Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Visiting the City of Roses

On the itinerary: a wedding, a surprise party, meeting Seth's sweet-as-can-be new niece for the first time ever, seeing friends and family we haven't seen in years, eating breakfast in Seth's aunt and uncle's beautiful backyard surrounded by roses and California poppies.

In addition to the bride, groom and guests, the wedding reception was attended by horses, miniature and regular-sized goats, llamas, chickens, rabbits, a scary sheep, a cow, and...

What a ham!
...tons of kids racing around the holly tree grove on every kind of ATV (that's "all-terrain vehicle"--I had to ask!) imaginable.

Whenever Seth's family gets together in Portland they have to eat at Nick's Famous Coney Island (traditions!), but I also got to go to a couple of my old favorites--Justa Pasta and J&M. Unfortunately, we didn't have time to check out Dots and Beaterville--I used to head to one or the other on Saturday afternoons after a morning's-worth of browsing estate sales when I lived in PDX. It was always nice to retreat to the cool and dark and quiet of Dots on especially hot Portland afternoons. And the funky decor is reason enough to love Beaterville, but the yummy garlicky tofu scrambles make it that much better. Oh, and then there's:
  • Rismsky-Korsakoffeehouse for dessert and one of the best bathrooms ever
  • Clinton Street Theater (I saw a bizarre, live action stop-motion movie there called The Secret Life of Tom Thumb that I wish I could find and watch again--has anyone else seen this?)
  • picking berries and tiptoeing through the tulips at the lovely Sauvie Island
  • exploring the Portland Japanese Garden
  • cocktails at The Empire Room (not the one on Hawthorne, but its predecessor on a practically abandoned strip of Burnside Avenue. Sadly, it closed after its building caught on fire, has anyone else been there? If only it was still around...)
  • watching Elliot Smith and Nashville Pussy perform (not at the same time!) at La Luna
  • tiki drinks at The Alibi
  • pizza at Old Town Pizza (it used to be a brothel and it's said to be haunted!)
  • hikes and picnics on Mount Tabor (I used to trek there from my apartment on Belmont)
  • tasty late-night green basil pesto mac under the Morrison Bridge at Montage
  • coffee with a kick at the beautiful Timberline Lodge on Mount Hood...and the list goes on and on.
What great memories and what a great city! We needed more time!!!

Downtown Portland on a Thursday night. This is pretty much as I remember it, but seeing the Pearl District and what is now known as the Alberta Arts District for the first time in ten years..well, it was like visiting a brand-new city. I must admit, I enjoyed window shopping on NE Alberta and wish I had more time to check out the Pearl District (talk about a MAJOR transformation. Wow!) as well as explore the Portland hills as written about by Posie Gets Cozy. Well, maybe next time.

Bird's-eye view of Mount Hood.
If you live in Portland, or love to visit, what are your favorite haunts?

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