Friday, November 23, 2007

Forbidden City

Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association Building, 1910

"Alas, poor Yorick! I knew him, Horatio: a fellow of infinite jest, of most excellent fancy: he hath borne me on his back a thousand times; and now, how abhorred in my imagination it is!"
- Shakespeare's Hamlet

Once a sign of "most excellent fancy," the Forbidden City was perfect as a symbol of Portland's Chinatown. Today's frequently updated, lighted vinyl display is "abhorred in my imagination." What's worse is that it appears the original sign was painted over in black to provide a backdrop to the new sign. Alas.

"Now get you to my lady's chamber, and tell her, let her paint an inch thick, to this favour she must come; make her laugh at that."

The current incarnation rests above the corner of NW 4th and Davis.

1996:
2007:

2 comments:

dave said...

Sad.

Hmm, what'd happen to the trees?!

dan said...

I took the original photo from about a block farther to the west using a telephoto lens. Those trees still line the north side of the parking lot.