June 09, 2007


Questions for today:

1. Why, when Dianna looked at the Portland weather forecast for this weekend and discovered a 40% chance of rain, did she decide to leave her umbrella, raincoat, and boots at home? Here a 40% chance of rain does not mean it is slightly less than likely that it will rain, it means it will rain for 40% of the day. And possibly drizzle for the other 60%.

1a. Will her 12-year-old leaky Chucks dry while she is sitting in this delightful internet cafe slash gaming establishment, and if they do not, is it worth it to go and buy a pair of $5 sandals so that her feet can get wet without the bother of socks and blisters?

2. What on earth was the Granada Hills Highland Marching Band doing in the Portland Rose Festival Grand Floral Parade this morning?

3. Whatever happened to the ever-so-cheerful and friendly girl who was supposed to meet Dianna yesterday to talk about rooming together? Has she been washed away by the rain?

3a. Do you, like Dianna, find it hilarious that one of the people who emailed Dianna via Craigslist to offer an apartment share was willing to answer any question except, "what general part of town is your apartment in?" It's the strangest thing to be cagey about. When I asked for at least a neighborhood I got the response, "well, I guess it isn't going to work out, sorry."

4. Will Dianna survive if she doesn't manage to find an apartment in the Alberta district RIGHT NOW OMG WHY IS IT SO NEAT THERE?

4a. Is it embarrassing that she walked into Vita Cafe, Alberta's rather prominent vegan/vegetarian cafe, and asked if it was possible to get a vegan lunch there, or is it just serendipitously amusing?

5. Why aren't my socks dry yet????

6. Sigh.

Posted by dianna at June 9, 2007 01:35 PM

Portland! Your characterization of northwest weather (#1) is spot-on. If you're going to sandals, though, you should wear them with your socks. It's the only way to fit in up there.

Does this mean you found a job, or are up there searching for both housing and job? Are you just up for the weekend? This is so exciting.

Posted by: Jacob at June 9, 2007 03:37 PM

PS - When I told my brother you were moving to Portland, he commented, "She'll need to peg her jeans to fit in."

Posted by: Jacob at June 9, 2007 03:41 PM

Wait a second. Alberta!?!
I just googled NE Portland and found that time does indeed march on. When I was growing up, that was the most dangerous area in the entire city. It sounds like a lot of fun, these days. Glad to hear that it's improved so much.

Posted by: Jacob at June 9, 2007 04:15 PM

I'm trying to think of one possible scenario in which someone renting a room in a fabulous, or even acceptable, neighborhood would retract the offer as soon as he/she was asked to identify said fabulous, or even acceptable, neighborhood. (I love the fact that your mere request for a general location made it clear that "it wasn't going to work out.") So far the only reason I can think of is that the person was too modest to identify the glitzy, upscale environs of the apartment, for fear you'd feel outclassed. See? It's not necessarily that they didn't want to tell you that they live in a neighborhood called Muggers' Alley or Crackhead Cove.

Or Prostitute Pier. Or Cutthroat Crossing. Or Gamblers' Grotto. Or Rue des Ruffians. Or Scoundrels' Mound. Or the Corsairs' Lair. Or the Wenches' Bench.

But then, I would want to live in all of those places, and I strongly suspect that it would have sealed the deal for you, too.

Posted by: katie at June 9, 2007 05:52 PM

alberta was pretty cool (though parts of it/NE portland still kind of sketchy as they were in jacob's day). i also really like pearl and nob hill districts. and the east side of portland...it was either hawthorne or burnside street had a vegeatarian/vegan grocery store that jason and i got scones at (sooo good). and there was a cool music store and used clothing store and food and cafe places.

have you been to powell's?!?!!? i want to go there when i'm in oregon in a week, but i think i will be trapped on the beach the whole time. oh, my life is pain, the oregon coast is such a trial to spend time on, wah wah wah. but powells! sigh. i'll eat a lot of salt water taffy to make up for it, i guess.

Posted by: michele at June 9, 2007 06:23 PM

Multiple cities should not be allowed to have neighborhoods with the same nicknames, like Nob Hill. That is way too confusing.

Same goes for naming a neighborhood in your city after an actual city in another country, like Alberta. What's next, an area of Oakland called Portugal? This is madness.

Posted by: katie at June 9, 2007 07:49 PM

ooo, also, (possibly i've told you about this before) but in downtown portland on 4th and stark there is a restaurant called veganopolis (http://www.veganopolis.com/). veganopolis! ha! downtown is also pretty cool. i liked the tiny quaintness of chinatown (the chinese gardens [http://www.portlandchinesegarden.org/] looked adorable even though i didn't actually have a chance to go in) and the area around the museum/pioneer square.

