New York Mysteries in Portland, Oregon July 22 – July 28

“Oregon reports more hate crimes than anywhere else in the country per capita.” I’m quoting from a pamphlet that promotes friendship and building a beloved community. We went to the first meeting at the Ainsworth United Church of Christ. Bobbin Singh is the director of an organization that promotes civil rights. He spoke to about 100 people about his vision and asked us to discuss our ideas in small groups. We did. It’s slow going, isn’t it? Like most people, I’m overly fond of the sound of my own voice. But it was a beginning.

On Tuesday I listened to my favorite pianist rehearsing his Schubertiade. Michael Kelly will play two works by Franz Schubert (1797- 1828) on Aug. 18. I won’t be in Portland so Michael allowed me to attend a rehearsal at the First Congregational Church UCC of Portland where Michael is the musical director. Michael played two pieces that Schubert wrote in the final years of his life. Schubert dead at 31 because of syphilis. Here we are in the Church’s Sanctuary.

 

Michael Kelly playing Schubert.

The Seventeen year old film, Best in Show, still resonates with those of us who go to dog shows to laugh. It’s a close knit society and if you don’t belong you might feel like Alice at the Mad Hatters Tea Party. In other words, everybody is on the same wave

Portland Dog Show

Tony Starlight

length except you.We went to a Portland Kennel Club dog show and watched terriers: Welsh,Rat, Norfolk, Scottish being brushed, curled, groomed to walk around in circles to be judged.

 

Tony Starlight? The name conjures up a fast talking guitar player from the 70’s, right? Tony Starlight made music in public for free and it was blast. Neil Diamond, Elton John, you name it.

 

 

 

 

Graphic Lessons: Recent thirty-five-year-old widow Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a stabbed and dying man in the school kitchen, deals with the only witness to the stabbing – a troubled nine-year-old, develops a crush on a NYPD detective and her dog dies.

Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears three people fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who never listens or accuses her of lying? Her father who’s started a new family in Singapore? She tells Millie.

Graphic Lessons: Something’s eating at NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek: a failed marriage? surviving a car bomb? his girlfriend marrying his corrupt boss? screwing up an important case? It doesn’t matter because he’s relentless.

New York Mysteries in Portland, Oregon July 15- July 22

July 15 Vive la France, “Je souhaite à toutes les Françaises, à tous les Français, une fête nationale sereine et joyeuse. Vive la République et vive la France!”
— Emmanuel Macron, 14 juillet 2017.
A friend and I celebrated Bastille Day in Jamison Square. How best to honor French culture? By eating the lovely cuisine. Both savory and sweet crêpes were prepared by two hard-working French speaking women. In Portland, standing in line is an art. No whining, no pushing, just patience. There was the annual waiters race. On a tray, each waiter carried a glass bottle and a glass, both filled with water. Dropping one, disqualified the waiter. The race was held on a walkway that circled Jamison Square.

 

The Waiters Race

July 15 was a busy Portland Saturday. While waiters were racing, The Big Float celebrating the Willamette River was held. All you needed was a life jacket, an inner tube or kayak and a sense of fun.

The Cathedral Park Jazz Festival was held the next day at the base of St. Johns bridge in the Cathedral Park neighborhood of Portland. It was a balmy day, perfect for sitting outside on a blanket surrounded by lush greenery, friends and jazz.

Sen. John McCain has been diagnosed with a very aggressive brain tumor. Condolences to Senator John McCain.He’s a public figure who’s a product of mid-twentieth century America. He does have worries but he does not have to worry about health care. The Mayo Clinic will treat him like royalty. The irony is that Mitch McConnell held up the final vote on the Republican Health Care bill. Now, that has gone south. Had McCain not been diagnosed with a serious illness he could have voted for a new health care bill that would have deprived millions of Americans of the stellar treatment he will receive.

From Alphabet City to Alphabet City: in NYC I live in Alphabet City and in Portland I stay in Alphabet City. How’s that for a coincidence?

 

 

 

Graphic Lessons: Recent thirty-five-year-old widow Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a stabbed and dying man in the school kitchen, deals with the only witness to the stabbing – a troubled nine-year-old, develops a crush on a NYPD detective and her dog dies.

Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears three people fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who never listens or accuses her of lying? Her father who’s started a new family in Singapore? She tells Millie.

Graphic Lessons: Something’s eating at NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek: a failed marriage? surviving a car bomb? his girlfriend marrying his corrupt boss? screwing up an important case? It doesn’t matter because he’s relentless.

 

 

 

 

New York Mysteries in Portland, Oregon July 8- July 15

Come Sleep With Us? Why not? That’s the motto of funky, efficient Inn@Northrup Station. Let me show you some of the charm. Back to Salvatore Dali land…

 

 

Guess what this object is.

