Portland Loo Up for Grabs?

Portland is famous for a whole lot of things and I guess its bathroom facilities are probably quite high on the list.  However, when you start comparing the public facilities to others throughout the nation, the Portland Loo doesn’t have all that much competition.  So now it seems the city might be cashing in on its invention.

I always remember my mom complaining that there were no facilities along the road when she was pregnant with my siblings.  It drove her – and my poor father who was trying to take us on a road trip – nuts.  So when I got to Portland discovered the Portland Loo, I remember telling my mom all about it.  “Oh,” she said, “things still haven’t changed all that much here back in Cincinnati,” she bemoaned. 

Even if one can find such a facility, they often smell worse than where a vagabond has been sleeping for more than a night or two.  And the vandalism is insane. So unless you happen to be close to a popular restaurant chain, then you’re pretty stuck.  And it sure isn’t fun when you’re pregnant, as when you have to go, you really have to go.

It seems though that now the country’s big cities are trying to do something similar, which is ending up to be a costly – and not so effective – poor alternative. Large cities around the nation are purchasing very high-tech self-cleaning automatic loos that aren’t quite doing the job.  Like in Seattle, five were installed, costing the city a staggering $5million but due to them being used for drugs and prostitution, they were sold on eBay in 2008!

Clearly the Portland Loo is the way to go.  I mean, if it anyway already has its own FB page and more than 200 Twitter followers, what more can one ask for?

Safety of Portland’s Streets

It seems that while I originally thought that Oregon was one of the best, safest states in America to cycle, I have now heard something to the contrary.  But apparently the jury is still out on whether the roads are safe in Portland for cycling and walking.  So here’s the latest scoop. 

Recently, the Portland Bureau of Transportation was questioned on its budget, expenditure and financial spending and how well the roads are improving, or – as the case more seems to be – deteriorating.  The study found that roads are somewhat pock marked (not great news), but in general, the streets are pretty safe.  According to our Mayor (Sam Adams), the priority has been to keep drivers “alive [rather] than totally comfortable on side streets.” It has been that which has been priority.  And, that does make me happy.

Adams also argued that he has put this strategy into place because it makes sense.  The result has been a huge reduction in traffic fatalities (great news) while at the same time, there has been quite an increase in the population of Portland.  The conclusion was thus, “you are more likely to stay alive biking, walking and driving around Portland than you were before.”

New Place to Eat

Daniel has been reading these blogs recently in the hope of finding new eateries that we both might enjoy.  So he discovered one on all the great things in the world – aka Portland – and found a really funny-named restaurant Shut Up and Eat that he said we have to try. After I’d stopped chuckling at the title, I took a brief look at the menu and thought how me and the boys could devour one of the meatball subs – which is Pan-fried beef, veal and pork meatballs with red gravy and provolone.  Daniel said he could eat one of those alone!  There’s a lot of variety on the menu but the general idea seems to be very hearty meals. The prices look reasonable as well so we’re for sure going to try it – as a family – sometime soon.

Daniel Is So Cute!

So of course I was hoping for something nice for Valentine’s Day.  And Daniel kept telling me (like he does every year) that he doesn’t buy into all this commercial stuff and if he wants to show me he loves me he can do so any day of the year.  Normally we don’t do much (although the first year we were together – during our engagement – he did buy me chocolate hearts and take me out to a hotel for hot chocolate and cookies) but this year he surprised me.

He organized a babysitter, and booked a table at Shigezo which is a sushi restaurant in the neighborhood.  We both love sushi and what’s good about this place is that it offered a special for Valentine’s Day that was not nearly as expensive as all the other restaurants which are totally milking the opportunity as Daniel says.

It turned out to be really lovely actually.  We ended up not going cheap and getting the holiday special – because we both love sushi so much we just ordered a ton of that to share.  And then Daniel ordered a fun sweet sparkling wine for me, just to get us both in the holiday mood a bit without admitting to the fact that we were celebrating Valentine’s Day!  He is so very cute though and we both had a great time.

Music To My Ears

 

So, since Jayden really happens to like string music, we are considering going to the Mousai Remix concert – which is free (always more tempting) at the Ivories Jazz Lounge and Restaurant.  I’d never heard of this ensemble and then I read that it is very new.  The musicians are Emily Cole and Shin-young Kwon who have played violin with the Oregon Symphony as well as another violinist and a cellist.  They are to play Beethoven’s F Major Quartet, Op. 59, No.1 and Brahms C minor Quartet Op. 51, No. 1 – truthfully I’m not so familiar with these works and nor is anyone else in my family, but I know that as soon as Daniel’s dad puts on some classical music, he seems to really relax…

They are asking for donations (which is fine as it goes towards the Oregon Symphony Kinderjibzert fund which is used to try and have additional outreach performances in schools in the Portland area – so in a way, that will be benefiting us directly too.  Anyway I guess we’ll see how the day goes; it starts at 7 which isn’t too late for Jayden and my babysitter did say she’s available, so we’ll just how tired Jayden gets later on.