Archive for July, 2008

Portland International Beerfest – This Weekend!

Seems like it’s only been a few weeks since we had a beerfest – actually, it has! The Organic Beerfest was held a few weeks back, and was a thing of beauty (and heat). Coming up this weekend is the International Beerfest. Out of Portland’s many beer festivals, I think that this is my favorite. The beer selection is always amazing, and the do a good job of switching it up every year. It’s held in a great location (the north park blocks) and is dog friendly, because everybody knows that drinking beer is better when you can drink beer with dogs. It’s also a much more low key affair – a place to sit in the shade with friends and drink good beer, without all the hooping and hollering of the OBF fest the upcoming week (not that that’s a bad thing).

The lineup this year is looking stellar. My early favorites are the “120 Minute IPA” from Dogfish Brewing (with a whopping 21% ABV), the “Baird Temple Garden Yuzu Ale” from Japan, and “Cantillon Cognac” lambic-style from Belgium.

The fest is open on Friday from 4PM -10PM, Saturday from 12PM-10PM, and Sunday from 12PM – 7PM. Admission is $20 and includes a glass and ten tasters. However, if you get there during the first hour of the fest on any day, you get five extra tickets.

Finally, according to the FAQ, kids are not allowed.

You can get all the info you’d possibly need right here.

Mmmm…Monthly Metblog Meetup

Yup – it’s the time again!

Tuesday, July 22
5pm – ???
Plan B
SE 8th & Main

We had a great group of people last month – including several of our new authors and commenters, as well as our old friends and regulars. And what do we do at these things? Let’s see, we talked about about: beer, bikes, bacon wrapped foods, vegetarian restaurants, crazy neighbors, kids, iPhones, Zip Cars, blogs, bands, humidity, why we live in Portland, the East Coast…..

We hope to see you all again next week. Come on down for some food and drinks and talk about all things Portland…or anything else!

Tickle your funny bone

So last night was the first of a 2 night stint for Eddie Izzard playing here in Portland. From what I know, it’s sold out, but I’ve still heard that a lot of people are looking for tickets. If I wasn’t so broke from my move here, I’d go again!

That’s right ladies and jellyspoons, Eddie Izzard is on tour and here! I’m personally a huge fan and I got my tickets WAY back in March… during my honeymoon… in London. Kinda pathetic, I know, but as soon as I heard the pre-sale date, I marked it on my calendar. So there I was, in London, in March… emailing friends here in Portland to see who else wanted to go with me. Well, it paid off!

I personally thought that this show was better than the last tour. He’s gotten more political and he definitely never skirts around how he feels about things, which, I felt, he put out there more this tour than during any other.

Last night I overheard a girl telling her friends that she just got a ticket for $20! This was about half an hour before the show. So, if your interested in going, you can always check with the venue to see if any tickets were released or even see if anyone is trying to sell tickets that they cannot use.

If you’re interested in going, I highly recommend you look into finding tickets for the show tonight.
Eddie Izzard is playing the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall at 8pm.

OMSI sans children

The boyfriend and I attended the adults’-only night at OMSI this week and we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves – even moreso than I had hoped. This is a truly fantastic idea – the request came for those 21 & over (though I did spy some teenage-looking peoples) to enjoy OMSI without the presence of the younguns. The tickets were $10 per person (free for members), which is cheaper than the normal fare of $11, and local businesses offered free samples of wine, liquor, beer (duh), chocolate, and other misc. foodstuffs, plus there was a snacky buffet with cheese, crackers, fruit, and veg. Though I am fond of children, it was incredibly awesome to walk about without tiny-people shrieks and having to keep an eye out for knee-level heads. Plus, we were able to play with a lot of the stuff the kids normally monopolize, like the ball room (we spent a good 20 minutes in there). This is supposed to be a monthly gig, so we’ll definitely be going back when the next exhibit opens. I found out about this happening via the OMSI email list (which is actually quite informative and useful). I don’t see a site up for this specific event just yet, but hopefully there will be one soon.

One downside – being One Without A Motor Vehicle, I took TriMet to OMSI, a first for me. As OMSI is one of the big draws in the city, it seems strange to me that there isn’t a bus line or stop closer to the museum. There are stops on the Hawthorne bridge itself which are about 5 blocks from OMSI’s main entrance, but they put one who may not be at ease with the traffic and use of the Eastbank Esplanade in a precarious place. From what I understand, this will eventually be resolved with the planned pedestrian/streetcar crossing over the Willamette, but that’s not going to be started until lord knows when. Walking isn’t a big deal to me, but I can see how it would be a deterrent for someone with less mobility and/or children.

Belmont Bike Fight – This is News?

Yesterday, the main headline in the New York Times read “Senate Approves Bill to Broaden Wiretap Powers”. Pretty important story involving the government expanding surveillance powers against citizens and simultaneously granting telecoms immunity from civil suits initiated by said citizens. Here in Portland the main headline read “Cyclist Clubs Driver With His Bike”. Really? With all the stuff that happened on Wednesday, the Oregonian editorial staff thought this was the most important story of the day?

