We continue in our quest to try all top 10 Italian restaurants in PDX. Accanto is in the space next to where the Genoa restaurant used to be. For you non-geezers Genoa was at one time the best restaurant in the city. I wonder how it would compare to today’s restaurants.
Accanto serves Italian bistro style. I started with scallop carpaccio, corn, purslane, leek flowers that was delicious. I am a sushi fan and the thinly sliced raw scallops were delicious combined with the crunchy corn and sauce. But not, I am afraid, as good as the scallops of Mucca Osteria.
For the entree it was cavatelli con mias: sweet corn, house cured lardo, sorrel, ricotta, bread crumbs that was also good but the lardo were tiny to the point of vanishing. The dish was a delight with the chewy pasta, but if there were lardo I would not have known. Big pig is the best pig. Continue reading
59 isn’t all that old. Well, it is. We are on the short side long slow side to the the eternal dirt nap with fewer days in front than behind. But I can still put my socks in the morning standing on one foot and we try to keep active. The spirit may be willing but the body? It wants to stay in the recliner. As I have slowly fallen apart I have gone from running to roller blading to walking as the joints just do not tolerate the pounding and even I am unlikely to fall with during simple hike. Bicycling, being non-traumatic, is a pastime even geezers can do comfortably. Ageing is about adapting and you have to have the right bike. For years I have had a dual pad (one pad for each cheek) bicycle seat so my, ahem, doesn’t go numb and swept back handlebars for comfort. It makes all the difference.
We have taken to the road this summer and have had the good and the ugly for biking.
It has been a weird summer here in lumberland. The skies have been cloudy and the temperatures only in the 70’s, while the rest of the nation is sizzling in heat. People think of Portland as a cloudy and rainy place, but our best kept secret is Portland’s sunny, warm and breezy summers with no humidity. So I have been a little whiney about the cool and clouds. Nonetheless, Oregon has plenty to do no matter what the weather. Cloudy and cool in the summer always means hiking to me and it has certainly been a great summer for hiking. Continue reading
Moulton Falls Hike
As I have said, a good Geezer hike is no more than 6 miles, mostly flat and near water. For those criteria, Moulton Falls Hike is almost perfect.
I never think of crossing the Columbia to go hiking but there are some good hikes just to the North. Moulton Falls trail is wide and on a gentle slope that runs along the Lewis River. It is less than an hour from Happy Valley and once you get out of the remarkably ugly east ‘Couve, there is a pretty drive along the Lewis river.
There is about 6 miles of trails and several small waterfalls. A perfect hike. Some warnings. The signs suck at the parking area and are confusing. There are also no signs on the hike to guide you at the occasional fork in the road so we occasionally took the paths less traveled by and it made no difference. Parking is better at the Hantwick Road Trailhead where the maps will make more sense than up at Moulton Falls. And do NOT miss on the short loop that takes you to Yacolt Falls. See the pictures below for what you are missing. Continue reading
Today’s Agenda: Portland Blues Festival, Mucca Osteria, and the deLuxe Hotel
I have always found it surprising that Zydeco music is played at the Blues Festival. With its joyful and big bouncy beat, Zydeco seems the antithesis of the aching and squealing guitar rhythm of the blues. While I love the heart breaking wail of blues music, I go to the Portland Blues Festival primarily for the jubilant beat of Zydeco music. As a native Minnesota farm girl, I had not even heard of Zydeco music until we moved to Portland. To fully capture the spirit of Zydeco, one needs to experience it live. I cannot stop smiling while watching the enthusiasm of the musicians, the music, and the audience. If you are in need of a lift, go to a Zydeco performance. The Blues Festival provides a large dance floor, allowing the audience to show off their dance skills, but no one really cares about about your proficiency at dancing. Even Mark’s and my “interpretive” dance skills are welcomed here. It is all about the fun. Continue reading
Today’s Agenda: Hike at the Lacamas Park Trail, then early dinner at Mill City Brew Werks
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water, you encounter a four foot sturgeon while hiking the Lacamas Park Trail. While I was initially enthralled at spying a few scaley and homely carp floating near our feet as we paused at a wooden foot bridge during our seven mile hike, the real carpe diem or fish of the day, was the sudden appearance of this gigantic creature that looked like the cross between a crocodile and a fish. While I have encountered sturgeon on many fine dining menus over the years, I have never had the privilege to see one in its natural environment. It will go down as one of my most memorable hiking moments.
Sturgeons are fascinating creatures. I have subsequently learned sturgeons are considered living fossils since they have remained relatively morphologically unchanged from over 200 million years ago. Rather than scales, sturgeon have five lateral rows of boney plates, giving them a crocodile-like appearance. Their rear fin is like that of a shark, lending further to their eerie appearance. These guys have a lifespan of 50-60 years and typically reach 7-12 feet in length. I also discovered that many sturgeon completely leap out of water with splashes that can be heard a mile away and have been known to cause injuries to people in boats. The mere thought of this brute of a fish leaping out in front of us makes me understand why people believe in the loch ness monster. Continue reading
Posted in Beer, Food, Hike
Tonight’s Agenda: The skin of Our Teeth at the Artists Repertory Theatre; Cocktails at Bible Club
Ten minutes into Artists Repertory Theaters production of, The Skin of Our Teeth, I felt as if I was riding on a train that had run off its tracks and wondered if perhaps this play was too far fetched for my more classical sensibilities. The unconventional ride that playwright, Thornton Wilder takes the audience on seems pretty convoluted and even dizzying at first. Until one realizes that chaos is exactly the mood that Wilder is attempting to impart, as each of his three Acts involves a major impending disaster that the characters survive by “the skin of their teeth.” But instead of a train derailment that becomes a train wreck, this derailment gives you lots of butterflies.
The Who, Part 1
The title of this entry does sound a bit like a Dr. Seuss Book about Cindy Lou and her twin.
We have an ongoing family discussion as to what is the best band of all time. Unlike many other discussions, the correct and only answer is The Who. Containing the best drummer, bassist, song writer and singer ever in a band, they are objectively the greatest band ever. Sorry. You might suggest otherwise and you would be wrong. It is The Who.
We saw The Who the last time they were in town and they were back for what is likely their last last performance in PDX, Roger Daltrey being 72 and Pete Townshend, 70. The original show had to be canceled after Roger had meningitis. In that show the opening act was to have been Joan Jett. Not this time. I keep missing opportunities to see Joan Jett. One of these days… Continue reading
Posted in Bar, Food, Music
A Streetcar Named Desire
For some reason I thought I had seen the movie version, but after seeing the play I realized I have seen bits and pieces on TV over the years, but never the movie from start to finish. I was aware of the two tag-lines: Marlon Brando screaming “Stella” and Blanche’s “I have always depended on the kindness of strangers. But I did not know the context of the memes.
Tennessee Williams is like Shakespeare in that respect, so many of his themes and language are part of the popular culture.
Streetcar, at the Portland Center Stage, is the story of the slow breakdown of Blanche DuBois, a Southern Lady who slides from wealth to poverty and insanity, aided by her vanity and her brother-in-law, Stanley. Continue reading
Today’s Agenda: Hoyt Arboretum, then Stammtisch for late lunch
This is the time of year I have to be outside. I am like a caged animal if I am indoors during a warm and sunny day. The inside of my home becomes severely neglected in the spring and summer, and I am quite certain the DEQ is monitoring for toxic fumes and accumulation of garbage, but I have the rainy cool winter months to restore my home to a safe range of filth. I consider myself a single mother with three boys—19, 23, and 59 years old. This precludes me from ever having a tidy home, anyways, and gives me an excuse for a messy home. So when Mark asks me what I would like to do this weekend, an outdoor venue is a prerequisite. Today we decided to go on a guided tour of the Hoyt Arboretum. Continue reading