After noticing the gold tooth weather vane in the Hollywood district, I didn’t think I would encounter many more artistic landmarks related to dentistry. Soon after having that thought I spied the pop art bike racks that are part of the pop art explosion of decor that makes up the Interstate Dental Clinic. I called this pop art because the giant tooth brush, especially, lent itself to this description. I’d driven and riden my bike up and down Interstate Ave for years and remained blind to the charms of those bike racks.
I had also recently noticed the bike racks outside the Karaoke/Tiki Palace known around the world as The Alibi. I really thought these were Easter Island heads. I don’t focus so well when I’m buzzing by on my bike, I guess. When I stopped to take photos I realized they were more like a modified Tiki heads of sorts.
Proof the art racks get used for bikes.
In my head I had been trying to recall some other art racks I’d spotted in the North Portland area. Heading down Killingsworth St. on a completely different mission I was in a state of morning and coffee deprived bleariness because it took me a while to bring this particular art rack into focus. Of course! It’s a steaming cup of coffee in front of what used to be an Italian bakery but is now a pizza joint.
One of the more frisky, fun and sculpturally appealing art racks has to be this dancing cat and dog in front of a vet’s office. While it seems more cartoon than functional bike rack, I have to say it’s an enjoyable art work.
I have serious doubts that I would be able to use it for it’s intended purposes. I’d be wondering how to squeeze my bike and lock in between the various pieces of twisted and decorative metal. I’m not sure I’d be lugging around our almost 100 pound German Shepard on my bike for a trip to the vet anyway.
There have to be many variations on the art rack theme in the Portland area. It wouldn’t be Portland without our bike racks getting artsy. I can’t say I’m going to be working hard to catalog and photograph them because it’s a safe bet they’ve already been documented. When I posted a link to my blog piece about Pop Art bike racks at the dentist’s office on the Facebook page Hidden Portland for the Curious I got a response from Aimee Wade coauthor of the book PDXccentric An Odyssey of Portland’s Oddities who posted a link to a PDXccentric blog post about art racks. I had no idea what to call these bikes racks so I’ve borrowed her term. Thanks Aimee! I’m sure there is more about bike racks in the book and more about all of the things I like to write about as well. I plan on getting that book for my birthday. It’s an invaluable Portland resource that everyone should have. In one brisk preview I learned that Raquel Welch once roller skated on the street I live on! But did she lock a bike to an art rack? I’ll have to research that.
Here a link to that blog post about art racks: