27 November 2006
So when I determined how I wanted to mark the passing of another year (yes, my birthday), my mind swiftly turned to a day in Portland. Portland has long been one of my favorite cities: a tangle of one-way streets, hills, bridges, quirky neighborhoods, and colorful people. It is large enough I can easily think of a dozen things to do, see, explore…and yet small enough to navigate in an afternoon. It is a muse for my creative mind.
I did a little window shopping, splurged on a pair of Acorn slippers with memory foam, ate at little French-inspired bistro on East Burnside, admired artwork by Rachel Austin, explored the endless light fixtures, glass globes, and doorknobs at Hippo Hardware, and enjoyed the best ginger- molasses-cocoa cookie with a hot cup of steamed soy milk flavored with almond at my favorite corner café, Crema.
The next day, when someone asked who I went to Portland with, I replied, “With me!” I’m content with my own company. Which is not to say that I don’t welcome the companionship of others -- simply that it can be a treat to enjoy a little solitude and contemplation.
And now I have very happy, toasty feet as I pad around my house.
* I will return to the Brasil travel narrative soon.
19 November 2006
30 October 2006
I can think of no better way to start a vacation than to stroll along South Beach and wait and hour and a half in an airport security line due to an unidentified threat.
My first experience with Miami was six years ago, when I attended a national Harm Reduction conference. It was also my first official business trip, surely an indication that I was a part of the professional workforce. I had, on that occasion, prided myself on my thrifty ways. I determined the bus to take from the airport which deposited me at the metro station that would transport me to within walking distance of my hotel – all while hauling my Samsonite valet bag. Needless to say, I had the not-for-profit business model firmly entrenched in my psyche along with a healthy dose of naiveté. I soon learned, however, and cabbed it back to the airport for my return trip.
So to commemorate my return to the city where I first tasted ropa vieja and platanos maduros, I retraced my earlier steps to the South Beach district in search of the Lincoln Road Café. After satiating my appetite for Cuban cuisine, I admired the muted pastels, rounded corners, and art deco lines of the buildings occupying Lincoln Road and Collins Avenue. A stroll along the Miami Beach Walk almost convinced me that the waters of the Atlantic in Rio de Janeiro couldn’t possibly be much different than this lovely location…
I decided it would be best to test that theory in person, however, and climbed aboard the bus to return to the airport. After claiming my luggage at baggage check, I headed to the international terminal in search of my parents and to meet the rest of the group headed to São Paulo.