Friday, November 4, 2016

Oregon is Calling Me (PDX)

We drove toward Oregon's lone metropolis after recharging in the Wilson River. Rolling into Portland for the first time in far too long, we scored great parking, whew. We were also lucky to have the warm hospitality of our two amazing friends (secret agents K & MM) and their wonder dog, Lillah Dame.

Pearl Court | Wushu Center
Turns out my main man with a hoops plan had wrangled us another good game. The girls went out for some drinks and such, while we headed to the Wushu Center. Pearl Court is top-notch. One wall is full-length glass; the city's Pearl District looking in on the game. The two of us battled almost exclusively on D most of the night after teaming up initially. (We won two quick games and had to break our team up to field the 3rd game.) Games are timed with a scorekeeper.  MM's older brother was the recipient of one dime that still stands out—G and I had good chemistry, making a solid 5-man team along with one of his friends. My 3 was falling, helping me to get into the paint. I finished left on one strong play with a burst. Plus I was rebounding. It was either a one-loss night or we went unbeaten. Hoops at the Wu was one of the better runs I've been a part of for quite some time. I'm thankful to have had the opportunity to play on such a beautiful court, with such an awesome group of guys. Prior to the last games I felt a little gusto. And what do you know? I threw one down at the Wu. Thanks to the little ninjas who broomed the floor. Big ups to all the players, you guys have such a cool thing going. The two Toni's walked out into the late-night air. The Tone had been set.

Day two in Portland began deliciously. A morning walk with Lillah, and a brilliant stop at Sterling Coffee Roasters was the perfect way to get us going. This wonderful small business fits seamlessly into its neighborhood. Cooperation extends inside its doors as well. The tasty brews they're serving are some of the best beans I've ever had. Kudos to their ethics and their aesthetic. MM knows his hood and we couldn't have asked for a better guide. We encountered some of the nicest people. The baristas were friendly, as was the interesting man who peered over his book; he overheard our conversation and opened himself up to it—all of them strangers we had never met. The vibe made me feel I could be myself. What a cool place to get your morning fix. We will definitely be frequenting Sterling the next time we're in town. Cheers to the reader, cheers to their roasting.

Portland, OR
Crossing the river afforded us some time in a local park. We slung the ultimate in the late summer sun tirelessly. Partaking in activities that induce nostalgia usually feels good. It was a timely moment of the day. The three of us met K for a lunch break. Our quartet made it back to the friendly confines of the park. It was a nice chance of pace to just sit in the sun on a blanket. Responsibilities were calling one of us, the three of us who were less responsible made our way to Tin Shed. Holy amazing brunch/lunch. Two words: Spike Wrap. One more: Biscuits! Another couple: Homemade Jam. Do yourself a favor and eat here the next time your in Portland. Just do it. The last stop of the day was Saraveza. The decor is from eras gone by and the bottle selection is ridiculous. A Wisconsinite turned Oregonian has created a craft beer hideout. Their draft list was heavy on locals and diverse. I enjoyed a wit bier before stepping into a rye lager. We left with a couple of heady bottles too. The first, an Urban Farmhouse from The Commons Brewery, the other a gose from pFriem Family Brewers. We reassembled our team, it was time to cross the river yet again.


A two-day stay in Portland reinforced, Oregon is Calling Me. Our Oregon trail was nearing its end, at least for the time being. Night would lead us north into Washington, but that's another story...


Part 1 - Part 2 - Part 3

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