Friday, November 30, 2007

Random Thoughts, Shining Continents


Here's what caught my eye Wednesday after work, not that I don't look at the World Trade Center sign most every day as I walk from one bus to another, from SW Main and SW 2nd Avenue north to where SW Taylor crosses 2nd. My thoughts range from remembering Sept. 11, to enjoying my reflection in the shining continents as I walk by, to thinking about City Daily Photo bloggers everywhere and how much I'm learning and loving being a part of that world every single day.

Those random thoughts usually lead to my thinking of what The Oswegan has said as part of his post "Are You Addicted to Blogging" on Nov. 22: "What is remarkable about the blogosphere to me, is how it enables people from all over the world to connect, and to discuss interests and ideas, and the way that relationships are formed based, not on appearances, but on intellect, wit, sense of humor and common experience."

Well put.

If you'd like, you can read The Oswegan's entire post and the scores of comments it engendered here.

Bagdad Theatre, SE 37th and Hawthorne, where it always looks like Christmas, thanks to this great neon sign


Here's what McMenamins dot Com has to say about the home of one of my favorite neon signs in Portland:

THE BAGDAD THEATER & PUB - Popular pub and picture palace *** Now featuring Dolby Digital Sound! ***

Southeast Portland's marvelous relic of Hollywood's Golden Age is a stunning movie palace full of wonder and surprises. For nearly four generations now, the Bagdad's Mediterranean and neon persona and daily offerings of celluloid adventures have made it an icon of Portland's vibrant Hawthorne District. A movie hall of the best sort, the Bagdad's interior is an attraction unto itself with barreled arches, ornate, wrought iron fixtures, brilliant-colored mosaic work, and painted and stenciled Mediterranean designs and mythical characters. Kick back in the theater and enjoy a slice of pizza and a handcrafted ale during the show, or come early and enjoy dinner in the casual pub that fronts the theater. But be forewarned -- outdoor tables in the summertime may be hard to come by!

I found this for you at Wikipedia: McMenamins Pubs and Breweries is a chain of over fifty brewpubs, microbreweries, music venues, historic hotels, theater pubs and more. ... There are fifty-six McMenamins sites and many of its locations are renovated historical properties. ... nine are on the National Register of Historic Places ... a movie theater built by Universal Studios (The Bagdad Theatre and Pub.)

Just last night Leland and I were set to go see "The Bourne Ultimatum" there, but one of his roomies had a bicycle accident--he's fine now, thank goodness--and we had to go give him and the bicycle a ride home.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Windows, around the corner from the Atlas holding the clock



What's your favorite part of these holiday windows at Tiffany's? Is it the deer? The birds in the cage? The crystal-looking beads draped from the white branches? Or the possibility of what might be in those little blue boxes, all tied up with white ribbons?

For me, it's the ambience created by the snowflakes surrounding each window. They're the spiff in the special sort of results that I like to call "ham and spiff," as in ham it up, spiff it up--make the style such that whatever you're working on leaves a pleasant, perfect taste in the mouth of your intended audience.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

ABC Wednesday – S is for Statue


From Wikipedia: One of the more recognized pieces of public art in Portland is Seward Johnson's Allow Me, often popularly referred to as Umbrella Man. It is on the south side of the square, just above the amphitheater. Allow Me is a bronze statue of a man in a business suit, holding an umbrella and welcoming you with a friendly gesture.


From Pioneer Courthouse Square dot org: Serving as a signature Portland icon, this bronze life-sized sculpture of a man offering his umbrella, was created by nationally known artist J. Seward Johnson of Princeton, New Jersey. The sculpture joins a number of Johnson's works in public spaces in cities such as New York, Kansas City, Los Angeles and Oakland, California.


From Indopedia dot org: One of the more recognized pieces of public art in Portland is Seward Johnson's Allow Me. It is on the south side of the square, just above the amphitheater. Allow Me is a bronze statue of a man in a business suit, holding an umbrella and welcoming you with a friendly gesture.


From Everything2 dot com: Above the larger amphitheater and towards the southwest corner of the square stands the beloved bronze statue, Allow Me (popularly known as the "umbrella man"), depicting a cheerful and friendly Portlander leaning forward to offer his umbrella. Tourists get their picture taken standing under his umbrella, campaign volunteers stick political stickers on his breast after rallies, and citizens of all types meet at his side.


