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Portland Neighborhood Website : Blog Home : December 2005

December 1, 2005 06:59 - Bridgeton Event - Rita Bauman Pottery

Hola Puddletown,

Here's a great opportunity to visit a super quaint area, learn some crafty new techniques and lend your support to a local artist.  Take a quick drive over to Bridgeton neighborhood this Sunday afternoon and stop into the Channel's Edge coffee and gift shop.  Sip on a divine cup of joe, enjoy the view of the Columbia house boat community from the deck and mingle with some great local folk. 

"This Sunday, December 4th, Rita Bauman of Pottery by Rita will be at the store demonstrating her Raku techniques from 1- 5 pm. Stop by to meet Rita and see her latest creations!!!!"

207 N. Bridgeton Road
Portland, OR 97217
503-737-2465
E-mail: channelsedge@comcast.net

Store Hours:
Wednesday-Friday 10am-6pm
Saturday 9am-5pm
Sunday 10am-4pm
Closed Monday and Tuesday

On another note, we're supposed to experience the "Portland Winter Storm" any second now...I'm ready to stay home, cook a vat of chili and start a Quentin Tarantino movie marathon...How about you?

Enjoy the day...

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December 2, 2005 05:38 - Portland Holiday Shopping Ideas, Continued

Yes, here we are already in December. Are you still looking for more unique holiday gift ideas for someone you love? How about your furry, four-footed friends? Portland has a great selection of pet boutiques. So, be sure to pick up a gift for your favorite pet lover, or for your own favorite little fur ball. Here are just a few places to shop in Portland if you want to spoil your pet:

Urban Fauna- 235 NW Park Ave.

A combination of doggie day care and pet supply store. They offer high quality pet goodies, with a great selection.

Furever Pets - 1902 NW Broadway St

This is a great upscale store for unique collars and toys, as well as healthy pet food. Owner Simon Lee is friendly, knowledgeable and always very helpful.

Healthy Pets Northwest- 1402 A SE 39th Ave and 2224 NE Alberta St.

With a couple of locations, this is the store to shop for the healthiest pet food and treats for dogs and cats. Winner of Portland Monthly's "best healthy pet food store".

For your favorite dog lover, why not consider a subscription to CityDog Magazine? "CityDog Magazine is the Northwest’s only full color, glossy magazine devoted exclusively to life and living with dogs. A subscription will have you wagging with delight!"

Or, how about a Pet Portrait, either a photo or an original painting? For pet photography, check out the listings on PortlandPooch.com. And for pet paintings, personally I love the work of Matt Warford. He has really captured the spirit of some great Portland dogs on canvas.

Those are your pet-themed holiday shopping ideas for Friday. More ideas coming soon!

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December 3, 2005 05:33 - "Oh Christmas Tree..."

Dear Monsoon-Town,

'Tis the season...The holidays are rapidly approaching and some of you are bound to be thinking about a very common holiday staple: The Christmas Tree. Well, here's an interesting and earth friendly idea for those of you who really want a tree but don't want to feel as though you are 'sacrificing' one just for a few weeks of oohing and ahhing (plus, they are kind of a pain to clean up). Why not use a potted tree and then plant it or donate it when you're done? This idea has become pretty popular with Portlanders over the last several years, especially with a "tree rental" service being offered by a company called The Original Living Christmas Tree. The last I knew, this was the only Christmas tree rental company in the United States and it certainly doesn't surprise me that it's right here in Portland!

Random trivia on Christmas trees:

  • Christmas trees are grown in all 50 states (Hawaii too!) and take anywhere from seven to ten years to mature.
  • Christmas trees have been sold commercially in the US since 1850.
  • Scotch Pine, Douglas Fir, Fraser Fir, Noble Fir, Virginia Pine, Balsam Fir and the White Pine are the most popular varieties.
  • Christmas trees remove dust and pollen from the air.
  • The use of evergreen trees to celebrate the winter season occurred before the birth of Christ.
  • In 2004, American's purchased 27.1 million real trees and shelled out a whopping $1,000,000,000!
  • 330,000 Americans purchase their trees online or from a catalog.
  • Oregon ranks in the top 7 of the highest Christmas tree producing states.
  • Thomas Edison’s assistant, Edward Johnson, came up with the idea of electric lights for Christmas trees in 1882.
  • If you go conventional and buy a real tree, use a tree recycling program. To find one near you, call 1-800-CLEANUP.
Have a great Saturday...

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December 4, 2005 13:40 - Portland Music Shopping Ideas

Continuing our list of Portland Holiday Shopping Ideas, today we will focus on gifts for your favorite music lover. Of course there is always a gift certificate to www.iTunes.com, but Portland has some great independent local music stores that are worth a trip. Portland CitySearch recently compiled their "Best of 2005" list of favorite music stores in Portland. Be sure to read their ratings, here:

1. Everyday Music
1313 W Burnside St, Portland, OR
You can shop for music here 15 hours a day, 365 days a year.

2. Music Millennium
801 NW 23rd, Portland, OR
Quality recorded and live music under one roof since 1969.

3. Borders
708 SW 3rd Ave, Portland, OR
Shop for books, music and more in a warm, relaxing and customer-friendly environment.

4. 360 Vinyl
214 NW Couch St, Portland, OR
Dedicated to hip-hop, acid jazz, jungle, house, trance and vinyl accessories.

5. Jackpot Records
3736 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR
Owned by the Alex Trebek of musical knowledge.

6. Jackpot Records
203 SW 9th Ave, Portland, OR

Happy music shopping, Portland. More holiday gift ideas coming soon!

