Archive for August, 2008

It’s Pie Off Day!

It’s the first day of the three-day weekend, and the last official weekend of summer. The weather is beautiful and the smell of freshly baked pies is in the air.

Yep – after weeks of hype in the Portland internets, the (first annual?) Portland Pie-Off is getting underway today at 3pm in Washington Park. Join Lelo, Radio Gretchen, Betsy, Bojack and everyone today for good pie and good fun!

Go the official Pie-Off site for all the details you’d need to know.

As our friend dieselboi would say…Eat More Pie!

TriMet Fare Increases

Increases in TriMet fares take effect September first—that’s Monday. Details are available on TriMet’s website, but to sum it up: All-Zone fare is up 25 cents for adults and 10 cents for youth, while monthly passes are up $10 for adults and $2 for youth. They have added a new 14-day pass to the fare options. 14-day passes cost almost exactly half what monthly passes cost, and are good for—you guessed it—14 days.
A TriMet press release explains that fare increases are due to record high diesel prices. TriMet will nearly double it’s fuel budget for fiscal year 2009, expecting to spend $28.5 million on fuel. TriMet is taking a number of approaches to offsetting rising fuel prices, including many that have made it’s fleet one of the most efficient in the nation, but fare increases are still needed. General inflation has also contributed to the fare increase.

Enjoy a Michelada before summer goes away

On a recent trip to Texas, I was educated in the ways of the Michelada. It’s served at most authentic Mexican food joints and my, is it awesome. The Michelada is basically beer poured over a mix that similar to a bloody mary, and the rim of the glass can be salted or unsalted. Please don’t confuse this with “red beer”, a Mid-west concoction of beer and tomato juice that is absolutely vile. The Michelada, done properly, is spicy, tasty, and quite refreshing. Perfect on a warm, summer day. We’ve got a few left, so you should get one. You can get them at La Calaca Comelona on Belmont, but I’m not sure where else. Any pointers?

Come Blog With Us

moar.gifWriting for Metblogs has the potential to be the most rewarding experience in your entire life. It’ll make you rich, famous, good looking, will help you lose weight, make your clothes fit better, and get you a super good deal on a new car. It will make you the most well known person on the entire planet. Yes, each and every one of you. Really.

OK maybe not. Actually those are all lies, but it’s fun at least. The truth is Metblogs is the largest network of locally focused blogs on the web, covering almost 60 cities around the world and we’re looking to add a few new bloggers/writters/authors to this fine site. If you wanna know more about us check out this wikipedia entry but it’s kinda boring so I won’t waste time repeating it all here again. If you wanna write for us, here’s the scoop:

  • All author positions are volunteer. That means you don’t get paid.
  • You must live in (or very near) the city you plan to write about.
  • Anything you post must relate to the city somehow. That means you shouldn’t post a movie review, but talking about going to see a movie at a local theater is fine.
  • There’s no requirement for how much you can or should write, but we ask that if we set you up as an author you make about 3 posts a week.
  • You can post about things you love, you can post about things you hate. It’s entirely up to you

Additionally, because of our global network, there’s plenty of options for things you write to be read by people all over the world. Interested? Want more details? Post a comment and we’ll be in touch!

Gym Goers Add to the Pearl "I’m More Important Than You" Rep

Both my husband and I both work downtown, so we carpool. Every afternoon I pick him up from his office over in the Pearl, a block or two down from the 24-Hour Fitness on Irving & 12th. And everyday there is at least one car – sometimes three or four – sitting in traffic on Irving, waiting to get into the tiny little parking garage owned by 24-Hour Fitness.

They aren’t waiting because of log-jam at the gate like you occasionally get at a SmartPark – they’re waiting because there aren’t any open spots. So they wait for someone to leave. Sitting in traffic. Blocking traffic. While they wait – no one can go eastbound on Irving. And everyday they sit and wait. Eventually you can get a gap in westbound traffic and go around them – but really? I’ve pulled up behind them and honked. Usually they don’t pay any attention, to full of themselves to notice anything around them – or if they do – they motion that they’re waiting to get in the garage.

I’m sorry, but when the garage is full – go somewhere else and park. And if you’re headed to the gym, shouldn’t having to walk an extra block or two not be that big of a deal anyhow?

It’s too bad, ’cause that’s just one more reason why the Pearl gets a bad rap.

The newbie post

So it’s been about 2 months since I moved here. Things are starting to settle down and I’m getting to know my new city a bit better. I’m still learning streets and sections and all that, but I can get by.