Follow the colorful carpet

Welcome to the Inn

 

Among the Portland rituals my friends and I observe are martinis at the Benson and going to the Mississippi Street Fair. Mississippi is a street in north Portland. After eating the best mussels in the world we attended a too short exhibit of Taiko drums.

One of my favorite movie houses is the Bagdad in the Hawthorne section. It’s enormous and wrapped in red plush. You can order a pub meal and lovely Oregon wine delivered to your seat. Before you ask, there’s a section equipped for eating in the dark. A platform extends down the designated food aisle. Unfortunately, the Bagdad seems to show only Planet of the Apes.

One of my friends goes to Sundance each year. He raved about The Big Sick. Kumail Nanjiani, the Pakistani-American protagonist, is a charmer and very funny. He has a rubbery, handsome face that dominates the screen. It was a pleasure to sit through a movie without guns and drones.

 

 

 

Graphic Lessons: Recent thirty-five-year-old widow Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a stabbed and dying man in the school kitchen, deals with the only witness to the stabbing – a troubled nine-year-old, develops a crush on a NYPD detective and her dog dies.

Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears three people fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who never listens or accuses her of lying? Her father who’s started a new family in Singapore? She tells Millie.

Graphic Lessons: Something’s eating at NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek: a failed marriage? surviving a car bomb? his girlfriend marrying his corrupt boss? screwing up an important case? It doesn’t matter because he’s relentless.

 

 

New York Mysteries in Portland, Oregon July 1 – July 8

“In my many years I have come to a conclusion that one useless man is a shame, two is a law firm, and three or more is a congress.”
John Adams

Onward….

I’m spending some summer time in Portland, OR. The NYC-Portland Delta flight was smooth. I had remembered Delta as a dating site for attendants who were busy pleasing male customers. No more. At least not on this flight. Gone are the fly me girls. Now, there are mature people who concentrate on service to everyone.

As my pals know, I’ve had some unforgettable, slightly grusome experiences during my previous visits: last year’s airbnb, the Amtrak caper where many others and I were forced to sleep in the Lounge. I hasten to add that I’ve stayed in a charming cottage, a cool basement, Victorian hotels with very modern rates and am now at the Inn@ Northrup Station. Over a yearly ritual, martinis at the Benson, a dear friend told me that Northrup Station was originally built to provide lodging for flying attendants. Imagine handing Salvator Dali buckets of paint and a gift card to a second hand store . Result: The Northrup. It’s oddly charming or charmingly odd. Chartreuse dominates, animal prints, free streetcar passes.The weather is a silky coolness.

Says it all.

 

 

Graphic Lessons: Recent thirty-five-year-old widow Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a stabbed and dying man in the school kitchen, deals with the only witness to the stabbing – a troubled nine-year-old, develops a crush on a NYPD detective and her dog dies.

Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears three people fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who never listens or accuses her of lying? Her father who’s started a new family in Singapore? She tells Millie.

Graphic Lessons: Something’s eating at NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek: a failed marriage? surviving a car bomb? his girlfriend marrying his corrupt boss? screwing up an important case? It doesn’t matter because he’s relentless.

 

New York Mysteries June 25 – June 30

We used to call it the Gay Day Parade. Now, it’s the NYC Pride March or the LGBT Pride March. And it’s political. The Trump administration has made us aware of how dangerous democracy is. Judson Memorial Church was placed at the beginning of the parade. It’s a blessing. The nearer you are to the head of the parade, the shorter amount of time you wait to get lined up and march, skip, or run down Fifth Avenue to Greenwich Village. The parade passes the Stonewall Inn where Gays stood up to the 1969 police riots. Some of the participants in the present day parade were Lesbians have a Right to Abortions, Immigration rights, Gays Against Guns. Gays Against Guns passed out their pride hymnal, topical lyrics set to familiar music. MAR-A-LAGO is sung to “Oklahoma” : “Mar-! a-Lago! Where the lies are thicker than the steak! And the weekend set will not say yet, if there’s any law you want to break!“
It was a wonderful day.

Judson Memorial Church marching in the LGBT Pride March

 

Graphic Lessons: Recent thirty-five-year-old widow Millie Fitzgerald applies for a private school teaching job, faints on a stabbed and dying man in the school kitchen, deals with the only witness to the stabbing – a troubled nine-year-old, develops a crush on a NYPD detective and her dog dies.

Graphic Lessons: Nine-year-old Dana is the only witness who overhears three people fighting with George Lopez, the soon to be stabbed Windsor School kitchen worker. Who can she tell? Her mother who never listens or accuses her of lying? Her father who’s started a new family in Singapore? She tells Millie.

Graphic Lessons: Something’s eating at NYPD Detective Steve Kulchek: a failed marriage? surviving a car bomb? his girlfriend marrying his corrupt boss? screwing up an important case? It doesn’t matter because he’s relentless.