Monday -Mental soundtrack ---> Mogwai 63 degrees and sunny in Portland, which means everyone is laying out on their lawns and firing up their BBQs. -A vegan PB&J shake at Back to Eden Bakery. -Enjoying the sun myself up in the International Rose Test Garden. -Dinner at Screen Door: Fuji apple salad + slow-stewed beluga lentils + mac and cheese + cornbread + a slice of creole pecan pie. -Mt. Hood and waterfalls and gorge and sunset on the drive to Hood River.
Tuesday -Mental soundtrack ---> Phosphorescent -Orienting myself in daylight with a stroll along the waterfront, past the geese and the fly fishermen and into downtown. -Breakfast at Doppio: an Oregon chai + OPA's Super Cup. -Tracing gorge history from Ice Age to present day at the truly absorbing Columbia Gorge Discovery Center. -Lunch at Petite Provence in The Dalles: an Arnold Palmer + a quinoa and apple salad + an apple-rhubarb tart to go, the latter to be eaten on top of a waterfall. -Said waterfall was at Starvation Creek State Park, where I fought off my fear of heights to clamber up mossy boulders alongside rushing water. -Local brew pub crawl: a Wit (and fries) at Pfriem + a Session Premium Lager at Full Sail + a 1st Crack at Double Mountain. -Absolutely divine dinner at Kin: house-made ginger-lime soda + a kale salad with roasted walnuts, dates, parmesan, shallot-honey vinaigrette + gnocchi with tomato pomodoro and parmesan + coffee gelato. Thank you, Roman and Amy!
Wednesday -Mental soundtrack ---> Neko Case -Breakfast at Ground: a salted caramel mocha + breakfast sandwich with egg, white cheddar, tomato, avocado, veggie sausage, sriracha. -A little window shopping along Oak, including an ogling of the gorgeous Moonshine MFG skateboards at Doug's. -Heading down 35 past alpacas and lavender and orchards as far as I could get before hitting a sign that said those without snow tires shall not pass. Though reportedly I could have disobeyed and driven right up Mt. Hood to Timberline. -Admiring the kiteboarders and enjoying some beach time down at the Event Site. -Lunch at Solstice: a local lemonade + a Vegan Boy pizza. -One of the more awe-inspiring bike rides I've ever been on up on the Historic Columbia River Highway, vistas at every turn, through the vintage twin tunnels high above Mosier, on my killer rental from Mountain View Cycles. -Enjoying the camaraderie (and the Green Flash Soul Style) at Dirty Fingers, where the bar doubles as the bike repair station, and sneaking next door to 10 Speed for a chai to balance things out. -A progressive dinner through downtown Hood River: an Everybody's Hoedown Brown and curried artichoke dip at 6th Street Bistro + a ginger-apple soda and squash soup and mâche salad at Celilo + chai crème brûlée at Brian's Pourhouse.
Thursday -Mental soundtrack ---> Bosco Delrey -Breakfast at Egg River Cafe: a chai latte + poached eggs with romesco sauce, spinach, mushrooms over polenta. -Tastings and bottles from some exquisite local wineries: Subduction Red from Syncline + Malbec from COR + Rosé from Domaine Pouillon. -Lunch at River Daze Cafe: an orange cream soda + a beet-kraut and avocado salad with goat cheese dressing. -A hike up the 2nd Street stairs and along the Indian Creek Trail. -More window shopping on Oak and drooling over all the Ace & Jig items at Plenty. -A perfect last dinner at the utterly charming Rack & Cloth: homemade cider + white bean soup with sorrel + delicata squash fries with sweet chili aioli + a cherry-chocolate chip cookie. -The sunset over the river.
Friday -Mental soundtrack ---> The Juan MacLean -Breakfast at Stoked: a chai + a cherry-ginger scone. -One last gawp at gorge history and artifacts at the Columbia Gorge Interpretive Center. -Lunch at Carte Blanche back in Portland: the Important Helmet for Outer Space with crispy glazed tofu, miso-buttered mushrooms, leeks, kale, brussels sprouts, coconut jasmine rice, ginger-pineapple-lemongrass slaw, crispy shallots, cilantro, toasted peanuts, sesame, pickled fresnos, lime. -Full-service gas.
Through May 2 - Stupid Fucking Bird at SF Playhouse. "Sort of adapted" from The Seagull by Anton Chekhov, Aaron Posner's hilarious and poignant Stupid Fucking Bird retains the themes and interlocking relationships of the original while giving it a healthy kick in the pants with a few pointed contemporary updates. The impressive ensemble cast at SF Playhouse has a lot of fun with Posner's script, teasing out many darkly comic moments in the midst of artistic strivings and tempestuous romance, unrequited and otherwise. Carrie Paff literally rules the stage as celebrity actress Emma, unable to cut her son Con (a wonderfully passionate Adam Magill) any slack as he struggles to achieve his own creative ambitions. Meanwhile the lovelorn, gothy Mash (El Beh) comments on her emotions with her ukulele, and Charles Shaw Robinson as Emma's doctor brother gently shakes his head at all the goings-on around him. No previous Chekhov experience is necessary to thoroughly enjoy the show, though theater and art nerds will appreciate the clever references Posner throws in. Ultimately the play expands on Chekhov's keen perception of the human condition and demonstrates how certain universal truths remain consistent throughout time.
Ralph Eugene Meatyard at Robert Tat Ruby Neri at Paule Anglim Aly Odom, Matt Endler, Johnny Bicos, Brandon Drew Holmes at Mission Comics The Jinx Nonspecific's untitled folder 7 at 800 Chestnut Cat Town Hella Vegan Eats Cara Levine at Ramon's Tailor Doug Hall at Rena Bransten Claire Colette and Rhonda Holberton at Berkeley Art Center Gangs of Wasseypur Jamie Emerick at Alter Space Shannon Ebner at Pied-a-terre Analog Stories by Alice Munro at Z Below Spring Members Dinner at Headlands
It's been two weeks since I made the impossible decision to put my beloved Richter-cat to sleep after a nasty bout of cancer, and I'm trying to continue putting one foot in front of the other at the same time that I'm still struggling with a very heavy sense of loss. He was one of the best cats ever, and such a continuous and important presence in my life for over a decade.
I pulled together 200+ photos into an album on Flickr here. I also have quite a bit of video of him I'd like to edit together some day. Eventually.
The day of his death I wrote a note on Facebook and used it as an ad hoc memorial for people to share remembrances of him in the comments. Please go here if you'd like to contribute your own memory.