A Report From the South Waterfront
I'd call it a report from Ground Zero but we were actually on the water. I had dinner with my wife and several other couples at the Newport Bay restaurant, which meant walking around the South Waterfront district and checking out the new condos. I felt that same old feeling of the tail wagging the dog - all this hassle for two large buildings that are in effect life dormitories? Plus a bunch of medical offices and infrastructure? It seemed so pointless that an entire city should be caught up in this expensive scam. The buildings looked okay except for the double-decker freeway bridge in the immediate background. I'm sure they'll have a lovely view towards Mt. St. Helens, but I couldn't help but think I was visiting the scene of a fiscal disaster. One of the other couples pointed out how weird it would be to live in Oregon and take an elevator home. The district is all new, like a theme park that just opened. It looked great but it didn't seem real. It's like a big civic toy for the rich. The restaurant was doing good business and the yachts were coming and going from the marina below. Once again, it seemed a little forced. I mean the Willamette is nice enough but is it really a yacht-type river? Was this just another part of pretending Portland was someplace it's not? Sometimes a yacht went by and the waves made the whole restaurant bob up and down. The first time, before you identify it, you wonder if you're coming down with a dizzy spell. The next few times it's just a queazy, fluttering feeling. Maybe they should hold City Council meetings there. I get the same queazy, fluttering feeling when I hear about these city-business partnerships.