Historic Union Oregon
Union, Oregon is a very typical of Eastern Oregon towns. It grew fast on promises of the rail road coming through, then failed as the promises never matured. The town has a lot of character and history behind it. The Historic Union Hotel has rooms named after some of the more eccentric characters. From the Davis Brothers who were quite rich, but unable to every marry due to a stipulation in their Mother’s Will, and includes rumored Ghosts haunting the second floor.
A legacy of the history of the town is the number of Victorian style homes still in town.
Due to the drier climate, a lot of these houses survived quite well. Even better a lot of them have been, or actively are being restored to their former splendor. The rest of the town feels pretty sleepy, with the highest proportion of residents being farmers and hired hands.
Overall it’s a nice little town to visit. I highly recommend the hotel having spent two nights in Elsie’s Room several years ago. Gravy Dave’s across the street is a great greasy (and extremely popular) spoon across the street.
Pike Place Public Market
Pike Place Public Market is probably the second best known tourist landmark in the City of Seattle. Located almost on the waterfront, and elevated a significant distance above it, the Market has been a destination for locals and tourists alike for over a hundred years.
The market opened on August 17, 1907 with ten farmers selling produce out of the back of their wagons. The crowds were such that every single one was sold out by noon that day. And thus, an undeveloped tract of land suddenly became some of the hottest real estate in the city. The first building was opened in November of that same year and rapidly grew.
During and after World War II there was a downturn in attendance at the market. Part of this was due to the fact that many of the farmers selling product here were of Japanese-American descent affected by Roosevelt’s Executive Order 9066. But no doubt a larger part was America’s new found fascination with “modern conveniences” and mass production that led to the modern grocery store.
In 1963 proposals to demolish the market were opposed by citizens, resulting in a non-profit to run the Market. There have been a number of other controversies over the years, but they all seem to have been worked out, allowing Pike Place Public Market to serve an estimated 10 million visitors every year.
The “Umbrella Man” Statue
This statue is called “Allow Me” and was created by J. Seward Johnson. It sits in Pioneer Square near the Max station. Locals simply call it the “Umbrella Man.” As in, “Meet me at 6 by the Umbrella Man.”
It apparently has siblings though, one in Philadelphia on Broad and 15th, and another one in Bath, New York. Cyclotram has a lot more info about him and his siblings, including the artist.
*EDIT* Since I first posted this blog post about J. Seward Johnson’s “Allow me,” I found myself in Philadelphia in February 2012. As I was looping the block trying to find my hotel (Loews Philadelphia, I can highly recommend it,) I spotted this fellow out of the corner of my eye.
Holy Cow! In my excitement I almost took out a Taxi Cab with my SUV rental. Or maybe he was going to take me out anyways, it’s a bit hard to tell with East Coast drivers. I had actually forgotten that this statue was here. On my previous visit to Philadelphia I had only a few hours to look around, but the next day I had plenty of time to wander back around and revisit this statue. Unfortunately it was near impossible to really get a good photo – the theater had a billion people coming and going, and the sidewalks were full. It took me nearly twenty minutes just to get these two pictures.
I ended up having a ton of time to really experience Philadelphia’s art. For the record, the top picture is of Portland’s version in Pioneer Square. The bottom two pictures are of Philadelphia’s version, located in front of the Prince Music Theater on Chestnut street between S 15th and S Broad Street. Please no comments calling me an idiot and saying the location is wrong and there is no way that statue is there – it moved to this location several years ago. 🙂