Old Town - In the Kingdom of the Two Sicilies - CycleBlaze

March 10, 2019

Old Town

Today’s short ride is another submission for this year’s Cycle Life Challenge, my second in as many days.  It really is ridiculously short - a mere five miles.  It’s boxed in by a variety of constraints.  First off, it’s the first day of daylight savings time, and suddenly the sun is up an hour later.  With temperatures dropping below freezing on most nights, I’m not motivated to hop on my bike an hour before sunrise.  Secondly, we have a noon showing at the film festival to be back for; and if we’re going to be assured of getting a decent seat we need to be there a half hour early.  Backing up from that, if I’m going to leave room to shower and then walk to the theater, I really need to be home by around 10:30.  And third, I’m bound by my silly self-imposed constraints on this challenge - I need to feature a different bridge, a different cafe and a different neighborhood on each ride.  With the time available, we’re definitely looking at an inner city neighborhood and a very short ride.

Glancing over Google’s list of coffee shops near me, I look for one I haven’t visited before that opens early and is strategically well placed for the challenge.  Here’s one: Ristretto Roasters - opens at seven, is just on the far side of the Burnside Bridge, gets reasonable reviews.  Fits the bill, so let’s check it out.

The verdict?  One visit is plenty, if not excessive.  It’s in the heart of all the new high rises that are sprouting up almost overnight in the rapidly developing inner east side.  It’s hard to keep up with the pace of change here, and there are new service venues opening up to support all the new apartments and office spaces opening up in what was purely a gritty industrial and warehouse area just a few years ago.

I’m surprised walking in to find I’m the only customer; disappointed to see a nearly empty pastry cabinet with few appealing selections to choose from; and a bit put off by the lukewarm demeanor of the woman at the counter, with a face full of hardware and a gloomy goth appearance.  I make my selection, your basic plain croissant, and sit at the counter in the sun where I can keep one eye on Rodriguez on the other side of the glass.

About two minutes after I sit down, the counter-lady steps out the door.  She’s gone for about ten minutes, leaving me the run of the joint.  After she returns we remain the only two in the shop until twenty minutes later when a woman comes in, hands her a paper bag, and walks out again.  It’s apparently a breakfast delivery from the bagel shop next door.  In the hour I sit there, there’s only a single other customer - a woman who grabs a cup to take out.  

So, let’s check that spot of the list, shall we?

They’re walking right past Ristretto Roasters without a sideways glance. I should have taken the hint.
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Unusual to have the complete run of the place. Even the staff doesn’t care to stay around.
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It’s cold, but another brilliant day today.  I can’t believe these days just keep coming.  It makes me sorry that we don’t have more time free for a longer ride, but today’s film is one I really want to see.   With our departure only two weeks away now, we’ll be getting in all the riding we want before long.  

So with only a couple of miles to cover between the coffee shop and the apartment, over a bridge and through a neighborhood I’ve shown you already before, how much new is there to say?  Not much.  Here are some pics though, worth a few thousand words I’m sure.

RR - say it out loud and it sounds like a laugh. Appropriate. Our morning treat today is an acceptable but unimaginative plain croissant, almost the only option on offer.
Heart 3 Comment 0
It seems like there’s always a maintenance project underway on one or more of our bridges. The bike lane is actually on the other side of the fence, but it’s closed off and one of the traffic lanes has been temporarily repurposed. Nice to live in a place that takes its infrastructure seriously.
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The Burnside Bridge, opened in 1926, was the first of our bridges to be designed with input from an architect. Its two Italian Renaissance towers give it a real flair.
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The lichens and elements are slowly winning.
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The lift span of the Steel Bridge, from the Burnside.
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It’s still quite cold this morning - the shadow ice is still thawing on the roof of this warehouse beneath the bridge.
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Some tired geese
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Suzanne Gibson...or goosed tires?
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Jen GrumbyDouble the funny.
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1 month ago
This will all look so different in a few weeks, when the cherries blossom out. I hope we’re still in town to see the show.
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Welcome to Old Town.
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The elegant Skidmore Fountain, dedicated in 1888, is recognized as Portland’s oldest work of public art.
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Skidmore, an early Portland businessman, provided for the fountain in his will. It’s design was inspired by his visit to Versailles late in his life, and was intended for horses, men and dogs to drink from.
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The colorful Saturday Market is just setting up.
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The New Market Building and attached colonnade make a striking backdrop for the Satuday Market.
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The New Market Building, begun in 1872, is probably Portland’s most distinguished remaining survivor of the cast iron era.
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In the cherry grove. I’ll plan on coming back for another shot before we leave town. If the weather is fine it’s likely to be a crowded scene, thick with models and photographers.
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Jacquie GaudetIt seems like it was only last week that you were posting photos of the cherry blossoms with models and photographers! Hard to believe it was almost a year ago.
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Jacquie GaudetI does seem like just yesterday, alright. My sense of time gets stranger the older I get though. So much has happened in this last year. It’s amazing that last spring can seem both so near and so far away.
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1 month ago
Steve Miller/GrampiesI was good naturedly grousing to Dodie about the vast number of "likes" you garner, and she pointed out that it is mainly for your superior photos. So I hatched the idea of bringing in my friend Dave as a ghost photographer on our blog. The problem is, Dave specializes in India. We are unlikely to lure him to the Danube.

Still, have a look at his shots. You will appreciate them as a photographer. Look at the bird series from Feb 26. I also (of course) like the cow shot, that has our friend Anne in the foreground.

https://indiablog2019.blogspot.com/
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1 month ago
Scott AndersonTo Steve Miller/GrampiesThanks for the compliment Steve, but I’m really a dilettente. I’m envious of folks like Dave that actually know what they’re doing, but not to the point of studying or carrying around more equipment. Did you see the article on becoming a better photographer in the CycleBlaze News section, by the way?
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1 month ago