Friday, November 20, 2015

A Stroll Down Alberta Street

Exploring Portland

Alberta Street in Northeast Portland is lined with art galleries, murals, bars and ethnic restaurants.  This area is one of the oldest neighborhoods in Portland.  It was once a magnet for poor immigrants and like most cities where diversity endures, the artists soon follow.  This area reminds me of the Haight-Ashbury area in San Francisco, of Berkeley and Berlin.

Its Last Thursday of the Month Street Fair is hugely popular.  Although it's a year-round affair, during the months of May through September, Alberta Street is closed to traffic and it's a pedestrian only extravaganza.  The local business owners love it; the artists are crumbling a bit.  Evidently the city is putting more and more regulations in place.  It's not the Free-For-All of years gone by.

And that's precisely why I chose a cold, blustery Monday morning to stroll down this colorful street--so I  could have it all to myself.   I took my time looking at the crazy murals coating almost every building on this particular five-block stretch.  I ducked into a donut shop for a coffee break.  Although a few stores and galleries were open, most were closed on Mondays.  A good thing.  I saw lots of funky clothes and eccentric art pieces in the windows that would have sorely tempted me, if given a chance.

I'll be back!

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