Like many cities, Portland has multiple nicknames. One of them, Rose City, or City of Roses, has been the unofficial nickname since 1888 and its official nickname since 2003. In Portland, roses are everywhere and I tend to take them for granted.
Recently I paid for parking downtown, and finished my errand with half an hour left on the meter. (Well, I use that expression, but meters don’t exist here anymore. Rather, I use an app on my phone to buy time. The list of things that change with time continues to grow. But let me get back to my story.) I was across the street from the Tom McCall Waterfront Park, which is a long, narrow park that is on the banks of the Willamette River that flows through the center of Portland. I decided to take a walk and enjoy the park rather than waste my remaining paid minutes.
It was a good time to view roses, I discovered. The vigor and variety was impressive, and before I knew it, I was snapping photos as I walked toward the river’s edge.
I came around the corner of a building and realized I could use the roses to frame a shot of my favourite Portland bridge: Hawthorne Bridge.
The roses slowed my movement to the water. Though only steps away from my car, I did use the full half an hour to make it to the river. I took one look to soak in the view, then went back to my car and headed on home.
I thought I would look up some juicy detail about Portland and roses for you, to make me seem interesting and clever in my blog. So I clicked around and found an absolutely great short video that explains Portland’s history with roses. It’s so good I don’t even want to take credit and would rather have you see it yourself. The video includes the first American rose society, our own brand of royalty (the Rosarians), a hiding place for European roses during WWI, and a Lewis & Clark exposition. It all started in the 1800s with a millionaire named Georgiana Pittock. This four minute video is worth your time. ❤