Friday, August 28, 2009

Kirk Douglas... Van Gogh... ear.

A little example of why I love Portland...

Yesterday I took a break from work and walked the block or so from my office to the greatest used book store in the world. In the course of that one block journey...

...I passed a pair of beautiful women pulling along a wiener dog on leash...

...listened to the guys in front of me talk about Star Trek...

...stopped in front of the book store to talk to a pair of young ACLU volunteers working to promote gay marriage while...

... a few feet away a street fiddler was playing "Yesterday" by the Beatles...

...laughed at the surreal moment that occurred when our conversation (and the fiddler) were interrupted when one of those "sculpture vans" where an artist has turned a vehicle into a work of art drove by. In this case it looked like he'd created a miniature city on the roof of his van. If this wasn't weird enough he was hanging out the driver's window using a monkey hand puppet to yell something.

Did I mention our city slogan is "Keep Portland Weird?"

17 comments:

Arkonbey said...

Our city slogan: "Keep Burlington really boring while pretending it's full of culture and counter-culture!"

I've probably only mentioned this story, but I'm nothing if not redundant:

1989 Rose Festival. USCGC Fir is attending. My underage crewmate and I wander the streets around 10pm looking for something not Rose Festival-related. We found an open coffee shop with music coming out. We headed in. The band was made up of a singer (young Roger Daltry-looking fellow in orange/white flowered granny bellbottoms), a violinist (attractive brunette in black negligee) a bass player (punk with a really beat up bass) and a drummer ( very young kid. maybe middle school). The band had great energy and ended the night by playing tv themes. The duet of 'Those Were The Days" by the singer and violinist was spectacular.

After the show, the singer came over to our table, as it turned out we'd been sitting and chatting with his mom! I don't remember the conversation, but I remember laughing a lot. He ended the night by carefully putting a .22 lr round in my palm and very seriously intoning that it was 'for protection'.

Man. What a great town!

That Face! said...

This post made me want a monkey puppet even more than I want air.

DAMN YOUUUU!

Dean Wormer said...

Arkonbey-

That is a wonderful story. I wonder why he was carrying that bullet around.

That Face!

I have a spare. I'll send it to you.

Randal Graves said...

I suppose you're going to say that Portland is way cooler than Cleveland? Betcha we've got more abandoned warehouses and rusted-out bridges.

Take that, smart guy.

HarrySTruman2 said...

..two beautiful women pulling along a wiener dog walk into a bar...

Utah Savage said...

While here in Salt Lake we only claim to be the cleanest city in the world, boring, yes, narrow minded and homophobic, yes, racist, yes, but by god we're clean. I do my own little part to dirty up the place, but what can one reclusive old woman with a wiener dog do, what with all this clean?

Arkonbey said...

Dean: For protection
Utah Savage: Doesn't it depend on what you feed the wiener dog?

Mauigirl said...

Great description of Portland. We visited there a few years ago and loved it. Our kind of place!

Lockwood said...

I haven't spent time in PDX in years... you make me nostalgic. Still, we have plenty of weirdness down the valley too.

Ricky Shambles said...

Sounds like an amazing day. Here in Cincinnati our motto is "Um...we're Cincinnati." They haven't fully embraced the foodopolis (yes, previously named porkopolis) that it now is. I think there's a self-defeating tone of not wanting to be too great lest we not live up to the hype.

As opposed to Cleveland where there is no wanting or hype past the sad, rusted pipes of industry and the corroding of the souls of the people. But I can say that because it's all love talk and I spent most of my life in Cleveland.

Übermilf said...

I wouldn't brag about stealing another city's slogan, especially since it's one touting your individuality.

And until you have a mayoral candidate like this, I'm afraid Austin has you beat.

And I say this as a Chicagoan.

Comrade Kevin said...

Ours is, make sure to contribute to air pollution!

Lockwood said...

Ubermilf, have you never heard of Bud Clark? Portlanders don't just have nutty nominees, they elect them, and you can't argue Clark wasn't an excellent mayor. And that was nearly 25 years ago.

Don Snabulus said...

That's my town, baby.

Swinebread said...

Ah Dean that's not normal for the rest of the country?

Mommy Lisa said...

I love it. Here all we have is the dude who strolls back and forth on the walkway over 94 between Mlps and St. Paul with conservative sayings on his sandwich board.

Anonymous said...

"Keep Portland Weird" is not our city slogan. It's just a clever saying on a bumper sticker purchased by thousands of local sheep.