Friday, July 15, 2011


My previous and only trip to Portland was in 1996, when i visited Will Norris' old stomping grounds our freshman year. All i remember about it was Burgerville. Fifteen years later, i can say, with certainty, Portland has more to offer. It's current home to juliandreid and joegusia, as well as excellent microbrews, food carts, warm and friendly people, and awesome bikeability. Actually, that basically sums up my week. And luckily, i arrived within the two month stretch of the great weather the PAC En Dub is known for. Had i arrived the previous week, i'd have caught the end of a several month long rainy season.

Anyway, the days kinda blurred together in a haze of excellent beer (something i truly miss living in Beijing), parks, frisbee, great food, laziness, and bike rides. So, i'll just start everything with "this one time" for ease of narrative.

This one time juliandreid and i went to a major league soccer game with some of their friends. It was the Portland Timbers vs. America. It seemed to me an unfair match up, what with Portland just being a city and all. But, as it turns out, America was actually a team from Mexico. Yeah, i don't understand either. The Timbers lost, but it was a valiant effort and a riotous game.

If reid looks a bit frazzled in that picture, it's because that's the way he looks. But also, he wrecked his bike on the way to the game. He took a nasty spill as he was crossing over the in-ground tracks for the public transportation streetcars, which are perfect size for bicycle tires. See this streetcar/biking memo, it's evidently a pretty big deal. One of their other
friends (Bigs, you'll meet him later) took a spill a few days later and ended up in the hospital with a severely broken hand.

Anyway, reid goes down and all his belongings scatter about. He's wearing his helmet, but he gets a jolt of adrenaline. He remembers very clearly thinking, "My God, Julia is waiting for me! I gotta go!" and takes off running down the street. He doesn't get very far before realizing his bike, bag, and random stuff are back at the accident. Then he walks back to his bike, and takes a 10 second nap on the curb. Oddly enough, we end up sitting next to this guy Omar at the game, who not only saw the accident but is the city engineer responsible for designing the streetcar tracks. He apologized to reid.

This one time, i went to breakfast by myself at Pine State Biscuits and got an egg, sausage, and cheese biscuit sandwich. It was delicious.

This one time, julia-and-not-reid (i'm reading The Sparrow) and me and their roommate Claire went to a concert at the Mount Tabor Amphitheater. We saw The Twangshifters. It was a perfect afternoon and we had a Whole Bowl (delicious!) for dinner. Later, we went to The Vern, which is their local dive bar, aptly named because T and A are burned out on the sign out front, so it no longer reads "Tavern".

This one time, i hung out with joegusia (my awesome geology friends from college!) all day. We went to the park and played with their little girl Aria, had lunch at Mira's Ladel (Bogusia's mom's polish food cart), and met with juliandreid for beers before the soccer game. Oh. I remember now. Also, Aria likes to lick playground equipment. Ewwwww!

This one time, juliandreid-and-also-kev had the most epic game of jenga. We basically just won the game. Didn't know it was possible. Notice reid's awesome Ya Show shirt? He high-fived a million angels in that shirt.

This one time Lucas, Colleen and i stopped for lemonade! Awesome!

This other time, on my last night, julia had to fly to china for a business trip, so it was just reid and i. First, he licked a dog and then we rode bikes downtown.

Then we met up with Bigs and Barbara (met her in kunming, like, three years ago!) at the Deschutes Brewery for a few excellent pints and probably the best pretzel ever. Why is Bigs licking the ground, you ask?

Then we enjoyed al fresco dining behind juliandreid's food cart... The Dump Truck! Joegusia also came out and i successfully blended awesome friendgroups. I'm like friendster except way awesomer.

Later that same night, reid and i went out, dressed in a bunny costume and a purple velour suit.

I'm serious guys.