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December 5, 2005 06:33 - Portland Holiday Recipe

Yesterday, I made the best potato soup *ever*. What a perfect way to spend a dreary, chilly, sleepy Sunday....Since I have a New Seasons just a few blocks away, all of my ingredients were organic and fresh (perhaps contributing to the extra excellent flavor). Here's a recipe for your holiday cooking arsenal...Try it out and let me know what you think...

  • 8 unpeeled potatoes, cubed
  • 1 large sweet onion, chopped
  • 2 stalks celery, diced
  • 6 cubes chicken bouillon
  • 1 pint half-and-half cream
  • 1 pound bacon - cooked and crumbled
  • 1 (10.75 ounce) can condensed cream of mushroom soup
  • Garlic, salt, pepper and cumin -- to taste
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese

In a large stock pot combine potatoes, onions, celery, bouillon cubes and enough water to cover all ingredients.

Bring to a boil and simmer on medium heat until potatoes are soft.
Add half and half, bacon, cream of mushroom soup and stir until creamy.
Add cheese and stir until completely melted.
Simmer on low until potatoes are done.

I find that making a great soup from scratch is an excellent way to unwind and enjoy the day. Soo, you'll enjoy the Zen of Preparation and your friends and family will enjoy the Zen of a Mid-Day Food Coma! I always serve this with a few slices of whole wheat bread...

Have a great Monday...

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December 6, 2005 06:36 - Oregon ZooLights

Another Portland holiday tradition is held at the Oregon Zoo. "Since its beginning in 1988, the Oregon Zoo's ZooLights Festival has grown into one of Portland's favorite family holiday traditions. Each evening during the festival, the zoo comes alive with more than 500,000 lights illuminating life-sized animal silhouettes, trees, buildings, walkways and the zoo train. Guests can ride the train to see the light displays and catch sight of the animated swinging monkeys, leaping frogs and diving penguins installed along the way." (From AOL CitySearch Portland)

ZooLights runs through December 31, with a Holiday Buffet served nightly. If you go, consider taking the MAX or be prepared for the ever-busy (and likely overflowing) parking lot. For more information on this event, visit the Oregon Zoo Website.

If you are still considering a live Christmas tree, here is an idea for you. L'Arche Nehalem is a non profit community in Portland that provides a home for adults with developmental disabilities. They are having a benefit Christmas Tree Sale until December 18th, offering Noble and Douglas Fir trees from local farms. Proceeds of the sale of trees will benefit the residents. Tree lots are located at NE 44th Ave & Hancock St in the Value Village lot, and also at SE Burnside St. & 82nd Ave. in the Safeway parking lot. Call 503-251-6901 for more information.

Have a great day, Portland!

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December 7, 2005 04:54 - River City Bluegrass

So, I am officially ready for the holidays. I am now the proud owner of a two foot rosemary "tree"...It smells delish and won't clog up any precious room (my little bungalow is hurting for space!). While some of us are focusing on holiday preparations (shopping, shopping, cleaning, making plans, wrapping gifts, shipping, etc), some of us have already set our sights past the big holiday and are looking forward to other events....

One event that caught my eye is the River City BlueGrass Festival on January 7 & 8 at the Oregon Convention Center. Two days...two stages and some great acts to enjoy!

Yonder Mountain String Band
Rhonda Vincent & The Rage
Mike Marshall & Chris Thile
Earl Scruggs & Family & Friends
Ricky Skaggs & Kentucky Thunder
John Reischman & The Jaybirds
Misty River Band
Fog Horn String Band
And many more...

Maybe I'll see you there...

Happy Wednesday to another chilly Portlandia day....Will it ever snow?

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December 8, 2005 07:12 - Portland Holiday Lights

A holiday tradition for me is to watch the movie "Christmas Vacation" with Chevy Chase and the "Griswolds". One of my favorite scenes is when he staples thousands of twinkling holiday lights to his roof, then (after a verbal drum roll by his doting wife, Ellen) he plugs in the lights and...nothing happens. Until a little later, of course, when they discover the switch in the garage and once it is turned on, the power draw from all the lights takes out the power to half of the city.

Well, Portland has their very own Griswold Christmas Lights display, only it is more than one house. It's a whole street! Come visit "Peacock Lane" located one block east of SE 39th Ave, between Stark and Belmont (map). Now this neighborhood really knows how to get into the holiday spirit! Read more about it, here.

Have a great day, Portland!

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December 9, 2005 06:04 - Old Lompoc Bar

North Portland stops, sputters, sits up and pays attention when they hear the words "new bar". That's right, Portland...NEW BAR. Yeah. New bar...It has been verified that the New Old Lompoc is opening a second bar at Vancouver and Failing in good ole No Po...Ex-cell-ent!

Ok, you knew it would send a shockwave-- and it did. But New Old Lompoc...Listen up... As you well know, North Portland has been a little hot bed of excitement in the last few years...the scene is still very local and they are very loyal to their local bars. They will adopt you, for sure, but treat 'em right. I overheard a few locals talking about the New Old Lompoc opening and here are a few snippets I can share regarding the No Po Bar Wish List....

"That place better have a pool table! There's just no way they can compete if they don't!" (More pool tables the better. If you don't believe me, go to a few local bars any night of the week and watch the line around their one pool table). Want local love? Get pool tables.

Got PBR? I know you brew your own...but ya gotta have this staple.

Cheap eats under $5...Profess your love with a thoughtful happy hour (or two!) and make sure you have some well priced bar fare.

Juke box. The real deal. Not that "search the internet for every song ever known to man" contraption. Get an old school juke and load it up with old school tunes. Make me feel like I just won the lottery when I walk in there and find my favorite Kinks album...

Take care of the bathrooms. People really do get peeved about nasty loo's...

