Honestly, you never, ever know what you're going to see in Portland. It's a wonderful place to be.
Not long ago I walked around my building after eating lunch and saw the Hot Lips Pizza delivery vehicle waiting at the traffic light. "Shoot," I thought, "I left my camera upstairs!" I knew I'd get a shot of it for y'all, eventually. Saturday two weeks ago, I wandered the East Rose Garden in Ladd's Addition, taking photos, hardly raising my head, until something made me look up. There it sat, parked as the driver made a delivery across the street! Click, click. Satisfied, I walked back towards the car and spied one of the most unique vehicles I've ever seen. The Thing, all Volkswagen, all orange, all convertible. If I hadn't stopped to smell and photograph the beautiful roses, I'd have missed the interesting and the unique vehicles.
For the curious:
A bit from Wikipedia about The Thing:
The 181 has become something of a cult classic, due in no small measure to their funky angular styling, which leaves no question as to its strictly utilitarian purpose. The doors are removable without tools and the windshields fold down (like a Jeep). The interior is a perfect illustration of form following function, and its painted steel door panels and split, flat bench seats look appropriately post-modern, industrial chic today. Prices range from $3000 USD for restorable units to upwards of $15,000 for nicely restored examples. In early 2007 four 181 "Things" sold at the Barrett-Jackson auto auction for well over $20k each, with one 1973 example selling for $42,560 USD..
If you have time and are curious, click here to see Ladd's Addition from the sky, http://www.wikimapia.org/#lat=45.50854&lon=-122.64940&z=15
Here's what Wikipedia has to say about Ladd's Addition:
Ladd's Addition is one of the oldest residential districts in Portland, Oregon. It is in the Hosford-Abernethy neighborhood, located in the near southeast part of the city. Ladd's Addition is known in Portland 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.
Ladd's Addition is named after William Sargent Ladd, a nineteenth-century Portland mayor. He originally owned a 126 acre (500,000 m²) farm on this land, and in 1891 decided to subdivide the land for residential use. Rather than follow the grid that the majority of Portland was based on, Ladd was inspired by Pierre L'Enfant's plan for Washington, D.C. Ladd designed the plat based on a diagonal street system surrounding a central park.
In addition to the off-kilter layout that has confounded many Portlanders, the narrow streets in Ladd's Addition are lined with American elm trees and many lead to a large traffic circle in the center. Other streets lead to four smaller, diamond-shaped "circles" located to the east, west, north, and south. Each of these "circles" contain one of Portland's test rose gardens, with the northern garden's rose bushes being in a slightly different layout than the other three.
FLAG - Friends of Ladd's Addition Gardens, raises money and volunteers to maintain the beautiful rose gardens, and Save Our Elms inoculate the elm trees yearly for Dutch Elm Disease. They sponsor fun neighborhood events such as BBQ's, a neighborhood yard sale, and home tours.
The entire neighborhood is designated a Historic district. The neighborhood also hosts several churches, a hat museum, a few shops including an espresso and dessert house (Palio) and "Funky Church," a residence that was formerly a church and currently hosts small concerts and other events. Portlanders directionally savvy enough to navigate the web-like neighborhood can often be found walking their dogs, or admiring the many early 20th century homes and gardens.
Musicians Elliott Smith and Neil Gust lived in Ladd's Addition after graduating from College.