Young Americans at Portland Center Stage

Matt and I really enjoyed the world premiere of Young Americans by Lauren Yee and directed by Desdemona Chiang.

The then-and-now road trips were engaging. The first was with Joe (Danny Bernardo) and Jenny (Marielle Young). Jenny has flown to Washington D.C. to meet with Joe as part of an arranged marriage. When she finds out how far away their home in Portland, Oregon, is from Washington D.C., she’s annoyed that Joe had her fly to the other side of the country. Joe wanted her to see as much of her new home as he could show here in a cross country trip.

The second trip took place a few decades later with Joe surprising his daughter Lucy in Washington D.C. as she returned from visiting the country where she was born.

As these two trips alternated, it was interesting to see the conversations the young (as in new) Americans and young (as in not-old) Americans had.

I also really enjoyed the car that the cast drove as they made there way across the landscape. It swiveled and turned so the audience had differing views.

This play was enjoyable and left me with a lot to think about.

Ms. Holmes and Ms. Watson Apt. 2B at PCS

Matt and I had a good time at Portland Center Stage’s play about a modern-day Sherlock Holmes. Once the play started, those sheets were pulled down by the players and the games began.

Ashley Song and Kimberly Chatterjee were good as Holmes and Watson. I also really enjoyed Dana Green who played three very different roles. Darius Pierce also played several different roles.

In-Portland Vacation Meal No. 1: Firehouse Restaurant

Because we had a big and very fancy vacation in March, we opted to stay in Portland for our August vacation and go out to eat at the restaurants we’ve been wanting to try. First up: The Firehouse Restaurant.

I’d heard good things, but even with that background info, the quality of the vegetable sides blew me away. We ordered roasted carrots, fried cauliflower, and a beet salad and all were some of the best sides I’d eaten in a very long time. We ate them right up, as you can see by the empty dishes. The mushroom pizza was also delicious.

It was also a very hot day, but sitting on the patio, we had a very nice breeze.

Thanks, Fireside, for getting our vacation off to a great start.

JAW New Play Festival

After several years of thinking I would attend Portland Center Stage’s JAW New Play Festival, I finally went! Matt came too. It was a date. And a very cheap one as all the plays are free. We did buy cookies. I like PCS’s cookies. So that was $2.00. And we paid for parking. But a date for less than $5.00 is a win!

Also a win? The performance we picked to attend. It was very fun to see Larry Owens’s three different untitled things. One of them was the start of a play about a Black royal family that I would love to see a full production of.

By the time we signed up for our free tickets, they only had seating in the upstairs simulcast space. But I asked and the box office lady said to ask the house manager after all the ticket holders were seated. We didn’t have to even ask. We just hovered along with several other people. When the house manager said, Are you all standby? we said yes and we all got seats. That’s the win about free tickets. A lot of people don’t show up.

We also inadvertently sat next to the artistic director. That was handy because artistic directors tend to know when to clap.

Original Practice Shakespeare Festival: Macbeth at Laurelhurst Park

We return to a once-regular summer activity: Shakespeare in the park! Portland Actors Ensemble seems to have folded (a great loss!) but OPSFest lives on!

There was the usual great people watching before the show including this young person, who carefully laid out his napkin so his stuffed animals would have a nice seat like he did.

Preshow self portrait. There was a bit of preshow drama with one dog attacking another. But the attack was preceded by a very long, very loud scream of “Nooooooooooooooooooo!” by a woman who was racing after the attacking dog as it approached the other dog. So people got the dogs separated quickly and both sets of dog owners seemed okay, if shaken, by the interaction. Jennifer Lanier, who played Banquo, came out to check on everything and also complimented the yelling woman on her lungs.

Lauren Saville Allard as Macbeth was mesmerizing. Most all of my pictures were of her.

As with all OPSFest performances, the prompter (Keith Cable) and the prompter-in-training (Stew Towel) kept things moving along and amusing.

Brian Saville Allard played the gentleman Macbeth and he was also great.

Thanks, OPSFest for providing a great summer entertainment.

Matt’s Birthday Dinner at Eem.

