For their first task, the US CitySlickers will show us around their towns and cities, documenting their experiences in analogue and telling us stories along the way. Let’s meet Gretchen and have a small slice of her world in Portland, Oregon.
Name: Gretchen Hayhurst
Occupation: photography bum
It’s green, clean, sometimes wet, near the ocean and the mountains, full of friendly people and also known to be a bit weird. We share this with Austin, Texas. But this is Portland, Oregon, my city and my home for more than 40 years.
Portland has a huge following of analogue photography helped along by the presence of Blue Moon Camera in North Portland. Because of Blue Moon I’ve turned my back on digital photography and crammed my bag with Lomo cameras. I have hundreds of photos showing off my city, but can only share a few here, but you can join me at Gretchen Hayhurst if you desire more.
Portland is home to TV programs like “Grimm” and “Leverage”, pro sport teams Trailblazers and the Timbers, Saturday Market and Voodoo Donuts. We have a very active music and art scene. No excuses for being bored.
We come out of hibernation when the sun is shining to enjoy a beer from any of the many microbreweries, or a glass of wine from our local grape growers, or a coffee fix from your choice of independent or chain coffee cafes. We in the Pacific Northwest love our coffee.
We are known for our many bridges and our rose gardens, our famous bookstore Powells, and a huge food cart culture that keeps us eating food from around the world. We love our food as much as our liquid refreshments. We are also home to the largest inner-city forested park where you can walk for miles along the well-marked trails. If you don’t like walking you can use many modes of public transportation: buses, light rail, street cars and our new suburban commuter train. If you like a bit more exercise the city is dotted with bike lanes that afford thousands of bike riders a safer way to get around the city.
In less than two hours you can be skiing on Mt Hood well into Spring and snowboarding until the end of summer or playing in the sand along the Pacific Ocean coastline. But you don’t have to leave town to enjoy the oldest ongoing amusement park in the US or the Saturday Market that has been taking place under the Burnside Bridge and along the Willamette River since the early 70’s.
I’ve talked to many people who came to Portland for a visit and stayed. Portland is small, 600,000 in the city proper, but we are big on what we offer to anyone who lives or visits here.
Let’s keep Portland Weird. It seems to suit her.