"Portland's Living Room" taken over by outdoor shopping mall

As my child and I wandered through downtown today, we decided to take a detour through Pioneer Square to look at the Christmas tree there. Yeh, I don't know why either. But something about this time of the year makes me nostalgic for those kinds of things. But you know what? We couldn't even get near it. The entire square is currently under occupation. Rude and imposing chain link fences surrounded the square, hung with tarps and plastic. The obligatory white, plastic tents squatted over the whole affair, hiding something within. All around the perimeter, plastic signs blazoned with corporate logos -- mostly advertisements for Clear Channel stations -- hung imploringly from the chain link fences. Only the top of the tree was visible, poking up through the middle of it all.

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