Thursday, July 31, 2008

Friday, August 1, 2008 - Tricycle with Handle

Gee, do I wish I'd come up with this idea! Mama and I were over at the Dairy Queen on SE Division, near 56th, a few weeks ago. Remember when we had to buy a battery for the Buick? We ended up eating supper at the DQ. A daddy and his little boy stopped at the curb, waiting to cross Division so that they could come to the DQ. That's when I noticed the daddy had his hand on a handle attached to the back of his little boy's tricycle which meant no tired, aching back for that dad. I just had to ask the daddy, "Did you make that yourself?" "No," he replied. "My parents got it at a Western Auto." Western Auto! How cool is that? I can remember walking by the store in downtown Clinton, Mississippi, and seeing the wagons, bicycles and tricycles in the window, just in time for Christmas.

Have you ever seen a trike like this?

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Thursday, July 31, 2008 - Trio Tells a Tale

So, walking north on SW Broadway after one of the Music on Main Street concerts, I noticed a young couple step closer to a store window display at Mario's. I looked at what had them looking, then pulled the camera out of the rolling black bag because I know a photo opportunity when I see one. And this one wasn't going anywhere. I took my time, shooting the troop of monkeys, photographically, of course.

Here we have three somewhat traditional-looking sock monkeys. Look closely with your eyes wide open. They're telling you something, and I'll bet you've heard it before.

Here's another view.

Wednesday, July 30, 2008 - ABC Wednesday, B is for ball and busker and blue

When Mama and I took the MAX on Saturday, we knew we'd see plenty. We didn't expect to see this busker sort of gently juggling this ball.

While we're on ABC Wednesday, B, here's a close up of the busker, the ball, and his blue-tinted sunglasses.

And here's the entire young man. The first time I saw his performance, I put some money in his can, and he stopped to quickly shake my hand! Right after I took these photos, someone dropped something in, and the busker shook his hand, too.

As the MAX car started up again and we rolled away, I asked Mama, "Wasn't that neat?" She said, "Sure was," and had trouble believing he was not a robot!


Here's the last photo I took, just before the doors slid shut and the MAX train left the intersection on the green traffic signal.

And here's Merriam Webster online's take on busker:

Etymology: busk, probably from Italian buscare to procure, gain, from Spanish buscar to look for
Date: 1857

chiefly British : a person who entertains in a public place for donations

Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Tuesday, July 29, 2008 ... Waiting for the MAX, this door piqued my interest.

Always, my roving eyes read, read, read, whatever words they scan. Saturday the letters in the top section of the door behind the park bench caused the scan to cease. I took a closer look, decided to get a shot of the door. Then I zoomed in on the letters. Of course I knew it said "Not an Exit" on the inside of the door. From the sidewalk side--"Tixe Na Ton"--y'all creatives out there, who or what could Tixe Na Ton be?
Y'all see the serendipitous-download-outcomes? If you need a clue or two, look at Monday's post.

By the way, about Tixe Na Ton, I'm leaning towards a female impersonator, all decked out in vintage hot pants, tube top, feather boa and Christian Louboutin Ariella studded boots, performing on stage to Donna Summer's "Hot Stuff."

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Monday, July 28, 2008 - Mama wanted to ride the MAX ...

... so we walked a block from the apartment and boarded the 17 bus to the Bijou Cafe, site of our first ever breakfast in Portland, an ultra delicious brunch to tell the truth. Nothing has changed at the Bijou, Saturday every bite tasted just right, satisfying the two of us to a T. Next we walked a few blocks east, then south, to the MAX stop at SW 1st and Oak, to wait on a shady metal park bench. I sat down beside Mama, leaned back, and took yesterday's photo of the sky and trees.

We sat there about 25 minutes, deciding which MAX to catch, the Red or the Blue. Mama wanted to go as far as possible, so we decided to go to the western end of the Blue Line, out in Washington County, to Hillsboro.
Here's Mama! Note her useful and beautiful carved cane and my ever-present rolling black bag.

We rode from a few blocks west of the Willamette River to the middle of suburban Hillsboro, around an 18 mile ride. When we weren't in the tunnel that goes through the West Hills, Mama sat like this the whole way.

