Posts Tagged ‘Portland’

Video: This is what I was doing today.

I’m at about the 23 second mark.

I knew I’d be accompanying the bear, but I didn’t know that tv was on the agenda when I left the house this morning.

First night in the apartment

Tonight will be our first night sleeping in the apartment. I’m already excited by how quiet it is here. We’re only a block off Sandy Blvd, which is a busy street, but because of the way the apartments are constructed, there’s almost no street noise here. It is lovely.

The apartment is slowly coming together. Honest, I’ll post pictures eventually but at the moment, to paraphrase -e- it looks like a yardsale gone wrong. Lamps in various states of disassembly, cardboard, more cardboard, and then a few boxes.

Being back in Portland is at once good and very strange. I’m used to living closer in than we do now. So, on the one hand, there are all these familiar places. On the other hand, we’re in a different neighborhood. I keep catching myself saying “Back in Portland…” as if we are living in another city now.

I’m also struck by how very white it is here. Very. We went out to eat the other night and there were two people that might have been Latino and otherwise, no one who had brown skin. This happened driving across country too, but it’s not surprising in, say, Idaho or Kansas. Our house is in a part of town that is historically black, so it was in a much more ethnically mixed neighborhood. That might be part of what is contributing to the disorientation, actually.

Marlowe is also disoriented. I think he keeps wandering around the apartment wondering how all his furniture got here.

Besides that nagging sense that things are just a little off, it is good to be back. I’m looking forward to being settled so I can start entertaining. It won’t feel like home until the first dinner guests come.

Portland, OR: Day 10 of the move

This entry is part 12 of 16 in the series Moving from NYC to PDX

We have finally arrived at the Chelsea household, were we will stay until we find an apartment. So, the roadtrip portion of the move is finished.

Driving into Portland from Idaho was strangely nostalgic for me. Back in my puppet theater touring days, I was on the Idaho tour for three years. The whole drive yesterday and today covered territory that I was thoroughly familiar with. If there was an elementary school in Idaho, I performed at it.  We’d drive back and forth between the states about every two weeks, so this was like coming home in many ways.

Next, comes the apartment hunting saga.

What? I hear you say.  Wasn’t this a houseswap? Why aren’t we going back to our Portland house?

The answer is fairly simple. Even before we did the swap, Rob and I had been talking about moving into an apartment and renting the house out. It was more space than we needed and would give us an opportunity to find a place that suited both of us.  I owned the house before we got married, you see.  We’ve never done that typical married couple thing of finding a place together.

Wish us luck.

Going offline today

This entry is part 1 of 16 in the series Moving from NYC to PDX

Today around noon, we’re turning off the internet.  Gasp. I know.

We have to return the box to the cable company and the only way to do that is either in person or by having a technician turn up and unplug it.  I mean…really?  There’s not a way to just mail it in?  I guess I should be thankful that I have the option of dropping it off.

Anyway, the plan is to drop it off, pick up the truck and come home.  We’ll finish packing the kitchen and the bathroom tonight and then on Thursday, well, Thursday we load the truck.  By we, I mean Rob and me and a passel of friends.  It’s supposed to be cool tomorrow.

Friday morning, we head out on our grand cross-country adventure.  I’ll be tweeting and updating the blog from the road thanks to my handy phone.

But my big focus when I’m not driving is to finish the novel.  I’m in good shape to have the first draft wrapped by the time we roll into Portland.

So, that’s what I’ll be doing this week. How about you?

Moving back to Portland, end of August

Rob and I have been in NYC for the past two years on a house swap. That ends on the last day of August. After thinking about it, we’ve decided to move back to Portland, OR. The houseswap was intended to be a way to try NYC out without committing to it. While I’ve enjoyed a lot of my time here, the experiment has not been entirely successful.

People who’ve already heard the news ask me if this is a good thing or a bad thing. In truth it is almost entirely neutral. There are many things I’ll miss about the City, but I truly loved living in Portland. I have friends in both places that I will miss while I’m in the other.

Based on the way my theater life was before moving out here, I expect I’ll still come back on a fairly regular basis for work. Which, of course, adds to the neutrality of the move. It will be hard to miss a place where I plan on coming so often.

Maskmaking workshop this October by GoblinArts studio

Goblin Art Studio is offering three-day maskmaking workshops this October. I met the instructor, Monica Roxburgh, when she interned with my puppet theater lo these many years ago. I remember looking at her mask portfolio and thinking she was overqualified for the internship because, dang, she was really good. I’m glad to see her teaching. Her masks are beautiful and for those of you based in or near Portland, this is a wonderful opportunity. Visit her website for the full details.

Professional-Quality Masks from Basic Materials
A 3-day maskmaking workshop from Goblin Art this October

This workshop includes a discussion of mask design, the demonstration of several maskmaking techniques, and the creation of an original mask. Participants will work with customized plastic mask forms, modeling compounds, paper mache and other materials, learn several mask-painting techniques, and prepare their mask for wear or display.

Instructor Monica Roxburgh has nine years of professional maskmaking experience. Notable clients include the Cirque du Soleil store, the British metal band Iron Maiden, and the recent Hollywood remake of the Wicker Man.

Chose from two workshop sessions:
October 3rd – 5th: Friday 7:30-9:30, Saturday and Sunday 1:00-3:00pm
October 17th -19th: Friday 7:30-9:30, Saturday and Sunday 1:00-3:00pm

Missing Portland and heading to NYC

I’m sitting at the very civilized PDX airport, waiting for my flight. ((Actually, the security is some of the most ridiculous in terms of number and length of lines, but once you’re past that there’s free wi-fi and outlets galore.))

