This month’s Last Thursday on Alberta was notable for several reasons: the clowns, the cops, and the crowds.
First and foremost, it was the last month in a long run of action at the Alberta Street Clown House (they’re moving soon). By the time I left (just before sunset), the yard was already filling up and judging from these naked bike jousting photos on Dingo’s blog, it looks like they had a fitting send-off.
It was good to hear the Clown House t-shirts sold out. The design is by local Zoobomber/Sprockette/tall-bike jouster/musician/crafter Justa Phillips and they read, “The reign of the Alberta Street Clown House.”
The Clowns may be moving on, but I don’t think we’ve seen the last of them. Here’s a shot of Dingo riding down the street in his familiar costume and his favorite tall-bike.
Unfortunately, we also haven’t seen the last of the increased police presence at the event. Portland cops were out in force patrolling the streets and making sure the hordes of people remained (squished together like sardines) on the sidewalk.
They also ticketed this unlucky tall-bike rider for carrying an “unlawful passenger on a bicycle” (the passenger was on the rear deck).
I appreciate the need for the police to maintain public safety and traffic flow, but their attitudes and tone with many pedestrians and bicyclists seemed counter to the idea of “community policing”.
The big question on many people’s minds was, “Why isn’t this street closed to cars yet?!”. I overheard that refrain several times as I mixed with the crowds.
On that note, I noticed this parade which seemed to be advocating for a street closure:
I later heard that the Police asked the marchers to disperse.
So when will Alberta Street be closed for Last Thursday? Does anyone have an update? I hope that when it does, the Alberta Neighborhood invites Dingo and the Clowns back for an encore…
(Browse all 32 of my July Last Thursday photos in the gallery.)