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Wednesday, December 21, 2005
Random PDXmas photos # 3
Have you ever made a trip to Alpenrose Dairy? It's a theme park/fully-functioning dairy/velodrome/midget car racing track/doll museum/etc in SW Portland.
And that's the thing about this town. You can live within walking distance of a place like Alpenrose and never realize how truly odd it is to have something like it sitting in your backyard. I grew up near Gabriel Park, within a half mile what may as well be a down-to-earth version of Willy Wonka's chocolate factory.
It was only during a trip there a few weekends back that I realized how incredibly weird the dairy is. The campus contains a Christmas-themed Storybook Lane filled with live animals and flocked trees, which seemed so normal to me when I was 7, a 600 seat opera house and a doll museum littered with unapologetically racist playthings from the turn of century. I brought along a camera on the trip. Click here or on the photo above to have a look at the dairy's oddities.
Obviously something this unique can't last forever. For years I've been listening to rumors that the family may sell the property to a housing development. Alpenrose Dairy still seems to be going strong but with the way the city is headed, and given the area's prepetually rising property values, I wouldn't be surprised if a "for sale" sign pops up soon.
If you enjoy Portland lore and all-out weirdness, I suggest a trip, ASAP. Alpenrose's annual Christmas festivities continue through Friday but Dairyville is sure to open again come springtime.