One of the last meals Kara and I had together in Portland before I moved to Minneapolis was at the Portland Chapter of the Sons of Norway. In most of the cities I’ve lived, when it came time to move, in a panic I would try to cram everything that city had to offer into a final week (or day). While living in Portland, I was much better about taking advantage of the city, but after two years, still on my list was breakfast at the Sons of Norway – a Viking breakfast of pancakes held in the basement of the lodge. The pancakes – all you can eat – were quite good, plus the meal felt like it had leapt from an earlier era. Not bad for $7. We should have gone sooner. Continue reading →
Once upon a time, an encyclopedia was a printed book. When I was growing up, we had the multi-volume World Book Encyclopedia that we kept on the bookshelves in our dining room. I loved sitting on the floor, leafing through the volumes. I had a favorite volume – “P”. It was my favorite because it had both the U.S. presidents and the popes. (Seems I was a power hungry kid.) Unfortunately, we only had that one set, freezing knowledge to the early 1970s. I would never see Presidents Carter and Reagan or Pope John Paul II added to my favorite volume.
Although I still like the feel of paper as I turn pages, even I recognize the value of going online. I won’t lie, today, I use Wikipedia. It’s an easy way to become familiar with a new topic, but it’s a bit like learning the facts of life from graffiti on a bathroom wall. You get the gist of things, yet you can’t help but wonder how much is true. Continue reading →
A few days ago as I was walking through Old Town/Chinatown in Portland, I saw a couple standing at the corner of 2nd & Couch (not pronounced like a sofa, but like “cooch”) with a map out in the classic tourist pose.
Maybe it was the Midwestern boy or the former Park Ranger in me, but I stopped to ask if they needed help. They wanted to know where Chinatown was. I knew they didn’t want to hear SE 82nd, about 6 miles away, where most new Chinese immigrants live and work. This couple just wanted to check the Chinese gate off their list, so I let them know it was just two blocks up on 4th & Burnside.
In the very beginning, I mentioned that I am a bit of a TV addict, but to write home every week with an update (as requested by my mom as a mother’s day present a few years ago) I had to come up with more than what I watched on TV that week. So, whereas I used to check the TV listings, I now read the local papers looking for events (I pretty much know the TV listings by heart so this isn’t really impressive). This is what led me to a former church in the King neighborhood of Portland. Continue reading →