Sunday in Portland with Jer

Jer and I decided to take a break and bus downtown on Sunday. Of course, we made this decision the Wednesday before, without imagining that Sunday would be Portland-in-November (ie 35 degrees and raining). We were going to walk to the Saturday Market, but as the cold wind started to make us shake, we veered off to the Bus 14 shelter. The bus was slow, but just as we spoke of going back home and getting the car, it arrived.

The brisk walk from the bus drop-off to the Saturday (craft) Market (also open on Sunday) was good; our fair city at its November funkiest:

The Lotus cafe and Cardroom is a classic Portland place that I want to visit before I die. Maybe just a day or so before….

The market was relatively quiet, which was nice because I found the pentatonic flute maker that I wasn’t really looking for <snort> and, of course, found a flute (an “E”) that I had to have. Not a bad price and a very nice bag, thrown in.

But it started to drizzle, and the market is somewhat outside, so we chucked the notion of finding a soup tureen (the ostensible reason for coming to the Saturday Market) and headed toward Powells — always a safe bet for a downtown outing. Even in the rain, we found Portland, well, weird:

I particularly like the “OPEN” sign (top, left) in the apartment building behind the Weird building. And in fact, the line-up in the drizzle was weird. These folks, including a bulldog behind the bike, were waiting to get their Voodoo doughnuts. Are they (the doughnuts, I mean)  really worth it?

We got to Powell’s, I headed for the Pearl Room, which is both where the art books live and where fewer book mavens hover. Portlanders could feel winter’s onslaught , so apparently they all headed for Powell’s at the same time. I found a book I needed — well, I bought just the one book I really needed — and we wrapped our goodies (books, flute) inside our coats, put on our hats and gloves, and promptly missed Bus 20, which we thought we might take to Old Wives for a snack. Giving that over, we decided to grab the street car to Bus 15; we watched it go by from half a block away. By now the rain was raining real rain, cold rain, narsty rain.

We walked to Salmon Street to catch Bus 15, figuring that was warmer than huddling in a streetcar overhang. Bus 15 took its time getting there (we heard at least 3 cell conversations of the other person in the bus shelter), but it finally arrived:

When we got home and into dry clothes, I got to linger over my treasures — the new flute and a book of paintings by Charles Burchfield, who liked to do wonky street scenes as much as I do.

The flute will take some practice and stretching of the tendons between the fingers (haven’t done that since I took piano lessons). But the book was instantly and deliciously accessible. And I can usually, sort of, hit the low note on the flute — it’s just a bit wonky — like my street scenes. –June

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5 Responses to Sunday in Portland with Jer

  1. janetl says:

    I wouldn’t wait very long in the rain for Voodoo Doughnuts, but I do think they’re quite yummy. There’s also a store on Sandy, with a big parking lot.

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  2. june says:

    Jan, we hadn’t been to the Market for years, either. It’s about the same– has moved across Naito Parkway to that plaza by the river, so has more room. And it wasn’t very busy Sunday, but then, nothing but Powell’s was. The flute is lovely, but a challenge to play. The charming maker/seller said it had to get a bit of love before it would really do well.

    Lia, the Petrified Forest is weird, although the sun was lovely. It’s neither here nor there. I found it’s “unconformities” formidable — and fascinating. Do go to Gray’s Rock shop in Holbrook. That’ll unsettle you further. I was boggled.

    Del, there’s nothing like a newsletter breathing down your neck (my version is the website update) to make one feel really forlorn. It’s hard to procrastinate when there’s not doggie to feed whipped cream to. But you wouldn’t like this cold. I went out to the studio this afternoon, because it’s a lot warmer than this big old drafty house. Heavens, we might as well be living in …. Cleveland! 22 degrees! bits of snow on the ferns. Aargh!

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  3. Del says:

    Thanks for the visit. It does seem strange to see people out in the rain – down here everyone stays home until the rain stops, of course in Portland that would be most of the year, eh? I am feeling very alone now that the PPrince is with his parents. Seems everyone else I know is getting ready for big Thanksgiving feasts, or they are out-of-town. It isn’t that I don’t have anything to do – there is the SQG newsletter breathing down my neck. Groannnnnnnn.

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  4. Lia says:

    That sounds like a fun day! I miss Oregon already. We spent today at your recent stomping ground– Petrified Forest, visiting Matt and Sarah and Isaac. I like the desert in Oregon better, tho…

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  5. JanB says:

    That sounds like a lovely Portlandish day, I wish I could have accompanied you. I haven’t been to the Saturday Market in years, nor the downtown Powells, come to think of it. I love that picture of the Oregonians waiting in the rain with nary an umbrella in sight. That flute is a beautiful piece of workmanship, and the book will be much paged through I am sure. Thanks for this nice post.

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