We live in the old Irvington neighborhood of Portland, where most of the houses were built near the turn of the last century. Embedded in the concrete curb, in front of each house is a small iron hoop about three inches in diameter. Patty and I decided some time ago that the most likely purpose of these rings was to tie up a horse. One should remember that as late as the 1930s, a large number of people still rode horses as a primary mode of transportation.
Sometime several months ago, some enterprising artist came along, and tied up little plastic horses to the hoops all along the street. Most, if not all of the horses along our side of the street still stand there, hitched to their rings.
I have no idea who did this, or the purpose they had in mind. But it was a great idea because it caused us to think about these objects, the rings, and their historical purpose. A kind of living history lesson.