Deck, deck, deck!! Everyone loves that awesome deck at the classic New Old Lompoc....Does No Po get a deck, too? ;-)

Welcome to No Po, New Old Lompoc! Pleased ta have ya!

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December 10, 2005 07:03 - Portland Holiday Events

Are you still trying to get in the spirit for the holidays? Do you like loud, brassy music? Do you enjoy Christmas caroling sing-alongs? Do you have a good sense of humor? Then today be sure to check out the "Tuba Christmas" at Pioneer Courthouse Square from 1:30 - 3:00pm for a free concert.

If you haven't yet seen the Oregon Ballet Theatre's Portland rendition of The Nutcracker, the classic holiday ballet is playing at the Keller auditorium through 12/24. "This quintessential Nutcracker, danced to Tchaikovsky's magnificent score and steeped in the splendid Yuletide traditions of 19th-Century Germany, was the first in America to gain widespread popularity. Created for New York City Ballet in 1954, George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker immediately won the hearts of dance audiences there and quickly sparked the country's ongoing love affair with this holiday classic. With technically challenging principal roles and parts for over 100 children, Mr. Balanchine’s Nutcracker is a rite of passage for dancers of all ages. " Get your tickets to this enchanting show, here.

If you want a soul-stirring and heart warming musical experience, you might not be too late to pick up seats for tonight and tomorrow's performance of Oregon Symphony's Gospel Christmas. "More than 100 voices lift high in songs of praise for the holiday season at this emotionally charged annual Christmas concert. Song selections at this heart-stirring evening include "Silent Night," "Little Drummer Boy," "Emmanuel" and much more. Charles Floyd conducts the Northwest Community Gospel Chorus, which included singers from more than 30 Portland-area churches." Tickets won't be cheap and they sell out fast, so check early today if you want to go! I just looked on ticketmaster and there were still seats available for tonight! TIP - If they are sold out, you can always see if someone is willing to sell their tickets on www.craigslist.com. Just search for "Gospel Christmas" under the "For Sale" link.

Have a great Saturday, Portland!

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December 11, 2005 14:08 - Helping those in Need - Sunshine Division

During this holiday season, while caught up in all the hustle and bustle and commercialism of gift shopping, try to stop and remember that not everyone is fortunate. Some of our Portland neighbors could use a little extra help. Since 1923, the Portland Police Sunshine Division has been helping out by providing food and clothing to families in need. I was at the Zupan's market on Belmont this morning, and they have bags of food for sale for $5 benefiting the Sunshine Division charity. Why not stop by and pick up a bag or two? Someone somewhere in Portland will give thanks for your generosity.

For more information on how to help, be sure to check out the Sunshine Division Website. "The Sunshine Division began helping needy families with emergency food and clothing in 1923. Since then, the Sunshine Division has grown into a major charity, helping more than 25,000 people and 40 other charities every year."

Hope you are having a great Sunday, Portland!

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December 12, 2005 06:57 - Portland Holiday Biscotti Recipe

Last night I attended the Gospel Christmas Event with the Oregon Symphony Orchestra. I was so moved by the amazing talent and passion of the singers. I don't know if I have ever seen so much talent packed onto one stage! It was a very inspirational event, and if you missed it, be sure to catch it next year! Once again I was reminded how lucky I am to live in such a great city. Portland is full of riches, during the holiday season and throughout the year. More holiday events will be posted here, soon. Today I wanted to share with you a holiday biscotti recipe, emailed to me by a favorite restaurant, Il Piatto. Il Piatto is a wonderfully cozy and romantic Italian restaurant, located in Southeast. Try their Biscotti recipe below, and be sure to stop by and give this neighborhood favorite a try. Read more about Il Piatto on CitySearch.

Here's a great Biscotti recipe in case you're in the mood for some Holiday baking: Almond Biscotti

  • 2.5 cup sugar
  • 1 cup toasted chopped almond
  • 4 cup flour
  • 4 eggs separated
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 piece orange rind peeled, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1/2 cup toasted chopped hazelnuts
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Whip egg white in a mixing bowl until firm.

Add sugar, orange peel, vanilla and egg yolks and mix well.

Use a mixing paddle to mix in the flour, baking powder. Lastly add the chopped nuts.

Dough will be fairly firm.

Divide dough into grapefruit sized dough pieces and roll each out on a lightly floured surface.

They should be 1.5 inches in diameter, place onto parchment paper and bake for about 25 minutes or until firm.

Let the dough cool till firm and cut diagonally into 3/4 inch thick biscotti.

Return to a baking rack placed on a sheet pan and continue baking at 200 degrees for an additional 10-15 minutes, until hard.

Remove from oven and cool before placing them in a tin with a lid to prevent them from becoming stale.

Thanks for your continued support and we hope to see you soon. - Il Piatto

Got a favorite holiday recipe you would like to see featured on the Portland Blog? Email us! Have a great Monday, Portland!

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December 13, 2005 06:57 - Oregon Coast Trip

Howdy to a surprisingly dry Portland,

I spent part of the last weekend at the coast...Cannon Beach and Lincoln City (and nearly every little city in between).  It was soooo lovely!  Saturday and Sunday were warm (unreal compared to P-p-p-ortland!), sunny and devoid of the typical tourist hustle and bustle, reminding me that the winter months really are the best time to enjoy the coast.  I'm pondering packing up the dogs and my ever-so-significant-one and heading back out to the beach for the holiday.  You can rent a *house* for about the same as a hotel room--  do a little grocery shopping, stoke the fire, fix a great meal and eat in (and it still feels like eating out), and well, laze around in a, albeit chilly, beach paradise...

A few of my favorite "vacation home finders" 

In a little over an hours drive, you're at the beach with a slew of options to keep you busy (or not so busy-- if that's what you want)...

