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Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Three Dumpsters

Dumpsters on the River Walk February 11, 2010

These three dumpsters sit at the entrance to Doc's on 12th Street. The one that looks like wood is not. It's been skillfully painted to look like wood. I believe the artist is Jo Brown, whose murals I've shown in earlier posts, and who painted an outstanding mural on the back of the Sears store across from this dumpster. To the left of the dumpster is the River Walk, and to the right is the bank of the Columbia River. The red-topped cans are for recycling.

There was a famous Astoria painted dumpster at the 6th Street Pier when I arrived here in 2001, but it's gone now. It was a fanciful painting by Diane Beeston showing sea creatures and a dancing octopus. I have a photo somewhere and will post it when I find it.

For those who asked about the rooftop garden mural, yes, it is a mural. There are a number of roof-level murals in Astoria, and I'll get their photos taken one of these days :)

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ship and Boat

Fishing boat and ship on the Columbia River at Astoria, Oregon All month long, the small boats have been out on the Columbia River from first light till last fishing for sturgeon, and the salmon season is also opening. There are a number of web sites such as this one and this one that will tell you all you could want to know about fishing the Lower Columbia River. It's big business and also big fun for sports fishers.

The small boat and the ship in this photo are not so close together, as I've used the zoom, but I understand it's a memorable expeience to see one of the big ships from a small boat.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Monday, June 28, 2010

A Good Cause: Fundraising for "Shanghaied"

The Astor Street Opry Company raises funds for a new home The Astor Street Opry Company is raising funds for a new home. The company produces Astoria's longest-running play, "Shanghaied in Astoria," which goes into its 26th season on July 8th. To quote their web site, "The Astor Street Opry Company’s Live on Stage… Award winning…Family Entertainment…That Original…Historical, Hysterical…Musical Melodrama… SHANGHAIED IN ASTORIA! This locally written play is part-vaudeville, part-soap opera, and part 1950’s style Hollywood musical – all combined into a fun and entertaining look at traditional local cultural folklore. What originated as a celebration of Astoria tradition has now become a tradition itself. . . ." You can see this sign as you near downtown on Marine Drive. Here they are on Facebook, too.

In the old days, Astoria was one of the towns in which real shanghaiing took place.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Almost Mediterranean

Roof Garden, Elliott Hotel, Astoria, OregonThe other day I showed you a guest photo of the Astor Hotel taken from the Hotel Elliott, above. The Elliott has been completely refurbished during the past decade, and the rooms are elegant. It's too bad their web site doesn't show more, but you can see some nice photos with a Google image search. The Elliott is the brown and tan building with the roof garden. The building in front with the tile roof has businesses on this side and the Liberty Theatre on the other side. I see that I still need to post a good photo of the outside of the Liberty. The pink building on the left is this one, which I've decided is more Art Deco than Art Nouveau, although it has both flavors.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

The Riverboat "Spirit of '98"

Spirit of '98 Riverboat, Astoria, OregonThe "Spirit of '98" leaves the dock at 17th Street and cruises toward the setting sun. After a short tour of Astoria's waterfront and a turnaround, it will make its way back up the Columbia River.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Friday, June 25, 2010

For Your Convenience . . .

Bike Rack at the Post Office - Astoria, Oregon Since I posted the first bike rack photo, I've noticed them all over town. They're painted different colors, but the shape is always the same. Most people seem to find them as convenient as the one here at the post office. One reader mentioned that they flop over in these racks. I think most users tie them up to the side for stability, taking all three spaces.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Giraffe on Duane Street

Buildings on Duane Street, Astoria, Oregon May 27, 2010

Back in May I was walking up 15th Street nearing Duane, when I noticed two things I'd never seen before, and I cut over to get a better look. For one thing, I don't remember the sign commemorating the Lovell Auto Co. The date on the sign says 1910, but the paint looks new. For another thing, I thought someone had put a giraffe high on the side of the building. When I got closer, I could see it wasn't intended to be a giraffe - I had just found the bundled-up wiring on a lucky day. Here's the same building in another post seen from the corner of 14th and Duane.

