Monday, January 17, 2011

Portland neighborhood ramble: Sellwood edition

all photos by Laini Taylor

So I've been at it with the Hipstamatic again, as you see.

I just love it (it's an iphone app that makes your photos look all cool and old, like you found them in a shoebox in the attic or something). Jim and Clementine and I had a little family day out today -- it started out with the vast excitement (and I'm not even kidding) of scoping out bathroom fixtures (did you know they make corner toilets?), and led us to Sellwood, a fun and funky neighborhood in southeast Portland, known for its antiques stores.

Mmm. Antiques stores . . . 

I love strolly days out like this with my Jim and my Clementine, browsing, eating, sipping coffee, laughing, taking pictures. It's like travel, but super close to home. And since Portland has so many neato little pockets, I think I'll try to do this regularly, show you little pieces of it. 

We didn't go to Lovecup, but . . . *LOVECUP*. Isn't it wonderful? Maybe next time.

I have this persistent and unrealized idea about making a photo scavenger hunt list for days like this, and for travels abroad too. The idea is to have a list of things -- say, for example: 
  • ugly statue
  • something heart-shaped
  • dog (bonus for two dogs meeting up)
  • pretty sweets
  • your reflection
  • taxidermy
  • rusty metal
  • etc

Make a pretty good long list with some common-sense stuff and also some really random stuff, for kicks. And then you go someplace, like maybe Barcelona or Mexico City or . . .  Sellwood, and as you wander, you have this extra bit of goal-orientedness to get pictures for the list. Like a game.

I think this would be awesome to do with [older] kids while traveling -- there could even be a winner, a prize established in advance. Wouldn't that be neat? 

It would also make a good blog meme, methinks. Anyone want to play? What kinds of stuff might go on the list? Scavenger Hunt Sunday. Sounds like fun! My own photo'ing was handicapped today by several things. First thing: no camera. I just had my phone. Second thing: Hipstamatic drained my batteries fast and I had to throw in the towel. Third thing: Clementine fell asleep and I was carrying her a good hour of our outing. Fourth thing: rain. Lots of it. 

But I did manage some pictures.

We tried out a new [to us] restaurant, and loOoOoOoOoved it. Jade Teahouse & Patisserie. Sellwood is a bit out of our way, but this place will lure us back often. I can already feel it calling. 


It's a South-Asian fusion-y casual order-at-the-counter noodle-tea-bakery place, cute, friendly, with coconuts served on spring stands with a straw sticking out, and the lovely unexpectedness of jewel-tone house-baked macarons and sundry strange desserties, like Vietnamese wedding cake, which is brilliant viridian green.

We didn't have the cake, but we did start with this magical sesame ball:

As described in the above clipping, it is a "sphere of rice flour dough stuffed with lightly sweetened yellow mung bean paste, rolled in sesame seeds, deep-fried, and served with coconut caramel sauce." OH. YUM.

And the bao came stamped with red vegetable dye, so pretty!

We had giant salads, fresh and awesome, and finished up with something I could eat every single day for the rest of my life: mango and sticky rice. Have you had it? If not, you must remedy that sad situation! The sticky rice is saturated in evil wonderful coconut milk and I don't know what else, and the mango is always perfectly ripe and sweet. Honestly, I kind of wanted to climb right into this dish.

After lunch, we got coffee nearby at Ugly Mug coffeehouse where a munchkin-size table and chairs beckoned to Clementeeny. 

And there were crayons! Bonus.

The big antiques mall, Stars, was having its annual "haggle sale," and we stumbled right into it. Honestly, this was the most fun I've ever had antiques browsing, and I put it down to brain-on-fire with the new-old house. So many possibilities! So many wanty-wanties. We were restrained. Buying new-old houses can sometimes have the side effect of skinnying up your wallet when it comes to furnishing said new-old house. We did come away with a few bargain treasures, though like this wee metal chair for the beeb. I'm in crazy love with it, and to be honest, with this picture too.

I have this very sudden new fixation on metal furniture -- the industrial look, that is. Rust and dents and winches and wheels, stuff that looks like it has put in a hard lifetime of work. I am loving that industrial quality paired up [in my head only, so far] with more feminine white, like slip covers, pillows, and graceful wood.

I also picked up this massive commercial baking pan.

For scale, see it next to a magazine:

Beeg suckah! It is not for baking. I have other plans for it, which I shall reveal at a later date.

