Monday, August 31, 2009

my gypsy heart

i must admit, i have a fondness for gypsies mostly because my chilhood dog was the sweetest golden retriever named gypsy. she went everywhere with me from 5th grade until i graduated and went off to college. because of her and how much i adored her, i've always loved anything "gypsy" and would dress up as some version of a gypsy, hippie or bohemian growing up and sometimes i still do. while i have my sweet lulu and willie, now, gypsy was my baby growing up and i miss her dearly.

so because of my gypsy love, of course i heart the gipsy kings. several years back, my friend and i went to see them at the schnitz which was truly amazing. if you have never seen a show at the schnitz, i highly recommend it. it is such a beautiful theater and it really plays a part of any show you are seeing there and it was no different with the gipsy kings who were just incredible. so aside from seeing them at the schnitz, i think the next best thing would be seeing them at edgefield which is where they will be playing this sunday night, september 6th. imagine the gipsy kings out in our beautiful edgefield under the stars. oh, i think it will be really amazing.

it looks like tickets are still available at the mcmenamins website so let's make a day of it and head out to edgefield next sunday to make the very best of our last days of summer. i can't think of a more perfect place to do this.

have a very happy monday!

Saturday, August 29, 2009

my heart flutters

i keep meaning to tell you about one of my favorite stores in portland, flutter. if i had my own store (someday), i like to think it would be something like flutter. i love their collection of old and new all jumbled together in it's beautiful, chaotic way. if i'm looking for something special and unique, this is were i go. they have lovely jewelry, soaps, perfumes, papers and so much more. and it's so much fun to walk mississippi ave. i think if i weren't a hawthorne girl, i would be a mississippi girl!

i absolutely love this turquoise wall. i would love to paint my bedroom this color with red trim. (photo by flutter)

this is rizzo, the kitty. (photo by dough beghtel/the oregonian)

so if you haven't been to flutter, go check it out and don't forget to go say hi to the kitty cat and the finches. i'm not a huge bird person but i love the sound of those tiny finches. it's like a little "beep, beep." i just love it. and you know i love my kitties. i think it's so cool that they can live together here, i'm afraid that probably wouldn't be the case at my house.
flutter is at 3948 n. mississippi ave 503.288.1649

Friday, August 28, 2009

bande a part part deux

many more great photos like this on rdujour

to my lovely reader that reminded me of the fab clothing line "band of outsiders" after my i heart my camera post, i found some great shots today on rdujour of jason schwartzman (i heart him too) in the new band of outsiders ad campaign. they are really cool so go check them out. i think jason would be a blast to hang out with, don't you?

shaken not stirred

another one of my local idols is china forbes of pink martini. if i could have my dream life, her's would be high up there on my list. i think she is so elegant when she is on stage. she has an amazing voice and sings in like a zillion different languages. when i travel i hear pink martini on the overhead and it makes me so happy that they have done well and get so much play. and while they are very popular here, they are even more popular outside of the us.

so imagine my excitement when i just found out i have a vip pass to tonight's pink martini show at the opening of the state fair! i don't want to rub it in but I'M SO HAPPY!

i'll let you know how it goes. go to for more info.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

i truly heart pdx

so here i am feeling a little sentimental tonight about my beloved city. i was just thinking about my wonderful friends here in portland and started reflecting on my move here and how much has changed since then, almost 11 years ago.

as you all know i grew up in new mexico but had spent some time in oregon when my parents decided to move us here (southern oregon that is) after my fourth grade year. i think we were here two years before we moved back down south. at the time it was very traumatic moving here, finally getting adjusted and then turning around and moving back down (which at the time i was happy about) but because of my time here and the people i met and experiences i had while we were here, i always romanticized about the northwest and eventually decided to move back up. however, there have been many times over the years that the idea of moving back down has crossed my mind. fortunately, my job allows me to travel a great deal and i have to tell you, i am always so happy to fly over mount hood and begin the descent in to portland and i never felt that way about albuquerque. even when i returned from a trip to paris i was happy to see my beautiful portland and to come home. and that is saying a lot because i really love paris!