Building at Duane and 15th Streets, Astoria, Oregon Around the other side of the building on 15th Street was a similar arrangement, but this time it was clearly not a giraffe. The Blue Scorcer Cafe is located inside the glass windows.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Mrs. Shively and Her Grave

Halloween event at Pioneer Cemetery - Shively Mausoleum, Mrs. Shively portrayal OK, yes. This is weird. Thank you, Stephanie Roley, for sending this photo (see yesterday's post). What appears to be Mrs. Shively posing in front of her own tomb is actually an actor dressed up for a special occasion. Stephanie wrote: "Here's another one from Pioneer Cemetery that I posted on Facebook after the annual Halloween cemetery event. Now I can't even remember which historic group sponsors the event, but they dress in character and have interesting stories about some of the people buried there. As you can tell from the photo, this lady was not very nice (Mrs. Shiveley I believe)."

Tomorrow we'll move on to a new subject, but I couldn't resist giving this photo a day of its own. Thanks, Stephanie!

Revisited January 9, 2012: If you enjoy cemeteries or find them creepy or both, please check out Julie's new Taphophile Tragics blog and meme. Enjoy  :-)

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

A Strange Mausoleum

Shively Mausoleum in Pioneer Cemetery, Astoria, OregonAstoria, Oregon ~ June 10, 2010

I encountered this unusual-looking mausoleum at the edge of Pioneer Cemetery, scene of yesterday's post. It is the burial place, or at least the memorial for the Shively family (inscriptions given here). I don't mean any disrespect, but cemeteries can be odd and interesting places, and as I wandered I through, approaching from the back (last photo), I thought I had found the gardener's shed, except that the windows to the inside were in the form of crosses.

Shively Mausoleum in Pioneer Cemetery, Astoria, Oregon Embedded in the front are memorial plaques to members of the family. This one is on the left of the rusted iron door (which did not open).

Shively Mausoleum in Pioneer Cemetery, Astoria, Oregon This plaque was on the right.

Shively Mausoleum in Pioneer Cemetery, Astoria, Oregon Here are two of the three crosses above the door.

Shively Mausoleum in Pioneer Cemetery, Astoria, Oregon And a tombstone to the left buried in the roots of the tree and barely visible among the vines that cover the uneven ground. Perhaps it wasn't visible at all until volunteers from the high school cleaned the stones recently. Stephanie, who lives across the street, mentioned the cleanup.

Shively Mausoleum in Pioneer Cemetery, Astoria, Oregon This was my first glimpse. I had wandered across the hilly and uneven ground of the cemetery from one corner to the other. Most of the stones are flat or square, with the exception of a couple of taller monuments like the one for the Warren family. This is the only building. Except for the crosses, it could almost be a tool shed. It looks like it belongs in a Gothic novel.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Monday, June 21, 2010

George Wright Warren Memorial in Pioneer Cemetery

Grave Market of George Wright Warren in Pioneer Cemeter, Astoria, Oregon June 10, 2010

This moody photo could have been taken almost any day in June, except that there may be a few more leaves on the trees today than there were on June 10th. This is Pioneer Cemetery at the top of the Astoria hill, and the marker is for the Warren Family. George Wright Warren was one of those early business tycoons who founded banks and other industries. He lived in Knappa, Astoria, and Warrenton, where he built dikes to create valuable farmland out of his property. I believe it's this marker that stands tall in the sunset in this post.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I Find This Very Weird

Gas Station, Astoria, Oregon At Oregon gas stations, you cannot pump your own gas (it's the law - and pretty interesting - the people voted for it) and the attendants will not check your oil (liability), but apparently ConocoPhillips (76) is qualified to tell you what exercises are safe and effective to get the kinks out of your body when driving distances. Go figure.

On the two-hour drive to Portland, I always enjoy stopping in Longview, Washington, partly to pump my own gas, which also helps get the kinks out.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Plenty of Green

Craftsman Style home, Astoria, Oregon June 16, 2010

Here's one of Astoria's delightful Craftsman style homes along with a tiny hillside garage so typical of this place. I love the Craftsman bungalows as much as the Victorians, and we have quite a few of them here. This one is on the Bond Street hill. (I had no idea until I looked it up that "bungalow" comes from "Bengali.")

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Blades and Boats

June 13, 2010

The ship heading upriver was making more noise than usual, and when it came into view past the buildings, I could see why. There was a Coast Guard helicopter hovering right above it.

The pilot boat arrived just as the helicopter was taking off.

Now a small Coast Guard boat arrives while the pilot boat continues toward its usual spot amidships.

The spray from the 'copter has settled down.

