Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Hi, I paid some good money to live above a strip parlor...

Originally uploaded by dieselboi.
Here on the corner of NW 6th and Couch, where once were crack dealers and prostitues, sat an old run down grocery store. Then came along a developer and saw the potential of opening a club to cater to the youngins moving into "the Pearl." (john hausman voice) Andrew Sugar had a vision - as WW put it - he introduced puddletown to serious swank, paving the way for Mint and East, egg chairs and avocado martinis. He went on to start Portland Monthly, a regional magazine.
Back to the building. The building in question housed Lush, a upper scale hipster restaurant/bar. Next door was Level, a DJ club that brought national and international DJs. This was a significant change for old town. Skid row was moving up in the world.
Now? Well, a few years later, Level is still running strong, around the corner is BackSpace and Fords. Lush? Well, beginning last month, WW and The Portland Mercury began running large ads advertising Lush as Portland's premier 2 level strip club. Yes, a strip club. I'm no prude and don't have an opinion on where strip clubs end up, but I think to myself- how would I feel if I dropped $150,000+ on a cool new condo in an up and coming neighborhood only to find out a couple years later that my downstairs neighbor has decided to become a stip club- albeit an upscale club - still a strip club. Then again, in stumptown, maybe that raises property values. You never know.

On a side note, I walked home a little bit today. The rain is really cramping my style with afternoon walking. My walk took me from work up to 10th via Pioneer Courthouse Sq. and then over to Burnside and up to Whole Foods for some shopping. After shopping, I cruised down Couch to the park blocks and discovered Lush/Level and thought I would photog it. By the time I reached 1st ave and MAX, it had begun raining a little harder, so I decided to hop the train for home.
11,900 steps so far.

Walking North Portland

Just came accross the following - a map of walking areas in North Portland. Nice!


Tuesday, March 29, 2005

Walk up mississippi

when you read that, do you spell it out? m.i.s.s.i.s.s.i.p.p.i..... hee hee. well, on my walk home, i decided to cruise up mississippi to get a feeling of what's coming next for the street. first off, came upon the newly remodeled Rebuilding Center. Wow. The new space is amazing. Large, open and clean. also, the whole space, including what will become the lumber yard, is all under cover. amazing.
Next up was Mississippi commons. What used to be a decrepit white cinder block eysore is now a group of business spaces open for new ideas. The first to open was PIN and then Belle Epoque. I was exited to see these two businesses. Today, my excitement peaked. As I walked past Belle Epocqu, I began to see that the other businesses had posted what they were and when they were opening. Here's the rundown:

Bridge City Comics - opening April 1 - obviously a comic store.
Memoir - Handmade Gift Boutique - handmade soaps, candles etc.
Salty's Dog Shop - Pet store
Blue Gardenia - Handcrafted Baking and Coffee Roasterie
G Nome - Men's and Women's clothes - retro, vintage, high fashion
Laughing Planet Cafe - if it's anything like the locale off SE. Belmont, I am excited. Burritos

And lastly, but the only open business.....

Lorenzo's - Italian restaurant and deli - we actually walked down there this evening with the pups and brought home wonderful Putanesca - booya to Lorenzo.

So, come to N. Mississippi and support some new small businesses. I'll be there. Find me and I'll buy you a beer @ Amnesia Brewing.

more on the Trader Joe's to be coming to Nopo in a few days.
13312 total steps today.

ps: don't forget grandpa's bar-b-que, mississippi pizza, pistals nursery, bold sky cafe, pasta bangs, the crow bar, gravy, cuckoo, equinox, fresh pot and the albina press......

Monday, March 28, 2005

Sad morning for Crowded House fans.

Just learned the drummer - Paul Hester- took his life Sunday. I have fond memories of Crowded House - especially thier song Don't Dream it's Over. Wow, to think that was 18 years ago when that came out. WOW. Well, prayers to Paul's family and friends.

the kills march 2005

the kills march 2005 5
Originally uploaded by dieselboi.
The Kills. What else can I say? The fucking Kills! OMG, if you haven't heard them, drop what you're doing and go out and listen to them. If I could stream them, I would. The Kills! Went to the Doug Fir this evening to see The Kills. Opening bands were The Volumes and The Sights. Both opening bands weren't bad, actually pretty good. I enjoyed The Sights as they had a 60's sound ala the doors and the who with an organ and such.

