Belmont Street Fair… The Last of the Season

Dear Liza,

This weekend was our closest-to-home street fair, the Belmont. It is literally one block away. The weather was warm and sunny and there were so many people out!

We saw that the food truck pod has expanded, including such interesting sounding (and smelling!) choices as Boy Howdy, Chubby Bunny, and Fresh and Funky. Portland’s food trucks are famous all over the country, and always delicious. But it was too early for lunch, and there were WAY too many people to hang about unmasked.

We continued on our way and found Steve from Oregon Raw Honey.Com. He gave us tastes of blackberry honey, which was delicious, and something called Meadowfoam honey. Meadowfoam is a cover crop with tiny white flowers that look like foam over the greenery, and the honey tastes (I kid you not) like marshmallow!! You know we got some of that! Auntie Bridgett will probably be writing to Steve so she can learn more about honey for her new comic, Auntie Beeswax.

We kept walking down the sunny, happy street, and we found Dawn Rasmussen, a local author. She lives just up the Columbia River at The Dalles, and has written a book about a wild fawn she and her family adopted. The story is called Mighty Little Thor and is written at the third grade level. It stresses respect for wild animals and making sure they stay wild, even as we care for them.

We had fun watching other people’s dogs and children, and just being out in our neighborhood. We heard some sweet music and stopped to listen to Faith and Majesty, a sister duet from Florida. They have sweet voices, close harmonies, and write their own songs. Later, I saw them out and about and told them how much we enjoyed their music, and got a proper picture.

Faith and Majesty

We stopped by the Belmont Market, which has been on the corner of 34th and Belmont for generations. Its new owners were out giving things away and meeting the neighborhood! Genevieve, Nick, and their son Wolfgang seem to be enjoying their new digs. They even carry Ruffles potato chips, Grandpa Nelson’s favorite, so you know we’ll be stopping by.

Well, it still wasn’t lunchtime. I was getting tired but was NOT ready to head home yet. Auntie Bridgett and I stopped at Suzette for lemonade and coffee and watched dozens more folks walk by. We enjoyed our purchases and refreshed ourselves.

When we got home, we had leftover birthday pizza for lunch and watched the Giants beat the Cubs. We rested and then headed out on our next adventure.

Love,

Grandma Judy

A Sunny Afternoon Out

Dear Liza,

The other day, Grandpa Nelson offered us lunch out at Monster Smash. It is a pleasant mile’s walk away and has yummy burgers and fries.
Belmont Station, the tavern just in front of the food truck, sells good beers and ciders. They also have a bright breezy patio with windows that open all the way up, making for a pleasant airy environment, more eating outside than inside!

The breezy patio at Belmont Station

We enjoyed the yummy burgers and such, and Grandpa Nelson had an English Reveille’s Cider, which is actually made in Astoria, Oregon, just about 90 miles from here.

When we had eaten ourselves silly, we headed down Belmont towards home, and along the way we found a new food truck pod, The Bite on Belmont. Auntie Bridgett found the coffee she was needing from Kind Coffee. It was tasty and the service was very friendly.

We made a quick stop for a six pack of Guinness at the Belmont Market and a to order a book at Belmont Books, and headed for home. We put our feet up and rested up for the Giants ball game later this evening.

I love that we manage to keep each other entertained!

Love,

Grandma Judy

Facelift on Belmont Street

Dear Liza,

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Janet of Wokeface and her good work!

As I have said before, cities, and even small neighborhoods, are always changing. The other day we got to watch it happen and talk to the folks behind it!

On the corner of Belmont Street and 34th, just a block from our house, is a small family-run store called the Belmont Market. It has been there for many, many years, changing hands but basically staying the same.

The painted front of the store was old and sort of, well, sloppy. It took a while looking at it to realize it was, indeed, a market. I am sorry to say that it was so unspectacular that I never even took a picture of it!

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A promising beginning

Tuesday afternoon we saw that the old front had been painted over, and a promising new front had begun.

Wednesday, as we were walking to lunch, we noticed some lovely people up on ladders, lettering and continuing the new work.

I stopped by to tell them what a great job they were doing, and got to visit with Janet, the designer and head painter. She told me that they were working with the Portland Street Art Alliance, the same group who has painted so many of the other murals we love.

In addition to rainbows and sunshine and fine lettering, they will paint a can of Pabst Blue Ribbon Beer and a bottle of Underwood wine on the sign, as advertisements. For this, the Pabst and Underwood companies have paid them enough to pay for the paint. The design and painting was done as volunteer work, for the good of the neighborhood.

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Nearly done!

This coming together of volunteer and paid work, private and public cooperation, and art and commerce just makes me happy. I love my new city!

Love,

Grandma Judy