Monday, June 25, 2012

Luau Yesterday!

The building we live in has a very talented and hard working social committee and today they're treating residents to a Luau.  I just came back from the studio and ran into a committee member in the elevator.  She invited me to have a look at what will no doubt prove to be the hit of the party.    Crowded into her oven was the head and shoulder portion of an entire pig!  She told me the rest of the animal was roasting in two other ovens in the building.  The porker's skin was the most beautiful golden brown and crispy and it was all I could do to keep from stealing a piece.  Traditionally, the pig would be cooked in a sand pit, lined with hot rocks and covered with banana leaves and more sand.  This was far-removed from the actual Hawaiian way, but then, Portland is pretty-far removed from Hawaii!  The important thing--and every Hawaiian will tell you this--is that if the Aloha Spirit is in your heart, it's with you wherever you are.  I like that, don't you?
Amy and DeDe partake of the roast pig.  The mouthwatering aroma filled the building.
Bernhild and Kris kept us in pork and rum punch.  And, yes, they made me drink too much, but, after all...I AM a sailor and was in no mood to contract Scurvy on such a fine day!  After the Luau, I invited them to a hukilau, but they had better things to do.  Darn!
Two of Nature's perfect foods...Hawaiian pineapple and SPAM!  Sweet and salty--what's not to like!
Michele.  She made a pu-pu platter of grilled SPAM and pineapple.  You've gotta respect tradition!  She's trying really hard to pretend she doesn't know me.  Can you blame her?!
Michele's creation.  The pineapple half, adorned with the treats was awe-inspiring--and tasty!
 David, appropriately adorned for the Luau, took lots of photos, too.  Here, he's showing-off, combining the Hula with the Limbo.  For those of you not familiar with Hawaiian culture, wondering what's worn under a grass skirt....the answer is a kilt.  Who knew?
 Bev, contemplating which delicious treat to eat next.  In the background, Michele uses Hula Hands to invite Sam to re-load his plate with more SPAM and pineapple pu-pu's.  Sam's laughing at her suggestion.  He thought she said, "Wanna go grab a pizza, Sailor Man?"
A table of neighbors enjoying the feast.  They were sitting closest to the roast pig!
Cam, obviously enjoying himself.  How many rum punches today, Cam?!
Aloha, Sam!  Party On!  I know it's difficult to tell from this photo, but Sam really is having fun.  Now, if we could only get him to un-tuck his Aloha shirt and "Hang Loose".
  Henry did a heck of a job serving the pork and keeping me away.  It's truly amazing his lei didn't wilt!
James, Bev's husband allowed me to interrupt his feasting for this photo.  Though he wasn't exactly wearing an "Aloha Shirt", at least it was the color of the Hawaiian State Flower, the yellow hibiscus.  That's Linda in the background with Sam and Michele, in yellow, too.  Great minds... 
Bill, just back from a mixed martial arts cage match (the obvious winner!) having a great time.  He's one tough Dude.  His lei, is made from Kukui nuts he cracked just by looking at them!  Ouch!!
This visually stunning and fabulously delicious fruit pastry was provided by our good friend, Nieves.  I was lucky to get a photo before it was gone!
Patty, pleading with Hula hands for "No more food!"  Or she may have been saying, "Get lost Camera Boy!"  "Camera Boy" is Hawaiian for "Paparazzi Moron". 
Cash and his Dad, David, partied while Mom kept the rest of us well-supplied with pork and rum.
This noble animal gave his all for the Luau and we honor him here.  Roast pua'a was the star, and yes--for those inquiring minds...there was an apple in his mouth.  I cropped it out since this is a family-friendly Blog.
Eugene Valjean, always has a great time at building parties.  And yes, his name is pretty-much like the character from, "Les Miserables".
Susan Lienhart brings this photo album to a close.  You can see she just didn't want it to end!  No Hula Hands here--This is the universal gesture for "More wine, I'm a two-fisted drinker!"

A great time was had by all, including yours truly.  It was confirmed by the not-so-subtle headache which afflicted me later in the evening.  On the plus side.....NO SCURVY!  Mahalo (Thanks) to the Social Committee and their fearless leader, Susan Rinker.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Mr. Takahashi, Thursday, June 21, 2012.

Many subtle changes have been made since the last post of Mr. Takahashi, though even I find it challenging to keep track. 

My day was inspiring to put it mildly.  I visited the Portland Art Museum this morning to have a look at the exhibit of  "Selections from the Irvine Museum".  The sixty paintings explore the work of a group of artists referred to as California Impressionists in the late 19th and early 20th centuries. 

Their work is breathtaking.  I have a book covering these artists and their work, but to finally see many of the paintings in-person was awe-inspiring.  My first pass through the rooms could be called frantic.  I had to see everything and did.  A second lap around was more controlled and I actually read the names and dates beside each work.  I'm still hard-pressed to express how these paintings made me feel.  I will return many times before the show is over.  If you're ever able to visit the Irvine Museum, don't miss the opportunity.  I could go on and on about these paintings, but you get the idea.

