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Friday, December 31, 2010

Glowing against Dark Sky

Astoria, Oregon ~ June 4, 2009

On the last day of the year, I'm putting up a photo I've always liked but have never got around to posting. I am attracted to glowing or bright foregrounds against a dark sky. I took this one on June 4, 2009, when the city was replacing the stairs in the Astoria Column by taking off the cap and dropping the stairs in from the top using huge cranes. Of course they fenced off the area at the top of the hill that includes the column. 

Tomorrow's post will be fun. City Daily Photo's January 1 Theme Day will be "Photo of the year 2010." Some cities are ahead of us time-wise and are already posting, so it might be fun to follow the link, search for your favorite city, state, or country, or just click on the Theme Day link and see what each City Daily Photo blogger thought was their best or favorite for the New Year's Theme Day.

On a personal note, I apologize for posting sporadically lately. I'm not tired of the blog and am looking forward to 2011. After a long season of work, I got run down, caught a bad bug, and have been lazing around reading for the past week, trying to get better.

I want to thank all of Astoria Daily Photo's readers and commenters. We've reached 1,000 Fans on our Facebook page - woohoo!!! - and some of you have also written privately to tell me you enjoy the daily posts. It's been fun and gratifying, and I wish all of us a safe New Year's Eve and a wonderful 2011!

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Orange Pansies in December

Astoria, Oregon ~ December 20, 2010

I was charmed the other day to find these orange pansies blooming in the red planter outside Clemente's Restaurant on 12th Street. I also hadn't noticed its neighbor before, the rock garden. I wonder what will be growing here in spring? I love all of the planters that have sprung up outside the city's businesses. I've thought of putting some outside of my place, but haven't done it yet. Maybe this will be the year.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

The Windsor House of Tea

Astoria, Oregon ~ January 23, 2010

Thanks for bearing with the same photo for a few days. I decided to take a break. I'm back, and will be pulling random photos out of the archives this week. The business is not more, but the building remains. Would anyone like to share their fond memories either in the comments or by e-mail? I visited once, treated by my friend Lisa. The baked treats were spectacularly flavorful and decadent. I'm sorry to say that because of that and the engaging conversation, I don't even remember the tea. (It was a few years ago.) It was also one of my not-too-many forays into the basement of Astoria. I love these Art Deco buildings along Marine Drive between 9th and 10th.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Christmas at Old Town Framing Co.

Astoria, Oregon ~ December 21, 2010

Over the years, I've enjoyed finding unusual and beautiful frames here that really set off whatever it is I wanted to frame, and also unique and artistic greeting cards that fit my style. Old Town Framing is not only about putting frames on art, it's about art. It's one of the homegrown not-a-chain businesses that, for me, makes Astoria what it is. Today it's dressed up for Christmas.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

A Season for Logs

Astoria, Oregon ~ December 20, 2010

This is the season when heavy rains (which we've had plenty of) send logs and debris downriver.

I like the logs, they add an element of interest and sense of place, but they don't do much for the buildings. This log, as they often do, has drifted toward shore. The only problem is, because of the buildings and the damage caused when the waves get high, the logs have to make their way back out to the river.

This is the bay between the buildings that the log has to traverse to get back out into the Columbia River. Sometimes they go with the tide, and sometimes they need help. If they are heavy enough, it's not that easy to help them. Depending on the tide and current, I've seen them get all the way out to where you'd think they would drift away (only to give someone else a possible headache), and then they drift back in to await the next tide. Sometimes they won't leave, and they have to be sawed up when the water is low. Anyway, it's something different to break the routine. I like hearing them clank and bang against the building's pilings.

As someone pointed out, this is very bad for the pilings under the buildings. I do help the owner keep the logs away, but when they are banging I still enjoy it. Can't help it  :)

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Shining Silver

Astoria, Oregon ~ February 7, 2010

I've had this one in my "to post" file for awhile. I like it because it shows something I mentioned in my "Downtown Astoria" post the other day. I've never seen anyplace that is as shimmery and shiny as Astoria is when the rain stops for awhile and the sun comes out.

