Bums. Street Urchins. Crappy Guitar Players. Disheveled unemployed. Now, I don’t believe that everyone should have a High School diploma, job or contribute to society because that would be an unfair expectation for the thousands of Californians who come here every year. Pioneer Courthouse Square was created to be the living room of Portland. 25 years later, it has become a big stinky brick hole.
Pioneer Square was a gift to Portland on her birthday in April 6, 1984. Citizens of Portland were encouraged to donate personal bricks to the project. Upon creating this living room, the City of Portland was aiming to build a social center. As the project grew, the area was flooded with investors looking to develop around the Square, making it the heart of downtown. No one would disagree that this is the heart of Portland with the Pearl District being boobs* and the West hills representing the “delicate flower”.
As a first time visitor to Portland, Pioneer Square is a must-see on your itinerary. With the plethora of shopping, hotels, dining and general weird that exists here, tourists would be missing out on a golden opportunity to experience all that is Portland. Pioneer Place offers the finest shopping experience outside of the rundown Lloyd Center Mall. Street performers include “Silver Dude Playing With Balls” and “Man Drums on Buckets”. A fan favorite event (I’ve never been) is the Flicks on Bricks, were movies can be viewed on bricks. If you want a unique “Today Show”-esque experience, you can view KGW HD Studio on the Square. Stephanie Strickland is our very own Meredith Vieira.
For those of us from the most miserable place to live, I generally find Pioneer Square to be a chore. The sheer amount of tourists, bums, petitioners, street kids with pets and Clear reps is a little too much for me. Like a day at Oaks Park, I feel overwhelmed by the miniverse that transpires here. Pioneer Courthouse Square has become your college’s Fraternity basement. A lot of people you don’t know/like reeking of alcohol.
*The Pearl is Portland’s boob job.