This is the second report on my USA99 trip. It’s been a long while since the last, “Burning Man” report. The winter finally arrived to Portland, but I enjoyed the most beautiful fall vacations.
Portland is a very bike-friendly city: flat, with wide sidewalks, bike routes and bike racks on every bus. We also walked and rode the bus a lot, and eventually got annoyed by the long waiting times. Fortunately, we found a car auction nearby with super-cheap bargains. We walked by the place one thursday and saw a car being sold by 20 dollars. So, we came back next week with our very own 20 bucks bill and bought a little green car. Despite a missing window, a weak clutch and a beaten up body, it was pretty good and running. We made some repairs ourselves, and I learned that messing up with cars is as fun and easy as playing with computers. The key is to start with cheap used ones so you don’t destroy anything worth years of savings :)
Oh, boy, now we finally had a big, big trunk to fill up with goodies from the bins. I was trying to quit my toy-buying addiction, but who can resist that place, “where all the good things come from (TM)”? As a last resort, I tried to get rid of some toys, and put up a little zine, with my last year’s travel journals (recycling is the keyword! they started as a webpage, then came the printed book, and finally 9 different, collectible zines, each one with a nice toy attached as an extra bonus). If you want one of the “yobafofa” zines, send e-mail to email@example.com, there are still some copies available. If not, the DeMent zine library has the complete collection for guests’ perusal.
It was also time for some updates on my web-zine, Pilula (www.pilula.com.br) I finally uploaded many nice contributions from friends and my own little article about my experience at Burning Man. (For english-only speakers, I must warn you that 90% of Pilula’s content is in portuguese. You can give it a try though, there’s plenty of nice images too :)
After a week or two staying at the Dement House, Brady moved back to Gracie’s (in the old Compound building) and I moved along. The evil after-hours club was still there, but not for long. (for those that don’t know, my friends were forced to leave the building because the manager decided to set up a club next door to them, and didn’t want tenants complaining about loud music, drunk clubbers and the like. See www.scribble.com/compound/saga.html) The police found out the club owners also dealt with guns and drugs, and promoted a big bust on the floor. Dozens of cops were circulating around the building, collecting evidence and handcuffing unsuspecting probable accomplishes. Apparently, two cops have been renting a studio at the Compound undercovered as “stained glass artists”. The police bust was not really a pleasant experience, but the club wasn’t either, and general relief and happiness followed its closing.
For Ivana’s arrival, we prepared her favorite dessert, a special banana pie recipe. I think Brady or Seth will make the recipe and pictures available online soon. Ivana finished all her pending paperwork after graduation and joined us in the US. So if you want to hire an excellent journalist, call her.
We decided to give Gracies a facelift and spent 4 days painting all the walls with bright colors, finishing just in time for the Lenara&Brady Birthday Party (check out the party page and Gracie’s new walls). Brady’s birthday is one day after mine, so we had a party together. If that’s not enough libras for you, Megan’s birthday is a week before, and Mykle’s a week later.
After turning 27, I basically spent the rest of october having fun in Portland. Here’s a small list of nice places I’ve been to:
– Common Ground hottubs nice warm water, no roof so you can see the sky
– Pied Cow great cafe with a nice yard
– Movie Madness the best movie rental store. hard to find videos, decorated with memorabilia
– Nichola’s I can’t praise enough this small and wonderful mediterranean restaurant. our little “Ocidente” in Portland
– The Delta southern food, nice diner
– Reading Frenzy tons of zines and little nice things
– Willamette river nice for canoeing, plenty of bridges over it in the city
– The bins well, you know all about it by now… :)
– Salmon street bike route the sidewalks remind me so much of the beach I used to go when I was a kid…
– Bagdad Theater watch movies for 2 dollars in a nice old building. they’re a brewery too
For Halloween, we had a big party at the DeMent house, and before that a pumpkin carving night to provide lanterns for the house and yard. Check out some pictures.
Oh, and just before that Ed, me and Bethany spent a couple of days in Seattle visiting Scott and Christene. It’s a nice city and a beautiful train ride up there. We walked around Scott’s neighborhood, capitol hill, and visited some places there. I saw a wonderful sunset on the river at the Discovery Park. I also briefly met Jon’s friend, Chris Hanis.
Scott came down to visit us for Halloween, and so did Seth, Brady’s friend from San Francisco. Plenty of nice people for our Halloween party! I got to hear the DeMent basement tour many times and the idea of making a web page about it began to grow slowly. It should be available soon at the dement website along with more content from the dement lab.
If I haven’t told you yet, Jack DeMent was a scientist that used to live in my friend’s house. When they moved in, they found a lot of his stuff left in the basement. It was basically documentation about his research, in the fields of radioactivity and fluorecency, much of it with government “secret” stamps on it. They actually had somebody check the whole basement for radioactivity, and they found some. It was harmless, though, and was removed from there. Many strange objects, photographs and x-rays were in the basement as well. My friends are planning to get all this stuff online, gradually. So keep tuned!
Right now I’m in New York, with my friends Inara, Tatiana and Cibele. I’ll keep you posted on my next adventures!