Date: 10/31/20 5:35 am
From: larspernorgren <larspernorgren...>
Subject: [obol] Logistics for viewing near the Hawthorne Bridge
Plenty of curbside parking within a block of the lawn on the west end of the bridge. You have to pay the meter until 7pm. 2 bucks an hour, transferable to other streetside parking spaces.  There is a good crosswalk with normally functioning pedestrian lights.  This also the egress to l-5 for those coming or going south. Drivers are fully observant of the footgoers. The lawn has a strange way of attracting 4 dozen gulls and no more.  At some point in the last two winters it was dominated by California Gulls. At the moment only 1 or 2 are in the cohort. Excellent details can be seen with binocular. There is a long public dock to se for those wishing to walk on water. I've only trod it once but when a Glaucous Gull frequented the neighborhood last spring several people got their best looks from this dock.      The fireboathouse roof(5 SE Madison) on the bridge's east end is a large south sloping affair that assures every gull sunbathing on it is visible . All over America gulls with pink feet and gray feet and yellow feet and green feet are hiding on the flat roofs of big box stores waiting for the next French fries to fall. This structure is attractive to gulls on dry sunny days after they have gotten enough to eat. It's usually deserted in the morning and mid day. Birds start rapidly trickling away as the sun goes down. That began at 5:10 pm this Thursday 10/28. That"ll be 4 pm on Sunday I'm sorry to s      The Hawthorne Bridge is in constant vibration so won't work for scopes. Immediately beneath is an excellent, official observation deck. All manner of people are there taking pictures--afluent tourists, couples getting engagement photos, yesterday two dudes taking close-ups of their car, not the iconic background. The light bouncing off the river can be quite striking. It's a big deck. Even with the full sized car in the middle l had plenty of personal space by prepandemic standards and equally satisfactory biological space by current quarantine considerations. A major bike path, the northern end of Spring Water Corridor system l guess, passes by the east edge of the viewing platform and the back side of the land based Fire Staion(no 21 Eastbank/Hawthorne). This is a busy, dedicated public space. Don't be scared by the City sponsored homeless camp in the two blocks of parking lot to the north. I don't recall seeing any natives on my frequent visits let alone engaging them.       Walking down the gangway to the dock is permitted and gets you twice as close. A binocular can suffice at this distance, while you pretty much need a scope on the viewing platform. The pilings holding the boat house obscure some birds from the platform viewing and require shifting left or right frequently. From the dock this is much less a  problem .     There is free streetside parking two blocks east on this dead end piece of Madison where it meets Water Avenue. Some of it has been preempted by spillover from the homeless camp and most potential parking is marked "no parking" , l imagine to assure firetrucks adequate egress. Ample private parking is available immediately east of the firehouse and under I-5. I don't know what it costs. Maybe 5 dollars for the first hour. It is rigorously enforced at all hours by some mysterious force. I know some will feel like this little urban landscape is sketch, but the profit driven parking patrol, fully staffed firehouse, hint at a supervised environment, delightfully low profile as well.     As gulls leave for a watery night roost somewhere , thousands of crows converge from every corner of the compass. Many stop in the trees around Tom McCall park before proceeding deeper into downtown. Somewhere l read the figure 7,000, perhaps referring to peak winter count? There are enough right now to make a spectacle some find unsettling but l hope many more people love. With all the office towers working from home the crows now outnumber humans for most of the circadian rhythm in the heart of a city of 2/3 million. The boarded windows at street level naturally effect the ambience, but having passed them by as part of my work and life routine for seven months l only notice the plywood when it is covered in fresh murals. Sent from my Verizon, Samsung Galaxy smartphone
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