Saturday, December 27, 2008

Snow Fatigue

The snowstorm that began a week ago is finally starting to melt. The temps rose to a balmy 45 degrees today and I removed the chains from my tires. Besides the slushy streets, we are left with the rain that is our norm. Both snow and rain will temporarily hamper my efforts to get out and capture the sights of Portland at night. In the meantime, I thank you for your patience. Have a Happy New Year.
portland at night

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Happy Solstice

portland at night
Portland at night
Originally uploaded by alicethelma
The reports on the news are saying this is the severest storm the area has seen in 50 years. The most snow. The lowest temps. It’s shattering all records. Crazy in light of the fact that winter officially began today. At first I cursed this storm. Such a struggle trying to stay warm. Max stuck in Minneapolis overnight trying to fly home. The constant anxiety of dollars going out without the comfort of dollars coming in. The economy is in the toilet and just getting worse. It looks bleak. Honestly, a storm like this a nuisance to say the least.

And yet…how does the saying go? It’s always darkest just before dawn?
portland at night

So today I’m quietly celebrating the darkest day of the year. Starting tomorrow the light will increase ever so slightly; imperceptibly until June when I’ll celebrate another solstice. Rejoice I say. Things can only get better.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

baby, it's cold outside

portland oregon at night
Portland at night
Originally uploaded by alicethelma
It’s been frightfully cold around these parts. Ice, snow, bitter wind. You name it and we've had it these past few days. It's been too cold to venture out at night. But I did anyway. Last night. And almost froze my fingers off. Seriously. I got an inkling of what it must be like to suffer frostbite. I thought my newly knit fingerless mitts would be sufficient but my fingers were close to numb in a matter of minutes.

Adding to my little adventure I was actually stalked for the first time. I was by myself, P. having been hurt in a fall and unable to accompany me. A car drove slowly by, stopped, drove in reverse and then thick head, with the car window down, stared at me. Frozen. We both froze.
portland oregon at night

I thought to myself should I ask “Can I help you?” No. That’s a stupid question to ask my would-be rapist. Finally I asked, “What do you want?”

“Is my truck” he said in a thick accent.

I collapsed the tripod and moved on. My fingers were frozen solid at that point anyway.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

while you were sleeping

portland at night
Portland at night
Originally uploaded by alicethelma
I scored free tickets to a press screening of the movie Valkyrie coming out on Christmas Day. Seriously, the Oregonian’s own Shawn Levy was sitting right behind me. Tom Cruise plays *gasp* a Nazi – albeit a good Nazi who tries to save the day but we all know how that story ends. Tom didn’t even pretend to put on a German accent. Just Tom Cruise playing Tom Cruise. And the rest of the Nazi officers had lovely English accents because they were all English actors. I say, wait for the dvd. It’s certainly not the feel good movie of the year if you know what I mean.

Walking back to my car I noticed an exceptionally well-lit scene up ahead along with the fragrance of raw sewage. Although it looked like it could be a movie night shoot it was in reality a couple of good natured guys working on the pipes of Portland. Pipes of Portland…hmmm…another blog perhaps? I think not. But it got me thinking about the people who toil away while we sleep, safe and sound in our warm beds.

portland at night

Do think about the people who work at night?

Monday, December 8, 2008

Portland at Night: Marquam Bridge

Last month I wrote a post about the Steel Bridge and I have decided to feature one Portland bridge per month (and quite possibly other bridges around the world). This month I present to you the Marquam Bridge, the busiest bridge in Oregon carrying I5 and over 135,000 vehicles per day. I never really appreciated the Marquam Bridge until I stood directly underneath it at OMSI. What a behemoth – a real workhorse of a bridge.

I love this quote by former mayor Vera Katz in her state of the city address in 2001: “It’s like having the Berlin Wall dividing east and west, with all the subtle charm of the Daytona 500 smack dab in the middle of our city.”
portland at night marquam bridge

The Marquam Bridge offers by far the best view of the city but it can be quite distracting if you’re the driver. However if are lucky enough to be driven across it, from west to east, you’ll be treated to a stunning panorama (the upper deck carries northbound traffic and the lower deck, southbound). Unlike the Fremont Bridge which is closed to traffic during the annual Bridge Pedal, the Marquam is never closed to traffic. At least not to my knowledge. You might know something that I don’t.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

I love trees

Fall is obviously a great time for trees especially here in Portland, but I am drawn to trees the year round and the word wide. Not that I actually travel much these days. I’m sticking pretty close to the West Coast. Akthough I always take notice of the spectacular foliage during the fall season, this year the trees have taken on an almost supernatural glow at night. Perhaps it’s the translucent quality of the leaves that makes them radiate eerily. I’m not exactly sure but they are profoundly beautiful to me.

This tree looked so majestic and intricate to me, so solid and wise that I just had to capture its nighttime glory as we were wandering along Waterfront Park.
portland at night
Which reminds me: I need to get down to the Reed campus post haste. Spectacular trees to be found there.

Do you have a favorite tree? Favorite tree time of year? Do tell.

Monday, December 1, 2008

come to the cabaret

I think I mentioned last month (is it December already!?!?) that I had attended a sing along Moulin Rouge at the Bagdad Theater with my friend Evelyn aka evymetal. It was a blast and now Evelyn's daughter Nico is producing a similar production with the film Cabaret on Saturday, December 6 at 10pm. I'm going to be really dating myself here when I say that I actually remember when Cabaret first came out and Liza Minnelli was still a cute young thing.

But I digress. Here's a quote from E. regarding the event: "Attached is a flyer for my daughter Nico's next event. This is a sing-along, burleque, circus, dance in the aisles screening of Cabaret!! It promises to be a fabulous time! ONLY $5!!!" 
bagdad theater portland oregon
Hope to see you all there!