Posted by: michele at June 10, 2007 11:18 AM

Jacob, you are SO behind the times. Ever since I've started looking for places to live here all I've been hearing is Alberta this and Alberta that. It got the Mission District treatment in a big way, and now it's twenty blocks of independent bars and coffeeshops and art galleries with side streets full of nicely-restored old houses that hipsters are drooling over. If that makes me a hipster, so be it. Was Mississippi also scary dangerous when you lived in the area? Because that's the other one becoming suddenly DEEPLY HIP.

I am looking for housing and a job -- I may have found the housing, and I have a job interview tomorrow. If I find no job I will still move here and keep looking, because by god, it is Portland and I can afford to.

Katie, the only odd part about your comment (because you wanting to live on Wenches' Bench, or for that matter in Couch Park, is not odd at all) is that Portland actually doesn't seem to have any Mugger's Alley or Crackhead Cove. Don't listen to Jacob. It thinks in its tiny way that it's got shady neighborhoods and I do not believe it for a second. It is well-scrubbed and respectable. Or more to the point, the relentless march of artsyfication is driving out whatever ghetto pockets remain. Which I suppose does beg the question of where they're going and to what effect. Hrm.

I have been to Veganopolis! Not on this trip, but last trip. It was tasty. I was pleased.

Posted by: Dianna at June 10, 2007 08:21 PM

Waitwaitwait. Are Alberta and Mississippi street names or neighborhood names? And are we still talking about places that are contained within Portland? I'm trying to figure out if I need to get all huffy about this or not.

Posted by: katie at June 10, 2007 10:09 PM

Also, I'd kind of gotten my hopes up about Scoundrels' Mound.

Posted by: katie at June 10, 2007 10:14 PM

Scoundrels' Mound, eh? I liked Rue des Ruffians personally. It has a nice flavor of international brigandry.

Alberta and Mississippi are both street names which are being used to describe the areas surrounding certain portions of said streets (but not certain other portions, so, for instance, where Mississippi and Alberta actually meet is still pretty sketchy and my attempt to see both places at once with great efficiency was totally unsuccessful although I did get to talk with a wizened elderly woman with bright pink lipstick about her motorcycle trip), kind of a la Mission or Castro. Does that mean you need to be huffy, or not?

Also, to go back for a moment to Jacob's much earlier excitement about this moving business, I kept getting asked if I knew people in Portland and I'd explain that I knew people threatening to move there but I was placing myself in the vanguard. So look out for a sudden deluge of invitations to visit and be seduced by the metropolis, once I get settled therein.

Posted by: Dianna at June 11, 2007 09:23 PM

Wait, damn, Mississippi and Alberta don't meet. So I was on some other street nearby where they would have met, and finding it sketchy.

Posted by: Dianna at June 11, 2007 09:25 PM

Speaking of knowing people in Portland, I have a few friends still kicking around up there; let me know if you want some introductions. But, as you say in your next post, Northwesterners are nice. You'll know plenty of people in no time.

Posted by: Jacob at June 12, 2007 09:31 AM

That is an entirely foreign concept to me. In LA even more than here, anyone who doesn't already know you doesn't want to get to know you. I'm picturing a gradient heading northward, so that if I went to Baja I'd be constantly beaten up by random strangers, but if I got as far as British Columbia someone would meet me in the airport with flowers and a puppy.

A magazine that I was reading while in town described a coffeeshop somewhere within Portland city limits which sports the following sign: Unattended Children Will Be Given An Espresso And A Free Puppy.

It's actually a really good incentive for parents to keep an eye on their kids. You wander away for too long and your child will be bouncing off the walls and dragging a big exuberant bundle of clumsy paws and drooly tongue.

Posted by: Dianna at June 12, 2007 10:24 AM

If you get as far as the north pole I believe that Santa is actually required by international law to give you a free tour of his workshop, as many toys as you can carry, hot chocolate and vegan marshmallows made by Mrs. Claus, and a free ride home either in his sleigh or on a reindeer of your choice. This certainly looks good for your longitudinal gradient theory, although it does make me very wary of getting anywhere near Tierra del Fuego.

Posted by: lisa at June 15, 2007 06:31 PM

Dianna has a longitudinal gradient theory? What the heck does that even mean?

Posted by: katie at June 15, 2007 07:35 PM