02 August, 2011

Sidewalk Treasures

I have a habit of looking down when I walk... it's not because I'm shy (I'm not) and don't want to make eye contact with people. I think it's because I always think I'm going to find something... or being with Levi has made me afraid of tripping. That man trips ALL THE TIME. We blame it on his "skis" (aka his size 12 feet).

Anyway, looking down when you walk pays off for several reasons:

1. You usually don't trip.
2. Sometimes you find money!
3. Every once in awhile, you get realllllllllly lucky and discover, what I like to call, sidewalk treasures.

Portland had THE BEST sidewalk treasures I've ever come across. One afternoon, we were walking, and I happened to notice this:

(bush whack)

I got really excited because of how weird and random it was. I looked around and noticed that there were more!! I called to Levi (who was ahead of me at this point) and pointed them out to him. We then spent the next 30 minutes walking around reading all of the messages in the sidewalk. I'm sure we looked like total fools walking around with our heads down on the same sidewalk for that long, but I didn't care. It was such a cool thing. I really appreciate that Portland values artistic expression enough to sponsor this type of project.

(Loose lips sink ships.)

(Face the music.)

(If I can't dance, it's not my revolution.)

(Now I've seen everything.)

(nothing can surpass the mystery of stillness. e. e. cummings)

(Don't worry. I'm here. You're there. That's fine. Ingrid Wendt)

And those aren't the only sidewalk treasures we found in Portland! On our first full day, I looked down and saw this little guy tied to a bicycle rack on 23rd.

photo 1

I was totally delighted by the weirdness. And THEN on our last night, in a completely different part of town (the Mississippi District), I saw this tied to a hook on the sidewalk!

photo 2

I'm sure that there are more throughout the city (actually, I saw another on my very first morning at a Stumptown café. It was up on a shelf next to a speaker, but I didn't think anything of it, so I didn't get a picture.) I love that someone has taken it upon themselves to do this, and I love that I noticed. Portland is so weird. In a really really good way.


  1. I'm glad you still have Gypsy Feet! ;)

  2. We visited Portland a few years ago and found the horses, too! Someone told me they're remembrances of tying your horse up instead of parking the car--I didn't care because I just thought they were adorable! Here are a couple of our pictures: http://seafolk.blogspot.com/2006/07/portland-pictures-here-are-some-of.html

  3. Yep - they're from when people tied their horses up. We had a horse ring in front of our house growing up in Portland. Most main areas in the city have at least a couple of the little horses tied to them. :)

  4. I have a question for you: I noticed that a few of these photos are from your instagram. How do you get them to your blog without them looking pixelated? Mine never seem to work.

    Thanks!! :)

  5. Love! I always look down when I walk. You notice the most interesting things that way.

  6. @Kaylyn - Hi! I've never had any trouble with them looking pixelated. I email them to myself from my photo library on my phone (instead of from instagram) and upload them to Flickr. I use the medium 500 size for instagram photos, and they never give me trouble! I've found that using Flickr (versus blogger) for photo uploads makes all of my photos look MUCH better.

  7. @Jasmine - Maybe flickr is the key then! I've never tried it. Thanks for the tip!! Also, just wanna say that I was thrilled to see that you 'liked' some of my instagram pictures this morning!! :) (@kayscoth)

  8. I love the little horses. Those are delightful. Also, I too am always on the lookout for sidewalk treasure since walking is my preferred mode of transport. I always find neat insects.

  9. In Little Italy in SF there is this little alleyway that has a ton of neat quotes on the ground.. reminds me of this. But the horses... that's just sooo rad! =) Glad you noticed them and shared!

  10. I already loved the sidewalks, but the little horses are the best! I love it that someone took the time to do this and surprise people.

  11. i love finding unexpected treasures and those horses are among the best i've ever seen!

    i also have to say i find it funny and somehow reassuring that levi trips all the time because matt does too! kindred spirits or something. haha!

  12. Great pictures...I love the bit on the tied up horses.

  13. Where oh where are those sidewalks in Portland? I'm dying to go see them when I visit next summer!!!

  14. How fun are the quotes in the sidewalk?! Cute!



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