Then, well, the Kills came on. VV and Hotel were fucking amazing. The waltzed on stage and rocked for 1 hr straight. they ripped through thier catalog and played some amazing tunes before taking a quick (2 minute) break. Thier encore began with my current fav - Rodeo Town. I have to say I had something to do with that song as I was chanting it when they walked out and was front and center when they began. The show was awesome. A.W.E.S.O.M.E. And, vv looked at me. ME! She was all over me like jeans on an 80's punk. And she is one smokin' girl. Hotel isn't too bad himself. Photos from our evening out.
vv march 2005hotel march 2005 3vv march 2005 3
the kills march 2005 3

Sunday, March 27, 2005

Sailor Building re-dux

Thank you Miles and Christopher for your comments on my last piece. The building in question as noted by Christopher was actually the Ancient Order of United Workmen Temple, built in 1892 and designed by local architect Justus Krumbein. Over @ Portland Architecture profiled this building on March 23. To answer Miles' question - yes, that is a coincidence. I was walking by and decided to take some pictures. Thanks Christopher for the details.

Saturday, March 26, 2005

Sailor building

front sailor bldg
Originally uploaded by dieselboi.
I walk by this building on a regular basis. I never had a name for it until I took this picture. I call it the "sailor building." why? well, there are reliefs of anchors way high up on the side of the building - alas, sailors. The building obviously has some character and should be used appropriately. Currently, the main floor is used for Wallbangers, a duelling piano bar for the 30 something $$$ crowd. I walk by and I think it's an old boarding house or maybe an auditorium - the windows are that colored glass you find in churches. Maybe it was a church. My theory? It's an old school flophouse for sailors and thier friends. There are the pianos on the ground floor, along with a bar obviously. On the upper floors, there is an auditorium, a disco, showers, steam baths, a spa (aveda no less) and a chapel. On the top floor, we're looking at high end lofts for captains and explorers. just a thought.
sailor bldg
side shot.

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Bansky makes top of CNN

Haaaa haaaa. The interwebs did it. Bansky, whom I blogged about earlier this week is now a top story on CNN.

Excalibur on walk


Walk ends. It is raining too much now and i dont want to melt. 6000 steps

Nice Courtyard on walk


Beautiful courtyard.

Tree Lined street on walk


Still sprinkling. Oh to live down a tree lined street.

Lucky Lab on walk


Should i stop for a beer? Alas no. It is oregon rain.

Accross the bridge on walk


It is starring to rain. I am just cabsors the bridge.

Cold fountain on walk


It may be spring break but it is still darn cold.

Lownsdale park on walk


It is not raining.

Weather for walk?


What is the weather like for my walk today?

Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Someone's got cahones

From Kottke:

An artist entered 4 prominent NY museums and installed his own art on the wall. Not bad are mind you, just not approved art. Props to Bansky. More.

Tuesday, March 22, 2005

Daniel H. Lownsdale - Portland Founder

momument @ lownsdale park
Originally uploaded by dieselboi.
Daniel H. Lowndale is a famous Portland founder who doesn't get the name credit as others who were here in the 1840-50s. Everyone knows names like Lovejoy (founder), Overton (founder), Couch (first shipping business), Stark, Flanders etc. I was surprised to learn that Mr. Lownsdale may have been even more influential in Portland's growth and current state than these others. It's one thing to found a city and name it (Lovejoy/Overton), but another to stick around and watch it grow and prosper. (Overton quickly left Portland for the qold rush in California and Lovejoy moved back to Oregon City)
Daniel Lownsdale came to the Oregon Territory in the 1840's and and established the first tannery in the far Northwest where PGE field (Civic Stadium) now sits. In the winter of 1845-46, Lovejoy sold his share of Portland (approx 300 acres of downtown) to Benjamin Star and in 1848, Pettygrove (the other founder) sold his interest to Daniel Lownsdale. The new proprietors added two new partners, Stephen Coffin and W.W. Chapman and formed the Townsite Promotion Company. An excerpt from a diary of that year says, "Portland now has two white houses and one brick and three wood-colored frame house and a few cabins."
Daneil Lownsdale eventually owned all of Portland and under his influence, Portland actively sought to attract businesses and customers to patronize them. As a large land owner, Mr. Lownsdale donated to the city of Portland what is now the Lownsdale square (4th and Salmon) and the South park blocks.
Thank you Mr. Lownsdale for helping Portland become what it is today. I know I am probably not doing you the justice you deserve with my quick history of you, but I think those in blogosphere will appreciate the story.

