Saturday, May 17, 2014

Catching up blog - end of Portland

Hello blog readers - apologies for the blogging hiatus.  It's been a crazy couple of weeks.  But it would be remiss of me to not write about the end of our time in Portland.  It was such a great city!  One of the few on tour that I thought, "I could live here."  (the other small cities, in case you're keeping count, were Pittsburgh and Ottawa.  London, New York and San Francisco I also loved to pieces, but could never afford to live downtown).  Portland impressed me for its livability - and we weren't alone in this sentiment.  One of the nicest things we did in Portland was to spend time with our old friend Pat McGuire, and Pat has bought himself a beautiful flat in Portland's Pearl District.  (where he lives when he's not on tour with Quidam).  Here are a few photos...

Pat in Quidam
Pat in vacation mode
Pat's awesome apartment - on Air BnB when he's not there!

Other things about Portland.  We really didn't get to do everything we wanted to do.  Ran out of time (the whole passport debacle took up a couple of weeks).  We'll simply need to make a return trip.  But in the meantime, a shout-out to some of my favorite Portland businesses:

Finnegan's Toys (totally awesome independent toy store!)
Powell's Books (this one may take the cake for Best Bookstore Ever)
Playdate PDX (indoor kids play zone. with adult cafe - quality food, drinks, oh my)
Lucky Spoon, Lula Health Center (psoas release wow!).  My kids each got to dissect their own squid at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (and you'll all be grateful I am NOT posting pictures of that).  We explored lots of parks, took the aerial tram up to the hospital, and gawked at the lines outside the cult-ish Voodoo Doughnut.  On my own I explored the bike trails, and the Portland Saturday Market.  We hiked around the waterfalls east of the city, and visited the fish hatchery and the dam.

One day, on a Totem field trip, we toured the Michael Curry Design studio.  Michael Curry is a creator of massive puppets and show props for live theatrical productions.  His company built Totem's carapace.   His studio is a marvelous place - in some ways like a dream of Greg's, huge and full of tools and creative apparatus-building.  All of us really enjoyed the glimpse into how an artist has become such a successful entrepreneur.

Our Portland apartment, I must say, was not the best we've ever had.  Having a townhouse with a garage sounded great at first!  Until we discovered that the 3rd bedroom was located in the back of the garage.  If we parked the car, the room was completely inaccessible.  Even without the car, the room was completely cut off from the rest of the apartment, with its own separate entrance.  I refused to put any of the kids (or me and Greg) in such a remote room - so we piled all 3 of them into the other upstairs bedroom.  Here it is - there was barely enough room to squeeze in and take a photo, with the 3 beds.  Despite the multi-levels, the square footage of this house seemed almost the tiniest we've had on tour.  There was no place to store anything - for 6 weeks everyone's clothes and toys seemed to be just strewn around the living room.  It made me long for home, and dressers and bookshelves and desks and file cabinets.

Portland will keep a special place in my heart!  I hope we'll be back again someday.

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