Archive for May, 2006

Portland: Smaller than you think

This weekend I was out with Mister Fishbones and way more people than I expected-don’t people leave town on a three day weekend?

We headed to the Farmer’s Market, rain be damned. We weren’t the only ones who thought so apparently-I bumped into fellow Metblogger Alex while I was there.

Then since we were downtown anyway, Mister Fishbones decided to prowl the sale at Meier & Frank (it was the weekend-of course there was a sale at M&F) for some shoes. While there I ran into a cow-orker from my last job-one of the ones I was partial to because he and I could geek about Lost and Battlestar Galactica and whatever other sci-fi neato stuff-and we caught up briefly before wandering off to look at something else (I don’t know what, it was Mister Fishbones’ shopping trip).

After that it was off to REI to return a tent, and while there ran into another of my former cow-orkers from a different job-we used to carpool in his shiny new Prius the first year they were available, and I babysat for him a couple of times. So then WE caught up on this and that as well.

All of this on a rainy Saturday during a holiday weekend. We went to get some lunch after that but my ‘lucky’ streak was ended-we didn’t see anyone there I knew.

So just when I start thinking Portland’s gotten all big-time, something like this readjusts my outlook.

Farmer’s Market open on Wednesdays…


Originally uploaded by BetsyWhim. the downtown Park Blocks (between Salmon and Main.)

One of the nice side benefits to working from home on Wednesday mornings now is knowing I can swing by the market for lunch on my way to the office. So I waited in the loooonnnng line for a Salvador Molly’s chicken tamale, grabbed a vibrant bouquet of flowers, and nibbled on a chocolate levain roll from Pearl Bakery as I made my way back across the river.

Plenty of vendors had strawberries (including Hood berries), while I saw some amazing pencil-thin asparagus that I just didn’t have room to carry with me, alas.

And as you can see from the crowd queued up at Salvador Molly’s, I’m not the only one with the bright idea to take a lunch break downtown…

RIP John Nash

Well, apparently John Nash has finally been given a reprieve from dealing with the ever-underachieving Portland Trailblazers. After three years working to restore some sort of quality to the tarnished franchise that is Portland’s only professional sports outfit, Nash has been poo-canned as the team’s official scape-goat.

The Rose Festival? Who needs it?

I’ve been to components of several Rose Festivals. But for an economic stimulator, I have come to the conclusion that the whole damn thing is a colossal waste of both civic and individual energy.

First, I hate parades. I have always been one for individual statements, not the conformity of a group.The crowds, the silly floats, the boring music, the empty symbolism. What kind of fun, what point is raised in walking up and down in an organized procession besides “here I am” or “here we are?”

Second, I hate this whole Rose Festival Queen bullshit. What does it mean? Maybe the girls who should be honored are those who toil selflessly- working after school to earn money to help their single mother raise her siblings. And why is individual worthiness subject to competition, anyway?

Third, why have competition about roses? Roses are beautiful flowers, but at least to me, they lend toward solitary contemplation and if one wishes, close-up photography. No one rose is “better” than another. OK, OK, if you must have competition, leave it to the professional botanists to decide.

Fourth, the Waterfront Village. Everything is overpriced, the crowds are noisy, the place is dirty, the kids are loud, and the games are gimmicks. Sometimes the food is good, but give me The Byte. Sometimes the music is good, but give me the Waterfront Blues Festival.

Fifth, I know the Rose Festival is a a “tradition,” but am not one that believes in tradition for tradition’s sake. Blindly following “tradition” is the antthesis of the spontaneous, free thought that drives me. I have never been one to have his habits dictated by the calendar.

But that’s just me. If you really want to follow the herd, more power to you.

Blazer GM to Leave; Anyone Care?

John Nash has been the general manager of the Trail Blazers for the past three years, overseeing the team in it’s plummet to the bottom. Not surprisingly, he won’t be returning after his contract expires.

