Monday, December 29, 2008

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Rail Transit

Public transportation, specially light rail transit, in Portland helped alot during the heavy snowy days we had. Max and Streetcar were much crowded than before. They were a lot safer than driving on icy streets. Portland is going to experience a little better weather this weekend. I'm tired and bored of my many snowy posts. I miss sun! We are in Oregon, I know.

Max Light Rail

Portland Streetcar

Friday, December 26, 2008

The U.S. Flags


Nothing special to say in the day after the Christmas. Just have a look at the U.S. flags all over the city. This is a good part of the "American Culture", I think. I haven't seen so many flags on buildings and bridges in my country and the other few countries I've visited. I like it. This post, these days and the beautiful snow we have all remind me the "America the Beautiful" song.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Merry Christmas

This is my first Christmas, not only in the U.S. but in my whole life. We didn't celebrate Christmas in my home country, officially. However some parts of the country looks Christmasy these days. Check Tehran 24 to see the Christmas in Iran.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Streets in Portland have really become a place for skiing

I think we've found a new sustainable transportation mode: skiing instead of driving. Do you remember I said that no one expects us to ride a bike in a snowy day? Some poeple in Portland are raising this idea that we can do skiing instead.

Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Monday, December 22, 2008

Portland is shutdown; TriMet tries to keep it moving.

Winter Weather Update

MAX update: Frozen switches are causing service disruptions. Shuttle bus frequency is now averaging about every 20-30 minutes.

All buses remain chained; expect delays of 20-30 minutes. Many buses are on snow routes or canceled. Check service alerts for updates on MAX and bus service.

Monday, LIFT will provide life-sustaining trips only.

During snow and ice, for some routes TransitTracker may have difficulty projecting how many minutes remain before the bus arrives at your stop. When this happens, it will instead tell you how far away the bus is from your stop.

Thank you TriMet!

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Homeless: Update (1)

It's now 11:40 am, Sunday, December 21, 2008. I took this picture from my room window. This is the bus stop I previously posted and she is the woman who I talked about. Thanks God, she is alive but she is still there.
Although there are some good shelters and villages for homless people in Portland but I don't think if just building such places would be enough. As Elaine said, some of these people are mentally ill so they are not able to make a proper decision where to stay or where to go. Why do some of them refuse to stay in shelters? There is always a reason behind everything. They should be guided (or even forced) to stay there if they refuse it. I'm curious to know if "American Democracy" does say if voters do not vote to pay tax for their support, these guys have to keep living like this in the streets and the only other option will be only few charities? Does "morality" play any role in your democracy?
* These are not offensive questions. I just want to learn more about the American democracy. Thanks.

A sad photo after a happy night

Here is a sad photo after a happy night I had in my advisor's house. I and some other students and non-students were invited by him to have some his father-made Italian pizzas. We also celebrated the "Yalda Night" by eating pomegrenate, Halva and Borani (they are some Iranian foods). Halva is kind of a dessert made of flour, vegetable oil, saffron, and sugar. Borani is made of yogurt, spinach and garlic. It was a very very fun and happy night.

BUT on the way back home, I saw a sad, sad scene. This woman was there for several days in this bad weather. We saw her there before. I don't know if she was alive or dead. What do homeless people do in this weather? Is there any organization or place to let them sleep somewhere warm? I had to do something. I couldn't see a "human" being suffered this much and do nothing or keep joking and laughing with friends. We all are human, yes?
Human beings are members of a whole,
In creation of one essence and soul.
If one member is afflicted with pain,
Other members uneasy will remain.
If you have no sympathy for human pain,
The name of human you cannot retain.
* This is a poem of Saadi, one of the major Persian poets of the medieval period. This poem is used to grace the entrance to the Hall of Nations of the UN building in New York.

I don't have a cell phone. So I asked my friends to call 911 or somewhere to ask for help to see who this woman is and if she needs help (ofcourse she does) but they didn't care. There were also some guys there to clean the road. I walked to them and let them know about her and asked if we should call somewhere to do something. They just told me we just work for "road maintenance" services. We are not in charge of these cases. The bus had arrived and I had to go. No one did nothing! No one did nothing! We are human, are we sure? How can I sleep in my warm bed tonight and leave that woman there to die of cold. It's -5 C degrees (feels like -14 C degree) or 22 F degrees (feels like 7 F degrees) out. Heeeeeyyyyyyyyyy, who can I ask for help? Why no one cares? I shout: "We are human, are we sure?"

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Happy The Longest Night of The Year! Happy Yalda!

