Last week, on wweek.com, we wrote about the potential demolition of O'Bryant Square, downtown's notorious "Paranoid Park." The square has been closed for 19 months due to safety concerns, and City Hall is seeking an estimate for the cost of demolishing the subterranean parking structure, which would also require the total redevelopment of the park above. Here's what readers had to say.
HotWaterHeat, via Reddit: "The first time I visited Portland back in the mid-'90s, I went on a walk around downtown to check things out. I found this 'park' and I knew right away that if I ever wanted to buy drugs, this was the place."
Evenstravers, via Reddit: "Coming soon: McMenamins beer garden."
Cris Sohler, via Facebook: "As much as I don't ascribe to the conversation about 'Old Portland,' this park is part of our collective DNA."
Charles Willcoxon, via Facebook: "When it's all remodeled, put in a food cart called Paranoid Pork."
Dangerweiner69, via Reddit: "After it is demolished, turn it into a food cart pod to replace the one formerly on 9th and Alder."
Dre, via wweek.com: "I really hope they don't bring in food carts. This is a public park, not a space for businesses to sell things."
Chase Diamond-Wexler, via Facebook: "Definitely, 100 percent, not at all related to the new Ritz going in."
Palbuddymac, via Reddit: "Kids used to throw laundry detergent and fabric dye into that fountain to make giant green and pink clouds of foam… fun!"
Aquiles Montas, via Facebook: "We don't have to be remodeling everything. Keep part of the Old Portland."
Ben VanderVeen, via Facebook: "Thank god, this and the blocks around it are pedestrian nightmares with all the construction. How on earth has it taken this long to do something about a condemned space?"
Portlandia Is Eugene, Not Portland
On the Facebook page That Oregon Life, someone posted a picture of Star Trek Captain Kirk looking at some freaks saying, "So, you guys are from Portland?" The reference is clearly to the television series Portlandia (2011-18). To set the record straight, I offer this retort:
As a Eugenean, I'm tired of Portland taking credit when it is NOT due. "Portlandia"—the substance of what it symbolizes—originated in Eugene, not Portland. Portland stole the strangeness, eccentricity, abnormality, hipness and creativity from Eugene.
After all, Eugene has Ken Kesey, the Oregon Country Fair, Animal House, Tim Hardin, the Searchin' Soul Blues Band, the Robert Cray Band and Curtis Salgado; Sen. Wayne Morse, a political maverick on Vietnam and other issues; a natural foods consciousness starting in 1970 with the Willamette People's Co-op; Prefontaine; the birthplace of Oregon Wild, the state's largest and most effective environmental organization; and now Mary Wood, one of our most intelligent leaders on climate change.
So you can clearly see why those freaks in the picture are staring at Captain Kirk in utter perplexity and thinking to themselves (you can almost see the thought bubble) and saying, "No, we're from Eugene."