Portland-based photographer Geoffrey Hiller is best known for a marvelous book Daybreak in Myanmar, which interleaves pre- and post-revolution images of that country. Now he’s turned his attention to one of Portland’s most interesting bus lines — at least in terms of the diversity of unsung corners of the city that it serves, and the beautiful and often eccentric people who live and do business there. His blog lays out the work in little photo vignettes with commentary. It’s wonderful.
I did an essay for his blog and any future book, in which I say things like …
As it makes its long orbit around Portland, then, the 75 tours the shifting front lines of many epic struggles. Gentrification loves the bohemian but chases it away. Defenders of history scream “stop demolishing Portland!” even as a desperate need for housing calls for bigger buildings. And in parallel, everywhere on the 75, you can watch the parallel dramas of power and weakness: power struggling to protect itself, while others struggle for survival and dignity.
To this shifting landscape, Geoffrey Hiller is the perfect guide. He knows you’ve seen the real estate photos, the chamber of commerce photos, the tourist photos, and the photos of cashed-up millennials in designer grunge luxuriating in sculpted authenticity. He wants you to see something else. Here is the Portland in between things, the struggling and hopeful Portland, the Portland that’s happening anyway despite everyone’s grandest plans.
You might find it a useful accompaniment to Geoff’s photos. It’s all about a Portland you may have missed in your perusing of real estate magazines, or for that matter your urbanist-guided tour.
All photos: Geoffrey Hiller