Personal Messages in Public Places

Dear Liza,

The other day while walking through Laurelhurst Park, we spotted this tree with a hand-written message taped to it. We wandered over to investigate.

It said “Flick and Clever Chris sorry I said mean things.”

Further along, we found a similar message taped to a trash can. “Flick and Clever Chris Sorry for treating you like trash. (Heart) U guys”. I can only imagine what lead to this public apology, but it might have gone like this.

During the summer, kids meet to play in the park. Maybe they are visiting in town or attend different schools, and know each other only from their play at the park. They have no way of reaching each other other than THERE. So, when disagreements happen, that is where apologies happen.

There are other instances, more adult in nature, where private feelings are expressed publicly. A series of STOP signs additions are mostly political, but give us the temperature of the neighborhood.

This stenciled graffiti on a nearby building appeared a few months into the shut down, and expressed my feelings exactly. “Take this enforced idleness to step away from the rush and do some healing.” I realize not everyone has that luxury, but being retired, I have the time.

That’s what I tried to do, and it helped.


Grandma Judy

The Hob Nob Returns

Dear Liza,

Our neighborhood has dozens of eateries, pubs, bars, pizzerias and taquerias. That’s one of the reasons we bought this house…. Walkability to all sorts of goodies!

But the pandemic shuttered many of them. Some, like The Nerd Out, closed up shop for good. Others, like the Taqueria Los Punales, opened amidst the craziness and have done well with take out and outdoor seating.

But The HobNob was special. It served good casual food and drinks. It is super close (our Real Estate agent called it “staggering distance”). But mostly, the people were friendly, funny, and welcoming. It was Our Place.

With the pandemic it shut down, then tried to open again. The owner, Jason, got sick. The doors were closed and locked for months. We were worried.

And now, da Nob is back! Sunday evening, dozens of our neighbors collected at the outdoor tables (some under a newly-built patio on SE 34th) to eat, drink, and socialize.

Jason greeted everyone like old friends, Megan brought us drinks and food, and the world felt better.

I know the city is still messed up. Crazy people, both the powerful and the powerless, make things complicated and scary. But having a place to meet with friends, and seeing small businesses succeeding, gives me hope.


Grandma Judy