A bonus to today's visit to the museum was a huge painting by Francis Bacon, "Figure Writing Reflected in Mirror", painted in 1976.  I've got a book on Bacon, but this is the first time I've seen one of his paintings in-person.  The word, "unique", doesn't do justice to his work.  Truly, he was one of a kind.

Finally, after the museum visit, I came home and changed for a long jog to the studio.  I was on the east side of the South Waterfront condo towers when I looked to my right and there, moving silently on the Willamette River, northbound, was the Portland Spirit cruise ship.  It was strikingly beautiful against the dark green of the trees covering Ross Island.  And to top off the day, one of the osprey pair was on the nest.  Just another day in Portland.  Hope your day was a good one, too.  

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Pride Day in Portland.

Today's BIG EVENT was the Pride Parade.  Waterfront Park was lined with big tents and many thousands of people out to celebrate unity in diversity.  I just happened to be on my normal jog to the studio, via the Eastbank Esplanade, when I noticed the huge crowds across the river.  As I crossed the Steel Bridge to the west bank, the big Pride Parade was just turning a corner onto Naito Parkway.

 My timing could not have been better.  Most of the large crowd was closer to the tents which featured entertainment and food, so I had a front row spot to get these photos.  Last night, Portland held it's annual "Naked Bike Ride", too, so there was more to see than the law allows this weekend.  I was only able to get one photo of the bike ride, but I think the censors had their way with it.  Sorry! 

Though I seriously doubt it's possible, I hope your weekend was even half as interesting and colorful!

A vintage taxi from Radio Cab.  I haven't the foggiest idea why this was in the parade.
This club participated in the recent Dragon Boat races, held annually as part of the Rose Festival.
Here come the Amazon Dragons!
A shot of the large crowd having a great day, celebrating diversity.

Not a great shot of the food and entertainment tents, but you've gotta love the rainbow balloons.
As I neared my studio, a spontaneous mini-parade was heading toward Waterfront Park.  It was colorful, loud and proud.  And to end this travel-jog, here's a photo from the Naked Bike Ride;
Darn!  The censors got it!  Guess you'll just have to visit Portland, or a city near you, and catch the action in person.  Almost forgot...of course I worked on Mitsuru's portrait today, too.

Sunday, June 10, 2012

The Fleet's In. Rose Festival, 2012.

I left the studio a little early today in order to jog to Waterfront Park and get some photos of the Navy ships here for the Rose Festival.  A couple of days ago, I was able to watch the first ship arrive, but I missed the other visitors as they arrived a day or two later.  Click on the photos to enlarge.
The guided missile destroyers, U.S.S. William P. Lawrence and U.S.S. Dewey.
 Automated deck guns are still part of the armament of these two guided missile destroyers
A few of the many visitors who toured the ships.
I swear, the bow is so sharp you could shave on it!  It's top speed must be VERY FAST.

The U.S.S. William P. Lawrence (DDG-110), U.S.S. Dewey (DDG-105) and the U.S.S. Ingraham (FFG-61) representing the U.S. Navy.
Coast Guard fast boats patrolled the perimeter of the mooring area...just in case.
The Coast Guard patrol boats also escorted civilian watercraft upriver at a safe distance from the moored naval vessels.
My perch for the photo opportunity was the upper level of the Steel Bridge.  A M.A.X. (Metropolitan Area Express) light rail train and a bicyclist passing by.

U.S.C.G.C. Alert (WMEC-630), U.S.C.G.C. Henry Blake (WLM-563), U.S.C.G.C. Adelie (WPB-87333) and U.S.C.G.C. Invincible II (WLB-52313)  representing the U.S. Coast Guard.
 This is the U.S. Coast Guard Cutter Alert (WMEC-630) photographed through the Burnside Bridge.

HMCS Oriole representing the Royal Canadian Navy.
Here is the Royal Canadian ship Oriole, photographed from the East Bank Esplanade.  "City Fair", a carnival, food and entertainment extravaganza is going on along the Tom McCall Waterfront Park. 

PT-658, representing the World War II Motor Torpedo Boats.

I didn't get photos of all the vessels, but this gives you a pretty good idea of the Rose Festival Fleet.  It was a beautiful day for a run and all outdoor activities.  A great way to end the festival!

Work Continues On Mr. Takahashi's Portrait.

Mr. Takahashi, June 10, 2012.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

What A Day!

Yes, indeed.  What started out to be a routine jog a couple of miles to the Northwest "Trader Joe's", became a simply amazing day.  And all of what you are about to see was unplanned or imagined.  Just pure luck.  Even more amazing was the fact that I was returning my camera to the studio, so I was able to record the events.  Remember, click on the images for a close-up view.

