Tuesday, March 30, 2010

a shot of sun

oy my friends, hawthorne girl here. life has taken an unexpected turn for the better and I find myself at a crossroads (denver international airport). so many new and exciting changes on the horizon that I need a bit of sun on my pale portland skin to put it all into perspective. I will be back in touch, my loves, when I have dried out a little and can think a little clearer after the margaritas have worn off. i'll be in touch very soon!


Friday, March 26, 2010

murder in portland

i've been so busy this week that i completely forgot to tell you about a book signing that i am going to tonight at the alliance francaise portland.

cara black is the author of the aimee leduc murder mystery series that is set in paris. aimee is a private investigator who focuses on computer security but seems to always find herself in the middle of solving a murder case. each book's case is based in one of paris' quarters.

the stories can sometimes get a little far-fetched but aimee is an entertaining heroine who has the horrible luck of getting involved in situations she perhaps should avoid. she also has a weakness for bad boys, wine and couture. her graphic tours around the paris neighborhoods makes you feel as if you were right there with her.

unfortunately, tonight's event is sold out but i encourage you to get on the alliance francaise email list if you are at all a portland francophile like myself. they will notify you of upcoming events which range from readings to films to wine tastings.

cara's books can be purchased at the fabulous murder by the book over on hawthorne.

Friday, March 19, 2010

guess who's coming to town...

charlotte gainsbourg! she's playing the wonder ballroom on april 15th.

and guess who has tickets...moi!

Monday, March 15, 2010

streets of portland

sometimes when i'm out and about in portland, i see things that i love that i just want to post for no particular reason. i'm going to call these posts, streets of portland.

here's a scooter that i see around town that i would kill for. the occupant of the sidecar is a big black lab.

Friday, March 12, 2010

the gordon house

i'm looking forward to the weather getting a little better so that we can head down to silverton and tour the frank lloyd wright designed gordon house.

i was able to see it in it's original location in wilsonville before they moved it down to the oregon gardens but i have not yet been able to go tour it again since the move.

this is the only flw house in oregon and i highly recommend checking it out, it's very unusual. it doesn't look like much from the outside but when you stand in the living room and look out, it has a really amazing feel. he was the master at connecting the interiors of his homes to the natural landscape and exterior of the house.

the house is in silverton at 879 west main 503.874.6006

it lists on the website that tours are on the hour between 11am and 5pm, may through october and 12pm to 4pm november through april. i would call first, though because the last time we went down, they were requiring reservations made ahead of time so we did not get to tour it.

i'm sure it will be very beautiful here in the next few weeks after more has bloomed so i'm going to wait a little bit longer before visiting it.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

quilting bee

several months ago, i came across this great picture from elizabeth dye of the english dept. isn't this a great shot? oh i'm so looking forward to spring!

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

no place like home?

lorenzo and i recently went to see crazy heart over at the moreland theater (one of my favorites). i really loved the movie, especially the scenery of the southwest which left me wondering, can you ever really leave home?

there were so many scenes of the big, blue new mexico sky and it left me yearning for my home state. i know, i know, this blog is about my love of portland so why am i writing about the place i left behind many years ago? well, i'll tell you...

when i was two, my family moved from albuquerque, where i was born, to prescott, arizona. we lived in prescott for ten years before moving up to southern oregon for a new beginning. we lived there two years and then moved back to new mexico where i finished junior high, high school and then college. even though we had gone back to new mexico when i was young, we still visited the northwest every opportunity we had and i had grown to love it here, too.

after i graduated from high school, my parents moved back to the northwest (olympia) and i figured eventually i would join them up here after i finished college. well, after i finished, i worked in albuquerque a few years and when the time presented it's self to move to portland, i took it. however,by the time this happened, my parents had moved back down to arizona.

i think it was due to all of these moves that created this yin and yang in me that causes me to feel a little unsettled when i'm in one place and not the other. i don't think i could entirely live back in new mexico again and i love portland so much, i can't imagine permanently leaving here either. i have a family here and friends and a job that i really believe i couldn't have found there.

part of my original plan of moving to portland (which i still think was the best thing for me) was to eventually spend part of the year in new mexico. i still have a lot of family and friends there that i love dearly and miss very much. i even work for a company that does the majority of their business in the southwest so it should be a perfect fit. i haven't quite figured out a way to implement this plan but i just have to believe that when it is meant to work out, it will.

still, it leaves me thinking, is it possible to have more than one home? is this what it feels like to be an expat living in another country? well at least it's a lot closer for me to go home than taking an international flight!

well, i'm happy to say that i will be heading down south at the end of the month. i will have a wonderful time there soaking up the beautiful sunny skies and being with the ones i love, and then i will come home to you, portland, and take in the soothing rains and be with the ones that i love.

and p.s. go see the movie, it's really great!

