When garages were filled with music

I remember one evening about 15 years ago when I first started back in walking. I was walking different loop routes through my neighborhood for exercise. On that evening Portlandia was in high form. As I walked I started hearing music coming from a number of the garages I past. It seemed every block had a garage with music. At first I thought it was a radio turned on while someone was working on something in the garage. Back then people listened to radios. But then I came to realized it was a group practicing their music. I would hear rock-n-roll coming out of one garage and chamber music from another and jazz from another and country-western from another and so on. The neighborhood was very much alive with garage bands practicing their art. Not long after that evening I switched to walking with a group in downtown and was not out walking my neighborhood any longer.

This last fall I started having knee problems and could not keep up with my downtown group. I started walking in my neighborhood again, now at a slower pace. It dawned on me one evening that the music coming from the garages was gone. I realized my neighborhood had changed. I think all of Portland has changed now. When it was the height of Portland Creative Renaissance you had live music coming from the garages and groups playing all over town. You had small theatrical companies practicing and performing in every large or small space that had small rents. You had company’s, like Icebreaker and others, moving their design departments to Portland because the creative talent was here. They have left now. But now, even before the lock-down, the neighborhoods in Portland have gone quite. Now the neighborhoods are respectable and expensive. And the dream of Portlandia, a dream of live music coming from a garage on every block, has slowly slipped silently into the past.