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!



Spencer Jones said...

Freaking awesome photos! Great job Eliot.

Unknown said...

Amazing shots!

Willi said...

I love the shot of the river looking towards Portland! It was great to see you guys.

Eliot said...

Thanks guys! Willi, was great to see you too. Bummed we missed your ball'n'chain.

Past Detritus