  • Absolutely stunning hikes
  • Deep sea fishing
  • The very best whale watching starts right around Christmas and goes through the first week of January...the whales come very close in for excellent views...
  • Horseback riding
  • Winery tours
  • Crabbing
  • Lighthouse touring
  • Kite flying
  • Oregon Coast Aquarium
  • And more....

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December 14, 2005 07:16 - Portland Toy Drives

Do you want to warm the heart of a child this year? There are many local gift and toy drives in Portland where you can fulfill a child's dream of a happy holiday. Bring a new, unwrapped toy to any one of these toy drives, or choose a child's "wish list" from a holiday tree:

Salvation Army, Angel Giving Trees
Visit one of the Angel Giving Tree locations and shop for a needy child this Christmas. Locations & More Info

Toys for Tots Holiday Toy Drive (sponsored by Safeway, KUPL, United States Marine Corp, Portland Fire Bureau)
Drop your toys at neighborhood Safeway, or at the KUPL Studios. More Information.

Portland Miracle Revival Church Toy Drive
4828 N Williams Avenue, Portland, OR, 97227

KGW NewsChannel 8 Great Toy Drive (ends 12/20)
Drop Off at multiple locations throughout Portland. Read More.

Fox 12 Toy Drive (sponsored by George Smith Appliance Warehouse)
Drop Off Locations

Oregon State Agency Toy Drive
If you would like to make a donation to help out, just contact Celeste Hari at (503) 378-6611.

If you have additional Portland area toy drives you would like listed, just click the Comment button below. Thanks, Portland, have a great day!

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December 15, 2005 06:37 - Portland's Rheinlander

Mornin, P'Town...

Ah, the Rheinlander...If you haven't visited this fantastic German restaurant, you must make a mental note (or better yet, a reservation) and get over there.  For those of you scratching your head and thinking "Hmmm, sounds familiar...but I thought it was called something else"....There are two parts of this excellent German retreat:  Gustav's is the "pub" (cheaper fare but basically the same food) and Rheinlander is the restaurant, complete with German village style decorations, yodeling and accordions...Folks sing along, pound the tables and drink steins of Hell's and Oktoberfest and have a great time.  The food is tasty, the fondue is to-die-for (that cheese is unparalleled!) and the staff is top notch. 

Famous for rotisserie pork, various schnitzels, sauerbraten, spatzel, lentil soup and much, much more...Two thumbs up for the Rheinlander-- a warm, friendly, fun place with great food!

Have you started your 12 days of Christmas count down yet? 

On the second day of Christmas, 
my true love sent to me 
Two turtle doves, 
And a partridge in a pear tree. 

 

Have a great day....

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December 16, 2005 07:08 - Portland Charity Gift Ideas

If you are still looking for a gift for that special someone, and haven't come up with a good idea, or they "don't really need anything", then here is a great idea for you--donate in their name to a favorite charity. There are an abundance of good causes, and you can rest assured that your gift will have meaning and value.

To find a charity that matches your interest, I suggest you visit the website CharityNavigator. They have researched and rated charity organizations around the world so you can be sure that your charity is legitimate and managed responsibly.

To donate "at home" to Portland charities, just use their Charity Search tool and enter the keywords "Portland Oregon". A couple of four-star Portland charities to consider include:

So, the next time your friend says "I can't think of anything I want for a gift", now you have some great ideas! If you have other charities you think are worthy of mention, just click "Comment" below and share it.

Have a great Friday, Portland!

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December 17, 2005 07:37 - Google Transit in Portland

Hola Portland...Pilot town of Google's latest brainchild...

Google is now focusing their attention on public transit...What better system to start with than a super sophisticated mass transit system such as the one we have here in glorious P-Town?  The Google pilot is focused on the TriMet system (local bus and light rail system for you non-locals)-- the pilot is basically a trip-planner that gives you detailed information on how to get from A-Z-- where to walk, what line to take, cost and more.  This system even compares the cost of riding TriMet compared to driving! 

We hear the pilot is still somewhat buggy- a work in progress in some areas, but we are stoked to be a pilot city for the Big G.  Google has said that they chose Portland because ""Tri-Met, Portland's transit authority, is a technological leader in public transportation. The team at Tri-Met is a group of tremendously passionate people dedicated to serving their community. And Tri-Met has a wealth of data readily available that they were eager to share with us for this project."

Go check this out...from what I can see, its super cool and will be very useful.  Google Transit would totally blow my grandparents away...How far we have come!  This couldn't have existed 10 years ago (not easily anyway)--- amazing the benefits we continue to gain, and grow accustomed to, via the Internet...

And-- last but not least ;-)

On the fourth day of Christmas, 
my true love sent to me 
Four calling birds, 
Three French hens, 
Two turtle doves, 
And a partridge in a pear tree.

Love, PortlandNeighborhood.com

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December 18, 2005 08:44 - Green Dog Pet Supply

We got an email from the folks at Green Dog Pet Supply telling us about their store. Green Dog is located in the Beaumont Wilshire Neighborhood, at 4605 NE Fremont St. in Beaumont Village. I stopped in yesterday to check it out and I picked up lots of wonderful items for my two crazy dogs. Green Dog features lots of great dog and cat items, ranging from healthy, high quality natural and organic foods, to some fun pet-themed cards, magnets and other gifts. Green Dog focuses on "green" pet supplies, so while you are doing something good for Rover, you will be doing something nice for the planet, too. Read more (from their brochure):

"What are "Green" Pet Supplies?

