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Monday, December 22, 2008


Peet's at NE 15th and Broadway was closed again today because of weather. What the heck? We skied over to Costello's Travel Caffé and picked up our beans over there. Cozy and crowded.

Comments (9)

That's pretty surprising to me--up and down Hawthorne it's been a mixed bag. Peet's was open, but Powell's for Cooks was closed, which I found really surprising.

Meanwhile, the plows are out, which helps on the main roads, but which makes the side streets even worse, as they now have big 2-4' mounds of snow greeting anyone trying to get onto a main road.

We were the the only ones open at Paola's Pizza Barn in Sandy tonight and we were jammed until we closed at 11 pm. It was a real life saver both for the business, which in this economy has been really slow, and for those of us who subsist on minimum wage and tips!

Merry Christmas, one and all.

Mister Tee and family spent Saturday and Sunday nights out at the Shilo Inn Suites hotel at PDX, we were the first to arrive after SW Airlines cancelled their entire roster about 11:00 a.m. on Saturday (they only own one deicing truck at PDX, and it broke down). I told the desk clerk that I predicted she would be overrun with airport refugees, but they didn't start turning people away until Sunday Night.

The restaurant was packed on both nights: a skeleton crew did an excellent job and earned some well deserved tips and overtime. Most of their employees were hotbunking at the hotel to avoid having to commute.

We finally got a ride out of PDX (to SAN) aboard Alaska Airlines flight 574, which was scheduled to arrive at Lindberg Field about 1:00 p.m. but actually arrived at 5:30 p.m. (with elated passengers cheering both takeoff and landing). Ironically, there were 9 empty seats on that 737. Scuttlebutt suggests that PDX was running low on deicing fluid (with resupplies coming in by truck from snow covered eastern Washington) where the sole provider was experiencing labor strife and excess demand.

A couple of guys from Chicago were laughing about what a basket case the entire City of Portland, ORYGUN was after a few inches of snow. I couldn't disagree with them (despite the historic nature of this snowfall in both quantity and proximity to Christmas), so I just kept on walking. We are now lounging at our desert paradise resort, where a nighttime temp in the 50's feels like t-shirt weather.

Bon chance, y'all.

Ristretto Roasters (both locations) have been open every day, and will be open every day (except Christmas, our one day off a year). Last night, I was helping bus when at 4:30, the place started to pack with people, families, kids. "Starbucks is closed," they told me. Wimps.

When my windshield wiper motor broke yesterday, I was surprised to find every mechanic in town took a snow day. I have a Subaru and I've been cruising around without chains, without a problem. I don't understand why Carr Subaru was essentially closed yesterday (one token employee to turn people away)... if I were a salesman, those cars would have been an easy sell. I wouldn't trade my Subie for anything right now, not even a 4wd pickup.

Having lived in NYC for 25 years, I can understand the perspective of those guys from Chicago. But it's worth keeping in mind that Portland has some challenges not faced by cities like Chicago or New York -- particularly with regard to elevation changes. The next time smart-asses from snow-jaded flat-land cities make remarks like this, tell them to grow some hills.

Jack, maybe it's time you made the switch from national chain Peete's to locally operated Costello's for good.

And as for Mr. Tee, if you support the Shilo Inn's politics, more power to you, but if you happen to consider yourself a liberal, you might want to find another hotel chain to patronize.

St. Honore Bakery was open today and welcoming the cold and croissant-deprived. Many also came to drown their sorrows after discovering that the NW Branch of the Multnomah County Library was closed for a third straight day (although someone did stop by and unclog the book drop). Apparently they need at least three employees to open and didn't get 'em.

As a result we have been doing a DVD and VHS post and swap with neighbors - everybody happy!

national chain Peete's

Peet's is a Bay Area enterprise that has grown far more gracefully and smartly than the green abomination from Seattle. I like their products, and I like their attitude. They were open today, but it was too late for my bean-purchasing needs for this half-month.

Costello's also had a cool vibe, though.

If I were up Fremont a ways, I definitely would have stopped in at Ristretto. Best shop in town, IMHO.

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