K&F Clinton Street

Portland, Oregon

tableaux'd by:

What are we at the crossroads of here, the cinematic aspect ratio of this tight little neighborhood as the sun goes down and the little plays begin, each in their own spotlight, pressures me to draw conclusions about the disconnects between characters and props in the city, yet all I can do is rub the night in between them and hope to return someday to give them my answer.

K&F Clinton Street

These notes I scribbled sitting in a plastic chair on 26th as I attempted to lean backwards against the brick wall, the flimsy legs wobbled. The sun was setting. We had walked a gentle walk through the neighborhood between Hawthorne and Clinton, the evening settled down as people came home from work, or having eaten dinner, stepped out onto porches or took to the streets on bicycles or on foot, all quietly, reverently. Cats stepped out to the sidewalk to greet us. It was too idyllic! The compression of the intersection after the respite of the residential stroll felt too intimate.

We sat outside waiting for the 8pm showing of Night of the Living Dead at the Clinton Street theater. I felt the painterly omniscience of ‘Rear Window’ with high walls filled with windows. I watched as the sky darkened a woman fluttering about in her apartment. The gritty chiaroscuro and claustrophobia of the film preinserted into the dusk landscape, I watched as it grew too dark inside the apartment. It was not until complete dark, where the apartment had disappeared into the sky, that she turned on the light. Warm lit windows have a very powerful effect on me. They are a communication of the most personal routines, the drudgery and comforting reassurance of the home, all carried forth, including sounds although light is silent, and smells of cooking dinner or coffee although light is empty, in a radiant almost tangible powder. Sitting outside of a lit window, with its light falling upon you, is nearly as calming as being on an old chair surrounded by plants reading, or at the small kitchen table next to the window eating pasta in shirtsleeves. The street level was active as well. The sole employee of the Clinton showed up to unlock the theater, young families pulling kids in wagons waddled by, cyclists with fancy skintight suits popped into K&F for a chai, and we felt the cool night air.

K&F Clinton Street

I only vaguely remember the inside of the coffeeshop, but I don’t think it matters. The location and the night sketch it for me in such a romantic light as we sat in silence, and walked back across the river hurriedly after the film, haunted by shadows and zombii, that the shop has become an artifact of the memory that serves no real purpose outside of that isolated tableau.

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K&F Clinton Street

2706 SE 26th Avenue
Portland, Oregon 97202

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