New Year’s Jazz at 1905

Dear Liza,

December is definitely our month for going out! In the 35 days between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Eve, we have two anniversaries and three major holidays. It feels a bit much, sometimes.

We have spent the last half-dozen New Year’s Eves at home because we were worn out from all the holiday-ing. But this year, Grandpa Nelson found a place we just couldn’t resist.

1905 is a jazz club, cocktail bar and pizza joint all in one, up in the Mississippi neighborhood. It’s a small place with seats and tables for about 45 people. We ordered our food and drinks by way of an app called Union, which minimizes close conversations with strangers.

The Caili O’Doherty Quartet played a wonderful set of different types of jazz, from Herbie Hancock’s “Butterfly” and “Come Running to Me” to Betty Carter’s “Tight”. Callie lead the band with her melodic and racy piano playing.

Parnell Newton, on trumpet, was innovative and powerful without hogging the sound wall. He could make the trumpet sing, shout, or whisper. Cory Cox, on drums, was all over the drum kit, putting in amazing flourishes that gave the music texture and imagination.

Ross Garlow played the stand up bass with head-bopping joy, dancing with his instrument as he laid down the bass line.

Besides the wonderful music and the joy of hearing it live, the pizza was outstanding and the cocktails delightful. We will definitely head up to 1905 again, once we have recovered from this holiday season.

Happy New Year!


Grandma Judy

Random images of Mississippi

Dear Liza,

Yesterday I tried to tell you all about the big Mississippi Street Fair in Portland. But there were so many different booths, stories, people, and images caught in my camera that today I will just share some with you without much comment.

This young lady posed for my picture as she enjoyed the shade of the Hardcase Tattoo booth. They were not offering tattoos at the fair, just artwork and conversation.

This very young DJ was spinning wonderfully funky tunes on his Apple computer.

Everyone was drinking water and seeking shade.

And the big parade just kept going!


Grandma Judy

Friday in Mississippi

Dear Liza,

Auntie Bridgett and I got to drive north to the Mississippi neighborhood on Friday. GiftyKitty, Clody Cates’ shop, had sold nearly all of Auntie Bridgett’s pins, and needed more!

Business is important. But first, of course, was lunch. We stopped at Broder, where we had some carrot cake months ago, to check out their lunch menu. It is very Scandanavian forward, with rye bread, pickled herring, and ableskivvers. Auntie Bridgett ordered the roasted mushrooms, which looked delicious. I ordered the Nord Bord, which is like a smorgasbord on a platter.

There was a hard boiled egg, two slices of rye bread, thinned sliced ham, two kinds of cheese, pickled onions, roast potatoes in a spicy mustard sauce, and even a tiny apple tart for dessert. It was amazing. We ate until we were stuffed.

Then to business! I love visiting GiftyKitty. Clody and her business partner Larry have done a wonderful job creating the whimsical space full of art, pillows, and all sorts of kitty themed goodies.

Bridgett and Clody talked business while Larry and I swapped life stories and chatted about the beautiful kitten art done by local artists like Amelia Opie, Melody Bush, and Alicia Justice.

When it was time to head off, we got distracted by the Pistils Nursery. It is housed in this building that looks like something out of an old Western movie, but was actually built in 2001 to look like a piece of history.

The inside of the building houses a charming collection of indoor plants and terrarium supplies.

In the small side yard, outdoor plants are policed by two small chickens who seem to enjoy the company (and maybe the bugs!)

By this time, the rain was starting, we were worn out, and it was time to head for home.


Grandma Judy


Dear Liza,

There is a new store here in Portland, and Auntie Bridgett took me to see it!

Clody Cates and her business partner Larry host this visually delightful shop at 3719 North Mississippi Avenue in North Portland. GiftyKitty is a labor of love that was conceptualized and designed by Clody, and their tagline, “Changing the world one cat at a time” cracks me up.

I was impressed, first, by the largest features of the decor. The giant Alice in Wonderland-style house along the back wall gives the whole place a fabulous air of silliness.

The wonderful manzanita shelving, built by Oakland based designer Cameron Kephart, is wonky and perfect. Cameron also worked closely with Clody on the design and creation of the whole space, as well as the up-cycled glass and wood displays that hold more treasures.

Then, I got to focus on the delights of the treasures themselves and was stunned by the variety and quality of them. There were large glass mosaics, aprons, paintings, carvings, and books, mostly made by local artists.

We saw old friends from the SideStreet Arts Gallery. Painted plaques by Amelia Opie…..

…cute stuffed critters by Alicia Justus….

….. and book art by Melody Bush.

New (to me) artists included Nicola Turville and

Jenny Rideout, who upcycles fabric and makes everything more interesting!

Needless to say, we will be going back to GiftyKitty, especially now that they are carrying Auntie Bridgett’s buttons, cards and art!

I will take you when you come to visit!


Grandma Judy