Saturday, July 31, 2010

The tunnel of light, usually known as the Hawthorne Bridge, downtown Portland

Part of the PDX Bridge Festival involves highlight the birthday bridge, the Hawthorne which turns 100 this year.

Here's a bit about the lights on the bridge, from the PDX Bridge Festival Web site:

The centerpiece of this years festival is the Hawthorne Bridge, which celebrates its hundredth anniversary in 2010. In honor of the centennial of the nation’s oldest working vertical lift bridge, we’ve designed an installation that will transform this bridge into a large-scale work of kinetic art. The lighting display makes use of programmable and environmentally aware lighting technology to interact with the nightly vehicle and bike traffic on the bridge. The lights accentuate 48 panels of colored fabric installed in three spans of the bridge trusses, turning the structure into a wash of color and moving light, and marking the rhythm of commuter traffic as it moves across the bridge. The installation will be visible for the 15 days of the festival and can be viewed from neighboring bridges, both esplanades of the Willamette River and downtown buildings.

I got to take this photo Thursday night through the windshield of the Zipcar Artale, a Scion xA. After making sure that no one was behind me a we headed west across the Willamette River, I stopped on the bridge and took four photos. Oh, joy!

Come back tomorrow for some that I took from the Eastbank Esplanade. They will be my City Daily Photo Theme Day pictures!

To see the latest on our vacation and my trip to Talladega Superspeedway, be sure to check out Mama and Me from PDX. The truck race is on!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

When I left the KICK OFF event for the PDX Bridge Festival, my miniature art car "Icons on Parade" was still in one piece.

A little girl admires my miniature art car.

Everyone's inside--this is only part of the Olympic Mills Commerce Center which used to be a cereal mill. From the Internet: "The Olympic Mills Commerce Center, located in the close-in southeast riverfront area, joins other BEAM mixed use creative / office / flex-space developments - the Water Avenue Commerce Center and the Eastbank Commerce Center - in offering beautifully updated, affordable, historic rental spaces to a wide range of creative businesses."

Entertainment provided by the Amazin Jerkz--they danced on what I assume was the loading dock at one time. I stood on the street and tried to get some good shots.


Can you see the guy standing on his hands? The rest of them are certainly enjoying it!


I took this photo of these handsome, energetic and talented young men after their scheduled show, then I met a lady name Kay--I think that's her son is in the orange shirt.

A few minutes later on of their appreciative fans, a young man, asked me if I was having a good time, to which I replied, "Sure am." He danced around to the music that the DJ continued to blast from his set-up. I continued, "But I can't dance like you do." He said, "Aw," as I went on to say, "But I can do the Electric Slide," after which he implored me to teach him. I moved out into the edge of the dock area where the Amazin Jerkz had been dancing and proceeded to show him my ol' lady version of my favorite dance after the two-step which I don't ever get to do 'cause I don't have man! Anyway, I saw Kay go by and snagged her to dance with us, then in a few minutes we had folks watching us and smiling and another woman whose hair is grayer than mine joined in. What fun we had for about 15 minutes, until the Amazin Jerkz got to dancing again--see below a few more shots--I could use the rest!







Head over to Mama and Me from PDX for the latest vacation post!

Monday, July 26, 2010

Seen on the streets of Portland: 1952 - maybe - Chevrolet Pickup Truck, going south on SW Broadway

A beauty. A beloved beauty, from the looks of it. I tell you, vintage vehicles abound in Portland--I am a blessed woman.

By the way, please look at Mama and Me from PDX (in My Other Blogs) to see a new vacation post. Thanks!

Friday, July 23, 2010

KICK-OFF PARTY: July 23rd, PDX Bridge Festival

First let me say that I have decided to post about our vacation over at Mama and Me from PDX--you can get there from the link in My Other Blogs. Today is all about Milton, the Cajun Fryer, and loads of fried delights!

My miniature art car, "Icons on Parade," is in the art show! Read all about the evening below. It ought to be quite a night! The entire PDX Bridge Festival runs through August 8--find out all about it at PDX Bridge Festival dot org.