In Hillsboro, when the MAX car announced end of the line, we got off and boarded the waiting Blue Line to Gresham, as far east as the line goes. Mama announced that we'd get off at PGE Park and not go all the way to Gresham--she felt like that would be enough for one day. So we did get off, and then walked over a block and caught a 15 bus home. All told, we had an enjoyable meal and over three hours entertainment, for under $35, including the brunch and tip. Mama wants to go again, and so do I. Next time, we'll ride east and make a bus connection, too, maybe heading north, maybe south. Or we'll ride the Red Line to the airport. It's so great that we have options.

UPDATED TO ADD: The MAX is Portland's light rail. From TriMet dot org, TriMet's MAX Light Rail system connects Portland, Gresham, Beaverton, Hillsboro and the Portland Airport. Trains run every 5-15 minutes roughly between 4:30 a.m. and midnight.

Saturday, July 26, 2008

Sunday, July 27, 2008 - Saturday's sky, for you on Sunday

Looking up from the MAX stop, SW 1st and Oak, downtown Portland ... tomorrow I'll explain how I happened to be there, looking straight up at the sky.

Saturday, July 26, 2008 - Green leaves, Southeast Portland

Walking on Mother's Day, along SE 37th between Division and Hawthorne, the contours, shapes, lines, and color of these leaves caught me eye.
Luckily someone had planted them in a narrow bed between the inner edge of the sidewalk and a stone retaining wall. Otherwise I would have missed the chance to take several photos.

What I have for you here are two tight crops, accentuating what drew me to the leaves in the first place. I especially like the overall shape of the leaves, sort of like funnels. See those drops of water? I wonder how long it took them to slide down into the plant.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Friday, July 25, 2008 - From the Eastbank Esplanade, the Hawthorne Bridge and a portion of downtown Portland's skyline

July 9, when lunch time rolled around, I took my zippered-shut plastic tote and set off walking on the approach to the Hawthorne Bridge, thinking I'd make my way down the curving ramp beneath the Marquam Bridge and find somewhere to sit and eat lunch on the Eastbank Esplanade.

Right beside the Hawthorne Bridge, I found a backless bench on a fenced-in concrete deck that juts out from the shore, right next to a fire station. I spread out my camera, my bottle of sweet iced tea I'd brought from home, my paperback book, my sandwich and Fritos. As much as I enjoyed my food and drink, I enjoyed the glorious blue sky even more. To tell the truth, though, I didn't find enough people-watching to satisfy me, so since then I've been riding a bus across the bridge, walking a couple of blocks to one or the other of the parks on either side of the Thompson Elk, finding a bench in the sun or the shade, and eating my lunch there. Plenty of people, plenty of vehicles--a watcher's (and photographer's) paradise.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Thursday, July 24, 2008 - It's all happening at the zoo.

I'm sitting at the Oregon Zoo Tuesday evening, enjoying the cool breezes, watching people, waiting for the concert. A lady announces that before the music begins, they're going to fly two birds for us. Well, I grabbed my camera and prayed I would get at least one good photo, what with my not realizing for sure which way the birds would fly or if they'd actually land on the perch nearest me.

I missed the turkey vulture--I think that's what the first one was.

But I got two pretty good shots of the Harris Hawk. She flew so swiftly that I only got this one of her in the air, trailing her leather strips that must be used by the handlers.

Right after she left this perch, she flew back towards the stage and grabbed a tossed-in-the-air piece of food with her feet. After landing on the ground and eating it (I couldn't see this part for the crowd, so that's my best guess as to how that happened), she quickly flew right into her carrier, so that she could be transported to her regular quarters (I did see her fly into the door, just like someone coming home from the farmers' market).

What an overture, nature's beauty on the wing. Emmylou Harris provided the main course, well over an hour's harmony.

Here's what Wikipedia has to say about the Harris Hawk.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Wednesday, July 23, 2008 - ABC Wednesday, A is for Awesome!

Awesome view from the top of Multnomah Falls, courtesy of guest photographer Kailey.
I could never take this photo because I would not be able to convince myself to even try to hike to the top of the 620-foot falls. Here's a crop of the pool at the bottom of the upper falls (on the left of the photo, where the logs are floating) and the viewing deck at the bottom of the lower falls. I've been here but no higher.
You can just see the Benson Bridge, too, if you follow the path from the curved deck up and around to the left. Monday, July 14, Kailey, Leland, Lindsay and Lamont hiked to the top, enjoyed a picnic lunch, and hiked back down. What a great time they had!

In order to get another perspective of this awesome waterfall, here's my photo of Multnomah Falls from the viewing deck.
And here's the pool at the bottom of the falls.