From Associated Content dot com: One of the highlights of Pioneer Square is the 'bronze man", a statue by renowned artist Seward Johnson. It is called "Allow Me" and is so real that visitors often mistake it for real. It is a favorite spot for photo sessions. No tourists goes away without a few pictures of themselves with the bronze guy.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Whizzing by the Willamette Building


See the slightly curved roof overhang above the double doors, on the right? If you look really close, you can read Willamette Building running across the front. Can you recognize the shape that the tiny white lights are on, standing up above the words? It's a giant diamond solitaire, made out of some sort of metal, but a diamond solitaire shape nonetheless. I've been wanting to show you that "rock" practically since I started Portland (OR) Daily Photo Blog in September.

I'll try to get a closer, better shot of the solitaire when it's not raining. Since the holidays are here, I figured why not go ahead and get a wide shot of the building, complete with Christmas lights, vehicles and pedestrians whizzing by on their way home from work. I'm tickled with how the photo turned out. All hail serendipity!

I first noticed the Willamette Building as I rode by on the bus one morning back in January, after the bus mall closed and my going-to-work bus went down SW 3rd Avenue before turning southeast to cross the river. I found a 2004 newspaper article about the Willamette Building that I think you'll enjoy reading. Turns out its right in the middle of Portland's diamond district.

Monday, November 26, 2007

Time for Memories


I fell hard for that entrance, that Atlas sort of guy holding the clock, and that clock itself. So romantic. For a few moments I stood there, memories of my husband filling my mind, then I set off for the bus stop.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

There's more where this comes from ...


... at Mama and Me from PDX. I'm here to tell you, it was something to be thankful for, that scrumptious food cooked by my wonderful sons. Our blessings overflow every single day.

Pink and Silver--my first window of the season.


Friday night after the lighting of the Christmas tree, I crossed SW Yamhill at Broadway. I stood on the corner and took a photo of the MAX going westward--you can see it at Mama and Me from PDX--and turned right to walk north on Broadway. That's when this woman--wearing a hot pink wig, wrapped in a strategically placed pink ribbon, and sitting in a store window--grabbed my attention. I stepped closer, past the pillar on the corner in front of the door, and took this photo.


Looking to the right, I saw another interesting window, but before I could walk towards it, I noticed this sign on the inside of the pillar. I love the attention to detail shown by the window dresser(s)--surely this pink light reflected in the sign came about as part of that person(s) creativity.


Here's that other attractive window. I never would have thought about hot pink ribbon in relation to the holidays, but it works for me. I also like the different size silver balls which match the color of the store's sign and the gigantic clear Christmas balls. It's all in the details, isn't it, CDPBers?

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Flat Stanley and the Christmas Tree Lighting at Pioneer Courthouse Square


We had a blast, watching people, singing carols, seeing the lights come on. Please look at Mama and Me from PDX for the rest of the story and a bunch of photos!

Friday, November 23, 2007

Perfect Post-Thanksgiving Dinner Activity?


As I walked east on SW Salmon headed to work one recent morning, I spied this lady running on a treadmill--I think its an exercise room in a hotel. Seems like something lots of us who enjoyed sumptious Thanksgiving dinners might need to look into doing ourselves. Well, not me. I'll walk like always. I'm just not balanced enough for a treadmill.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Last Minute Holiday Dinner Shopping, a la KGW Channel 8

For those of you celebrating Thanksgiving, please accept our best wishes for you and your family today as you count your blessings. Naturally, we willingly send the same sort of wishes to everyone, every day.


After work Wednesday evening I got off the bus at NW 23rd and West Burnside, the intersection that had all of those red trees in a row a few weeks ago. I wanted to go to Zupan's to find a suitable dessert for Thanksgiving dinner. Lamont and Leland are cooking.

As I walked up to the door, I noticed this TV remote van. Ah, I wondered, where's the reporter? Distracted by the dessert hunt, I didn't spy her until I had exited the door after securing a scrumptious looking small cheesecake.


There she stood, waiting until time to go live. After taking a few photos, I turned to walk to the corner. I called Mama and asked her to make sure the TV was on Channel 8, thinking she might like to see one of our nearby grocery stores on television.