Monday, March 21, 2005

Happy Anniversary from Flickr

AAN Trainbrick Ntile a

Sunday, March 20, 2005

special day! one special day!

7 years ago, i stood on the deserted Kee beach at the end of the road on Kauai with the love of my life and six guests. i was stubborn and the only one not to remove my shoes when we walked out on the beach (it was a whole outfit thing at the time). my lovely bride wore a beautiful dress hand made by her accomplished cousin. our parents were present to celebrate this most amazing occasion. Katrama, our trancendental astrologer, officiated, including in the ceremony items of hawaiian culture and spirituality. after the ceremony, we all gathered to watch the sun set fully and then went to dinner to celebrate. oh, by the way, it had been lightly raining the balance of the day. the clouds broke around sunset and we remained dry the entire time.
happy aniversary Anna. i love you more than ever and look forward to the next 7 years. love you!

what's up with home depot

Originally uploaded by dieselboi.
home depot, or as i like to call it - hd, has some wonky pricing going on between it's website and retail stores. about a month ago, i blogged about finding a specific light fixture online for $25, but the store has the same item for $38. well, once again, i am stumped by yet another significant price difference. the cieling fan to the right was priced at the hd north of me at janzten beach for $99. i thought it was a great deal and it fit within our budget and design, so i called home to check if Anna liked it. she looked it up online and lo and behold, it's $79 online - here.
what's up with this? i'm tempted to contact the local attorney general, yet there is a business case here - they are two different stores. well legally that is true, ethically and morally, it smells like crap to me. i guess i need to start sourcing my items more online.
if Parr had better prices and more "hands on" selection, i would definately shop there more. luckily, we're getting a new lowes up at delta park. that will become my new favorite home improvement warehouse.
finished off the evening hooking up the cable in the master bdrm and building an eliptical machine.

what an adorable dog!

i am good looking
Originally uploaded by dieselboi.
frodo says hi. this is me on the beach. and god damn it, i look good. i've been couch bound and yet, haven't blown up like a balloon. in seaside oregon, we walked like 200 miles or so into town and back and along the beach and up to the rich part of town. we also drove up to astoria and did some other walking. crab! we had fresh crab! not one to work for my food, i actually embraced the crab and went for it. O.M.G. crab is good. now i gotta try lobster.

today, sunday. what a day. sunday's are those types of days when i get the feeling like i didn't get my homework done. soooooo, by noon, i'm all stressed out about getting stuff done by 5pm so i can then do my homework. i'm old enough not to have homework, so you get my dilemna. today, we awoke without power. according to PGE, it was equipment failure. i blame it on the high winds and aliens that came to us in the night. my but hurts a little also, but i won't go there. after sleeping in, we did our coffee jaunt down to The Albina Press where we were delighted by Billy's prowess as a barista. actually, Billy from The Albina Press won 3rd place in the US Barista Championship in Seattle Wa, last weekend. and they are only 4 blocks away. go check them out, they have free wi-fi and aren't a bike nazi type of locale.
since i'm telling you everything, after coffee, i chilled for awhile watching the history channell. i guess i never knew the japanese occupied a couple of alutian islands during wwII. now i know about that horrible battle. after lolly gagging around for a few hours, i decided to hook up the second dish connection in the house. wow, there's a lot to be done to support tv in this house. after a few hrs and a trip to home depot, i have the coax cable run from the dish to the master bdrm to support sattelite up there. weeeeee. sunday evening came and we watched deadwood - I LOVE DEADWOOD!.
tomorrow, i will begin walking again around portland - thus - walkingportland. check back for more stumptown fun.

