Wanderin’. Wrote here tonight, happy for the calm, people who know my name, loneliness, and space to think and live.
Wanderin’. Wrote here tonight, happy for the calm, people who know my name, loneliness, and space to think and live.
We went to the Space Room last night to celebrate Cindy’s birthday. I forget how much I like the Space Room and people watching there, and I hadn’t been there since it was sold recently. Exactly the same! Although the Ladies’ room was super clean, which was a great surprise over the last time I was there. The Space Room has been on Hawthorne since 1959.
It’s not as dark as Bryant’s in Milwaukee, Wisc but close. Man, I miss Bryant’s (since 1938! Brian and I had were there for the first time in college, and told his parents about it the next time we were at their house. Turns out that not only was that one of their hangouts, but we had had “their” waitress as well! Brilliant).
At the Space Room, you walk in certain you will walk into a table, and you can feel people’s eyes on you but not see them. Then, after your first beer, you can’t imagine that – why you can see everything! Until you go back outside and are blinded by how light it is at ten at night. Heh.
Last night we went to Kelly’s Olympian. You have to love Portland – Kelly’s is the 3rd oldest continuously running bar in Portland at 107 years old. Heh. Anyone know what the first two are? I’m assuming Jake’s is one of them.
Anyhow, I haven’t been to Kelly’s in a good long while, and I was jealous that Brian got lunch at Ping and then hung out at Bridgeport to work for a while, so we wandered over to Kelly’s after upgrading our iPhones (let me tell you again how worthless an iPhone is when the touch screen stops working). We had a few pints and ended up getting some dinner, which is what I wanted to tell you. On the happy hour menu, they have mac-and-cheese bites for $3! Which is $4 off. I am going to have to avoid them from this point out – they fall into the category of something that is good enough that I know I’m eating something bad. It’s mac-and-cheese which is then shaped into a triangle, battered and fried. O my. So good.
Brian pointed out that a number of the scary things you hear about or are posted to the “why you are fat” websites originate in Portland: maple bacon bars, foie gras doughnuts, totchos. I’m adding mac-and-cheese bites to the list. Also, I am only going to eat lettuce today in penance. I took pictures of Kellys, and got a few cool shots with my iPhone, but when I sync’d it up, they were overwritten, so I’ll post some another time.
Edited to say: Googled it and Huber’s Cafe is the oldest bar in Portland. They’ve been in business since 1879!
Now who’s second? Edited one more time: Jake’s lists its age as 110, so there you go. So I’ve only not been to Huber’s, something I will remedy soon.
On Monday nights, we’ve been heading to Old Town Pizza on MLK to watch movies. The first night we went, it was old (1940s and 1950s) beer commercials. They were completely awesome. One of them completely startled me – I had no idea that in-your-face foreplay was on TV back then. I’ve looked all over the internet and can’t find the one that scandalized me, which is disappointing, it was really cool. I wonder why beer companies don’t use their old commercials? It’d definitely make me pay more attention to them.
In any event, it was pretty cool to watch them listening to the thwap thwap thwap of the film project (16mm, Brian said). Not to mention having a beer or two while doing that.
Last night’s was crash test dummy films from the Ford Motor company. Also good, but even better was the 1950s PSA-like movie for teenagers on not drinking and driving. Old Town doesn’t particularly turn the music off in the restaurant while we watch these, so it was a bit surreal to watch it to electronica music, watching it storm outside and drinking a beer.
The guy who does this didn’t remember what he had planned for next week – he says he just grabs them out of his basement. He’s quite a character too as he sets up the film. I think we are starting to make friends with the bartender too, who is from Edinbourough. He’s fond of Brian’s full name, which makes me giggle. And I was amused this week because he was less one beard and Brian was less one head of hair. Almost timed, that.
Pretty cool night, except for the fact that when we went out to get in my car, we noticed that my car was spraypainted sometime between Sunday night and Monday evening. Brian had moved my car to the street while we were gardening because he wanted to pull some weeds in our driveway and I left it there knowing we were going somewhere Monday night. The morons didn’t get Brian’s car thankfully, but they clearly thought about it because they spraypainted a penis on the street in front of his car. Reported to the police, of course, and my car has already had it removed. I’m working with the city to get the sidewalk and street penises removed, so hopefully that’s that. I’ve got enough of my family in me to think that if they’d like to do that again, there will be BAD. CONSEQUENCES. But all in all, part of living in a city, I get that.
It was a pretty good weekend.