"Winter Feast: Yalda Night" is an ancient Iranian festival originally celebrated on the Northern Hemisphere's longest night of the year, that is, on the eve of the Winter Solstice. The winter solstice occurs at the instant when the Sun's position in the sky is at its greatest angular distance on the other side of the equatorial plane from the observer. The Winter Solstice occurs on December 20 or 21 each year.
Yalda is the most important non-new-year Iranian festival that comes back to the 2nd millennium BC. According to Persian mythology, Mitra, the Godess of love, was born at the end of this night after the long-expected defeat of darkness against light. The seasonal significance of the winter solstice is in the reversal of the gradually lengthening nights and shortening days. Happy Yalda everybody!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Let Knowledge Serve the City

The snow has gone away. So Portland Daily Photos comes back to its previous layout.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Portland Streetcar


How lovely is the Portland Streetcar! It's warm and free to use in the fareless square in downtown. I often take it to go to Safeway to buy some groceries. However when the weather is better, I prefer walking or biking.
I think the Portland Streetcar and the KOIN Center, the red building with the special architecture, are two good symbols of the city. I like them.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Snowy Bike

My hometown in Iran is snowy too, according to weather.com. I have to check it with my parents. I will also ask Sara to take a "snowy photo" and post it on Mashhad Daily Photos. Isn't nice that sometimes all the earth (at least north hemisphere) experiences snow in same days? The winter is going to start: December 20. Welcome winter!

OR

Is it a sign for the beginning of the second "Ice Age" because of the climate change? Have you read this sad news? "Over 2 Trillion Tons of Ice Melted in Arctic Since 2003". Hey bloggers, let's pull our bikes out of our garages and do more cycling to emit less greenhouse gases. Of course no one expects us to cycle in a snowy day!

Monday, December 15, 2008

Snowy Sunday in The City of Roses

This webpage is really different
http://www.nickfinck.com/portland/
(move to the right instead of down)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Friday, December 12, 2008

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Marquam Bridge: I-5 Freeway

Here is where the I-405 and I-5 connect each other. Isn't it a little complicated for a non-resident driver to find his/her path?
Can you see the OMSI (Oregon Museum of Sicence and Industry) and the submarine in the water?
Here is a satellite map of this location. Hehe, Can you see the submarine there?

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Mt. Hood & Mt. Damavand

This mountain really reminds me the Mount Damavand in Iran. It's a good feeling. You can't believe how lovely the Mt. Damavand is among Iranians.

Mt. Damavand, Tehran, Iran

Damavand is, as any cursory reading of Persian literature will indicate, the Mount Olympus of Persian mythology. Damavand is the symbol of Iranian resistance against foreign rule in Persian poetry and literature. In Zoroastrian texts and mythology, the three-headed dragon Aži Dahāka was chained within Mount Damāvand, there to remain until the end of the world. The famous poem Damavand by Mohammad Taqi Bahar is one of the finest examples of the mountain's place in Persian literature:
Oh white demon with feet in chains
Oh terrestrial dome, Oh Mount Damavand

Monday, December 8, 2008

OHSU Hospital

Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Hospital
http://www.ohsu.edu/

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Portland Aerial Tram


How far, how high and how fast?
The Tram cabins travel 3,300 linear feet between the South Waterfront terminal adjacent to the Oregon Health and Science University (OHSU) Center for Health & Healing, and the upper terminal at the Kohler Pavilion on OHSU's main campus. Traveling at 22 miles per hour, the Tram cabins rise 500 feet for the three-minute trip over I-5, the Lair Hill neighborhood and the Southwest Terwilliger Parkway.

Why a tram?
OHSU needs to expand beyond its Marquam Hill campus to meet increased patient, education and research needs. The underused properties of South Waterfront provided a location that would keep OHSU's growth in Portland. After years of discussion and study of options to connect the upper campus with the new area, the Portland City Council adopted the Marquam Hill Plan that included the Tram as the superior system over shuttles and other alternatives to link the two areas.

Who owns the tram?
The Portland Aerial Tram is part of Portland's public transportation system, and is owned by the city. OHSU provided $40 million of the $57 million construction cost of the Tram. The city's share of construction costs ($8.5 million) will be collected over time from the rising property values in South Waterfront caused by its redevelopment. OHSU oversees operation of the Tram, while the city is responsible for the maintenance of the upper and lower stations and tower, and provides regulatory oversight.

There are some nice shots here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/atul666/2124706993/

You may also like to visit the official website of the tram:
http://www.portlandtram.org/index.htm

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Monday, December 1, 2008

Broadway Cab

http://www.broadwaycab.com/
Broadway Cab is the oldest and largest taxicab company in Portland. The company was founded in 1930, and has had a variety of ownership structures since then.
Taxis in the US are much more expensive than other places (at least than Iran). Anyone knows the reason or had any experience before to take a cab in another country? I took taxi two or three times when I was in Cyprus and it wasn't that expensive. It was reasonable.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Happy Thanksgiving!

Almost all of the students in our lab have gone/are going to go back their home to have the Thanksgiving dinner with their families in their home! "Home" is what I've missed. Hey wind, please say my hello to my home. Hey sky, please reflect my face image to my family on the other side of the earth. Happy Thanksgiving to all!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008