Day 94,95: Oregon raingardens, pizza and beaded cars…

Hello, we are in Portland…Oregon this time, one of the best bicycling towns in America, we are told.
We went to Roots Organic Brewery last night and tried their Heather beer made without Hops…Ben and I are still not much into beer but what did excite us was the Sustainable Resource Directory of Portland, basically this sort of “greenpages” book of green and sustainable businesses, from landscapers to dentists to mutual funds to housecleaning. It’s THICK, like our yellow pages in Astoria, Queens! Wow. Impressive. We realize we will never have enough time to cover the sustainability of Portland.

Well, the Office of Sustainability never did call us back though we actually did try to get ahold of them a full week and a half before getting to theri town.
But we did get to meet with Amber Clayton of the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services on Friday when we rolled in. She met us at a local house to show us how residents altered their existing yard by turning their traditional grass lawn into a “rain garden” that makes use of native plants (like Xeriscaping in Colorado) and collects rainwater in pools (not like Colorado where they’re not allowed) in order to decrease runoff into sewers. She showed us how the house’s downspouts were changed from running directly down into the sewer system, which is how many homes’ spouts are configured, to running horizontally out into the yard swales where water can be absorbed and filtered before slowly making its way down. We filmed Amber driving away in her awesome Smartcar! Cutest little car on the market for all of you single girls who are not looking to start a family anytime soon and who feel too naked on a scooter…

Oh, Carl and Darcy took us to the most delicious pizza joint called Hot Lips that was happy to serve us on pizza trays with no garbage! (Thanks, guys!!!) but I had to include a picture of this amazing car parked on the street that was completely covered with beads…yes, the entire car is completely beaded. NOt environmental, perhaps, but totally cool.

We are looking forward to filming the mass exodus of cyclists on their way to work tomorrow, over the Hawthorne Bridge, and hopefully we’ll get a chance to talk to some of the commuters about how they like biking to work… maybe even get sme words from the BTA (Bicycle Transportation Alliance) about how Portland got to be so darn bicycle-friendly…

singing off for now…sleepy…

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