This is getting to be like visiting friends who insist you watch their vacation slide show when they invite you to dinner. Well, just pull up a chair and make yourself comfortable...
We left Vancouver and officially I was done with my Knitting Sprawl travels, although I feel like I need to do it all over again to get what I now know I missed the first time. In any case, we left Vancouver, not without my gently giving a city bus a little tap, mirror to mirror like. The bus driver, breaking with Vancouver stereotype, was distinctly unfriendly about it and ranted at me while I sat dumbly at a stop light. No actual damage was done but it was a little bit of a sour note to go out on.
We crossed the border, had all our oranges seized and two organic avocados - I am still burned about that! - and headed to Seattle and the home of an old Cooper Union friend, Will Kitchen. Will moved out to Seattle in the early 90s and now has his family there. We hadn't been in touch for over 10 years but, in the best way possible, we picked up as if it had just been last week.
Will is a real painter's painter. Here is a small example of one of his fanciful paintings, part of a series based on his collection of toys: a loose narrative he has created. He also paints en plein air at the Seattle Botanical Gardens. The man can not make an ugly mark, but I know he tries sometimes.
For the first time, we slept in the RV on the street in Seattle. It felt a little dicey, such things being illegal in NYC, but it was not big deal there. Will assures me that he has several friend who live that way all the time. Is that a good thing?
Then we headed to Portland, OR, and another friend and artist, Amy Bay. Amy continued the sub-theme of the trip in which people who used to live in NYC tell me about how great it is to homeschool out of the city. We decided that Portland was like a giant Brooklyn, or maybe a smaller Brooklyn actually. The whole artisanal, DIY, cycling thing pervades the whole city. Very hip place, is Portland.
Here is Amy and her son, Leo, as we sit down to enjoy lunch at the famous carts in downtown.
This is apparently the most famous of the famous carts. It serves only one dish - a poached chicken dish served with ginger rice. Finn and Lucy tried it and swore by it. I tried another, less meat-centric cart. Pretty fabulous and cheap.
Yes, Portland has got things figured out.
Here, Finnian (and Amy's little sweetie, Irma) contemplate a display in a shop that sells light fixtures but, for some reason, was exhibiting this one person's Lego set collection. Finnian, who can be a bit jaded under the best of circumstances, was obviously impressed. Finally something impressed him!
And this has nothing to do with any of our trip at all. I stumbled across it and thought it was very funny. A Madonna and Child, with the baby Jesus holding a niddy noddy. Notice the look on Mary's face...."please don't break my niddy noddy, even if you are the son of God!"