I took this photo from the River Walk looking up 15th Street. The street in the immediate foreground is Marine Drive. On the other side of the big intersection Commercial Avenue is about ready to merge with Marine on the left. Area Properties is in the downstairs portion of the building on the right. Beyond the empty space on the right is The Blue Scorcher along with Fort George, a very popular and growing brewpub.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Christmas Lights, 1885

Astoria, Oregon ~ March 22, 2010

This plaque surprised me, sitting "in the middle of nowhere" along Marine Drive by the parking lot that used to be a car wash. (It's on a vacant block on the south side of the street just east of the TLC Credit Union and the Mini Mart. It's very easy to drive by and not even see it.) As it turned out, it was interesting reading. Thanks to Clatsop County Historical Society for reminding us of these things!

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Azaleas in November

Astoria, Oregon ~ November 10, 2010

I thought I'd post something pretty after yesterday's disaster and the big hole on Tuesday. I noticed these azaleas compellingly in bloom just as I was leaving town. I didn't get a chance to poke around and see how many other plants were in bloom around Astoria, although I saw a mint plant with a couple of small purple flowers, and I noticed that some nearby twigs had bright green buds on them. I didn't know azaleas had two seasons, so I looked it up onilne.

Apparently, if it's first been cold and then warms up, the buds that have already formed in anticipation of spring will sometimes open. It was unseasonably cold for days and days on end at the beginning of November. I can't remember, but it may have started in October. Then, yes, it warmed up for awhile.

My question is, what happens to next year? Does the plant form a second set of buds? I certainly hope so, because I'll be unhappy if spring comes and the azaleas are all bloomed out from November.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Astoria Fire: A Sad Day

Astoria, Oregon ~ December 17, 2010

It all looks fairly placid, but last night and into the morning, two much-frequented and well-loved iconic Astoria buildings were completely gutted by fire. (I've also shared a very clear and telling video by Chris Patenaude on this blog's Facebook Page.) No one "on the ground" was injured; one of the approximately 80 firefighters on the scene had some damage to one shoulder, according to accounts I've read this morning. Several people took videos of the conflagration in the night. Not only are as many as 10 businesses homeless this morning, but this location was a favorite of locals and tourists alike.

Astoria Fire on the Waterfront at 6th Street

Gunderson's Cannery Cafe (a favorite of mine since I arrived in Astoria and a place I've especially enjoyed lately), on the left, is the most talked-about casualty, but there was also a restaurant inside of Number 10 Sixth Street (on the right) that many of us enjoyed at lunch time. The prominent red roof in the middle of the picture is the 6th Street Viewing Platform, another place I cherished. I couldn't tell if it had sustained any damage.

You can look on Google for Astoria fire and see what comes up. At the moment, I'm sad, tired for other reasons, and need to get to work.

Number 10 Sixth Street this morning. At the moment, I don't have time to go into my thoughts or list the businesses that were inside. Suffice it to say, it's a sad day for a lot of people, and not only the owners of the property and businesses.

How many times have I gone in the door on the far right? I used to walk though the building as I was strolling the River Walk in order to look at the paintings by local artists, and I've enjoyed lunch at the Lazy Spoon Cafe just to the right of that doorway. Clatsop Behavioral Center helped many, many people with their counseling and groups, and upstairs was a remarkable refurbished Victorian suite (quite big, maybe 4 bedrooms and an incredible view) where I attended two events, and it could be rented for weekend getaways. I have a number of photos of these two buildings "in life," but they're filed by date, so I'll post them as I find them. Two of my all-time favorite pictures on this blog are of the 6th Street Pier and its buildings:

Festive banners on the 6th Steet Pier with the now-burned buildings on either side of the walk

I got a comment and an e-mail about Number 10 having been the Bumblebee Cannery. I should have mentioned it before, but it was before my time here. Check out the comments linked below, and also the following e-mail:


I didn't see any mention that 10 6th st. used to be Bumblebee Tuna's main offices. And it set vacant till Chester Trubuco took it over and made something of it. The fire is just many that dotted the waterfront of Astoria. I've watched many buildings burn down on the waterfront over the years. It is sad to see Chester's Dream go up in smoke. But the old facility had seen its better days and it was sad to see it go. One of the landmark was the big radio tower and antenna which used to be on the top of the building for many years. It was given to Sunset Empire Amateur Radio Club many years ago and was taken down piece by piece.

The city looses another major landmark.

When people visit the East Basin they forget or don't know about the building of George and Barker that was turned into a fish buying station and burned down in the 80's. It had a long pier and a building at the end which they stored some personal belongings. And it burned down this community has seen its share of spectacular fires over the years since the big fire since Dec. 8th 1922 every few years we have had a big fire. Which one is going to be next?

The way this city is constructed a fire in a basement could cause a good part of the city to go again!

What happened to our fire boat? Did they think we would have no more fires next to the water so they had to get rid of it?


Good question. I was also wondering about the fireboat. Don't we have them at some of the demos during Regatta?

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

BIG Rig at the Post Office

December 13, 2010

At the end of each day, one of us stops by the back dock at the post office to deliver the bags of orders we've packed up that day. It must be due to the heavy volume of Christmas mail, but today the truck picking up looked enormous. I asked the driver how he could possibly make the turn onto 8th Street, because I really couldn't imagine it. He said it was tight, but it wasn't all that bad. (I really can't imagine how it's done.) The truck collects from a number of local-area post offices before heading pack to Portland. He said the bad stop was Seaside, where if there are any cars parked on either side of the street, it simply can't be done. I've forgotten what the Seaside post office dock looks like, but I believe him.

In 2009, I showed a photo of a truck hauling logs making the turn at the corner of 8th and Commercial. The truck you see here will have to turn right onto two-lane 8th Street, and immediately make the insane left turn onto two-lane Commercial. Before I knew the drill, I was once or twice one of those cars that had to back up so the truck could turn.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Chicken Little

 Astoria, Oregon ~ December 14, 2010

I guess if there isn't much news, you just exaggerate. (December 15: I've amended this thought to, "It seems that fact-checking is no longer a valid concept when purveying the news." You can read CNN's version here. The hysterical part [if we didn't rely on the media for our information] is that Channel 7, KTLA, included a photo and was still able to report, "ASTORIA, OR (CNN) - A sinkhole devoured an entire block due to continuous rain in an Oregon town. . . . The massive sinkhole opened up, sending the entire block below street level." See the end of this post for more national media nonsense.)

The night before last, this portion of concrete collapsed into the abandoned basement of what used to be the Safeway store on 11th and Duane. Since the Safeway store moved a few years ago, the property was been purchased by the City and has been used as a concrete park and event venue; Sunday Market spills over onto this area during summer. Fortunately, no one was hurt and we get another intriguing glance into the underpinnings (or lack thereof) of Astoria's downtown area.

Much of Astoria's downtown is built on pilings, and some of them must be getting very old by now. But it is not a sinkhole, with caverns sucking down the earth and no obvious end in sight. It was suggested that recent heavy rains had caused pooling which broke the concrete. They rains have been extremely heavy and prolonged, and I expect contributed to the weakening of what structures there were down there, because there have been heavier weights on it before, such as vehicles. The Bank of America's temporary housing - a huge mobile thing - had been parked a few feet away for months after the bank burned down in 2008.

I've shown pictures on the blog before from several points in Astoria where the edges of this warren are always available to look at.

What's amusing is the way the media handled it. Associated Press said that "a vacant city block" had collapsed, and another report gave the area as "an entire city block." Hardly true, as the hole is not even the size of one lot. Most of the media is calling it a "sinkhole," which makes it sound geological, mysterious, giantic, and omnivorous. Obviously, none of the above. This is why one of my friends is so adamant about questioning historical reports and word-of-mouth accounts. The "local" Portland news got it right, except for using the charged word "sinkhole." Any idea how this event will be remembered?