when i got on-line to look for a photo of portland to post i said i would not post the picture that we see all of the time with the downtown skyline and mount hood in the background because i wanted something a little more real and perhaps even rainy but then i found this great photo of the hawthorne bridge and thought it was perfect. with the exception of one year, i have always lived in hawthorne and i remember crossing this bridge to downtown everyday to go to work and feeling nervous about stopping in the rain on those steel grates and thinking just how crazy it was to have these slick grates in the rain and what the heck were they thinking when they built this bridge?? crossing the bridges is old news now and i do it several times a day and i love coming in to downtown in the mornings and i love even more heading home to southeast in the evenings. we really do live in a wonderful city and i love it more every day. and no, it's not perfect, it has its flaws just like we do but it hangs in there and so do i.

so, i look back on that rainy night in january after i had lived here just one month and the rain poured and poured and poured and i say thank you portland for giving me such crappy weather immediately after i moved here because if i could make it through that winter, i could make it through anything (except last year's great snow of '08 but that's another post entirely).

(photo by planetware)

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

i bat my lashes

another very cool event happening on thursday is bat for lashes playing at the wonder ballroom. i am totally infatuated by natasha khan, isn't she just gorgeous? and her music is very ethereal and dreamy but rockin. oh i hope i can make it to this show! is any one else planning on going?
the wonder ballroom is at 128 ne russell 503.284.8686
(photo bat for lashes)

oh my gosh, it would be so great to go have dinner at toro bravo before hand! it's right next door. i could really go for some of their chicken liver mousse, yum.
(photo what's cooking america)

andiamo alla festa!

festa italiana at pioneer courthouse square

wouldn't it be cool to win a scooter like this? lulu and i could cruise around portland in it!

this weekend is the annual portland festa italiana, one of my favorite summer events here in portland held at pioneer courthouse square. it takes place this thursday, friday and saturday and it's free. they always have great music and great drawings! oh wouldn't it be nice if i won that trip to italy they auction off each year but i would even take a scooter if that was an option!

so hop on your bikes and head down to the festa! vieni, vieni!

clogged heart

ooh, how exciting! i just found this link on willamette week that states the owner of the swedish line sven clogs is moving to portland. now maybe i can get those custom clogs i've always wanted made. yippee! i'll keep you posted if i hear more

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

latin love

i know i've mentioned the restaurant andina before but it definitely merits more than just one little mention. if you have not ever tried this restaurant, get your best friend and go out and try it asap. i have been there several times over the years since it opened and let me tell you, i have never once been disappointed. the food, the drinks, the atmosphere, the music...i could go on but i want you to check it out for yourself.

my girlfriend and i just went by for dinner and it was so good. we started out with a pitcher of the white sangria and dined on some of my favorite tapas. i love the yucca relleno and the palta relleno, which i always get but next time i go, i want to try something completely different because the food at the next table looked so good i was wishing we had tried it instead, not because i was disappointed in our choices i just can't get everything that i want in one visit!

they also have live music every night which makes for such a pleasant dining experience. i love the spanish classical guitar and they usually have at least one musician there playing.

this is their gorgeous dining room which is great if you have a large group but i prefer the bar area if i'm with a smaller group. (photo from portland food and drink)

look at our fabulous dessert, this is the goat cheese flan. i thought it looked so good that i had to take a picture to show you. and yes, that's a rose on top. love it!

andina is in the pearl district on the corner of nw glisan and 13th.

rodrigo y gabriela

a few years ago, my friend and i dined at andina before we headed over to berbati's pan to see rodrigo y gabriela. they just so happen to be headed back to portland on october 12th and playing at the schnitz, so i think we may need to make this a tradition.

if you have never heard of or seen rodrigo y gabriela you must check them out. they are so cool. my friend and i went to see them two nights in a row because they are that good. it's just the two of them playing guitar and it is one of the best shows i have ever seen. the thing that i love about them is that their music does not fit into one box and they just have such an incredible energy. all ages can listen to this music and love it. i cannot stress enough how amazing they are so go check them out right now, i'm sure you can find them on youtube.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

my mecca

when i visit new york for work, i always make the pilgrimage to my mecca, abc carpet and home. i can spend all day here and hit every single floor. one time i saw a help wanted sign there and i almost shucked everything i had here in portland to go work there. i could never see myself in new york, though. i'll just keep that as a dream (unless i have a sudden windfall of money and could live in grand style). no, i think portland is the place for me.

