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.

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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.

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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.

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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

Friday About Town

Dear Liza,

Friday was a day where nothing much was planned, but things just kept happening. In the morning, Auntie Bridgett and I took the giant pile of books we had borrowed and walked them back to the library. My research into Portland history has me visiting the library a lot. So we packed up my eight books and Auntie Bridgett’s three, and walked to the Belmont Library on Cesar Chavez and Taylor.

Cesar Chavez is a main north/south road, and very noisy, so we walked through the neighborhood. It was a good day for cats, bright new paint jobs on houses, and seed pods. A very satisfactory stroll.

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Auntie Bridgett and a Bowl

Library books returned, we headed south to the UPS Store and bank on Hawthorne. We were hungry, and headed further east on Hawthorne to The Whole Bowl. This little restaurant started as a food cart and made enough money to get a real building. They only serve one thing, in two sizes: a big bowl, and a bambino bowl. The bowl has two kinds of beans, cheese, sour cream, cilantro, avocado, and a garlicky lemony sauce . It is so wonderfully good you just keep eating! We shared a big bowl and a bottle of kombucha, a fermented tea drink, and we were ready to continue our walk.

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St. Patrick’s Church

As we walked back toward the library, we found St. Patrick’s Church, a big Catholic Church we hadn’t seen before. It was beautiful and bright on the outside, but seemed dark inside, either because the windows were too small, or our eyes were used to the bright. We didn’t stay, but we will remember where it is so we can tell Bridgett’s mom when she visits.

Back at the Belmont Library, I hunted for some books on World War I, because my story will have some things that happen in 1918. The story doesn’t happen IN the war, but DURING the war. So I need to know…what were kids doing to help? What foods were rationed? What did people use instead? I need details! So, I read. I checked out three new books and we headed home.

After Auntie Bridgett and I got home (after walking over 4 miles!), she went down to draw in The Art Bunker, as she calls our basement, and I read…and napped. I read some more, and then it was dinner time. We read some more until the NEXT thing.

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Moon and Sixpence Pub coaster

We had tickets for the Northwest Animation Festival at the Hollywood Theater up on Sandy. We stopped at the Moon and Sixpence Pub for a beer and cider before the show. There were people playing darts, but no noisy football games on TV, so we were happy.

 

The Hollywood Theater is a classic old movie theater from the 1940’s and is very elegant. It was really crowded, though, so I didn’t take pictures inside.

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The Hollywood Theater

The Animation film festival really happened in May, when a lot more films were shown. The ones we saw were voted the BEST. The films were short, from 2 to 16 minutes long, but were really interesting. Some, like “Life Inside ‘Islamic State'” were very sad. Others, like “Birdlime” and “Spring Jam”, were happy and sweet, about birds and the sounds they make. Others, like “Resistance”, which had giant bugs drinking champagne, were really creepy. The variety of styles of animation and countries they came from (The United States, Canada, England, Israel, Poland, France, New Zealand, and Germany) was delightful.

We got home really late (almost midnight!) and pretty much collapsed into bed, with our heads full of weird images from the festival.

Love,

Grandma Judyt