A string of whimsy reunions.
The City of Roses has a special slice of my heart. It’s not because Portland is particularly beautiful, but because of the open-mindedness of its people. The city’s view of Mt. hood and surrounding waterways usually hide behind mist and relentless drizzle. While daydreaming of umbrellas and roaming the streets one can just slip into any of the coffee shops that brews a mean coffee or take shelter in the mecca of bookstores. PDX also happens to be the spot on the planet my sisters, niece, and nephew call home. In 2010, I spent a summer interning at an art gallery in the Pearl district. Almost immediately the city and its creative energy convinced me to move there. As it turns out, fate had other plans. Although I have visited PDX several times since then, this time I went to see my sister graduate from OHSU’s School of Nursing and to hand-deliver a copy of Lost in the City of Flowers to Powell’s City of Books.
Portland was graciously blooming and sunny my entire trip. The weekend was a chain of small celebration wrapped up with lovely company. I squeezed in as much food, family, and friends as possible. No adventure to PDX is complete without a visit to Broder’s. It serves my absolute favorite breakfast. The cozy eatery offers Stumptown Coffee while you wait for your table and their round Swedish pancakes only rival their egg bakes. After my sisters, friend (and talented designer) Garima Thakur, and I laughed and chatted over savory cheese and sweet caffeine we ventured off into the heart of the port city chasing other afternoon delights.
After my sister walked across the stage to receive her diploma, family and friends spent the afternoon toasting with bubbly and appreciating Portland’s Skyline from the Nine’s Departure. Later that evening we ate at Le Pigeon; a dinner both decadent and eccentric boasting entrées definitely out of our food zones.
I spent some fleeting but no less special moments with my niece and nephew. We went on fair rides and ate cotton candy until our stomachs swirled and fingers stuck together. I shared their first Indian food experience thanks to Garima’s cooking skills. While they painted watercolor superheroes I stole kisses and hugs in between their brushstrokes. We ran with the grass between our toes until the kite we got from a kind homeless gentleman flew for a few victorious seconds. My niece and nephew are two incredible growing humans that I can never get enough of. Every time it gets harder to say good-bye.
Before I left, I made a stop at Powell’s Books. Never did I think that I might have my book on one of its shelves. When I stepped through the entrance I was a tangle of nerves. Book in hand, I lingered by the info desk trying to hush my own irrational fear. While I repeated self-assuring mantras, my family waited in the background. After 15 minutes I worked up enough courage to ask to see a manager about submitting my book for their review. After handing it over, the dark negative Nancy character that dwells deep within us all grumbled her doubts about whether the book would ever see daylight but I am happy to report it might. Once I was back in Miami I got a sweet text from photographer Shaun Mendiola (responsible for the some of the killer pictures in this post) with this link to Powell’s website. Check it out for yourself.