my mecca in portland is cargo. i get so excited when i come here i actually do get butterflies. you can't miss it from the outside. it's the big building in the pearl with chinese lanterns and flags hanging off it. i love how they have used these great frames as a fence on the outside. i would love to do this at home.

cargo is in a really cool old warehouse space at 380 nw 13th 503.243.7804

there is just so much to look at, i could spend hours wandering around here. i loved this room with the peacock feathers. i would love a display like this at home but the cat thinks the feathers are his special gift and he eats them. someday i'll just get a real peacock and the cat may think twice!

cargo has everything on sale the entire month of september so you know where i'll be shopping.

za za zells!

i had to work today but i decided that since it was a saturday, i needed to start the day off with a great breakfast so my friends and i met up at one of our favorite breakfast spots, zells. we've been going to zells for years and i usually get one of two things--eggs benedict, which are awesome there, or cousin maurices eggs which is a scramble with brie, tomatoes and scallions, yum! today i was in the mood for something different so i got the tomato, avocado and bacon scramble and it was soooo good. i'm glad i tried something new this time. i always stick with coffee for breakfast but my friend loves their tea which is served in a french press. zells is a great classic portland breakfast joint so you usually have to wait but it's well worth it. it's at 1300 se morrison 503.239.0196

my girlfriend and i love to sit at the bar and catch up on our gossip.

my city of roses

the roses aren't going to be around much longer so i wanted to post some of my favorite shots of the neighborhood. even though i love fall, i really will miss our beautiful roses.

Friday, August 21, 2009

comfort zone

today it's cool and overcast in portland, which has me thinking about fall, my favorite season. i know i'm crazy but while most portlanders look forward to warm and sunny weather, i am anxiously awaiting fall.

where i grew up in the southwest, fall was such a beautiful time of year with the aroma of roasting chile in the air, the autumn harvest and feasts going on in the pueblos and the leaves of the aspen trees turning vibrant colors. i think fall has always been my favorite time of year.

i needed to run some errands during lunch today which took me past several of my favorite "comfort" spots. the first one being saucebox. while there are always the "in" happy hour places around town, i still love my old standby, saucebox. they have consistently had one of the best happy hours in town for many years. we often head here after work because it's within walking distance but i would come here even if it wasn't. and you can still get a good beer, snack and some edamame for $10 during happy hour. saucebox is at 241 sw broadway 503.241.3393
(photo by vancouver sign group)

this sign is relatively new. for many years you only knew you were at the right place by the ice cube below.

kitty corner across the street from saucebox is another portland original, tugboat brewing. i have been visiting this tiny establishment since i first moved here and i still do. if you have never been here, you need to check it out. it's a quirky little place with mostly their own brews and the snacks are made right there behind the bar. they have great, funky jazz music nightly and it reminds me of a place you would find some famous jazz musician playing under a different moniker a la woody allen at michael's in new york. if you do pop in to the tugboat, just be sure to take cash as they still do not accept credit cards. how old school, i love it! it's located at 711 sw ankeny 503.226.2588

look at this great wall of books at the tugboat. (photo from pdxtopia)

oh and how i do love southpark. i almost hesitate to talk about this place because now everyone will know where to find me if they can't track me down otherwise. since i was in the neighborhood today, i stopped in for lunch and had their fabulous tuna salad sandwich. mine at home never taste this good.

i have been visiting the wine bar at southpark ever since it opened almost ten years ago. what i love about southpark is that the atmosphere never changes and many of the wait staff have worked here for years. when i used to work split shifts, i would take my french and italian homework here and study during my breaks. for many years it was my home base downtown. and with it being in such close proximity to the library, i would stop off here and have a glass of wine whenever i got a new book that i couldn't wait to start reading.

i sat at the bar and looked at this mural when i planned my first big trip to europe. i love this french girl in her striped shirt. she always reminds me of the movie "le divorce" for some reason. southpark is at 901 sw salmon 503.326.1300

on my way over to southpark i passed by this great fall window at banana republic. i love this current trench coat campaign and now i'm trying to find the perfect trench for the fall. the windows totally remind me of some of my favorite french women below. every girl needs a fantastic trench coat for the fall.

