Saturday, August 30
It was delightful to sleep in. Not too late. I went to bed around 1:00 a.m. and woke up this morning at 9:15, a sufficient amount of sleep. Truth be told, I could have slept in a little longer, but I had plans to meet up with a colleague in the wine industry, a woman who does the same job I do but at a Dundee Hills winery.
I got out of bed, fed the cats and changed for the gym. Only, I couldn’t find my door pass to get into the gym. So, I emptied the trash and headed out. I dropped off the trash and then went to Safeway to pick up a prescription. Back at home, I sent for a jog in my neighborhood and headed outside of the apartment-townhouse community I live in and down the road into the nice subdivision. I found a few houses on the market and took flyers for one that seemed affordable. My jog was reduced to a quick, arm-pumping walk as I was focused on the house search.
When I got home, I quickly showered and got dressed and headed out to meet my colleague downtown. We met at the Portland farmer’s market. We walked around and she bought a beautiful bouquet of flowers and fresh mushrooms. We picked up some Stumptown coffee and after we finished navigating through the market, we got in her car and headed over to the Pearl District. There, we parked and walked to the Park Blocks for the Art in the Pearl festival. Nothing really jumped out at me, but it was still to browse through the booths.
When we made our way through the whole thing, we walked to Powell’s. I ended up buying three books:
Sailing Alone Around the Room: New & Selected Poems by America’s Poet Laureate, Billy Collins.
The Lost Memoirs of Jane Austen by Syrie James.
The Belly of Paris by Émile Zola.
I bought the latter in an aisle in Powell’s that I had not wandered down before. It was quite a discovery – I found a treasure chest! Books on food and wine that read like novels, narrative nonfiction on gastronomy. Tres manifique! We were trying to get out of Powell’s to grab a bite to eat, I was admittedly getting shaky from lack of sustenance, and thus, needed to get peeled away from this section. I grabbed a number of books that I could happily take home with me. But, I settled on the classic Zola. It would be the first of many books to engage and tantalize me. Not that I haven’t read this genre before. I just never landed before shelves filled with books on narrative gastronomy. I was thrilled. So many more flavors to try. This would be a long and fruitful literary journey!
When we finally left Powell’s, which is often so very difficult to do, as in many ways, Powell’s is my church, we wandered back toward the parked car, near 10th and Glisan. As we made our way down 10th Street, I saw poet Peter Sears and his wife OSU English Professor Anita Helle crossing the street. We chatted on the corner for a few minutes. It was great to see them. They asked what I have been up to and I shared my idea about a festival for emerging women poets on the feast day of St. Cecelia. Anita told me to email me and she’d help me come up with a short list of some emerging women poets. They also mentioned my friend, Beth, would be doing a reading in Corvallis in a couple weeks, but, of course this is when I’ll be back east visiting my family.
We drove up to NW 23rd Street neighborhood, parked and went into City Market. It reminded me of a smaller Dean & Deluca. There, I bought a jar of Amarena cherries and a pack of Stumptown coffee in the Holler Mountain blend. One of the employees ground the beans for me to go with French Press. I needed to pick out a good French press. I remembered loving the ones they served at Blue Hour, which made two full cups, if I’m not mistaken. I would have to investigate.
We put our new purchases in my friend’s car and walked over to Serratos for happy hour. We sat at the bar, which was very nice. It was an open space with very Italian trimmings. Kind of a generic descriptor, but I liked the pale, warm colors against the darker woods. The bar stools had seats in a brushed butterscotch colored leather. We ordered a glass of wine to start. I had the Basa, a white Spanish blend. The Sauvignon blanc made it a little herbaceous, but it also had nutty, buttery notes, and a little white plum, too. Good acids. I liked it.
We ordered from the Happy Hour menu. I started with the French fries, taking full advantage of a clean, uncontaminated fryer that hadn’t seen any breading yet today. I also had the clams in a white broth and then we split a mixed greens salad with red beets and chevre.
The bartender was very nice and accommodating. We also met a nice guy, Neal, who we chatted with for a couple hours. It was a really fun day. After dessert, I split a Grand Marnier Crème Brulee with a glass of Moscato. And then finished with a cup of Stumptown coffee.
My friend dropped me off at my car, still over by the Farmer’s Market, thankfully without a parking ticket, and I left town around 8:15. It was good to get home. I was tired.
One the news, I learned the Oregon Ducks beat the Washington Huskies – an important game for the Pac 10, and one not without its rivalry. I was happy for football season. I made a mental note that I needed to get some cool Oregon Ducks gear for my dad! If their season opener is any reflection of what this year is going to bring, dad will need to wear his green and gold proudly on the east coast!