  • Recycled Materials - Reusing items diverts waste from landfills.
  • Organic/natural ingredients. Avoiding pesticides, chermical fertilizers, and chemical preservatives is good for our animals, for us, and for our environment.
  • Sustainable sources - choosing products that minimize our impact on the the environment means our planet's resources are not depleted as rapidly.
  • Durable products - If one flying disc lasts as long as 30 less durable discs, there are 29 fewer plastic discs in the landfill!
  • Locally Made - Buying from local sources means that products will not have to be shipped as far, reducing emissions and fuel consumption.
If you live in NE Portland, this is definitely a store to add to your shopping list for your own pets, or for the pet lover in your life! Thanks to Green Dog for sending us an invitation to their store. We love to support local Portland business, so if you have a store you would like us to feature, send us an email! Have a great Sunday, Portland!

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December 18, 2005 16:17 - Snow in Portland! Stay Tuned to the Blog...

Above Image, Frisky Dog in Piedmont!

It's snowing!!!!  We all knew it was headed our way and boy, is it coming down!  The city of Portland rarely gets snow-- and when we do, more often than not, our lovely white snow turns into lovely inches of ice.  Freezing rain is on the horizon-- we expect to see it this evening and into tomorrow...Be prepared! 

As of right now, it's not too late to:

  • Get to the store and pick up some necessities...  I went earlier and picked up stuff for chili and potato soup...New Seasons on Portland Blvd and Interstate (in Arbor Lodge neighborhood) was a mad house...We're all going crazy, preparing for a 3-day "freeze" (a few years ago, we had a major ice storm and everyone was house-bound for about 3 days).  Don't forget candles and firewood.  There are about 7,000 homes without power right now. 
  • Bring in your favorite outdoor pots.  I lose just about every outdoor pot to ice storms.  They will fill with snow and water, freeze and then crack.  If you haven't already covered them up, just put them in the garage or under an eave.  Use garbage bags to cover them...
  • Pick up an ice scraper at the store.  They're probably selling for twenty bucks a piece right now.  lol ;-)
  • Drop by your local video or DVD shop and pick up a few movies...
  • Drive only when necessary.  Remember, we don't see this stuff very often and hardly anyone knows how to drive in it...The nice snowy streets already have a layer of ice underneath them...

PortlandNeighborhood.com quick and dirty chili recipe (delish!!):

  • 1.5lbs hamburger (10% or less)
  • 1 large sweet onion chopped
  • Cook chili and onion in a large pan, salt and pepper to taste
  • In a large pot, add: 1 can kidney beans, 2 can chili beans (strain and rinse beans), 2 cans tomato sauce, 2 cans water, cumin to taste, 1 teaspoon chili powder (or to taste), 2 cans stewed tomatoes
  • Optional :  add frozen corn or chopped potatoes
  • Simmer for a few hours

We might be blogging more than usual today-- check back!

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December 19, 2005 06:08 - Ice Storm - Restricted Travel in Portland

If you don't have to go out this morning--don't. We did get a dreaded Portland ice storm, and driving is still fairly treacherous in many areas. They are hoping things will warm up later today, so many schedules are on a delay of a few hours, although some schools and businesses are closed. Be sure to check our Portland News Page for links to your local news sources, as well as our Getting Around Portland Page forTriMet and other transportation information.

Some of you will have to go outside and brave it, anyway. For those of you wanting to take Tri Met, trains are operational this morning, but here is some information on Tri Met's website on bus schedules:

Cold-weather riding tips: More people ride transit during inclement weather conditions, so traveling may be easier during off-peak hours.

Dress warmly and be prepared for the possibility of a lengthy wait.

When your bus arrives, stay on the curb until it comes to a complete stop.

BUS
Most buses are on snow routes. All buses will be chained. Expect delays.
See the specific bus routes that are affected (listed on the website.) Check back later as more specific information becomes available.

MAX Blue Line
MAX is running about every 10 minutes. Shuttle buses are providing service between 172nd & Cleveland Ave stations in Gresham

MAX Red Line
Red Line trains are runing only between the airport and Gateway Transit Center.

MAX Yellow Line
MAX trains are running about every 10 minutes

LIFT
LIFT door-to-door service for the elderly and people with disabilities will only provide life-sustaining trips on Monday.

Keep checking your local news channels for updates, and let's hope for a warmer afternoon! Stay safe and warm today, Portland!

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December 20, 2005 07:22 - Portland Stocking Stuffer Ideas

In five days, a big fat man will be stuffing himself down my chimney to load up my mini rosemary tree with a bazillion little gifties...I'm all done with the shopping (whoohoo!) but might sneak out for a few little stocking stuffers as time permits. 

Some of my favorite stocking stuffers:

  • Dog bones and greenie chews (who can leave out the hound?)
  • Moonstruck chocolates
  • Stumptown coffee beans (I usually buy at New Seasons or the Albina Press in Humboldt)
  • Dagoba chocolates (oooooohhh so good!)
  • Incense and candles (Wild Oats has a good selection)
  • Gift certificate to a fun place like the Yarn Garden (this place is unreal its so huge!)
  • DVDs are always a fun stocking stuffer...
  • Gift certificates to Powell's Books are loved by all
  • McMenamin's gift certificates are a great gift, too

On the seventh day of Christmas, 
my true love sent to me 
Seven swans a-swimming, 
Six geese a-laying, 
Five golden rings, 
Four calling birds, 
Three French hens, 
Two turtle doves, 
And a partridge in a pear tree.

Have a great Tuesday, Portland...

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December 21, 2005 08:38 - Last Minute Shopping Ideas

Ok...so you still have some shopping to do, and can't bear the thought of getting stuck in a Mall parking garage (I got stuck on the roof of Lloyd Center the other day behind a huge line of cars trying to escape) or driving around forever while jockeying for that lone parking space at the back of lot? I've got two words for you: "gift certificates"....

