Mobile Metal Churchland: Best Moments on TriMet Routes #14

Best Bus Moments (Northbound 71)

After passing the intersection of 52nd and Division the Northbound 71 enters full on ne
ighborhoodia with the advanced cash flow homes of the SW Tabor and the bike kits that tend to be more tricked out and more frequently recombinant. The dog-walkers look flat out leisurely, as though they are really letting themselves stretch and enjoy the day. There is little apparent rush here in this brief inner-hood right turn onto SE Lincoln before hitting the pothole heaven of 52nd thats double over with some of the more trickily vicious potholes in the city. Now…
before you hit 52 and you’re still in the middle of a neighborhood — and we’re talking about 90 seconds of transit here — you, understandably curious and voyeuristic as a window-watching commuter, cannot help but try to look into the windows of the homes along this route. And somehow, maybe, it’s the time of the day, an inordinate number of these homes keep their blinds drawn. Is this the influence of the bus route? Not wanting the bigtime uptick in the civic eye passing by every fifteen minutes to get a glimpse into our nethers and privates? It feels like an act of adaptive defiance on sunshiney days. But on all others it feels like policy. The moment comes when we pass a house where there is a massive picture window that is left uncurtained. You can vaguely make out white carpeting and pretty titanic looking furniture pieces. (Have walked this route and seen more detail inside but it feels…invasive…almost scandalous to share that kind of gleaning…Which is to say: Walk the route yourself, be discrete, and wave when caught.) Anyway, four times, while passing this huge old Mediterranean window, a very large and zealous white poodle has flown into the air to bark at our passing. Those treats bring tension to this part of the commute every time.

About Scott Tienken

Scott Tienken is co-editor of The Cartophile Imprint, a publishing/music/and public arts website. His current novel, Mass Transportation, the second installment of his Portland Trilogy, takes place on the northbound 75 busline to St. Johns. He is founding member of the Pine Needles music collective. He is a certified city and public art project geek, works for the county library, and is looking for a chess partner. (Scott Tienken owns the copyright on all his contributions, please contact him for permission to republish).
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