The Alberta Street Controversy

Good riddance, and a big thank you to Tan Peluski for letting me write his column. He has been ill, but sends his best. Important things await me this evening. Dinner with Vera Katz followed by a waxing and if we’re lucky a little horseback. Ha, I just realized that later tonight I’m going to be “Running down a dream” literally! Sex on the Titties.

Anyhow, for those of you who are not familiar with my public record, I am Dottie Barksdale, and here is a timeline of events which are all important to note when addressing the controversy surrounding Last Thursday on Alberta Street.

  • 01/01/2010
    I was appointed Director of the grassroots organization
    Alberta Street Residents Against Last Thursday (ASRALT)
    whose mission statement is the same as its’ name.
  • 01/02/2010
    I addressed representatives of ASRALT and announced
    my choice of focus for the organization: parking meters.

  • 01/05/2010
    I caught a lucky break on craigslist.
    A gentleman by the name of Mr. Spice was selling
    a truck full of parking meters at a flat cost of $5000.
    With money from petty cash, I drove to meet
    Mr. Spice and traded the cash for keys to the truck.

  • 01/07/2010
    Me and a bunch of volunteers from ASRALT went around putting
    the parking meters up on Alberta Street. Since we’re not an official organization,
    or representatives of the government, we were able to do so with no signage.
  • 01/07/2010
    I gave out my first parking ticket to a smelly guy playing a guitar.
    I explained to him that if he wanted to park himself or anything else
    on my Alberta Street, he was going to have to keep feeding the nearest meter.
    He acted like this was an outrage, and the crowd started to get behind him,
    but then I pointed out all the change in his guitar case. What a selfish prick.
  • 01/28/2010
    Last Thursday. Most people had accepted the meters by now,
    but there was still a little grumbling about it. Especially in the “arts community”.
    Anyone that found themselves on Alberta Street quickly found out how things worked.
    You either keep moving, or you pay the nearest meter to park. Anybody that didn’t
    pay to park got a ticket. Sure people were pissed off at first, but once they realized that
    the tickets were not real, most were so grateful to have dodged a parking ticket,
    they gladly started feeding the meters. Money was beginning to flow.
  • 01/29/2010
    The next day we unloaded the parking meters.
    I personally counted every nickel: $807,000 and change !!!
    We couriered a check to the Mayor, a donation to the city,
    along with a note about how much we would appreciate
    an end to Last Thursdays on Alberta.

Artists, art lovers, and art community supporters, give me your ears. Last Thursdays on Alberta Street are over. You’re welcome to show up and keep feeding my meters, but there will be no more public displays of affection. There will be no more public displays of intoxication. There will be no more public displays of people being weird. Nobody likes weird, not even in Portland. So just stop it already. I suggest you move it along to the Up-and-Coming Gallery, where up-and-coming artists can display their work if they are skillful enough to beat Up and Coming owner at Asteroids. That would seem to be a better use of your quarters, but like I said, if you want to give them to me I will offer no complaint. I will give them to the Mayor, he will give them to the city, and the city will give them back to you in the form of police protection making sure that weirdness never shows its face again on Alberta Street. In other words, making it a better place.

Artists, art lovers, and art community supporters (i.e. white people with college degrees and no money) the city is grateful to you for doing your part in chasing off the people who were there before, but it is now time for you to get with the program. You are beginning to be a headache, even to teenagers. You are the broom, and you did a good job sweeping, but now it is time for tax-paying citizens like myself to enjoy the clean, swept floor. So off you go, I hear your services would be appreciated in Gresham, and perhaps further out in the other directions as well. Like my boyhood crush, Tom Petty, would say: “Don’t come around here no more.”

~ Dottie Barksdale

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