Reuniting, Loft Living & a Hand Made Book Artist

Trip Start Jul 12, 2013
Trip End Jul 26, 2013

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Flag of United States  , Oregon
Sunday, July 14, 2013

Reuniting, Loft Living and Meeting a Hand Made Book Artist In Portland, they have traffic circles but unlike any place we have ever been there is a stop light at every entry point. It's institutionalizing courtesy in drivers.  What would a tourist from Rome ever think of this?  And when we arrived at Accanto for our breakfast brunch at 10:30AM, there were actually parking spaces on the street where we could park for free.  What would a city like Miami Beach ever do without parking revenue?  Once a year, there is a bicycle race here in Portland – the only thing is that the bicyclists are nude!  With over a thousand participants of both genders, I’m not quite sure how I would react if I was driving in the area and traffice stopped as the bicyclists passed by!  Close my eyes or gape?  Harvey wants to know if they  wear sneakers because then they wouldn’t be totally nude.


Gosh it feels good to hug friends you haven’t seen in a long time!   We meet  Stu and Susan as well as  Phineas (Stu’s son) Chelsea (wife) and their son, Kai for Sunday brunch.  The young Kai of course is the center of attention for quite some time and then he quietly sits as we catch up on this and that in each other’s lives.  Harvey calls these kinds of restaurants fu fu food and his stomach can’t handle the ingredients of the brunch dishes so he goes for over-medium cooked eggs and a homemade biscuit – nice and safe.  Remembering the oysters of the Oregon coast from our last trip, I order the Hangtown Fry which is scrambled duck eggs tossed with mixed greens, fried oysters and toast.  Oh my G, the crispy & crunchy breading of the oysters had a soft inside and were so flavorful, as did the duck eggs – a real  yummy surprise.    Susan, a keen photographer is proficient with the iphone histomatic and Phineas, Chelsea and Kai provided plenty of photos ops – the John S lens with the C-Type Plate film – got to try that myself!

Loft Living

Portland is a city of neighborhoods each with a distinct personality.   The Pearl District in NW Portland  has so many art galleries you could easily spend a day visiting them – but we’ve come here on past visits for the outdoor clothing stories such as REI and Patagonia.  In fact, when we’re hiking we’re usually decked out in Patagonia clothing and we could be a walking advertisement for them.

But today we experience this district from another perspective.  After  a walk among tall old trees at Laurelhurst Park near the brunch restaurant, we made our way back to Susan’s condo studio apartment in this old converted loft building.   How neat is this.  At first her loft totally overwhelmed me  - I didn’t know where to look first!  Her photography and monotypes are displayed as well as so many unique furniture and decorative elements that somehow go together in a tactile, relaxing and luxurious way.   I can feel that this is a very special place that is all Susan.  I really loved to hear about an artist’s process, and Susan showed me her monotypes where she paints on plexiglass and I can’t remember the entire process at this time – but which she creates one-of-a-kind pieces.  You can see some of her work here:

We girls stepped out to City Market to see what fresh fish was available for dinner tomorrow night.  What a treat to be taken to her favorite market – most everything is locally sourced  and so very fresh and seasonal – rock fish that looks like a snapper, some goat and sheep cheeses and watermelon.  Susan is a foodie and I can see where her approach of using the freshest ingredients and cooking simply come from.  I loved hearing her listen to the fish man suggest how to cook the rockfish and then talking with her afterwards about how she will prepare it.  We’re going to be doing several home rentals in the coming year, and I’ve got keen interest in foods and how to simply prepare them.  That’s one reason for those of you who know me and are surprised with all the photos of food that I’m taking that I’m trying to taste and learn.

We sat on the rooftop terrace and took in the city views and on this clear day we could actually see Mt Rainier in Washington State on the distant horizon!  It takes some getting to use to see snow covered mountains from the city!

An unforgettable meeting with a handmade book artist.

Nancy B. Palmer is Susan’s neighbor, just across the hall.  And I am so thankful to Susan for picking up the phone and asking Nancy if we might come over and see her HAND MADE BOOKS.  Yes, for the first time in my life, I met someone who writes  exquisite stories about love, secrets, names (and more) , who loves words, uses the letter press, and creates unique containers and bindings that reflect the book’s subject.  I cannot even express how much I enjoyed seeing her pieces, talking with her about her process – and at one point, we all sat down and I read one of the books out loud to us all.  It’s been eight years since she has created a book - she says she has no more stories to tell.  But I suspect that with an assistant, some of her writing that she has would turn up a tale that would be just great in a handmade book.  I so admire her work and feel privileged to have met her.

All and all a really good day!

The three-hour time difference between the east and west coast is catching up with us and we’ll be putting our heads on the pillow shortly.

Nighty night.

A Side Note:  Please remember that I only spend 20 minutes, a max of 30 writing each day – so if words are not making sense, please forgive me.  I write quickly to get my impressions down while their fresh (I don’t have the same memory I’ve had in the past) and clear my mind so I can start tomorrow with fresh eyes.

Tomorrow we’re off to a cabin on the McKenzie River.  I’m not sure if they have internet, but if they do I will post!

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Beverly on

This segment is VERY interesting, Margie! Great that you shared it...I can imagine making my own book from cover to cover..along with writing the story,,Wow!
And - living in an artist's loft...awesome!

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