Sunday, September 07, 2008

A sunny Sunday in Astoria

On August 21, I noted that we'd been having winter-like squalls for a couple of days. I don't dislike them at all, and I don't dread the dark, wet days of winter. But the sun is glorious, especially here where we can't count on it. I threw a few things in my backpack and sauntered down the River Walk. From our location at 15th Street, the walk goes east, which has more trees and less city, and west, which is right through the main part of town. I headed west to return a video, then got my camera out as I headed back east toward Sunday Market and home. The top photo is not too far from the video store. The town is on the right (on land, yup) and the red building is Pier 11.

This is looking back behind me (west). I like this part of the walk, as it passes fish canneries that are still operational in some seasons. The tourist trolley runs along this track.

Um. That's a wave. The only waves we get on the river are when boats stir up a wake. There were more than the usual number of smaller boats on the river today because of nice weather, and maybe because the salmon have been running. We also get waves when it's stormy or windy, but the point is, this is not the ocean. There's a lot of water here, but there are not always waves. On a day like today, when you see a couple of waves in the placid water, they're from boat wakes. I love the green pilings. The moss gets long and stringy. Check out the working boat and ship below. That's with a long lens. The mountains are four miles away in Washington.

I love the scene. People use the river walk for running, biking, hanging out, walking. It's Astoria's most scenic and laid-back transportation route as well as entertainment and getting or staying in shape. It's a social venue as well. The red building to the left is Pier 11 again, and the darker red one on the right is the ever-popular Wet Dog Cafe. The outdoor tables were packed today.

See that long pole? It's bigger than it looks here. It doesn't seem to be tied down to anything, so I'm guessing the river dumped it here and will take it back out when the tide comes in. We have about an 8-foot tide through town. The red building is Pier 11 again, and the white building has had fish markets in it from time to time.

This is Xclusive Salon upstairs at Docks on 12th. It's where I get my hair done. I like the image of it hanging right out into the sky. Below is more of the landward end of the building. Like many buildings along the river, a few feet of it are on land, and the rest is on pilings over the water.

Sunday Market. It was actually hot when I turned away from the water the short half block to the market. Under the awnings are fruit, vegetables (much of it organic), and hand-made or home-grown things you can buy. I loaded up on fruit and veg. They taste so much better this way. I also bought some earrings. A person can never have too many. The vendors rent the spaces for an entire season, rain or shine, and the stuff has to be made by the people who sell it. You can also get a massage or a tarot reading.

In the parking lot next to the organic stalls there is always a band playing (usually very good). This is where the barbecue and ready-to-eat food is sold. Mostly it's off my current eating plan, and that's OK. I feel so much better not eating it. It smells good, though. It's a nice place for people to gather. You can see the radio tower against the sky on the right. It's at the foot of our building (Tapir Preservation Fund, The Animal Store, home). You can see how close it is to the market. You can also see in on Google Earth, but it looks like a flag. You can look for 1490 Marine Drive, which is our address. Google has that address (not too strangely) in the middle of Marine Drive. But we're not on Marine Drive actually, we're on the River Walk, which has no addresses of its own. If you Googlearth it, just take the extra few paces toward the water. That's us.

Occasionally, such as today, there's also stuff going on it the parking lot that used to be the downtown Safeway. Sunday Market is not very visible in the background. The emcee was explaining a contest that was about to begin involving crab pots (the wire traps you see there) ropes, glasses of fake beer (rootbeer), a pretend bar, and, as barmaids, some of the cast of Shangheid in Astoria. I didn't quite follow and the sun was getting hot. Time to buy my veggies and head home.

Home Sweet Home (below) has been the object of much exterior refurbishing for the past few weeks. They're doing a beautiful job. They've progressed to the roof, and today one of the two Jims was laying a new back deck. More pix on this another time. I can still get in, but barely. The entrance is on the right near the piles of shingles sitting on the back of the truck. The patch of dirt in the foreground is the trolley track. Behind me as I take the photo is Marine Drive. The whole asphalt area in front of the building is not a street, but the River Walk, although cars can drive on it at this point. I love it here. I would like to own it, but I don't. I do have at least a few more years to enjoy the location, though.

All for now. Back soon :)