Didn't get these beat up old lockers, but love them:

This little loaf pan did follow us home, also not for actual baking:

Sellwood has lots of new-goods home shops too. We missed out on this one, which closed at 4; we arrive at 4:05 and pressed our faces longingly against the glass.

Cute! Next time :-)

Oh, so tired now. When did it get to be 1 am? Seriously, I thought it was like 11! Yowza. G'morning!


tone almhjell said...

Oh yes please, more stuff like this! I love it. I want the mango and sticky rice and coffee and lovecup and rickety metal furniture. I would also like a child who can be trusted not to gobble up his crayons, but I guess I'll just have to be patient.

(word verification trotport, which I think is a pretty clear sign that you should do more trotting in Portland)

Evie said...

Portland seems lovely- artsy, quirky, bohemian cool. But wet and cold. Perhaps I have the wrong impression of Oregon, swirled into a mind mix with the rest of the Pacific Northwest with only one season-dreary damp. But I would love to visit Sellwood.

Laini Taylor said...

Tone, you are misinterpreting the word verification. It is clearly a message to you to *trot* to *port*land :-) As for crayon-eating, yes, yes, and don't forget deciding to gouge them apart with your tiny wolverine claws that you never want your parents to trim!

Evie, Portland is awesome, and we perpetuate the rumors about the weather to keep our numbers down, ha ha. Actually YES it rains a lot, but certainly not all year. We have a gorgeous summer and fall -- but then it's rain rain rain until June!

Hello Hoobubby / Alexandra said...

Fattae, these photos are truly wonderful! I have to download that App on my phone! And there is plenty of time before Saturday to undo any WW damage- no worries! I have to go back with you and check out some of these places. Especially love the baking pans and am extremely curious as to what exactly you plan to do with them- paint and hang them on the wall somehow- some sort of mad baking sculpture? use them as pillows? hats? Hmm.. ( :

nutschell said...

I seriously love the pictures on this blog. i'm glad I found your website!

melanie said...

Awesome photos! Portland is definitely high on the list of places I'd like to live someday, and every time you post things like this, it inches a little higher.

I love the idea of the photo scavenger hunt. I totally want to try that for everywhere I travel!

Laini Taylor said...

Hooby, yes, you will love Hipstamatic! As to the baking trays . . . I will never tell. Until I do.

Thanks, Nutschell!

And Melanie, let me know if you do a photo scavenger hunt. I seriously want to refine a list for it. If you have any suggestions, let me know!

Connie Onnie said...

I set up a photo scavenger hunt with a big group we had like four teams of 5 some of it was having them do things like climb trees but I also had them take pictures of all of them reading different Harry Potter books, or one of the guys holding a Pride & Prejudice movie.
I think a photo scavenger hunt blog challenge would be fun, I would do it.
PS I wanted to tell you your blog makes my life much more colorful!

Life is Good(ell) said...

I'm so excited about this post! We moved to Portland a little over a year ago with my now 20-month-old daughter, and we chose Sellwood because it seemed so family-friendly with an active playgroup association. The only downside is that I love my walkable neighborhood so much I rarely explore anywhere else in Portland.

And I'm thrilled you enjoyed Jade- everything there is delicious, but the spring rolls and cupcakes are especially divine.

Evie said...

I downloaded Hipstomatic but haven't had much opportunity to play with it yet. I recognize the kodot xgrizzled film (jagged edges). Which lens do you use most often? Buy any of the hipstapaks?

Clementine's coat is so cute. Where did you get it? I'm going to be a Nonna for the first time, so I'm once again interested in all things wee sized. Do you have a fav online store for kids stuffs? My children are 29, 26 and 25 so I'm feeling a little bit out of the loop; things have changed a bit since my kids were, well, kids. Maybe I should blog about my grandmother experiences just to keep me writing.

anj said...

Wow, lovely Portland. We just pieced together a family budget for this year and cut out all "eating/spending out" expenses to once in a blue moon. Sigh. This post is a treat; living vicariously.

Sara Ryan said...

Laini, I'd play the photo scavenger hunt!

I've been loving your posts.

Amber said...

I am loving all the eye candy posts! *sigh*

I have long had this picture from a mag of a rustic wooden pick-nick table with benches, and two of those Tolix chairs at the end. I love that look! So I got a table that is close, but keep holding out on chair until I can get those. But they are a lot of cash. *dang!* Someday.

I miss Portland!


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