Here's another one that got it right. I didn't realize the fence was already up when the concrete caved in.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Monday, December 13, 2010

Typical Lineup of Waiting Ships

Astoria, Oregon ~ December 6, 2010

The other day someone's comment suggested that I had been lucky to get a picture with the ships lined up like a parade on the Columbia River. For those who read this blog who have not been to Astoria, no it wasn't a lucky break or skill. The lighting was spectacular that day, but other than that, the ships appeared about normal. They can be seen "lined up" for miles in front of the city of Astoria on almost any given day. I don't remember if I've ever seen a day with no ships waiting on the water for space to become available in one of the ports upriver. Astoria's port is too small for offloading of much freight. I think there was a bigger ship unloding something the other day (did I hear that correctly?) and there is always discussion about dredging the channel to make Astoria available to the big ships. Sometimes there are up to 10 or so waiting on the river. I would say that typically you can see five or six ships at anchor and waiting to move. There are five in this photo, and I remember that there were at least one or two farther west. This photo was taken from the 12th Street dock looking upriver. You can see Tongue Point on the right on the Oregon side of the river, and the hills in the distance are in Washington, on the other side.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Sunday, December 12, 2010

Tugboat Lewiston with Lights

Astoria, Oregon ~ December 12, 2009
See more Weekend Reflections at James's place.

The tugboat Lewiston as seen one year ago today, when the sky was clear. Today everything is gray on gray, and it's been pouring down rain for a couple of days. I showed the Lewiston on another day in this post.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Mystery Solved: Chinese Stones in Astoria

Astoria, Oregon ~ December 8, 2010

Yesterday's mystery photo was a gray, lumpy stone, looking for all the world like an ancient tree trunk, so imagine my surprise when the first guesser, cieldequimper, commented, "That has got to be a sleeping dragon, all curled up." Well, it wasn't, exactly, but it was part of a Chinese stone installation prominently featuring dragons. Lying within two or three feet of the mystery stone was the carved marble dragon shown above. Clytie and Jean B were both close with "some part of a statue." How did you guys do that? Both the natural stone and the dragon column can be seen outside of the old Englund Marine store at 15th Street on the River Walk as part of the Astoria Chinese Heritage Park project still in progress. The park is on the other side of town; I'll have to get over there and see if anything new has been done. Meanwhile, the rock art has been lying next door to my place since October.

Here is a more complete view of the column. I'm not sure how many columns were imported to Astoria, but it seemed like there may have been a dozen. I have photos of the day the crates were brought in and opened, but I'll have to find the right folder. I know I have them, but I can't locate them quickly.

This is the mystery rock from my photo. I took the picture standing on the other side looking over the ridges. The details in the rock are quite unusual.

Above is another of the stones.

And this description tells what they are and where they came from. I'm sorry, I don't know any more about the carved dragon columns at this time. I was out of town when the opening exhibition was held on October 16th.

The exhibition was held here in the old Englund Marine building, which also served as Goonies' Headquarters during Goonies Week last June. The banner says:

Astoria's Bicentennial LEGACY GIFT
The Garden of Surging Waves
Bronze & Stone Artwork from Xi'an
Exhibit Opening October 16, 2010 

Mayor Willis Van Dusen can be seen talking about Astoria's Chinese heritage and the meaning of the park in this video by Ron Law. The Chinese Heritage Park also has a page on Facebook.

Here's what's left inside the building.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Lumpy, Gray Mystery

Astoria, Oregon ~ December 8, 2010

Here's another mystery photo for those of you who like mysteries. Does anyone know what and where it is? Hint: I'ts along the River Walk somewhere and it's not a tree root. Leave your comment, this could be fun!