Saturday, March 19, 2005

5 firetrucks later

can't get you any pics, but there's something going on down the street. to give you some info - we live amongst some of the better trash of portland and thier section 8 housing. we've battled drug dealers, weapons violations, 2 weeks of waking up @ 5am by the popo SERT team and thier tank. Well, a few minutes ago, I thought I heard an explosion. it's kinda stormy, so I didn't think much of it until the firetrucks started rolling by. yep, one of the troubled apartment buildings was surrounded and you can smell something that was burning. meth? hmmmmm. funny thing - our street is one that a hook-n-ladder can't come down because of a small corner. all the trucks end up getting backed up behind each other. they are quick though - the firehouse is about 100yrds from this apartment. heehee.

Friday, March 18, 2005

you can by this for 1 million

you can by this for 1 million
Originally uploaded by dieselboi.
not really, it's only $875,000. Yep, just about 5 minutes drive from Seaside is this 1/3 acre with an amazing view. When we saw the flyer advertising it for that price, I was dumbstruck. To the North is an older 50's style hotel that could use some TLC and to the south is a single family house. If this lot is $875k, how much are the houses? Crap!
Our second big walk took us up the road to Tillamook head where there were some amazing properties and then back into town to blog and get some lunch. As we were nearing the coffeehouse, we came upon Artful Expressions, an art gallery on Broadway st. I was taken in by an amazing painting that ended up out of our budget, but whilst in the store, we did find another artist we fell in love with. Juli Adams does some crazy stuff and we ended up picking up a few of her prints. We got this one and this one and this one.

escape to the million dollar condos

Blogging from a Tsunami zone- be ready for the siren. Upon arrival in Seaside on Wednesday evening exactly at 7pm, we did hear sirens - scary huh? The next day when we asked what it was, we were informed that they have regular sirens for the volunteer fire department. So, random sirens going off in this era of tsunamis, terrorism, bush. I think they should put up signs when coming into town stating such.
Our visit here has been a blast. We are staying at a friends house that is not the typical beach house. No seagull art and kitch anywhere. We did a major walk down the beach and through town. I've always had memorys of Seaside being a bit white trashy, but it's gone upscale. Broadway (where there were riots not 5 years ago during spring break) is still the kitch ridden cesspool I expected with the souvenir shops and bumper cars and arcades, but the rest of Seaside has taken on a new look. There is some serious money coming to the Oregon coast.
Seaside along with almost everything in Oregon is part of the whole Lewis and Clark legacy. Monuments to thier camps, thier discoveries, their outhouses, their bordellos.... I digress. Here in Seaside, we came upon a salt mine they built back in the 1800s.
l and c salt mines seaside
The remainder of the day took us up to Astoria. We were in a mood for some fresh crab. Strange, we drove along hwy 101 for about 30-45 minutes and didn't find anyone selling fresh crab. We did find some in Astoria, my favorite coastal town. AND - the opening weekend for The Ring 2 - filmed there. Astoria is a perfect place for a creepy movie. In our attempts to find the old Finnish Bathhouse, we did come accross some fresh crab. I also saw this old house - Ahhhhhh.
freaky old house astoria

Tuesday, March 15, 2005

Hee hee

Originally uploaded by j.a.e.k..
I can't take credit for this photo, but I can take credit for forcing the photographer to take it. A buddy had just recieved his new Treo 650 phone and was giddy about it. He's not one of "those guys" who answers his phone in restaurants or talks on the phone when he's with friends. He actually has respect for others. Yet, the Treo is something new and we wanted to play with it. The photo is of a sticker on a car that we parked behind. If you don't understand the photo, just go here, then here and lastly it will all make sense. When we came out of the bar we were in, we came accross a discarded package for a dildo. Go figure. And we were no where near a porn shop or even that type of neighborhood, we were in a nice upperscale residential area. Wierd.

