Downtown Perfection

Dear Liza,


Last week I got to spend a day with cousins Kestrel and Jasper. They are almost 8 and 10, and so much fun to be with!

I walked through Ladds’ Addition, past the rose gardens, and we took the number 2 bus downtown. It has been hot, so we took a water bottle. I also had a secret stash of taffy in my bag.

The “Paris 1900” exhibit gave us lots to talk about… why women wore corsets, why men wore top hats, why it was revolutionary for girls to ride bicycles (in pants!). One piece of taffy dolled out for energy.

“Bicycle in Vesinet” by Comerre, 1903

We also talked about symbolism. For instance, a golden calf isn’t just a glorified farm animal, but a symbol; in the case of the stunningly complex stained glass window from The Chat Noir, a symbol of the worship of money.

Lots to look at!

The kids met some new friends! Kestrel had brought her tiny tiger, named “Tigey”, and introduced him to the tiny lions that were models for the statues on Paris’s Alexander III Bridge.

Tigey meets the lions and “putti” (fat babies)

We also got to visit some old friends. These huge, blobby, colorful statues in the museum courtyard are covered with paint that runs down like waterfalls, and are always fascinating.

Second piece of taffy.

Art appreciation

When we were full of art, we walked to a sandwich shop and ate while we watched the Women’s Soccer World Cup. China beat the Republic of South Africa, and then we moved on, north a few blocks to The Teacher Fountain at Director’s Park. This fountain is designed to be played in and was very busy on this hot day! It made me so happy to watch dozens of kids play while listening to streetcars clang by, in the midst of old and new buildings, from 1907 and 2010.

Past and present meet with sunlight and children

But too much sun isn’t good, so we went to the shady part of the park to drip dry. Jasper had found a friend at the fountain, and they played chess on the ‘big board’. Kestrel relaxed, reading “Bailey the Babysitting Fairy”. Third piece of taffy.

New friends! Jasper, this is Arlo.
Her great-grandma’s girl, all right…

By 2:00, we were all starting to run out of gas. We walked down the hill and caught the bus home, just in time to hang out with Auntie Katie before I headed home to make dinner.

We three adventurers in the South Park Blocks


Grandma Judy

Author: Judy

I am a new transplant to Portland from Salinas, a small city in Central California. This is a blog about my new city.

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