Sunday, May 03, 2009

Portland Redirection

Last night we decided we would drive to Portland to see the Portland Art Museum. So 112 miles later, after stopping at "Sweet Tomatoes" for lunch, we made it to downtown Portland.


I've been to this spot before and liked this particular view so I took another picture.


Then we saw the museum...


... with this nice sculpture out front ...


... and this one nearby.


We waited in line for about 15 minutes while a patron and the ticket person were working on a ticket purchase. A nice lady who works at the Museum then told me, after seeing me take this picture, that photography was not allowed inside.


Well I should have guessed that but we were tired of waiting in line and decided to go to the Chinese Gardens instead. But first I wanted some shots from the park across the street. If you look at the top left at the signs it says Son and then points one way with an arrow. It's the First Congregational Church with beautiful Stained Glass windows ...


... and a beautiful steeple.


The Oregon Historical Society Building with a striking eight-story-high trompe l'oeil murals of Lewis and Clark and the Oregon Trail (the route the two pioneers took from the Midwest to the Oregon Territory) cover two sides of the OHS museum.


Abe Lincoln stands in the park and farther back Teddy Roosevelt sits atop his horse.


After checking our GPS for directions (Our GPS is calling Isaac or Steven on the phone) we headed to the Portland Classical Chinese Garden.

Here is a little history from their website:

"The Portland Classical Chinese Garden began as a dream in the early 1980’s. It became more focused when Portland and Suzhou, China, became sister cities in 1988 and the idea of a building a Suzhou-style garden in Portland became a goal.
History of Scholar’s Gardens

The city of Suzhou is located approximately 50 miles west of Shanghai on the eastern coast of China. It was founded in 525 BC and is one of China’s oldest cities. It has a mild climate, similar to Portland’s. By 1,000 AD, it had become a thriving city with an economy based on trade. It was also a place for government officials to retire. These retiring Imperial court officials built housing compounds that featured beautiful gardens. These gardens attempted to duplicate nature found in traditional Chinese landscape paintings, and the nature of the nearby Yellow Mountains. The gardens would be used to entertain guests and undertake intellectual pursuits such as painting, poetry, and conversation. This Garden is based on a garden built in Suzhou during the Ming Dynasty (1368-1644 AD).
Construction

The Garden was built on land donated by Northwest Natural who had for 20 years used it as their parking lot. The groundbreaking ceremony was held in July 1999, and construction was completed in September 2000. The majority of the materials used in the construction of the Garden originated in China. Approximately 65 workmen from Suzhou created the structures and completed the work. An American construction company did the site preparation and foundation work. The Garden is in compliance with all current U.S. construction codes, and was completed at a total cost of approximately $12.8 million.
Plants

The majority of the plants in the Garden are indigenous to China; however, they were grown in the United States. Current import bans prevent plants from being brought directly from China. Prior to these recent bans, plants were brought from China to the U.S. and their offspring are what you will see today. Some plants are more than 100 years old and were transplanted from gardens and nurseries in Oregon."



This is a side view of the Hall of Brocade Clouds a beautiful room at the beginning of the Garden

The garden is a maze of nooks, crannies and splendid views.


There are many of these sculpted shapes within the garden highlighting the flora.


Another view of Hall of Brocade Clouds shows the simplicity of the interior and the complexity of design elements.


A simple lantern hangs from the ceiling.


The pavilion in the foreground is called "The Moon-locking or sometimes The Mid-lake" Pavilion. The larger building behind it is the tea-house called "The Tower of Cosmetic Reflection."


I got a picture of Sharyn across the lake crossing a small bridge.


Being a flower person I got the white Rhododendron bloom...


... and bud.


I also got a beautiful and delicate new bloom in dark lavender.


I'm not sure what this flower is but it looks like streamers on a bicycle handle bar from when I was a kid.


This was too cool, purple cones on a small evergreen.


This one is called "Painted Boat in Misty Rain Pavilion."


For what looks like a fairly small enclosure from outside the walk seems delightfully long.


Sweet red Peony.


There were several of these simple bamboo structures in the gardens.


The visitors in the tea-house were listening to lute music that sounded traditional and melodic.


Another sweet Peony in white and it was amazing.


Every turn in the garden is a new delight - I had just walked through this opening and the view back was totally different in feel than the walk in to this area.


I really liked this red foliage sharp and pointed and almost abstract.


Just another beautiful nook.


Two young guys were sitting in the "Knowing the Fish Pavilion"

This is the "Reflections in clear Ripples" of the lounge house when there is more tea but also a traditional game of Chinese Chess or just relax and talk.




Walking across this bridge from "Brocade Clouds Pavilion" toward "Flowers Bathing in the Spring Rain" a waterside pavilion.


Sharyn stopped by the opening to the entry courtyard and was standing on what looks like a rug.


It's actually colored stones from China placed in beautiful designs.


The docent at the entryway was kind enough to let me take her picture. The weird thing is I think she may be a Portland-ite who purchased one of my pictures from the internet.


Walking back to the car I took this picture through an opening in the wall of the beayty and simplicity inside.

Scrabble Score ~~ Scrabble Queen - Something less than 300 and The Contender - More than 300

Quote of the Day ~
"Perfection is achieved, not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away." ~ Antoine de Saint Exupery (Author of "Le Petit Prince" better known in the United States as "The Little Prince")

4 comments:

Parapluie said...

The Chinese Garden is one of my favorite places but I hate the parking.
Your pictures capture the beauty.

Diana said...

how wonderful. paths crossing and I did not even know it. Why didn't you introduce yourself or did it take a while to figure out that diana and alice street are the same person? you wonderful lily photograph graces the vestibule to the kitchen and it continues to give me joy. And You have captured the essence of the gardens. (those little thatch bundles mark where bulbs are planted so no one steps on them while they are dormant. Come again and say hello for sure. Thank you Paul.

Anonymous said...

What a fascinating and beautiful place.
~~PF~~

Ubu13 said...

Fantastic...Diana shared this synchronicitous (is there such a word?) even with me...lovely photos & it's wonderful that you met her.

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