May 3, 2010
Wow! The GOP has produced some real gems for Oregon’s Governor’s race this year. I’m especially interested in the “growing of cows” – [Goober alert around minute 4:40] This debate was pretty painful, but it did give a platform for all voices in the race. I suppose that’s a good thing?
February 2, 2010
There are not many places in Portland where you can observe and admire a true relic. Things in this city are mostly new, or at least of the 20th century. That is one of the reasons why I love to travel – to see old stuff.
In Boston, you can walk The Commons and see a cemetery where two signers of The Declaration of Independence are laid to rest. In Charleston, you can view the slave markets where thousands upon thousands of slaves were imported and traded during the Trans-Atlantic slave trade of the 15th through the early 19th centuries. To get anything older than that, you really gotta cross the pond. Standing underneath an Gothic arch in Assisi or climbing the stairs of Brunelleschi’s Duomo in Florence, gives a perspective and sense of time that are truly humbling.
But in Portland, we just don’t have all that much old stuff. That’s why I’m happy to recognize, admire, and respect it when I run across something of note. This week I have re-discovered such a relic – The William S. Ladd Carriage House, circa 1883. I say re-discovered, because I went to college just a couple of blocks from this building and walked by it umpteen times. Back then, I admired it’s Victorian detailing and wondered about it’s significance. Today, I admire it’s newly renovated state and notice it’s prominent setting on one of Portland’s central city blocks.
The Carriage House sits at the corner of SW Broadway and Columbia, just five feet NW of it’s original foundation. The house underwent a two-year rehabilitation that finished in May ’09. Thanks to the united efforts and determination of preservationists, community members, and building developers, the house was spared from demolition and given a long overdue face lift. It now sits, juxtaposed to a beautiful 23-story glass and steel condo tower bearing the name of the original Carriage House owner, The Ladd.
The Carriage House is the last surviving legacy of a true Portland pioneer. William S. Ladd built well and gave so much back to his town & community. Over the decades, this building has housed horses, cars, artists, and architects. And while it may never again serve as a stable, it will shine on in the shadows of one of Portland’s newest city dwellings.
I think William would approve.
Check out this time-lapsed video of the Carriage House journey down Columbia Street.
January 27, 2010
July 21, 2009
Hot on the heels of Maine and Hawaii, Oregon looks to become just the 7th state to allow farmers to cultivate hemp, which still technically violates federal law. Here’s a brief write up of the hemp hullaballoo…http://www.oregonlive.com/opinion/index.ssf/2009/07/here_comes_hemp_and_oregon_is.html
December 9, 2008
Cafe Zenon, a 27-year-old downtown Eugene, OR landmark, abruptly closed its doors at the end of October this year. Another victim of our current economic slowdown. When I first received the news via text from a friend back home, I nearly freaked! Zenon is my all-time favorite restaurant. A place that I visited every time I was home and one I heartily recommended to friends and out-of-towners.
Founded in 1981 by a pair of self-described food-loving hippies, Zenon was a groundbreaking bistro at the time, offering fresh local foods and an eclectic international menu. Zenon was among the first restaurants in Eugene to buy from local vendors, patronizing heirloom tomato growers, lamb farmers, mushroom pickers, all to get fresh foods for their menus, which sometimes changed four or more times a day. Zenon’s menu was inventive – Zenon chefs butchered whole animals and made their own pâtés. Zenon bakers created their pastries from scratch – and thems were some yummy pastries! The servers worked at Zenon for eight, 10, 15 and 27 years. My favorite, Judith, was with them 17 years!
I’ve heard that they are hoping someone local, or maybe even the original owners, will revive Cafe Zenon. Please, please, please let this be the case! A treasure like this is not meant to sit empty. The wooden chairs and marble tables are meant to be filled with happy diners. There are yummy wines to be drunk, fantastic meals to eat, and all sorts of wonderful memories left to be made at this cornerstone bistro.
November 24, 2008
Today, I was lucky enough to visit the Ken Wright Cellars in Carlton, OR. This is a place that takes advantage of its unique geography and produces some of the regions most top quality Pinot Noir grapes. In addition to sampling some yummy Pinots – I also learned a thing or two about how and why our region is considered “ideal” for growing this variety. The Northern Willamette Valley offers a maritime climate with the right combination of mountain ranges and sandy soil to help crops flourish. Whatever elements have to combine to help these little fruits grow and develop is obviously happening on the vineyards of KWC. Thanks again Jodi!