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A snowman in the summer? August 27, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Public art, signs, & graffiti, Smiley.
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A couple of weeks ago, my wife and I were walking around in our neighborhood in Portland when Jennifer spotted this giant…. snowman?… on the sidewalk.

A snowman in the summer?

We looked at it for quite a while, from several different angles, but we couldn’t decide if that’s what he was supposed to be, or if he maybe was just a pleasantly rotund man.

Whatever the case, he’s certainly is happy! 🙂



Smiley simulacrum: wicker chair (back) April 30, 2012

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Decor, Simulacra, Smiley.
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Wicker chair (back). Portland, OR.

I was out walking the neighborhood earlier this week when I spotted this wicker chair on someone’s front porch. I only had my iPod with me, hence the Instagramish look; and I didn’t want to invade someone else’s yard to take creepy photos of their front door, hence the grainy quality (I love the iPod’s camera, but the zoom leaves a lot to be desired). Still, the smiley face on the back of that chair is unmistakeable, and I grinned the whole rest of my walk home.

Also, in case you’re starting to think my neighborhood is absolutely covered in smileys (it is): remember that happy taxi stroller from the last post? Yesterday, my wife and I went on a shopping run to our nearby mall (my wife has a fashion blog) and discovered a whole fleet of those same taxi strollers! Turns out that abandoned yellow stroller had been stolen from the Lloyd Center Mall! So if any mall cops are looking for that stroller, you might try patrolling Irving Park. It could still turn up. 🙂

Barge on the Columbia River November 28, 2011

Posted by Samuel Snoek-Brown in Public art, signs, & graffiti, Reader submission, Smiley.
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Back at the end of August, my wife and I went for a stroll in Kelley Point Park, at the confluence of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers in Portland, OR. While we were wandering the sandy river bank, Jennifer spotted a large Tidewater barge floating down the Columbia and at about the same time, we both noticed a giant smiley face toward the rear of the barge!

Unfortunately, I didn’t have my camera with me, so all I could do to capture the photo was to whip out my cheap cell phone and hope for the best.

This was my best:

The best, on my phone, is not so good.

You can sort of make out the Tidewater name and the vague yellow blot on the front of the barge (on the right), but it’s really, really hard to see.

Maybe if I cropped and enlarged the image on my computer….

Or maybe not.

The image is just too grainy and watery to be any good. And who knows when I’ll be lucky enough to catch a barge like that, giant smiley face and all, drifting down the Columbia again?

Fortunately, Tidewater sends barges like this down the river fairly regularly, and I’m not the only one who’s seen one and wanted to photograph it.

Enter Nick Adamson, aka “Dances with Phalanges” on Flikr, who, almost two years ago, saw the same barge on the same river (presumably from the same park? or perhaps he was over on the Washington State side of the river) and was lucky enough — or smart enough — to have his camera on hand. He was also kind enough to allow me to share his photo of the smiley face barge here!

"Barge on the Columbia 01-18-10," photo by Nick Adamson. Shared with permission.

Thanks, Dances with Phalanges! You rock!

Better still: you’ve made us smile! 🙂