Oasis in the City

20140430_52Since it was such a nice day, I decided to take a walk around the Pearl District photographing historic buildings. There are quite a few and some are pretty interesting. I’ll write about them later. Many people were out and about, some tents were being put up on 13th Ave., but the activity that caught my attention, that seemed most appropriate after the excessive amount of sub-optimal weather we have been sharing, was the pleasure families were having enjoying the sun and the water at Jamison Square. The sound of the water and the shade from many trees made the square feel like a comforting oasis in the city, and everyone there was in a good mood.  Kids were in their glory playing in the water and parents were relaxed. A musician played sunny-afternoon-type music on his accordion to add to the atmosphere. Jamison Square was a very pleasant place to be on a day like this. I felt like I was on vacation.

WSJ – Why It’s Time to Buy

Judie pointed out an interesting article that appeared in the June 4, 2011, Wall Street Journal, entitled “Why It’s Time To Buy”. I can’t repost it, but if you click here, you may be able to read the whole article before it is only accessible with a WSJ subscription.

The article mentions the following. Mortgage rates are near 50-year lows. Homes are more affordable, and there are lots of them available, making this a buyer’s market. There are predictions that prices will fall in the coming month but will begin to edge upward in 2013. The article then continues by discussing the drivers of the housing market – demographics, affordability, loan availability, employment and psychology – and how they interact to affect the market.  Read the article.

July Jumps

The city comes alive in July

I will be vacationing for most of the month, and after looking at the events coming our way, I’m beginning to regret that I can’t be in two places at once. The month starts off with the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival. What a great tradition this has become. We get to hear the best national and local blues musicians perform for an entire weekend capped off by a 4th of July fireworks celebration. Plus, the enormous donation of food to the Oregon Food Bank feeds those in need into the summer.

The following weekend the Bastille Festival will be held from noon to 8pm at Jamison Square in the Pearl. This is a much smaller deal, but promises to be an interesting and fun event featuring lots of food and wine, a waiters’ race around the square, and music for the entire day.

Then there is the Cathedral Park Jazz Festival. This annual free weekend of jazz is as American as you can get. The park is below the St. John’s Bridge with its cathedral-like structure, hence the name. There is a great band shell facing out to a ball-field shaped grassy hillside where you, the listener, and a great number of your best friends and neighbors sit or lie on the grass enjoying the sun and the view, listening to incredibly talented musicians do their thing.

As if that weren’t enough to keep you busy, the Portland Parks and Recreation free Concerts in the Park series begins July 5th.

The Lan Su Chinese Gardens Tuesdays by Twilight series also starts July 5, and the Oregon Zoo summer concerts begin as well.

Top this off with the year-round great music we get to experience at the local clubs and you will find it impossible to avoid an eventful and memorable July.