Truth be told, the story has generated a lot of discussion – hundreds of comments on both the Oregonian and Bike Portland. Some comments were amazingly poignant, some were jaw-droppingly stupid. Still, putting the story above the fold on the front page strikes me as a depressingly sensationalistic move by the “O” (and judging by what I’ve read on other sites, I’m not alone). I’m not going to go into the details of the story itself, those have already been talked to death elsewhere. What I am going to say is that Wednesday was a pretty busy news day, and the fact that the Oregonian chose to run this story above all others illustrates why people like me look elsewhere for my news.

To market, to market…

So today was one of those days that most people would say was a “nice” day. I’m going to have to disagree here because a)I got a sunburn, despite the sunscreen I put on, b) it was horribly hot when not in the shade and c) the allergies kicked up like CRAZY!

Anyway, this “nice” weather found me accompanying a friend to the farmer’s market downtown. It was lovely and, quite thankfully, nestled in under many trees and tents! This was where I found solace from the heat, with shade and some delicious blackberries and raspberries.

I have always tried to support my local farmer’s market. I prefer the produce and it’s nice to see who you’re getting your produce from. There’s something very fulfilling in getting my produce from a person and not just a store. ‘Sides, have you seen the size of some of those things? The produce is huge!

Personally, I like doing my shopping a little bit at a time, and a week’s supply of stuff for 2 from the farmer’s market is easily doable. I try to change my selections each week to up the variety, depending on what catches my eye. Still, sometimes I just want to take it all home!

I highly suggest you check it out, or find one near you. The one downtown is every Wednesday through the end of October from 10am to 2pm.

I Need a Corn Fix!

My grandparents lived in a small town in southern Minnesota where one of Birds-Eye‘s plants was. Trucks came in everyday from the fields of Minnesota and Iowa loaded down with sweet corn. Locals would drop by the backdoor of the plant a couple times a week and pick up a full brown-paper bag of corn for just a few dollars. We ate fresh corn nearly everyday in the summer. And when I say fresh – I mean it was picked less than 24 hours ago. And in the winter we ate the corn she cut off those fresh cobs and froze weekly all summer long.

Now I know that we are in a bit of a food shortage* and that corn is on of the most talked about shortage items. But you know that the corn we at is not the same as the corn that is fed to animals, the corn that is used in Ethanol, or even the corn that is popped. Farmers may be planing more of the fuel type corn and less of the food type corn – but that shouldn’t mean that the sweet corn that is planted should be any less tasty than usual. And yet it is. Now I know I’m not going to find anything as sweet and juicy as that Midwest corn, but Oregon corn can be decent, and even for early in the season, the stuff this summer has just been abysmal! We had delicious ribs from Gartners last night, and alongside them, some really really sad sweet corn.

I’ve tried getting it at a variety of places – but so far not much luck. Any suggestions? A particular farmers market or stand? A certain grocery store? Your backyard?

Please help – I need my corn-on-the-cob fix!

*I have a really hard time saying ‘food shortage’ in a place where we eat so much and waste so much and for many of us it just means fewer fancy meals out, but for many people, I do know it’s truly a problem we must solve!

That DCI Time of Year

So it’s time again for my annual DCI post – this year we are lucky enough to have both the Blue Devils – the 2007 champs – and Phantom Regiment who brought in 4th place last year. Our own Oregon Crusaders will of course be there, and this year it’s the only show in Oregon and Washington.

Words cannot explain… just watch

P.S. none of that footage is sped up. They really move that fast.

Tuesday – July 8
Hillsboro Stadium

The New I-5 Bridge – What to do?

It’s obvious that something’s gotta give. Anyone who’s made the drive from Vancouver in the morning or to Vancouver in the evening knows that. On bad days, it can take more than an hour to cross the span. It’s a headache for both commuters and trucks making shipments. But is a new bridge the answer? The problem is more complex than it looks.

First, while I most definitely sympathize with truckers just trying to get across the river to make their shipments and do their jobs, our neighbors up in the ‘couve haven’t really done much to try to solve the problem of having too many cars on the road. For well over a decade now, our neighbors to the north have given the finger to mass transit. They voted down a MAX connection. They refused to pay three cents out of every $10 spent to prevent major service cuts for C-Tran. And now there are rumblings that they might try to kill the light rail portion of the new bridge, essentially dooming the project. I know that our suburban readers get pissed about perceived “bashing”. Unfortunately, Vancouver readers, the shoe fits here so you’re gonna have to wear it.

Compounding the problem is that the new bridge might not be effective after all. As reported here and here, the new bridge might not be all that effective in reducing congestion, anyway. According to the “O”, right now it takes a driver 16 minutes to get from SR-500 to Columbia Blvd. With the new bridge, that same trip would take 19 minutes. The reason is that the current bridge reduces the flow of traffic into existing bottlenecks in the I-5 system – bottlenecks that will still exist, even with a new bridge. By way of contrast, doing nothing would result in the trip taking 19 minutes – two minutes shorter than if the bridge was built. With information like that, I think that the city should at least look at some alternatives before building this thing. The Merc has some listed here.

So, what do you think?

A little Americana

Saw this yesterday morning on Sandy Blvd. while out getting a coffee… perfect Americana for the holiday weekend!

chainsaw carverBear

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