Category Archives: Portland Culture

Things to do in Portland (July 10th – 12th)

I scoured the Internet and put together the following list of interesting things to do in Portland this weekend.

Events: Friday, July 10

  • 4p – 6p Beer & Blog – PDX Green Dragon

  • 6p – 7p What the Sh*t – PDX Green Dragon. Experience the poetry of Twitter. Rules of What the Sh*t: * Readers will sign up at Beer and Blog fifteen minutes prior to start time and readers will read in order of signing up. * What the Sh*t will last for 40 minutes. * Each reader reads a maximum of six tweets in his/her best dramatic tone and/or poetry voice. * All emoticons must be spelled out. LOL can be pronounced. * Hashtags are to be read, hashtag: [text]. * The author of the post must be credited. * All posts are fair game. * Repeats of tweets are fine and, in certain cases, encouraged. * Be mindful of the narrative arc of your reading. * If one of your tweets is read, this is a compliment. Remember, there’s no crying in Twitter dramatic readings. Chest beating and keening are okay. * You must have an active Twitter presence to take part in What the Sh*t.
  • 8p The Producers, (Opening Weekend), Lakewood Theatre Company, 368 S. State Street, Lake Oswego, 503-635-3901

  • 9p Half Shark, Half Jesus – Red Room, 2530 NE 82nd Ave. (Indie Rock Band from Eugene, OR)

  • 9p Marie Black – The Hawthorne Theatre – $3.00 (Folk rock singer in Portland)

Events: Saturday, July 11th

  • 9a – 6p Electric Vehicle Day @ Pioneer Square. The Oregon Electric Vehicle Association will return to the Square this year to educate the public about the benefits of electric vehicles. A variety of electric and hybrid vehicles will be on display during this event.
  • 9a Portland Expo Center. The Portland Expo Antique & Collectible Show with more than 1400 booths filled with everything from estate jewelry, vintage toys, furniture from early American oak to European, Americana, china, etc.

  • 10a – 9p Mississippi Ave. Street Fair. Interesting arts & crafts vendors plus community service displays, & food vendors. Tupello Alley Reusable Art Fair & Water features, bingo, sustainability fair at the Mississippi Ave. Lofts (4138 N. Miss Ave.), salted ice cream outside at The Meadow (3731 N. Mississippi Ave.) and rose wine tasting at The Meadow. Organized by

  • 10a Guided Nature Tours, Tyron Creek State Park. Join a park naturalist for a free, guided nature hike to explore the forest and stream ecosystems and natural history at the park.

  • 10a Guided Nature Walk, Tualatin River National Wildlife Refuge, Sherwood. Join a volunteer naturalist for an easy paced nature stroll.

  • 11a Alcohol-based Fuel at home, Powell’s City of Books, Bright Neighbor University: Tom Dywer and Randy White. Join Tom Dwyer and Randy White as they discuss sustainable fueling and offer techniques for producing alcohol-based fuel at home. This event is part of a series co-sponsored by Bright Neighbor, a Portland-based organization dedicated to local living and neighborhood building.

  • 4pPhilosophy Café, Powell’s City of Books. Join philosophers and PCC instructors Brian Elliott and John Farnum as we discuss topical issues from a philosophical perspective. This month we will address the topic of secrets and lies.

  • 6p – 9p Summer Music on the pond at St. Josef’s Winery, Canby, OR. Jawbone Flats – NW Roots Rock. “Funk meets Flannel.” $5.00

  • 8p The Producers (Opening Weekend). Lakewood Theatre Company, 368 S. State Street, Lake Oswego, 503-635-3901

  • 9p Half Shark, Half Jesus – Red Room, 2530 NE 82nd Ave. (Indie Rock Band from Eugene, OR)

  • 9p Pterodactyl – East End, 203 SE Grand Ave. Pterodactyl fuses clear, melodic vocals — sometimes in three-part harmony – to repetitive punky riffs and drum-god splatter. $5 – $10