Read about Multnomah Falls here.

Monday, July 21, 2008

Tuesday, July 22, 2008 - Please join me in an anniversary toast ...

... to WendyB and MrB, of New York City. Here's her entertaining and informative blog where she writes very well about a plethora of topics, including the inspirations for her fine jewelry designs.

Congratulations, you two, on your special day!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Monday, July 21, 2008 - In celebration of Sleek Week ...


...Party Bugs! This is one of the miniature art cars I made in 2007. Don't you think it's appropriate for my first Sleek Week? Yes, I'm collecting more sleek sights all of the time, and Sleek Week shall return!

UPDATED TO ADD: Let me clarify--I didn't "make" the miniature art car, I painted and arranged it, from bought parts, parts of old toys and Mardi Gras beads, then glued it all together. Doing this is one of my hobbies, one which I had hope would someday bring me a sale or two, and it did, in the near past.

Saturday, July 19, 2008

Sunday, July 20, 2008 ... Bug Convertible

Behind the VW Bug convertible, you can see the green wall of Elephant's, with a banner that advertises their Garden Party Room.

I believe it would be great fun to drive this car. LeRoy and I had a VW Bug for a couple of years before he died; he used to drive it to work when we lived in Houston, Texas. I can remember how much Lamont and Leland enjoyed riding in it with him.

Do you have any VW stories to share? Or any sleek cars you used to know/have/love that you could tell us about? Eventually I know I'll find a 1955 four-door Chevrolet, a 1966 Chevrolet Impala and a Chevy II, maybe a 1962--Mama and I have FMD about that date, failing memory disease! Goes with age.

Saturday, July 19, 2008 - VW Squareback

Found this beauty near the apartment. The young man who owns it came over when he saw me taking photos of it and gave me this information--1971 Volkswagen Squareback Type III. He didn't mind if I used the photo of the whole car as long as I blurred the license plate. It took some time, rubbing that little iPhoto retouch brush over and over and over that Oregon plate, but I did it because you really need to see the whole car. Plus that building in the background, where you can see the red letters and the green symbol--that Elephant's Delicatessen. Sunday's sleek photo comes from one of their parking lots, out of sight to the right.

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Friday, July 18, 2008 ... What is this cute car?

I don't know what it is, but I believe it fits right in with sleek week. I'm hoping someone can identify it for me. Walking along SE Hawthorne one day, there it was, toddling along in the sunshine, one of our prettier March days.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Thursday, July 17, 2008 ... Volkswagon, Redux

Sleek? You betcha. Remember, the definition of sleek, having trim graceful lines. Here's trim, as an adjective, from Merriam Webster Online: exhibiting neatness, good order, or compactness of line or structure. Need I say more? OK. I can't help myself. Graceful--pleasing or attractive in line, proportion, or movement.

You're with me now, I feel it.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Wednesday, July 16, 2007 ... ABC Wednesday, Z is for Zing

Several Saturdays ago as we walked along NW 23rd, my rolling black bag and I, we spied this orderly row of Harleys. Immediately, my rollin' black bag noticed those two travel bags standing proudly attached to the first bikes in line.

Ah, to speed over hill and dale, the wind rustling your whatever-denier-nylon-self. Zing went the strings of my rollin' black bag's heart, contemplating a life on the road, at speeds much greater than my feet or mass transit afford. That's the life for a travelin' bag!

Not. I see no motorcycles in my future, although there is a romantic British racing green Triumph in my past. Alas, my rollin' black bag wasn't even a twinkle in my eye back in 1972! Holding tight to LeRoy, the reason for the zing in my own heart, lent a brilliant sparkle to my eyes.

Yes, I've gone bonkers here, stretching for this Z, but I had fun. Hope you did, too!

If you're of a mind to, please go to Mrs. Nesbitt's Place for loads of other ABC Wednesday blogs! Look at the list of links per Mr. Linky.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Tuesday, July 15, 2008 ... Alfa Romeo

In a comment about the Karmann Ghia--thanks, Snapper of Gabriola Daily Photo, for the correct spelling of that neat little vehicle--Steve from New Orleans Daily Photo asked where I'd found the Volkswagen product. One block from my work is Bright's where I often photograph autos left there for their services, like this Studebaker Avanti. The sleek factor certainly shows up in these two beauties.

Here's the same Alfa Romeo outside Bright Auto Upholstery.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

Monday, July 14, 2008 ... Carmen Ghia?

