Monday, November 1, 2010

Showing off Portland: Day 1 (Friday)

My parents came to town for Halloweekend this week! It was their first trip to Portland. They visited us a few times in Seattle, however it was always in the Summer, so this trip was also much more representative of the well-known Pacific Northwest climate that we love. Even so there was visibility of Mt. Hood, but we will get to that on Day 3.

We took them the Pearl District in the morning. It was still a weekday, and early, so it was a little quiet over there, but the great parks still make it a draw. Tanner Springs, pictured above, is my favorite in part due to the great lecture by the landscape designer, Herbert Dreiseitl, that I went to when we lived in Seattle. His enthusiasm for bringing nature into the city by way of native plants and  recovering the history of the site was convincing before I ever visited the city. Since I've lived here, I've never been to the park when there weren't parents with small children quietly enjoying the stream and fish. I love this moment pictured above, where some tourists were asking questions about this little boys' interest in the park, and helped him in getting a leaf to float downstream.

From there we had to go to Powell's Books. We saw perhaps about a fourth of the store, and my parents were impressed. They also bought me the latest Stitch'n'Bitch book as an early birthday present, and I was excited to learn that Debbie Stoller will be there soon to promote it! 

Knit/Purl Window - Knit Lamp Shades Knit/Purl Window
My next goal was to get my parents to experience the food cart explosion for lunch.  We walked to one of the larger food cart spots and had our lunch. Plenty of office workers in costume, although several people made my parents wonder if they were in costume or just dress that way on a regular basis. It's a fair question in Portland! To head back to our place, we happened to be waiting for the streetcar right next to knit/purl. They've recently changed their storefront display to this great knit lampshades and yarn-bombed(ish) ladders. So we perused the shop, and the impressive embroidery store next door.

We let my parents get some rest before we went back out for evening activities. I mistakenly thought the art museum was free that night, but turns out this October was one of those months in which the 4th Friday does not equal the last Friday. Oops! But we went anyway, and saw the Lee Kelly Exhibit and the newer addition. We followed this with dinner at a nice Italian restaurant near their hotel, where we were seated next to some of the members of the Jane Austen Society, in Portland for a convention.

Day 2 will cover the Halloween Farmers Market, Old Town with the Saturday Market and Chinese Garden!

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