Sunday, June 05, 2005

shanghai tunnels light

shanghai tunnells light
Originally uploaded by dieselboi.
you walk around portland right? maybe over in old town or by saturday market. ever ask yourself - what are these strange purple blocks in the sidewalk. well my friend, those are put there to allow light to filter down into the underground tunnels in old portland. these are also known as shanghai tunnels. i saw this batch up by the galleria and thought i would blog about it.

i love my neighborhood, but sometimes don't like the people who also call it home. this morning, trying to be a good neighbor and patronize a local business, we went over to pistils nursery on n. mississippi. we love this place because it's run by two sisters (i think) and they have chickens running around. well, this morning, i guess we were disturbing someone's book because when we walked in to ask a question, the owner/person working didn't really feel like putting her book down and engaing us. it was as if we were disturbing her even though we were there to give her money.
this isn't an uncommon experience here in portland. usually it's young people who think they are too cool for school and i guess i demand a little better customer service when my dollars are at stake. also, it's neighborhood kindness that keeps places opne. ack. sorry for the rant.

btw - i'm ordering some pedometers (somebody not to be named broke and then lost thiers) - i can get them really cheap - $12 and if i order 4, i can get free shipping. do you want a pedometer? if so, email me and we can work it out.

a response to the comments. whether the shanghai tunnels tour is a value or not is not the story here. there is plenty of historical data that proves the shanghai tunnels exist under portland's old town and go up as far as st. johns. there are tunnels in st. helens, astoria and even pendleton. the tunnels were ways for the chinese to move around the city. there were opium dens and other ilicit trade. the term shanghai came from ship captains who had contracts with local bar owners who would get thier patrons drunk, drop them through the floor and the people wouldn't wake until they were out to sea. not an urban myth.


bsk8bl said...

This shanghai tunnel nonsense is some utter nonsense. Some biggest bulls**t I have seen in PDX. Have you taken the 'tour'? There's no tunnels - you go down in the dingy basement of Hobos Restaurant and get a song and dance about ghost stories, trap doors, and a cigar store indian thats been roughed up. You never see a tunnel. It was $10 wasted.


LeLo in NoPo said...

These glass rounds are around the building I work in downtown, and when you're in the basement, the daylight filters through them, making it glow a weird purply blue---or it would if I had guts enough to be down there and turn off the lights. NOT. There is a tunnel doorway down there, and it's no higher than 5 feet or so. Made for very short people...

Anonymous said...

Does anyone happen to know where a tunnel entrace is that hasnt been blocked or boarded up? I think it would b an awsome experiance.