Wednesday, April 05, 2006

No Knitting Content . . . again

On our last day in Portland, we spent time with my brother, who is there attending law school at Lewis & Clark. He picked us up in the morning and then showed us around the campus. The law school is right at the edge of this park, so the buildings are all designed to show off these great views of the trees right outside the windows. There are also plenty of walking paths, outdoor seating areas, etc. One of the buildings is also made entirely of recycled materials!

From there, we were off to Jacob's neighborhood on the other side of Portland. I got to see a totally different side of the city--much more funky, with cool little cafes and bars, tons of second-run movie theaters, thrift shops, ethnic restaurants, etc. It was cool to see a very different, less upscale part of the city that still had so much character. After seeing Jacob's house, we walked around a bit, stopping at the Laughing Planet Cafe for terrific veggie burritos and lemonade.

After lunch, we tried heading up Mt. Tabor, but the road was closed, so we walked most of the way up and got some nice views of the city anyway.

We also, at my request, headed to Klickitat Street. Can you guess who this is?

The previous day, I had been so proud of myself by walking by the world-famous Powell's Books several times without going in. Well, for our last day in Portland, I succumbed to temptation. Armed with our store maps, we spent more than two hours happily browsing the stacks. I love this store, and could easily have spent another two hours without seeing everything. It reminds me somewhat of some of my favorite bookstores by the University of Chicago. The thing I love is that if you just let yourself get lost, you can find the most amazing, unexpected things. Serendipity is sorely lacking in chain bookstores, which are all so uniform that it's almost impossible to make unexpected discoveries.

After Jacob's afternoon class, he and his girlfriend Andrea picked us up for dinner. We headed to Montage, a quirky little bistro tucked under an overpass. They serve Cajun-style comfort food (their specialty is mac 'n' cheese). The atmosphere was a lot of fun (you share tables with strangers), the company was excellent (Jacob's girlfriend is super cute, friendly, and smart), and the best part is that you get your leftovers wrapped up in crazy aluminum foil shapes (Jacob got a He-Man sword; Andrea got a squirrel).

Next time, a whirlwind tour of Seattle, and then home.


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