Right after I got inside the apartment, I heard the news anchor say something about last minute shopping for Thanksgiving dinner. This is the first shot I got as the spot started. For a bit, they ran tape of her earlier visit to a New Season supermarket where someone from New Seasons mentioned how popular brussels sprouts are at the holidays. Then they cut back to the reporter live at Zupan's.


She's pushing a grocery cart as she talks. Recognize that fresh vegetable?


Finally, the reporter's name appears on the screen as she finishes her report.

I pondered walking back over to the store to get some brussels sprouts, but to tell you the truth, I'm hoping the guys already got some. We ate with them on Nov. 12 and dined on those truly divine little pale green gems as one of the vegetables accompanying a delicious roast beef.

I believe this hymn fits Thanksgiving perfectly.

"Count Your Blessings," words Johnson Oatman, Jr.; music Edwin O. Excell.

When upon life’s billows you are tempest tossed,
When you are discouraged, thinking all is lost,
Count your many blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.


Count your blessings, name them one by one,
Count your blessings, see what God hath done!
Count your blessings, name them one by one,
And it will surprise you what the Lord hath done.

Are you ever burdened with a load of care?
Does the cross seem heavy you are called to bear?
Count your many blessings, every doubt will fly,
And you will keep singing as the days go by.


When you look at others with their lands and gold,
Think that Christ has promised you His wealth untold;
Count your many blessings. Wealth can never buy
Your reward in heaven, nor your home on high.


So, amid the conflict whether great or small,
Do not be disheartened, God is over all;
Count your many blessings, angels will attend,
Help and comfort give you to your journey’s end.


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

ABC Wednesday – R is for the Three Rs, and then some.


We RODE the #4 bus from the office to the bus stop at the corner of SW 4th and Taylor, downtown Portland.


We entered RITZ Camera, the little shop on the corner, with one thing in mind, to take a photograph.


We asked Mr. ROMANO, helpful and RELIABLE store manager, if he would pose with Flat Stanley. "Of course," replied Mr. ROMANO, placing Flat Stanley and his Vespa on the counter in front of the Nikon display. Mr. ROMANO posed in his best trustworthy mode.

When I took the non-functioning D50 to RITZ, Mr. ROMANO discovered that it could not be REPAIRED in the store. So, Mr. ROMANO took RESPONSIBLITY for sending the D50 off to the camera hospital in September. About a month later the D50 came back home to Mama, meaning me, RIGHT as RAIN.

"RIGHT on!," hollered Flat Stanley from his perch on the display counter. He knew that without the D50, some of our photo opportunities would not have been REALIZED. Off camera, Mr. ROMANO smiled. So did I. All's RIGHT with the world.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Leading up to ABC Wednesday: R is for round and in a row.


Barricades on SW 3rd Avenue, in front of the Mark O. Hatfield United States Courthouse. This building is directly across the street from Lownsdale Square Park, the park that is north of the Thompson Elk Fountain.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Flat Stanley visits the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum, Oct. 28

Our second visit to the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum started out as a serendipitous stop to take a photo of the vineyard out front because all of the vines had turned golden after the grapes had been picked. As we turned down the entrance road, something caught my eye, over near the front wall of the building.


"I think I see Stormtroopers!" I hollered. As we got closer to the building, I knew I saw stormtroopers walking towards the museum entrance. Quickly I parked. A speechless Flat Stanley and I barrelled out of the car, camera in hand, the trio of movie icons in our sights. You see the mark of our success in the photo! After thanking them profusely, Flat Stanley looked at me with stars in his eyes and said, "I'll never, ever, ever forget this!"



We walked over to where I had first noticed the trio and saw this display and banner. Flat Stanley just about couldn't believe it when he got to stand among the masks. I asked about the sheets and found out that they belong to a 30-year-old man. My sons used to have sheets just like those and probably wish that they still had them today. You can read about the 501st Legion, Cloud City Garrison here.



After calming down a bit, Flat Stanley and I decided that he could stand on this wing for a quick photo and a close-up of a Navy Blue Angels plane from yesteryear.


All of a sudden, this Hudson automobile, also from yesteryear, distracted us from the flying machines all around us. Flat Stanley and I agreed that the car is just as impressive as the aircraft.