Ok you may be thinking "how boring", or "how thoughtless", but the truth is that gift certificates have risen in popularity for many good reasons: 1) Get someone exactly what they want at a favorite store because they get to pick it out! Or buy from a mega-outlet like Amazon and they get to use their gift certificate at one of any number of different stores. 2) You don't have to go to the mall-- and get to spend your time instead doing something you would rather do, which puts you in a better mood, and everyone reaps the rewards of that! 3) You can order most gift certificates on-line and email them directly to the recipient--instantly! So, even if you wait until 5 minutes before Midnight on Christmas Eve to start your shopping...you still get your shopping done on time!

Here are a few gift certificate ideas:

  • Audible.com. For the person who loves to listen--iPod lovers, audio book lovers, audible magazines...they have a huge selection of "audible" treats that will make a great gift.
  • iTunes- Give your music-loving friend a gift certificate to iTunes where they can choose from over a million downloadable songs.
  • Amazon.com - Literally redeemable for MILLIONS of different items. A great choice for the friend who has everything, a corporate gift, or for someone who is challenging to buy for.

If you are looking for a more local gift certificate, be sure to check out your favorite Portland restaurant (steak dinner at Ringside, anyone?), or try one of these ideas:

  • Nordstrom - Pamper someone you love with a gift card to "Nordy's". This favorite local store offers quality merchandise and great service.
  • REI Portland - Give a gift of the outdoors. REI is a Portland tradition for your outdoorsey types since 1976.
  • Portland Spirit - For a unique gift, why not consider a fun trip down the Willamette river on the Portland Spirit?

Well, hopefully this gives you a couple of ideas.

On the eighth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

Have a great day, Portland!

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December 22, 2005 08:52 - Featured Local Artist - Alexander Rokoff

I was happy to come across an article in Portland Monthly magazine about one of Portland's most talented local artists, Alexander Rokoff. The article, "Flight of the Falcon", is in the December issue. The article discusses the renovation of the old Falcon Apartments building into a haven for artists, now referred to as the "Falcon Arts Community". As a reflection of the new plans for the building, Alexander was commissioned to paint portraits of many of the Falcon's long-time residents. Alex's oil portraits have a historical quality to them, and it seems fitting that he was asked to capture the spirit of the people who occupy the old building. As Alex told Portland Monthly, "Each painting was fueled by the subjects' life experiences and their experiences in the building..."

I had the privilege of viewing some of these portraits first-hand, as I was taking oil painting classes from Alex this past summer at "Vermilion Studios" (now renamed to Rokoff Studio) on Mississippi Avenue in the Boise neighborhood. There is no doubt that Alexander Rokoff is an amazing talent, and it is great to see a local artist get some recognition in the press. Alex is being discovered beyond Portland's borders, as well. Alexander's work is featured in an exhibition at the Timothy Yarger Fine Art Gallery, in Beverly Hills.

Drop by and visit Alex sometime in his studio on N. Mississippi Avenue to see some amazing works of art. Or, visit the Rokoff Studio website at www.rokoffstudio.com.

On the ninth day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

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December 23, 2005 08:10 - Portland Christmas Survey

Howdy Portland...

So what are you doing for Christmas this weekend?

Me? Renting a few movies (ah, Video Verite!), cooking up a Honeybaked ham (yyyyyummmm), having a few friends over for drinks, horror movies (a Christmas fave) and a few pool games...My favorite tradition is the last showing of whatever big blockbuster movie is out-- this year? King Kong!!

You?

On the tenth day of Christmas, 
my true love sent to me 
Ten lords a-leaping, 
Nine ladies dancing, 
Eight maids a-milking, 
Seven swans a-swimming, 
Six geese a-laying, 
Five golden rings, 
Four calling birds, 
Three French hens, 
Two turtle doves, 
And a partridge in a pear tree. 

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December 24, 2005 09:04 - Portland Holiday Music

I am always looking for holiday music that will put me in the spirit, especially something good to play in the background while people are over and dinner is being prepared, etc. I was doing some last minute shopping on iTunes last night and discovered a great offer. If you buy gift certificates and pay with your Paypal account, you get 10 free songs yourself for every $20 you spend. If you are interested in their offer, click HERE to learn more. So, after doing some shopping for others, I found myself with some song credits to spend! I spent some time looking for some decent holiday mixes I could burn to CD. Here are a couple of recommendations (you can find all these songs available for instant download on iTunes for .99 cents each!):

Lounge/Dance Christmas Tunes

Description - These are classic holiday songs that have been remixed with a good loungey feel and dance backbeat that will make you smile and get you moving. If you really need something to jolt you into the holiday spirit in non-traditional style, check out these tunes:

Dance of the Sugar Plum Fairy (Red Baron Remix) by Berlin Symphony Orchestra, Album: Holiday Lounge, The Christmas Remixes

White Christmas (Kascade Remix) by Bing Crosby, Album: Holiday Lounge, The Christmas Remixes

Happy Holiday (Beef Wellington Remix) by Bing Crosby, Crosby, Album: Holiday Lounge, The Christmas Remixes

Baby It's Cold Outside (Mulato Beat Remix), by Louis Armstrong and Velma Middleton, Album: Holiday Lounge, The Christmas Remixes

The Christmas Song (TONAL Remix), by Jimmy McGriff, Album: Holiday Lounge, Christmas Remixed 2

Silent Night (46bliss Remix), by Mahalia Jackson, Album: Holiday Lounge, Christmas Remixed 2

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (Malibu Remix), by Billy May. Album: Merry Mixmas: Christmas Classics Remixed

I've Got My Love to Keep Me Warm (Stuhr Remix), by Kay Starr. Album: Christmas Remixed - Holiday Classics Re-Grooved

Got your own favorite song list to share? Click "Comment" below and add your list! Happy Last Minute Shopping, Portland!

