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Friday, February 26, 2010

The East Bank

Portland is a city that continually attempts to develop itself to be something bigger and better. I think that, luckily for those involved in the planning and dreaming, that many of the developments work out, catch on, and become a part of the ever-changing conversations about the city. One such example is Portland's Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade.

This was a long time coming. Early city planners began in 1993 on a plan to design and guide construction on the Esplanade. Not only is the project one of urban renewal, transforming warehouses and cement playgrounds into welcoming and modern spaces, but it connects the two sides of the city through a common denominator, the Willamette River. Construction began in 1998 and was completed in May 2004, it was later renamed in honor of long-time mayor Vera Katz.

On a gorgeous day, the Eastbank Esplanade really does come to life. Athletes, dog-walkers, and outdoor enthusiasts can stroll through Tom McCall Waterfront Park on the west side of the river, grab a set of stairs to a bridge, cross the water, and continue south on the Eastbank Esplanade, which is an additional 1.5 miles of paved trails on ground and water (a portion is a floating walkway). I arrived at the esplanade one day around lunch time, and it was packed with bicycles, joggers, and pets, out for an active lunch during a break in the rain.

Watching the Runners

And while the middle of the day with sun shining down through a break in the clouds is not the ideal for capturing landscapes, I couldn't help but peek through the trees and shoot the Hawthorne Bridge looking toward Portland's West Hills through the urban landscape. It was an enjoyable beginning to my photo walk.

Colorful Crossing

Eric Lovelin Photography

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