Both of us like the looks of the camo-colored U. S. Airforce fighter jet. At least we think it is a fighter jet. We'll have to make another visit to the museum to get the facts on it, looks like.

Flat Stanley only rested on the wing of this plane and of the Blue Angels' plane for seconds, mere seconds, and therefore did not leave a mark on either one. He's proud of that fact.


As we walked back towards the Buick, I took this photo of a portion of the Spruce Goose. I hope that on our next visit we will finally make it inside the museum--I'll check ahead of time to make sure there are not private parties on that date, and Miss Edna, Flat Stanley and I will see this plane--and all of the others--up close and personal. In the meantime, you can read all about the Evergreen Aviation & Space Museum here.


The beauty of this young gingko tree caught our eye. Beyond it you can see one of the planes that soldiers called Gooney Birds or Goonies during WWII. Even farther back, you see that orange circle? It's on the tip of the nose of a MIG. For more about them and other sights Flat Stanley enjoyed on his first visit to Evergreen, go to Mama and Me from PDX.


As we left the museum, Flat Stanley asked, "Could you get me a picture of the sign, please? I want to remember everything about this place that I've seen so far!"


By the way, here's the golden vineyard that caused us to pull off the highway at the museum for our unplanned but swell second visit.

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Portland's Best Meatballs


So you know it from the get-go, my older son Lamont makes these meatballs on Sundays--he's sous chef at 3 Doors Down. I took this photo recently before happily digging in--I couldn't eat but one, so I ate the other one for lunch at work. You can read their provenance here, at my ABC Wednesday K is for Kitchen post.

Here's what Portland Monthly had to say about the meatballs in their August, 2007, Best Of issue: Spaghetti and meatballs should be much better than they are in this town. Frankly, we'd given up on the dish. But one recent evening, the bucatini and meatballs served at 3 Doors Down finally changed our minds. Of course, we should tell you that there are only two meatballs in the dish. But their quantity or size hardly matters--although, if you must know, each is slightly bigger than a golf ball. What really matters is that they're made from veal, pork and beef--the right way--and perfectly seasoned. And they're rich enough that you'll likely have to take at least one home as leftovers. The frequency with which these meatballs are served here (only on Sundays), however--now that's another, somewhat graver matter entirely.

P. S. Lamont put the ricotta salata on top for me because I am lactose intolerant. The usual cheese topping is a combintation of Pecorino Romano and Parmigiano-Reggiano.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Portland's Christmas Tree


On Nov. 9, the Stimson Lumber Tree arrived in downtown Portland at Pioneer Courthouse Square. In between then and the tree lighting on Nov. 23 at 5:30 p.m., workers trim the tree and wire in a branch here and a branch there, to increase the fullness and fine tune the shape.

Here's a bit of info about the tree, from the square's Web site: For the fifth year in a row, Stimson Lumber Company is generously donating a 75-foot tall Douglas-fir to the City of Portland for all to enjoy this winter season! Grown on Stimson forestlands near Gaston, Oregon, these trees are managed by professional foresters for the sustainable growth and production of timber. Stimson's forestlands have been independently certified under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative Program. Stimson Lumber is proud to present this tree to the City of Portland which will light up Pioneer Courthouse Square throughout the months of November and December.

Last year when the bus mall still ran on SW 6th Avenue, which borders the east side of the square, I got off the bus after work and made my way to a spot in the crowd. I wanted to be sort of out of the way--you know how people constantly walk back and forth in big crowds. It seems I'm a natural magnet for those walkers, a door if you will. I managed well enough because I got close to a pillar and enjoyed watching people until the flip of the switch. I took a few photos with the old CoolPix and left shortly afterwards, headed for another bus to take me to the apartment. Unless extenuating circumstances prevent it, I will be there again this year.


Across SW 6th Avenue is the building that gives the square its name, the Pioneer Courthouse. I need to find out what those little blue sheds are, there in front and to the side of the building. What do y'all think they could be?

Friday, November 16, 2007

Do you have any of these in your city?


I've noticed several of these lately. This on is on SW 18th Avenue, beside PGE Park, a sports venue a few blocks from our apartment. Some days I walk by it on my way to SW 3rd and Salmon, to catch the bus that takes me across the Willamette River. I walk or ride by another one down NW Everett, at NW 4th Avenue, I think.

