Thursday, May 26, 2011

Live Music: Mississippi Ave.

Mississippi Pizza Pub's Atlantis Lounge w/Boy & Bean

Last week I fairly spontaneously purchased tickets to see Joan as Policewoman at Mississippi Studios for last Saturday night. Chuck pretty quickly agreed we should go since it had been too long since our last show and he declared we could check out a place with vegan pizza over there that he's been wanted to visit for a while, Mississippi Pizza Pub. We great pizza and beer there, the place was crowded but laid back, and about half way through our meal there was entertainment. Local swing jazz trio Boy & Bean (note that their site plays music upon opening), pictured above, made us want to spend all of our weekends on Mississippi Ave. 

Mississippi Studios

Mississippi Studios is a recently renovated venue; work was completed in 2009.  Local architects Sum Design Studio designed the space which features steel and glulam beams, red walls & old theater seats. It's also decorated with re-purposed drums as lights behind the stage, and old light fixtures, a reminder that the rebuilding center is right down the street. You can just barely make them out in this picture, on the left, but I really liked the chipboard guitars hanging on the wall...after years in architecture school it almost seems like something I'd enjoy making, but on second thought they look like a heck of a lot of hard work, involving intense cutting and gluing. Very impressive

I suppose because I've seen that so many musicians I like have played there since we moved here, it fell pretty high up on my list of Portland music venues to check out. (We definitely need to check out the Doug Fir soon though.) It was smaller than I was expecting, which was great. The first opening band (local group Themes) played on a nice rug on the floor in front of the stage.  This made for a very quick transition time between acts, and a night filled with lots of music. The second opening act was Bhi Bhiman from San Francisco, who took the stage alone with his guitar, almost crowded out by Joan's equipment. His guitar skills and songwriting impressed us.

And then Joan Wasser is just very cool. Her outfit was all black, with open strips in the back. It seemed like she was having a great time. She even mentioned that Mississippi Ave was "dangerous" because of all of the cute shops and she was glad she didn't have more time to spend on it. I think the highlight of the show, for me was the performance of their song "Save Me" which was dedicated to the rapture. 

We had a weekend full of music! There's always live music at the PSU farmer's markets. And friday night we went to Al's Den at the newly completed Crystal Hotel to check out more free music, Brian Bonz. That's also a really cool space with really good music. A little closer to where we live too, but Mississippi Ave. is too cool not to go back often.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Finally!: The Portland Aerial Tram

Portland Aerial tram Portland Aerial tram

We've just been waiting for a perfectly clear day to go up in the aerial tram. Last week had several, so last Thursday night we walked over to the South Waterfront and took a Tram ride. It's only $4 to go up, and then free to come back down. It's also covered by monthly bus passes and is used by commuters going to and from the Oregon Health and Sciences University, which is located at the top of Marquam Hill.

Mt. St. Helens Passing From the Top

It was the clear day we'd been waiting for, with amazing views of Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens. I'm kind of glad the ride only lasted about 3 minutes, otherwise I would've completely embarrassed Chuck by singing the Portland theme song from Portlandia, as inspired by this video.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Vegan Treats: Petunia's Has Punch Cards!

Petunia's Pastry Punch Cards!

Smart move! I think, as you might be able to tell from my various posts on the subject, we were pretty likely to keep eating vegan treats from Petunia's Pies & Pastries every weekend without the punch card. Her stuff is all over, and it's always reliably yummy. Since the Farmer's Market started she has had something exciting and new every week. And I follow her on facebook, so last week I had my order figured out mid-week. All that was left was the matter of making it there early, before she sold out! Mmmm...Chocolate Hazelnut Carmel Cream Filled Cupcake, Just look:

Petunia's Chocolate Hazelnut Caramel Cream Filled Cupcake  

And Chuck always loves a good doughnut, his was apple cinnamon. she has punch cards now and we've already got 4 out of 12 checked off. At the rate we're going we will get our free treat by June 25th!

Monday, May 23, 2011

Umbrella Saga

I bought a bunch of new umbrellas the weekend before last, including the two pictured and one (boring black) one for Chuck too. It had been really rainy, but ever since I made the umbrella purchase it's been mostly sunny and much more spring like. So I might as well blog about the umbrellas too, in the hopes of keeping up the trend.

New Umbrellas

Anyway a while ago, shortly before we moved out to Portland, I had decided I needed this umbrella for this city. It's been sold out on modcloth since I first saw it, but still I needed it. Then recently I decided I was going to get it if at all possible and even sent Chuck to scour the internet along with me to find out who made it, where else it was available, and if I could buy it. We didn't really have any luck with that.

Then over the weekend I decided we should check out Nordstrom Rack for some new sheets, and I figured I would settle for whatever the best second option - some kind of plain bubble-type umbrella - they had available. And they had the umbrella I'd been looking for. Not in the Gold, but still in a metallic silver (and also black) after a few weeks of using it (only a little bit for sprinkles here and there) I think I've decided I like the silver better. I wear a lot of gray stuff and it goes nicely. Plus it was Nordstrom Rack so it was cheaper! 

I also bought myself a purse umbrella, the colorful striped one above. I'm finally prepared for I hope it doesn't rain too much.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Thank you Crafty Wonderland!

Emmakat @ Crafty Wonderland!

Yeah, it's been over a week since Crafty Wonderland and I haven't blogged about it yet....gave myself a little break from blogging for the week after.  We had fun, sold some things, & made many people smile at the triangle cats. Even sold a few, the large white kitty and a little kitty went home as a mother's day gift, very cute. It a was pretty fun day. Oh, and I got rid of something like 3/4 of the box of business cards I just bought & that's pretty cool.

We sat next to cool people too: Rachel Blumberg, Hoot Hoot PDX!, and olbapi! And across Gadget Cozies, of which I had some of my own to sell. But that's okay, Gadget Cozies was friendly and leaned more toward the larger scale devices: laptops, etc., whereas my knit cozies focus on the little (easier to knit) e-readers. We used the square device to take credit cards on my phone. It was my first time with it and it was pretty cool, and kind of fun to use too! We also managed to get ourselves to the show and back by lugging all our stuff via public transit. Here's a funny picture of me right before the show, looking slightly frazzled:

Emmakat going to Crafty Wonderland

And here are some more pics of my displays:

Emmakat @ Crafty Wonderland! Emmakat @ Crafty Wonderland! Emmakat @ Crafty Wonderland!
We managed to find time to make pom-poms for the banner too (see the first pic above)...well actually Chuck should get credit for almost all of them after getting some minimal instruction from me. He was helpful with so many things during and in the weeks before the show! I think he even had fun too. Yay! After a short, week long break from knitting too, I just started a pair of hand-knit socks for him as a thank you. It only seems fair.