Portland International Film Festival

BelleI was so glad we made it to the 37th Portland International Film Festival.  There was so much I wanted to see (I didn’t get to it all) and it’s such a great cultural happening.  I mean there was no way I was going to get to see even a fraction of the 128 movies being screened, but still, I was definitely putting the event on my Portland calendar for the week!  I even got to the opening night with Daniel on 6th February and made him watch the English period drama, Belle.  He thought it was “okay.”  I thought it was spectacular. What he did enjoy a lot however was the opening night party.  No surprises there I guess!

I dunno.  Call me old-fashioned or something but I really like the idea of going to the movies like we used to, back in the olden days.  We would dress up and get excited for a night at the Odeon.  A lot has changed since then given the ease of movie access.  So when a film festival appears on the Portland calendar, I sure will make the most of it!

Portland Entertainment – The Boat Show

boatsThe annual 2014 Portland Boat Show – in its 54th year – included a large variety of categories.  Some examples were: runabouts, behemoths, car-toppers and more.  Really there was something for everyone and my husband came home salivating.   At least that’s all he came home with.  He knows the state of our bank account!

Oh, that and some stories from the show.  He told me that people were selling used boats at the show – something that they had started only a year ago.  And then there was the whole promotion of using renewable energy for boat design.  Apparently we know anyway (well I didn’t but Daniel did!) that boats that run on gas are real energy suckers although that might change soon.  Boats might soon come with solar panels and at the show, Solar Tracker 360 – a local company – came and explained how this would work.

I know how much Daniel dreams of owning a boat.  And I understand it, truly I do, especially living in Portland boasting the Pacific Ocean and the stunning lakes and rivers.  But right now we just don’t have the capital.  I hope though, someday, his dream comes true, but for now, he can just admire the boats at the show and I can just take the kids for Sunday trips on the region’s rivers.

Portland Happenings for Christmas

aleOkay so what are we going to be doing for Christmas?  Of course the usual stuff of trees and presents.  But what about activities?    We have long holidays for the kids and so it’s about time I started scouring the papers for Portland happenings for all the family.

The first thing I thought that might be of interest was the Tuba Christmas.  There’s going more over 225 tuba players rocking away at the Pioneer Courthouse Square.  It’s not exactly my kind of thing but a lot of the neighbors are going and so Jayden will have a ton of friends there.  As I always say, if my kids are having fun, then it’ll be relaxing for me and Daniel. And who knows?  I might even get a bit of a cultural education along the way.  Plus, it’s free!

I told Daniel I’d go with him to the Holiday Ale Festival if he comes along – strictly for a laugh – to the Ugly Christmas Sweater knitting event.  Not so sure he’ll stick to his side of the bargain, but, truthfully I’m secretly looking forward to the annual ale celebration.  Featuring over 50 winter ales I think I’m going to try the Spiced Unicorn Milk ale from Stone Brewing, California.  Definitely sounds different. It’s only $30 and you get a free beer mug.

That should keep us busy for a while.  Or, if not busy, at least inebriated enough not to know the difference!  Here’s to a very merry Christmas!  Be sure to share your photos!

Portland Environment: High Ratings

portlandIt seems that Portland’s environment is an enviable one.  I recently heard that there was a Japanese crew in the city, finding it to be one of the world’s “most sustainable cities.”  Along with three other cities, Portland has been chosen to be part of “The Future of Spaceship Earth” series published by Japan’s NHK.   According to director of the documentary Hiroki Inoue, the “documentary will look at the negative impacts to the environment due to people’s comfortable lives today and how it endangers the future of the earth.”

This isn’t really all that surprising to me.  As it is, Portland has a whole slew of non-profit organizations working hard to sustain and promote the health of its environment.  One of these is the Oregon Sierra Club which seeks to conserve the Oregon natural environment by influencing public policy decisions—legislative, administrative, legal, and electoral.  A member of EarthShare Oregon this organization has been working to protect Oregon’s environment and natural resources since 1978. Today, the Sierra Club has eight staff members in Oregon, working alongside volunteers to “advance the chapter’s conservation priorities.”

Then there is the Protect South Portland group which, a few months ago obtained over 4,000 signatures to force a city-wide vote to block the export of oil sands. Its aim is to protect the region “from toxic tar sands oil, which would lead to more air pollution and additional oil infrastructure on our waterfront, like smokestacks next to Bug Light park.”

These are just a few of the organizations making efforts in the name of Portland environment.  I for one, am glad to be living in a place surrounded by so many concerned individuals who believe that our environment is important to us.

Improving the Portland environment

I am so glad that I live in a city that cares so much about the environment.  I feel that Portland officials are constantly striving to improve the world by taking on green initiatives. In the next few days the city council will be voting on whether or not to put a ban on food containers made from polystyrene foam (aka Styrofoam). I soooo hope this goes through as this material is incredibly detrimental to our environment.

I’m also really impressed with how the campaign for the ban started – when schools stopped using it in their cafeterias. It was then that Ed Suslovic jumped on the bandwagon and starting campaigning for more of the same thing – a true ban on the use of the material.

styrofoam-cupsIt’s true that it’s going to affect some small businesses (at least that’s what the argument against the ban is) but truthfully I care less about that than I do about the Portland environment.    I guess I am somewhat more sympathetic though to the hospitals.  According to City Hall liaison for the Portland Community Chamber Chris O’Neil, on a study conducted by Maine Medical Center on its Styrofoam usage in cafeterias, there would be an addition $400,000-$500,000 per annum to dispose of what they currently use for polystyrene.  He added, “it’s a lot of money that will get passed along to – well – a lot of us – health insurance carriers and patients.”

Still, even with all that, I sure hope the vote goes in favor of the ban.  There is no price tag for the Portland environment.