  • 9p – 12pThe Night Ride, Union Station, 800 NW 6th Avenue. The Night Ride is a fantastically fun (and easy!) 15-mile bicycle ride. The route, starting and ending at the Portland train station, features fire dancers, an outdoor screening of movies from the wildly popular Filmed by Bike festival, a disco party rest stop, mysteries at every turn and well-marked routes with glowing signs. The Last Regiment of Syncopated Drummers kicks off the ride, and Zimba Marimba brings it to a close at the finish line ALL-YOU-CAN-EAT DOUGHNUT FEAST! There are prizes for the best costumes and decorated bikes. All 3,000 riders will receive free glow necklaces to ward off vampires along the way.This great event is a benefit for the Bicycle Transportation Alliance. $25.00 in store,$30.00 online, $40.00 day of ride

Events: Sunday, July 12th

  • 2p The Producers (Opening Weekend). Lakewood Theatre Company, 368 S. State Street, Lake Oswego, 503-635-3901

  • 2p Tour of Magness Memorial Tree Farm, World Forestry Center, 4033 SW Canyon Road. Join our staff and volunteers for a fun and informative tour of the Magness Property. You’ll learn the history of Magness, some tree identification, as well as why sustainable forestry is so important. No reservations are necessary. We go rain or shine. Wear comfortable shoes and meet in the parking lot. Allow 90 minutes.

  • 7p The Producers (Opening Weekend). Lakewood Theatre Company, 368 S. State Street, Lake Oswego, 503-635-3901

  • 7p Diabolical Experiments, Brody Theater, 16 NW Broadway. Features an improv jam with Brody Theater veterans and special guest performers from other groups. $5.00

  • 8p Amy Blue – The Hawthorne Theatre. An acoustic, alternative singer

  • 9p Half Shark Half Jesus – Red Room. Indie rock band

I used the following sites:


Filed under NW Entertainment, Oregon, Portland, Portland Art, Portland Culture

Portland Gay Pride Parade 09

Gay Pride 09

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Gay Pride 09

Gay Pride 09

Gay Pride 09

Gay Pride 09

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Filed under Holidays, NW Entertianment, pictures, Portland, Portland Culture

Portland’s Rose Festival – Grand Floral Parade


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Fleet Week Portland 09

It is also Fleet Week in Portland. The Navy ships work their way up the Columbia River and settle into the Willamette River in Portland. They give tours of the ships during the day.


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Portland Trivia

I have been doing a lot of research on Portland lately, and I have listed some of my findings below. I had pictures to post with these, but for some reason Blogger is not accepting them at the moment. I will try to post the pictures at a later date.

  • At the top of Mt. Hood is the Palmer Glacier. Mt. Hood is 11, 239 ft. tall.
  • Portland has the smallest park in the world, Mill Ends Park. It is two feet across and resides in the middle of a crosswalk on Front Street and Taylor. The land was set aside for a colony of Leprechauns.
  • The now famous Nike swoosh logo was designed in 1964 by Carolyn Davidson, a University of Oregon Student. Supposedly, she was paid $35.00 for the design.
  • Goose Hollow was an area of town/country where the women stayed home and raised geese while the husbands farmed or searched for gold. This area of the city is still referred to as Goose Hollow.
  • Abraham Lincoln was supposed to be the territorial governor of Oregon, but he turned it down. His wife refused to move to the west coast and leave the eastern cities. What a life changing, and country changing, decision.
  • Portland used to be known affectionately as “Stumptown.” In fact, they used to whitewash the stumps in the road so that they would be more visible.
  • The oldest piece of public art in Portland is the Skidmore Fountain, 1888. Skidmore was a druggist who left $5,000 in his will for the construction of the fountain. The total cost of construction was $18,000.
  • The current Macy’s store used to be a department store called Meier and Frank. Clark Gable sold ties there before he went to Hollywood and made it big in the movies.
  • At the turn of the century, Portland had some incredible amusement parks. They were Coney Island’s Dreamland, Luna Park, and Steeplechase Park. The pictures are very cool, and I want to research these a little more.
  • Simon Benson was a timber baron and businessman who didn’t approve of his laborers drinking alcohol during the day. In fact, he didn’t like people drinking alcohol at all. Therefore, he gave the city enough money to construct 20 outdoor drinking fountains. He felt that people should be able to have free water throughout the city. His idea worked; beer consumption dropped by 25% in Portland the next year. Their are currently 40 Benson fountains in Portland, and one in Portland’s sister city, Sapporo, Japan.
  • Portland was almost named Boston. Asa Lovejoy and William Overton flipped a coin, and the name Portland won.
  • The Shemanski Fountain is located between Madison and Salmon on the park blocks. Joseph Shemanski was a polish immigrant who ended up being a very successful businessman. He gave the city the fountain in 1926 because he wanted to “express in small measure of gratitude for what the city has down for me.” One interesting feature of this fountain is the continuously running fountains and basins that are located near the sidewalk. These were constructed so that dogs and small animals could have a drink of water.
  • The park block between Madison and Main is referred to as Lincoln Square. It sports a 10 foot tall statue of Abraham Lincoln on a granite base.

