Thursday, June 28, 2012

Naked in PORTLAND!

Yep, this is THE one.  Portland boasts the largest NAKED bicycle ride in the United States (can't imagine where you could get away with this anywhere else!).  In a town where we have electric buses, hybrid taxi's, biodiesel buses, streetcars and the country's most envied light rail system, it is blatantly clear that we are LIVE CLEAN GREEN!  I would bet that per capita there are more hybrid cars, public transportation takers, bikers, boarders, walkers and runners than anywhere else.  There are an amazing amount of motorcycle drivers too, but of course, our months of rainy weather prevents regular use of the scooters and motorcycles.  AND you can believe that the scooter drivers also have their day when they ride together in numbers and show their love of economical, low environmental impact transportation.

By now, I'm sure you've guessed THE POINT.  The yearly Naked Bicycle Ride event is to clearly protest in a fun and daringly wholesome way the evils of FOSSIL FUEL USE.  The rules are "come as bare as you dare!"  So not everyone is in their birthday suit, but almost bare is the only way you get into this event.  There is creative body painting, barely there costumes and of course, in the raw.  Otherwise, you can make your protest clear by coming out, cheering them on and YES, taking pictures!  These barely clothed individuals are obviously not shy and since it is all in good-natured, SAVE THE PLANET, good fun, we are proud to offer our support.  In one of my shots, I was angling my camera down towards the bicycle wheels to show the expanse of the number of bicycles jammed and crammed into such a small area where the protesters VERY patiently waited for the signal to don their bikes and begin the ride.  A nearby rider looked at me and said, "Did you just take a picture of my penis?"  I was slightly caught off guard but replied, "Well I was trying to get a shot of a number of bikes all at once but, yes, I believe I did!"  We both just laughed and enjoyed the good hearted, innocent moment.  And that was the Spirit of the ride.  Everyone was having fun, but the purpose was clear and understood.

There were groups of guys, groups of gals, groups of mixed friends and couples.  It was not "pick-up" time or gawk time or voyeurism time.  Riders stuck with their groups.  Everyone was polite, friendly, but were clear about the purpose of the ride.  In a crowd of 2000, yes, 2000 people, you'd think there would be trouble, but there was none (there's just something about being naked that takes the fight out of you and gives you focus).  Just polite, supportive spectators and highly convicted riders were present.  There was protective Police presence along the route to make sure traffic and riders did not converge on each other.  All riders complied with the Police request to where helmets and shoes.  Most carried backpacks, as well.  The ride began at 10 PM.  The group was about the length of 2 miles.  They rode all over downtown eastside and westside to the cheers and whistles of everyone they passed.  I am proud to have been there with the gesture of my full support!

Ha ha ha!  I censored the most interesting parts to protect the not so innocent... but, you get the picture! There was a lot of standing around and waiting patiently at first.

A lot of the gals wore bottoms, but I still saw more Brazilian waxes than anyone has seen all together in one place!

There were some interesting body paint designs...

as well as people with so many tats, they looked like they were wearing clothes!

Waiting, waiting, bikes on ground, waiting, 

YIPPEE!  The ride begins!

Warm night with beautiful weather, nakedness, biking and Portland's finest!  Life is good!

Young and old riding into a new dawn of a FOSSIL FUEL FREE nation... and yes, that is a Starbuck's in the background!!!

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Portland's Best from ON MY OWN

   Portland's Best have had their share of troubles, especially when they shoot civilians that are innocently brandishing knives and guns pretending that they want to kill somebody.  And of course, there's the occasional "suicide by cop" candidate... every Officers nightmare!  Personally, I'm glad enforcers are out there doing what they do for me and NOT having to do what they do, for myself (this almost sounds like the lyrics to a song.  Maybe I need a song lyric blog, too).  OOPS!  I digress.
   There's no place in the world however and I haven't done my research, where you can witness a mounted Officer riding a horse with a PUNK buzz cut!  Even the horses are HIP in this city!  My suspicion is that they can also talk just like MR. Ed, because when I approached a dismounted Police Officer, she was up by the horses head, his lips were moving and the Officer was talking back.  They were whispering very quietly though and when I got close, they both just gave me "attitude" typical of enforcer mindset like I was the one acting suspiciously!  All I wanted was a few pictures of the horses butt.  What is suspicious about that?  For all the Officer knew, I could have been a concerned Proctologist, checking out a potential lead on a new patient.  I'll elaborate on that later when I do the post on Portland Proctology.
   I have no idea why the horse had such a unique looking shave but, I was impressed, not scared.  It was admittedly sophisticated and maybe done in the vain of the new Super Hero era, where everyone in the crime-stopping business needs a "LOOK."  However, the shoes were the pièce de résistance!  I love shoes and I was certainly excited about the hoofwear... subtle, but making a definite fashion statement.

  Secondly, I have to make a statement about the Portland Police cars.  You've heard of glow in the dark but these cars ROCK!  I'm talking nuclear.  The phosphorescent glow in the rainy fog of a Portland winter night is a real show stopper.  Especially, when The Presence is a big one like Occupy and the campers are being forced out of the muddy, rain soaked park across from City Hall around midnight!  That's when the brightest and best glowers are pulled out of the garage and roll down the street in all their magnificent splendor!  A true sight to behold!  It's NEON to the Nth degree!  You just gotta love it!

... and wouldn't ya know it, there's a Starbuck's in the background!

Anyway, I just couldn't feel safer anywhere else and so, I remain ON MY OWN in Portland OR.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

ON MY OWN in Portland

Portland Oregon is truly a unique city and I am glad to call the Pacific Northwest my home.  It is hard to believe that 13 years have passed since I traveled out here from my home on the coast of Virginia with 4 senior cats in my Dodge Ram Van, following my son in the UHaul truck.  We left on a great adventure and had many of them along the way.

Time has passed so quickly.  My son Michael flew back to his house in Virginia after dropping off the UHaul in Vancouver Washington and has since moved from there to Nashville and is now living in Los Angeles.  I could have returned to the East Coast after my husband died, but something about 8 months of miserable weather and 4 months of sketchy mild, sunny and rainy weather didn't stop me from loving the city of Portland, the burbs of Washington, and the incredible beauty of the Columbia River Gorge.

I'm hooked!  I'm hooked on quirky, I'm hooked on the greatest restaurants, biking, hiking, skiing, art, music venues and just plain strangeness that I have grown to cherish and identify as my own.  I am compelled to take amusing and fascinating pictures of all that Portland offers up to my personal eye.  I want to share my view of why I continue to stay ON MY OWN...

VOODOO Doughnuts moved into town a few years ago and life has never been the same.  With doughnut names like Cock and Balls, which is chocolate iced and full of custard cream, it definitely keeps Portland weird.  At any given time of day lines of portlanders snake outside the door and around the corner patiently waiting for a rather mediocre doughnut... but, ambience is everything to the beloved motley crowds that inhabit this city.                 More to come.