Friday night, we walked down to Moon and Sixpence in Hollywood for a beer or two. The bartender there that night was super nice – I really have to make myself sit at the bar more rather than at a table because I like talking to people. After we were there, we decided to walk back on Broadway. Which meant that we needed to stop off for a snack. One plate of nachos, jalepeno poppers and a jalepeno-infused blood orange margarita later, and we continued our walk. Nice that we can walk to so many neighborhood from our house, depending on mood. All in all, we walked for about an hour and a half.
Saturday was pretty mellow – Brian had some work to wrap up and I wandered over to the Hollywood farmers’ market. Not so much my thing, I’ll head back to the PSU one next week. We cooked out, and that’s about that.
Sunday we got up and went to a hike on the coast. I had a few planned out, but the first made it difficult to determine how to get the day pass, so I’m going to do more research before we try it.
The next one we wanted to do – Harts Cover – turned out to be difficult to find (unmarked road to the trail off of Hwy 101). We eventually found the turn-off, but it’s not open for the season yet.
While we were looking for Forest Road 1861, we found a different trail – Cascade Head, and that ended up being the trail we took. Afterwards, we found out that it was closed due to tree hazards, but someone had torn the sign down and tossed it off the trail. We walked along a stream which provided a great background to a nice forest hike. Eventually, we came to the tree hazard – there were a lot of trees down, probably from the huge windstorm we had last year. There were a good number over the trail, and we limbo’d under them or jumped over them when possible.
Evenually, after a few switchbacks, the trail was gone, eaten by a tree. We could see the tree down the slope, and after carefully finding some footing, we navigated our way across the gaping hole left in its wake. It was pretty slippery, and with a good drop to the left of us, it was definitely dangerous. We continued climbing for a bit, and then came upon another gaping hole – the one was probably four or five times the size of the last. We could see a not-too-easy way for us to get across it, but at this point, it sounded like a good time to turn around and head back to the car so we’d have some time to play on the beach.
There had been a car parked by mine when we started up the trail, and we didn’t pass anyone so I was surprised to see it gone when we got back to the trailhead. Brian was not surprised, as he noticed the underwear they left behind, which lead us to a spirited conversation about why you always see that people leave their underwear behind. I don’t get that at all – I can’t imagine hiking in remote areas with nothing particularly protecting my more delicate bits.
After noticing where a car had driven off the road down the mountain slope toward the stream (a long time ago), we hit the road. It’s eery seeing a detached bench carseat snugged up against a stand of trees, and when Brian pointed out the bits of the hood that were still left in one of the trees, I vowed to drive even more carefully than normal. Yikes.
We didn’t do a lot more on the coast. We drove down towards Newport, and pulled over at Beverly Beach. We saw two whales closer to the shore than I’ve ever seen them before – they were right on the line where the waves start to break, and they looked big enough to be greys, so I’m not sure what that’s about – have any of you read about that behavior before? They were there long enough for us to see three or so bursts of air, maybe 10 minutes. Very strange, and it didn’t look like the water would be deep enough for them there, but maybe there was a drop-off we couldn’t see.
So all in all a good weekend – an urban hike, a coastal forest one, and whales.
We saw the grave of a pioneer who traveled here after passing away and who was brought here preserved in whiskey.
We had a great wander through downtown Seattle visiting whatever struck our fancy. I really liked the Whisky bar we stopped at first. I wish it had been our last stop too. We were also rejected from going to a cabaret (really, it was for the best. But funny). We ended up at the grossest most terrible hick / red neck / frat bar before heading back to the hotel, but somehow Brian still managed to make a friend. Who gave him a big hug. hehe
Driving to Astoria to visit Rogue Public House and the “Goonies” house, we drove on 101 through Washington from Seattle and saw how much damage a fall windstorm did to the forests.
Brian and I taught ourselves how to make tempura, and are constantly considering what we can now tempura. I wanted a tempura vegetable roll for our sushi, and we also decided to do a tempura bay shrimp roll (yum!). Sushi was great, but wow, I like making tempura.
Tim and I went to the Space Room. Neat. We brought Brian back there the next day after Tim got a tattoo. I got spoken to about not smoking in the bathroom.
I wasn’t smoking in the bathroom, I was sneaking a camera into there to take a picture of the great door in the ladies’ room. O well. Brian had a creepy interaction with an off-duty cocktail waitress that still makes me shudder everytime I think about it.