Fireworks from the 4th of July seem fitting in celebration of the Hawthorne Bridge's 100th birthday--that's what got the PDX Bridge Festival going.

PDX Bridge Festival organizers will combine three of their favorite things in one kick-off event at Olympic Mills Commerce Center: ART + MUSIC + PERFORMANCE! Join PDX Bridge Festival and curatorial art partner Portland City Art, as they begin two weeks of art, music, culture, and fun celebrating the bridges that connect us all. In keeping with the theme of bridging cultures, the opening event, Curated by our partners-in-art, Portland City Art, “Nuts, Bolts, and Slabs of Steel” showcases the 2-D and 3-D art works of over 50 Portlanders. PDX Bridge Festival’s opening event will also feature performance by a number of established and newcomer troupes, and involve our elected officials in sanctioning the fun and freaky side of our creative city! From massive sculpture to individual performance, this event—co-produced with Portland City Art—sets the tone for the weeks to come. Don’t miss it!

Free/All Ages

Olympic Mills Commerce Center, 107 SE Washington Street

July 23rd, 6 – 11 pm

At 7pm, Mayor Sam Adams will officially open the festival with brief remarks about the importance of art and culture in our city. Outlining his plan for arts and culture in the coming years and how an event such as PDX Bridge Festival fits into that vision, Mayor Adams will also speak about his role in the festival from its inception to its launch.

Music and Performance:
Following the mayor’s remarks, the event will feature a performance by the AMAZIN’ JERKS — an up and coming teen dance troupe from Northeast Portland with a very unique street dancing style. You can see their work here: DANNY CORN will be spinning music all night long on Scion’s customized xB DJ Booth Car, which converts from a road-ready city cruiser into a mobile sound stage. Later in the evening, from 9-11pm, the event presents additional performances by:

DEVIANT DANCE COMPANY, a bellydance fusion troupe devoted to storytelling and the deep spirit of dance.
WANDERLUST CIRCUS, the proudest circus family in Free Cascadia, will preview some of their bits from their special PDX Bridge Festival production, “Battle for the Bridge”
BRIDGETOWN REVUE TRIO will close out the night with acts of acrobalance and vaudeville from their repertoire.
Roving performers will roam the gallery and entertain guests as they peruse the art and enjoy the space and music.

About the Art:
Ever wondered how many nuts, bolts, shims, slabs of steel, cables, contractors and pounds of concrete are poured into a bridge like our very own Fremont? And is it a Howe Truss, and X-Truss, Burer Arche, Town Lattice, Partridge Truss, Whippel Trapeziodal or just a plain Suspension design? If these questions leave you confounded, clouded or curious, the answer might be standing, laying, hanging and swinging from the walls, floors and scores of seams of Olympic Mills Beam Bridge Gallery. 7′ bronze sculptures and 10′ steel renditions of the St. Johns Bridge Cathedral Spires—surrounded by 75+ paintings, collages, photographs, prints and posters from stellar Portland artists—fill the Beam Bridge Gallery at Olympic Mills.

Beer will be provided by PDXBF sponsor Lagunitas Brewing Company, and delcious wine graciously donated by Barefoot Wine & Bubbly. Come on down to the Beam Bridge gallery and see what a celebration and homage the artists are cooking up for PDX Bridge Festival!

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Setting sun sparks KOIN Tower windows as I wait for the 4th of July fireworks

From my friends' boat on the Willamette River, I noticed the KOIN Tower windows, glowing wondrously. I clicked the D50 a few times, hoping to get at least one photo that would do justice to the sight. I like this one best because it not only shows the windows but also give you a good idea of the size of the crowd at the Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival there in Tom McCall Waterfront Park as well as the number of boats visible in the narrow space captured by the camera.

