Listening to KBOO last week I learned about a pedalpalooza event, a bike ride and dance party led by Diablo honoring the musical legacy of Prince. The event was held on what would have been the 59th birthday of Prince. Pedalpalooza rides lean toward the amazing side of bicycle celebrations. Anytime somebody straps a boom box to a bike while everyone rides and listens to music, things get spectacular beyond the run of the mill bike ride, anyway. This ride promised periodic dance stops. I didn’t seem myself participating in the non bike riding aspects of this ride, but then again the spirit would surely have carried me away. I wasn’t feeling the confidence it would take to jump off a bike and into a dance party, especially with my inability to approximate any 80’s Minneapolis funk dance moves.
The Prince ride gave me an angle to present thoughts on the uses of purple around town. Now I have the opportunity to celebrate two synonymous life forces. Prince and Purple. In most cases you won’t find extreme shades of purple in Portland. Although they would be applauded, repeated exposure to richer tones might prove overbearing. For my purple inspirations, I’m keeping it in the family. Anything close to purple is more exciting than most of the run of the mill colors I encounter. Purple might be a bold decorating or wardrobe choice but Prince had the charisma to pull it off. He turned purple into his visual calling card going so far to make it feel like purple rain could fall from the sky. For that reason it feels necessary to honor him with an exploration of a few things purple.
How did I not know this place was purple? I never saw colors when I passed this building that sits in front of Roake’s, a retro burger joint on Columbia Blvd. I’ve always thought too many other thoughts about the goings on in a Bikini Barista Hut. Is it cold working in a bikini? Is the coffee any good or do people go for the view? I appreciate the two-tone purple effect. The building’s purple shades seems pretty enough to upstage the semi-clad baristas.
The purple in the Purple Church on Lombard St. looks great against the white background. I realize purple has deep significance as a religious color. Purple is used sparingly on doors and trim. Any color would pop against the white background but this shade seems so right.
Purple Anarchist Community Space
This is another who knew and it’s right down the street from the Purple Church. The shade isn’t blaring so much as it’s easy on the eyes. The trim utilizes another kind of purple while the striking red under the roof eaves brings attention to the sign. Who says Anarchists can’t be welcomed with jubilant colors?
Lavender Barn Door
In the Kenton neighborhood I’ve developed an appreciation for what I’m calling a barn with a subtle paint job that almost doesn’t qualify in my purple tour. I had to wonder if my photo wasn’t a bit washed out but this is the perfect shade for this structure. Anything darker would detract from the barn’s rustic nature.
Purple Brick Facade
This building on N. Denver Ave always had a commercial facade. I spotted an upgrade with a more outlandish color especially since it’s a faux brick. It certainly brightens up a drab section of N Denver Ave.
The Metro PCS phone store on Lombard St., near the Aaron’s rental store, painted their side of the building a deep purple. If you need some eye-catching beauty in gorgeous living color to reset your brain stare at the wall for a few hours. Most people will think you walked out of the smoke shop next door.
A building on N. Kilpatrick St. in the Kenton neighborhood has been decorated with random graffiti but it still retains a shred of dignity due to the sweet and subtle purple border that offers up a tiny dash of salvation amidst the blight.
One of my favorite Prince performances: https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6SFNW5F8K9Y