Monday, August 24, 2009
The hotel WiFi is running very slowly tonight so uploading pictures will have to wait for another time.
We drove up from Salem yesterday and checked into the Mark Spencer Hotel, located right on the border of Portland's Pearl District to the north and the major Downtown area to the south with a rich array of the city's most interesting attractions well within walking distance.
However the agenda for yesterday wasn't sight-seeing, but a long wished for get-together with Arnie (The Spirit of St. Lewis) and first meeting with his husband Blair. We'd had the pleasure of having Arnie stay over with us a couple of years ago and have been in touch ever since. We spent the afternoon touring the East Fremont neighborhood in which he and Blair live, touring the bamboo shop and nursery next to the building which houses their stylish condo, stopping for a gelato, viewing the extensive gardens their neighbors maintain.
The visit was capped with an outdoor concert of big band music in a local park with wine and a picnic dinner they'd put together. We were five in the park, the fifth being their irresistible little dog Mason. It was an afternoon and evening filled with fun and laughter and a great introduction to Portland.
Today we began at the famous Powell's Books and yes, we both bought something. Mine is "The Buried Book: The Loss and Rediscovery of the Great Epic of Gilgamesh" by David Damrosch which combines many of my favorite topics--archaeology, ancient history, and the base myths of our culture.
From there we walked in a leisurely way north to Cafe Nell, probably the single gayest eatery I've ever been in, where we met good friends Steven and Mark and Steven's brother Peter who had driven down from Seattle to spend the day with us. After a lovely brunch, we spent an hour or so in the Classical Chinese Garden. Pictures of this beautiful site will come later. A visit to the Museum of Contemporary Crafts was foiled by its being closed on Sundays, so we decided to stop in at a neighboring gallery, where I was struck by a three dimensional shadow box construction titled "Bonk" by artist Gabriel Manca. It combines found and sculpted elements in a witty and frankly phallic composition. I bought it on the spot and am having it shipped back home once the gallery's Gabriel Manca show closes at the end of next week.
We ended the day with good wine and great seared fresh tuna at Fish Grotto across the street from the hotel.
Tomorrow we drive to Mount Hood for the day and then we're looking forward to drinks and dinner with Stephen Rutledge (Post-Apocalyptic Bohemian) and husband Rolfe.
Looking forward to your pictures.
My recent trip to Seattle for the Ring was the best trip I've ever had, and I think it was the people that made the difference.
And we'll be patient and wait for the pictures - at least we'll try!
(this is the only way I've found to respond on these blogs, even though I have a google account - odd)