Outside of the uber-hip, close-in neighborhoods exists this very interesting area consisting of working-class people and a whole underworld of drugs, prostitution, karaoke, shady business and bike paths lined with ex-convicts.
I come across a lot of people who want to hear stories, and if I pull out some of the really gritty stuff that I've experienced out there, I feel like they don't believe this stuff exists in Portland.
Maybe it doesn't exist if you never stray from the 10 square blocks surrounding Dig a Pony.
I find it interesting to go to places like 82nd Avenue because you see such a variety of people, who often are just as quirky as the "hip" people in other sections of the city.
The truly progressive-minded can find the party in any part of the city, not just within a few-block radius.
KATHERINE DUNN'S LEGACY
Having been a resident of Northwest Portland back in the late '70s when Katherine Dunn was serving breakfast at the Stepping Stone and drawing pitchers of beer at the Earth, while working on her novel, I enjoyed the article about the long life and extensive influence of Geek Love ["Geek Loved," WW, April 2, 2014].
Dunn, like the waitresses who worked the graveyard shift at Quality Pie, had a serene and comforting (yet authoritative) presence that communicated to every customer that regardless of their condition or the unpleasant voices in their head, they would be taken care of as long as they did not start any nonsense.
HOMELESS CAMP'S LOCATION
Ignorance is not a bad word but simply means the lack of knowledge. I used to be one of the good citizens who took a very dim view of the homeless ["21 and Over," WW, April 2, 2014].
Once I had an open mind and was enlightened, my view totally changed. I believe that Right 2 Dream Too is a godsend and those who work downtown at R2D2 are angels.
If we look at other countries and judge them on how they treat those with very little resources, then we may want to turn that high-powered and judgmental microscope on ourselves.
Contrary to a report in our books listings March 26, Portland authors Cheryl Strayed and Chelsea Cain were never part of the writing group founded by fellow local author Tom Spanbauer. WW regrets the error.
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