And the Coast Guard boat heads back to port. This shot was taken with the long zoom, so the low part of the Astoria-Megler Bridge looks very close. I love that evening light!

My first thougts: I don't know what was going on here. It could have been a training exercise, since there is a Coast Guard base in Astoria. We often see boats and helicopters out for training on the river and ocean. Seeing the helicopter above the ship was also interesting because at one time this is how the ship pilots were transferred at sea - by helicopter. I don't know if they're doing that any more, or if they do it only under certain conditions. I heard that they might be planning to use this method again. I suppose it's possible that they were practicing, and I only got in on the end of the scene. But . . .

. . . two commenters on our Facebook page have the right answers:

Karen Vaterlaus Leedom: The coast guard often inspects ships entering the Columbia. What you most likely saw was them removing the boarding party, which happened to coincide with the bar & river pilots changing places. Also, the bar pilots' preferred method of boarding ships at sea is via helicopter, which they have been doing for years.

Joanne Rideout: Karen's likely right on target - and we'll see more of this going on here now that the USCG Captain of the Port has moved to Air Station Astoria. Some of these inspections used to happen upriver before when that office was based in Portland.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Thursday, June 17, 2010


Former brothel on Bond Street The way I heard it, this lovely Italianate Victorian boarding house (now apartments) was actually the last operating brothel in Astoria. I don't know how late that was, but at one time Astoria was known for its brothels and boarding houses. As a port city with a lot of lonely workers in the docks and canneries, it's said to have had an extremely rowdy past.

Former brothel on Bond Street I don't know much about the history of this building, and I didn't have time to do the research. If anyone can clue me in, I'll update the post.

Former brothel on Bond Street One Ninety Three West Bond Street is about a block from the apartment at 40 West Bond where I lived for several years when I first came to Astoria in 2001. Someone told me after I'd rented it that Bond Street was "the bad part of town." (Notice I didn't say "in" the bad part of town - Bond street was the bad part of town. Limited.) Were they kidding? If this is bad, they need to take a look at a few more typical cities. I found Bond Street to be a great place to live. Or maybe things have cleaned up since Bond Street's disreputable days. I'm still a newcomer, and I know there are readers out there with stories.

Besides the comments below, there is lots of discussion about this building on the blog's Facebook page. Thanks, everyone!

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Light through Trees

Light through Trees, 12th Street and Harrison, Astoria, Oregon June 15, 2010

The brilliant yellow-green light created by the sun coming through the new leaves caught my attention and I had to stop and take a few photos. I'm afraid the small size doesn't do justice to the scene, and it might help some to click on the photo and enlarge it.

This could also be part of the never-ending series of "Houses on Hills." This is a somewhat unusual exterior for Astoria, as it's left in the wood-shingled finish. It looks perfect in its tree-shrouded setting high above the corner of 12th Street and Harrison.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Buoys at the Entrance

Buoys at 17th Street June 4, 2010

Although at first glance, they may look like bombs, they are not. Buoys 92 and 17 mark the entrance to the parking lot at the 17th Street Docks next to the Maritime Museum. The blacktop on the left leads in from Marine Drive, and the blacktop on the right serves as parking for cars, tour buses, and a venue for the occasional fair. The main Maritime Museum parking lot is behind and to the right. The River Walk passes through this area, and it's always a pleasant place to go because of the interesting things on the water, the docks, the friendly people walking, biking and sightseeing, and interesting decor such as the buoys. It's also one of the stops for the Riverfront Trolley. I wonder what it took to get Buoy 17 for the 17th Street location?

In the background you can see the Shallon Winery and Custard King, and towering above them are the Owens-Adair Apartments senior housing and care facility, which used to be St. Mary's Hospital. The tan or brown building is a furniture and appliance store where I once found this big drip on the other side.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Another Angle

Astor Hotel, by Merri June 18, 2005
Photo by Merri

Today's photo shows a different angle of the Astor Hotel in downtown Astoria. It was sent by guest photograher, Merri, who took it from the Hotel Elliott, one of the few buildings in town tall enough to afford such a view. The swooping roofs to the left belong to the Maritime Museum, several blocks away on the waterfront.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Spiderman Lives Here

Amazing Stories Comics with Spiderman It seems that Spiderman lives at the corner of 14th Street and Commercial in Astoria, Oregon. It also happens to be the home of Amazing Stories. Go figure. Could there be a connection?

