Last night we visited something I hadn’t even known existed: A Night Market. Down on SE 9th and Main, two warehouses and the street between them were closed to traffic and open for business.
Hundreds of vendors of food, wine, spirits, ceramics, jewelry, and handmade gifts of all sorts were packed side by side, filling the space. And filling in the space between the hundreds of booths were thousands of people!
Outside, we enjoyed Pip’s doughnuts, a Chop Chop Chicken Sundae (no ice cream but a very tasty dinner), Greek yogurt, and samples of all sorts of goodies.
Inside, I enjoyed looking at the old fixtures from when the building was a factory of some sort and delighting in the contrast of cast iron and silver balloons. The mezzanine loft also held booths selling paper goods, handbags, and plants of all sorts.
We smelled some lovely perfumes (and a few stinkers) , picked up cards from a few local publishers for future reference, and realized that we had seen all there was to see. It was time to go home.
It gets dark really early here now, as we approach the longest night of the year, December 21st. By 4:30 I need my lit-up coat to walk out safely. One lovely thing about the early darkness is that you have more time to go see everyone’s Christmas lights!
Last night we walked east past Laurelhurst Park and Cesar Chavez Boulevard to a street called Peacock Lane. It used to be called Southeast 40th, but in 1929 the neighbors decided to give their street a special name and then live up to it.
Peacock Lane runs 2 blocks, from SE Stark to SE Alder, and every house is lit up like crazy. There are Santas, elves, Muppets, bears, deer, and even Star Wars characters, lit up and amazingly presented. It was like being at a parade, except the floats stayed still and the people did the moving.
And boy, the people!
The street was still open to traffic, so hundreds of folks had to fit on the sidewalk, and we all walked along slowly, taking pictures and enjoying the pretty lights. It was fun to watch kids’ faces light up as they recognized SpongeBob or C3PO.
There was a small booth where neighborhood kids sold hot chocolate, and they were doing a great business. That was the only commerce on the Lane, and the neighbors are determined to keep it that way. This is a neighborhood of folks who work together and want to keep their street special.
There was so much car traffic that we were once again grateful that we could just walk over. When our eyes were full we walked home, enjoying other house lights, then through the misty forest of Laurelhurst Park. A mist was rising off the lake and the street lights along the path were mysterious and wonderful.