a blog so you can keep with him

Portland Day 2 Continued

We left our erstwhile hero in the afternoon at Powell’s. Fortunately, I’m very happy there, so it’s no bother to stay on the subject a little longer. Our group reconvened at the cafe in Powell’s. While waiting for others, I sat and began reading the opening section of Cumming’s biography. I’ve known his basic life story for several years now, but Norman’s bio gives an interesting intellectual background, along with being a well used paperback priced under $10.

“Okay, I need to prepare everyone. We’re entering the most hipster district in Portland… the Pearl District!” my peripatetic tour guide exclaimed to us as we emerged from the social dances of books and capitalism. It was a short walk over to The Tea House.


Tea House, home of the most extensive tea menu I’ve ever seen. Also, a bar.

It was late afternoon, and our style of pedestrian tourism required a chance to sit down, drink, and take in another of C (our tour guide)’s favorite locales. Tea House is a small, darkened cafe that was pleasant, and known for their bubble tea!

bubble tea

A chocolate base, banana flavored bubble tea with a mix of coconut shreds and tapioca balls. Or, as D puts it, “You never order anything good, do you Trevor?” I liked it!

Bubble tea is a very modern drink, and is, in my mind, akin to some sort of Eastern milkshake. The “bubble”, or boba, comes from a description of the brewing and bubbling of the tea, rather than the tapioca balls inside, as scrumptious as they are. It’s also seems like a spitballer’s dream drink, though I’ve never been in a situation where I’ve felt it appropriate to test this. Shall we move onward?


The Mission Theatre & Pub, an example for my coming rant

I want to preface the following with something: I’ve been in downtown Portland for the total of a day. I’m planning on putting in more time, enthusiasm, and study as the trip goes on there, but it’s all I have currently.

I don’t understand the development in Portland and its architecture. Some of these older buildings hearken to a time I didn’t quite know that the West Coast had been developed in. I suppose I’ve always been shortsighted in thinking the architecture would be on the whole newer here, California’s been the place to go since before the 20th century.

Take, for example, the lovely Mission Theatre, shown above, which was originally built as a Swedish-American church in 1891, before a long history brought it to the McMenamin’s movie theatre and pub it is now. It’s a lovely brick building with a storied past. So why does it have to be close to this?


“Now Leasing Charming Victorian Homes”


The “Victorian” Homes in question

Now, these are interesting pieces of eye candy, and I don’t know the full story behind them. What upsets and confuses me is that it feels as though some of the smaller urban development in Portland is an attempt to ape its past, though through the lens that anything historical blends with, well, anything historical. I know the paint scheme’s fun. But why the rise of Victorian style in shadow of such a lovely church? Is there any influence on it at all? I want to read and see more of the development of Portland.


“welcome to saint cupcake”, accidental self-portrait

The lovely, lovely cupcake store of St. Cupcake was our next official stop in this whirlwind walking tour of Portland (my friend E leaves on Monday, so). A lovely little shop, this place does one thing, and one thing good. There is butter, sugar, and baked goodness up the wazoo here. We purchased a few “dot” cupcakes (little two-bite sized cupcakes) for later, and went on our merry, delicious way!


C heroically braving the spider sculpture, Couch Park

Couch Park is nice, relaxing place next to C’s old high school with a playscape (I’m jealous for that alone, I haven’t had a playscape on/near campus since elementary school) that I ended up playing tag on. It had already been a leisurely day, and this brought it home – I don’t have to do much of anything this week, but fortunately I want to do it all! For example…


Temple of Congregation Beth Israel

This beautiful synagogue is across the street from Couch Park. It was locked up for the day by the time we moseyed over to it, but I hope to go at a later point in the week. Completed in 1928, the building itself is the part that looks fascinating to me, and I’d love to see inside. We walked around the well kept grounds before heading for the bus stop. I read some more of the Cummings bio while we waited (it’s what I had on me, I’m still on 1984). On the bus I saw a younger, thinner Harry Knowles, before I remembered he’s in LA these days! Still an Austin mainstay showing up for a lookalike cameo in Portland was nice to see.

A scrumptious dinner of pork roast, mashed potatoes, and fresh salted bread and butter later, I was at C’s home blogging for the evening. Our group’s also become smitten with Wii Fit for some reason, and it’s quite fun, if inaccurate in terms of weight and overall sensitivity.

Around 10, we went our final plan for the day – Doughnuts. I’ll let the pics do the talking.






voodoo rack


I’m typing this the morning of Day 3. Welcome to Portland!


Filed under: Photos,

2 Responses

  1. your father says:

    Since when the hell did you start eating cupcakes?

  2. carfossil says:

    did I say I had one?

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