During a recent trip back east to visit my friend David Vanadia, we drove around New Jersey and visited a lot of places I had not been to in 30 years. One cold, blustery evening we walked around the streets of Hoboken and stopped in a grocery store to warm up.
For 22 Years Pattie’s Home Plate has been my neighborhood’s local greasy spoon. Of friend of mine used to refer to Pattie’s as the Wailing Wall of St. Johns. It stood as the quintessence of the North Portland working-class neighborhood. It had existed as a local lunch counter and soda fountain long before Pattie owned it. Old-timers have told me of how they used to eat there when it was Rexall Drugs before World War II..
The building certainly has seen better days. I’m guessing that the new owner will be razing it to replace with something that can be rented for a higher price. Pattie told me that she was told her lease would not be renewed because of the sale of the building.
Pattie has found a new place to open her restaurant. Sadly it’s in a different neighborhood and the St. John’s crowd won’t be able to walk there anymore.
Over the weekend fellow photographer Ward Shortridge died at the age of 59.
I will forever be glad that I got to know Ward. He was thoughtful and humorous, and a perfectionist when it came to his craft. Through this past year he was working on new series which only reinforced my belief that Ward was one of the best photographers I’ve ever known.
See some of Ward’s work here:
The way he was able to approach strangers without fear or hesitation and capture soul-rendering images of them astonished me. His work will always inspire me.