Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Portland's Farmer's Market

Here are some shots of Portland's wonderful Farmer's Market. Doesn't really do the weekly event justice...but you'll see what I mean. This is a great place to purchase, organic, local food. From fresh fish to produce, the PSU-hosted event has it all. And it's less than 3 blocks from our Condo. What's not to love?

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Finishing Touches

We took possession of our Benson Tower Condo on July 18th. Well, we finally got our custom sectional manufactured, delivered and in place - as well as a fine new Turkish tribal carpet to go with it to further define the space. The sectional is quite neutral, so the carpet becomes an important accent piece. We looked long and hard for this particular piece, sorting through about a hundred carpets at five different storefronts. We purchased our new carpet from Nuri at Turkish Imports on NW 23rd Ave. I've posted before about the sectional, I'm pleased to say that it met all of our expectations, and the down stuffed-cusions are sweet. We had an "art hanger" come and hang all of our pictures in a single pass. He also installed our curtain rods into the cement ceiling of the bedroom. Owners void the window warranty by attaching to the window frames. You can bet that was a real challenge for the wood-fabric window coverings in the living/dining space. We also stumbled on this really fine and colorful handmade bedspread from India at Cargo in The Pearl (pictured below). The level of detail on this piece of legitimate folk-art is astounding. It was the only piece like it on the shelves, and we consider it a real addition to our extensive textile collection.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Happy New Year

A day early, as we're traveling to Portland tomorrow - New Year's Eve. We're looking forward to seeing our new, custom-manufactured sofa sectional, which has been delivered and installed in our absence (Thanks, Emma). We've got dinner planned at Meriwether's, then Pink Martini at the Schnitz. Here's to 2008. May it be a better year in all ways than 2007, and bring us closer to world peace and planetary healing. For our friends who will be celebrating the passage, we wish you a wonderful, safe and exhilarating evening. We'll be using a designated driver, please join us in that if you're on the roads.

Portland's Bicycle Boulevards

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Wiki Commons Features Portland Skyline

Today's Wikipedia homepage features the above image of Portland's skyline across the river at night as its picture of the day. The image is from Wiki Commons, the comprehensive source of public domain files, including images, maintained by the WikiMedia Foundation, parent of the world's most popular and information-packed encyclopedia, Wikipedia. If you're looking for an end-of-the-year donation, or the perfect gift for your very nerdly nephew with a blog, consider Wikimedia Foundation. You will be judged by your friends, colleagues and even your nephew to be way cool. Guaranteed.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Upcoming Concerts

Okay, I'm excited. We just acquired two tickets to see Pink Martini's second show on New Year's eve at the Schnitzer in Portland. Portland's greatest hometown band in Portland's best venue. What's not to love? I tried to buy these tickets on eBay as they were being offered by a non-profit. But I learned a lesson in eBay strategy and provoked the mirth of my youngest daughter, a regular buyer and seller on the site. I neglected to monitor the close of the auction, presuming I had outbid othere interested parties. Big mistake. With just a minute left in the auction, my previously high bid was outbid by $.05 and I lost the auction. Five freaking cents. What a lesson. So I headed over to the "zvents" site, paid a small premium for great seats, and now they're in the bag.

While I was at it, I picked up a couple of tics for the "Blues Women" concert coming in mid-March. Featuring three blues divas, two of my favs, this show will rock. Big Easy's Marcia Ball on piano and vocals and Shemekia Copeland's very big voice and attitude (the daughter of jazz guitarist, Johnny Copeland, she's just ten years out of high school) will surely be one of the hottest acts at the Schnitz in Spring. Yeah.

And I'd be remiss if I didn't mention Bela Fleck & The Flecktones in February. We've seen Bela five times, chatted with him personally on one occasion backstage at Jacksonville's Britt Festival. Fleck is this era's "Mozart quality" musician and composer. No really, he's the smartest, most brilliantly experimental musician on today's music scene - and his instrument is the banjo. That is *so* counter-intuitive, which makes the paring even more delicious. This man wrote and performs an entire song that is a palindrome. Just think about that for a minute. His jazz is technically extraordinary while accessible and engaging. And, of course, the world's greates bass player is in his group. Victor Wooten has graced the cover of Bass Player Magazine on countless occasions and been recognized as the best in the business by most of his peers and pundits. Anybody who can master a fretless, five-string and six-string bass is a hero to me. Wooten's brother (he comes from a very musical family), Futureman, provides the most unusual percussion imaginable on his "Synth-drumitar." Don't miss this one, also at the Schnitzer.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Portland Gets its Holiday Game On

Spent a long weekend at the condo. Picked up a small-footprint, Asian-styled media console for our modest (32-inch) new Panasonic flat screen and a nice Chinese oval mirror from Lotus in the Pearl for the entrance hallway. Now, all we lack is our sectional (due next week sometime) and a couple of small end tables. We did some seasonal partying as well.

