Monday, July 14, 2008

Things I am liking about Portland

#1. The Welcome Sign
My flight descended into the city at sunset right next to Mt. Hood. When I say right next to I mean I could almost touch the peak. The sunset was gleaming off the snow and it was breathtaking. The man in the seat next to me has lived here his whole life and travels a lot. He said he had never descended that way into the airport. He was in awe and he gets to see that mountain every day.
Side note: We flew over Utah. I didn't realize the Great Salt Lake was so big or so, um, salty.

#2. The Taxi Drivers
I have ridden with two of them and they are by far the friendliest taxi drivers I have ever met.

#3. The Farmer's Market
Huge and lovely. Lots of yummy cheese samples and I tried a marionberry.

#4 A Dear Old Friend
I met my friend Rebecca at the farmer's market Saturday after I finished setting up my exhibit at the convention center. We have known each other since first grade. Her family lived waaaay up on a hill in my hometown when we were little and for a while, during Fifth Grade she lived across the street from me. As Becca said, it was us against the world that year. She moved away when we were in high school, but we have kept in touch (but probably not as often as we should have). Becca founded the Independent Publishing Resource Center and took me by the offices for a tour. It's a great space where members have access to computers and small printing presses. From there we walked across the river to the printshop she owns with her boyfriend and his brother. I loved the back to basics approach they have to printing. I'm used to giant commercial print shops and loved being in a room with trays and drawers full of metal type and the manual letterpresses and thick rustic looking paper. After the shop we went for margaritas and stumbled upon a huge street fair. Later Becca fixed a home grown dinner and we sat on her patio sipping wine and watching the daylight fade over her lovely garden, the chickens and bees.

#5 The Coffee
When I travel for work I almost immediately settle into a routine. It's not uncommon to hear me say to a coworker 'we always meet for breakfast at 8:00 in this little cafe' on our third morning there. The morning after I arrived I asked at the front desk of the hotel where to get a really good cup of coffee. The people at Stumptown have turned making coffee into an artform. I go there every day. It's MY coffee shop.

#6 A Not So Old, But Just As Dear, Friend
#7 Gianormous Pastrami Sandwiches
#8 Pickle Platters
I met Kevin at Kenny & Zuke's for dinner last night. They have pastrami cheese fries on the menu which sounds disgustingly awesome. I opted for the PLT instead. And a pickle platter (A giant plate of all kinds of homemade pickle heaven) which we couldn't finish after our towering sandwiches and is now living in the mini-bar fridge in my hotel room (I'm sure the maid will appreciate the smell....). We've made big plans for the next few evenings. Lots of eating and drinking and various entertainments are on the agenda.

#9 Public Transport
I'm a country girl, I hate the idea of city commutes, but I have a thing about trains. I love them. The MAX trains are so easy and are free in the city center. I get to ride one to and from the convention center over the river.
Side note: The guy sitting across from me on the MAX this morning had a hand-knit (Noro Silk Garden) iPod cozy.

#10 Powell'sI haven't been in yet. I'm kind of afraid that I will enter some sort of time warp and find that weeks have passed when I finally emerge. But there it is less than 3 blocks from my hotel. I've walked by several times and managed not to get sucked in. Wednesday afternoon I will go. Wish me luck.

#11 Random stuff

This is a lightbulb store. They sell nothing but lightbulbs. Lots and lots and lots of lightbulbs. It's inspiring that it manages to exist.This building is across the street from my coffee shop. I'm trying to come up with just the right caption for it.
This one doesn't require a caption.

1 comment:

  1. Um. Are you bringing some of that Stumptown goodness home? You know, just a little sample?

    Maybe I should move. Or at least visit, preferably during Farmer's Market season.

    I love trains also. I think we're going to try the subway this weekend in NY. That'll be a first.