Monday, January 31, 2011

Tables Tables Everywhere

I had the privilege of photographing another of Paolo's creations for the Montessori auction.

This one is a concrete top with a steel base.

The concrete was filled with polyurethane after curing, then ground, refilled, reground, polished, and sealed.

The polyurethane is the yellow contribution; all the other colored bits are the aggregate in the concrete, brought to life with the help of heavy abrasives.

The detail in this thing is amazing...


Friday, January 28, 2011

Four-Legged Art (Non-Equine)

Paolo, my favorite steel craftsman, artist, and full-blooded Italian, created this little masterpiece with a friend of his. Hewn from Grenadio and stainless steel, it's a study in exquisite grain, subtle curvature, and precise lines.

They created this one-off to donate to the Mountain View Montessori School's annual benefit, and it will be auctioned off along with other art and local delicacies like a cruise on the inimitable Thunderbird Yacht.

Cozy and sturdy

Grain and fire

Smooth and sharp

At least one of my childhood best friends is a Montessori alum, and HE turned out pretty well, so I'd like to provide my official endorsement of this year's auction (linky!). It'll be held at the Atlantis on Feb. 12, and beyond the obvious benefit of supporting education, it can be your chance to own this truly spectacular piece of furniture. Piece of art. Piece of goodness. Whatever.


Monday, January 24, 2011

Portland Escape

Ethel and I got skunked on our NYC trip last weekend so we salvaged the already-arranged time off she had and set our course for Oregon instead. Portland ho! We got to visit Sir Chez, Esq. III, explore the city a bit in between near-continuous downpours, and sample a wide variety of the food, drink, and coffee the place has to offer.

Here's the story.

We blitzed out of Reno at about 6:30am after garnering Portland beta from Joey at The Hub. Caffeinated and informed, the pedal hit the floor and the miles started melting away.

Daybreak near Doyle, CA

Upon arrival, we surprised our friend Willi at her furniture store in the Pearl District (check it out -here-!), and promptly adjourned to a wine'n'food joint, Metrovino, for a happy hour snack. We had, after all, navigated 600 miles of road that day. On the way back, I made a quick visit to a cool little park in the Pearl District for a couple photos.

Tanner Springs Park, part I

Tanner Springs Park, part II

From there, we absconded with Chez to our first official stop on the tour, Whiskey Soda Lounge. From Whiskey Soda, we introduced ourselves to a fantastic oddity of the city...the food truck pod. These pods are vacant parking lots whose owners allow food trucks to make themselves semi-permanent. Many of these pods have 6-8 or more food trucks. They are truly phantasmagorical in every sense of the word. We got a $9 meal that rivaled the food from many reputable restaurants, and then retreated to the homebrew beer and kombucha truck that had built a tent and provided tables and heaters.

This one has pies. Sweet and savory.

Blast from the past...a non-Home Depot or Lowe's hardware store!

We made a final beer stop at the Black Cat in Sellwood near Chase's flat before stealing away to the underside of the Sellwood Bridge (current safety score: 2/100 [due to collapse any day now]) for some photos of the bridge with the tilt-shift and of Downtown Portland miles away.

Portland across the Willamette

The shady side of the Sellwood Bridge

The bright side of the Sellwood Bridge

The next day brought a good sleep-in, a trip to the neighborhood gluten-free bakery where Murphy stocked up, and then a visit to the fantastic Water Ave. Coffee odditorium.

Next up was a run in the pouring rain through Oaks Bottom and then! Off we went to Por Que No for delectable tacos and ceviche before navigating ourselves to Powell's Books (both 1 and 2, thanks) to donate our paychecks to this mecca of all things book. After another pretty darn good coffee there, we traipsed off a whole block away to meet my cousin Willy, author/singer/songwriter extraordinaire. Check him out -here-. We were long due for a catchup and whiled away about two and a half hours over cocktails until our dinner reservation at a nearby restaurant came round.

Cocktails with Willy at Clyde Common

This dinner was at Gruener, a lovely bastion of well-executed German cuisine. We didn't sit down until nearly 10pm, but we were all relieved to have gotten some cocktails out of the way early and to cap the night with dinner. Between trout, rabbit, and duck, we ate well!

Bill presented in a musty book at Gruener

Ambiance at Gruener

With much merriment and consumption under our collective belts, we called it a night.

The next morning brought a visit to the Chunky Monkey gluten free bakehouse and coffeeshop (parting shot for Murphy) for breakfast. Consumption complete, we made tracks for Reno, enjoying steady rain right to the California state line, where the skies turned clear immediately.

The only notable stop on the way home (besides dinner in McCloud) was at a spot I spied on the way up that had a rather photogenic arrangement of draped mossy trees in front of endless evergreens. It was positively pissing rain, but that's not an adequate deterrent.

Somewhere in Oregon

Not quite NYC but not a bad substitute, either!


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Icy River

I'm supposed to be posting this in absentia from New York, but winter weather intervened and flights got canceled. So instead, we made the most of it and are in Portland for the weekend, where it's raining but at least warm. Moving on, these are from a couple forays along the Truckee River on a cold day last week.

The recon mission early in the day:

Suspended ice

A lonely blade of grass; just the tip

And this was worth going back for at dusk:

6' with the tilt-shift


Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Daily Variety

A previous post mentioned the nice morning view from the 14th floor. The little balcony with the clear view can be bitterly cold at daybreak, but it's totally worth it.

The variety of the light displays is pretty awesome; the following two photos are separated by 48 hours.



I'll do my best to not totally go nuts with these sunrise photos.

I'm off to New York tomorrow for work and then sightseeing. Murphy will have a 1-day jump on me for enjoying NYC; I visit temperate and panoramic Rochester first. Fingers crossed for mild-ish winter weather!


Sunday, January 9, 2011

Installed (Briefly)

The heavily aforementioned first sculpture got installed last week and then subsequently uninstalled.


Blue sky action

Peeping through

We had been noticing that every new setting for the beast changed its character and how some of the design elements interacted with the surroundings. So it didn't catch us completely off guard to have visual elements come in too strong outside with the mixed onramp-and-earth background. It's currently getting a couple of mods in Paolo's shop and then it'll go back out for good!


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Slash and Rip

There's been time lately for some extracurricular pursuit of happiness, thanks in no small part to a steady series of early-season storms.

Josh throws it sideways on his birthday (check out Josh and his talented photography -here-)

Hatchett drops off Incline Peak, Lake Tahoe behind

The day of the photo of Hatchett included a lap on Incline Peak and then a descent of Bear's Scratch, a rarely-filled line above Sand Harbor that is pretty steep and can be ridden all the way down to the highway at lake level. I had my dignity snatched from me while ascending the Scratch by my long-overdue-for-replacement climbing skins (I have to sheepishly admit that I wasn't able to top out the climb and had to drop in lower). New ones are en route, and I'm rather looking forward to ceasing performance of my new trick: the switch straightline down the skin track. 'Cause I'm getting pretty good at it and I'm not at all happy about it, although the other dudes get a good kick out of it.

It's been a good mix of resort and backcountry riding so far, and we've all got our fingers crossed for winter to continue like it has started.


Past Detritus