I’ve been slacking on the ole blog lately. Who wants to sit inside on the computer when it’s ridiculously beautiful outside? Oh yeah, and I recently found out all my computer time probably made me a partial blinker, which is killing my meibomian glands and drying out my eyes. Swell. The result: I now need to do blink exercises, use eyedrops for a bit, and I got a $1,500 Lipiflow treatment to get those little glands pumping again. Lesson for you: Make an effort to blink fully as much as you can to keep your peepers nice and healthy.
Summer is totally here in Portland. Temps have soared into 90s, which I’ve rarely experienced here. We’re lapping it up – and thanking our lucky stars our landlord built central air into our apartment building.
Ah, Portland people, you never cease to amaze me. June 8 was World Naked Bike Ride, an annual event to highlight the vulnerability of cyclists and society’s dependence on pollution-based transportation. The Portland ride is billed as the largest in the world, and a record 8,150 naked bike riders turned out this year, more than two times the nudies as the previous two years of the ride. Lindsay and I caught a glimpse of the hooting, hollering crew during an afternoon shopping trip downtown. Gotta hand it to these folks, it can’t be a comfortable ride.
Walking home from watching the movie “This is the End” (which is hilarious) one night, Jeff and I came across two street concerts downtown. Two! And one was a bunch of xylophones! Actually, those kinds of moments make me thankful to live in the city, to be able to walk to a movie and stumble across street performers and unexpected opportunities to have fun.
Jeff, Daniel, Lindsay and I hosted a last-minute backyard barbecue one night to take advantage of the warm summer night. After grilled chicken sandies and homemade strawberry shortcake, we and Todd, Genaro, Felicia, Stephen, Jennifer, Peter and Alexis passed a bottle of whiskey around our backyard fire pit and shared our favorite guilty pleasure old songs (e.g., “The Humpty Dance” and “Let Me Clear My Throat”).
It’s no secret Jeff and I gravitate toward food and drink events around town. And it’s often a hit or miss process. I picked a bit of a miss one hot summer Saturday when Jeff, Genaro, Felicia and I hit the second annual Portland Summer Food Cart Festival at Mt. Hood Community College in the ‘burbs. With a Groupon. And (cheap) VIP status. It was no Eat Mobile, the big food cart fest in Portland. But it was only the fest’s second year, so maybe it’ll evolve the concept in years to come to include more than a handful of carts, more benefits for VIPs, a beer garden that’s not encased in a small square of chain link fence, etc.
We recently bid adieu to our friends Peter and Alexis, who just moved to Boston for Peter’s new procurement leadership job at Converse. We joined a group of Nike folks and other friends at Rontoms’ back patio to toast the couple’s new East Coast adventure. We’ll miss P&A; Jeff worked with Peter, Alexis was in my book club, and we recently took a Vegas trip with them. The upside of their move: We now have a good reason to visit Boston!
Jeff and I drove 10 miles northwest to Sauvie Island, the largest island in the Columbia River and one of the largest river islands in the country. The 26,000-acre island feels like a different world – it’s mostly a farming community, with plenty of berry farms, pumpkin patches, lavender farms, and other family businesses. We stopped at Kruger’s Farm Market, a 100-acre farm and store with field-fresh fruit and veggies. Food vendors, a beer cart, wine tastings and a band livened up the atmosphere. We also paid a quick stop to the public beach…and drove by the one-mile stretch of clothing-optional Collins Beach, one of two official nude beaches in Oregon. You probably won’t catch us sunning there anytime soon. 🙂
Jeff, Cooper and I strolled over to the new Fields Park in the Pearl District, just a couple blocks from where we first lived (for one month) when we moved to Portland in early 2011. Back then, the space was a mucky, water-logged patch of undeveloped grass where Cooper would sometimes run. Now, it’s a 3.2-acre park with playground equipment, the city’s 33rd off-leash dog park, and sweeping views of the Fremont Bridge and the Pearl District skyline.
Nike throws some ridic events for employees at its World Headquarters, but the Blue Ribbon Carnival on our year-end earnings release day took the cake. The Ronaldo Field housed booth after booth offering free carnival food (corndogs! cotton candy! kettle corn!), games, psychics, photo booths, drinks and more. The Postal Service played a surprise free concert, and Cirque-esque performers twirled from suspended hoops and walked on stilts through the people. It was glorious!