I was up at 630, pounding coffee and looking at my 2nd leg of the trip and potential hotels/neighborhoods. It of course took a while but was closer to Google timing than the few previous trips. There was a lot of winding through southern Oregon and Mt. Shashta which is a beast! Then California, which eventually leveled/browned out into Olive Country. No kidding. I lucked out in that I was heading into the city while everyone else was heading out and that in my coming fro the North was able to check 1 box off the tourist list. The bridge. It’s a pretty sweet bridge as bridges go. I’ll hope to cross it one day on foot.
I’ve become pretty adept at pulling right into a city, hitting hotels.com, AirBnB pulling up neighborhood maps and settling accommodations quickly so I can get out and explore. This bit me in the arse today. While I’d looked around a little bit last night and thought I had a pretty good chance of scoring something around some music and decent food I was way, way off. I naively chose a great price in a ‘recovering’ neighborhood in transition called the Tenderloin. Perhaps it was once a ‘meat packing’ district of sorts. Today however ‘tenderloin’ is code for ‘Methadone’. Portland has a lot of homeless. A whole lot. A LOT. San Francisco would see NYC 2 homeless and raise 6 drug addicted crazy people stumbling around in their own filth. It’s pretty bad. Really bad. Awful. But aren’t as afraid of stoned homeless as I am desperate wanna-be gangsta’s living out their favorite music video fantasies. I had dinner just a few blocks from the hotel at a very new place also experiencing the gentrification pains of moving into a crack-hood full of hookers. It was nice meal with good people including 1 nice young lady who found it impossible to believe that DC itself was once full of the ladies of the night. 'Of course it was,' I replied 'that's where all the policticians are'. This mortified her. But she nervously laughed it off. Oh, the sweet, sandy, blinding naivete of the young west coast. The walk back to the hotel was not so sweet, it was a ridiculous and would’ve taken a pictures however was worried that my exposing my phone would force me to have to eventually beat someone with it.
Not uncommon the scenes change quickly. From street to street. and when it lightened up a bit walked a bit more hoping to walk off a some of dinner. The breath at which so many of the tourists and homeless addicts mingle was surprising and wondered how long ago NYC was like this and how San Francisco hadn’t done a better job of fixing it. But Portland hadn’t and their tourism seems to be thriving. Even though dead people may be lying in the streets. They did after all do a great job of keeping the streets clean of refuse w/out placing trashcans on every corner — where often lied someone passed out or sleeping in Camp Bag. I’ve got to get to sleep. Am finally doing the coast tomorrow. It will be a long drive.
Also must apologize for the lack of pics. Was not at all comfortable flashing my phone around — yah the neighborhood was like that — and most certainly wasn't taking the Nikon for a walk.