Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Seedy Underbelly.

I've gone on a number of Portland Walking Tours but then last month I finally went on the Portland Underground Walking Tour. Kidnapping, forced labor, prostitution, gambling, racism and a SockMonkey Man....what else do you need?

Learning about the history of old buildings I used to go by every day when I worked in downtown and never knew the full history of... taverns, gambling halls, "seamstresses" and flop houses. 

 
The Japanese American Historical Plaza. Another place I pass by often, admiring the cherry blossoms when they are in bloom, but had never gone to. Never seen the poems, statues and dedication to the injustice and discrimination Portland Japanese Americans endured.  Oregon declared "To be the first state Jap Free" once WWII began.

 
Underground tunnels used by bootleggers and shanghai proprietors still exist under Portland today.


Portland's "modern" uniqueness....
 This was the first "underground" tour I've ever been on but I know they exist in many other cities across the United States. I recommend, if you live in a city that offers them, or are traveling to a city that does, take an afternoon and sign up for the tour. You can never truly appreciate a modern/current city without fully accepting and knowing it's past.

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