Portland – the first day.

A brief travelogue:

Yesterday we got up at fuck-this-shit-o’clock (4am, ftr) got on airplane, napped a bit, got off airplane and on another airplane, and landed at PDX.

For an “international” airport, PDX is pretty tiny. When we got off that second plane, the first shop in the terminal was not a news stand or starbucks – it was a small-batch artisanal gin distiller. We had to get our light jackets out of the luggage because it was only about 59 degrees and overcast outside, which I have to tell you makes me inordinately happy. The driver of our “shared” ride (which was shared with exactly no one) was chatty and knowledgeable, especially when we all bagged on the entitled dingbat who kept marching over to the van to demand the shared city bus NOW. Where was it? Why did she have to wait? Say what you will about the friendliness of Portlanders – and by god, they are disconcertingly friendly – they also have the finer points of eye-rolling and snark going for them. Noting my indigo bangs and De’s variegated pastel blue and green highlights, the driver mentioned we should enjoy the city – we already had “Portland Hair”.

The condo we rented – actually one of four flats in a converted Victorian/Craftsman – exceeded all expectations. A nice big fully stocked kitchen (only missing a stand mixer and food processor) dining room, office, living room and two lovely bedrooms. Unlike home, this has nice high ceilings, lots of wood and a fireplace we’re probably not going to use. Unlike home, we are sharing a bathroom and have individual room air-conditioners we’re not going to use. While we waited for the place to be ready, we walked about a mile to my spiritual home, Powells City of Books, stopping at Supa for awesome soup/sandwich combo lunch. There was a fast moving mob at Powells, like salmon jostling their way upstream, but once we found the sci-fi floor, it was a little more bustling bookstore and a little less TEH GUIDEBOOK TELLS ME TO GO TO POWELLS AND I AM GOING THERE. About an hour in, we realized we were still exhausted from the flights, the not sleeping and they paying attention to shit and couldn’t remember half of our wishlists, so we decided to come back on Monday or Tuesday when I think it will be more Bustling Bookstore, and less Tourist Scavenger Hunt (“OK I HAVE MY BOX OF VOODOO DONUTS NOW I’LL WANDER AIMLESSLY THROUGH THE FIRST FLOOR OF THE BOOKSTORE SO I CAN CHECK IN ON FACEBOOK AND EVERYONE WILL KNOW I AM AWARE OF BOOKS.”~ that lady with the donut box who kept getting turned around in the how-to aisle, probably).

Exhausted, we took the delightful $1 street car home, stopping at the Safeway to pick up snacky food and all the crap we forgot to pack. Then we came home, passed out for a couple of hours before heading to Kells, which sadly had to delay the live music until after the Trailblazers game, and the only cider they had on tap was a cherry. Happily, the band Cul An Ti was worth the wait, and the cider – 2 Towns Cherried Away – was deliciously tart, unlike the new trendy ciders for the American market which taste like apple-juice flavored wine coolers to me. By the time the band started, I was ready to enjoy. Not only was the music great, but I looked around and noted all age groups and all ethnicities enjoying the music and the put itself. I also noticed that there seemed to be a lot of reasonable looking men actually dancing with women, and the women themselves didn’t wear ridiculously crippling shoes. This differs from LA in that the hot guys are almost always gay, and the reasonable looking straight men seem to have ossified into Black-belt level jagoffs who wear cheap-ass looking porkpie hats and slovenly outfits while dating tiny young chicks in hooker heels and clubwear. Or I could be generalizing. Maybe the reasonable looking men in the bar were all looking for beards. Who knows.

We took a taxi home and then passed out, eschewing the alarm clock for the natural waking power of the sun through the windows. (fuck you, sun). Today we’re going to buy day passes for the public transit and go to the portland Saturday Market – also available on Sunday – and Fat Fancy, a vintage shop for fatties. I will also most likely stop at Voodoo Donuts because I am not made of stone.

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