>A Weekend in Portland, OR

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Today I went to the Portland Farmers Market. The late morning shadows filtered through the oaks and beeches, dappling the ground as we walked through the Portland State campus. Suddenly food stands arrived and clusters of people surrounded them, looking, sampling and buying.

There were purple peppers, golden cauliflowers, native oysters, chevre, pistachio pestos, elk jerkies, artisan breads, heirloom tomatoes, Jerusalem artichokes, squash, gourds, tables of chanterelles, red and yellow dahlias, dried cherries, huckleberries, ripe strawberries, jams, spicy jellies, cherry ciders, milk chocolates, honeycrisp apples, white rose peaches, and all of the transactions were cash. It was much like a medieval fair.

My mother led me to her favorite tables. We sampled the better stands, and we approvingly praised the products we didn’t buy. She said, “They have the best carrots.” Ed, who farms garlic, onions and what my mom calls Jimi Hendrix carrots, because they’re purple and yellow, out in Joseph, Oregon, was a flabby cheeked old man. He wore plaid, wide square-lensed glasses, and a gray cowboy hat. His teeth were yellow and his jowls flapped when he spoke. He is there every Saturday. 

At the end of the strip were the food carts. Pine State Biscuits are crazy – they have perfectly non-greasy fried chicken sandwiched between two flaky crusty golden biscuits smothered in coarse yellow mustard, bread and butter pickles and honey. While I waited in line, Mom bought a couple of salsa drizzled tamales, artichoke and chicken.

But the food scene isn’t the only thing going on in the P.

Last night we went to Holocene to see War Paint. With their watery indie sound, the girls were a perfect fit with the candlelit bar and $3 Rainier tall boys. The crowd had a little more trouble vibing with The Very Best. By one o clock, we were in the car bar around the corner. We drove back home on the I-5 epping with seven people in the car. After some Irish champagne for a nightcap, we smoked our farewell cigarettes and called it a night.

Published by Daniel Ryan Adler

Daniel was born in Brooklyn, NY, and has lived in Portland, Oregon. He studied literature and philosophy at NYU and creative writing at Edinburgh University. He is finishing an MFA in Fiction at University of South Carolina.

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