Fences Make Interesting Neighbors Part 2


Robert Frost had that poem about fences making good neighbors and it was a good poem and everyone liked it. What happens when people don’t like your fence, well that’s a whole other story. If you design it well or decorate it in fine fashion, well they shouldn’t have much to complain about it. Heck, everyone has the capacity to be a critic anyway. Loving everyone and everything–that’s hard. We do have to hand it to Bob for inspiring the title to this series and inspiring us to realize that fences can be more neighborly than the people who live behind them.

Garden Wall

It helps to have the occasional walk about in our home turf of West Portland Park. There are sights and rare finds yet to behold. On such occasion I could not help but be struck by a garden mural painted on a fence. Great colors and recreations of flowers on a grand scale that spruced up the fence and added pizzazz to the rest of the street.

Not Grant’s Tomb

We were in the Grant Park neighborhood for a Witch Walk last October. That’s a whole other story but our mission was to impersonate witches and remind people to vote before the 2020 election. Scary stuff! The walk ended at a house where the fence has been taken over by messages of hope during the height of the pandemic. This outpouring of expression was moving. Fences don’t have to be static barriers. They can be billboards to enlighten and encourage. The homeowner allowed anyone to write a slogan or post a flyer on the fence resulting in a pastiche of positivity.

I Saw the Signs

In the Markham neighborhood, this fence took on the look of a Friday’s, Applebees or Red Robin interior or even a combination of all three. It’s appealing in its visual stylishness. Signs on an iron fence have the makings of a delightful collage that recalling the back wall of an antique store. The fence breaks up the suburban monotony by wearing advertising and traffic signs like pieces of flair.

Cool Your Heals

This fence decor was always a blur. It’s located at the end of a twisty road just before a stop sign. All the times I’ve driven by it’s appeared out of the corner of my eye. Standing in front of it, I realized a girl on a bike is approaching a person who’s feet are in a creek. My play-by-play is a bit redundant because you can see the photo yourself, but this scenario is now frozen in time with its pleasant colors and story. I appreciated finally being able to experience the painting. A creek soak foot bath seems to be the exact thing any bike rider would need after a bike ride.

Get Me To The Forest

The scene would almost be serene if it wasn’t on such a busy road in the Multnomah Village neighborhood. The two panels and a koi flag felt peaceful for a moment before a car rumbled past. The art has a spray paint graffiti feel that reveals hallucinogenic forest floor landscapes. It’s a dynamic fence mural in a drive-by art gallery that doesn’t get the attention it deserves.

One to Tide You Over

It’s almost at the end of Alberta Street, the Arts District anyway and the bones of this fence, colors and details, that have borne the brunt of pandemic discord, still manage to shine. The fence encloses the patio at Cha Ba Thai restaurant offering diners privacy. I remember this fence from its heyday. The doors, windows and bright colors typify the eclectic feel of the neighborhood. The graffitti doesn’t quite blend in but I can sense the walls are making attempts to absorb the additional paint and continue on despite the times.

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