Bits & Pieces: It's a great time to see cherry blossom trees at Waterfront Park
While society deals with a crisis, nature moves on, and spring signals a blossoming of hope and beauty.
The cherry blossom trees at Gov. Tom McCall Waterfront Park and the Japanese American Historical Plaza are awakening from winter to put on a colorful show.
The pink and white petals on the 100 Akebono cherry trees have been delighting waterfront visitors since being donated by a group from the Japanese Grain Importers Association in 1990. The trees line the sidewalk between the Burnside and Steel bridges downtown. Cherry blossom trees also can be found at Hoyt Arboretum, the Portland Japanese Garden and Lan Su Chinese Garden.
Conceived and guided by the Oregon Nikkei Endowment, the Japanese American Historical Plaza and Bill of Rights Memorial was dedicated on Aug. 3, 1990, and serves to raise awareness about the diversity of cultural experiences in America.
The Cherry Blossom Bazaar, a rummage sale of Japanese treasures put on the by the Oregon Nikkei Foundation originally scheduled for April 4-5, has been postponed during the COVID-19 outbreak until further notice.
If venturing outdoors for some exercise and to view the cherry blossoms, remember to follow Gov. Kate Brown's mandate during the pandemic to avoid large gatherings and strictly maintain 6 feet of social distance from other people.
Portland Opera has cancelled the remaining shows of the 2019-20 season because of the ongoing health/economic crisis.
Scheduled shows were: Big Night Concert, May 9; Leoncavallo's "Pagliacci," June 5-13; Heggie's "Three Decembers," July 17-25; Portland Opera Resident Artist Recitals.
"This is a heartbreaking decision, but it is made with the intention to support the well-being of our community and company during this public health crisis," says Sue Dixon, general director. "The cancellation of the remainder of our season impacts everyone who is part of Portland Opera — our patrons, audience members, artists, musicians, chorus members, collaborators, and our staff. No one, in any sector, can know the full economic impact of this unprecedented situation at this moment. So, this is our best forward-thinking plan to keep our company whole and contribute to solutions for our community. This is how we ensure our legacy."
The 2020-21 season is still slated to start in September with Robert Xavier Rodriguez's "Frida."
For more: www.portlandopera.org.
Maryhill Museum of Art, outside Goldendale, Washington, remains a popular attraction for museum fans from the Portland area.
Despite being closed, you can now, at least, read about Maryhill, which celebrates its 80th year in 2020.
By Steve Wiegand, the new book "The Dancer, The Dreamers, and the Queen of Romania: How an Unlikely Quartet Created America's Most Improbable Art Museum" ($27.95, Bancroft Press) is about "the strangest American West Coast art gallery we've ever seen," publicity says.
The museum, as written in the book, includes: dolls dressed in post-World War II French fashion; hundreds of chess sets; Native American baskets and artifacts; 16,000 paintings and sculptures and furniture; a life-sized model of Stonehenge that attracts biker gangs and New Age Wiccans; a 10-mile road that attracts skateboarders; and more on thousands of acres in the Columbia Gorge.
Endangered butterflies, raised at Coffee Creek Correctional Facility in Wilsonville, have been set free.
Conservation biologists have released about 750 Taylor's checkerspot butterflies on western Oregon prairies near Corvallis. They are taken care of in a collaboration program with Coffee Creek inmates, the Oregon Zoo, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Institute for Applied Ecology.
There have been three releases of Taylor's checkerspots.
"Having a captive rearing and release program in Oregon is vital for the recovery of Taylor's checkerspots," said Ronda Naseth, Oregon Zoo's butterfly conservationist. "Bringing butterfly conservation work into a medium-security housing unit continues to be a rewarding process."
For more: www.oregonzoo.org/recovery.
The health/economic crisis really hits home with this news: Among the concert tours out there in 2020, Justin Bieber has been forced to postpone all scheduled 2020 dates for his "The Changes Tour." Bieber had planned to perform at the Moda Center on May 17.
"Justin is anxiously awaiting the opportunity to get back out on the road and perform in a space that is safe for everyone," a news release said. "He asks that his fans hold on to their tickets, as they will be honored as soon as the dates are rescheduled."
For more: www.justinbiebermusic.com.
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