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

fenouil ou non?

i have a wonderful group of work-related girlfriends who get together about once a month for happy hour. while we have our great old stand-bys, it's always fun to try a new place. and, since we all get out between 5 and 5:30 pm, we prefer those happy hours that extend past 6.

i had been meaning to try fenouil for quite some time but it wasn't until our last happy hour outing that i finally gave it a try and i am happy to say that they have a fabulous happy hour that runs monday through saturday from 4 to 6:30 pm and on sunday from 2 to 9 pm.

fenouil opens out onto the pearl's jamison square and i can't wait to go back when the weather is nicer. however, i have a feeling, one of those outside tables may be hard to come by when portland's sun finally decides to come out. but that's ok, because the bar is beautiful and cozy, too, and sometimes i prefer the bar anyway.

there were five of us together for happy hour and their extensive menu listed enough options for each of us to pick something different. and while the portions were not very big, the prices were low and it turned out to be perfect for sharing. we each had small samplings of everything and ordered extra pommes frites to tide us over until dinner.

i highly recommend fenouil for happy hour (i have not tried dinner here, yet) and i look forward to the next girl's night out so we can go back again!

the entrance of fenouil off jamison square complete with my favorite white twinkle lights.

the cooks hard at work on the kitchen line.

fenouil is at 900 nw 11th 503.525.2225

Monday, March 8, 2010

j & m cafe

i think one of the first restaurants i visited after moving to portland was the j & m cafe. my best friend loved to eat breakfast there so she took me there soon after my arrival in town. i think it was the first place i ever dined that let you help yourself to your own mug from the mug tree and pour your own cup of coffee. i loved this concept. just because you need to wait to dine doesn't mean you should have to wait on your coffee!

i have no idea how long j & m has been open. i've been here over 11 years and i'm sure it had been open many years before i came to portland.

one of the things i love about j & m is their consistency, great service, great food, great atmosphere. i have never had a bad experience in this restaurant, they know what they are doing and they do it well.

i love the big open and airy space. even on our darkest days here in portland it seems sunny.

here's the ever famous mug tree. you can choose your mug depending on the days mood.

some of my favorites at the j & m are the mess of potatoes covered in fresh house-made salsa, bagel and lox plate and my very favorite dish, the j & m plate. it's like their own version of eggs benedict. i like to substitute fresh tomato slices for the bacon so it's not so heavy.

when i first moved to town and a few years there after, there was a big group of new mexico transplants living in portland. we liked to meet for brunch at j & m most weekends. as i am the last one to remain here, i really miss my get togethers there. i still go there and think about all of the good times we had--and then i send texts to my friends back in the southwest letting them know i am dining there without them. i do need to guilt them a little bit for abandoning me!

if you have never been to j & m, you must go. it is one of the great old gems that is still survivng.

j & m cafe is located at 537 se ash 503.230.0463

Thursday, March 4, 2010

tumblin' tumbleweed

my friend kjirsten and i took a "girl's day" yesterday and headed over to the alberta arts district. i don't make it to this neighborhood as much as i would like to and it was a beautiful day so we really enjoyed ourselves.

my favorite store on alberta is the cute little boutique, tumbleweed. and since i don't make it here very often, i love to see it change every time i go in. i think the key is that they keep a relatively small inventory so it is always full of new items. this is also great because you don't have to worry about running into other girls wearing the same thing you are.

hey, that's me in the window! i wish i could learn to take photos without this happening. anyway, they always have the cutest windows.

and again a terrible photo of a beautiful space. i always get nervous taking photos in shops because i'm afraid they will think i'm trying to steal all of their great ideas. no, guys, it's not that, i just have to pass all of my favorites on to my blog friends.

i hardly ever leave this store without making a purchase. yesterday it was a decorating book that i can't wait to get home to and read.

visit tumbleweed at 1812 ne alberta 503.335.3100 open 7 days a week.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

portland, i'm back!

well, i was never really gone. this work "trip" got to be local this time. i had a very busy two weeks preparing for and then working the portland spring home and garden show out at the expo center. if you have never attended this show, try to make it next year. if you are planning any home building or remodels, this is an amazing resource for EVERYTHING home and garden related.

of course i loved this portland ace hotel display in the pendleton woolen mills booth. pendleton made custom blankets for the ace portland and ace new york. i especially love the portland blanket because of the famous portland elk. does this elk have a name? i don't know. when i used to bus it downtown, i would pass by the elk every morning and say hello to portland. and of course the elk was featured in my all time favorite film, my own private idaho.

what are your plans and projects for the spring? i must say i was very inspired by the home and garden show and can't wait to tackle a few home projects.

it's good to be back with my little blog, is still heart you dearly (or elkly?) portland!