The building is 509 feet tall, Oregon's third tallest building. The building was originally named Fountain Plaza, but it quickly came to be known as the KOIN Center, or KOIN Tower, reflecting the name of its highest-profile occupant, KOIN television. The building was controversial while being constructed because its location blocked the view of Mount Hood that had long been seen by drivers emerging from the Vista Ridge Tunnel under Portland's West Hills going eastbound on U.S. Route 26. The Safeway Waterfront Blues Festival is the largest blues fest west of the Mississippi and the second largest on in the USA.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Savor summertime at 3 Doors Down Cafe


New entree on the menu at 3 Doors Down Cafe. This is the first time I've ever taken a photo of a dish that I didn't eat afterwards. I had listened to Lamont's description of it and knew immediately that I would want to photograph it. So I asked him to let me know when he plated it again. Our waitress did just that. It's pan-roasted Oregon albacore tuna, bacon, chilled mache greens and sliced heirloom tomatoes with Mama Lil's Hungarian pepper aioli.

Before I forget, since Mama and I were at 3 Doors Down on Sunday night, we had Happy Hour food, all small dishes which we shared: grilled corn on the cob with blue cheese butter; tuna salad stuffed piquillo peppers; egg fettuccine, truffle oil and black pepper; mini meatballs, marinara, mozzarella. Actually I took half of the fettuccine and the tuna-stuffed piquillo peppers home and ate them for lunch on Monday. Lucky, lucky me!

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Going south on the Willamette, towards the 4th of July fireworks

The Fremont Bridge takes my breath away. Looking south at the bridge.





Looking north at the bridge.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Waiting for the Fireworks No. 1

I got to ride on some friends' boat on the Willamette River for our July 4 fireworks in downtown Portland--all they asked was that I take photos of everything else, but not them--camera-shy folks. I quickly agreed and had a blast!

When the breeze blew, it was just this cool in the shade.

Elvis is on the river.

Although this is the first post on this topic, the posts will not be in chronological order. You know how much I like to do that, but I thought, "Hey! What's wrong with random now and then?" Enjoy!

Friday, July 9, 2010

Cool off considerably at 3 Doors Down Cafe, SE 37th & Hawthorne

Every bite, every sip, a reward for having the sense to come in out of the heat at 3 Doors Down Cafe after work.

Cool, the appetizer vitello tonnato, a classic Italian dish of chilled braised veal breast resting on a bed of tuna sauce that includes capers, cornichons and aoili. The first three bites I ate without the lemon juice, savoring the flavors, then I decided to go for it, to drip lemon juice on a corner of the vitello tonnato. My gosh! Talk about accentuating perfection! That's what the lemon juice did to the veal--it actually made it taste even better. In no time flat I had dripped lemon juice all over it!

Chilled, the Perfect Manhattan--it looks gorgeous, doesn't it? It went very well with the vitello tonnato.

Cold and creamy, the housemade strawberry ice cream, two great big scoops with that crispy wafer in between them. Satisfaction.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

How do you like the looks of the Bit-o-Honey Building?

When I first saw the golden sections on this high rise, I immediately thought of a candy from my childhood, Bit-O-Honey. Those of you familiar with the candy can see why, I'm sure. Actually the building is The Casey, a condo tower. Online I found that there are 61 living spaces in the 16-story building, averaging 2100 square feet and starting at $600,000. Outta my league, mine and Mama's.

Here's what I found at Wikipedia: Bit-O-Honey first appeared in 1924 and was made by the Schutter-Johnson Company of Chicago, Illinois, United States. Bit-O-Honey was a new kind of candy bar consisting of six pieces of candy wrapped in wax paper and then packaged in a wrapper. The candy consists of almond bits embedded in a honey-flavored taffy which makes for a long-chewing candy. It is possible to purchase the larger, candy bar version, or a bag of smaller, bite-size versions. Between the mid- and late-1970s, a chocolate-flavored version called Bit-O-Chocolate was made, but this product was later dropped. Bit-O-Honey was acquired by the Nestlé Company in 1984, which continues production. Bit-O-Honey is similar in style and packaging (single pieces) to Mary Jane made by Necco.

Here's a bit more about The Casey, found on the World Wide Web:

N.W. 12th and Everett
The Casey is distinctive because it occupies one quarter block, elegantly scaled in comparison to other Pearl projects which occupy half and full blocks. It offers 61 well-appointed residential units, ground floor retail, concierge service and underground parking.

