Portland, Oregon

H and I were able to run up to Portland, Oregon for a quick couple of days the weekend of the 13th for business and a quick visit with friends and family. I always want more time in the cities we visit to simply walk around, but schedules these days simply seem so tight.

Even though the light was relatively flat, flying in we had a great view of Mt. Hood.

I had a couple of meetings to attend and fortunately, after the meetings I was also able to meet up with James Duncan Davidson over a couple of beers and snap a picture of him that ended up being on his Wikipedia entry thanks to a suggestion from Tim Bray. Duncan is a true Renaissance man and an amazing photographer whose work you may want to follow here on Flickr. Duncan even managed to grab a shot of me with my own Canon, bringing Duncan back from the Nikon fold, albeit briefly.

Of course H and I managed to squeeze in quite a bit over a couple of days. In addition to my meetings, we were able to go for dim sum at Wong’s King Seafood which was a bit of a treat. Wong’s King is not quite as good as the dim sum we’ve had in San Francisco, but its the best so far in the Portland area. The vegetables were fantastic, but they need more steamed buns to round out the menu. I did not manage to grab any shots of the food, though I struggled mightily to keep the camera in the bag for fear that others guests might find it a bit weird. Not everyone understands the drive to make photographs I suppose…

We also made our pilgrimage to the Japanese Gardens, a place that I love to visit. It is an amazing place that transports you in time and space away from the hustle and bustle of the city to another place and time. Its well worth a visit if you manage to find yourself in the Portland, Oregon area.

We also managed to and managed to visit the Gresham Farmers Market on Saturday. Its a small affair, but wonderfully representative of locally grown and produced goods. We have our own farmers market in SLC, but it has little of the true locally grown feel that the Gresham market has. The food proffered for sale at the Gresham market really is beautiful and if I lived here, I’d be shopping here on as many Saturdays as I could.

I am also absolutely impressed with how green everything is in the coastal NorthWest. We’ve had an unusually wet June here in SLC this year and things are green, but there is nothing like the flora and fauna of the Pacific Northwest. We even had a couple of squirrels showing up at the back door in hopes of getting snacks. They were well rewarded with peanuts in exchange for a quick picture and we got to get a good look at them. They were quite healthy, though the older one had obviously been in a couple of tangles with a scar over his eye and a chunk taken out of his right ear.

Finally, we managed to do a bit of volunteer work painting benches in rural Gresham which appears to be besieged by gang graffiti on park benches and even on trees lining walking paths. I have to say that there has to be a special place in Hell for people that tag living trees. I got photos of the trees, but am reluctant to post them here to avoid giving coverage to the lowlifes that can’t manage to find more productive uses of their time than spray painting trees with little more than saying “X was here” and attempting to assert ownership of community places.

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