Surely not a nod to Magritte, but a sign letting people know that what looks like a motel is now no longer a motel. The Comfy Inn has been a short-term housing center run by Emmanuel Community Services for close to two years.
While it might be confusing, it is cool to see the motel’s “motel” characteristics left intact. The sign and the mural around back, as well as the neon arrow pointing to the motel’s check-in office remain. The unspectacular sign serves as a reminder of the other motels and motel signs up and down Interstate Ave. The neon message that says sorry at the bottom of the sign is as good an apology as can be offered to someone who reads the words “this is not a motel” taped to the old office window and then has to head down Interstate Ave looking for other accommodations.
I don’t know if the sign will always be around but the mural has survived a recent paint job.
I miss the days when the motel was a motel. The biggest excitement then was when the motel would fill up with people coming from all over to attend the Portland International Raceway Auto Swap Meet. These days my inner curmudgeon gets inflamed by noisy kids playing in the motel parking lot when I’m trying to write. I was also irritated about a construction trailer for 6 months after our new neighbors arrived but one construction trailer became two smaller ones and they seem to have blended into the background. Sure the motel was once a quieter place but I can’t deny kids the right to make their joyous sounds. Besides it drowns out the hammering from the condo project across the street and the neighborhood’s many barking dogs as we all strive to live together in perfect harmony.
Read a Willamette Week blog post about this very topic:
One of my favorite motel signs on Interstate Ave.