Welcome to another edition of our all local Portland blog and most importantly, welcome Miss Lady Spring back to the Pacific Northwest! Yes! Nothing like the cherry blossoms in full bloom and a backdrop of...snow? While I despise any blog that blathers on about the weather, the recent arctic temps and area snowfalls are, in fact, newsworthy much to my chagrin. Hell, its 75 degrees in the Midwest and snowing here in what is normally a year long -albeit wet, real wet- springlike utopia. Talk about a little role reversal. Polar bears, you'll be in my prayers tonight. For real.
Photo by Michael Barton
There are a few things to know about Spring in Portland. Just a few tips from yours truly...
1. It rains. Every single day. And...nobody carries an umbrella.
2. We go from sleepy wintery death to lush green almost overnight. Watch the leaves and be amazed at how quickly they turn from microscopic buds to full grown foliage.
3. A rare sunny day will appear and you shouldn't laugh at the fools in shorts, down jackets and homemade scarves riding along in pure bliss on their fixies. No! You should join them. Fixie or no fixie. Just get on a bike and live.
4. The time of the farmers market is upon us. Do yourself a favor and get acquainted with all your local, fresh produce options and give these folks your hard earned dollars. Eat local! And if you don't buy it...
5. Grow it! In my North Portland neighborhood, people don't look at you like you're crazy if your yard is a little lagging- they look at you like you're crazy if your yard isn't your own personal produce bed. Yep, kale, lettuce, tomatoes, potatoes, strawberries, onions- it all grows here and grows well! The Jones' here don't have manicured hedges-- they have food growing in nice raised beds and chickens laying eggs-- in the city. Get to work!
6. Park the damn car. Seriously. In a city that cares more about its bike lanes and mass transit than the roads and the cars that bump and grind on them, you may as well just say, "I'm about five miles from the furthest place I need to go" and just pull out your trusty bicycle, study the bike maps and save on the gas, calories, parking, stress, you name it.
It's all about the wind in your hair, feeling alive. Carpe a little diem, my friends. You live in a very special place, just roll with it. Literally. Breweries, farmers markets, great hikes, eschewing cars-- all of these things are yours and more.
The Portland Photo of the Week by Earl R Thomas
The Portland Photo of the Week is a great shot taken at the Crystal Springs Rhododendron Garden. This is one of our favorite spots in Portland and soooo beautiful this time of year. The squirrels will eat out of your hands, yes, yes, the folklore is true. But be wary, they are critters with teeth so mind the digits! Go and enjoy this fabulous place, especially now, with the cherry trees and tulip trees in bloom.
Our weekly Portland photo winner gets a $20 gift certificate to a local Portland business of our choosing. Earl will receive a $20 gift cert to lone of our local favorites, Miho Izakaya. The food is always amazing and the service is attentive and charming in every single way. Some of the best food in fair PDX is found at Miho. Go!
Come and upload your Portland photos to the Photo Gallery for your chance to win each week. Check back to see if your photo is selected for a spotlight in the weekly Portland blog!
Written by PortlandNeighborhood Guest Writer, Rob Creighton Garrison
Snow after the spring equinox should be a crime. I realize that this would be futile, as to name it a crime would also necessitate apprehending the perpetrator known popularly as “our solar system”, that entity being only an infintitesimally small-time racket in thrall to a vast syndicate known as The Universe, who I must assume has some really good attorneys and so attempted prosecution probably isn't worth the bother and the fees. It still sucks, though.
Yes, it's pretty to look at, and of course Portland, and Oregon in general, wears any sort of weather like it was made specifically for Her. I won't debate the aesthetic pleasures of a snowfall and the attendant muting of the world. I'm not disgruntled by looking and listening (not hearing?) it. I hate having to travel through it, that's all. If my vehicles magically sprouted skis, and if I were gifted with the grace and center of gravity of Boitano, I'd gladly join the chorus of voices that wax rhapsodic over the delights of alabaster landscapes. Alas, none of those equalizers do I possess and so when I look out of the window and see snow, my appreciation of it is marred by thoughts of barely-avoided (IF avoided) fender-benders and the certainty that I will find some way to become suddenly, jarringly horizontal on a sidewalk or while walking to the car in a parking lot. It happens every season that features frozen precipitation. Some people gaze at fields of snow and ponder a winter wonderland. I ponder deductibles, bruises, and distressed joints.
Actually, the best snow is that which is piled so high it prohibits travel altogether. I'll toast any snowfall that forces me to lie bundled on the sofa with a blanket and a book and a hot beverage, IF it doesn't go beyond a couple of days. The Ice Storm of 2004 had us holed up for four days. Our respective workplaces were closed, and we couldn't get down the treacherously steep hill upon which our apartment complex sits. That was a long four days, and didn't do a thing to soften my attitude toward snow. At all. Trust me, when you have to wait out a storm for that long with your spouse AND every friend you have because they all just happen to live steps down the sidewalk from you, you'll find a new appreciation of the Donner party.
There was this one time, though...
