#69 Pioneer Square

pioneersquareBums. 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.

17 thoughts on “#69 Pioneer Square

  1. Dude – I love you. I’ve been working next to Pioneer Square for 10 years and I H.A.T.E. it. the hustlers, drug addicts, petitioners, panhandlers, criminally insane…. it just sucks bad. All of downtown sucks. There is a methadone clinic up the street on Alder which contributes greatly to the dis-ease that is downtown. A patient was shot dead for his Xanax right in front of my office several years ago. I’ve stopped counting the number of people who have committed suicide off of the Alder Street Star Park. I can’t even walk a block without hearing “Spare some change?”… God – where is Eric Cartman with his bus when you need him? Anyway, thanks for the great blog and the validation. I am looking for a new job outside of downtown as we speak.

  2. im actually kind of grossed out by this whole thread. its this kind of judgmental mindset that puts sand in everyone’s vaginas.

    • if all californians are such marvelous specimens of humanity then obviously california is a mecca you all should never want to leave… so go back already.

  3. “Pioneer Courthouse Square was created to be the living room of Portland. 25 years later, it has become a big stinky brick hole.”

    Last decade, it was Portland’s bathroom wherein everyone passed out, peed, flashed everyone, and hotboxed the whole place with pot smoke so bad that the fan could not handle all the smoke. On a good day, you could smell the pot from blocks away depending on the way the wind was blowing. Ah the 1990’s… (NOT a pot junkie here!)

    Now it is the living room where the dysfunctional family gathers and discusses everything other than the elephant(S) in the room. Sure you can’t smoke cigarettes, practice free speech, etc… But hey, here’s a concert! Hey, forget about everyone kicked out for whatever reason! Shell out some cash to dine al fresco! The original intent was sold out years ago. Unless you aren’t smoking and have some sort of reason to be there (waiting for the MAX, Starbutts, or things that require a cover), to hell with you.

    Give me the days when it was a bathroom over a whorehouse parlor anyday. It’s the lesser of two evils. At least that was a more inclusive situation than yuppie/hipsters imposing their will upon everyone else. Where else could you at one time see discourse between Bible pushers and hippies?

  4. How can this baking hot (in summer, slick and unprotected in winter), treeless expanse of what is basically a parking lot with no cars convincingly be called a living room? It’s dead uncomfortable, with no benches or chairs or tables, no grass, flowers, or plant life at all (unless you count the usual cadres of Portland street zombies). Hideously bland, like so much of Portland, and now made worse by this ridiculous television studio. Is this supposed to be entertaining? What is the point? Portland misses it every time.

  5. The Californians have much better teeth too. And when you go to California, everyone’s from here. Nobody gives them any s**t about it. They have better things to do.

  6. ITA, but don’t forget how incredibly lame the tree is at Xmas (honestly, that’s it???) and the Courthouse Square Company/Group/Foundation or whatever it’s called is run by the snottiest, most pompous, rude jackasses you’re ever likely to meet.

    And you’re supposed to feel privileged if they ask you for donations or favors. Well, okay, I suppose in that case they fit in with all the pan handlers.

  7. DEAD ON.

    God, I want to punch street kids with pets.

    Pearl=Boob job is a perfect analogy. They should use that one on SAT questions.

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