Every once in a while, I set out to create a photo, get to the right place at the right time, and some extra special magic happens.
With my upcoming move to Georgia, I was going about my life in Portland saying goodbye to all of the places, people and things that I had loved over the years. The Willamette Week asked if I could squeeze in one more project before I left, and I obliged, in part because it would force me to create time to venture to a few final places that I wanted to see before my departure.
The assignment was to visit each of the parts of town and photograph a place that speaks about the entire area. For North Portland, I went to The Bluffs, a popular destination on summer nights for sunset and people watching. I headed out with my husband, planning to follow up the sunset with a little cider drinking on the grass. We had just laid out our blanket and I had pulled out my camera when I looked up and saw this bicycle, and of course, the girl. "Whoa," I said, "That is exactly like my old bike. I have to photograph her."
I walked over and introduced myself. "I couldn't help but notice your bike. I had the exact same magenta Schwinn Suburban for 9 years and rode it all over town."
"Did you used to live in an apartment on Colfax?" she asked.
"OH MY GOD IT'S MY OLD BIKE!" It was like running into an old friend.
We laughed and I admired the lights she had added to it. "I always wanted to decorate it with lights but never got around to it." I told her. "You have to let me photograph you!"
We went to the edge of the bluffs, overlooking the Willamette, and I placed them just under this tree so I could get the sun peeking through. And so I said goodbye to my old bike, my old friend, my trusty steed who carried me over all quadrants of Portland with nary a flat tire or broken chain, but I took an image that I will always be able to carry with me.