I think it was the winter of 1993-94. The weather bureau had issued a storm warning for that morning, but off I trudged to work through the frigid dry morning (at that time I lived about a two miles from our apartment house on Belmont, so I walked most days). Two hours later we were all told to go home, business was shutting down due to weather. Awaiting me outside was a silent white and glittering city. I set off for home, searching for the sidewalk using foot-braille, the crunch of my boots into the crust the loudest sound in my ears. Occasionally I saw an automobile on a distant street moving along at a speed no faster than mine, or another dark plodding figure stutter-stepping along. Every few minutes I had to stop and wipe my eyeglasses free of fog, and twice I almost slid and fell, but as I slowly made my way I found that I was actually enjoying myself. It was as if I had the city streets to myself, alone in the near-silent lonely whiteness. It was one of those times, like walking a forest trail, or strolling along the beach as the sea reaches for my ankles, when the world seems to alter in a way I don't expect, like I turned a corner and Nature has just scraped every other being away for a few minutes so we could acknowledge each other.
It was one of my most memorable walks. I have to try to remember that the next time it snows.
Read and comment on the original post here. Like this article? Check back weekly for a peek into Rob's world.
Featured Portland Events this Week
April 6, 2012 to April 28, 2012 – Public House Theatre Company performs at CoHo Theater The Pub Presents: Tuesdays with Morrie by Jeffrey Hatcher and Mitch Albom. Produced by Public House Theatre Company. A young man, an old man, and life's greatest lesson. The Pub presents the true story of sports writer Mitch Albom’s weekly Tuesday visits with his former professor, Morrie Schwartz, during the final weeks of Morrie’s life. After a lapse of 16 years, their rekindled relationship teaches Mitch lessons he never knew he needed to learn about life, love, and letting go.
January 7, 2012 at 11am to March 31, 2012 at 3pm –Portland Art Museum Local food carts will design menu items, both savory and sweet, to serve on Saturdays and Free Fourth Friday nights. All specials will be inspired by works in the collection. Share ideas over an art-…Organized by | Type: special, event
February 5, 2012 at 12pm to April 8, 2012 at 2pm – NW Documentary Make a short documentary in 10 weeks! Week 1: brainstorm ideas; week 10: prepare to premiere your work on the big screen. Each class covers the steps of making a documentary with a strong emphasis o…Organized by NW Documentary | Type: filmmaking,workshop
February 18, 2012 at 10am to May 27, 2012 at 5pm –Portland Art Museum Art, music, poetry, and film come together in Frame’s ambitious project, The Tale of the Crippled Boy. The goal is a feature-length collection of animated and live film vignettes. Three Fragments of…Organized by | Type: exhibition
March 2, 2012 at 8pm to March 25, 2012 at 2pm –Serendipity Players Robert and Beth have reunion dinners on the first, fifth, and tenth anniversaries of their divorce. This is a world premiere of Happy Anniversary by local playwright, Gary Corbin! Corbin's delicious…Organized by Tony Broom, Director | Type: live, theater,performance
February 29, 2012 at 12pm to May 2, 2012 at 1pm –Old Church downtown Sack Lunch Concerts (Free Concerts every Wednesday) LOCATION The Old Church1422 SW 11th AvePortland, OR 97201 Map It! PHONE (503) 222-2031 RUN TIME 45 minutes DATE/TIME Wed 29 Feb 2012 12:00PM - We…Organized by | Type: free, music, event
March 6, 2012 at 7:30pm to April 15, 2012 at 7:30pm – Artists Repertory Theatre - Morrison Stage So what is it that defines “crazy” anyway? Called a groundbreaking, powerhouse rock musical, Next to Normal, is a heart-swelling, searingly painful dissection of a mother’s mental illness and her sub…Organized by Artists Repertory Theatre | Type:performance
March 9, 2012 at 10am to November 11, 2012 at 5pm – The Portland Art Museum This spring, the Museum will celebrate the restoration of Money Tree, an extremely rare bronze sculpture that embodies wishes for eternal prosperity in the afterlife. The money tree will be displayed…Organized by The Portland Art Museum | Type: exhibit
March 16, 2012 to April 8, 2012 – "Keller Auditorium" Back by “Popular” demand. Entertainment Weekly calls WICKED "the best musical of the decade,” and when it last played Portland in 2009, it broke box office records and sold out in record time. Winner…Organized by Wicked | Type: musical
March 17, 2012 at 6pm to December 15, 2012 at 6pm – Pioneer Courthouse Square Fan out from Pioneer Courthouse Square into the shops, malls, and downtown landmarks to solve the riddles and overcome ridiculous challenges in this race-the-clock urban adventure. Upon arrival, a hi…Organized by Gary Corbin | Type: scavenger, hunt
March 22, 2012 at 8pm to March 24, 2012 at 11:45pm – Helium Comedy Club Thursday 03/22 – 8PM $15 Friday 03/23 – 7PM & 9:30PM $20 Saturday 03/24 – 7PM & 9:30PM $22 Paul Mooney has been writing and performing comedy for over forty years. He wrote many of Richard Pr…Organized by Helium Comedy Club | Type: stand, up,comedy
Photo by Joanna Ceciliani
Moving to Portland?
So many people consider moving to Portland Oregon, and with good
reason. You've researched the area and found that you love the close proximity
to the ocean, Mt Hood, St Helens, the seemingly endless acres of forest for
hiking, camping and fishing. Or perhaps you've fallen in love with us after
discovering that we are as green as they come; setting the national bar for
bicycle commuting in lieu of cars, innovators of revolutionary recycling
programs, demanding sustainability and organic meats and produce. Or, you've
longed to move to Portland to join the masses known for being fiercely
independent, home of the nation's largest open air market, jokingly dubbed
Beervana for our seemingly never-ending stream of local Oregon breweries and
also one of the best places in the United States to get a cup of coffee.
Read more on our Moving to Portland page, complete with places to see, locals guides and neighborhood profiles.
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