Amazing Stories Comics Sign at 14th and Commercial You've seen this building before - it's the Astor Hotel. I'll bet Superman would also enjoy leaping this tall building in a single bound.

See more Weekend Reflections from around the world.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Pink, Orange, Gray

Astor and Commodore Hotels, Astoria, Oregon May 27, 2010

I've posted several faces of the Astoria Hotel in downtown Astoria, and I'm sure I'll post it again. I never get tired of looking at its interesting design and the way the light loves to play with it. On the right, the sign for the Commodore Hotel is now brightened, too. Has it been that way for long? I don't remember. The Commodore is breathing again, with a hotel and a new cafe inside, although the photo at the end of the link was taken before the cafe came along.

For beautiful sky photos from around the world, check out SkyWatch Friday.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Gone with the Rain

May 26, 2010

I promised to show the big rhododendron bushes at the east front corner of the post office, and here they are before rain, wind, and time got the better of them.

They were beautiful, but they're basically gone now.

We'll have to remember the rhodies until next year. There are still a few left, and there are many other lovely flowers around town. However, I think the main flowering of the gorgeous local rhododendrons has finished for the year - and it's certainly been an amzaingly colorful and profuse year for them.

I'll keep my eyes open for more flower shots because they've been a lot of fun. But at least today we're expecting more rain.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Houses on Hills

Houses in Astoria, Oregon May 20, 2010

Here is the back of the house in yesterday's post along with its neighbor. They show two more adaptations to living on hills. The white building in the distance with the gray roof is the apartment building I lived in when I first arrived in Astoria. It has five stories, but only three are at or above street level. I lived on the bottom story, and even the back part of that was high above ground level. The hallway was buried in the hillside, and it kept the place cool on those rare hot days.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Houses on Hills: Gangplank Style

House on a Hill, Astoria, Oregon - Bond Street May 20, 2010

Although this walkway isn't removable the way a real gangplank is, it provides access from the front door of the house to the hillside near street level. There are a few of these arrangements on Bond Street; this house is toward the west end of Bond near the mini mart. The trees on the hill above are very sparse these days. In spring of 2007, there was a major slide caused by heavy rainfall, and then our subsequent big wind storm of December 2007. Even the street hasn't recovered, and the hillside is held up off the road by cement retaining walls, with the street narrowed to one lane at the intersection with Hume.

This portion of the hill has collapsed before and was featured years ago in Life magazine on January 25, 1954. An ad for the issue lists part of the contents as, "massive mud slides (earth movement) in Astoria, Oregon moves houses and more." There are photos in the local history museum.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store

Monday, June 7, 2010

Can you identify these mushrooms?

Orange mushrooms in Astoria, Oregon, June 2010Astoria, Oregon ~ June 5, 2010

They are small - only about an inch or two in diameter. I found them under the picnic table beneath the big tree in front of the Flavel House, where I sat for a minute after taking photos of the opening of the Oregon Film Museum in yesterday's post.

Orange mushrooms in Astoria, Oregon, June 2010 I was looking forward to getting back to the one-photo-per-day format, but I couldn't resist posting three pictures of these beautiful, bright, waxy-looking mushrooms.

Orange mushrooms in Astoria, Oregon, June 2010 I was completely surprised to see them when I looked at the ground. They were coming up in crowded clusters, but were only in the shaded areas under the picnic table. However, the slanted rays of the morning sun managed to find a few of them and make them glow even brighter.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Goonies Saturday, June 5, 2010

Goonies Weekend, Astoria, Oregon I've posted a few photos here, and I've uploaded more to this Picasa album. You can click through them with the arrows at the top and read the captions. For the opening of the Oregon Film Museum in the old jail, the City staged a reenactment of the jailbreak at the beginning of the The Goonies film.

Goonies Weekend, Astoria, Oregon First, Mayor Willis Van Dusen introduced State Senator Betsy Johnson, and she applauded the opening of the museum. They noted that the museum was dedicated in honor of all of the films made in Oregon, but that June 7th would forever be Goonies Day in Astoria and today was their day at the Museum.

