Friday, September 08, 2017

Portland, Day 3

With my husband ensconced on the sixth floor of our hotel for the day at the tech conference, I was out and about the city by myself for the day.
This Starbucks is across the square from our hotel and provides me with cold, caramelly, caffeinated drinks in the late afternoon when I am becoming a bedraggled sightseer with an exhausted camera battery. Today I was on foot only, although I have a pass to ride the public transportation for the week, all the places on my hit list were walkable.

 And my first destination, Powell's Books, of course. We had walked past it the previous evening on our way to Whole Foods to get some dinner for ourselves, so I knew the various entrances this gigantic building offers. I came in through the main entrance seen below, found the store directory and walked straight to the Rose Room, the wonderful Children's section. I browsed for a couple of hours, just in that section.

Because they sell both new and used, you get to see various editions of the same book that you might not normally see if you order either online or buy from a new bookstore. It was so inviting, like this small bookshelf dedicated to all things Tasha Tudor. The Beatrix Potter shelf is to the left of this one and even taller and more full.

The children's poetry shelves were amazing, so many vintage editions of poets and anthologies. I almost bought this one, I carried it around with me, but in the end, took a photo of the cover and put it mournfully back on the shelf. I hardly have space in my carry-on, so I need to be extra-choosy. But it's going on my wishlist.

 I took photos of books to remind myself to check for them later. These are new versions of Mrs. Piggle-Wiggle that I want to look for, since we have read many of the original stories by Betty MacDonald.

This is just one row in the Middle Readers section. I restrained myself from not looking at every shelf. I was too afraid of all the treasures I would find that would not be able to be brought home. I looked for specific authors like Kate Seredy, Marguerite de Angeli, and Henri Fabre.

 I found wonderful titles I was unfamiliar with by authors or illustrators I already loved. It was like making new friends by way of old friends.

After I winnowed down my shopping basket, which included putting three books back on their respective shelves, mostly due to weight issues, I purchased these books:

This illustrated version of Charge of the Light Brigade was the extraordinary find of the day; I have never seen this poem illustrated before and by the Provensen husband and wife team, double awesome.

 I left Powell's by the exit that would deposit me directly across the street from Anthropolgy, a store that I have not been in for many, many years. I browsed heavily, looking carefully and feeling poor or perhaps just frugal.
But I did settle on a few small purchases, one for me and two for small gifts. Then I took out my camera and tried to take some inconspicuous photos.

Starving for a overdue lunch, I walked right into Whole Foods and bought myself some chili and San Pellegrino. I ate my lunch at the Whole Foods eating area while playing phone tag with my son who wanted a phone number. I sat there texting my husband and talking to my son; it was a bit surreal for this non-phone user.
These bathroom sinks in Whole Foods seemed to keep the water from splashing out, but made me feel a bit like I was washing my hands at an animal trough.

Coming back to the hotel, I planned my route to come right past these inviting windows. Then I went inside and found many delightful things made by local artists and makers. I'm not a trendy person, I prefer to be contentedly behind the times until it seems like old hat. This store is a mixture of old hat and trendy. I bought myself some earrings and a coin bag that I've been storing my hotel door keycard in for safekeeping.

Out for dinner to a pub that I had picked it out of a guidebook of eateries from the Visitor Information Center, except it was apparently no longer in existence,. So we looked around and spotted this Irish pub, Kells, just sitting across the adjacent corner and walked in for some fish and chips. It was not the best fish and chips, but it filled us up. It looks like they had attached many dollar bills to the ceiling; the lighting was cozy and the place was quiet, but the stage showed that live music would be starting later. Tired, we walked back to our hotel for a quiet night in.


  1. YAY!!!!! We were just at Powells on our way through Portland on Tuesday. I love that place. I could spend hours there. We let each of the kids choose a book on our way to vacation so my time was spent helping them find books and I didn't get to peruse much myself but I just love it there. SO FUN you were so close!!!

  2. Many pictures of good quality gave me an opportunity to live vicariously on your trip to Portland.It was quite exciting!

  3. Drooling over that bookshop...


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