I know. It’s February 20th. But in spite of what the calendar would have you believe, today everything in Portland is screaming SPRING!
The warm sun and bright sky (and the fact that we have been staying at a downtown hotel all week during some home renovations) drew us out for a walk after breakfast this morning. I’ve wanted to show S the Eastbank Esplanade walk along the Willamette River for months now so we headed down to the river and across the Hawthorne Bridge.
It’s always cooler on the east side of the river and much nosier, too, as you make your way alongside and under the freeway. Even the incessant roar of traffic couldn’t keep us from enjoying the sights along the way — from the natural
to the industrial.
I’m not sure if it’s good for the bridge, but all the rust on the Steel Bridge is remarkably photogenic. This shot reminds me of a map.
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I am not the kind of person who makes New Year’s resolutions; instead I hope I can live up to my ideals every day without making a formal commitment to them.
One commitment I have been able to stick to since coming to Portland is to patronize local businesses whenever possible. I will admit to an occasional stop at a national retailer (Whole Foods comes to mind) or a traditional mall, but most of my shopping is done at locally owned groceries (New Seasons and the Portland Farmers Market get most of my food dollars), bookstores (Powell’s and Annie Bloom’s Books are my two current local favorites) and knitting stores (Knit Purl, Northwest Wools and Twisted are a few of the places I like here).
In addition to these places, I have really enjoyed exploring the many eclectic Portland shops that feature local products or handmade goods. One store that I have fallen in love with is The Meadow on North Mississippi Avenue.
This tiny (really tiny) shop features all kinds of wonderful treats for eaters and cooks. The first thing you might notice when you arrive (if you can focus on any one thing) are the floor to ceiling shelves packed with salts (and a few select other spices).
Once inside you will find a similar set of shelves stocked with chocolate from around the world,
a table crowded with local flowers ready to be arranged in one of the perfect vases displayed behind the counter, a small but carefully chosen collection of wines and a selection of local and imported bitters, perfect for augmenting that fancy cocktail or flavoring your San Pellegrino.
If you are in the mood for something more permanent, maybe a salt or pepper mill will fill the bill.
Places like this make shopping locally easy and fun.
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It rained hard on Thanksgiving here in Portland. In fact, it was a decidedly un-Portland-like rain that drummed on the skylights and on the deck all day long.
That made it all the more wonderful to wake up the next morning to blue skies and sun. The weather was so remarkable that we quickly scrapped our plans to visit the Portland Art Museum (we’ll do that another day) and decided to head to the Columbia River Gorge (“the gorge” to people from around here) instead.
Our first stop, and oddly, the only one where I took any pictures, was the Vista House at Crown Point.
Even though the sun had been shining in Portland (really!) the skies above the gorge were grey. Of course, it was still beautiful.
The rest of the day was equally lovely, with stops at Bridal Veil and Multnomah Falls on the way to Hood River. Our Maine visitors were delighted to have been able to see a part of Oregon they had not seen before and we were happy to be with them as they saw it.
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