The week began with Frick Education Day. It’s held on a Monday, the day the Collection is closed to the public. It’s packed with artsy activities such as making your own Meissen cup.The Girl with the Extra Earring demonstrated how to repurpose old jewelry. There’s orchid repotting, talks about Rembrandt’s self-portrait and about Clodion’s sculpture, I attended a walk-through of Watteau’s military drawings, was photographed in a Renoir painting and ate my lunch in nearby Central Park.The Staff Art Exhibition is a highlight. Eat, Drink, Page! pictured below on the left was done by Ian Rafael Titus in collaboration with Lorenzo De Los Angeles.
Stuart Davis is one of my favorite American artists. His splashy colors and script move. His signature alone is a work of art. Davis started out drawing commercial products and went on to give Cubism a bold American flavor. The Whitney has mounted a big exhibit that’s on until September 25. Afterwards, we dined in Untitled, the Whitney restaurant. Lovely food, attentive service, lashings of red wine and great conversation but isn’t that a dopey name for a restaurant?
Back to the rock face. I’m finishing the second Steve Kulchek police procedural, Graphic Lessons.
This was my second year at the Northwest Book Festival. Last year it was rained out. This year, July 30 was balmy and Pioneer Courthouse Square, Portland’s living room, was packed with tourists. I sold copies of The Lemrow Mystery and announced the upcoming sequel, Graphic Lessons, honing my selling skills by borrowing ideas from Ben Adams, the author of The Enigmatologist, with whom I shared the booth. It was exhausting but relaxed in the Portland way.
A friend and I went to the Columbia River Gorge, Multnomah Falls, drove by ice capped Mount Hood and had lunch overlooking the Columbia.
Food has ranged from 1950’s Otto & Anita’s Schnitzel Haus’s Dill Pickle Soup to contemporary raw fish at Murata’s in southwest Portland and wonderful seafood at Jake’s. NYC’s Union Square Farmers Market takes an honorable second place to Portland’s Farmers Market. It’s located on the Portland State University’s campus. It provides shady trees, serenades by various musicians and purveyors of everything from oil to wine and stupendous Italian sausage panini/hoagies/grinders.
My Airbnb adventure taught me a hard won lesson: Always read websites thoroughly. I had had excellent experiences on VRBO and assumed that Airbnb owners would be as ethical. I was wrong. I had paid $2700 in advance and was refunded $701. Luckily, my friends found me a housesitting gig and I landed in a charming cottage with a lovely garden.
It’s my second week in Portland, Oregon. It’s been a feast of northwest trees. We visited the Lone Fir Cemetery. From one fir, still standing, in the late nineteenth century to 700 trees and representing 67 species in 2016, Lone Fir Cemetery is Oregon’s second largest arboretum . A woodcutter union honored deceased members with tombstones sculpted like tree trunks.
We walked through the Japanese Garden on a balmy day. On its 5,5 acres, the garden has a plethora of ponds,waterfalls, gardens, rocks and northwest trees: giant Sequoia, Douglas fir.
Portland has old time movie houses that, miraculously, were not demolished. There’s the Baghdad in the Hawthorne area. In addition to roaming in the gilt splendor of the 1940s and seeing movies, you can order wine, beer and food, delivered to your seat. The same is true of the Hollywood movie theatre. It’s such a landmark that the northwest area is now called Hollywood.
I’ll be attending the 8th Northwest Book Festival on July 30. It’s held in Pioneer Courthouse Square, Portland’s living room. I will be selling copies of The Lemrow Mystery and announcing the upcoming sequel, Graphic Lessons.
I’m in Portland, Oregon to visit friends, to get to know this charming city better and to attend the 8th Northwest Book Festival on July 30. It’s held in Pioneer Courthouse Square, Portland’s living room. I will be selling copies of The Lemrow Mystery and announcing the upcoming sequel, Graphic Lessons.
For my sins I used Airbnb to rent a place that was probably a converted garage with a curious shed called a moon house. Being a New Yorker, I thought the term, moon house, was a touch of quaint Portlandia and didn’t pay the attention to it I should have. It’s an outhouse. Since we don’t have outhouses in NYC, you can imagine my surprise and dismay when I inspected the moon house which is attached to the owners’ house – plumbing, you know. It’s about twenty paces across a crab grass garden. The moon house is a tiny space with a tiny toilet, a tinier sink and a shower that shouts defunct summer camp. The ex-garage or the garden house, as the owner call it, is a dismal room that conjures up the film Psycho, not the Bates motel (if only) but the house on the hill where mom lived. It reeks of solitary confinement and has no running water. For that refinement, you have to go to the moon house. I give the owners full marks for their sense of humor. The wifi password for the ex-garage is goldenroom. They are also superb trick photographers.
Last Friday I was in Cooperstown, N. Y. attending the Glimmerglass production of Sweeney Todd, staying in a wonderful 1950’s motel and having grits and shrimp by the Otsego lake. This week I’m on the west coast, near the Columbia and having green lipped mussels. Somebody’s got to do it.
July 25 was the NW Book Fair in Pioneer Square. Pioneer Square is Portland’s living room. Last week we attended the annual Sand Castles Competition. It was blisteringly hot and so bright my eyes hurt. This week my friend helped me haul copies of The Lemrow Mystery and totes to the fair. You can’t win them all. It rained. It poured. The tent I shared
with four other women, all delightful, was like a wet handkerchief after ten minutes. I hung in there until one p.m and then grabbed my gear and left. There were no customers but I exchanged copes of my book with others and we all swore fervently to read and review. Met lots of great Oregonians.
Went to a wonderful party after the rain had stopped.
My friend arranged for me to cat-
sit in a Portland floating home in the Jantzen suburb.The houses are licensed under the title floating homes/houseboats. Years ago, it was considered very economical to live on the Columbia Channel. Now, it’s desirable. The houses are built very closely together. There’s a central narrow board walk and many signs about various regulations: animals have to stay on their own property, no loud noise. The cats I baby – sat are called raggedy dolls. That means they have lots of hair and appear bigger than they really are. They shed copiously and eat like dogs. None of this nonsense about inner control. They figured out where some hidden nibbles were, climbed onto the counter and managed to knock the package to the floor and gobble up oodles of them, twice. Friends (not feline) came to dinner and afterwards we sat on the front porch which is on the river.