Thursday, July 24, 2008

Wrangling all my wild tangential thoughts

Now that I'm going to be static for a month, I'm getting down to brass tacks and emptying my brain into Word. I hope I can go some way toward figuring out the connections between bicycle subcultures and gentrification while I'm here.
I've put out inquiries at several activist organizations in Portland, and I'm waiting to here back about interviews. I think that the struggle here will be useful to find out about not only because I've been interested in Portland's experience of revitalization since I was at Reed, but also because I think neighborhoods like Echo Park in LA are at a different place in the same cycle of gentrification.
One thing I love about Portland is my opportunity to patronize wonderful businesses, such as coffee shops Sound Grounds and Palio, caf├ęs like the Whole Bowl, and of course the king of all bookstores, Powell's. I spent some time there yesterday, and I've never noticed so many tourists in the shop before. The place was packed. I think my bike helmet assaulted more than one person as I squoze past.
The Loose Goose is doing a fine job getting me around town. I find it much easier to use it when I'm not trying to get on and off trains, up and down staircases, and have a steady garage in which to leave it. I saw a couple getting two Dahon Speeds into their trunk yesterday. We exchanged a wave of folding solidarity. I'm pleased that I'm not the only woman on a folding bike in Portland; I have seen only men on them until now. And I mean everywhere I've been this summer. It definitely seems like a middle-aged man toy, the folding bicycle.
I should probably go buy some new shoes.