Last Friday in Portland

Dear Liza,

birds-in-tree.jpg
Tiny bird….

 

I will be coming to Salinas to stay with you for a while, so last night was my last Friday in Portland for about 2 months. To make sure I didn’t miss my new city too much, Grandpa Nelson and Auntie Bridgett took me out to some of my favorite places.

During the day, Bridgett and I walked down to the Belmont Library to return some books. We enjoyed the decorations in the Sunnyside neighborhood. We always see something new!

sunnyside mosaic art.jpg
Wall Mosaic in Sunnyside

Since it was very dark and rainy when we left the house, I wore my light-up coat and Bridgett wore her new light-up HAT! We were colorful, I tell you. But we were easy for drivers to see.

We walked down to the Hobnob, a funny, friendly place on SE 34th and Morrison. They have good food, the drinks we like (including stout beer for me and Absinthe for Auntie Bridgett) and a really comfortable atmosphere. There was a birthday party going on for a fellow and we got to sing with all his friends. There were french fries for Grandpa Nelson, a pulled pork slider for Auntie Bridgett, and a cup of roasted pepper chicken soup and some macaroni and cheese for me. Yummy!

Then, since I had filled my pockets with quarters, we walked around the corner to The Belmont Inn, where our favorite pinball game lives. Monster Bash! We played 2 sets of five games each and had a lot of fun. It wasn’t a great night for scoring though…. we only got one monster to wake up.

As we were walking home, we noticed…wait, could it be? Yes, The Nerd Out, which we had been watching since the Belmont Street Fair in September, is finally open for business! We HAD to go see it!

nerd out 2.jpg.jpg

First impressions were very good, as there were a half dozen Vespas and other scooters out front. The space is full of small tables, people, conversation, and comic stuff. One long wall is wallpapered with pages out of comic books and a shelf running all around the place is full of action figures. There is a full bar and a good menu. We were full of dinner and drinks, but they have desserts!

nerd out 5.jpg.jpg

Grandpa Nelson had an Un-birthday Cake, and Auntie Bridgett and I shared a Seasonal Cream Brulee, which had wonderful diced apples on top of the hard shell of sugar. We talked to Mitch, the owner, chef and head Nerd. We had met him at the street fair, and it was wonderful to see him running the business he had dreamed of. He was so excited to tell us about his upcoming events, a Grand Opening on January 18th and a Cosplay night on the last Thursday of the month.

I am sure we will come back to the Nerd Out.

See you soon!

Love,

Grandma Judy

Out and About in the Wet

Dear Liza,

It is still wet here…not always raining, but always rain-ish. The colors continue to change and be beautiful. This morning I went out walking with Grandpa Nelson down to the Rocking Frog for coffee and doughnuts, and saw lovely drops on branches, more plants going to seed and making lots of winter food for the birds, and more trees changing.

Purple berry seeds .jpg
Seeds for birds!
drip-on-branch.jpg
Drips

Last night we all went out for dinner at a new restaurant on Belmont (new to us, that is) called Circa 33. It has a dark, secret sort of atmosphere, like a speakeasy of the 1920’s. The first thing I did, while taking off my scarf, was bang into one of their low hanging lights and break it! I felt awful, but it turns out it had been broken before and was held together with tape. Still, what an entrance.

Disaster over, we ordered and enjoyed dinner. Seared salmon, bourbon brined pork chops, and Grandpa Nelson’s french fries filled us all up, then we walked across the street for a few games of pinball at the Belmont Inn. Auntie Bridgett and I love their “Monster Bash” game….lots of characters that move and good sound effects. Pinball is a lot of good time for just $2.00.

Circa 33 .jpg
Circa 33 on Belmont

The little mossy branch I brought home yesterday is now sitting in a small pot on the porch with a maple seed. This is what it looks like!

Moss in pot .jpg
Moss in a pot

Love,

Grandma Judy

Mardi Gras and Pinball

Dear Liza,

Friday nights are usually fun here…we find something different to do. But last night, the different came to us! Or rather, it went by us.

While we were having the first chili of the year (because it’s finally cool enough that cooking is fun), we heard a weird noise outside. We are used to loud noises here, since we live a block up from a yoga studio and many lovely places to eat and drink. But this was not traffic, car alarms or delivery trucks.

GetAttachmentThumbnail-28
Mardi Gras coming down Pine Street

What is was, was a Mardi Gras style marching band! Dixie land jazz musicians and people in white suits waving streamers, were marching and sauntering right down the middle of our street. We went out and stood on the back porch, clapping and waving, and realized it was a wedding! In with the musicians and revelers was the happy couple, waving at everyone and looking goofily happy. The procession mosied on down towards the Goodfoote Lounge and the music faded..but what a treat.

The nice people who got married chose to share all that joy and silly and music with a whole neighborhood of people they don’t even know, and we were grateful. Serendipity seems to be guiding our lives at this point, and I am happy to go along for the ride.

Later, with the memory of Dixieland jazz still ringing, we walked down to a new place, the Belmont Inn. This is a pub at SE 33rd and Belmont which we have walked past many times and wanted to see what it was like.

GetAttachmentThumbnail-25
Grandpa Nelson being silly

There were six pinball games! One, “Star Wars” was more expensive than the others but not very much fun. The best one by far was “The Monster Bash”! Five games for two dollars, and monsters that move, cool voice overs, and sounds effects. We had way too much fun for grown ups. Auntie Bridgett and I played, mostly, but Grandpa Nelson got into the game, as well.

GetAttachmentThumbnail-26.jpg

We wandered home thinking how lucky we are to be living in this fun city. And when we got here, we had a package! Eight, count them, eight classic monster movies had been delivered! Frankenstein, Bride of, Dracula, Wolfman, Mummy, Creature from the Black Lagoon, Invisible Man, and Phantom of the Opera, along with histories and how-they-were-made features, the theme of the evening!  How can life get any better, I ask you?

SO, after an already full evening, we made popcorn and watched Bride of Frankenstein and drifted off to bed. I love my life!

And you, of course,

Grandma Judy