Goonies Weekend, Astoria, OregonWillis Van Dusen introduced the actors. I didn't catch the name of the guy in the white hat, but an anonymous commenter thought it might be Joe Pantoliano, who played one of the Fratelli brothers, and I think that's right. Next (plaid shirt) is Curtis Hanson ("Mr. Perkins"), then Jeff Cohen in a black shirt ("Chunk", with his daugter in the blue shirt. I found a link to the Goonies cast then and now, so have fun with the facces! Everyone seems to be having a good time. The mood was laid-back and fun. You'll see more pictures of the actors in the album.

Goonies Weekend, Astoria, Oregon Oh, look. In the middle of this photo there's a guy in a hat racing from the jail to a waiting black jeep. Note the red gas can.

Goonies Weekend, Astoria, Oregon There's a hot pursuit . . . and you can see more in the photo album. Note pirate hats in the foreground.

Goonies Weekend, Astoria, OregonAt the other end of town are The Goon Docks - right next door to my shop, Tapir and Friends Animal Store (which has no sign and has reverted to its roots as an online-only business).

Goonies Weekend, Astoria, OregonAt The Goon Docks, you can buy tickets and memorabilia.

Goonies Weekend, Astoria, Oregon It's nice when the town gets together and has a good time. The crowds even left me a place to park. The weather was as gorgeous yesterday as it is rainy so far today. I haven't been out yet, but I can see from my window that The Goon Docks are again filled with people.

Here's a web site I found showing more location pix for several of the movies made in Astoria. There's an index list here. Just look for these titles: Free Willy, Kindergarten Cop, The Ring 2, and of course, The Goonies. It doesn't cover all movies made here, but you'll enjoy seeing stills from the films as well as the locations.

Here is a YouTube video interview with Curt Hanson and Jeff Cohen uploaded during the weekend.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Sturgeon Boats and Goonie Stuff

Fishing for Sturgeon, Astoria, OregonI think that for the next few days, I'm going to post several photos for each day - the regular daily photo, and then some Goonies stuff. Today's first photo is of people out early in the morning fishing for sturgeon on the misty river. I've already seen several weather changes, and it's hard to tell what kind of day it will be. The sparkles in the background are reflections of sunlight on the Washington side of the Astoria-Megler Bridge.

By the way, The Goonies wasn't the only movie shot in Astoria. There were quite a few more. Currently on every store video shelf is The Road. An important scene at the beach next to a wrecked ship was filmed at the Peter Iredale. If you go west from Astoria, that's where you'll meet the Pacific Ocean. The crew didn't even have to bring in the driftwood, because it was already there, as you'll see from the linked posts. They did bring in a lot of other set dressing, though, because we don't usually have Apocalyptic garbage on the beach :)

Below are a few photos I took while doing errands yesterday evening.

Goonies' 25th Anniversary, Astoria, Oregon The door and interior of Video Horizons display Goonie memorabilia and a sign announces a costume party tonight.

Goonies' 25th Anniversary, Astoria, Oregon
Goonies' 25th Anniversary, Astoria, Oregon Video Horizons' windows are filled with Goonies. I'm glad I picked up my weekend movies LAST night. I may try to go look at the costumes tonight, but I'm making no promises.

Goonies' 25th Anniversary, Astoria, Oregon A new thrift shop on 7th Street across from the post office gets into the spirit.

Goonies' 25th Anniversary, Astoria, Oregon I've been meaning to show you this Victorian-era brick church (First Baptist) for some time, but there are always cars in the way. I'm showing it now because the gray building to the left is the Goonies' Jail.

Goonies' 25th Anniversary, Astoria, Oregon Here's the jail from the other side. It will have its grand opening as the Oregon Film Museum this morning, but as of last night they were still working on it. The words along the top are new. I think there was some text there during the filming, but I'm not sure. Typically there was none.

Goonies' 25th Anniversary, Astoria, Oregon
Goonies' 25th Anniversary, Astoria, Oregon I only watched the first part of the movie because, unlike so many people around the world, I couldn't stand it. I usually don't give up on a movie part way through, but in this case, I did. I remember the jail scenes at the beginning, though, and I think there was a shot from this back corner. I wonder how they got rid of all those wires, or if they left them in the movie.

Goonies' 25th Anniversary, Astoria, Oregon Didn't somebody's father work at a museum? They used the Flavel House across the street from the jail as the location for the museum. It's not such a stretch, as the Flavel House is - actually - a museum.

Goonies' 25th Anniversary, Astoria, Oregon Here's the Flavel House from 7th Street.

See Weekend Reflections from around the world.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

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