If you typically don’t associate the words ‘fun’ and ‘enjoyment’ with the dreaded chore of doing laundry, all of that is about to change. Spin Laundry Lounge, recently opened at 750 North Fremont Street—conveniently located just off the booming and bustling Mississippi Avenue in North Portland—offers a completely fresh spin on an old theme that is sure to change your laundry mindset. This is definitely not your typical dingy, dark little laundromat; rather, this is a colorful, cheery, bright, airy and roomy space that has been thoughtfully reimagined from the ground up, and no detail has gone unnoticed. Visionary creator and owner Morgan Gary describes it best in her own words: “Spin Laundry Lounge is Portland’s only eco-friendly laundromat, bar and café, and places state-of-the-art, energy-efficient Electrolux washers and dryers and sustainable laundry products in a retro-mod cafe/bar environment. Coffee, beer, wine, and local eats (even complimentary shuffleboard), included. Cross laundry off your to-do list while you drink a microbrew, catch the Blazers or Timbers game, or work on your laptop (free WiFi) with a cup of Permanent Press Blend coffee—roasted just for Spin, by Fog Valley Coffee Roasters.”
The Backstory (from the Spin website): Owner Morgan Gary’s primary mission in creating Spin Laundry Lounge was to reimagine the entire laundromat experience—born out of her college days, where twelve occupants in an apartment complex shared a single (unreliable and inefficient) washer and dryer. Gary saw her opportunity for change. After completing an MBA in Sustainable Business, she set out to give the laundromat a 21st century update: the fastest, most energy-efficient machines in the world and eco friendly laundry products in a retro-mod cafe/lounge, serving local food and drinks. Save time and money, reduce your carbon footprint, and enjoy every minute of Portland’s totally redefined laundromat experience.
Coffee Break Monday | April 28, 2014
Subject: Due cappuccini | Location: The Albina Press, 4637 North Albina Avenue, Portland
Street Art PDX | No. 4
“Krazy Kat” | Location: Northwest Overton Street near The Fields Neighborhood Park, Portland
A detail of the stylish bar at Blackbird Restaurant, located at 503 Laneda Avenue in the beautiful Oregon Coast town of Manzanita. The locally inspired cuisine of Blackbird as described in their own words: “Located just blocks from the beach, we offer the freshest seafood, local meat and produce to bring you the finest in seasonal dining. Paired with hand-crafted cocktails and a focused wine list, our evolving menu means a new and delicious meal every time you visit.”
The long shadows of late afternoon in the Pearl District near NW 10th Avenue and NW Lovejoy Street.
Art For Art’s Sake [No. 12]
Subject: “Rampages”, a random word that appears to be carefully torn out of a newspaper or magazine, floating through Jamison Square in Portland’s Pearl District.
Art For Art’s Sake [No. 7], February 5, 2014
Art For Art’s Sake [No. 8], February 15, 2014
Art For Art’s Sake [No. 9], March 1, 2014
Art For Art’s Sake [No. 10], March 11, 2014
Art For Art’s Sake [No. 11], April 1, 2014
Burls Will Be Burls, by Portland-based conceptual artist and teacher Bruce Conkle, is a tribute to snowmen and to the forests of the Pacific Northwest. Conkle considers snowmen the proverbial “canary in the coal mine” for climate change, as they will not withstand warming of more than a few degrees, and must evolve to survive changing conditions. The cast bronze figures of Burls Will Be Burls [one of the series of three sculptures shown above] represent what might happen when a snowman melts and nourishes a nearby living tree. Water is absorbed by the roots and carries the spirit of the melted snowman up into the tree where it manifests itself as burls. By using recycled cardboard to model the bases, the artist creates monuments to the prior life of the trees before they are cut down and turned into paper products.
(Excerpt from the Tri-Met Green Line Public Audio Tour transcript)
Coffee Break Monday | April 21, 2014
Subject: A shot of espresso on the Oregon Coast | Location: Cannon Beach, with Haystack Rock in the background
Governor Tom McCall Waterfront Park, on the west side of the Willamette River, lined with over one hundred ornamental cherry trees, bursting with the beautiful colors of spring. Happy Easter and thank you to my followers and viewers!
