For the September challenge (extended into October), kake suggested starting at the Hair of the Dog brewery
. Hair of the Dog is in the eastside industrial district, one of the older parts of Portland, but on the neglected, eastern waterfront (as opposed to the prosperous, western waterfront). The neighborhood is centered around a set of railroad tracks, and if it once had direct access to the water, it doesn't now -- the interstate runs at ground level between the neighborhood and the water. 
There isn't much through-traffic in this neighborhood, either: every downtown bridge across the Willamette River passes overhead, skipping the neighborhood altogether.
So if you're envisioning a neighborhood dominated by overhead bridges and interchanges, with many older warehouses that were built around the railroad tracks and the waterfront but no longer have proper access to either, and which can't quite figure out if it should remain a working industrial area or if it maybe has a future in post-indusrial lofts, breweries, and art galleries... then you'd be envisioning it about right.
I've spent a chunk of time in the neighborhood throughout the years: the science museum and the opera offices are both at the southern end of the neighborhood, one of Portland's queer centers
had a space not far from Hair of the Dog, I used to have regular professional dealings with various businesses down there, and there was a period that I used to regularly cut through the neighborhood on foot to get to the bridges because I didn't want to pay downtown parking. But even though I'd been in and through the neighborhood many, many times, all that's different than just having a ramble for a ramble's sake.
So, seeing that today was the last day of October, and it was silly to have not gotten around to it for two whole months, today I went down to the Eastside Industrial district and rambled around for a while, filling up the memory card on my camera. I had a perfectly lovely time, too -- thank you, kake
!( ramble with photos behind the cut )
"The" interstate, hah! This district is where I-5, the Seattle-to-California route, and I-84, the main route east out of the state, meet up. Once upon a time, the western side of the river was also dominated by a freeway, but that freeway was taken out and replaced with Tom McCall Waterfront Park
. Some years ago, a multi-use path was put in on the east side of the river, too -- the Eastbank Esplanade
, designed to link up with the westside park for a waterfront multi-use loop -- but the presence of I-5 makes it tricky to access the Esplanade from this neighborhood, even though it's just a hundred yards away. (return