Thursday, October 1, 2009

Updated Post--From the serene to the ridiculous

It turns out that it wasn't clear that the Arboretum and Japanese garden photos were actually a slideshow which could be viewed once you clicked on the photo.  Instead of a quick "fix" to make it more obvious, I quickly royally screwed up the whole post and have spent an embarrassingly large amount of time getting it back to something similar to what it once was.  And now....for anyone who is interested, you may now click on the above referenced photos and enjoy the slideshow.  Hopefully my next post of the final two days of our trip will go more smoothly. 

This morning I woke up and tried to blog yesterday's adventures before Dean got up but I couldn't get the photos to cooperate. About the time Dean was up, dressed and ready to go, my frustration level had reached the point of slamming down the top of the laptop and giving up.  In my frustrated state I reverted back to my normal state of needing to know "what the plan for the day is."   There was a Portland adventure today and I will tell you about it, maybe tomorrow, but right  now it's late afternoon, I am sitting on "our" front porch with a belly full of bagel, cheese, apple, and the all-important fruit of the vine.  I have music playing on the laptop, licorice to my left, and a glass of wine to the right.  And even though today's exploration was fun and unique, slowing down, relaxing and realising I don't always need "a plan" is the best part.  And honestly, now that I've just gone for my third glass of wine I might not be in any shape to do anything else anyway.  So....on to yesterday's Portland experiences and impressions.

On our walk "home" from purchasing our mouth-watering pastry to the freshly brewed coffee waiting for us, we saw this little guy running across the fence holding something as big as his own head in his mouth.  I'm not sure what it is but it looked to me like a hearty breakfast.

  You might need to click on all the photos to see more detail.

Our day's adventures began by missing the turn for the Japanese Gardens which turned out to be a great screw-up since we kept seeing trails off to the side of the road, finally parked and started "hiking." When we stumbled upon a visitor center we discovered we were in the Washington Park Arboretum.

Arboretum--Click for slide show

We hiked for 2 1/2 hours through the trees to a mansion with a view of Portland.

Finally, we found our way to the beautiful Japanese garden.    

Japanese Garden--Click for slideshow

From the peace and tranquility of the garden we soon found ourselves in the art walk which included anything from sorta, somewhat, kinda, "real" art to unique, weird, crazy, really?, no way, "art". We walked down and back up between ten to 12 blocks of folks set up on both sides of the street exhibiting their creations. If I thought I'd seen an inordinate amount of people with dreadlocks in "our" neighborhood, it was nothing compared to the percentage of people walking around with dreads in this Thursday night art walk. I saw the full gamet from beautiful, (one guy had them to his knees), multi-colored, tied up, free-flowing, to dreadlocks that looked like a bird was probably raising its young in it. I was impressed--both with the good and the bad. There were performance artists or "musicians" every half block. We saw a skinny guy walking around in his tidy whities and an underwear t-shirt (you know, the kind with skinny straps) and I guess because he had glitter on his face and some kind of design on his "clothing" he could be considered a "performance artist." There was a guy riding a bike, dressed up like the devil, with "music" blaring out of his boom box. We weren't sure but it appeared that people just showed up, found their spot on the sidewalk, set out their "art" and hung out. There was interesting art, pretty good art, really ugly art, why would anybody buy this?! art, and just junk. There was a 15-second moment as we were walking past one group of "artists" that made me feel I was in Woodstock. Think back to all the newsreels, movies, videos you've seen of the event---or maybe even your own experience---and you'll know what we walked through. It was quite the experience. I wish I could share photos with you but my camera battery died during the Japanese garden tour. The highlight of Dean's art walk seemed to be reminding me that "we could have taken a photo of ____ if the camera was still working." Like I needed to be reminded. I only hope some of them will show up at the arts and crafts market we plan to go to Saturday so I can redeem myself. I'm not holding out alot of hope, though.

One impression from each of us of Portland so far-----

Me: Dreadlocks everywhere. I love them.

Dean: Finds himself checking out every old Volvo he sees which makes him wish he could resurrect our '81Volvo wagon



Art Elser said...

Hi, Cathy. Thanks for the great pics and comments on Portland. Funny about the dreads. My niece, Al's cousin Susan has dreads and is a sophomore at the U of Oregon. Perhaps that's one of the entrance requirements.

Did you see all those weird "artists" before or after that third glass or the fruit of the vine? Sounds like a great trip.

Art Elser said...

Cathy, I'm so glad to see someone other than me messing up posts to their blog. My first several have been posted, reposted, and then posted again because I've always forgotten one thing. And then trying to get pictures where I want to relative to the text really takes some messing around.