March Festivals in Portland

I love this time of year.  The weather is starting to change and pieces of blue sky are breaking through the clouds.  There is less rain and thus much more opportunity to enjoy the outdoors.  As such it’s a perfect time for the city to get into full gear and bring on the festivities!  I’m going to take a brief look at some of the activities that look appealing to me this month.

First – something Daniel has been harping on about – is not actually a festival per se but with the way they all celebrate there it might as well be!  The Portland Timbers’ season begins this month and runs until October.  We’ll probably try to catch a game at a Timbers bar.  But they’re also showing them at Providence Park downtown.

More up my alley is the 11th annual Portland Oregon Women’s (POW) Film Festival.  Daniel won’t be joining me for that but I will try to make a girlie night out of it.  It’s very cultured and artistic all at once and is a true celebration of the art and cinematic contribution of female filmmakers globally. with filmmaker workshops and moderated filmmaker panels, it’s a must-attend in my opinion and a great, inclusive space for all women to feel valued  and honored.

There’s an additional program for youngsters too – the POWGirls program offers workshops for girls aged 15-19 and is very self-esteem building.  In years past, honorees have included: Allison Anders, Gillian Armstrong, Irene Taylor-Brodsky, Catherine Hardwicke and Barbara Kopple.


Joe Biden’s Upcoming Visit

Death is never easy.  It doesn’t come at a convenient time and there is very little one can do in preparation for it. But when the natural order of things are reversed and a parent is burying a child, that takes on a whole new level of tragedy.

As such Joe Biden wrote a book on his experience of dealing with the death of his son Beau who passed away from cancer 2 ½ years ago.  And he’s coming to Portland to discuss this. For me personally – while thankfully I’ve never had to deal with this – death has always been so scary.  I think it’s going to be a very important talk and something everyone should attend if possible.

He’ll be at the Merrill Auditorium on January 31st as part of his countrywide tour to discuss the book, Promise Me, Dad.

So Much to Do, So Little Time!

I love Portland.  There is always so much to do (and, seemingly, so little time!).  I get so distracted by all the cool cultural activities taking place; we had none of this growing up.  I’m so glad my kids get to be part of such a rich and vibrant region.

So, I’m planning on being a part of Whiteside Theatre’s The Magic Barrel: A Reading to Fight Hunger, which is an event to raise money for the Linn Benton Food Share.  And of course, it’s going to be awesome with nine of our very own (Oregonian!) authors reading, as well as music.

There is also the Portland Youth Philharmonic Concert at Austin Auditorium with its annual season-opening concert by the youth philharmonic!  I can’t wait for Ethan to be able to be a part of that and he is looking forward to – this year – going along and enjoying it.  He truly appreciates classic music so with Beethoven’s Symphony No. 5 and Antonin Dvorak’s “Hussite Overture,” it’s sure to be a great afternoon!

Oh how I do love the culture of Portland.

Summer in the City!!!!

Really, summer is the best if you are lucky enough to live in Portland, OR.  I just love the summers here. There is so much to do and the best part? A ton of it is free!

We really made the most of our surroundings this year.  We took the kids (and a picnic) to the Adult Soap Box Derby, where we enjoyed Mount Tabor’s local (very brave!) racers tested their mettle.  So much fun!

We also did the Banks BBQ and Tractor Pull for the agricultural sports event, introducing the kid to the world of farming. The car judging was funny and my little one loved the pancake breakfast.  For me, participating in the Texas Hold’em poker tournament with my man was really a lot of fun, and took me back to our old dating days!

I felt like they really had something for everyone there as some of our friends even went to the Kelly Field church service on the Sunday. With kids games, a bank parade and the Grease Pole/Frog Jump it really was a summer to remember.

Hicham Aboutaam’s Antique Jewelry

It’s interesting how one’s tastes change as they age. I used to always love everything modern: modern TV shows and movies, artwork and jewelry. I’ve changed in middle age. I’ve started really enjoying period dramas on TV and now I just dream of ancient art.

As such I recently came across some beautiful pieces from Hicham Aboutaam’s Phoenix Ancient Art. The first one I liked (I kept the computer open on the page for my husband to ‘get the hint,’) was this unique necklace with semi-precious stones and animals. From somewhere between 1st century BC and 1st century AD, the crouching animals with front and rear legs tucked underneath are so unusual. I love the lion (although I see they are lion-griffins) and the turquoise is so striking.

Then there is the Roman Imperial Carnelian and Gold Bead necklace that manages to be both delicate and striking at the same time. Diamond shaped sheet gold beads go back to the Roman period of 2nd-3rd century AD. I simply adore that Carnelian color.