To the sports-minded folks out there who will admit to caring about the Blazers: what now? Is this a step in the right direction? Is he responsible (at least partially) for the fact the team’s performance is in the crapper? Will things improve?

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an uptick in apartment fires?

has anyone noticed the uptick in apartment fires around the city? it seems that every morning on the news there is a new story of an apartment fire somewhere in the city. i would understand it we were heading into winter – with space heaters and such, but with summer, i’m confused. are people trying to bar-b-que inside?

What time is it?

It’s almost Rose Festival time, that’s what. And your intrepid team of Metroblogging reporters will be providing on-the-ground coverage, commentary, photos, and occasional snark over the next few weeks (what, you thought we’d be giving this the Chamber of Commerce treatment? Guess again…)

Sure, there are parts I love (the Junior Rose Parade) and parts I loathe – Pepsi Waterfront Village, anyone? (No, I will not be providing a first-hand report again this year. Sorry, kids – talk to the other parent.) But from talking to my fellow Metbloggers (who’ve all claimed their events, POVs or snarking points to talk about in the days to come), it’s clear we’ve got a broad range of perspectives to share when it comes to Portland’s pride and joy, and some favorite events we want to share with you.

But no matter where you may fall on the spectrum, there’s no escaping the hoopla. Or is there? Stay tuned – we’ll be offering up plenty of anti-Rose Festival alternatives as well.

Portland’s best brew pub?

I get to play tour guide and guest hostess to several dozen out of towners attending a week-long meeting here in PDX. Last year, their meeting overlapped with the Oregon Brewer’s Festival. This year, we’ll miss it by a week – a fact I’m hearing complaints about left and right, let me tell you!

So if I’m putting together a guide of authentic local brewpubs, where do I start? What do I leave off the list? (Rock Bottom seems too corporate-y to me.) Does Bridgeport in NW still warrant a mention, or have they gone too yuppified? Will Laurelwood work for those escaping their own children for a week?

Keep in mind that many of these travelers are from far-flung lands where microbrews are a foreign concept, while others are home-brewing types convinced they’re journeying to the Holy Land.

Bonus points to those mentioning locations close-in to downtown or easily accessible via mass transit – my hostly requirements don’t extend as far as providing transportation and/or a late night taxi/shuttle service. (Besides, I’ve been promised several beverages myself if I come up with the right stuff, so won’t be doing any designated driver-ing.)

Hmmm…maybe I need to put together (or find) a Beer Bus here….

X-Men and Theaters

I went and saw X-Men 3 this weekend (no protesting at my theater of choice). My short and spoiler-free review is this:

You know how you have to write a report and you come up short a little bit so you nudge the margins in a little and you jack up the font size a point or two? It’s a really good report and all, but a bit shorter than it should be? That’s my feeling about this film. I liked it but I wanted more plot and less pyrotechnics. I love me some ‘splosions, but come on.


I spent a lot of the film trying to tune out the obnoxious people behind me who apparently paid to sit in a theater and not only talk to each other about stupid stuff (loudly, mind you, and often-the guy behind me who saw the Golden Gate Bridge and asked if we were in San Francisco was at least mostly quiet aside from that), but also ANSWER THEIR CELL PHONES and laugh and kick seats.

I realized at that moment what I wanted my mutant power to be: I want to control sound. It would be great! I could focus it into being heard at a distance, or send alerts to people, or even cause some discomfortor worse-if I wanted to. I would like to think I could also disperse sound so that maybe just once I could go to a theater and enjoy a film in silence.

Photo of the Week

Jackson Tower

Originally uploaded by Mr. Viddy.

Here’s another one of the photos I just plucked from the PDX Metblogs Flickr group – this one, courtesy of Mr. Viddy.

(I’ll try to get more regular about finding a photo at the beginning of each week from now on – there’s certainly plenty to choose from!)

Oh, to be enjoying a cool beverage atop that roof today…

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