Do I have it right? Is this a VW Carmen Ghia?

Look closely at the corner of the building on the left, and you'll see the Oldsmobile.

Sunday, July 13, 2008 ... Oldsmobile

Here's what I'm thinking I want to do, Sleek Week. As in having trim graceful lines, according to Merriam-Webster Online. As in the chrome grill and front end of this Oldsmobile. I am excited to see other sleek things I've already photographed and/or what I might come across around Portland. Knowing me--and Mama would say, "Yep; you always go overboard!"--I just might come up with more than a week's worth. Hope y'all don't get bored with it/me. Let's just say that if something non-sleek rears its interesting, beautiful, quirky, whatever, head, I shall interrupt my self-proclaimed Sleek Week and then return to it, posthaste.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Saturday, July 12, 2008 ... Shot from inside Rose's Restaurant and Bakery


Last Monday after work, I went to our bank branch on NW 23rd and then stopped in at Rose's to get take-out food for Mama and me. Looking at the menu, I decided maybe I'd dine in on a burger and fries. When I called, Mama said sure, go ahead, and bring me a half turkey on wheat and some potato salad. Ain't she sweet? While waiting for my order, I took this photo, just to see how it would turn out with the bright sunshine outside the large window. Not bad, not bad at all. Supper was good, too! And I enjoyed the six-block walk home.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Friday, July 11, 2008 ... Bicycle Parking on SE Belmont


Mama, Duncan and I went on a sort of field trip in the Buick Tuesday after work. After Lamont and Lindsay got the thing to start--they kept it attached to her Honda for almost half an hour before trying to turn it over--I knew we needed to drive it for a while. I circled the block and picked up Mama and Duncan, with the kids help getting the two of them downstairs and quickly walking Duncan. Then, we were off, cruising here and there after we crossed the Willamette River. I don't mean to give you the wrong idea, though, because we had a goal in mind, the Battery Exchange at SE 20th and Belmont where we planned to get the battery checked and/or buy a new one. Long story short, checked, bad cell, new one installed. Then, we off again, with the A/C on this time, a change of circumstances that Duncan especially appreciated.

On the way from there to our next goal, the Dairy Queen on SE Division, I spied two sets of this unique bicycle parking. I quickly picked up the camera, pointed and clicked--the traffic hardly moved, so I felt safe in doing this, realizing that I might have a photo of a curb or a wall or a post. You see the cropped photo above, and the original photo below.


Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Thursday, July 10, 2008 ... Music on Main, Fernando


That's Fernando in the black. I walked over after work and had a great time, listening, watching, taking photos.

Main closed between Broadway and Park--here you're looking west from Broadway.

Here you're looking east from Park. Just yesterday evening Mama and I drove west on this street, headed home in the Buick.

These guys got into it!

The crowd loved this one, too.


Portland Center for the Performing Arts presents Fernando. He leads off the Music on Main Street Summer Series. Wednesday, July 9. Free!

"Fernando writes compelling pop songs with captivating melodies and lush vocal harmonies. Bouncy and charming guitars juggle the bass and drums into rhythmic waves of clever ballads… (with) instrumentation which belies a roots rock intention smartly wrapped in bubble wrap of indie pop.” – Smother

Argentina-born Fernando Vicivonte came of age musically in L.A. fronting the hard rock band Monkey Paw. He moved to Portland in 1994 and released Season in Hell, a downbeat collection of country rock, in 1996. His sophomore effort, Windows, saw a harder-edged approach that at times recalled his Southern California days. The Spanish language album Pacoima (1998) represented an abrupt shift as Fernando explored his So Cal barrio roots, swinging from border rock to Tex-Mex to Mexican R&B. Sure enough, he changed gears ayet again for Old Man Motel (1999) indulging in a powerful collection of relatively straight-ahead rock. In 2001 Fernando released Dreams of the Sun and Sky, a startling gorgeous collection of gauzy, narcotic tracks with Latin and country-folk accents. Fernando’s latest record, Exit to Enter, isn’t your average pop-rock album. Sure it’s full of sweet, somber vocals and catchy hooks, but the album’s got something you don’t hear very often on melodic pop/rock releases – and that’s raw emotion.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Wednesday, July 9, 2008 ... ABC Wednesday - Yellow

Mustard, running down a crusty corn dog
Toward a walking teensy fellow.
High on his shoulder, a big ol'hot dog
Looks good in front of sunny yellow!

