I [heart] Portland, and the horses are just one more reason why.
It was two weeks ago, and we'd just finished a stressful but fun event at cafe au play's On the Road event at Urban Grind. We were driving with the boys in the back, I was exhausted. It was raining and the day seemed suddenly blah, dull, hopeless.
Jonathan pulled up in front of Woodstock Ace Hardware and I saw it there, tethered to one of the horse rings that still pepper many of Portland's curbs. The rings were put in about a century ago when carriages and buggies and other horse-drawn conveyances clogged the streets of Portland. (I couldn't find history anywhere other than the comments on Jack Bog's Blog.) There was a little plastic horse there, and a GI Joe figure was riding him. You'll see I took photos. Then I saw another photo on flickr (this one is in Ladd's Addition). And the next day, my husband and I saw a bunch more horses on Division, in front of Pix Patisserie and Haven Coffee.
This was going to be a "where did the horses come from?" post until I Googled, and found 39forks, and artist scott wayne indiana's horse project. Fittingly, he found the horses at Goodwill, and he encourages other citizen artists to contribute their own horses. Laura has a map of all the horses in Portland, some of the ones I saw on Division are already there, and I added Woodstock. (And I decided: platial is ugly.)
The best part was that, not long before I saw the first horse, I had explained the history of the rings to Everett, remembering the first time my parents told me the story of the rings, on SE Taylor, maybe, or Madison, where I lived when I was a little girl in the 70s. It gave me one more reason why raising my boys in Portland is so wonderful: it connects me to my family, it gives me a sense of history, it lets me live in this awesome city where art is everywhere and we all contribute to the funk-happy performance culture.
I can't wait to add a horse of my own.