Portland pickled

Real estate. The building boom. Overheated occupancy rates. A development plan first put forward in the 1970s and acclaimed as visionary, compromised, fretted away by the economic exigencies of the free market, full of loopholes.

The local press in a quandary. Front page feature stories in many of the small weekly publications on development issues, decrying the loss of local landmarks–corner bars, retro shops, dry cleaners– to developers eager to build two, three and four story condominium enclaves. The back page(s) of the same small weekly publications sold to real estate developers, real estate offices touting high-priced properties for sale, in effect supporting the journalistic mission of the small weekly publication(s) dedicated to the truth.

The lady developer, permitted to build a condo project on Belmont in the southeast, offering to sell it to concerned residents for the $2million she has into it. Peaceful protests along the  'historic corridor' of the 3300-3400 block of SE Belmont– dating back to the 1880s, one of the last intact streetcar era main streets left in Portland– on a weekly basis.

My friend, younger than I, who moved to Portland in the mid-1980s because it was a place his rock 'n' roll band could afford to live, couldn't afford to live in Portland if he was to move here now. He works in a homeless shelter downtown and plays music in a band called "Bugs."