  First, I came across a spot just off SW Broadway, between a couple of theaters, set-up for a free lunchtime concert.  Just so happens the featured act was the Marine Air Wing band out of San Diego.  I had to stop and have a chat with a couple of the performers.  They seem to be having a great time here and were looking forward to more.  And let us not forget today is the anniversary of "D-Day", June 6, 1944. 

 Next, I ran across the Wednesday Farmers Market on the South Park Blocks near Salmon Street.  It's smaller than the huge market on Saturday, but it was perfect for today.  After cruising the available fare, I continued on my way northwest.  Mostly sightseeing followed with some interesting shops and businesses.  As I got close to my studio, I came upon another outdoor concert, but this one featured a Navy Band.  They were entertaining a good crowd outside the "Big Pink" building, so I had no opportunity to chat.  Back at the studio, more work on Henry's portrait until four-thirty, when I decided to stop and head to the waterfront to see if any of the Fleet Week ships might be coming in.

 The area was mostly prepared for visiting ships from the U.S. and Canadian navies, as well as, the U.S. Coast Guard.  Lots of fencing was in place and even an emergency response trailer.  Usually, the ships are very well received and the sailors treated to some excellent liberty.  So, again I was lucky.  The Steel Bridge was raised and I watched a U.S. Coast Guard Buoy Tender pass beneath.  Quite a crowd was gathering as more ships were expected to arrive in the coming hours.  A Portland fire boat was waiting for the Tender and once it cleared the bridge, the fire boat fired it's water cannons in salute and led the Tender toward it's temporary berth along the sea wall.  Quite a day!  Hope your day was interesting, too.

This is "Ruby Jewell's" husband selling his wife's famous hand-made ice-cream sandwiches.  I resisted!  More from the Farmers Market follows.
The flowers for sale were stunning.
More temptations!  Luckily, I had no time for such pleasures.

"Carlo" at work.  It really killed me to pass on these, but I warmed up being close to the grill.
Carrots!  This display looked like something out of a "foodie" magazine.  My vision improved from just beholding these beauties!

She seemed as sweet as her tarts.
These gentlemen represented Sun Gold Farms with lots of fresh veggies and some flowers, too.
A beautiful small sculpture in the midst of the site of this Farmers Market.
This poor thing was between Sterling Coffee Roasters and the NW Trader Joe's market.  Must've gotten hit by a car.
Urban Fondue is one of the many interesting restaurants in this Northwest section of Portland.  Trader Joe's is just behind.
Antiques and Oddities, or should I have spelled it, "Antiqes"?  Anyway, lots of great stuff inside.  This store is located just west of I-405 on Everett Street.
This nice Buddha welcomes all to Antiques and Oddities.
Roses above and below the I-405 overpass.  After all, Portland is called, "The Rose City"!
Saw these California Poppies in the yard of an old Victorian home along the route today.
In the Pearl District now, at a place called, "Cargo".  It's all things oriental spread across two floors.  It is great fun to visit this place.  Even the outside welcomes you in with color and life.
A closer view of the Cargo entrance.
Sizzle Pie Pizza on West Burnside used to be the famous, "Rocco's Pizza".  Things change!
Near the studio now, I was surprised to see a Navy band entertaining the lunchtime crowd.  The female singer really had the crowd moving.
 The Portland Fire Boat waiting to salute the arriving Coast Guard Buoy Tender this afternoon.
Under the Steel Bridge and ready to be led to it's temporary berth along the sea wall of Waterfront Park.
As the two ships moved further north, the waters turned red, white and blue.  Sweet
There they go.  Many visitors will board these two vessels in the next few days.

Here's a shot of the Tiffany Center, famous for, among other things, this fine mural.
For those of you from foreign lands, the University of Oregon "Ducks" had an excellent football season last year, culminating in a Rose Bowl victory.  How nice is it to celebrate the Rose Festival!
 This is the attribution plaque for a unique sculpture "attached" or "growing" along side a downtown building.  I remember the first time I came across this most creative endeavor during our first year in Portland.  It amazed me then and it amazes me still today.  Here we go...
I believe these are the first photos of this iconic work of art I've put on this blog.  I use the word "iconic" because Oregon has always been a major timber and wood products producer in this country and this sculpture, no matter how one interprets it, certainly suggests something about the forests and trees.  On the opposite entry wall, another piece comes out of the wall.  Truly, it is an arresting public work of art.  Here is a closer view:
I'll have to look it up on Google or Wikipedia to learn more about this wonder of Portland.  Okay, folks, that's it for today.  To top it all off, Mount Hood was spectacular this evening.  As we dined on Michele's wonderful dinner, the white mantle turned to orange to lavender to deep purple.  We will miss this place, no matter how much we love Hawaii.