As the job that pays the bills currently keeps me off the Streets of Nuremberg I can just as well make a virtue of necessity and show you a bit more of my “exile”, the Streets of Portland. And in case any Portlandians ever read this: Rest assured, I honestly LOVE your city already, and the word “exile” isn’t really in place here. So in the coming months the Streets of Nuremberg, temporarily turned Streets of Portland, will introduce more and more of Rose City or PDX, as Portland is also affectionately known. Today I show you some photos I took on my weekend walk through the Pearl District, originally a quarter of old empty brick warehouses, now turned into an urban designer’s dream. To see and learn more continue reading after the jump…
Until the turn of the millennium the Pearl District was a relatively unknown zone of Portland full of vacant lots and abandoned warehouses, mostly brick structures. In the 80’s and 90’s artists discovered the area, and not surprisingly, eventually the Pearl District turned into a hip area as the money followed the artists into this quarter as more and more old structures were converted into fancy living quarters. Starting 2001 the city council developed a Pearl District Development Plan and then thing really turned around for this area. Warehouses were turned into lofts and condos, fashionable restaurants, galleries and decor shop followed. Modern and sleek-looking buildings were constructed on the vacant lost, so today the Pearl District features a fascinating and visually appealing mix of old and new, of modern times and the historic past. The transformation has been remarkable and today the area is on the more expensive and upscale zones of Rose City.
A tour of the Pearl District would start at W Burnside Street heading north. Make sure you visit one of the many breweries (I recommend Deschutes or Fat Head), fancy shops like Oblation Paper & Press, see the Lovejoy Columns (remnants of the now demolished Broadway Bridge), visit some of the many galleries along the roads, look at the Ecotrust Building (where the conversion of the warehouses once started), take in the modern structures around Jamison Square Park, have a coffee at Barista while walking down the NW 13th Ave and see the impressive entry doors to Wieden & Kennedy ad agency (running the global Nike campaigns). You might want to finish the tour at Powell’s City of books, the world’s largest independent book store that spans an entire city block across multiple levels. I’ve never seen so many photography books in one place in my entire life.
Take a look at the following photos to get your own impression about Portland’s Pearl District.
On this little city walk I took the Olympus PEN-F with the mZuiko 12-40mm F/2.8 Pro Zoom and the Olympus OM-D E-M1 with the mZuiko 40-150mm F/2.8 Pro Zoom. Thanks to the relatively small m4/3 bodies and lenses carrying both cams in a small messenger bag isn’t an issue. The majority of the shots obviously were taken with the 12-40mm. I hope you enjoyed these impressions of Portland’s Pearl District! Stay tuned for more…
Have a great day!