Watching some commercials about the TV series Portlandia, I felt inspired to take some photos of Downtown Portland. I parked at the Oregon Museum of Science & Industry on the east side of the Willamette River. Walking north I soon reached the Hawthorne Bridge where the Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade begins. The Esplanade extends 1 1/2 miles and includes a floating walkway, the longest one of its kind in the United States. At the Steel Bridge, the north end of the Esplanade, there is a walkway under the Bridge only 30 feet above the Willamette River.
Upon reaching the west bank of the River, I turned north following a wooden pathway next to the condos along the River. On the other side of the River there were unloaded sea-going vessels, tug boats and many other signs of commercial activities. It provided a good historic sense of the industrial foundation of the city, and a nice reminder that Portland remains a busy deep-water port.
Near the Fremont Bridge I began a loop through the Pearl District before returning to the River. The Pearl is always interesting. It’s a taxpayer-subsidized reclamation of an old industrial district. It’s become one of the more trendy locations in Portlandia. It’s a combination of bike lanes, lightrail, condos, one-way streets, little parking, upscale eating establishments and art galleries.
After reaching the River, I began the loop back to OMSI enjoying the views along the way. During the walk seven bridges could be seen; Marquam, Hawthorne, Morrison, Burnside, Steel, Broadway and Fremont from south to north. I suppose that is why Portland is sometimes called the City of Bridges. All in all, it was a pleasant 4 1/2 mile outing.