By the way, I got a nice comment on the blog along with some possible information on the mystery building of December 8th. I also changed the title of the post!

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Downtown Astoria

Astoria, Oregon ~ December 8, 2010

Nobody I know calls it "Main Street," but that's what this street would have been named in many, many towns in the U.S. In Astoria, there is a naming system starting with A near the water and running through the alphabet. Numbered streets go the other direction. Aptly named Commercial Street (technically, "Commercial Avenue," but I gave up on the "Avenue" vs "Street" convention), Commercial and 12th is one of the main downtown intersection in Astoria, although there are a few other busy intersections that rate stoplights.

I initially took this photo for someone who wanted to see downtown Astoria dressed for Christmas. You can see a few of the decorations here, and I'll show more as the weeks go on. Notice the blue sky. It's just a teaser between downpours, and a very welcome one, too. I don't know any town that shimmers quite like Astoria in the sunlight between rains.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Old Ice House (Not)

Astoria, Oregon ~ April 5, 2009

I've always loved this old building on the River Walk between 3rd and 4th Streets - behind Burger King and the Employment Department. During our October photo contest, this picture of it was sent in by Jean B, who also identified it for me. I didn't know what it was, although it makes sense. It's on the docks and there are fish totes stored outside. Some of you asked about the ripply texture of the building, and here you can get a close-up look at the stucco. I think it looks more Southwest than Northwest. It stands out as a unique building here.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

CG 630 Comes Home

December 6, 2010

I happened to be on the 12th Street Pier yesterday when I saw Coast Guard ship 630 (Alert) coming in to dock at the Maritime Museum at the 19th Street Pier. Later I overheard someone in a store talking about the ship's homecoming, and it sounded like she'd been out for awhile. I don't know the story - maybe one of our readers will comment.

In this picture you can see all hands on deck, only a few short fathoms from home. You can read more about the Alert here and here.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Clouds of Winter

Warrenton, Oregon ~ November 2, 2010

I liked the sky over the highway and shopping center just on the other side of the Young's Bay Bridge. I also liked the seasonal banners hanging beside the parking lot. Whoever designs and chooses these does a nice job, I think. As Cieldequimper reminded me, November is still the fall season, but our November this year was so cold, I've been thinking of it already as winter.

Here's a better view of the banner.

I love the clouds, although looking at this photo makes me dizzy.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Sunday, December 5, 2010

Yesterday's Windows

Astoria, Oregon ~ November 10, 2010

Here's the answer to yesterday's question. The windows are on the River Walk across from the river and from Doc's on 12th Street. In a way, it was a trick question, because the lighting made the whole building look very, very blue through the camera lens. I enjoy these windows in any light.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Friday, December 3, 2010

Glowing Ships on the Water

Yesterday afternoon Laurel called to tell me to get out and see the rainbow that was standing on end across the river. I saw it, but couldn't get it to come out with any color in my photo. The next instant I noticed what a change of lighting had done to the ships at anchor just up the river. 

The lighting was just amazing. The ships were glowing, throwing golden fire on the water.

Visit James to see more Weekend Reflections.

I would also like to introduce those on Facebook to a beautiful collection of photos by Kim Taylor called "Visually Hugging Astoria." She was our October contest winner, and she makes magic with her camera! Check it out.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Finding Colors on a Wet Day

October 30, 2010

I took this photo while sitting by the windows inside Astoria Coffee House and Bistro on 10th Street. Believe it or not, I'm facing away from the window taking the picture into the large mirror on the back wall. The mirror reflects the scene across the street as well as a few of the patrons, including Yours Truly. The table with the warm light and glasses is against the back wall. This is one of my favorite places to get out of the rain and enjoy a delicious hot lunch and coffee. If this weather keeps up, I'll definitely be posting more interior shots around town. Bon appetit!

By the way, I've posted Astoria Coffee House before: once in a rainy mood and once nice and bright.

This blog is sponsored by Tapir and Friends Animal Store.

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