The Casey is a “green building” -- meeting Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) requirements -- and has the 52 LEED points required for a Platinum rating, the highest certification possible. It features an eco-roof, photovoltaic panels for powering common-area spaces, operable windows, and window glazing that keeps out unwanted heat.

Developer : Gerding Edlen

Architect : GBD Architects

Builder: Hoffman Construction

Friday, July 2, 2010

From Friday, June 18, at 3 Doors Down Cafe, a cocktail and an appetizer

House-made maraschino cherry sidecar, a refreshing cocktail with the added delight of those two cherries, one Bing, one Rainier. See the juice about the drip from the Bing?

Thanks to 3 Doors Down Cafe for widening my food experience well beyond its former boundaries. Here you see the latest in a six-year-long line of luscious-looking dishes whose tastes, smells, and textures are all designed to please the senses. This is an appetizer, a house-made rabbit and pork terrine, served with accoutrements: the mustard and the cornichons (tiny tart pickles) and the toasted, sliced baguette. The roundish shapes in the slice of terrine are hazelnuts I found out once I had finished and flew to the kitchen to ask, "What's that nut in the terrine? "Hazelnut," Dave answered, a slight smile on his face, as Lamont stood to his right, sort of shaking his head in wonder that I've eaten the terrine and loved it. (He does that whenever I eat anything new and different because he knows what a picky eater I was growing up, really disgustingly picky.) I loved my first hazelnuts, too. Yummy mild flavor, smooth texture. Every single bite of that terrine, slowly eaten to extend the experience, yummy. I confess, I didn't eat any of the mustard--I'm not much for mustard--it's too pungent for me. But that bread, that terrine, those cornichons, a perfect combination of flavors, crispness, and densities.

Curious about the terrine's provenance, later on I got Lamont to explain it to me. Seems that at 3 Doors Down, the rabbit and pork are rough ground, mixed with eggs and spices (I didn't get a list of them), the hazelnuts, then poured into a thinly-sliced-proscuitto-or-pancetta-lined iron loaf pan (Lamont couldn't remember which P--they're both divine Ps from pigs to me.) The loaf pan is placed in a water bath which is then placed into the oven where it is baked. Lamont explained that because the mixture expands as it bakes, once it's out of the oven, while still in the loaf pan, it's wrapped in foil or paper--I can't remember what for sure and I've already called the poor guy twice in the last three hours--and a piece of something sturdy (like cardboard) is cut to fit onto the top of the loaf, fitting up against the inside rim of the pan, then something heavy, like a brick or two or a ten-pound weight, is put on top to cover the entire sturdy piece completely in order to compress the mixture as it cools. The whole idea is to compress the ingredients into a firm loaf that will slice smoothly into an attractive piece of forcemeat. See the photo for success.

And I have to say that thanks again to 3 Doors Down Cafe, for when I read page xiii of "Medium Raw," I knew exactly what Anthony Bourdain meant when he wrote these words: terrines, rillettes, and pate. I've savored bites of each one of them at one time or another there where my two sons and a whole lot of other intelligent, creative, determined, hard-working people willingly step up repeatedly to prepare, to cook, to serve those of us blessed with the time and the money for a night out, dining on the results of their excellent efforts. Thank you, one and all.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

She matches the crosswalk signal.

Walking south on SE 7th Avenue, towards SE Belmont. I saw her coming and waited to take the photo until she'd gone on by last Saturday while on my way to the Architectural Heritage Center for a lecture on Portland's concrete houses, both form-to-look-like-stone and poured-in-forms walls.

Here's what was on their Web site about the lecture: Concrete Houses of Portland
In the early twentieth century, concrete challenged Portland’s ubiquitous timber as the building material of choice for “modern” residences. As early as 1906, Portland architects and builders had begun constructing homes from solid concrete blocks formed to look like stone. In following years, other local builders experimented with the “Edison mold”—houses built entirely of continuous poured concrete panels. Concrete houses never became the norm in Portland, but numerous examples can still be found in all quarters of the city.