Frodo and Phoebe

Frodo and Phoebe
Originally uploaded by dieselboi.
Babies! Buggers! I love my pups. I would like to introduce you to Frodo (r) and Phoebe (l). Both are 2 yrs old and come from the same litter. We adopted them when they were 12 weeks old and about 2lbs. Frodo was first and we brought him home and just babied him. Then, when I ventured off to the east coast for work, I recieve a call that Phoebe was lonely and needed a home. Upon my return, there were two. These two little ones are now 5-6lbs each - still pretty small. They love us and hang with us every waking hr. Mind you, they sleep almost all the time, but when they are awake, they sit on our laps or snuggle in the blanket.
Currently, whilst I blog, Phoebe is nestled against my elbow, sitting on the arm of the lazyboy. Frodo is over on the couch staring at me and Franka (our troubled one) is chillin' on my lap snuggled up against the vent of the laptop.


Originally uploaded by dieselboi.
Another lunch review. Been away for awhile due to some downtime required by the doc. With said downtime, I should have been blogging about something, but alas, the site is called WalkingPortland and I was doing the opposite of walking.

Noho's - amazing. I have been a fan of Noho's lunch cart since 1995 when my buddy Brendon and I became regulars. They offer a different flavor on the whole bento thing. They have Phil's special, Korean and Teryaki. On the day I visited, it was about 70 degrees - yep, 70 degrees on March 2. I chose to order the Korean - a mix of garlic and sesame marinade on the grilled chicken. Amazing! My only complaint and this may be because I'm becoming a codger or something - they have a whole clique going on and I feel they're all laughing at me and my "old man" clothes. Oh well, I just choose to tip less.
YUM: lunchy

Wednesday, March 09, 2005

couch bound

as the title states, i'm couch bound for the today and tomorrow. not going to go into details, but I will say, I'm following dr.s orders. it all began on tuesday afternoon and i'm currently chillin' watching the Mummy Returns - what a fun flick. earlier, I watched Man on Fire and Fight Club.
so, last weekend, i got rid of some items on craigslist. you know what it is, so I won't go any further in that area. well, now i'm thinking of liquidating even more crap on both craigslist and ebay. you can't imagine what 2 people can accumulate over time.
well, gotta go. gotta get some ice. more later.

Sunday, March 06, 2005

Gotta love the neighbors

while watching my favorite show - Deadwood - we were shaken by a large explosion. When we ventured outside to investigate, there was nothing. Then not 30 seconds later, I spy a popo cruising slowly through the intersection down the steet. Well, they swung around and stopped by a parked car over by the Overlook restaurant. Long story short- 4 cop cars later and some involvement with the crappass apartments across the street, the popo arrested the man in the car. So, did the loud noise have anything to do with what eventually happened? don't know.

Brett Burmeister
sent from my phone

Saturday, March 05, 2005

walky walky walky

going st. walk
Originally uploaded by dieselboi.
First of all, goodbye Hazel. We'll miss you. Enjoy your new home.
Our walk today was grand. My morning began with some gardening, some general cleanup and scheming about what's next for our garden and backyard. I'm thinking koi pond, pergola, a small petting zoo, hazelnut orchard, secret tunnels, and a small potting shed. When my love asked if I wanted to go grab some lunch, I was all over that like stink on cheeze. We decided to walk on this beautiful March summer day. Yep, 68 deg in March and sunny. We ventured over into w. Overlook and walked over the Going st. pedestrian overpass. w. Overlook is west of Instastate blvd. In reality, it's all overlook, but we live on the "other side of the tracks." Before crossing the pedestrian bridge, we came upon the most amazing park - The Simon Stanich park. Anyone?

Located at the bottom of the pedestrian bridge, this park is commemorates a Portland legend.
Picture06.jpgStanich park
Simon Stanich, locally known as Si, was a longtime resident of puddletown - 1920-1996. According to, he was a PFC in the US Army - possibly in WWII (he would have been 21 when Pearl Harbor occurred.) So, got to ask the question - did Si have any influence on the famous Stanich burger? If you don't know Stanich's, it's a famous (at least to me) Portland eatery that sells a large gutbomb of a burger. I can see it now - Si, as a private in the Army in the pacific - was tasked with cooking for the other GI's. As a lover of hamburgers, yet with limited supplies, he took what he had and ran with it. Bun, chunk of spam, scrambled eggs(from concentrate), some lettuce and shitake mushrooms- it was a hit. No one had ever thought of a sandwich made this way. Upon returning to Portland, he first opened a cart and then a restaurant, both featuring a premier hamburger with 2 patties, an egg, ham, bacon, turkey(optional), lettuce, tomato, onion, cheeze(two kinds) and fries. You can get a defribulator on the side for an extra $5.

