6.10.2008

Portland Exploring: Ladd's Addition

Ladd's Addition is one of the oldest residential districts in Portland. It's known for its peculiar diagonal street pattern relative to the rest of the area. It is roughly eight blocks (east-west) by ten blocks (north-south) in size (by reference to the external grid) and is bordered by SE Hawthorne, Division, 12th, and 20th. Locally, Ladd's Addition is known as the neighborhood to get "lost" in, since unsuspecting drivers who enter the development commonly find themselves disoriented as they drive around in circles trying to get out. (You can embiggen -- thanks to BloomingWriter for that wonderful word -- any image by clicking on it. Try it, you'll see.)

Last Saturday, Jeff and Kim and I were out rambling around, looking at houses, wandering down NW 23rd Ave. (very fun, kind of trendy) and we decided to "get lost" in Ladd's Addition. This is the central round-about and there's a lovely hidden space inside all these humongous bushes where you can have a little cocktail party or wedding reception.

We drove around trying to get lost, but Kim is actually a GPS device so we always knew where we were. It's a fantastic neighborhood, very well kept and unusual in that it has alleys. (I haven't seen that anywhere else in Portland -- that doesn't mean there aren't alleys anyplace else, I just haven't seen them.) I love alleys. You get to see parts of people's yards that ordinarily would be hidden. And sometimes you get to warp back to San Diego accidentally (when you stumble upon a killer whale, wtf?).