Michael5000 will be on the road when this thing is set to post, so the formatting will probably be screwy at first.
The Seven Wonders of the Castle5000 Environs
1. Laurelhurst Park! Designed in 1912 by Frederick Law Olmstead's firm, Laurelhurst Park is like some idealized golden-tinged movie version of what a city park might be. Strangely, it's real. Many years ago, visiting from Kansas, I had an odd vision that Laurelhurst Park was the source of all the green in the world. Although I now live three blocks away, it is not technically true that the Park is my private running track. It's just that it might as well be.
2. The Famous Building! The Belmont Condomiums, a few corners from Castle5000, has been featured in glowing suck-up articles in most of your leading architectural and metrosexual journals, including Dwell and Metropolitan Home. It features a fauncy restaurant on the ground floor to which Mrs.5000 can take her more sophisticated friends on occasion, while I stay home and enjoy the simple but hearty fare to which I became accustomed in the long years of my bachelorhood.
5. The Kitchiest Statue Ever Erected! A tribute to emergency services personel who died fighting a large fire in an East Coast city in the early 2000s. Their service and sacrifice is commemorated by this portrayal of a bare-chested man who thrusts forth a lantern with his left hand, barely missing a eagle that is just then taking wing. An American flag is caught in its talons. You would think this eagle would startle the guy, but he don't seem to notice it.
In his right hand, strangely, the man clutches the neck of a really big snake. Yep. A really big snake. Or maybe he's just happy to see you.
6. The Belmont Branch! One of the smallest branches of the Multnomah County Library in sheer size, it is one of the largest in terms of volume of books reserved and checked out. Only some of that is due to me. But really, it's an amazing thing. From right here on the internet, I can put a hold on almost any piece of cultural production that comes to mind. A few days later, I walk two blocks and pick it up. What's not to love? Nothing's not to love! This is a branch library that gets its own love letters!
7. The Castle5000 Raspberry Patch. Decended through several generations from the stock planted by Grandpa5000 years ago, the Castle5000 patch is the envy of all who behold its produce. The right hand patch produces around a quart of berries a day in July and early August. The left hand patch is new this year; since raspberries are biennial, it won't add to the crop until Summer 2009. Mmm... Raspberries....
What are the seven wonders of YOUR neighborhood?