Pioneer Courthouse Square is one of Portland's unique attractions. They call it "Portland's Living Room" and this year is the 30th anniversary.
There was something on the news about it last night, and today seemed like a good day to go visit. Sun was shining. I had not spent much time on the square, but today there was another good reason to go. More about that later.
Pioneer Courthouse Square is a gathering place and serves as the venue for concerts, demonstrations, celebrations, even protests. Most of the time you can find people having lunch, playing chess, enjoying coffee or just passing through.
One of the unique things about the square is the bricks. Millions of feet have walked across the bricks of Pioneer Courthouse Square since the space was built in 1984. More than 72,000 of these bricks are inscribed with the names of supporters, the people who love Portland. Today I was looking for one in particular, my friend and mentor Mary Bywater Cross.
It is not easy to find a single brick, even if you have a map. The writing is fairly small and a little tricky to read. After thinking I was in the right place but not finding it, I went to the visitor's center to see if they could offer some tips, and ended up going to the office across the street for more advice. After going back and looking for a while longer, I finally found it. Persistence pays off!
Later I learned Mary has never found her brick, and it's been there since Pioneer Square was built 30 years ago! She asked me to take her there if I could find it, and I will be honored to do so.
Just so I could find it again, I took pictures of the grid with my camera lens cap near Mary's brick. I discovered Mary had a brick because I went looking on the web site to see if another brick was there yet, my own brick, and it occurred to me to check and see if Mary had one. Of course she did!
There had been an announcement about the bricks on TV around the holidays, and I thought it would be a fun way to be supportive while leaving a small mark on the city I love and call home. My brick will be inscribed just in time for Mom's visit in the summer. Can't wait to go find it!