The trip to Portland has made me a little melancholy, wishing we still lived here. I had breakfast with David Levine and Katy Yule yesterday morning at Milo’s, which is one of my favorite breakfast spots. In the afternoon, I hung out with -e- on her porch while she worked on a lamp and I edited stories.

I took a walk up 15th, past our house, and then down Alberta. I didn’t go into the house, but just seeing it from the outside made me a little homesick. BUT on Alberta, I ran into a couple of friends that I hadn’t managed to get in touch with. So that was lovely. I went over to their house and hung out for a bit before trotting down to have an early dinner with Sam Mowry and Cindy McGean. It was so good to see them.

From there, I went to Sue McBerry’s, my voice coach, and we just sat in her living room and chatted for not long enough.

I miss all of these people.

I’m on…vacation?

I just realized it last night. That I don’t actually have to meet any deadlines right now or do anything except sleep in and hang out with friends. I think this is what a vacation is, right?

Yesterday -e- and I went out to Sauvie’s Island, picked blueberries, ate a peach straight from the tree, picked flowers and then headed back into town. I had tea with Judy Straalsund, of Tapestry Theater and then went from there to the Fireside Room where I met up with a bunch of old writer buddies.

I got work done, but not in the way that feels like working. Stories that I wanted to edit, got edited. It was nice and relaxing.

In the evening, we headed over to the Barley Mill and it was lovely to catch up with old friends and meet new ones. Karen, Joyce, Carol, Aimee, Kai and Evan .

Today consists of hanging out with more friends.

In Portland, at Bone Manor

It’s too late and complicated to explain why my hosts’ home has that moniker.

Meanwhile, the workshop is over. It was good to see old friends and make new ones. I’m exhausted and it will take awhile for me to finish processing the weekend. At the moment, I am headed for slumber.

On my way to Oregon



I’m in the airport in Cincinatti waiting for my connection to Portland.  I’ll spend the day in town and then head down to Lincoln City for a writing workshop hosted by Dean Wesley Smith and Kristine Kathryn Rusch.  Their guest instructor is Sheila Williams.  As you might imagine, I’m excited about this.

Even more exciting, I’ll get to see lots of old friends.

The workshop rules say that we can’t blog about it while there, so expect scanty entries from me until at least Monday.  I’ll be in Portland until the 18th and then back to NYC.  At the moment, my plan is to do a get-together at one of the McMennamins once I have a better idea of my post-workshop schedule.  I’ll keep you posted.

Fab Brunch

Our friend, Fabulous Girl, came up to our neck of the woods so we could go out for brunch. After we finished a tour of the apartment, we decided to stay in. I’m generally happier cooking than going out, so that worked well for me.

I made a beet green and black olive tapénade frittata, topped with a sour cream and gin sauce; sautéed green peppers and potatoes; fruit from -e-‘s garden in Portland. I also had a some croissants leftover from work, yesterday.

The closest coffeeshop to the Puppet Kitchen is the The Bagel Zone. The guys there are totally nice. I needed to research some ways to decrease the distance of a cable pull, and they were starting to close down shop. Not only did he let me hang out while he cleaned, he gave me a big bag of pastries to take home.

It was great to have Fabulous Girl here. She is a fine reminder of the many reasons that moving to NYC was a good idea.

Biking in NYC

Today I took my bike out for the first time in the city. First of all, I have to say, that my timing was amazingly stupid, because today was genuinely hot. A high of 92. For the most part I was in shade by the river, but still. It was hot. Hot. Hot, I tell you.

I was expecting to be frightened and tense while biking–I mean, it’s New York. I’m used to Portland, where the cyclists are plentiful and respected. We all know how crazy traffic in NYC is, right? Yeah. Here’s the interesting thing. Traffic in the city is slow.

I didn’t think about that until I was on the bike. Even obeying all the traffic laws, I was always moving faster than vehicular traffic. Why? Well, first of all, I planned my route so I was on bike lanes almost the whole way. So, when there was an obstruction, I just sailed past it. Second, cabs stop all the time to let people out.

By the end of the ride, I wound up being more aggressive about merging into traffic when someone was stopped in the bike lane. Again, I expected that would be scary, but really, I’m going the same speed as traffic. I’d look. Signal. Change into their lane. Not once–and this is NYC–not once did anyone honk at me. I even had a cabbie, a cabbie mind you, wave me ahead.

I think because I was behaving like a vehicle and they’d seen me stopping at traffic lights (there was a long stretch where I was next to the same three cabs) they were inclined to not hate me for making their lives difficult.

I, on the other hand, began to loathe the other cyclists and pedestrians who just wander out into the street as if no one is going to run them down.

The Closest Farmer’s Market

106 and Central Park WestI went over to our local farmers market today. There are only six or so booths, but with a nice variety of things. It’s at 106th and Central Park West, nestled against an unexpected bluff of stone. It’s a beautiful setting, and naturally I didn’t have my camera with me. Google Maps Street View is not really doing it justice, but gives you a bit of the idea.

The weather has cooled off enough that I have been cooking at night. Other than that, most of the day was spent organizing the office. There have been several things in our boxes that baffle me. For instance, why in the world did I decide to pack the folding file I had in college? I mean, nothing–nothing is useful in that. I didn’t even know I still had it, so why is it in NYC? I’ve started a box for “things that don’t belong here” that Rob will take back to Portland when he goes back for IPNC.