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Filed under Portland, Portland Art, Portland Culture

Sights and Sounds

Below are pictures from the Portland Farmer’s Market on Saturday, May 16th. I bought fresh strawberries, asparagus, lettuce, tomatoes, onions, and a zucchini.

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Goodbye Tacky! Hello Unity!

I’ve decided to exorcise the word “tacky” from my vocabulary. Living in Portland, I have come across many things that my Midwest sensibility says are tacky. People in Portland just look at these things as an opportunity to let everyone be their own unique self and express themselves in whatever way they choose. I like this West Coast attitude, and I think I will try to adopt it. The first step for me is to get rid of the word tacky. The concept of tacky is truly relative. Something that I think is tacky may not be tacky to the person who has it in their house, yard, or tattooed on their arm. Who am I to judge what is tacky in the first place?

When I really sit down and think about it, the word tacky is actually just a word that people use to show superiority of taste in some way. It is actually a very judgmental word. It is the equivalent of saying to someone “you really shouldn’t legally be allowed to decorate your house, your garden, or pick the tattoos that you put on your arm.”

Maybe it is time that I put away my judgments and accept people the way that they are and with the taste that they have already developed. I am currently sitting in the Muddy Waters Coffeehouse on Belmont, and I have just noticed a large, homemade poster that reads, “There is no us and them……ONLY US.” I like that idea. It is definitely a call for people to unite and accept one another. I think my first, small step will be to get rid of the word tacky from my vocabulary. Goodbye tacky, I don’t think I will really miss you.


Filed under Human Nature, Portland Culture

The Chinese Garden

Recently, my boyfriend and I explored the Portland Classical Chinese Garden, It is fantastic. I really don’t think I can describe it well enough, so I will just add the pictures below. Honestly, the pictures do not do it justice.

Doorway in the Portland Chinese Garden, 2/4/09

Enter the Portland Chinese Garden.

Pathway through the Portland Chinese Garden, 2/4/09

Take a walk down one of the many paths.

Foliage at the Portland Chinese Garden, 2/4/09

Enjoy the foliage on your stroll.

Waterfall in the Portland Chinese Garden, 2/4/09

Take a rest by the waterfall.

The Tao of Tea House in the Portland Chinese Garden, 2/4/09

Enjoy some traditional Chinese tea at the Tao of Tea. The options are almost limitless.

Portland Chinese Garden

As you leave the gardens, look around at all the unique rock. This rock is very rare, and it comes from the bottom of only one lake in China. Actually, the rock has all been mined out of the lake.


Filed under Nature, Portland Art, Portland Culture

The Oregon Symphony

Last night, my boyfriend and I bundled up and headed out to the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall,, to listen to the Oregon Symphony. The hall itself is a work of art. Built in 1928 and restored in 1984, this venue was designed in the Italian Rococo Revival style. It is incredible. The chandeliers, mirrors, and carvings make you feel like you are at a royal ball. The theater itself is definitely a work of art.

They symphony opened with Mozart’s March in C major, and then progressed to his Symphony No. 40 in G minor. After a brief intermission, we were fortunate enough to hear Jun Isawasaki’s debut. He chose Erich Wolfgang Kornigold’s Concerto in D major for Violin and Orchestra. He was incredible. He coaxed that violin to play music worthy of a heavenly host. A the end of the piece, people were on their feet immediately clapping and cheering. After that, the night was ended with Salome’s Dance by Richard Strauss.

