Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Vacation, Day 1, 10/21/2009, Part 1

Before we flew out at 6:15 a.m.--she looks great for having been awake since 3:20 a.m.

The Iceman cometh, thank goodness, to de-ice our plane's wings in Denver, our place to change planes.



Our lunch--ha, ha! We did just fine on it, too!

We've landed!

And now I have to report that I will be away from the World Wide Web for a whole week!

Mama's staying with Aunt Baker and Uncle JL, and I'm off to Talladega with our friends Milton and Kay!

You know I'll return loaded with pix! In fact, I've already got almost 1000 to go through from Wednesday through Sunday--surely some of them will be worth sharing with y'all.

Monday, October 26, 2009

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Great advice appears in these store windows



These windows are at Moule, 1225 NW Everett St., in the Pearl. I stood across the street to take them, in between passing vehicles.

Mama and I are on vacation. I don't think I'll be around the Internet much, but I'll be back by Nov. 5th or so.

Saturday, October 24, 2009

You know how you see someone you've never seen before and ...

...then you see that same person again! Well, I thought that's what had happened with these two sightings two days apart. However, upon closer inspection of the largest size of each photo, I don't think that this is the same woman, though at the time I took the second photo I remember thinking, "Oh, wow! There's that woman I saw downtown the other day!"

First at Pioneer Courthouse Square on Sept. 17.

Then on Sept. 19 across the street from Three Doors Down on SE 37th.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Three Doors Down Cafe, A Fine Food and Drink Series, No. 5

Chicken liver pate with grilled foccacia, a pungent, smooth appetizer that matches perfectly the crispy foccacia.

Linguini with slowly simmered beef and pork sugo. Here's another truly wonderful comfort food that amazes me. Flavor, texture, taste--it's got it all going on. I immediately thought about how some children always want spaghetti, but if one were to come to 3DD, the parents could order this instead. I believe the child would be satisfied with the taste and enjoy trying to wrap the linguini around a fork.

Seems like I shared my appetizer with Kailey, and I had some of my sugo boxed up for the next day. That left room for dessert and wine. Here's the red wine--Notios, Peloponnisos Regional Wine, Red Dry Wine. Perfect accompaniment to my dessert.

Bocca Negra, my favorite chocolate dessert in Portland!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Three Doors Down Cafe, A Fine Food and Drink Series, No. 4

The secret's in the stromboli. It tasted just right, hot, peppery, flaky, molten. But as I understand it, the ingredients are not known to the back of the house, to the kitchen, because Kathy--front of the house maven and co-owner of 3DD with chef Dave, her significant other--makes it herself. It tasted so good that the other day as I walked from one place to another at work, I found myself thinking, "Stromboli. Oh, how good that was, wish I had another slice or two, stromboli." You get the picture.

Matt almost always comes up with something new for me to try. This time, two sidecars which contain brandy and I'm not sure what else. I do know that I liked the yellow one best. Matt jokingly said he had yet to come up with a green one. If he does, he'll have a traffic signal! And by the way, I don't have those fond stromboli memories just because I drank two sidecars!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Three Doors Down Cafe, A Fine Food and Drink Series, No. 3

Poiré Authentique, pear cider from Eric Bordelet, a delightfully fresh cider. Matt told me that it's rare and unforgettable, both true descriptors. You can see SE 37th reflected in its golden self.

Here it is, right after being poured. I read this about it online "...a traditionally off-dry, sparkling style ... made from three hundred year-old pear trees. These sixty foot high trees have never seen one bit of chemical treatment during their long lives and produce absolutely marvelous fruit with which to work. Monsieur Bordelet makes from them a brilliant sparkling cider: one that has great complexity, refined bubbles, a deep underlying minerality, with excellent length and cut on the finish." I don't know what some of that means, but I did see bubbles coming up from the bottom center of the glass for quite some time, and it did taste good.

Bibb lettuce, chives, bacon in a creamy roasted garlic aioli dressing--this crispy, perfectly cold salad makes me happy. And it's not just because it's shape reminds me of a ruffled party dress. It tastes so good!

The special--house-made cavatelli, duck confit, delicata squash, and arugula. Lamont thinks it's so neat that I eat duck confit as often as possible at 3DD, and I never even knew what it was before! You see, I had never eaten duck until I moved to Portland. Now, if it's on the menu at Three Doors Down, I get an immediate memory of that earthy, meaty taste as soon as I read the word. So I order it and enjoy it, time after time.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Three Doors Down Cafe, A Fine Food and Drink Series, No. 2

My last New-fangled Old-fashioned, and maybe the last of the season--fresh cherries will not longer be available according to bartender extraordinaire Matt. I still believe that this drink can heal you of what ever is ailing you!

