Said my goodbyes to the guys and left for the hostel – that house and the people in it are an embodiment of this entire city…friendly, mellow, creative, talented and full of beer. I’m going to miss them.
The last Thursday of the month is an art walk that stretches for twenty blocks – a dozen galleries are on the street as well, and they prop their doors open to participate. This early in the year it was fairly quiet, I’m told in the later months the street is packed with people and stands. It was still impressive though, plenty of metalworking and jewelery makers, along with the ubiquitous Portland food carts (the one I went to sold pork or vegan meatballs on polenta, quinoa or pita, with green chili or marina sauce and cheese. So good.) There were almost as many vegan cupcake/bake sale stands as there were artists. I wonder if any of them actually make a living off it, there seems to be a ton of competition.
Later that night, we (two American guys from the hostel and Aoba, a girl from Japan travelling with her mom. They were adorable. I had been telling them about Stumptown earlier and showed them the book I bought from Erika Moen, which meant an awkward few minutes trying to explain why there was a photograph of a stripper in it. I suspect her mom now thinks DAR is a guide to life in Portland. ) went to the nickel arcade. It’s a huge arcade set up in an old movie theater, I think they still do shows occasionally. Skeeball, air hockey, Resident Evil, racing, you name it. All the games ran off nickels – the most expensive used four, which is still cheaper than anywhere I’ve ever been. We stayed there until midnight, when they close, and it was awesome. You could trade tickets for candy and prizes at the front desk – Matt and Dave used theirs to buy a pile of party poppers, which are little pellets of gunpowder wrapped in twists of paper than make a sastisfying BANG and spark when you huck them at the ground. We walked the twelve blocks back to the hostel throwing handfuls of them and giggling like idiots.
Goodbye, Portland. I will miss you.