On the eleventh day of Christmas,
my true love sent to me
Eleven pipers piping,
Ten lords a-leaping,
Nine ladies dancing,
Eight maids a-milking,
Seven swans a-swimming,
Six geese a-laying,
Five golden rings,
Four calling birds,
Three French hens,
Two turtle doves,
And a partridge in a pear tree.

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December 25, 2005 09:18 - Merry Christmas, Portland!

Merry Christmas, Portland! The long awaited holiday has finally arrived! My day promises to be pretty low-key...A long, leisurely dog walk in the morning, followed by a cup of coffee at the Albina Press (they are actually open!), an afternoon of good eats (ham, green bean casserole, taties, pumpkin pie...), a few glasses of my new favorite wine (Pinot Gris by Eyrie Vineyards) and perhaps a few pool games or TNT horror flicks (zombie Christmas marathon, anyone?). I'm both excited and relieved that Christmas has arrived...

Now that the big day has come, we have yet another holiday to prepare for...New Years is just around the corner. No plans to speak of yet-- however, a nice (notice I did not say 'quiet) evening in a local bar sure sounds fantastic. Escaping to the beach sounds equally excellent....Do you have any plans you want to share?

Have a great day, Puddleton...

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December 26, 2005 07:09 - Leftover Ham Recipe Ideas

For those who celebrated Christmas yesterday, we hope it was Merry! I had a honey baked ham, which many of you also did based on the lines at the Honey Baked Ham Store! So, if you are wondering what to do with the leftover ham bone (or leftover ham if your family didn't eat every scrap), I thought I would share some recipe ideas with you. All recipes rated 5 stars, from All Recipes.Com

HAM BONE SOUP

INGREDIENTS:
1 ham bone with some meat
1 onion, diced
1 (14.5 ounce) can peeled and diced tomatoes with juice
1 (15.25 ounce) can kidney beans
3 potatoes, cubed
1 green bell pepper, seeded and cubed
4 cups water
6 cubes chicken bouillon

DIRECTIONS:
Place the ham bone, onion, tomatoes, kidney beans, potatoes, and green pepper into a 3 quart or larger slow cooker. Dissolve the bouillon cubes in water, and pour into the slow cooker.
Cover, and cook on High until warm. Reduce heat to Low, and continue to cook for 5 to 6 hours.
Enjoy!

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HAM & POTATO SOUP

INGREDIENTS:
3 1/2 cups peeled and diced potatoes
1/3 cup diced celery
1/3 cup finely chopped onion
3/4 cup diced cooked ham
3 1/4 cups water
2 tablespoons chicken bouillon granules
1/2 teaspoon salt, or to taste
1 teaspoon ground white or black pepper, or to taste
5 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons all-purpose flour
2 cups milk

DIRECTIONS: Combine the potatoes, celery, onion, ham and water in a stockpot. Bring to a boil, then cook over medium heat until potatoes are tender, about 10 to 15 minutes. Stir in the chicken bouillon, salt and pepper.
In a separate saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Whisk in flour with a fork, and cook, stirring constantly until thick, about 1 minute. Slowly stir in milk as not to allow lumps to form until all of the milk has been added.
Continue stirring over medium-low heat until thick, 4 to 5 minutes.
Stir the milk mixture into the stockpot, and cook soup until heated through. Serve immediately.

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SPLIT PEA & HAM SOUP

INGREDIENTS:
1 cup chopped onion
1 teaspoon vegetable oil
1 pound dried split peas
1 pound ham bone
salt and pepper to taste

DIRECTIONS:
In a medium pot, saute onions in oil or bacon grease. Remove from heat and add split peas, ham bone or chopped ham. Add enough water to cover ingredients, and season with salt and pepper.
Cover, and cook until there are no peas left, just a green liquid, 2 hours. While it is cooking, check to see if water has evaporated. You may need to add more water as the soup continues to cook.
Once the soup is a green liquid remove from heat, and let stand so it will thicken. Once thickened you may need to heat through to serve.

Happy eating! Have a great day, Portland.

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December 27, 2005 06:14 - National Geographic Traveler Portland Article

The January/February 2006 issue of the National Geographic Traveler has an article (page 25) on our very own Mississippi Avenue. "Low-key and laid-back, North Mississippi Avenue pulses in the heart of Portland's northeast quadrant, the hub of a burgeoning music and dining scene. Once called home by early immigrant shipyard workers, the historic district is now tromping grounds for fashionable young people and restaurateurs, with Soho-esque boutiques and the city's best eateries nestled alongside down-home brewpubs and still-industrial warehouses."

The article features a great shot of Lorenzo's (Italian eatery) with Pistils Nursery in the backdrop. Several businesses were noted: Lorenzo's, Gravy, The ReBuilding Center, Blue Gardenia, Memoir, The Mississippi Pizza Pub, Amnesia Brewing and Bridge City Comics.

Wow, huh? I guess Mississippi Ave has finally, officially, come into its own! Makes me wonder when Kenton is going to experience the same phoenix from the ashes type revival...

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December 28, 2005 07:17 - Woodlawn and Other Site Updates

Today, we'd like to thank Ayleen Crotty for writing to us about her Portland neighborhood, Woodlawn. Woodlawn neighbors take pride in the uniqueness and history of their community. Be sure to read more about Woodlawn, HERE. Write in and tell us about your neighborhood, and you can win a $15 gift certificate to Powell's just like Aylenn! So, come on Portland--tell us what makes your neighborhood so special! To enter to win, fill out the Neighborhood Submissions Form, or just send us an Email.

