One of my favorite things to do is to people watch. Many a weekend is spent hanging out in the sun, observing the kids at play, the people walking or riding by. One the best places to do this is downtown Portland, the Waterfront Park, Saturday Market area. I’ve been coming here since college, and it’s always fun to bring out of towners and the kids. As a young(er) mother I used to pack up tuna sandwiches and water, throw the kid on the back of my bike and ride around hitting the different parks with playgrounds in NW Portland, then moving towards downtown, riding by the fire station and Saturday Market, and ultimately ending up at the fountains. Sometimes we’d park in the Oregon Mountain Community parking lot, wander through and maybe buy something small, just to get the parking validated so we’d be free to roam the market.
These days, we park downtown and arrive on foot. The Market is larger and extends into Waterfront Park now, the people watching is just as fun, and now that I have a camera in tow, I’m able to revisit the scenes when the weather is rainy and cold. Nothing says “hot summer day in the city” like photos of kids splashing in the fountains.
I suppose to city kids, this is the equivalent of the old swimming hole to the country. I picture these three boys as little Tom Sawyers and Huck Finns, just getting into “trouble” and being boys, climbing, splashing. I love watching kids and remembering how simple life is when you’re small, how much fun there is to be had just … having fun.
There are so many ways to spend the time in the park, eating cupcakes, trying out the food carts, purchasing artwork or clothing – the kids always want trinkets and wallets and way more food than they should eat.
It’s always fun to go, each time a new experience because there’s often something else going on downtown in addition to the draw of the Market.