Sunday, June 29, 2008

I went to Valentine's last week and was reminded of how much I appreciate that space. Very intimate and cute-casual. And you can sit up in the second floor loft and watch the goings-on below. My only regret is that they don't have better beers on tap. Sierra Nevada Pale Ale? Yuck.

Sunday, June 22, 2008

More stories to tell.


Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Recently my friend Becky had a few of us over for an early summer brunch. She lives in one of those Old Portland houses (a small-ish 1895 Victorian) with an endearing mix of historic character and contemporary characters, including two lovable cats named Shmoosh and Shine. The yard is a double-lot oasis overgrown with flowers and fig trees. A stone's throw from downtown but seemingly far away from it all.

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Wednesday, June 11, 2008

As the price of gas drifts upward, slowly detaching from decades of government and industry sponsored social engineering in favor of the automobile, the slogan "drive less, live more" seems less and less like something that only someone like me --who rarely sees the inside of a car (I like to call them Denial Pods)-- would conjure up, and more like a semi-voluntary dawning awareness for more and more of my fellow citizens. Imagine how much more vibrant our cities would be if everyone spent more time on their feet and on bicycles and mass transit; how much less socially isolated we'd be; how much we could save, as a society, on medical care due to a sedentary lifestyle that our not-so-distant past as hunter-gatherers never prepared our bodies for; how good it would feel to know that we weren't greedily gobbling up a planet that our children and grandchildren might want to enjoy... much easier it would be to slow down and enjoy the modern petrogyphs in our midst.

Maybe it's time to heed the writing on the wall.

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Tuesday, June 03, 2008

The Roses Are Blooming

Last week some friends and I made our annual first pilgrimage to Rocky Butte. The butte is in outer NE Portland and has a commanding view of its surroundings: downtown Portland; the Cascades; the Columbia River; PDX; Mt Tabor; and, of course, the blue monolith that is the Ikea store.

There is a very nice fortress-like park at the top that was built during the 1930's as a WPA project, using stones from the long-closed quarry on the north side of the butte. In fact, the same stones were also used in the construction of the 1st Congregational Church downtown on the Park Blocks. Right in the middle of the park is an old tower with a light on top, once used to guide planes into the airport.

It was one of those days where you can see blue sky, but somehow the clouds tend to stay gathered right between you and the sun. Nevertheless, it was warm and we ate a delicious lunch featuring fresh bread, raw cheese, avocado, and anchovies, and discussed the relative merits of recently purchased records.

Is this guy not the quintessential Portlander? Happily buried in a book at the top of a mountain.

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