So, what’s stopping you? girlsrockcamp.org (The above words were taken from the song “Out Loud”, by the band “Hopscotch”– Rock and Roll Camp For Girls class of 2007.)
So, what’s stopping you? girlsrockcamp.org (The above words were taken from the song “Who I Am”, by the band “A Buncha Girls”– Girls Rock Institute class of 2007.)
words & images
by Jenny McLean
& Wendell Walker
Meadowbrook Arellaga was intimately familiar with the lyrical loneliness of night, and whenever the wide, damp arc of moonlight threatened to illuminate her tiny face, she would press into the shadows and wait. However, within the dark shadows of old trees and behind the folded blades of grass, she surrendered, as she did every night, kicking her pale shins into several gentle, aching notes that driďż˝ed into the dark sky. Joe Polka's reclusive relationship with the dark hours before daylight included a very long, meandering walk that never once changed course. It was as if he had discovered the particular rhythm of this walk and didn't dare rupture its comforting cadence. And whenever he reached the undemanding watery emptiness of the city's lake, he would remind himself that it was time to go home.
Joe Polka forced his cold, tight ďż˝sts deeper into the pockets of his overďż˝ coat.
A notorious prize�ghter with no desire left to punch, he still kept his chin down. Always. But just then, a quiet, simple breeze ruﬄed his collar and while he intended to disregard this, as it was a�er all, simple, there was a sweet melancholy taste to it that he could not deny. For enfolded delicately in the very center of that breeze was a de�nite cry, the meaning of which was so sentimental that Joe Polka's dark, frightened heart stumbled and he turned to follow.
Meanwhile, behind the bending shadows, Meadowbrook Arellaga felt a twinge in her kneecap. Compelled to continue her everďż˝unanswered symphony, she struck her spidery, threadlike legs together harder, casting small spells now aimed directly at Joe Polka's heart. This song rose higher and higher, its thrushing wings pulling aside, once and for all, the dark cover of night. When at last their ďż˝nal introduction came, Meadowďż˝ brook Arellaga collapsed in exhaustion, her small eyes peering into the man, remarkably larger and more gentle than she had imagined, standing in the light. Joe Polka waited and watched intently, not knowing what it was that he'd been looking for, but having the feeling he'd found it.
Californians--they’re always saying,
“How can you live there? It rains all the time.” This is good, because it means the secret’s kept.
Portland cultivates one of the most electric skateboarding scenes on the West Coast. Sure, water pours down from the sky for months straight--but the winter is, perhaps, when Portland’s at its realest. All those out-of-town couch crashers go home to their sunny cities and we have the place to ourselves for cloudyday sessions and big ramp jams in sweaty, dusty garages. These indoor constructions are scattered like secret jewels across the east side. If you know someone who knows someone, you’re in.
Then the spring shines down on us in the form of bright March days, when the dogwoods push out their flowered canopy and we jump in our cars to go find the parks. Beaverton, Tigard, Gabriel, Pier, Glen Haven--massive concrete masterpieces built by real northwest skateboarders.
Eventually, summer’s in full swing, and the days are long and hot--and so much to do. Downtown ledges, gaps, and wallride spots in the shadow of skyscrapers. Abandoned warehouses sheltering DIY concrete transition. Weird, skateable industrial stuff like fullpipes and funnels. Secret pools. And of course, Burnside--where there’s always something doing. Someone ripping, and someone drunkenly yelling in the background. A dog barking. A group of sweat-drenched dudes headed off to dunk in the river.
Finally, autumn hits--brilliant, coolish days when the kids go back to school and leave the parks empty. Yeah, some of the best shredding of the year happens in the fall. Ah, Portland. If you’re a skateboarder, this is the place.