Saturday marked the beginning of Portland's "SantaCon." Organized by the local chapter of the Cacophony Society, the event is yet another example of what makes the Rose City delightfully "weird." In a town where any excuse is good enough to party, the holiday season really gets the locals pumped-up. On Saturday, several thousand white- and red-clad revelers took to the streets with great gusto, megaphones and evidently unlimited supplies of alcoholic fortification against the cold. There were Santas in vinyl, heavily-inked suicide girl Santas in hot pants and fishnets, bathrobes, you name it. And for some odd reason, there were an assortment of bunnies as well. And of course, it all worked and was great fun. But it was not a spectacle you'd bring the babies to see. Leave that for the Lloyd Center mall.

On Sunday, our creative neighbors Jan & Ty had a great holiday "happy hour" at their corner condo in our building. (Thanks, guys.) They invited guests from all the units that ended in 07, like theirs, and a few from their floor as well. What an idea. The Margaritas, Guacamole (homemade), chips and cheeze were great, as was the company and conversation.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Taking the Custom Furniture Plunge

I've noted that our place is small at around 800 square feet, so it presents some design challenges. It is, for the time-being, a vacation destination and that influences our process as well. So we've been working with Amanda and Emma at Montgomery Kalsh Interior Design to get it right. As part of the process, we met recently at the showroom of Design Furnishings International in Northwest Portland to have a fitting for our new sectional. We picked the fabric with Emma and Amanda, and the team at DFI will manufacture the piece to Emma's design specs (image). So Emma, my partner Lupe and I gathered to meet with Mathew, DFI's showroom manager and resident wit.

I had thought the art of pithy conversation to be lost until I began to chat with Mathew. Not only did we all learn more about human anatomy than we probably needed to know, but we also had a delightful conversation in the process. Thrust and parry, rejoinders and repartees, the kind of conversation that requires attention and rewards it with insight and humor.

DFI builds high-quality, custom furniture for the design trade right in Portland. The firm uses solid Alder frames paired with hand-tied springs or Sinuous Arcs, and in-house craftsmen add unique character with hand carved elements that can reflect a variety of classic or contemporary styles. What's not to love? High-end fabric, custom manufacture with quality components, and personal fitting. We're excited to see and chill on our new piece.

So what's involved in a sofa or sectional fitting? Depth, seat height, over-all scale, seams, angles and feet can all be adjusted to best fit our needs. We sat in a variety of pieces, at a variety of heights to get things started. Since we're not ginormously tall, okay, even average height, we selected an appropriate height and depth for our piece. Then we checked-out arm rest heights and arrived at a suitable measurement. We chatted about seams, and discussed the over all look. After this bit of work and quite a bit of enjoyable conversation we left happy. Following the meeting, we made one adjustment on the seaming based on feedback from DFI and the consent of our designer.

Saturday, November 10, 2007

Why We Love Portland

Though my family lives in rural southern Oregon, my partner and I are spending a lot of time in Portland at our new condo. Even though it is not yet fully furnished. Maybe it's because we need our regular city fix, or maybe it's because both of our adult daughters are camping out at home as I write. In any case, we're both involved in a serious and on-going love affair with the Rose City. I'm cross-posting this article to my regular blog, Pop Impulse, where I regularly hold-forth on all things interesting.

As west coast cities go, we've discovered Portland is rather an unknown to many of our out-of-state friends. And we like it that way. People mention San Diego, Long Beach, LA, San Francisco & Seattle without so much as a nod to Oregon's biggest burg. So let me fill in the spaces for the uninitiated. Portland is the city that Googles "Impeach Bush" more than any other in the country. It is the country's "greenest" city, with well over a million trees and 25% of the city covered by canopy. There are over a quarter million trees on roadsides in Portland.

The city has a number of downtown highlights: The trendy Pearl District with its abundance of lofts, galleries and high-end furnishing emporiums and the formal Chinese garden, walled and compact with a charming tea house in the center - nestled in the heart of the city. The city's famous rose and Japanese gardens at Washington Park are totally fabulous, and the Tom McCall Waterfront Park along the Willamette river is close to everything and provides a great venue for the city's many parties, like the now famous Cinco de Mayo bash. And of course, the Tri-Met & Max is an excellent example an efficient rapid transit system. We're very pleased there's a stop on the same corner as our building.

Portland is known for its open and progressive attitude and politics; its green hillsides and cityscape; great views; good food and the quintessential Northwest state-of-mind. And of course, for the Suicide Girls, Pink Martini and the homegrown Burnside Skate Park. We are especially fond of the food and wine. I'll be posting extensively on the this blog about our favorite restaurants; events, and art exhibits. We are members of the Portland Museum of Art and plan to attend major exhibitions.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Room with a View

So I raved about the view over Portland from the new condo, so here it is. The condo has a south-facing wall and an east-facing wall - with a lot of windows on both. From the south windows we see Portland State, and look over buildings trees toward the south waterfront. On the east, we look across downtown - from our perch on 11th & Clay.

Just last weekend, the trees started dropping their leaves - after a serious show of color. So the city has a wintry look-and-feel about it now. Keep that umbrella close to the door.