There ought to be more writers per sq mile in Portland

This weekend in Portland has morphed so many times from a writing hermit's weekend to an all friends social time, to a bike shopping extravaganza.  It settled into a lovely 3 days of a little bit of everything. I arrived early-ish on Friday and checked in and hit the pavement to go to the WestendBikes shop in the Pearl District to test drive a Brompton foldable bike. I also shopped at a yarn and fabric store. All before Harriet arrived.

Then we met up with Lisa (Panther Tribe) and Meg for the first of many fantastic meals. Our first fab feast was finger linkin' good Thai food at Pok Pok Noi walking distance from Meg and Lisa's house.  Meg's blueberry and mascarpone tarts were just as yummy.

Next day we ate breakfast at the very trendy Tasty N Alder and power-shopped at Powell's Books before meeting Lisa to walk to the best Farmers Market ever. You know it has to be amazing if it tops the Davis Farmers' Market.  We had a relaxed enjoyable time. The doorman took our picture in front of our hotel in the Pearl District (unclear on his choice of composition! He is proud of his town?)

Julie, Lisa and Harriet in front of Mark Spencer Hotel


Then Harriet and I hopped in her Prius (how appropriate for Portland, right?) and drove to Clever Cycles. Their selection of Brompton bikes was much greater and Todd, a Brompton enthusiast with many miles on his bike, was so helpful.  I bought this beauty.

Black Beauty Brompton


It will fit in the overhead compartment of the plane!  I am so excited. If the rain stops long enough today I am going to take it for a spin and practice folding and unfolding it a few more times before I fly home on Southwest.

Meanwhile, back to our adventure. I felt "motion sick" by the time we got back to the Mark Spencer Hotel, so I took a little rest and Harriet went for a walk. Then we went to Lardo for dinner. This restaurant (now local chain) started out as a food truck.  Tip of the hat to Portland's food truck culture. Sacramento could learn a thing or two from Portland and this and so many other urban planning issues.

This morning we walked to Mother's Bar and Bistro for another delicious meal and then Harriet began the 7 hour drive back to Arcata.  I have the rest of today to write.  I am really motivated. The rain helps.

In Nate Silver's The Signal and the Noise he has a chapter on weather forecasting that explains the "wet bias" in weather reports. The chance of rain is typically exaggerated slightly because if the weather report says rain unlikely and it rains, most readers will be quite upset for plans ruined. Whereas if it over reports the chance of rain and it does not rain, most readers are delighted at their good fortune.  I believe Portland has a "dry bias" because everyone from the front desk clerk to waiters has assured us that we are among the lucky visitors who will not have much rain, and it has rained a little each day.  It all depends on what "much" means to you.

However, there is nothing like a little rain to provide an incentive to write or read: hence Powell's, perhaps America's greatest bookstore.  I am looking forward to this day, and I just got a call from Southwest telling me that my flight is leaving even later so I have more time order another coffee and write.