We had fancy birthday dinner at Eem on Williams. They have a strict proof-of-vaccination policy to dine indoors, which I appreciate. We ended up sitting outside because the indoor tables were full. I was fine with this as I don’t love dining indoors in a crowded restaurant.

The food was amazing! We got some hot cauliflower, fried chicken, and amazing fried rice. Then we also ordered curry (mine was green, Matt’s was red) and that was amazing too!

Plus, because I forgot what drink I ordered, and the drink delivery person delivered drinks to the wrong table, I got two cocktails for the price of one.

It was a great birthday dinner!

20th (and 9 Month) Anniversary Dinner at Republica

Our 20th anniversary was really on May 1, but I tried to make reservations the week of and that wasn’t happening. So we celebrated several weeks later with a very fancy dinner at Republica that was worth the wait.

Our welcome and delicious menu.

This was our third course. As you can see, Republica is the kind of fancy restaurant where the portions are small. (This is a thing I like about fancy restaurants.) But don’t worry, by the time we got to the sixth course, we were well fed. We would eat half of the food on our plate and then switch. I learned that Matt really doesn’t like squid.

This was our fourth course and it was both beautiful and delicious.

It was a good choice for a big (and smaller) anniversary.

Freestyle Love Supreme at the Armory

Matt and I both enjoyed the documentary Freestyle Love Supreme, both for seeing people in the Hamilton world before Hamilton (baby Lin-Manuel!) and for the marvel that is hip hop improv.

So imagine my surprise when I discovered that we could see the show in Portland!

This was a double win as I discovered that Portland Center Stage offers a smattering of seats for every show at $25 each. A very big discount. (They are on the sides, but it’s a worthy tradeoff, as far as I’m concerned.)

The above two pictures were taken before the show and these two were taken during the part of the show where we were allowed to take pictures.

The stage set was amazing. All those speakers lit up and changed colors. And the hip hop improv was also amazing and very funny.

This is well worth your time! Check out the documentary or see Freestyle Love Supreme live, if you can.

Birthday Celebration Part III

Yes, that’s right. For the third birthday celebration, we took the day off work and went to a corn maze! The one on Kruger’s Farm, to be precise. We arrived just as it was opening and were the first ones there. There was one other couple that came after us, but other than that, we had the place to ourselves. Here’s what we found:

Timer photo from atop a bridge with views.

The view:

There were many of these. We had fun solving them.

My previous visit to a corn maze in October taught me that footwear choice is key to comfort and enjoyability. I walked through while Matt walked around.

This was a big bonus to being the first ones in. There were many of these patterns on top of the mud made by some critter. We asked, but the person who worked there hadn’t ever seen them before.


Some gross corn. The person working said it was a kind of fungus.

The inaccurate ruler puts Matt at over six feet.

And me at 5’4″

We traded off so we could get our faces in all the holes.

And used the timer to take this series:

After that we went on a different hike (really a walk, but less muddy than the corn maze) on Sauvie Island

And then, wandering around looking for someplace to eat, discovered that Broder is where Laughing Planet used to be on Mississippi. Big win, as I love Broder!

Here’s what my activity tracker looked like for the corn maze.

Birthday Celebration Part I: Pix and Dune

Matt (a fan of the David Lynch version of Dune) was excited to see the new version and I (not a fan of the David Lynch version but a fan of Timothée Chalamet) planned to see Dune and then go to Pix’s new vending machine as part of my celebration. Pix was a not-long walk from the Laurelhurst Theater.

Matt quite liked the new version (he talked nonstop the entire walk to Pix) and I liked it better than the David Lynch version (an easy bar to to clear).

The Pix-o-matic was fun to use, but very fiddly. Looking at the not-yet-cleared transactions on my credit card would have freaked me out, had the sign not informed me that if I messed up, the charges would be there, but wouldn’t be charged. I think there were 15 different tries before we finally got our Pix.

Pix also had a fun Halloween setup.

Fun birthday celebration Part I was followed by Part II on Sunday when we went to see the French Dispatch at Cinema 21 and ate at Lardo.