Last Thursday on Alberta





On the last thursday of the month in summery Portland, Alberta street is flooded with children’s lemonade stands, women dressed as fairies, bicycling beatboxers, and artists of every genre.

photo from

As you might know, I joined the bustle this month with my little table of bracelets for sale. Just watching all the interesting people, tatoos, cute dogs, and crazy costumes passing by was really entertaining. Later in the evening fire jugglers put on a performance right next to my space. Once a spark of flying fuel landed on my hand I decided it was time to pack up my vender spot and enjoy as an observer…from a little further away. As always, the summer evening on Alberta was a lively array of all sorts of things.

My fire-huggling friend at Last Thursday. Every week there are juggling practices on the Reed College campus in SE Portland.

A spontaneous parade along Alberta Street

A spontaneous parade along Alberta Street


With all those people and activities tough, the street was understandably overwhelmed. The next day I turned on NPR to a debate between supporters of the event and some Alberta St. neighbours who think Last Thursday has gone too far. Is Last Thursday Out of Control?


pdx graffiti

While it might be crazy, Last Thursday always seemed well patrolled and controlled by event staff and police, and it’s a great place to go out with friends or for local artists to display their work. I hope the event continues, at least through this summer season, when I look forward to going with friends once they’re back in town for school.


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