First up, heading north, is this empty lot:
This lot is the site for the proposed Planned Parenthood Clinic that was approved for construction a year ago; this clinic has been the site of much controversy over abortion and, yes, race, as some have charged that white liberals are planting an abortion clinic into a black neighborhood to encourage a ‘eugenics’ policy.
According to one blog:
“Their philosophy is to eliminate the poor by killing their children,” said Tulsi Rogers, a lawyer who lives in Portland.
“They are rich white people who say they love the blacks, who give them the name of a street and then kill their children,” said Carolyn Wendell of Voice of Catholics Advocating Life. Mary Starrett, executive director of the anti-abortion group Oregonians for Life, called it “black genocide.”
As you can see, nothing has happened on this site, and protestors seem to have abandoned their picketing of this lot, if only for the time being.
Next on the lot is the Muslim Community Center of Portland, with its separate entrances for men and for women:
The Muslim Community Center is described in a profile written by a Reed College student here.
An empty lot follows, then a building whose front is boarded over:
This building, according to a recent craigslist ad posted by Laurie Worley of Sundance Restoration and Development, “was a 5000s.f. laundry mat with full basement that is being converted into retail/office spaces for the continuous development along the MLK Corridor. This is projected to be complete August 15, 2008.” The ad note that the space, “centrally located on the rapidly growing NE Martin Luther King Corridor,” will be renting for sixteen dollars a square foot.
North of this building is Sengatera Ethiopian Restaurant, opened in February by Yonnas Yilma, and north of that, poised on the corner of MLK and Failing, is the Union Market, a reminder that until the mid 1990s, MLK Boulevard was called “Union Avenue.”
While I was taking these photos, a visibly and deeply intoxicated man came up and asked me to go halves on a pack of cigarettes with him. I declined. He then asked me whether I am “a punk ass faggot, photographing weird shit.” A few minutes later, a woman down the street, waiting on MLK for a ride, told me that she’d moved her from Vancouver Washington, and found “this part of town” to be “scary,” as well as “busy,” with many more people out and about walking than she was used to.