Thursday, July 7, 2011

Portland Day 2: OMSI and Powell's

Today was about a few simple things:

1. A nice museum experience for the kids
2. One of the world's greatest bookshops, and
3. Hanging with Portlandian friends, old and new

On the first count, the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, (OMSI ), while no match for its counterparts in Munich or Chicago, more than fulfilled the requirements of part 1.) above. Aside from the fact that we had to pay two bucks extra for a glorified advertisement for Disney's Narnia movies, it was a good ride.

Regarding the second count: in this age and day, the sheer amount of square footage dedicated to book retailing is an anachronism I can get behind. The kids, again, were favorably impressed – and they even had copies of my books, which damn few bricks-and-mortar sites do. And since, all things being equal, the advertising click-throughs here last month earned me a grand total  of eighty-two cents, maybe you and I would both be more comfortable with Powell's instead of Amazon as the clickor (or is it clickee) of choice.

Either way, disposable income being what it is, I couldn't spring 22 bucks for the T-shirt, but the image above left on a notecard was three and a half. I do love bridges, and this town has an embarrassment of riches in that department.

Likewise, I have to say this town has a good aura, as we Californians put it. Everybody and their brother is in a band, and just as there is an unusual amount of book retailing, there's an inordinate amount of attention to music. This is all to the good, and conversely also helps me appreciate the regionalism of the Tucson scene as something of an anachronism – a throwback to the days when local sounds could develop in relative isolation. That said, I could get used to the level of musical engagement here.

Tomorrow, we'll be exploring the Willamette Valley south of here.

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