Duck confit, arugula, manchego cheese, Italian plum preserves, bruschetta--an appetizer replete with a meaty sweetness and a crusty crispness. Can you tell how thinly the manchego is sliced? I could see the arugula through it!

Beef, pork and Arborio stuffed chard, baked in a tomato sauce--talk about your perfectly matched tastes and textures! Let me just say that if you've been craving stuffed cabbage or stuffed grape leaves, you'd get over that craving with the first bite of this stuffed chard. I savored each bite, using that sharp, sharp knife you see beside the NFOF to cut thin slices, making sure I got plenty of the tomato concoction--I think I see onion in there, too, but I forgot to ask.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Three Doors Down Cafe, A Fine Food and Drink Series, No. 1

In honor of all that eatin' we'll be doin' down South--see the lengthy paragraph below--this is the first in a series of fine food photos I've taken lately at Three Doors Down Cafe, SE 37th and Hawthorne, in Southeast Portland. I took them right before I either ate or drank it all right up! I do want to point out that since the menu changes pretty often at 3DD, I might be sharing photos of food that is not currently on the menu. Suffice it to say that no matter what you order, you will be sufficiently satisfied. Are all those S-words superfluous? Yeah, but I don't care. As you well know, I'm a fan of going overboard to make a point.

Delicata squash, pancetta, green onion, chevre cheese risotto. I tell you what, if you needed some comfort food, you'd have been so pleased with your decision to dine on this hearty, smooth entree.

I had a glass of Gruner Veltliner, a white, that went very well with my entree.

The Lengthy Paragraph

First, let me explain that Mama and I are going on a two-week vacation, flying to New Orleans on Oct. 21, where we will be picked up by our BFF Kay. We're spending the night in the French Quarter, then heading to her home in Smithdale, Mississippi, where we will spend the night. On Friday we're going to have lunch at The Dinner Bell in McComb, Mississippi, with Kay and her husband Milton before heading to Jackson. We'll be with my brother Howard and his wife Vanessa--yippee!!--from Friday until Monday. They're the sweetest ever, concerned about Mama and the stairs to the upstairs guest bedroom and my allergies to cats, they're putting us up in a nearby Embassy Suites. Oh, I forgot. On Friday afternoon I have an appointment to tour Eudora Welty's house, a National Historic Landmark and one of the nation's most intact literary house museums, reflecting Welty's life there over seventy-six years. Saturday night we hope to gather with family and friends at Sal & Mookie's, a New York Pizza & Ice Cream Joint in Jackson, Mississippi. On Monday we'll eat lunch at Hamil's Southern Cookin' and Bar B Que Buffet in Ridgeland, Mississippi, then we'll head to my Aunt Baker and Uncle JL's in Puckett, Mississippi--we'll eat mighty fine home-cookin' there, let me tell you! On Tuesday, Kay and Milton and their grandson Ian will pick me up on I-20, after Aunt Baker takes me to meet them at a service station, and we'll head to Talladega, Alabama, for NASCAR heaven at the Talladega Superspeedway for two races--on Halloween, the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series: Mountain Dew 250 and on Nov.1, the NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Amp Energy 500. While we're camped out near in the speedway in Milton and Kay's RV, we'll eat Milton's grilled and fried good food--Kay'll probably cook some, too, 'cause she always does! Big time yummy! We're even going trick-or-treating around the campground on their golf cart--Kay's taking all sorts of decorations for it and the RV. I'll join Mama again at Aunt Baker and Uncle JL's on Monday at some time or other, depending on when we leave Talladega. Then on Tuesday Mama and I will go to spend the night at a hotel near the Jackson airport, resting up for our flight home on Nov. 4.


All of that to say that I'm trying to put together some posts ahead of time--to save time, I'm discontinuing the daily dahlia, just for now. I don't know how many I'll get to complete nor do I know how much Internet I'll be around while we're on the trip. I do know that I will be taking photo after photo after photo.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Lamont and the Slackline and today's dahlia, with a visitor

Please scroll down for today's dahlia, TG 10, from the Canby Dahlia Trial Test Garden, sponsored by The Portland Dahlia Society and The American Dahlia Society, in co-operation with Swan Island Dahlias, maintained in honor of Nick Gitts, Sr. Dahlias on trial--not for sale.

Lamont jumped onto the slackline and stayed for a few seconds, trying to maintain his balance for all he was worth.




TG 10 and a bee!