Brian had a near-transcedental experience with ribs at Clay’s Smokehouse Grill on Division. Go there if you like ribs and smoked stuff, they are yummy and inexpensive. They have buck-a-rib specials until five on a lot of days and $1 Rainiers on tap. Which means for $4 you can get an excellent dinner.
We also saw a great gypsy-folk-punk band at the Edgefield and discovered a building we hadn’t yet explored on the Edgefield grounds.
I’ve been meaning to put together a post of the best ten photographs I took last year. I had the pictures mostly picked out, and then got distracted so I thought I would post it today, better late than never.
It was interesting to consider a year’s worth of work and determine which I thought showed merit. It was a learning experience in itself to consider what makes a picture good, and what makes a picture merely mediocre.
These are not in any particular order, choosing a top ten was taxing enough!
Ironically, I have run into a bug recently on my laptop that prevents me from loading pictures directly through WordPress, so it’s funny that I’m getting around to it now.
This bridge in in Newport, Oregon in the central coast. We spent the night at a bed and breakfast and when we got up, everything was frozen from a rare cold snap. The sand crunched when we walked on it. We walked on the beach for several hours, and when I saw an opportunity to catch one of my favorite bridges from this angle, I took it.
We have many shots of the ocean from Boiler Bay, but this is one I took in the winter. The light on the coast is more beautiful than anywhere I’ve been, ranging from deeply grey and misty to orange to bright white. I caught this shot on a day when the light made all the colors turn very strange colors. I did not adjust this picture other than to crop it and resize it.
We went whale watching in Puget Sound with my cousins. It was a great day to be out on the water. At various points rain threatened us but never it never actually did rain. Despite having fun trying to catch a whale with my camera, this ended up being my favorite picture of the day. I like that it is a color picture, but it could just as easily have been a black and white. This is what the Sound looks like to me, and it give me comfort when everything is grey. Can you tell I grew up in the Pacific Northwest?
I think this is the picture I got the most kudos on in 2008. I have a friend back in our former neighborhood who I try to walk to see once per week. I always have my camera with me, and when I came across this beautiful Japanese Maple in the fall with the light shining through it, I had to stop. Strangely, I only took one picture, and this is it, so I am glad that it turned out the way I wanted it. My eye is improving I think.
Brian and I joined my sister and her family at the Timberline for a celebratory meal and an incredible overnight stay (seriously, you should do this. It was spectacular. Bring a swimsuit.). Brian and I stopped off at the bar before dinner to have a cocktail, and I wanted this shot.
While we waited to make the climb up to the top of the lighthouse, I peeked into a few of the rooms. It was crazy windy out that day, and the salty sea spray was making everything dreamlike through the windows.
I am lucky that Brian like exploring as much as I do. He’s completely comfortable with me asking to turn around to see something and is content to go on long drives just to see what we can see. This was a spot we found on the way back from Mt Hood one day, somewhere between Government Camp and Hood River, off the main highway. I loved the greys and both of us have a thing for good fonts in unexpected places.
One of the wanders we took in 2008 was to a small ghost town in central Oregon. It was the wool capitol of the world at one point, but now there are only 9 or so people that live nearby. It’s been preserved with the intent of attracting visitors, but is interesting to walk around and peer into windows. I loved how blue the sky was in contrast to the rust, and the angles of the light, the roofs and the horizon.
This was a lucky catch of the sun, a storm, and a great reflection. I am fascinated by the light when I look at this, and definitely feel that this had much more to do with being at the right place at the right time rather than knowing my camera or framing the shot.
Another lucky photo walk. We love the Oregon coast deeply, and tidepool every chance we get. We will contentedly walk the shoreline for hours on end, sometimes just watching the waves, sometimes taking pictures, other times collecting shells. If we are taking pictures we often go our seperate ways, and it’s interesting later that night to see what the other person thought was interesting. I looked up, saw him jumping over a tidepool, and loved the rocks in the background. Click. Probably my personal favorite, even though I think technically and artistically some of the others are much better.
I’m going to attempt to do this in January each year. It will be a good experience for me to see what I’ve learned to do over the course of the year.
I’m really excited because a new bar is opening in the Kennedy School on Friday. It’s called the Boiler Room and will have pool and more importantly, shuffleboard. I’m extremely pleased about this and can envision walking up there to spend an evening drinking Hammerhead beer and playing shuffleboard.
The Kennedy School is about 10 block farther from our new house, but it will be so awesome to have shuffleboard within walking distance again!