The many faces of what was Portland Oregon

Story by JTPosted: 2024-01-26 • Views: 455

Portland is or was a unique and interesting place to visit. It was always fun walking through downtown at lunch time and snapping pictures. Capturing the good and the sad of what was once a thriving downtown drawing all sorts of people and businesses. However, sadly over the past few years with the local politicians neglecting their civic duties and law enforcement having their hands tied for the sake of political points, the town has fallen into a state of degeneration with record crime, homelessness, drugs, gangs and just about anything that says "stay away". You hear a lot about San Francisco and Los Angeles. But don't forget about it's neighboring state just up north.

It will be a long time before Portland recovers if it even does. People are moving out, businesses are closing shop, lawsuits against local govt is becoming more common as businesses are impacted because of policies and inaction by the governing bodies of Portland.

I for one, moved out two years ago and don't regret the move. Lets just hope they Portland gets its act together.
Escape From New York Pizza in the NW District of Portland. It's a landmark now. Has been there for decades serving good Pizza.

It's quite interesting to visit. The decor is loud and leans politically in one direction. Just go enjoy the pizza and put aside your political views or else you just will feel umcomfortable.
You wouldn't guess this from the photograph. But this person was super friendly. This is very typical in Portland. Many faces many characters. truly a diverse group of personalities in the streets of Portland.

I often wonder if people with tattoos that make a statement regret having them. In the case of this person, looking in the mirror and seeing the tattoo across his face must be a personal message to himself that encourages him to make adjustments in life. Just a thought. Seemed happy at the time of the photograph but there is s o much more we do not understand about individuals.
Not far from Broadway near the US Bank tower, locally known as Big Pink a person outside of her makeshift home willingly allows me to photograph her. As most other people in a similar situation, a little help can go a long way. Quite often when I get asked for money in the streets, I offer food in return. Not all accept the offer but some do. This person has a look of loneliness which saddens me. Although I felt I would have given her some money if asked, she never did.

Oregon Brew Fest several years ago. People out near the waterfront soaking up the sun and beers. Was always a fun event to visit when Portland was nice.
A common scene in Portland. Young people on a street corner asking for money. This is in front of the Standard Insurance building. Quite often most of these young people appear homeless but in reality are living a Bohemian lifestyle. However, in this case, the appearance of this young girl would make me believe it's been rough for her lately.
Why are they not in school? A group of young teens hanging out in Portland near 10th and Alder were the Ritz now stands. As you can see, they were struggling to make a gang symbol with their hands. Although, I think they were just young and foolish because they seemed quite innocent. Regardless, friendly and willing to be photographed.
Driving into work on a weekday, I came across this person on a bench in Portland. It saddens me to see people in such state as some of them truly need help. Was this person just under this bag for warmth or simply does not want to be part of society? This was taken early morning. At lunch time, I went out for my usual stroll, only to find him in the same spot.
This is just outside another business in Portland. Unlike the some people in Portland who appear homeless and are not. This, person truly is homeless and a shelter would benefit him. Unfortunately, many people have disabilities and don't get the help they need.

Its easy to talk about the homeless situation in Portland and other cities. We think we have a solution that is not being used. But in reality, it is a far more complex problem to deal with then what can be discussed at the kitchen table.
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