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Saturday, September 24, 2005

Out and about

Nothing like a couple of hours running errands on a Saturday afternoon to show how cool Portland can be.

1. Best place to buy tickets for a concert: Aladdin Theater box office. An actual human being will find you better seats than you're ever going to get taking what the robot forces on you over on Ticketb*stards. And the event isn't even at the Aladdin -- it's at the Schnithouse.

2. Cool foodstuffs:
The Edelweiss German joint just around the corner from the Aladdin. You order a little liverwurst for old times' sake, and they ask you which of their three varieties you want. Oh, and the chocolate bars -- achtung, baby.

3. The stage is set: Cruise past Waterfront Park, where the benefit blues show for the hurricane victims will be held tomorrow. Curtis Salgado and Linda Hornbuckle? Say no more. (But we'll have to split our ticket with the Polish Festival.)

4. Endangered species: A good old convenience store on Northwest Trendy-third. Drive past all the mall stores disguised as small businesses, bask in the abundance of parking in the Plaid Pantry lot. Drink a V8. Buy five bucks worth of Powerball, 'cause the jackpot's up and you're dopey.

5. Denizens of the deep:
A fish run at City Market's always a good bet. If it's slow, the guy will show your four-year-old a live lobster up close. This year's great apple: honeycrunch. Wonderful, obscure Portuguese vinho is the perfect impulse buy. Try to ignore how expensive everything is.

6. The Nordstrom of groceries: Pick up some essentials at New Seasons. Navel oranges from Australia -- we live in a great era.

7. Fill up gas tank: Forty-three d*mn dollars. Geez.

The weather? Crystal clear, low 70s. And the soundtrack? A tape of Cajun music, like new, purchased yesterday at an estate sale for 50 cents.

That, dear reader, is a time sent from above.

Comments (13)

Gas tank? Parking? You and the 4yo could have done all that on a bike.

Sounds like you had a great day. My wife and I took advantage of the lovely weather and hit the Polish fest at St. Stanislaus.

If you haven't gone yet, try to swing by on Sunday. You won't be too disappointed. Although they weren't serving meat pierogis, the placki and poppy seed cake were EXCELLENT. (That is, *almost* as good as great-grandma's.)

A bike? At SE 11th and Powell? No thanks -- I don't have a death wish.

Meat pierogis? Heresy. The poppy seed things, though -- of the many great delights to experience at the Polish Festival, they are the highlight. Granny Bogdanski smiles down on us every year as we eat them. We miss you, Alice!

It was such a gorgeous day. We considered a drive out to the country, but we had six 14 year old boys draped across the furniture, and, clearly, staying on for a day of tv football after the previous night's sleep-over. (Highlight of the night -- a "card throwing contest"... you gotta be there, and, you gotta be 14... Or, have a sense of humor when you find the cards in your garden...)

Plus, we had other visitors -- the 18 year old, and his girlfriend, visiting from Washington.

So we threw open the doors, and puttered. I thought about where I might move this or that large shrub. Frank got a great idea for a gigantic earth moving project, probably mine, I said, good, later....

And, by the end of the day, our family had expanded by one, 3/4 grown, affectionate, smart, gray and white cat.

Frank first found her sleeping in our basement, this morning.

Now she's upstairs on our 14 year old's bed. Out cold, upside down with her paws splayed out and a blissful look on her sleeping face. Our child has named her. CJ

For my dad.

Best place to buy tickets for a concert: Aladdin Theater box office.

Not to mention one of the best places to see a concert. Funny, we were by the box office Friday to get tickets for some Ravel there next month...seems like a cool venue for some classical music, a new thing for the Aladdin.

And don't forget to try the Nushschinken and Loksschinken next time you're at Edelweiss...puts packagaed cold cuts to shame.

And, I gotta ask, did your four year old enjoy the "cookie tasting" at New Seasons yesterday? What a concept.

The acoustics at the Aladdin can be spotty. Upstairs especially. But it's a beautiful venue -- perfect Portland.

>The acoustics at the Aladdin can be spotty.

Nothing like the Crystal Ballroom, however -- one of the worst places to see a live act, IMO.

Nothing like the Crystal Ballroom, however -- one of the worst places to see a live act, IMO.

No kidding! Even being up close to see Steve Earl...the bozos who kept standing in front of my five-foot tall wife, almost leading to blows. Never again.

On the other hand...Jazz de Opus, sadly closed now, up close enough to hear Sonny Stitt breathing. THAT'S what a concert should be, not that "Awful in the Clouds" at the Rose Garden where we could almost make out Eric Clapton in the distance.

We should celebrate, cherish --and patronize-- those places that help make Portland cool.

The Crystal is a nightmare. For a medium-sized dance party with a cover band, maybe. For a concert? I did it once, and that was enough.

So here's my wonderful Portland story. I went to U Pick at Scarecrow Farms, but realized I had no checkbook and they didn't take plastic. But the guy actually said "your credit's good here." I asked him what he meant and he meant it. So I picked 18 pounds of organic 'maters, some onions, and carrots, and I'm mailing the guy a check today.

Where does your son go to HS? Mine it at Cleveland.

I spent Saturday running 8 miles at Glendoveer, puttering around my garden (the Brandywines are coming in!), drove out to the "Barn" to get some veggies, and took the little ones on a walk at Powell Butte.

Sunday, ran 16 miles at Sauvie (what a day!), picked "u pick" (see above), puttered, but then had to work.

Here's hoping it's sunny next week so i can drag the family back out the Sauvie.

Paul, good guess. Hosford MS it is.

(Was it the card throwing that gave it away? :-))

I just realized I have burned myself, skimming again... Paul, you meant high school, not Hosford middle school.

I'm a bad blog poster, don't take the time I should to do right by it. Post something, then don't get back to it for days. Though I always have the best of intentions...

Anyway, high school is next year for these boys. (I should have said, 13 and 14 year-olds, they haven't all turned 14 yet).

And, it will be Cleveland.

I've lived from the east coast to the west coast, with a three-year stop in the middle, and Portland's the only town where I've ever been extended credit by a cash-only business willing to trust that I'm good for it -- and each time, it's been a business where I'm a first-time customer, and the person in charge doesn't know me at all. Invariably, I immediately become a loyal repeat customer. I love this town.

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