Monday, July 5, 2010

the land of family bicycles, food carts & chicken sitting

My husband had arranged to sell our Bakfiet via craigslist of Portland recently, so I jumped at the opportunity to drive on down and meet up in Portland with the buyer who drove up from Eugene. We met at Clever Cycles. I do like bikes and certainly appreciate the nostalgic charm of bicycles of my youth, but I think this place is some sort of velocipede heaven. I spotted a gem of a bike for our 4-year-old, but $450 exceeds the budget by about $400. There were some beautiful bikes in just my size, but I didn't even venture a look. The buyer of our bakfiet was a really nice guy who has a toddler and now twins as well. His plan is to fit 2 baby seats in the box and add a seat behind the driver seat for his toddler. The good people of Clever Cycles said the bike checked out fine, funds changed hands and I was off to play in Portland.

bye, bye bakfiet

I should back up a moment and share the drama of my morning at home before hitting the road. My little one had a bloody nose and was in my bed. It required more than a simply tissue. On occasion, I have an inconvenient reaction to blood that is not my own. This was to be one of those times. I got up from the bed to grab a towel but instead passed out - kersplat! - face down on the wood floor. I quickly came back too and briefly wondered about the crashing sound I had heard, decide I must have fallen out of bed but then realized that my poor baby was on the bed needing my help. I pulled myself back onto the bed and tried to help stop her nosebleed from a prone position, as I was close to fainting again. I hadn't managed to get the towel. I needed to get my husband's help but he was downstairs with headphones on and couldn't hear me call for him. Thinking I might make it to the top of the stairs, or at least he might hear me, I went for it. Again, I was out in no time. This time, however, I was lying on my back in the hallway and I had made it to the top of the stairs. After this 2nd crash I suppose my husband figured it was more than kids jumping around and up he came. He helped our daughter. I made it to the couch. Fortunately, this is a rare reaction for me. It only seems to happen when my children most need me! So I let the tylenol kick in and anticipated a lot of discoloration to my jawline over the next day or two. I headed out for Portland only about 30 minutes behind schedule.

After completing the bike sale, I ventured a couple miles away to meet artist Ruth Shively. You can read an earlier post about Ruth's work here. I am completely smitten with her portraiture, and Ruth is equally engaging. What a treat to get to meet an artist whose work I adore (I even got to decide which of her current pieces I hope to purchase next) who is clearly an all-around interesting and delightful person. As I think I've mentioned here before, this is a great appeal of blogging for me. Ruth was so gracious as to head out with me to visit a few shops in the area. I had compiled a list of about a dozen places I wanted to visit, and Ruth added a few more that she thought I might like.

Our first stop was Lounge Lizard to peruse vintage furniture, lighting and more. Found the perfect armoire for a little girl's room with curtained upper doors, but I didn't leave with anything. The shop next door was filled - packed really - with a vast array of good finds. I particularly liked a dollhouse dish set, a hole punch gadget and a gorgeous upright piano. Next we moved on to another antique store and a did walk-through of Rejuvenation. I love to visit Rejuvenation. They have a shop in Seattle, but it doesn't have near the amount of fantastic finds as this one. There were several great industrial stools (I'm in the market for barstools) and naturally, endless vintage and period lighting options. Sadly, I left without buying the wire basket I had spotted which would serve so many functions in my home; a complete oversight on my part.

After dropping Ruth back home - thank you Ruth, it was a joy to meet you! - I headed toward northeast Portland. I have spent more time on the west side of Portland. This trip I stuck to the eastside. At this point, my jaw and head were again throbbing from my earlier face-plant. I downed more tylenol and then visited Noun. Charming really is an apt descriptor for Noun. I left with a vintage japanese tray and directions to my next destination. The tray has already been put to use on our dining room table to help tie together our ever-changing "centerpiece".

I stopped in at Together Gallery on Alberta on my way over to Mississippi Ave. Ruth had suggested I might enjoy a shop called Flutter as well as several others in this district. Flutter did not disappoint. I was especially excited to finally visit Ink & Peat as I have been a follower of the proprietor's blog housemartin for quite awhile now. There were some many lovely textiles that I would have been thrilled to take home, but my next big purchase is definitely a specific painting I have in mind so other spending is pretty much on hold. I did, however, leave with a paint-by-numbers painting of a lighthouse scene. It was painted in 1961 by a mystery person. I love it!

I popped into several shops along Mississippi, including a great little taqueria, Por Que No? Taqueria, for a tasty veggie quesadilla and Jamaican-style hibiscus sweet tea (Wow!). My head and jaw were proving a challenge, as was my shoulder, so it was clearly time to embark on my 3-hour journey home. Had my jaw felt better, I expect I would have tried out at least one of many food carts that tempted me as I walk by. Better mention the chicken sitting... I am accustomed to seeing signage for pet sitting. You know - dogs, cats - but never had I encounter chicken sitting signs. I passed two such signs in Portland. I do love Portland. Should I ever live there, I will definitely have to brush up on my bicycling skills. I might need some chickens as well.


  1. Hi Julie - Just wanted to say thank you for your lovely comment on Decor8. You made my day!!

  2. Just curious why you decided to sell the Bakfiet. We've been looking at a Cargo bike to ride around here in Chicago. We want to be able to take our dogs more places, and we don't like having to drive everywhere. What did you like/ not like about the Bakfiet?

  3. For Two Pitties...
    We decided to let the Bakfiet go because our 7-yr-old is too tall now for the rain cover and would rather be seen riding her own bike. Our 4-yr-old just rode a pedal bike for the first time yesterday (no training wheels needed thanks to her excellent coasting bike). The other reason for selling the bike is that we could use the funds elsewhere. I'll double-check with my husband on pros/cons he might have to offer. I think a bike of this kind would be excellent for your dogs.