Its fall again. I seem to have been seeing this guy every September for the last few years, and we always come away with some great photos. Last year we met up in Felton, CA, this year Andrew spent a few weeks with us here in Portland.
Today my heart lept when I found Elvis Perkins‘ tour schedule to have been altered to include a Portland date. I thought for a moment I’d miss it because I’ve already booked a flight to Denver for a weekend camping trip tradition with my brother and friends, but found in a fortuitous alignment of schedule that I’d booked the ticket for Friday morning instead of Thursday night like I typically would. Mr. Perkins plays Thursday, September 3rd at the Doug Fir, I hope to see you there.
This is only a fragment of the rebirth of Portland in the Spring. It was a marvel to live and witness this small corner of the world and its movement back into the greenness and the beautiful days it offers over the summer months. Spring has come and gone, but that growth and excitement carries enough intertia to bring this world around to attempt it all over again, less than a year from now.
We drove to the coast again this weekend, this time to see the whale migration, but were disappointed to find that it was too windy, foggy, and rainy to see anything. The nice gentleman at the coast informed us, however, that only some are migrating right now. We’ll be able to see them all summer long apparently, as long as we pick a day to travel when the ocean isn’t angry and taking it out on whoever comes to see whales.
So since the whale trip was spoiled, we made the most of the afternoon. I took these shots when I arrived back in Portland. I’ll have more to share in a few days.
Which, in a way, translates to maps. Especially maps like Google’s.
I remember back in college, some friends and I found one of the first websites that provided archived satellite images. Of course, we looked up our home towns, our parent’s houses, our college buildings, and whatever else we could find. Those were the simple days of the internet. Before the Googles, and the Facebooks. The Twitters and the Amazons. Ok, so I’m sure Google and Amazon at least had been founded by then, but at least they weren’t taking over the world yet.
Anyway, all that to say that I found this pretty cool site with pretty cool maps of cities. The cities are laid out according to neighborhoods in a slick modern typographic style, and me, being a lover of typography, especially condensed sans typography, naturally fell in love. And hark! Portland is among the cities chosen. I’m sure you don’t need my further inarticulate explanation. By now you’ve already seen the image below.
See if you can find the Sunnyside neighborhood and it will be like you’re staring down on me from on high. I’m sure I’ll get an erie feeling or two.
Also, be sure and visit Ork Posters’ site. And buy a poster, because even though I love this map, I’m not buying one.
Hood River, in its one big snow storm of the year, is feeling ridiculously like Colorado. Cold, dry snow and relentlessly low temperatures. The only difference is that here, noone knows how to drive in snow, and so they just shut down half the streets.
The weather this week has been particularly inconvenient with all I’m trying to get done before I head back to the midwest for Christmas. The funnest part, though was the 50 degree office temperatures that welcomed us to work on Monday morning.
FYI, using a computer is much easier when you’re not wearing gloves.
I’ve also been moving my stuff to my new place in Portland, and wanted to get it done in the little time I have available between work hours and blizzards. Somehow in the past two years, I always find the perfect moments to move, and by perfect I mean, during blizzards. I’m kind of a sap sometimes, so I couldn’t help but think of my mom who helped me move to Oregon last year in the midst of a nation-wide snowstorm. We ended up driving the truck way out of the way north through Montana just to get through the mountains, and yesterdays venture in a U-Haul really brought back the memories.
Evan and Leanna (brother and sister) are friends I met though a friend who recently moved to Portland. Last weekend, the weather in the northwest was just beautiful, so I called them up for a spur-of-the-moment trip to a park for some photos. I can’t really express how appreciative I am of having good friends to spend time with and take pictures of, (on occasion), and the day’s photos could hardly have turned out better. Enjoy, and see more on my flickr.
On the road between San Francisco and Portland the Genius playlist on Ryan’s iPhone brought us to a song by Josh Ritter. I, reading poems by C.S. Lewis at the time, remember multiple attention grabbing lines in the song and one in particular in which Ryan and I looked at each other having allowed the lyric to particularly resonate. That line is the bolded line below, and you may have caught it if you follow my Twitter. On arrival at home, I promptly googled the lyrics and decided to share them with you.
I became a thin blue flame
Polished on a mountain range
And over hills and fields I flew
Wrapped up in a royal blue
I flew over Royal City last night
A bullfighter on the horns of a new moon’s light Caesar’s ghost
I saw the war-time tides
The prince of Denmark’s father still and quiet
And the whole world was looking to get drowned
Trees were a fist shaking themselves at the clouds
I looked over curtains and it was then that I knew
Only a full house gonna make it through
I became a thin blue wire
That held the world above the fire
And so it was I saw behind
Heaven’s just a thin blue line
If God’s up there he’s in a cold dark room
The heavenly host are just the cold dark moons
He bent down and made the world in seven days
And ever since he’s been a’walking away
Mixing with nitrogen in lonely holes
Where neither seraphim or raindrops go
I see an old man wandering the halls alone
Only a full house gonna make a home
I became a thin blue stream
The smoke between asleep and dreams
And in that clear blue undertow
I saw Royal City far below
Borders soft with refugees
Streets a’swimming with amputees
It’s a Bible or a bullet they put over your heart
It’s getting harder and harder to tell them apart
Days are nights and the nights are long
Beating hearts blossom into walking bombs
And those still looking in the clear blue sky for a sign
Get missiles from so high they might as well be divine
Now the wolves are howling at our door
Singing bout vengeance like it’s the joy of the Lord
Bringing justice to the enemies not the other way round
They’re guilty when killed and they’re killed where they’re found
If what’s loosed on earth will be loosed up on high
It’s a Hell of a Heaven we must go to when we die
Where even Laurel begs Hardy for vengeance please
The fat man is crying on his hands and his knees
Back in the peacetime he caught roses on the stage
Now he twists indecision takes bourbon for rage
Lead pellets peppering aluminum
Halcyon, laudanum and Opium
Sings kiss thee hardy this poisoned cup
His winding sheet is busy winding up
In darkness he looks for the light that has died
But you need faith for the same reasons that it’s so hard to find
And this whole thing is headed for a terrible wreck
And like good tragedy that’s what we expect
At night I make plans for a city laid down
Like the hips of a girl on the spring covered ground
Spirals and capitals like the twist of a script
Streets named for heroes that could almost exist
The fruit trees of Eden and the gardens that seem
To float like the smoke from a lithium dream
Cedar trees growing in the cool of the squares
The young women walking in the portals of prayer
And the future glass buildings and the past an address
And the weddings in pollen and the wine bottomless
And all wrongs forgotten and all vengeance made right
The suffering verbs put to sleep in the night
The future descending like a bright chandelier
And the world just beginning and the guests in good cheer
In Royal City I fell into a trance
Oh it’s hell to believe there ain’t a hell of a chance
I woke beneath a clear blue sky
The sun a shout the breeze a sigh
My old hometown and the streets I knew
Were wrapped up in a royal blue
I heard my friends laughing out across the fields
The girls in the gloaming and the birds on the wheel
The raw smell of horses and the warm smell of hay
Cicadas electric in the heat of the day
A run of Three Sisters and the flush of the land
And the lake was a diamond in the valley’s hand
The straight of the highway and the scattered out hearts
They were coming together they pulling apart
And angels everywhere were in my midst
In the ones that I loved in the ones that I kissed
I wondered what it was I’d been looking for up above
Heaven is so big there ain’t no need to look up
So I stopped looking for royal cities in the air
Only a full house gonna have a prayer
Thanks very much to Ryan and Genius for introducing me to Josh Ritter.