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Portland Blog: This Week in Portland October 19 - October 26 2013


Last weekend, we headed out on an impromptu trip to the Oregon coast. A few friends were visiting from Seattle and they begged us to take them out to see the incredible Oregon coast line. We hurriedly grabbed a few belongings and threw them in the truck. At the last minute, we decided to tow along our 17 foot aluminum fishing boat with a few crab traps and, upon hearing the salmon were running, two poles-- just in case. We drove into the night and told stories about famous catches, the beaches and the best places to catch or dine on local fare.

Saturday was a dream. The trees had all turned and the autumn colors were dazzling. The sun was out and the skies were blue. It was a perfect time to take an unplanned trip to a favorite place. Alsea Bay is that favorite place. Located in Waldport, Oregon, Alsea is a quiet, pristine bay full of seals, pelicans by the flock and is chock full of dungeness crab. We come out every fall to crab for a weekend and rotate between dropping pots, pulling pots and grabbing beers and the dockside bar. This weekend would follow suit.

And so, we hit the bay and quickly loaded up a few crab for dinner. Docked the boat and hit the Salty Dawg bar for some fresh crab and clam chowder complete with breadbowl. 5 stars made 6 when paired with the Bridgeport IPA. Full up, we headed back out on the bay to check pots. On our way out, the waitress asked if we were headed to "the jaws" to fish for salmon. The jaws are located where the bay meets the ocean- a place we'd watched locals fish but had never done so ourselves. She said little boats like ours did well out there and the fish were definitely running.

Indeed, they were. What a beauty!

salmon at alsea




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The Portland Photo of the Week

The Portland Photo of the Week is by Pondering. This incredible image is of the Portland Chinese Garden.

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AmsterDAMMIT by Rob Creighton Garrison

I'm reading this excellent book about Amsterdam. The title of it is In the City of Bikes: The Story of the Amsterdam Cyclist, and it explores the impact the bicycle has had on the culture and economy of the Dutch capitol throughout its history and into modern times (the chapters that detail the absurdities and terrors experienced by the populace while under the heel of the German occupation during the Second World War are especially riveting).

It's an engaging read not only because of the historical perspectives but also because the author, an ex-pat American and bicycling enthusiast, takes the reader along as he learns the ways and means of modern-day Amsterdam and its two-wheeled culture.

Portland Oregon

I'm three-quarters through the book, and two things have already been made plain to me:

#1 The Netherlands, and Amsterdam in particular, is (are?) almost the exact opposite of America in its pragmatic embrace of that near-perfect machine known as the bicycle, and #2 the bicycling citizenry are kind of jerks about it.

Allow me to be an Ugly American for a paragraph or two here. This isn't an Us vs. Them thing I'm going for here; I still prefer their approach to ours when it comes to personal and public transportation (not that they have much choice anyway, since they really don't have the contiguous earth to scorch and chew up and stomp flat into highways like we do). I would love to plant one of our privileged American drivers in the middle of Amsterdam, however, to watch how he/she reacts to the jaw-dropping disregard the average Dutch pedaler has for stop signs and traffic lights, and apparently for their own lives. Helmets? “Nee, dank u!” Automobiles? “Achter mij, idioot!” Pedestrians and other cyclists? Nada, not so much as an “aan uw linkerhand”. Amsterdammers are blithely, frustratingly nonchalant about rules of the road and the constant peril of bodily injury and death that paces them along the cobblestones. Even the Nazis, in their efforts to control the cycling throng, were perplexed and thwarted by them.

I don't know if I'm cyclist enough for Amsterdam. I'm way too polite.

Sometimes I feel too polite to bike here in Portland, honestly, and it's other people on bicycles, not in motor vehicles, that lead me to ponder that thought.

A motorist has never passed me in the bike lane so close on my right that my skin tone actually changed.

A motorist has never suddenly appeared from around a group of power-walkers as he pistoned along at a speed of 25 mph or thereabouts on my side of the Springwater, coming to within five feet of my front wheel before dodging back to his side.

A motorist has never burst from a side street to cross a main thoroughfare, wearing dark clothing without lights on his vehicle, and exhibiting not a hint of common sense nor the barest flicker of self-preservation.

These not-motorists may love Amsterdam and be charmed by its lovable scofflaw dynamism, and it may be well that they consider a move. Because there are a lot fewer cars over there and that just might lengthen their lifespans.

In the meantime, devil-may-care biker folk out there: why not, I don't know, take a little responsibility for your own safety and that of those with whom you travel? Give a shout before you pass, give the rest of us room, and invest a little in some lights and reflective bits. Respect the road and those on it, as you would have motorists respect it. Be an advocate through your actions.

I thank you.


Find Rob @


Freemont Bridge

Fremont bridge by Fasai

Featured Portland Events


Body Opera Files

October 10, 2013 at 7:30pm to October 26, 2013 at 7:30pm – NW Industrial Warehouse, 2448 NW 28th Step into a thrilling work of American Noir with Portland's world renowned dance company, BodyVox. In this revival of the 2009 hit production, Foot Opera Files, character takes center stage as we folOrganized by BodyVox Dance | Type: performance

Scream Portland - Halloween

October 12, 2013 to November 2, 2013 – Scream Portland Scream is back and has partnered with Scream for the Schools to bring you an all new show in a brand new location! We know what scares you! Over the past 13 years Scream has enjoyed our reputation asOrganized by Scream Portland | Type: portland halloween event

Corrido Calavera

October 17, 2013 at 7:30pm to November 10, 2013 at 9:30pm – Miracle Theatre Each year the dead are commemorated Portland’s most renowned  celebration of the Day of the Dead! This year’s show directed by Lakin Valdez of the legendary Teatro Campesino, will delight in the stylOrganized by Miracle Theatre | Type: theatre,performance

Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge

Bee on Flower by Michael Barton



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