a black trench and some fabulous luggage for you next train trip? (photo from frillr)

ooh, how about a polka dot umbrella to go with that black trench. (photo from fashion rat)

would wearing a brown leather trench make me look like eva green?

what are some of your favorite comfort zones? is it a place, food or something to wear? i'd love to hear your ideas of comfort.

bisou, bisou! and bon weekend!

javier my heart

i have always had a soft spot in my heart for latin men (xoxoxo lorenzo), so i nearly jumped out of my chair when i read today that they are showing "vicky christina barcelona" tonight at washington square park. if you have not yet seen this movie, why the hell not??? i mean javier, penelope, scarlett, hullo! i think that the initial reviews for the movie were not that great so i went to see it thinking that i wouldn't like it but i absolutely LOVED it. one of woody allen's best if you ask me. so, now you know where lulu and i will be tonight.

they also have spanish music and dancers before the show at 6:30 and then the movie starts at 8. for more info go to world oregon.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

how low can you go

perhaps it's due to my fondness for gus van sant movies that i love portland's chinatown or due to the fact that it's one of the first neighborhoods my friends and i visited on our road trip to portland many years ago. whatever it is, i still love portland's seedy chinatown neighborhood. and although it's very small, you are always welcomed by these great arches that lead you to believe it's much more than the few city blocks that make up our little chinatown.

i'll never forget my friends and my snickers when we first saw the infamous hung far low sign on the corner of nw couch and 4th ave. it had graced the neighborhood since the 80s but was removed a few years back when the restaurant hung far low moved out to the true chinatown (as well as many other asian cultures) neighborhood on se 82nd street. oh, portlanders were very disappointed to see it go as it had stood as a sort of bohemian landmark to this side of town. well, i'm excited to say that there is a group of people who have been working to "re-erect" the sign back to its original location (it was being stored in scapoose for the past few years) and there is a block party that will take place in its honor. it's called the old town block party to help resurrect the hung far low sign. it takes place on saturday, september 12th at 3 pm until 10 pm and will be held on nw couch between 4th and 5th avenues. i really hope they are able to bring it back! if it does happen, it will be in its original location that now houses the restaurant ping.

ping is the latest endeavor from the people that brought us pok pok over on se division. i have not yet tried ping but i hope to very soon. it is a welcome addition to the neighborhood that is undergoing a revival. check it out and let me know what you think. it's located at the corner of nw couch and 4th 503.229.7464

i love the outdoor tables at ping made of reclaimed wood.

another chinatown landmark are the restaurants house of louie and the republic cafe, also a stop off on one of my first visits. and while i can't really recommend the food at either establishment (sorry), the neighborhood just wouldn't be the same without them and they make for great photos.

around the corner is the nightclub east. i haven't been here for years but it is very cool inside at night and has managed to make it in the neighborhood for quite some time now. it's at 322 nw everett 503.226.1569

at the end of the block by east is one of my favorite stores great era. it has all of your typical chinatown knick knacks. i come here for paper lanterns and chinese slippers. and the owner is so sweet. i just love to stop in and see what they have periodically. it's on the corner of nw everett and 3rd.

and then right across from great era is the chinese classical garden. if you have never been here, check it out on a rainy day. its so beautiful and how many sights do we have that are more enjoyable in the rain?

hey little guy!

around the corner from the chinese garden you'll find another long time portland establishment darcelle's. you should definitely go and see one of darcelle's shows some time. portland's finest drag queens perform here. and walter is now in his 70s so if you have never seen walter/darcelle perform, there's no better time than the present. he is one of portland's gems.

don't be afraid of what is beyond this door, it's just some of portland's loveliest lovelies.

and another newer neighborhood establishment is the davis st. tavern. it opened in the former 3 lions bakery space at the corner of nw davis and 5th. they have really good food here and a great happy hour. i hope it stays here because it has been a great addition to the neighborhood.

and you knew i couldn't mention chinatown without making my usual film reference. look at this great old movie poster. and the visuals in the movie were just so cool, i want to watch this one again.

isn't faye dunaway just gorgeous? she's my daughter...she's my sister...