Monday, November 24, 2008

A gal's gotta have some nourishment ... why not mix it with a libation?

Last Thursday evening, Marsha, my friend from work, and I made plans to attend a 7:30 p.m. book event at Powells Books. After a full day's work, the two of us knew we had best eat something before going to Powells. I suggested the Doug Fir, the same place I'd been two weeks earlier with Mama and Lucy. Those yummy fish and chips were calling to me, loud and clear.

We left work at 5 p.m., and after a slightly rainy, short, with only one transfer, bus ride, we walked into the glass door on the side of the Doug Fir only to find out that my Mississippi buddy Chris Cooley came to work the restaurant-side bar at 6 p.m.

What to do? What to do?

Then I noticed Joey Lawrence at the bar-side bar. He grinned at me as I said, "Hi, Joey. Do you know who I am?" "Yes," he said slowly, "I thought I knew that face, but I couldn't say for sure. The hat threw me off. And haven't you changed the color of your hair?" Observant young man, my buddy Joey Lawrence--he noticed my Los Lonely Boys hat and the leftover color from my last highlighting at Bella Tocca. OK. I'll quit stringing you along. This Joey Lawrence is a Portland bartender, not the child TV actor who grew up to do pretty well on "Dancing With the Stars." When I first met him at the Doug Fir, with Lamont in March, 2006, on the last visit Mama and I made to Portland before moving here that June, I discovered that he makes a mighty fine rum and cherry Coke.
We decided to be seated by the windows that overlook E. Burnside so that we could order our food; I knew that before we left we could join Chris at the bar for a visit, too. So, I ordered a rum and cherry Coke, telling our waitress to say, "It's for Lamont's mother," to Joey. I figured it would go very well with our appetizer, a plate of giant onion rings, as well as the fish and chips.
I love that photo, but it just didn't do justice to the onion rings, so I took one more. Joey came by for a moment to check on the drink. "Divine," I cried.

You'd think with those crunchy, sweet onion rings and that ice cold libation, I'd have tempered my hunger somewhat. Maybe remember to take a photo of the fish and chips I've been going on and on about? Nope. Marsha and I dove right in, dividing the single dish between the two of us--three flaky halibut fillets and a mound of crispy fries. Nary a thought of camera or photograph passed through my mind as each morsel of fried food passed through my lips! Marsha and I finished eating and visited with Chris at the bar and had one more libation before leaving for Powells.

Now, a bit about the book event. Local author Laura O. Foster entertained us, reading from her new book "Portland City Walks" and showing intriguing slides, too. I found this at Powells' Web site:

Publisher Comments:
From the inspired creator of the beloved "Portland Hill Walks," comes a rich collection of twenty eye-opening walks exploring the backstreets and back stories of the neighborhoods of Portland and five nearby towns. Laura Foster's new walking routes are easy-to-follow, self-guided, accessible by public transportation, and include plenty of snacks and offbeat treasures along the way. From Goose Hollow to Garden Home, Laurelhurst to Lake Oswego, Forest Grove to Vancouver, walks range in length from 2 to 6 miles, with alternate loops for flexibility. Want to explore architecture and engineering? Walks include a centuries-old farmhouse nestled in a city neighborhood and a track made from 20,000 Nike athletic shoes. Interested in the stories of historic Portland businesses? Walks include fun facts about Captain John Couch, William Lair Hill, Fred Meyer, Guy Carr, and Michael Powell. Portland City Walkslets readers peel back the layers of history as they walk the stories of a city's neighborhoods and experience its joys as never before.

And here's what I found about her other book that I bought and got signed that evening:

Publisher Comments:
"Portland Hill Walks" is no ordinary guidebook. No restaurant ratings, no rehashed explanations of how the city got its name. Instead, in twenty meandering, view-studded strolls from forested canyons to cityscape peaks, this lively travelogue answers questions you may never have thought to ask, such as:

* What street used to be a row of floating homes?
* What eastside peak, with its "healthful air," was home to tuberculosis sanatoriums?
* What happened to the lake in Guilds Lake?
* What Portlander modeled swimwear in the U.S. Senate?

Explore the city's streets, stairs, trails, and hidden passageways to discover the stories and spirit of a town rated among the country's most livable places.

My plan is to go on these walks and take photos so that I can share all of what I see and learn with y'all. I don't have a timetable, but I will begin in 2008 and finish in 2009--I've made that promise to myself.

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