Sunday, January 23, 2011

Portland Neighborhood Ramble: North Williams edition

Got out of the house this weekend for a little ramble to one of Portland's many small destination neighborhoods. But first, I got the morning started off right with an entirely counter-intuitive rewards system. That is: 

The reward for weight loss is CAKE!

Alexandra and I, to celebrate a double-fabulous Weight Watchers week, went straight from our meeting to the supermarket, where bought ourselves two slabs of cake, split them in half, and ATE THEM ALL UP. It was wonderful. I think it might have been my reward idea to start with (forget dangling a carrot; dangle cake!) but Alexandra really took it over. On the way down the aisle to the bakery section, she was so single-minded. I was trying to tell her a story, and she couldn't process it. Her mind was on a loop like this:


Halfway through eating the cake, I paused my devouring long enough to tell her another story (like: the plot of my current book!), and while I was talking, she finished her cake, and I did not. I still had half left, and Alexandra commenced to eyeball it a ruefully.

I didn't plan it, I swear, but I'm told that when I was little, one of the few strategies I had for getting the better of my older (bigger, stronger) brother, was to tease him in just this manner. When we would get a treat, he would wolf his down straightaway, and I would savor mine, just so I could gloat it over him when his was all gone. Ha ha! I had a friend who had done the same thing to her younger sister only it backfired. When her mom caught her mid-taunt, she forced her to share her remainder. Ha ha!

Anyway, cake was had by us, and it was low-brow supermarket cake, and it was awesome.

After, we went up to North Williams Ave, this sort of new stretch of shops and cafes in majorly gentrifying North Portland. (It's near Mississippi Ave, which will be the focus of one of the neighborhood rambles soon!) We only went to a few places, so this is a short ramble. First of all, check this out. It says: Lodekka: double decker dress shop. How awesome is that? A dress shop in a double decker bus!!!

{more below!}

We were in need of coffee, and I was at long last going to get my hands on some pages of Alexandra's writing, which she has been taunting me with for so long -- come to think of it, maybe I did save my cake on purpose, in retribution! The cafe was standing-room only, so we found ourselves at the lovely lovely Pix Patisserie, home to snarfelicious goodness like bacon croissants and "Amelie" cake*

*Amelie cake: Orange vanilla crème brûlée sits atop a glazed chocolate mousse with caramelized hazelnuts,
praline crisp, and Cointreau génoise

*fans self* 

Lord have mercy!

We were greeted outside by this squat gentleman: 


We did not have more cake. I swear.

I had this weird feeling the whole time that we were being watched...

After Pix, the main reason we went to Williams: Ink & Peat, a beautiful combination home store and florist shop. Funny about this place: Jim and I discovered it a few months back while on a toy store mission to the neighborhood, and we decided to keep it to ourselves, for the purpose of getting gifts for my mom and Alexandra -- you know, you can't have your giftees shop at the same stores you do! Meanwhile, Alexandra found it on her own, and her own first impulse was to keep it secret for the same reason. Ha ha. Neither of us followed through, obviously!

Purty chocolates ...

Look at this coffee table! It's an antique tilt cart from a woolen mill -- how cool! It completely invokes my new and passionate love for antique industrial *stuff*. I gave it my address, and promised it a future of cupcakes and candles and fresh flower arrangements if would just come and live with us :-) 

Hey, it has wheels, maybe I'll just hook it up to the bumper and . . .

Lots more Ink & Peat photos at their blog, housemartin, and also Hoobubby's blog, as she posted about it a couple of weeks ago. After copious drooling, we went to meet Jim and Clementine, and got lunch.

Cha Cha Cha taqueria:

The food was good, but judging by this enthusiastic photo,
the company wasn't so great ...

See, I told you it was a short ramble, definitely doesn't do North Williams justice! We'll have to hit it again some day, and flesh it out.

Hope you all had a nice weekend!


Hello Hoobubby / Alexandra said...

Ha! You guys had great company, the best ever. It was Clementine and I that had to suffer through a very childish lunch-
just 6 more days and MORE cake can be had....all over again! And again and again....Every moment brings us closer to next Saturday but remember: it only takes ONE of us to sabotage it for BOTH of us so choose very thoughtfully on my behalf please, and on cake's behalf. I'm also up for subbing cake with movie popcorn on occasion! Or Mother's Bistro French toast. Or Yuki's. Or Pix chocolate soufflé. Or Gene's eight decker beet-fish pie.

tone almhjell said...

What an excellent strategy! My plan to keep the paws out of the bicuit jar is failing miserably after a week of cold and self-pity. Also, I don't know what to do with myself when I'm writing. It seems my thoughts can't cohere unless my jaws are moving. And carrots? Carrots don't cut it. Carrots don't feed the mind.

I want to come with you guys and have coffee and talk books and plots and writing!

By the way, my sister totally did that gloaty thing. Actually I'm not sure if she did it on purpose. She just took her sweet time. But both me and our younger brother would stare at her loot, absolutely convinced that she must have gotten more than us. Unbearable.

tone almhjell said...

P.S. Checked out carrots for the sake of research. Nice crunch, not enough sugar. Was obliged to have marzipan cookie to recover.

Shveta Thakrar said...

Oh, Laini, you have so much fun! I've only been to Portland once, but your posts are really enticing me to travel there again.

Thank you for reminding us how much modern-day beauty and magic there can be in our own country. (I mean, a dress shop in a double-decker bus? Wow!)

We did not have more cake. I swear.

I don't know if I believe this, though. . . *grin*

Anonymous said...

Laini, why are you and Ms. Hobubby on WW? Seriously, my nosy self really wants to know. You both look slim and gorgeous from what I can see.

Really loving your neighbor photoblog rambles. It's so cool how you can go on a mini-vacation in your own town.

Laini Taylor said...

Hoobubby, yes, high hopes for another reward treat on Saturday. But WHAT??? Hm . . . must contemplate! And meanwhile: focus on a good week :-) Not popcorn though. That is not sufficiently enticing to me.

Tone, I SO wish you were here too for coffee and writing chat and also Magnus and Clementine play dates where I picture us sitting somewhere charming with tea cups watching them be adorable!

(And I laud your carrot research. I could have told you it would not suffice, but some things must be learned firsthand :-)

Shveta, ha ha, you skeptic! We did NOT eat more cake, and furthermore, for lunch we both had very healthy salads!

Anonymous, hm, you sound kind of familiar. Your name wouldn't happen to rhyme with *bobatty* would it?

Jennifer Morian Frye said...

When I found out I had lost weight in the past 4 weeks (which did indeed include Christmas).....yeah, I bought cookies. Not even amazing, wonderful cookies. Just cookies. With chocolate and macadamia nuts. So, I get it completely. : ) Cake may be sister has a birthday this week....

Stephanie Perkins said...

I loved everything about this post, ESPECIALLY the picture of you and Alexandra with your cake!

Also, Asheville has a coffee shop inside of a double-decker bus! It's across the street from my favorite indie movie theater. :)

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