I took this photo at lunch on Tuesday. Look at that gorgeous blue sky!

If you're of a mind to, please go to Mrs. Nesbitt's Place for loads of other ABC Wednesday blogs! Look at the list of links per Mr. Linky.

Tuesday, July 8, 2008 ... Of horns and fins and creativity



Sunday, July 6, 2008

Monday, July 7, 2008 ... Standpipe, SW 4th Avenue


From Merriam-Webster online: standpipe
circa 1850

: a high vertical pipe or reservoir that is used to secure a uniform pressure in a water-supply system

I wonder why I don't remember noticing any of these fire fighting devices--as well as the other styles I've seen and photographed in Portland--in the cities where I've lived as an adult: Jackson, Mississippi, Kansas City, Missouri and Kansas, Houston, Texas. Just now, sitting in our 4th floor apartment with the windows open, a cool breeze blowing across the room in July, for Pete's sake, I've decided I know the answer. I never really walked around in those cities like I do here because the weather often was too hot and humid for me to want to be outside. Or it could be sheets of rain, blowing in the wind, so I didn't want to be outside.

I like being outside in Portland, walking. So I notice more. And I carry my Nikon D50 with me most all of the time, ready to take photos of whatever strikes my fancy. Then I get to download the photos and find other neat things I didn't see in the first place, like this parking garage reflected in the granite.

Ain't life grand?

Saturday, July 5, 2008

Sunday, July 6, 2008 ... 4th Fireworks and Food, in reverse order of how it really happened, and a bit more Duncan

Right before 10 p.m., after we'd eaten all sorts of great food and either thrown the Aerobie or watched it being thrown and/or sat around talking and enjoying the beautiful day and being together, we walked two blocks up to stand in an empty parking lot to see the tip tops of the fireworks being shot off 22 blocks west, down on the Willamette River. The guys walked Grandma slowly and carefully and brought along this desk chair. Leland pushed her back down the slight decline when the show was over. Ready, set, go! Making memories!

I took a few photos which are not at all representative of the actual show. However, I thought--what the hay!--I'll post them. At the bottom of most of the photos is the top of a one-story apartment building or a really good Mexican restaurant, Nuestra Cocina.




Here's the only firework we had, compliments of Kimberly and Tom. She picked it up after its performance (see the next two photos) and held it for this photo.
Loud squeals, rapidly changing colors--both marked the path of the little paper truck firework. It's visible between these two bursts of green light.
Look closely and you can see the tiny paper truck, fire shooting out the grill
Asparagus ready for the grill
Seeming to come, almost, from Lamont's thumb, olive oil drizzles onto an onion slice. If you look closely, you can just see the bottle to the left of his hand.
Fresh Walla Walla sweet onions and slices of potatoes, grillin'
This huge pan holds the slabs of ribs that had first been smoked about four hours before going into the pan and being covered with industrial plastic wrap. Lamont told me that they then went into a warm oven for at least an hour. As far as spices go, the only one I know about for sure is Peruvian hot peppers--I got a blast with one bite that lasted through several swallows of sweet iced tea!
Leland got the slabs of ribs out of the pan one at a time and sliced them into two-bone pieces. I believe he sliced the flank steaks, too.
Yummy, sweet, yummy fresh grilled corn.
Fresh asparagus on the grill. I know for sure it got sprinkled with salt and chili flake, plus drizzled and tossed with olive oil--not sure about anything else except that, as Mama told Aunt Baker on the phone this afternoon, it was really, really good.
Lamont's paper platter; Kailey made the Fred Meyer run for all of the paper goods, plastic goods, etc.
Michelle and Vincent enjoyed their 4th of July dinner. After a couple of bites, Vincent said to Lamont, "Hey man, it's a shame none of this is edible!" Vincent came back again and again for ribs. Mama observed, "Vincent really likes that meat." I did, too. The guys made us a fine, fine meal.
Here's Grandma! She graciously stopped chewing for the photo, ha, ha!
Lindsay made this lovely cake from a recipe of her mom's. She iced it with marscarpone cheese, topped with fresh cherries and powdered sugar. Both of us got a kick out of the fact that as I focused in on the cake, I got the sprinkling of the sugar!
Duncan gets to look and not touch because he's on a special diet. Brixx, the rottweiler, will be over later on with her folks and claim this great big bone as her own.
Duncan and Scooner appear to have a meeting of the minds