As previously stated, our walk took us accross the pedestrian bridge over going street. This is one of those bridges that is covered completely with chain link fence. I know the reason why - you don't want people throwing stuff at trucks and cars. One interesting thing we observed was the locks.
The locks! People - obviously more than one or two - had locked different types of locks to the chainlink. Reminicient of the shoes you see hanging from power lines. They were essentially on the roof of the overpass. Is this some type of mystical ritual? Wicca? NoPo Tibbetan chant? I love discovering new stuff. I think I'm going to get some old locks and then when I want to celebrate or mourn or commemorate or contemplate something - I'm going to lock up a lock. If you want me to lock your lock to the overpass, I'll do that too. email me.

Oh, and Si Stanich's park is about 20'x20'. hmmmmmm.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

Bishop house

Bishop house
Originally uploaded by dieselboi.
I was walking past this building and thought...hmmm what's the scoop on that. The Bishop House is essentially segregated away from everything around it. To the west is a small bookstore(not attached) and to the east is a parking lot. Presently, the Bishop house building is occupied by Al Amir, a lebanese restaurant with strong oregon ties.
Sometimes, I wander through downtown and look upward to the buildings. In NY, I would be immediately pegged as a tourist and a target. Here? Maybe, I guess that could happen, but as Puddletown is my town, I don't think about that. What I do think about is - what goes on in that building? and, I create little scenarios as to the activities going on. I use my imagination and let loose.

Bishop House - originally build to house the Pope if an when he visited Portland in the late 1800s. When it was determined that the Pope would not visit, the building was then made available for anyone to use. A secret sect named the Templars (locally known as the Templaristics) took over the ownership of the building, creating a primary location for other Templars to come visit and grab a couch for a sleepover. It was an exciting time and all enjoyed the free waffle breakfasts the templars offered. They were the first to offer preserves with waffles, opening a new frontier in breakfast adventures. A defector of the templar sect eventually freed himself of the emotional baggage and opened the 24hr Pancake house on SE Powell Blvd. What a wonderful man.
Others ventured outside the fold to assist in the growth of Portland.
Obviously, some, if not all of the above diatribe is fiction - take it as you will..................

OMG coffee

OMG coffee
Originally uploaded by dieselboi.
mmmm coffee. i have become a real connosisseur of coffee. call me coffee snob, a caffinator, coffeeman, whatever. I LOVE STUMPTOWN COFFEE. Recently I have chosen to wander down to the Stumptown coffee on SW 3rd avenue. This all started after my adventures with the chinese buffet. Now it is becoming commonplace. What I love about this cafe is A) history and B) love of the latte. History is - this location used to be the original Poker Face, a local vendor of trendy/stylish/fashion forward /cutting edge clothing. I remember visiting my first time and a friend dropped $750 on four pairs of jeans. I was wearing $20 Old Navy at the time, so I didn't get it.
That same locale is now Stumptown coffee and they are the only coffee shop I know of that has an in house DJ station complete with turntables and amps. They also produce a very dominant cup of coffee. I opt for the latte to my left and they don't disappoint me.

Sausage cart

sausage cart
Originally uploaded by dieselboi.
Like blog, I wanted to take some time to wander about and discuss the wonders that are lunch carts in puddletown. I know about THE POD and yes, there are locales there I will comment on, yet to begin with, I wanted to stay close.
CAVEAT - I work downtown, I love downtown, I eat downtown. YET - I am not going to go to every cart downtown as I sometimes don't care for what they offer. I am going to patronize those that appeal to me and the review them.
Back to WeenieFest - OMG. These are some of the best sausages in town. Our friend here offers bratwurst, double smoked brats, red hot brats, standard kosher dogs and more. he's freindly, convenient, has stone ground mustard and saurkraut as fixens. I am sold on this cart as it is 1 block from my office. granted, if i ate here every day, i wouldn't be my svelt self.