Wednesday, June 20, 2018

Portland After The Falls...

Do you know about the Horse rings and the Portland Horse Project? We noticed these old rings in the curb when we were in Alberta Arts neighborhood. Alex did a search about them and learned that the few horse rings that are still around sometimes have little horses tethered to them. Naturally, we were hoping to discover one, and the next day we spied a piebald mare. Should I give coordinates for this find? Or is it better to leave a little mystery? I felt like we had stumbled upon treasure! The little ratty-rat I adopted from The Fernie Brae, mug of chai in hand, stood with the horse for a touristy snapshot.

On our last full day in the Portland area we were determined to squeeze in more, so we visited the Columbia River Gorge, and the Bonneville Dam, and it was wonderful. The next half of the day was dedicated to visiting a few places that we didn't want to miss out on. We already have a list of places we are sorry we missed. It's not an easy assignment... See as Much of Portland as You Can, Because It All Looks Awesome. We did our best.

It just happened that the very neighborhood we were staying in is full of interesting attractions, and so we set out on foot, and Max led us directly to QuarterWorld Arcade! This was definitely a striking contrast with our morning in the ferns and waterfalls. In it's own way, it was happily mind-blowing! We found ourselves in an old-school arcade, a place that was once a theater, but is now packed with pinball machines and new and old arcade games. And air hockey. Air Hockey. There also happens to be a bar, a musical Tesla Coil, and it's totally family friendly. All we needed were quarters, and Max, again led the way... the arcade visit and game play was Max's treat.

Air hockey makes me laugh so hard, it's like a work out... my abs were sore!

We walked out still laughing, and wishing real hard that we could have a neighborhood arcade. Portland, you're so lucky. And cool.

Por Que No? We were thirsty, and for once, there was no line, so we seized our opportunity to see what all the fuss was about at this local taqueria.

This was no pre-mix, watery, over sweetened horchata concoction. No. This was thick. It was almost like some champurrado spilled into the horchata. I should have asked. I wish I'd asked. It was not like any horchata I've ever had, and it may be reason enough to go back to Portland, and why not?

Que bueno.

And more walking... and more roses, and cats, and gardens, and hints of the character and charm, that makes me think why not? for just about any whimsical whim. I really miss seeing children sitting on curbs, reading books, people on their porches smiling warmly, as the day turns to dusk, and soft lights glow from inside homes. I miss neighborhoods mixed in with shops, cafes, community spirit.

The last order of business for the day... finish the pizza box art for American Dream Pizza. Alex and Maria left ADP with blank boxes, so they could add to the gallery of pizza box art and they'd been steadily working on their boxes, but now we were pushing the deadline. We wanted to hand in their boxes before closing, and we just made it...

Here is Alex's, in progress. A lively and magical art gallery.

Maria chose to illustrate her original characters on her pizza box.

Mission accomplished, and a happy end of our last full day in Portland.

Monday, June 18, 2018

To The Falls

Okay. So. It's basically our last full day in Portland, and we are really eager to see more, and do more, and this motivates us to get up and out the door, almost early. Our first stop... Fleur de Lis, where can have coffee, tea, someone got a croissant. We enjoyed the brisk morning air, the friendly dogs, and the prospect of driving up the Columbia River Gorge. I like Fleur de Lis, and I like that Max pointed out to me that I seem attracted to French places in Portland. I am ok with this. I am 100% certain that the city of Portland has about 142 amazing places just for coffee, or tea, and another 1,000 for breakfast, and so on. Finding good eats and great ambiance in this City is not the issue... the difficulty is deciding on which amazing place to go.

Now, about the rest of this post. It is an apologetic, merciless photo album. I am not forcing anyone to sit through my slide show. I promise I won't ask you to tell me your favorite picture. It's possible you will question the necessity of posting two nearly identical photos, side by side, even. The thing is... I want to. I took the pictures thinking, God, I love this place, and it was a prayerful and solemn declaration. At moments I felt tearful and overcome with the beauty and tranquility. I was in awe of the the story of Sacagawea, carrying her son, exploring with Lewis and Clark, coming through this wilderness. And I knew, that in a matter of days all of it would be inaccessible, again, maybe forever. No more fern groves, no more waterfalls over basalt columns, no more quiet paths around tree lined creek beds, soft mounds of green moss. Mosses growing on mosses, growing on gnarled and noble branches. I can't take any of these things I love home with me, except in pictures, and words. Most times I share about a quarter of the pictures I take; this time I am posting at least half, because I want to see it, all of it, again, and again. I won't say much about the pictures. You should go. I hope you can go. The Columbia River Gorge is beautiful.

Vista House.

Latourell Falls.

Bridal Veil Falls

Eagle Creek Fire Response, United States Forest Service.

Multnomah Falls.

The fish ladder at Bonneville Dam.

Take Us To The Columbia River Gorge, posted August 23, 2016. Maria and I will always feel fortunate to have seen these places before the Eagle Creek Fire. We feel sad for the damages and losses, for the closed access, and missed opportunities to enjoy these natural spaces. We so wish fire prevention and good stewardship of our planet would be a priority and concern for everyone. We stand to lose so much if we don't act with care.