Let’s Talk Carpet

The carpet at the Portland airport has attracted world-wide attention. It’s really ridiculous, but there it is. 30 years ago when the carpet was installed Portlanders hated it. I doubt anyone can remember what was there before the current design, but I do remember no one liked the new aqua contemporary design. Now 30 years later the carpet is worn out and new carpet is being laid. People are up in arms, there is an Instagram site for photos of the carpet, and just this past week the carpet was made the Grande Marshal of the Starlight Parade at this year’s Rose Festival. Well, it keeps us all laughing and helps Portland defend its title of “Keeping Portland Weird”. I can’t let it go and so I had to join in the fun. As people come and go from the airport they stop and take photos of their feet on the aqua mat. I must say I did the same and it is now my profile photo on Facebook. Last week I hauled my aqua blue typewriter out there and spent several hours making pinhole images of said carpet and my beautiful typewriter. Now you would think I’d attract attention, that security might ask what I was up to, or people would ask me about my pinhole camera (as they usually do), and certainly why I had a typewriter and not a lap top. But, NO-ooooo, Not a single person gave me a second glance. What does that say about Portland? People expect us to do strange things. So today I am sharing a few photos from last week at PDX:

the new carpet

the old carpet

my beautiful Remington

my beautiful Remington

my socks, my bunny and a typewriter sitting in the middle of the floor. No one noticed

my socks, my bunny and a typewriter sitting in the middle of the floor. No one noticed

Mr bunny and a squirrel

Mr bunny and a squirrel with my new PDX carpet inspired Timbers scarf

a section of the new carpet design...it's greener

a section of the new carpet design…it’s greener

it's a beauty of a typewriter

it’s a beauty of a typewriter

have a safe trip

have a safe trip

(all photos were taken with a Zero Image pinhole camera and Kodak Ektar film. The interior images were between 3 and 10  minutes long)

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no gas

Traveling east from Salem, Oregon, along highway 22 to 26 and the town of John Day, gasoline can be difficult to find. Years ago I started a series of abandoned stations that had been converted to other uses, but I have decided to also add stations that are sitting empty.

old gas station

old gas station

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maybe you can get a bath here

maybe you can get a bath here

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I’ve been away from WordPress for a few weeks and what has happened to the set up? I don’t like this at all. For awhile I could choose the old format, but now it seems this is it. I can’t even find a place to size my images. I am wondering if I need to find a new site to use for my blogging. I would like to know what other people are doing.

(all these photos were taken with my Hasselblad 500 CM, of Ilford film and developed at home)

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Small Town Oregon

We really know how to celebrate Valentine’s day. No fancy dinners, box of candy or red roses…forget those. We took 3 days and headed to small town Oregon with my Hasselblad and 6 rolls of black and white film.

We left our home at 8:30 in the morning on february 13th, headed south on I-5 and then east on 22 to 26 and our destination of John Day. I wanted to photograph the Painted Hills. I thought we’d manage a sunset outing and then check in to our motel in John Day around 8 pm. Well, I should have guessed that a normal 4 hour drive would turn into 12 for us. We stopped so many times along the way that we didn’t make the Painted Hills on the 13th. We rolled into John Day at 8:30 pm, checked into our motel and then to bed for an early start on the 14th.

I think my favorite stop on Friday was the tiny town of Mitchell, if you can even call it a town. Wikipedia says the population was 130 in 2010. I think it might be less now. There’s a small market and old hotel but not much else. The town was founded in 1873 and named after a politician. Wikipedia says: “In 1872 the first school in Wheeler County was established near Mitchell, and in 1874 it was relocated to the town itself. Over the next two decades, Mitchell grew to include a store, assay office, two churches, two hotels, livery stable, three houses of ill-repute (one of which is still standing), five saloons, a flour mill, a livery stable, and an apothecary. There were also two newspapers, The Sentinel and The News. The business district, including the saloons, grew up along Bridge Creek and became known locally as “Tiger Town”. The church and most of the city’s homes were built at higher elevation on a bench overlooking the creek; this part of town was known locally as “Piety Hill”. About half the town was destroyed by fire in 1899, but it was later rebuilt. The town has also suffered from several severe floodings, the last time being in the 1950’s.

I’m starting my trip in photos with Mitchell:

the main drag through town

the main drag through town

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old gas station

old gas station

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staying over?

staying over? no thanks

Seems many residents live in trailers. I don’t understand why the small towns of the west are dotted with so many mobile homes.

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There were a couple of ‘homes’ for sale too:

house 'for sale'

house ‘for sale’

also 'for sale'. I think the toilet is out back

also ‘for sale’. I think the toilet is out back

Time to move on although we returned here the next day to take to road north to the Painted Hills. To be continued…..

