Archive for September, 2010

Old hood ∩ new hood

Posted in Uncategorized on September 15, 2010 by Cristina

There are many differences between my new North Portland neighborhood and my old one in the East Village, but the things that populate the intersection of the Venn diagram are awesomely strange. Thing #1 is the incongruous purple house:

Thing #2 is the animal in strange shelter: doggie in a cardboard burrito in a rolly cart and goat on igloo.
It’s likely that I’m drawn to the offbeat type of neighbors who choose to paint their houses neat colors and house their pets in neat containers. I can’t wait to discover things #3, 4, 5, etc.


Bang Bang Bang!

Posted in Uncategorized on September 13, 2010 by Cristina

When describing my experience with music, I joke that “all I hear is bang bang bang!” which is one bang less than what Dr. Dre hears. Not far from the truth, my lack of auditory sophistication results from a musically deprived childhood and formative years spent second-hand listening to my mom’s Céline Dion and Brian Adams car radio. The good news is that I’m slowly training to remedy this and am lucky enough to be surrounded by talented (and patient) people to whom this NYC grafitti is referring:
Not surprisingly, the drums are my favorite instrument for ear cilia tickling. I realized this when it was love at first listen with Bonzo’s Montreux, which never ceases to please. Last night was a bummer overall (sexual harassment, accidentally giving tickets to a scalper, dropping laptop on tile floor, etc) but it was salvaged mainly by a drummer. Benjamin Weikel of The Helio Sequence managed to put a smile on my face for about 40 minutes, melting all self-consciousness about laughing alone in public and making my cheeks hurt. The following analogy and video should explain why.
1. My facial expressions are to …?….!…. : )….> : (…. : 0… as Mr. Weikel’s are to !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
2. The guy played the whole set with such gusto that I feared he might explode into stars and rainbows with happiness: 

Bang bang bang, joy joy joy!

Land O’Port

Posted in Uncategorized on September 10, 2010 by Cristina

This week I celebrate my 1 year anniversary in Portland so I’m pondering my existence here. Having moved here from NY without a single friend, no bike helmet and a tendency to avoid conversations with strangers, I didn’t know how I’d blend with the local folk. Luckily, I let my stranger-danger guard down and eventually started thanking the bus drivers for the ride. I bought a helmet and lights in an ongoing attempt to look like I know what I’m doing on a bike. I made friends (I love you). This city is more magical than I could have imagined and I feel infinitely lucky that I call it home. I have neither been to nor heard of any other place where the following things can populate my calendar in one week, with no lines to stand in, no scheduling conflicts, no fuss:
1. Inflate & sit in backyard kiddie pool in the sun while munching on grapes
2. Walk around rose garden smelling flowers and admiring my friends’ resplendent heads of hair
3. Have 8 friend-neighbors over for sushi & sake
4. Share Stumptown coffee conversations
5. Watch 15,000 swifts swirl about and funnel into a chimney 
6. Put on red lipstick, eat a bag of Cheetos, hop on a bus, watch Rufus Wainwright’s opera, kiss on a bridge, and rock out to Rocky Votolato
7. Make plans to see art, watch dance, hear music, hug people, taste deliciousness
Sigh, I’m not sure that I deserve all of this but heck, I’m going to enjoy it for as many more years as I can! If you live in Portland, thank you for making it my mecca but if you don’t, come here and experience the wonder.