Friday, October 16, 2009

Oh, boy! It's color-coordinated, street-level accessory time again!

Please scroll down for today's dahlia, TG 11, from the Canby Dahlia Trial Test Garden, sponsored by The Portland Dahlia Society and The American Dahlia Society, in co-operation with Swan Island Dahlias, maintained in honor of Nick Gitts, Sr. Dahlias on trial--not for sale.

I took this photo after I got off the bus at W. Burnside and NW 23rd. The car is driving south from NW 23rd, crossing Burnside or about to turn left onto Burnside and go east. This intersection has been a favorite of mine since we first moved to this neighborhood in October, 2006. It's easy to see why, isn't it?

Today's dahlia, TG 11.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Vista House from Chanticleer Point, in the Columbia River Gorge

Please scroll down to see today's dahlia, TG-12, from the Canby Dahlia Trial Test Garden, sponsored by The Portland Dahlia Society and The American Dahlia Society, in co-operation with Swan Island Dahlias, maintained in honor of Nick Gitts, Sr. Dahlias on trial--not for sale.

The last full week of September Lamont's friend John came to Portland from Lafayette, Louisiana, for vacation. On Saturday and Sunday, Sept. 19 and 20, Mama and I drove him here and there in both Portland and the Columbia River Gorge.

Y'all won't believe it, but I decided I could drive up to Vista House from the east and then down along the Historic Columbia River Scenic Highway, from Latourell Falls to Wahkeena Falls to Multnomah Falls to Oneonta Gorge and the Oneonta Tunnel to Horsetail Falls. I convinced myself that if I went up there from that direction, I would be on very few scary, high, curving roads--that's the way Lamont took Mama, Lucy and me last November. And I figured that I could drive all the way down even with the curving, high, scary roads because 95% of the time, I'd be hugging the earth. By that I mean I would have the other lane to my left which meant the thin air was at least that far away from me. Out the passenger window all I could see was earth, trees, ferns, the woods.

Our first stop, Chanticleer Point (now known as the Portland Women's Forum Scenic Viewpoint), provided the opportunity to get this vista and its photograph. You can see the actual Vista House there in the distance, on the right atop Crown Point, 733 feet above the Columbia River.

This is a closely cropped shot of Vista House. In the blurry background you might be able to see bits of the Bonneville Dam. I'm not sure about the name of that rock sticking up. I need to do more research. I did discover that Chanticleer Point stands at 705 feet. That's why I said drive up at the first of this post.

Here's a shot of Vista House that I took in May, 2007, when our friend Milton and Kay were here visiting from Mississippi. I didn't take one like this last month--some sort of work was going on which meant plywood here and there.
As we made our way down into the Gorge, Mama kept saying from the back seat, "You don't look scared from back here. You're doing just fine." And I later found out that John told Lamont he thought we just might drive off the road to the right a couple of times--I knew I got close to the edge, but I couldn't help myself. I did make it, though. Hooray for me!

Look beneath the dahlia for more information about Crown Point and Vista House.

Dahlia TG-12.

From the Oregon State Parks Web site: Millions of visitors driving from Portland through the Columbia River Gorge don't realize the full impact of its beauty until they come around the bend near Corbett at exit 22 and see the famous building on the top of the cliff to the right. This is Crown Point and the building is the Vista House.

Just as the Statue of Liberty is a symbol of freedom, the Vista House serves as the symbol of the Columbia River Gorge. In fact, the architect of the Vista House -- Edgar Lazarus -- and Emma Lazarus (who wrote the poem of the Statue of Liberty), were brother and sister.

The Vista House was built in 1916 at the same time as Highway 30 (what is now the Historic Columbia River Gorge Highway, and the only way to reach Crown Point). The building was designed to be a place of refreshment and enjoyment of the Columbia Gorge. The popular clifftop viewpoint recently underwent a $3.2 million restoration to repair and rejuvenate the building's key historic features.

The octagonal building with its copper dome houses a museum, gift shop and interpretive display of historic and geologic points of interest in the Gorge.

Vista House is open daily from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. beginning March 14. Beginning April 19, visitor hours are extended to 9 a.m.-6 p.m. The building remains open daily through Oct. 31.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Leland enjoying his birthday present from his brother Lamont--bodacious!

Scroll down for today's dahlia, Bodacious, from Swan Island Dahlias.

Last Tuesday Lamont called and said that if I wanted to ride the bus to Colonel Summers Park at SE 20th and Belmont after work, they'd have Leland's slack line set up. I could watch. I could take photos! Awwright!

Today I've posted several photos of Leland jumping up onto the slack line. Later, I'll have more photos of him and some of Lamont as well.

