Monday, March 31, 2008

Home Sweet Home Revisited

A friend suggested that in my next blog I might say something exciting about Astoria. He added, it could be a good marketing piece for my town and my real estate company. As I sit here considering the subject, my mind travels back in time over the past 38 years I have lived in Astoria. For years, I gushed to every outsider who would listen about the romantic atmosphere of the town, with its distinctive waterfront fish canneries, its unique Scandinavian, mainly Finnish community, with its colorful dress, language and wit. These are now gone. Like so many places in America, regionalism is of a bygone era. It is easy to be nostalgic and remember the good old days but the old Astoria had its decrepit side as well. Fortunately, unlike many other place which replaced their character with strip malls, Astoria has done a great job in reinventing itself. The old, tawdry Elliot Hotel boarding house is now a tastefully appointed, quality hotel. The rotting caneries have been refitted into lodgings, office space, and restaurants. The smoke enveloped plywood mill has vanished and, in its place, is Mill Pond Village, a community of quality homes clustered around the old mill pond. This modernization may not seem unique. Other communities have streets filled with art galleries, bistros, and tasteful gift shops. Yet, many visitors to our town are still overtaken by Astoria's enchantment. What remains of its past beauty radiates through the magic of the Columbia River. Its riversong, composed from the movement of massive water, changeable sea breezes, ship horns, and riverfront activity, is in the air of the town and permeates the walls of the remaining Victorian and Scandinavian-styled homes. Whenever I return to Astoria, I see the river, the incredible bridge, the hillsides, and the sky, and I am momentarily overcome by awe. I feel, how fortunate I have been to have lived here in the past and proud to be here in the present.Lee


Anonymous said...

Great article, I love this town!!


Jenn Klages said...

Fortunate, indeed! I feel like I've been let in an incredible secret. Shhhhh - don't tell!