Look, I know that Scooters Are Bad, but the thing is, they are also really fun. So I put up with the minuscule amount of guilt I had about that and decided to use scooters as much as possible during my stay in Portland. And on Tuesday, I devised myself a challenge.
I was going to hang out with Josh and Angela at their place (and then visit a few other spots.) Besides wanting to see them — they are my friends and I love them very much — I also wanted to check out all the art Josh produced the last year, and see his amazing stained glass pieces in person.
They live way up in St. Johns, at the northwestern part of Portland; my Airbnb was at SE. Would it be possible for me to get to their place by scooters only? I had to try.
I ended up taking two scooters, and I got pretty far: my second scooter died about 1.5 miles from their place. Unfortunately, there weren’t any around, so I walked a bit and took a bus the rest of the way.
(This was probably the first time I tried the Spin scooters, which turned out to be much better than the Lime ones; they were lighter and much quicker to accelerate. I stuck to mostly using them for the rest of the trip.)
Josh’s stained glass pieces are truly amazing to see; pictures don’t do them justice. If I ever get rich enough that I can drop several hundred dollars on art — and then some on shipping extremely fragile glass across the Atlantic — Josh’s work will be the first thing I’ll buy.
Again, the pictures really don’t do justice, but I tried.
Next, we went to Cathedral Coffee to get cinnamon rolls; they have by far the best ones I’ve had outside of Sweden, topped with a cream cheese frosting. We went there last year, but I was eager to have them again. I also tried their raspberry roll, which was not quite as good as the cinnamon version, but still pretty damn tasty.
With breakfast done, we went to visit Josh and Angela’s friends, who have a fascinating not-quite-tiny house in the neighborhood. The place is impressive, both inside and outside. The house is painted in the colors of the rainbow, with each piece of wood being a part of a gradient.
(I was a dumdum and only took a picture of the place with them on it. However, they told me that they don’t want their pictures on the internet, hence the censorship.)
Interlude: My XOXO projects
It was there I first did my XOXO Thing, which is taking pictures of people and printing it out for them. For the photos, I use my iPhone, and I have two instant printers. One is Fuji’s Instax Share SP-2 that uses the polaroid-like Instax Mini film; the other is a Paperang P1 thermal printer — I use that with sticker paper. Both have a unique look and feel, and people loved them at the previous XOXOs, so I decided to do it again. I continued taking pictures throughout the festival and collected the photos at https://facesofxoxo2019.ktamas.com.
I had a few other projects this year as well. I helped to put together the XOXO bingo; I collected and put together the new clues, Julia Skott did the fantastic artwork and Riley Shaw handled the coding. I think we did an excellent job and a lot of people enjoyed it.
Finally, like last year, I put together a Google Calendar people could subscribe to with the complete schedule of the festival as well as all the Social meetups. A lot of people used it and thanked me for it over the long weekend.
Last but not least I was the de-facto co-organizer the Tim Tam Slam Jam, for which I brought like 12 packs of biscuits, which I thought would be too much but turned out to be just what we needed. It was a huge success, drawing by far the largest crowd so far. For next year I suggest that the Andys approach the manufacturer to sponsor the festival and give a complimentary package of Tim Tams as swag to each attendee.
Ready to slam.
After meeting Josh and Angela’s friends, we got lunch at the Mississippi Pizza Pub; they had a perfectly decent slice of pizza, though it wasn’t anything special (I was told the place is quite popular.) After that, we parted ways, and I went by the Pendelton store, which is always a weak spot for me, but I didn’t buy anything… that day.
Unfortunately, I felt pretty crummy the rest of the day. I went back to the Airbnb and tried to rest for a few hours, without much success, then took a Lyft to the Drink and Draw at Bye Bye. They didn’t have any food I liked, so I got a few grilled cheese sandwiches around the corner. I had a good chat with Juan, who I ran into just as I was sitting down. Afterwards I went back to Bye Bye, and hung out there for about two hours; I got to chat with Becky a bit as well as a few other folks I didn’t know. Around 9 pm, I took a Lyft back to my Airbnb and went to sleep.