Right now I don't know one thing about these signs, other than that they're intriguing. I don't recall seeing a bicycle chained to one, but surely that could be a use for them. I don't know if they designate some sort of trail, an idea that seems implausible at best. If they were to call attention to something specific, why isn't there more information there?

I'm curious. If I learn more, I'll update you.

Thursday, November 15, 2007

He's back, framed more beautifully than ever.



It's not clear to me why I'm so taken with this elk statue. Could it be the strength the statue depicts? The sweep of the antlers? I just don't know, but I certainly have enjoyed taking photos of it. I took these on Oct. 30, and now two weeks later, almost all of the leaves have fallen to the ground. I hope it snows this winter, just enough to decorate the elk, not enough to paralyze the city since snow is not the norm here. I would love to see that!

In the first photo, you can see one TriMet bus at the corner of SW Main and 4th. In the second photo, you can see four buses on SW 3rd Avenue. Downtown Portland's mass transist system makes multiple stops on these two streets that run north (4th) and south (3rd). It's what's known as the temporary bus mall--the backbone that connects many bus lines so that folks can get from anywhere to anywhere in the metropolitan area, including Washington state. The original bus mall on 5th and 6th is being remodeled to add light rail from Portland State University in the south all the way to Union Station in the north. The construction work began last January, and as far as I can tell the temporary mall is working very well. The remodel is projected to be finished in January 2009. There will be a construction moratorium in downtown starting next Friday, through New Year's (I think) so that people can come shop and enjoy holiday activities downtown without the hassle of heavy equipment, barricades, etc. Does that sort of thing happen in your city?

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

ABC Wednesday – Q is for Queen


Hey, y'all, ABC Wednesday is the perfect time for you to meet Jill Conner Browne, Boss Queen of the Sweet Potato Queens. Jill's tour for her latest book, "The Sweet Potato Queen's Guide to Raising Children for Fun and Profit," brings her to Portland on Friday, Jan. 11, at 7:30 p.m. Hip-hip-hooray! She'll be at Powells on West Burnside. Mama and plan to be in the great big crowd, suitably attired as true followers of the Boss Queen.

I took these photos in March, 2005, at the Mal's St. Paddy's Day Parade in Jackson, Mississippi. Boss SPQ Jill and the Sweet Potato Queens ride a vividly tacky float around a loop through the heart of downtown. As I explained in my random facts, 2005 was my second year to be an official SPQ Wannabe Wannabe, marching along behind the float, in I-never-knew-how-much-fun-marching-in-a-parade-could-be heaven!


Every few minutes loud, danceable music blares from the float, initiating a rolling floor show from the Sweet Potato Queens, therefore, this blurry but fun photo below.


Please note the water bottles you can see all around the edges of the float. That big white cooler is packed to the gills with water! Parading around in pounds of sequins, foam and fringe take it out of a gal.


I'm happy to report that I got to interview Jill in 2004 for the Jackson Free Press. Click here
to read the interview. Plus, you can read a summary about Jill here.

P. S. Believe it or not, in the mid to late '70s Mama and Jill worked together at the Sears credit department. I discovered that when I reviewed Jill's last non-fiction book, “The Sweet Potato Queens’ Wedding Planner/Divorce Guide”. In between it and this latest non-fiction one, she wrote "The Sweet Potato Queens' First Big-Ass Novel: Stuff We Didn't Actually Do, but Could Have, and May Yet." For a bit about the tour for the novel as well as the essence of Jill and the Sweet Potato Queens, please read this article in USA Today. You'll be glad that you did, I promise.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

They're back ... autumn leaves and Volvo.


I'm walking south on NW 21st on last Thursday, towards West Burnside when I look up for a second, checking to see if the little white man is lit up in the crosswalk sign. I see these trees, and I forget all about the crosswalk. Regular viewers recognize the sign on the roof and the building as Jim Fisher Volvo. I guess regular time isn't all bad.


I can't help myself, y'all,
It's back to the leaves of fall.
I swear they're not just in my head.
I still see rust, gold, orange and red
Every which way on the street that I look,
So get ready for the photos that I took!

(Posting early--going over to my older son's for dinner.)