Everyone left with smiles on their faces and a song in their heart.

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The Shoe Box Theater and the Northwest Classical Theatre Company

Tonight I visited the Shoe Box Theater in S.E. Portland, and I watched the Northwest Classical Theatre production,, of The Merchant of Venice. It was magical. One peak inside the theater and immediately I knew why it was called the Shoe Box Theater. It has 37 chairs arranged in a u-shape, and the space in the middle becomes the stage. This means that all but four seats have front row views. It is very small, just about big enough for one of Paul Bunyan’s boots. Once you are seated and the show begins, there is no way that you can sneak out for any reason. Right before the performance, curtains are lowered on the entry doors and they became the entrances/exits for the actors and actresses.

The actors and actresses delivered a flawless performance. I have never seen Shakespeare come alive like it did tonight. As Shylock was making his final exit, he walked by where I was sitting and I saw tears in his eyes and running down his face. That is what I call a performance. The drama was so gripping that at times we were all on the edges of our seats. This company performs plays mainly by Shakespeare, but they also on occasion will do plays written by Chekhov, Shaw, or Ibsen. This spring they are doing Richard II, and you can bet I will be there getting a front row seat.

I have studied and taught many of Shakespeare’s plays. In fact, I will never forget my summer class of Shakespeare that started at 7:30 a.m. Yea, 7:30 a.m. I love Shakespeare, but that was way to early for “thees” and “thous.” Anyway, I digress. I have had a lot of exposure to Shakespeare, but I have never read or watched the Merchant of Venice. I was appalled at the extreme anti-semite comments and stereotypes. The character of Shylock is nothing more than the personification of every bad stereotype against the Jews. By the end of the play, I felt a real sorrow for Shylock, but I do not think that this is what Shakespeare wanted me to feel toward him. Shakespeare wanted me to feel triumphant that the good Christians had won over the godless Jews. I just wanted to run out and give Shylock a hug and tell the “so-called” Christians where to go and how to get there. Looking around the theater, I could tell that I was not the only one who felt this way. Some people would defend Shakespeare by saying that he was just a product of the times and that this was common back then. Does that make it right? Does that exempt him of the guilt he should feel about writing a popular play that is filled with discrimination? I don’t think so. No matter where you come from, or how you are brought up, you have a choice on how you treat people. I love Shakespeare, and I think he was a brilliant writer for many reasons, but in his personal life I believe he had some character flaws.

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Young at Heart (Nutcracker and Snow)

My boyfriend and I attended the Oregon Ballet Theater’s production of the Nutcracker last night. This is the first time that either of us has seen the Nutcracker, and I don’t believe that there are words to describe our response. Basically, it was beautiful and magical. I can’t believe that I have waited this long in my life to see it. This is definitely going to be a yearly event.

I had all sorts of things to write about the ballet before I woke up this morning and saw the snow outside the window. The sight of snow has distracted me from the ballet, and I now have that giddy feeling of wanting to run outside and make snow angels. Snow brings out the kid in me, although it usually doesn’t take much for that to happen because it is always just below the surface. Looking out the window this morning, I hopped up and down in excitement. I raced to get dressed and ran outside for a quick walk to church.

Walking in the snow makes me think of Victorian England. I expect to see overly dressed women and men in top hats strolling down the street. I also love how quiet and still everything seems during and just after a nice snow. I am sure that when I am 80 years old I will still wake up, see snow, and run outside trying to catch the flakes on my tongue.

IT’S SNOWING! IT’S SNOWING! IT’S SNOWING! All of a sudden I am remembering the big snows out in Western Kansas when I was a kid. We used to build snow block fort walls for snowball throwing, and one time we even made a snow block igloo.

Today we walked in the snow to breakfast at Clinton Corner, bicycled on snow packed and icy roads to the Fat Straw for bubble tea (3 miles round trip with no accidents). After that we had hot cocoa while sitting in the hot tub on the deck, and tonight I am making homemade tortilla soup and we are watching a movie. This has been a fantastic snow day.

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