Now that the weather is warming up, it is becoming what we call “Patio Season”. Our springs and summers are so pleasant, restaurants spread out into the sidewalk, and now, even into nearby parking spots.
Most of these are picnic tables in simple constructions of two by fours, plywood and corrugated plastic for the roofs. Others, like the delightful bohemian living room at Moore Coffee, have sofas, tapestries, and fancy light fixtures.
And just in case the evening gets chilly, some places have fire pits to warm things up. The flames are might pretty, as well.
The fires can be either the gas-fueled modern decor of the Modern Times rooftop or the campfire style fire pit at The Bivy. Once you get settled in, you just never want to leave!
We had walked a few miles towards the river, and there was some sort of disturbance involving lots of Police cars a few blocks north. It seemed like a good time to settle in somewhere.
So we walked into Modern Times, a cafe and restaurant on Belmont Street. We have gone past it hundreds of times on the bus, so I was more than happy to see it from the inside.
We were shown a table by the bar in a high ceilinged, bright room. We were two of only five people in the place. We weren’t hungry, and since this is a brewery, I ordered one if their dark beers which is made on site. Black House coffee stout was sweet and rich and just about perfect.
The decor of Modern Times, as seen through the huge windows, has always intrigued me. It looks as though very clever murals were created out of party decorations!
It was mind bending, actually. Cartoons posters and those puffy paper fans were all over one wall.
On the wall leading up the stairway, dozens of small donkey pinatas were applied right side up and upside down. A sign notified us that touching the art was punishable by death.
And looming over it all was a mural, at least thirty feet high, created out of party streamers. It was bright, bold, and completely unexpected. I stared and stared!
We enjoyed our drinks and learned that Modern Times is actually a chain of eateries and breweries, and employs a staff of artists (much like the McMenamin Brothers do) to create art for their venues as well as beer and cider labels, tee shirts, and other goodies.
We took the elevator up to the roof top patio, and enjoyed more quirky art. These hanging designs, created from plastic kitchen and storage baskets, moved gently in the wind and were just charming.
There were fire pits, as well, and views of downtown across the river. Big Pink, of course, was beautiful seen through the flames.
By the time we had seen everything, the police had managed whatever they needed to manage down on the street, and we walked up to catch the number 15 bus home.