The Porch, Sept. 1 edition

SIGN (and pun) of the Week, Waucoma Bookstore.

Photo by Kirby Neumann-Rea
SIGN (and pun) of the Week, Waucoma Bookstore.

WELL SAID: “Don’t spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door. ” — Coco Chanel

SEEN AND HEARD: Man in t-shirt reading, “Unorthodox,” words upside down ... “Don’t climb on that, it’s art,” mother tells three kids “appreciating” a “Big Art” walk sculpture (Steel Head by Ben Dye) at Waterfront Park ...

BUMPER Sticker of the Week: “Got Bruce Springsteen?”

COVETED ASPHALT: It was the one and only empty parking space on West Portway on a busy summer Monday afternoon.

The SUV was creeping east in front of pFriem when its driver spotted it and began to make its shark-like — or maybe whale-like — claim to treasured territory. On that part of Portway, the northside spaces are angled and designed for approach from the east. Yet here was a large SUV, turning at a hard angle, blocking traffic in a bid for that ONE parking space available in the Portway free parking zone.

Meanwhile, just to the right of the empty space, folks in a Jetta had their doors open as they packed up and reorganized gear, apparently unaware of the looming SUV creeping their direction. The Jetta doors still open, the SUV slo-o-w-l-y navigated into the space, missing by inches the open door on the left side of the Jetta. It took all of one minute, and was a little breathtaking.

GEOGRAPHY: A press-release from the Mid-Columbia Fisheries Enhancement Group piqued our interest this week. Ever heard of it? If not, it’s because it’s from Ellensburg, a salmon education and outreach non-profit based in that central Washington town.

“Mid-Columbia”? Way up there? Think about it: The bi-state “Mid-Columbia” designation used for a variety of businesses and agencies seems, frankly, Portland-centric. That is, the area it generally encompasses, Hood River to The Dalles, is mid-way on the generally straight east-west section between Portland and the Wallula Gap, where the river turns north. But folks in Ellensburg-Yakima seem as well-positioned to claim the orientation “Mid-Columbia,” given their location close to the geographic center of Columbia River basin, that great triangle taking in parts of four states and two Canadian provinces.

QUESTION OF THE WEEK: What was the dumbest use of the road this week? The SUV passing on the left going down steep Seventh Street between Montello and Sherman, or the 20-something dude on a fat-tire bicycle holding a wheelie, 30 miles an hour in heavy traffic, for four blocks going downhill on State?

(Come to think of it, Fat Tire Wheelie would be a great band name.)


Take your seat on The Porch; feedback is welcome, along with contributions of those offbeat and under-noticed elements of life around here. You’ll know them when you see them:

— Kirby Neumann-Rea

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