Saturday, June 9, 2012

Street Art

When I first visited Portland a few years ago it seemed like a great place for hippies. Between the colorful houses, the artistic sculptures all over town, and the vegan spots it could be their mecca. Of course, walking through neighborhoods I could usually count on hearing a Grateful Dead song coming from the speakers inside a house. Yep, it has a peaceful vibe and thankfully not a lot of patchouli wafting through the air. More than that, though, Portland is an artistic spot.

That's why it's not surprising to walk through a neighborhood and see a bit of a block party happening. Picture it: Intersection closed off, lemonade stand on a corner, kids riding bikes, Grateful Dead singing Sugar Magnolia on a nearby stereo, and oh yeah people literally painting the street.

Drive down certain neighborhoods in Portland and you'll notice a gigantic mural or painting in the middle of the street. Some say the idea behind it is to have people drive slower down the street (FYI - people have no problem obeying the speed limit in Portland). I tend to think it's because people in Portland like making their art. Here street art is a family affair. Adults and kids alike getting together on a  warm afternoon to paint the street. Not exactly the way people in New York might spend their Sunday afternoon, but this is part of Portland's charm.

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