The sun shone brightly as I walked the seven blocks to SE 7th and Belmont where I boarded the 15. When I got off, I saw the two of them across the park to the south, the slack line set up between two trees, about three feet off the ground.

I got off the bus at the stop beside the bus shelter, there in the distance behind Leland in this photo.

See the slack line, on the left, that green blur. Leland's right foot has landed on it, making it vibrate. He bought that carpet sample you see beneath the red cord, cutting it in half so that he would protect each tree--gotta love that son of mine!

The guys saw another guy on a slackline, sitting on it, balancing on one foot, holding his other one up behind him. So, naturally, Leland had to give sitting on it a try. Later on Lamont went over to ask him a few questions and came back to tell us that he said he's been doing this balancing act since 2004. Lamont and Leland have been at it for five to six weeks, starting out at The Circuit, a Southwest Portland bouldering gym.

A bit about slacklining, from Wikiepedia: Slacklining is a balance sport which uses nylon webbing stretched tight between two anchor points. Slacklining is distinct from tightrope walking in that the line is not held rigidly taut; it is instead dynamic, stretching and bouncing like a long and narrow trampoline. The line's tension can be adjusted to suit the user and different types of dynamic webbing can be used to achieve a variety of feats. The line itself is flat, due to the nature of webbing, thus keeping the slacker's footing from rolling as would be the case with an ordinary rope. The dynamic nature of the line allows for impressive tricks and stunts.

Today's dahlia, Bodacious. Facts from Swan Island Dahlias--Bloom: 11" Bright Orange, Bush: 4 1/2'

Monday, October 12, 2009

Heritage Tree, South Park Blocks, and today's dahlia.

Scroll down to see today's dahlia, Gregory Stephen, from Swan Island Dahlias.

Click Heritage Trees of Portland to find out about the ordinance that created the Heritage Tree program, as well as additional information at the Portland Parks & Recreation Web site. I especially like the various links, Trees by Year, Trees by Species, Trees by Location, Heritage Elms, and Trees of Merit. When I clicked on Trees by Year, I discovered that I had seen in person the second so designated Heritage Tree in Portland, in 1975.

Believe it or not, I didn't go there first to find today's subject. I lucked out and found this one on Aug. 29 when I got to the Antoinette Hatfield Hall early--I had signed up to help with new usher training for the Portland Center for the Performing Arts. Not wanting to just go inside and just wait, I walked west across the South Park Blocks, not expecting to see a plaque in the sidewalk on the corner--there's the photo, beneath this one. What I read made me look up and find the subject of the third photo below. Now I'm wondering if a sycamore and a London planetree are relatives. Click, click. I'm taking photos and looking for the best vantage points.

The tree as seen from the middle of SW Main as it goes through the South Park Blocks.

The plaque on the sidewalk.

The sign on the tree.

There in the distance you see the brick building--that's the Antoinette Hatfield Hall, part of the Portland Center for the performing Arts, my ultimate destination.

I just love the Internet. I've found a pdf of a brochure or booklet, "Oregon Geology," published by the Oregon Department of Geology and Mineral Industries, from November 1985. On pg. 7, I've read about the sidewalk plaque. "At the northwest corner of the intersection of Main and West Park there stands a magnificent london (sic) plane tree (Platanus acerifolia) (a) that was planted in 1800 by Sylvester Farrell. At the base of the tree, a gneiss marker indicates incorrectly that the tree is a sycamore (which is a close relative of the london (sic) plane tree). The marker also left out an "L" in the gentleman's last name. The tree has been placed on the National Register of Historic Places. It is the sole survivor from pioneer times in the immediate area."

Simply grand, that information. I love digging for it, too. Can't help it. I used to be a librarian.

Today's dahlia, Gregory Stephen. Facts from Swan Island Dahlias--Bloom: 12" Red, Bush: 4'

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Pizza Schmizza's delivery bicycle and today's dahlia

Please scroll down to see today's dahlia, Margaret Duross, from Swan Island Dahlias.

I'm walking last February when this delivery bicycle caught my eye. I liked the way its shapes and colors matched the street barricades and the bollards. So, I took this first photo.

Thank goodness I decided to look back at the bicycle as I walked by this downtown Pizza Schmizza. Trust Your Gut--wow! That statement made me curious, so I looked online and found this entire statement, evidently associated with the franchise: “Trust Your Gut and Claim Your Slice." I wonder how it tastes?

Today's dahlia, Margaret Duross. Facts from Swan Island Dahlias--Bloom: 12" Golden Orange, Bush: 5'