In learning a new city, there’s a lot involved! First you have to remember which landmarks stand for north, south, east and west. Ok I’m pretty good with that and it’s sort of a no-brainer (kinda like the Asahi building in LA is North if you’re going towards Hollywood on La Brea). Then there’s the figuring out what’s where and what you like and how to get to it. Friends would be hard if I didn’t a) already have a few here and b) make friends easily. In that I feel that I have an unfair advantage. I think for most people that would be that hard part.

The hardest parts, however, have been finding a job and finding a place to live! MAN! Seriously…

So I’ve been pretty absent from here due to the looking for a job and looking for a place. Once the job aspect was settled, the main priority was looking for a place to call home. For as bad as the job market is, it felt like the rental market (is there really such a thing?) was just as bad. The boyo and I were joking in that we felt like we had to be on starter blocks to get ready to GO! as soon as anything was listed. Advice I heard from friends was that you have to a) apply, apply, apply! and b) bug landlords/ management properties. Somehow, something worked, and I’m still not sure what! I wish I had advice I could pass on to other newbies to the city… but aside from saying that I did just apply to all sorts of places and kept looking at places no matter how frustrated I was… well something paid off!

Persistence, I guess.

I’m trying… and I guess… I guess my message here is that… well, if you feel as stuck as I felt. Just keep plugging away and you’ll get what it is that you’re looking for eventually. Maybe there was something more I could have done, but I was not privy to that information. However, if I hear anything, I’ll pass it on.

Beer Slumming

We are truly blessed in Portland. We have over two dozen craft breweries that call our city home. At a moment’s notice, we can enjoy beer from the likes of Roots Organic, HUB, Hair of the Dog, the Old Lompoc, and many, many others. But even the most obnoxious beer snob is caught drinking a PBR from time to time. When you’re camping, out fishing, or just trying to stay cool on a day like today, sometimes a cheaply made American lager is just what the doctor ordered.

I’ve never been much of a Pabst fan. I can drink it when I have to, but it’s rarely my first choice, even when beer slumming. On tap it has a strange aspirin-y taste that kinda gnarlifies it. Out of the can it’s slightly, uh, oily. If I’m going cheap, I prefer cans of Orangeboom, found at Trader Joe’s – although a recent price increase has almost made them not worth the bother. There’s always “Old German”, an east coast cheapie that can be found at Belmont Station. It’s inexpensive, and completely suitable for your beer slumming needs. If you’re not in the neighborhood, there’s always Miller High Life – “the champagne of beers” (just don’t try to make a mimosa out of it). I was also a big fan of Blitz, until the brand was discontinued after the Weinhard sale. And one can never forget the cheap bubbly wonders of Oly and Hamm’s, readily available at your local mini-mart.

So, what’s your favorite?

Tri-Met Does Good by Students

This is a fantastic idea. I actually can’t believe that students had to pay for buses in the first place. Having grown up in a considerably smaller city than Portland I rode a yellow school bus in elementary and middle school – and then drove in high school. We didn’t have bus service for high school – and city bus service was relatively sparse, so nearly every upperclassman had a car… lots of beaters, but we almost all had cars. But those freshman and sophomore years were tough – you had to rely on older siblings or friends to drive you places. And since your high school friend base now spread much farther apart then when you were younger – it was much harder to hang out with them after school or in the summer. In a city with public transportation as good as Portland – allowing students to use it is a no brainer. Plus it frees up parents from having to play chauffeur constantly and gives the kids more freedom to get after school jobs, do extra curricular activities or just hang out with their friends who may not live near by.

Good work Tri-Met!

HOV Lane Crackdown

According to the latest issue of the Portland Tribune, police are cracking down on single-passenger cars in the HOV lane. This is a good thing. Back in my ‘couve dwelling days, I can recall seeing way too many single passenger cars using the lane (for the curious – I used the C-Tran express or carpooled whenever possible. When not, I took my ungodly long commute in the non-HOV lanes in relative stride). Tickets are $242, so you might want to think twice.

Some people are grumbling, according to the article, that the lane has outlived its usefulness, and may be better served as a toll lane. I disagree. The lane is there to give those drivers who are doing their part on reducing single passenger commuting a break, and to remind those who are not that their commute could be a lot easier if they did. All a toll road does is allow people to buy their way out of traffic, and does nothing to address the real problem – too many people driving alone during peak hours.

As it stands, there are no plans to dismantle the lane, which is a good thing. In the meantime, it’s good to see tickets being handed out to the cheaters who don’t carpool but still feel entitled to use the lane.

Green Dragon Growing

Hooray!

I love a good patio, and I love that more and more of my favorite places have them. I am NOT a fan of places that have a few tables on the sidewalk and try to call it a patio. I want a dedicated space where buses and cars aren’t whizzing by a foot from where I sit. And now one of the best beer bars in town has that.

Hooray!

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