20 June 2008

Pedaling in Portland

LRBC wall
Originally uploaded by Katherine H.
Searching for something fun to do that will allow you to savor the summer sun that has finally arrived? May I suggest visiting some of the local cafes and coffee shops that are currently hosting the Cycle Seen art exhibit. There are nine locations, and the exhibits will be up through July 2nd.

I first found out about this effort through a chance visit to the Art Institute of Portland where a flyer announced an open call for submissions that depicted the bike culture around Portland.

I hastily looked through my photo files at home, and selected five from last year's Pedalpalooza festival. Not familiar with such a festival? Well, they like to tout it as 2+ weeks of bikey fun with a calendar of over 200 events. There's a ride to suit everyone's tastes. A quick perusal of tomorrow's events yields a tandem bike race, a zombie cycle rampage, and a NoPo bike in movie just to provide a sampling of the bicycling craziness that feeds off of Portland culture.

I was surprised by an email a few weeks later indicating that two of my photos had been selected for inclusion, and then just plain excited when I received my artist's packet and learned that one of my photos would be hanging at the Little Red Bike Cafe.

LRBC storefront

The LRBC is owned by Ali and Evan, the kind of local business you'd wish would open up in your neighborhood (they have a bike-up window, for heaven's sake!), and root for to prosper and thrive. I became a fan of the blog they keep about the cafe before I was ever able to visit it. And since I live out of town, it keeps me up to date and salivating about the new ice cream flavors they're creating like Salted Caramel with Candied Bacon Bits and Burnt Orange Honey Blossom. Yum!

My second photo is hanging at Stumptown Coffee Roasters on SE Division Street.

stumptown sign

I was able to stop by and see the installed exhibit last Saturday, and let me tell you, this is the one not to miss! I am honored to have my amateur snapshot hanging amongst such talent.

stumptown outside in

Stumptown is also the location of the pieces that will be auctioned off in support of Bikes to Rwanda, a local nonprofit whose mission is to provide cargo bicycles for farmers in Rwanda to help them meet basic needs and improve their quality of life.

I just might be tempted to bid on one those photos myself!

13 June 2008

My Tiny Wordle

Created from the tags on my Flickr photos (and by some smart guys at IBM). Click on the image to see a larger version.

12 June 2008

When Travel Disappoints

smallest art gallery II
Originally uploaded by Katherine H.
I fully expected to fall in love with Nashville. So when I didn’t, I was perplexed. I might even go so far as to say that I felt a bit betrayed by my steady companion called Solo Travel.

Solo Travel had spurred me on my three day jaunt to Lisbon in the dead of winter. Solo Travel had seen me through two solitary weeks in the interior of Sicily. Solo Travel had been my muse and guide through NYC, Calgary, Chicago, Seattle, Spokane, and countless other locales. Good and bad, I thought I knew what to expect.

Where did I go so wrong? It’s rare —never-before-happened-rare— that within three hours of landing somewhere I want to turn around and leave. Pitch a fit. Pound my fist into a pillow. Pretend I never rented a car.

Sigh. But I had. And there I was. With four long days stretching out before me and an entire state to explore. I was well researched. I had checked out books from the library. I had scoured the internet for restaurant recommendations, hip boutiques, farmer’s markets, hiking trails, and gazed at local photos on Flickr.

I hesitated as I wrote the title to this post. Really, doesn’t it say more about me, the traveler, rather than the locale? How can a girl who loves Iowa be thrown for a loop by Tennessee? I guess I discovered the place I can’t find my groove. Like pesky sand that won’t shake out of my favorite shoes.

But as some astute friends pointed out to me, I learned some things in a very visceral way I would not have otherwise: I’m a west-coast gal. Please don’t ask me to tolerate humidity. I want to further my education, but the ranking of the University isn’t as important to me as the faculty and their research.

After some reflection, I came to another conclusion. In thinking about my travels last year, which I dubbed my year of Intentional Travel – well, this trip was so unsatisfying in comparison. No friends or family on the other end. No one to explore and create memories with along the way. And so I find my plans for summer travel shifting and transforming a bit this year. Perhaps I need to break the routine of the past few years, and point myself in yet another direction. A direction I can’t yet anticipate, and will challenge me in new ways.

Where I end up? I don’t know. But when I arrive, I’ll let you know.

07 June 2008

My Photo Mosaic

My creation

Want to see what yours would look like? Follow these steps:

a. Type your answer to each of the questions below into Flickr Search.
b. Using only the first page, pick an image.
c. Copy and paste each of the URLs for the images into fd's mosaic maker.

1. What is your first name?
2. What is your favorite food?
3. What high school did you go to?
4. What is your favorite color?
5. Who is your celebrity crush?
6. Favorite drink?
7. Dream vacation?
8. Favorite dessert?
9. What you want to be when you grow up?
10. What do you love most in life?
11. One Word to describe you.
12. Your flickr (or other online) name