Burnside Street Gets New Bar: Zarsha Leo

Evan Burschkopf, CEO of Zarsha Leo, has recently opened a new branch of his restaurant-bar on E. Burnside Street.  Located at the other end of the road from Fire on the Mountain, this new eatery is attracting a lot of college students in Portland.

According to Burschkopf, “it seems like the youngsters like Zarsha Leo because it contains lots of fun things, like the dart board, a pool table and a Foosball Table.  As well, the sliders and spicy chicken wings are a real hit because it’s a recipe I got from a friend who worked as head chef in a bar some years ago.”

Portland on Ice

As an early Birthday gift, Daniel treated me to the Portland on Ice winter festival.   It was a lot of fun and such a unique present.  I always complain that he just gets standard gifts like perfume or jewelry, so this year it really was a lovely surprise.  So after a light snack at the Original Pancake House, we headed off to Portland Harbor Hotel and truly had a blast.  It was absolutely mobbed there, which was no great shock.

There was so much else going on when we went too.  There was "Strike a Chord: A Music Discovery Funhouse,” for free from the city’s Downtown District and the music Foundation.  And then the instrument petting zoo that we weren’t so excited about but made me think how much fun the kids would have had.  But they were home with a sitter.  Daniel wanted the night to be just about me!

Are We Going Too Far?

I love living in Portland with all its eccentricities that the show Portlandia depicts so perfectly.  But sometimes, I feel the State of Oregon goes a bit too far.  For example, on my way to take the kiddies to school, I saw something particularly strange that I later discussed with Amanda.  There was a Craigslist poster of a local man drinking a cup of coffee.  Seems innocent enough, right?  Until you read that the man in the photo – a self-described “casual home roaster and coffee geek” – has started making Kopi Luwak coffee beans (consumed and then expelled) for $30 a pound!

It might be all in fashion and all, and even actually be a delicious cup of coffee but I personally think that this is taking the eccentricities of Portlanders a little bit too far.  Still, feel free to disagree with me, as clearly a lot of my neighbors are doing!

Portland’s Wild Arts Festival

I was so excited for the weekend.  I’d been looking forward to the Wild Arts Festival for weeks!  But I had no idea just how crowded it would be.  I later found out that it was due to the 6×6 Wild Art Project that caused the crowd to “flock” (excuse the pun) to the scene.

It was pretty cool actually.  Especially since the decorated tiles were done by local artists.  There was a book signing and silent auction, all hosted by the Audubon Society of Portland. Jayden – who’s very into nature – really enjoyed it; everything there was somehow connected to nature.

Daniel loved the education birds as a couple of them made a comfortable landing spot in his arm.  Ethan got a real kick out of watching that and yelped in delight!  They were so mellow; it was cool.

Even though it was more crowded than I originally anticipated, I’m glad we made this a family day out.  It was something so different from our usual Friday activities: fun, interesting and educational all at the same time!

Bike Show Returns!

So, I had to admit to Daniel (who promised he wouldn’t brag “I told you so”), that I made a mistake by not going to the Oregon Handmade Bicycle Show.  It skipped a few years but now this annual happening has returned to our area.  I was tired and I figured it might be tough with the little ones but it seems – from Jenny’s account of her day there – that I was wrong.

Organized by the Oregon Bicycle Constructors Association and located at Swan Island, a bunch of the state’s top frame builders assembled.  Apparently it was really quite incredible.  There were 18 builders and 36 exhibitors and the kids had such a blast seeing their newest creations.  It wasn’t just old-timers who are famous either – there were exhibitors who were just starting out who were really creative. Then there were all the cool Chris King Precision Components; Dan Coyle’s handmade wooden helmets; Brian Engelen’s funky light creations and more. 

Yes indeed, it was a shame we missed it.  But, as Daniel nicely said to me when I admitted my mistake, “there’s always next year.”