We continue working on additional improvements to the website to deliver what Portland neighbors are requesting. There are three changes to the site this week:

Added to our Portland Real Estate Page - Listing of Portland Zip Codes by Neighborhood

Added to our Portland Real Estate Page - How to Search RMLS for a Home, by School Name

BETA - Added to the Eliot Neighborhood Page - A Brand New Function for Neighbors to have their Own Community Discussion Forum!


Using a forum, you can add neighborhood meeting agenda topics, meeting minutes, post the community newspaper, write in about community events, post notices about yard sales or classifieds, discuss community issues with your neighbors and more! This new feature will soon be added to ALL the neighborhood pages. If you're impatient and want to test it out NOW, send us an email and we will get your neighborhood set up!

We continue to tweak the site and make other improvements. If you have suggestions or comments on what you would like to see on the site, please let us know. Also, coming soon this week on the Blog we will be sharing lots of Portland January events! So, be sure to check back!

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December 29, 2005 06:02 - Portland January Events

Good morning, Portland,

It's tempting to embark upon the typical New Years resolutions such as losing weight, getting up earlier, drinking less coffee and so on...However, I know myself well enough to be able to admit that I don't do well with those type of "resolutions"... So, instead, my goal is to simply get out and do more.  Who knows, I might just benefit by losing a little weight, enjoying more (unhurried) quiet mornings while drinking some fine coffee (less coffee!? Ha!)

My ideas for January 2006:

  • Hurry up and get over to Depoe Bay (only have a week or so left) to watch the annual gray whale migration. I have always heard its absolutely stunning and I can't believe I have never gone.  
  • Attend the Reel Music Festival (Songs of the Silver Screen) starting January 6 and going through February 12.  Take a look at the calendar to check out the schedule. They've got a really great line-up of "jazz, rock, funk, soul, gospel, hip-hop, hillbilly, folk, reggae, country, classical, chazzannut, electronic and the avant-garde".  This will be an excellent primer for the Portland Jazz Festival which starts in February (I can't wait!)...
  • Get up to Mt. Hood and enjoy the winter season. We've had some good snowfall this year-- renting a cabin and chilling out for a weekend sounds like a luscious escape.  Plus, nothing is more fun than watching a Basset in the snow!

Have a great Thursday, all!

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December 30, 2005 07:45 - Portland Arts and Culture

Today, we have added a new page to the website, Portland Arts and Culture. Portland has a rich variety of art, including art galleries throughout Downtown, the Pearl District, Alberta Arts District, and many more neighborhoods. Our list is new, so we do not have all the galleries in the city listed yet, but we are working on it! We will also be adding other cultural events and venues to the site, soon.

If you own a gallery, theatre, or other cultural venue and want to get listed on the site, here is all you have to do:
Contact us with an Email, and tell us your name and address, website URL (if you have one), and a brief history or description of what makes your gallery or venue unique and special. That's all you have to do, and we will add you to the page! (isn't free advertising grand?)

Next, make sure your gallery events are listed on the new Portland Arts & Culture Calendar. All you have to do is click the ADD button on the calendar itself, then fill in the date/time and other information for your event, and save it. That is all--your event will show up immediately on the calendar and on the web page!

So, for this weekend's planned activities, be sure to browse our new Arts page and then go out to Portland and find yourself some "eye candy". Please send in your suggestions and ideas for the web page, so we can make this site a true reflection of arts & culture in Portland. Thanks, Portland and have a great Friday!

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December 31, 2005 10:03 - Portland New Years Eve

Today's plan is pretty low key.  I am starting off with an exquisite latte from my favorite coffee shop, Albina Press.  I am then off to a typical Saturday morning of "dog fiesta" which is an hour or so of utter dog park insanity.  I love how Portland is such a dog friendly city...Our nearly 50 dog parks are a testament to this.  Make sure to check out the dog park link as the website hosting the park information is very informative, offering pictures and important details such as whether or not the park is fenced, has available water, and so on. 

Need a bath and dry after some "mud-doggin'?  There are several to choose from in the city but my favorite is Beauty and the Beast on NE Sandy.  They have a nice, open self-service dog wash area with plenty of tubs, a good selection of supplies and really awesome, knowledgeable folks working there. 

What to do with the rest of the day?  Hmmmm...a healthy lunch (Mio Sushi?), a nap and a coin toss over where to spend New Years Eve...Local bar or house party or perhaps both?  ;-)

Don't have your Portland New Year's plans yet?  Here are just a few ideas:

  • The 15th Annual Champagne Ball! - "The Champagne Ball is a party with a social conscience and this year a portion of the proceeds will benefit the Friends of the Children. Friends of the Children is a nationally recognized non-profit organization that mentors at risk youth starting at the kindergarten level and continues up through high school."
  • Pink Martini - Playing at The Schnitz- "Though the comeback craze for vinyl furniture, polyester, "The Jetsons" and martinis has faded once again, Thomas Lauderdale's band Pink Martini still rates. The Harvard grad and classically trained pianist has a musical memory that never seems to reach the saturation point--he genre-hops from Janacek to Jobim to Doris Day without blinking an eye, while bringing a punk attitude to the classical arena. Lauderdale has referred to his band's music as "cosmopolitan rumba"--about as apt a description as any to describe the man's cross-cultural, cross-lingual, cross-generational appeal."  Write-up From www.Portland.CitySearch.com
  • 2nd Annual New Years Eve Fir Ball @ the Doug Fir (Jupiter Hotel) - ring in the New Year with one of Portland's favorite bands, Dahlia!
  • New Year's Eve Party @ Dante's - with "Storm and the Balls" and Karaoke from Hell...
  • Play it safe, make your own party, and stay home :-)

Have a great and safe holiday, Portland!

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