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Another Portland Blog

Monday, July 07, 2008

 

Burlingame: more interesting on foot

The NBC Nightly News ran a segment tonight on how the rest of the country should take a tip from Portland and become bike-friendly to help off-set rising gas prices and other woes. This left me all covered in guilt when I reached for my car keys in order to make a run down to my neighborhood Market of Choice for a few odds and ends. How could I possibly *drive* down there in a city so gosh darn bike friendly? I don't own a bike so I decide to hoof it and, yeah, my SW Portland neighborhood is more interesting while traveling without the aid of a fossil-fuel powered automo-contraption. Things I encountered on the way to the grocery store and back:


  • Two girls in search of a lost chihuahua. More on this later.


  • A very large SUV with a very large fog (?) horn attached to the hood.


  • A very bored dog tied to a garage door by an orange electric cord.


  • A free TV.


  • A mailbox with a flying saucer sculpture on the side.




  • On the way back, what did I find hanging around outside of a Subway, effectively exposing the myth surrounding this nearly forgotten fast food ad campaign? The lost chihuahua, of course. With a gallon of milk in one hand and a large bottle of Orangina in the other, I wasn't sure what to do about this. I could have dropped my groceries and chased down the dog but, before I could do anything, it decided to go running off down the bike path alongside heavy traffic on SW Terwilliger, stopping every few feet to bark at me. Assuming that darting after him would only encourage the pooch to freak out and get squished, I kept walking. He kept running and barking but, collectively, we were making steady progress towards a calm side street away from cars moving 35+ MPH.

    Around this time, the girls started yelling "Freckles! Freckles!" (I'm pretty sure it was Freckles) from around the corner. My cynical Spidey senses immediately assumed that this was not going to end well but instead of darting into traffic, the siren calls of his owners led the pooch back to safety. He was greeted with open arms and the relief of one very stressed-out mother.

    And so the day was saved by me. Or dumb luck. Or that bike lane. Or Freckle's delayed common sense. Or his owners. Or perhaps even Orangina. Or, maybe, some combination of all of these.

    Thanks, Portland. Your pedestrian and bike friendly streets help turn the most mundane of chores into an adventure on the level of one of the lesser Babysitter Twins installments.

    * Note: Freckles is only roughly 67% as adorable as the chihuahua pictured above.

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