by: Dianna at November 3, 2007 06:24 PM

Contact paper is waterproof -- which is really the only reason I can think of to ugly up your cabinets with it in the first place, so that you can spill things and sponge them back up. So I'm assuming it's rainproof/weatherproof, or at least up to a certain point. But I don't know if it's as long-term indestructible as mylar.

Also, you have a point about the recognizability of the shiny silver. Although I kind of find it hard to read, you've done some great branding there. In case you haven't seen this, go down to the comment posted Oct. 20 2007 at 20:42 (maybe 10 comments down?):

link linky link

Posted by: katie at November 3, 2007 07:01 PM

I have seen it! I did probably the same thing that you did and Googled "wear your fucking helmet", and I saw that comment! I followed the link in the commenter's name, found out that she has a website that has her address on it (she's a filmmaker), and mailed her a sticker with a note saying "please place somewhere awesome, thank you".

I'm still waiting to see if she sends anything back. A picture of the sticker somewhere would be my favorite.

Posted by: Dianna at November 3, 2007 07:28 PM

That's awesome! And yes, that is exactly what I did, so I should have figured that you'd already seen it. Your PSA is famous, and working!

Also, I realized that through faulty memory I've misdescribed your stickers to several people here. The "wear your fucking helmet" stickers I described as looking like embroidery samplers because that was what your adorable handwriting reminded me of, and I mischaracterized the next series of stickers you've been thinking of making as reading:

[+ bike lane]

I mention this because it may prove easy to tell if the Santa Cruz market gets flooded with cheap knockoff stickers made by people who've never seen the originals.

As a last also, I saw a sticker I really liked on a bike recently. It said, simply, "Environmental stickers don't mean SHIT when they're stuck to CARS." Very forthright, I thought.

Posted by: katie at November 4, 2007 11:18 AM

My first thought on reading your comment was, "Cheap knockoffs?! Hey! Get your own ideas, fuckers!"

Then I spent a second thinking about Santa Cruz and Portland flooded with "wear your fucking helmet" and "add bike lane" stickers of all descriptions, and I realized that actually that would be awesome. Particularly since the whole point of my PSA is that I am not the Man, the gubmint, or some dorky out-of-touch respectable nonprofit, I am just one grumpy individual and therefore it is okay to listen to me. It is, if anything, even more okay to listen to a half-dozen unconnected people individually telling you the same thing without cooperating at all about it.

But if someone finds a way to make stickers that are even cheaper and less legit than mine, I will totally shake their hand and ask what their secret is. And I really, really like that environmental sticker.

Posted by: Dianna at November 4, 2007 01:20 PM