Well, I guess I’m really a Portlander now…I’ve done Jury Duty! Actually, I never got on a jury, but I spent Wednesday and Thursday mornings sitting in Room 130 of the old Multnomah County Courthouse waiting for my name to be called. So, that’s something.
Of course, the fun part was being inside the courthouse. This beautiful old place was built in 1911, and by this time next year will be replaced by a NEW courthouse, a few blocks south. The current building can’t be torn down, but will be re-purposed as apartments or something, because it is an historic building.
The architecture is solid and sturdy, as you would hope from a courthouse. There are travertine floors, carved finials, and heavy wooden doors. Since I didn’t get into a court room, I can’t describe that to you.
The jury room is big enough to hold 200 people, mostly sitting in comfy chairs. There is an oddly exuberant painting on the wall of a Jester driving a circus wagon. I looked for a title but didn’t find one, and never caught Maia Ming, our delightful Jury Duty Clerk, away from her desk to ask her about it.
Ms Ming kept us entertained through the long mornings with asking trivia questions whenever she was about to call jurors to a courtroom. “What Christmas song, when listened to by goats, encourages the most milk production?” She asked. Mariah Carey’s “All I want for Christmas is You”, of course! But you can’t question trivia science.
Along one wall there is a small room marked “Storage”, which has been turned into a small library with books donated by the Multnomah County Library system. I found a very good read, “Jonathan Unleashed” by Meg Rosoff, which I finished in two days. There is a sticker that says the book doesn’t need to be returned, so I will put it in a tiny library next time I am out.
Once I was released, I enjoyed the rest of my time downtown by enjoying lunch at Fogo de Chao, a Brazilian Steakhouse that I have had my eyes on for a while.
The menu is organized into odd parts…. you can have free rein at their upscale salad bar, called The Market Table, for fifteen dollars. This includes fresh, marinated and roasted veggies as well as olives, mushrooms, and all sorts of Brazilian sausages and meats.
For a little more, you can have the “Vaqueros” come by and cut you chunks of pork, steak, or whatever. But I know my limits. Besides, there was a dessert tray.
After enjoying a plate of mostly veggies with s few slices of sausage, I asked for the waiter’s favorite and got Coconut Cream dessert topped with ice cream. Very sweet, and almost too much, but I soldiered through.
I needed a nice walk to make sure everything stayed put, so I wandered through the fall colors downtown. So pretty!