Wednesday, August 29, 2007

The strangest park in Portland

We live near Colonel Summers Park here in Portland, where I can watch the activities from my front porch. This park attracts some of the quirkiest characters in the Portland area. As I watched from my front porch today, a man did a normal workout of jogging around the park. Backwards. He would only jog backwards, and occasionally side-to-side like a crab.

We've also seen:
  • Monday night Kickball, where nonathletic thirty-somethings play kickball together while holding beer cans in one hand.
  • Night Dodgeball also frequently happens on Monday nights in the tennis courts. This attracts anyone and everyone who can throw a ball really hard at a complete stranger's face.
  • Bike Jousting. This is as strange and cool as it sounds. Jousters mount up on bikes wearing catcher's gear and helmets, then pedal furiously towards one another with long jousting poles outstretched. One or both of them gets impaled, and they fall over. It is awesome. (Tangent: the best park scene was when one bike jouster chose to plow over a kickballer, only to have the kickballer straight-up tackle him to the ground. I don't think they had ever met before, but they shook hands and went back to their different sports.)
  • Yoga classes are always a strange sight, because these are people trying to stretch and relax in a "natural setting" while homeless people yell at them and kickballers play loud 80s music. Not the most relaxing environment.
  • Naked people. We've seen at least one or two people free express themselves without clothing. Our friends actually called the cops on one naked guy who was only wearing a hat at the time.
  • Fat Cheerleaders. I am not making this up. Overweight women in cheerleader uniforms give loud cheers about body issues with top-notch choreography and enthusiasm. I am genuinely impressed by their courage.
We don't purchase cable TV because the view from our front porch is so much more interesting. This is why I love Portland so much: we have a culture where we're unfazed by anything!


  1. This post is amazing. Absolutely art. Guess Portland is good at keeping weird. In an odd sort of way- kinda miss that.

  2. Jogging backwards works out your shins rather than your calves like regular jogging. Our physical training program makes us do this every once in awhile. Our shins never get any exercise if you really think about it. Plus, they make really good music. Get it!?

    Other than that, all of the other things are really weird. It reminded me of Jason LaFavor's bachelor party in which we went to an elementary school playground and played four-square. Then these 10-12 year old girls came over a joined us. Probably would have looked really bad if the cops showed up. At least we weren't holding any candy.

  3. Cam-
    Perhaps the cops would join the game. Everyone can enjoy a good game of four-square. It's great to take games that were fun as a kid, then play them when you're grown up (like kickball, dodgeball, four-square, hot lava monster, or Nerf gun battles).

    This is Portland at its absolute finest. Portland misses you too!