Sign Language | Volume 7
Subject: The well-designed and highly distinctive typographic collage on the exterior side wall of Southland Whiskey Kitchen
Location: 1422 Northwest 23rd Avenue, Portland (between Northwest Pettygrove Street and Northwest Quimby Street)
Sign Language | Volume 2 (February 16, 2014)
Sign Language | Volume 3 (March 7, 2014)
Sign Language | Volume 4 (March 15, 2014)
Sign Language | Volume 5 (March 26, 2014)
Sign Language | Volume 6 (April 6, 2014)
A view of the Fremont Bridge looking east from the vantage point of Forest Park in Northwest Portland. The Fremont Bridge spans the Willamette River and is the second largest tied-arch bridge in the world (after Caiyuanba Bridge across the Yangtze River in China). The bridge is named after John C. Fremont, an early explorer of the Pacific Northwest, who ran for president in 1856 but was defeated by James Buchanan.
Name: The Envoy—With its highly distinctive pink stucco exterior, it is one of Portland’s most recognizable landmarks. Location: 2336 Southwest Osage Street, off Southwest Vista Avenue. Original Construction: 1929. Famous Residents Included: Fred G. Meyer, widely known throughout the Pacific Northwest as the pioneer of one-stop-shopping. Current Configuration: Converted in 2005, creating 40 condominium units “updated and modernized upholding its classic beauty and architectural integrity of its era”. The entire top floor of the building was converted into one grand 4 bedroom, 4 1/2 bath luxury penthouse covering 5,026 square feet with an additional 5,558 square feet of terrace. Needless to say, the city and mountain views from the top are spectacular.
On September 5, 2004, Portland’s Lewis & Clark College dedicated Sacagawea and Jean Baptiste, a 7-foot-tall sculpture created by Glenna Goodacre. It is permanently installed on the campus southeast of Frank Manor House.
Art critics and scholars refer to Glenna Goodacre, whose career spans more than five decades, as America’s sculptor. Her works as both painter and sculptor touch on themes from the nation’s history. Goodacre’s public art includes the Vietnam Women’s Memorial in Washington, D.C.; Philadelphia’s Irish Memorial to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Irish potato famine; and Sacagawea on the obverse side of the millennium golden dollar coin.
Sacagawea joined the Corps of Discovery (a specially-established unit of the United States Army which formed the nucleus of the Lewis and Clark expedition) in 1804, when her husband, Toussaint Charbonneau, was hired as an interpreter. She eventually became a translator herself. A Lemhi Shoshone Indian, Sacagawea spoke not only Shoshoni but also Hidatsa, which she used to communicate with her husband, who spoke Hidatsa and French. Charbonneau’s words were then translated from French to English by other members of the Corps. Sacagawea’s importance to the Corps became evident as she remembered the lay of the land and key passages that cut days off travel time. Her knowledge of local plants was useful when food was scarce, and, when the group’s canoes capsized, Sacagawea saved many valuable documents and notes from the river. Not only did her presence allow the Corps safe passage across many native lands—a woman and child were signals that the expedition was of a peaceful nature—but her standing as a Shoshone allowed them to barter for horses to cross the Rocky Mountains.
(Excerpts from the Lewis & Clark website)
If you need any bright ideas for finding unique and hard-to-find light bulbs, Sunlan Lighting is your Portland source. The storefront windows at the corner of North Mississippi Avenue and North Failing Street have been displaying a glowing array of light bulbs of every shape, size and color since 1989.
A beautiful illustration by Ben Shahn (American, born Lithuania, 1898-1969) from his 1966 book “Haggadah for Passover”, photographed at the Portland Art Museum Artist & Book exhibit in 2013, which featured experimental books by selected artists blending elaborate elements of illustration, text, typography, and bookbinding. The Haggadah (which translates to “telling” in Hebrew) is a Jewish text that sets forth the order of the Passover Seder, a Jewish ritual feast that marks the beginning of the Jewish holiday of Passover (which begins this evening). Reading the Haggadah at the Seder table is a fulfillment of the Scriptural commandment to each Jew to “tell your son” of the Jewish liberation from slavery in Egypt as described in the Book of Exodus in the Torah.
City Scenes | No. 1
“Watching And Waiting” | Location: Northwest 10th Avenue at Northwest Johnson Street
…and I say, it’s all right…
It may be a brief visit, but the sun has returned to Portland, and we will take what we can get and enjoy it while we can. And what better way to represent the return of the sun than with a glowing bunch of sunflowers, photographed at Bella Organic Farm on Sauvie Island?
Little darling, it’s been a long cold lonely winter
Little darling, it feels like years since it’s been here…