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fog

For the past couple of years my town has experienced more than its fair share of fog. I expected fog when I grew up in the San Francisco area because we were so close to the ocean, but Wilsonville is 80+ miles from the coast so what gives? I need more sunshine. The weather forecasters have promised more sun in the days ahead, but as I look out my office window I just see more fog. Time to go out for a walk.

The fog  makes for moody, grainy photos from my Holga plastic camera. The camera is light and easy to carry on my long walks. So I set out and walked about 5 miles through the new development down the street, across the train tracks, along a frontage road and then back home.

WES train station tower clock

WES train station tower clock

WES train

WES train

blurry spider web across the wet lands

blurry spider web across the wet lands

winter tree

winter tree

tree and fog

tree and fog

tracks into new development

tracks into new development

new roads

new roads

geese going home with new condos in the background

geese going home with new condos in the background

(I used Kodak TMX 400 film and developed at home in Ilfosol 3.)

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more from Astoria

Continuing from my last post, I want to share more photos from my foggy trip to Astoria. There is a nice 4+mile walk along the Columbia River that I took. Problem is, you have to walk back. I decided walking one way I would face the river and on the way back I’d take some photos of the buildings.

pilot boat helping a ship navigate the fog

pilot boat helping a ship navigate the fog

bridging Oregon to Washington

bridging Oregon to Washington

Canary Row Hotel

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Before I returned home I stopped at the 14th Street coffee shop on the ground floor of the Commodore Hotel. The sun was streaming in the windows and I sat for awhile to warm up and do a little people watching.

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looking into the warm sunshine

looking into the warm sunshine

(all photos were taken with my Hasselblad 500 CM, Ilford film and developed at home)

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Astoria revisited

After the fiasco with the light-leaking Hasselblad back and 4 rolls of ruined film, I returned to Astoria to make my photos all over again. This time the fog was heavy and the skies white. I didn’t mind. I spent about 4 hours walking along the water front taking many rolls of film. Here are a few from that day.

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you can barely see the base of the bridge

you can barely see the base of the bridge

Big Red

Big Red

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several layers of fog

several layers of fog

If interested, here is a bit of background information about Astoria, as found on Wikipedia:

“Astoria is the seat of Clatsop County, Oregon, United States. Situated near the mouth of the Columbia River, the city was named after the American investor John Jacob Astor. His American Fur Company founded Fort Astoria at the site in 1811. Astoria was incorporated by the Oregon Legislative Assembly on October 20, 1876.

Located on the south shore of the Columbia river, the city is served by the deepwater Port of Astoria. Transportation includes the Astoria Regional Airport with U.S. Route 30 and U.S. Route 101 as the main highways, and the 4.2-mile (6.8 km) Astoria–Megler Bridge connecting to neighboring Washington across the river. The population was 9,477 at the 2010 census.”

For movie buffs, there is this:

“Astoria was the setting of the 1985 movie The Goonies, which was filmed on location. Other movies filmed in Astoria include Short Circuit, The Black Stallion, Kindergarten Cop, Free Willy, Free Willy 2: The Adventure Home, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles III, Benji the Hunted, The Ring Two, Into the Wild, The Guardian and Cthulhu.”

(all photos were taken on my Hasselblad 500 CM with Ilford 125 film. Developed at home in Ilfosol 3)

 

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PDX carpet update

So today is the big day in Portland. Yep, it’s the start of the carpet removal at the PDX airport. I doubt there would be any other city in the US making this event a ‘headline news story’. We are just keeping it weird here.

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Okay, so maybe I have fallen victim to the whole carpet thing too. When the carpet was installed, some 30 years ago, everyone hated it. Who remembers what was there before? Not me. I actually know the designer who was responsible for the current carpet but sure don’t want to give her name out for fear she might be stalked. You are welcome, Linda. Since I know several women with that name you’ll never figure it out.

there are great shops at the airport

there are great shops at the airport

arrivals, but long exposure time means you don't see the people

arrivals, but long exposure time means you don’t see the people

Last week I spent a few hours making pinhole images of the carpet. I hid my camera under tables and chairs so I wouldn’t draw the attention of security. My exposure times were between 8 and 13 minutes so I had to be discreet. As silly as it is, I will return to photograph the new carpet which isn’t much different from the existing carpet. I am not sure what all the speculation is about. I don’t really notice the floors of other airports but I might now. Is PDX one of only a few who actually use carpet? I don’t know.

SQUIRREL!

SQUIRREL!

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You can even get your hands on PDX carpet motif items: T-shirts, socks, coasters, water bottle, and of course, a local ale. I understand the airport will be giving away/selling pieces of the old carpet as it comes out so that they don’t have to take it to a landfill. May I please have a clean piece and not a piece outside the bathroom doors? Yuck.

Posted in film, Photography, pinhole, Portland, Travel | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments