In the World

Stumptown Coffee Roastery, Portland Oregon.

I remember hearing about this coffee shop back in Kansas. They supposedly give their baristas monthly massages and pay them extra well. They’re one of the best known
coffee shops in America. I buy an Americano, and sip on it while I write letters and postcards.

Lisa is awesome- a bad ass strong vegetarian liberal runner from Kansas who I’m proud to say I’m related to. We had tea in her kitchen this morning, and then she showed me around town.

She took me to a little vegetarian and vegan breakfast cafe tucked away into a Portland neighborhood, and we got biscuits and gravy and burritos and talked about family and growing up liberal in Kansas. My vegan breakfast burrito consisted of peppers, kale, sauces, beans and scrambled eggs. The vegan scrambled eggs actually being some sort of tofu, spiced yellow with turmeric and other flavors.

Super hip place, everyone in there looked like they had a copy of the Communist Manifesto in their back pocket, and body piercings and tattoos that flowed with the natural progressions of their beings.

On the way back from brunch, Lisa showed me around her neighborhood- Division street. She pointed out all of the good breweries, pubs, late night snacks, midday snacks, weed shops. She drove me past the Independent Publishing Resource Center, the theater down the street that performs a Rocky Horror Picture Show every Saturday night at midnight (going tomorrow) and then we drove to the local coop, and bought a tofu invention and the Oregonian paper.

After brunch I wandered down to Stumptown to begin my day and collect myself. The coffee here is good. Definitely worth it. And within walking distance of Lisa’s house.

Last night was great. We had beer with Lisa and her neighbors on her front porch all evening. The numbers “501” lit up on Lisa’s front porch signifying it was time for the world to grab a beer.

Lisa, Ben and I all have the same haircut. Annie Lennox style.

Jim and Julie tell us they will help us make a map of things to check out on our way through Seattle and Vancouver. They also tell us how to cook salmon in a dishwasher, and on the engine of a moving car. And then after everyone went to bed, Ben and I went down to a local pub and got beers and veggie burgers. The food was amazing, I’ve never had such a spot on veggie burger. And especially not from a pub kitchen! Lovely. And lovely waitress.

KODAK Digital Still Camera

“This is the best burrito I’ve had in WEEKS…” I say, mouthful, a few beers in.

“It’s not a burrito, Anne.”

There’s a girl in the corner of the pub writing and reading and drinking and eating alone with her feet up on the chair in front of her. And I make a mental note to do the same thing the next night. What a place to write! What people to write about.

“Would you like another beer? Oh, you have your coat on. I’ll be right back,” the waitress runs away, laughing. I want to hang out with her, she’s hilarious and straight forward. I hear her in the back telling the cooks about her night. “For you fucking people? I would’ve fucked someone up tonight. I WOULD’VE! I WOULD’VE! I love you, man!” She’s laughing again, they’re all taking shots in the back. Fucking talented drunk chefs and bartenders that know how to smile.

Oh, damn. I just went up for a refill of coffee, and got it for free from the cool ass barista. This is a good town.

“A refill?”

He shakes his head at my dollar bills, and shoos me on toward the self serve drip coffee.

“Really?”

“We’re good.”

Minimal eye contact, but a sense of camaraderie. This city is cool as shit.

What else? We got to Portland yesterday mid afternoon. Went downtown, and navigated the city. It was a big city, and it was what we expected. What we weren’t expecting was Lisa’s neighborhood, which is the hipster oasis. Everything you could ever ask for in hip America just a block down from her lovely tree canopied neighborhood.

We’re meeting up with second cousin Noah in Missoula, Montana when we head that way. Texted him today, haven’t seen him in ten years.

Going to see Bernie Sanders at a rally on Sunday and make a judgment on his character, as well.

I’m headed out for a jog on this old volcanic mountain in the city. Then stopping by the zine publishing shop. And then driving to the “Women and Women First” feminist bookstore from the show Portlandia.

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