Tag Archives: Portland

Poetic Imagination in Japanese Art

Poetic Imagination in Japanese Art

I forget where I heard this but I heard the Portland Art Museum has a $5 after 5pm special every Friday! Not that the regular ticket is that expensive but its a good way to get out into downtown and experience some culture on the cheap. It was Christmas too so I really wanted to get downtown among the hustle and bustle to see what was going on plus whatever was on exhibit at the museum.

They change their stuff around pretty frequently which is nice but also makes the $5 ticket price a real bargain when you consider it. It was only a few months ago that I saw the Shape of Speed exhibit here. I didn’t know what was happening when I arrived so I was pleasantly surprised when they had a special showing called Poetic Imagination in Japanese Art.

They have several different areas that highlight different types of art in Japan as it evolved over time. Its a style of art that you know it when you see it. Just like their tattoo style. What this exhibit did highlight were different areas where the art was used for different purposes. One was simply writing in large characters which is still practiced today and takes a special hand to complete. The flow with the brush is pretty cool to watch.

They had another section of landscapes. Lots of imagery and symbolic meaning with the landscapes that where chosen. Mostly in that muted and limited color palate but still no less amazing to see. Another big area was landscapes with poetry. Poetry was very big in Japanese culture back in the day. More so here then in any other culture from around the same time period that I know of. These poets would come up with some beautiful stuff so to go along with the words often it was done on a painting.

You can’t see everything in one visit but at that price, who cares. Its a reason to come back the following Friday to continue checking out what the museum has to offer. That Friday I saw all the special exhibit with time to spare so I headed upstairs to the second level. Here I finished out the left section of the museum but still haven’t made it over to the modern art building. One day….

A giant orchid outside the museum.

On my way out I saw a posted notice that the museum is seeking approval to expand the museum. It’s great to see the Portland Art Museum isn’t suffering from a lack of funding. I think only good can come from having and appreciating more art. Whatever form that takes the world can use more of it.

Knowing that there are cheap tickets every Friday I am going to have to make this a regular stop for myself. I figure at least once a quarter would be worth it. Checkout what’s on special and get downtown for an evening out. Thinks are a little busy right now but maybe come February I can get back for another quick visit on a Friday afternoon.

Whiskey Shivers Bunk Bar Water Saturday, July 14th 2018

A co-worker of mine had an extra ticket to see Whiskey Shivers at Bunk Bar on a Saturday night. I spent most of the day running errands so it was nice to sit and do a little pregame at Slow Bar with Jeff and a friend of his. They floated down a river on inner tubes to a park to play some disc golf. I know they where tired and so was I. The food looked pretty good and the beer was cold.

We got together real early so after a drink at Slow Bar we headed to the venue. Here we got some more drinks as we waited for the show to start. It was nice out so we grabbed a few drinks and headed outside to enjoy the weather. It was cool seeing the band outside as well enjoying the late afternoon sun before the show.

The venue itself isn’t anything special. Large open concrete dance floor and in the back on a raised tier are some tables. They had a few smaller tables and chairs scattered in the back and to the side but for the most part everyone was going to stand. A large bar with stools directly opposite the door when you walk in. Outside some small tables with ashtrays for smokers but also a good place on a nice evening.

Never heard of the band before I got the ticket so I did a little research on them and liked what I heard. While I don’t listen to bluegrass often I do appreciate it and don’t hate it like I do country music. The band was really energetic and put on a good show I thought. The fans, while not a full house, really got into the music. Just a lot of energy and love swirling around the room that night. For the encore they even came down of the stage and did a few acoustic songs in the crowd which was pretty cool.

A great summer night in Portland with good beer, good friends, and some great live music. I love live music, especially new stuff I haven’t heard before. I love being pleasantly surprised by gems like Whiskey Shivers when I find them.

Charlie Hunter Trio Mississippi Studios Thursday, December 13th 2018

When Charlie Hunter came through town last year I missed the show. I never thought it would sell out and guess what, it sold out. This year when it was announce he was playing Mississippi Studios in Portland I bought my ticket as soon as they went on sale. I saw that he was playing in Seattle and kept waiting for something to be announce here in Portland. I was seriously considering a day trip to Seattle but glad they decided to make a stop in Portland.

It was a long day at work so unfortunately no pre-game before the performance. I did manage to take in the fresh air for a while and get a walk in. I also managed to talk to a friend at length which was good. Always nice to catch up. This lowered my stress levels and put me in the right mindset to enjoy the show.

Mississippi Studios certainly fits the bill of a typical Charlie Hunter venue. A narrow venue that surprisingly has a second level balcony. Pretty big stage with tall ceiling and exposed beams all over the place. This certainly looks like they took an old building and remodeled it with a healthy budge for improvements.

Tonight’s show was going to be a seated performance but with no tables. A small intimate venue and one that was for the most part quite. In the back a few for some reason thought it was a good idea to talk which was annoying. The stage is only a few feet off the ground so the band really feels close to the audience. Just a great venue for this style show

This time around the trio was a little different with a member being female vocalist Lucy Woodward. It has always been three instruments in the past. Each tour in fact is a different trio which is awesome. The song selection was very well done. First set was about 50 minutes and more traditional blue and jazz songs. After a short set break they came back for another set that was an hour long with encore. The second feature a local trumpeter for most of it, including the encore. The second set also got a little more funky.

Charlie never disappoints with his Trio over the years. This year with the addition of Lucy it was a totally different show then I have seen in the past. Just a great night of music and a little banter with Charlie on a Thursday night. He tours regularly with his trio and it seems like Portland is a regular stop for him. I can’t wait to see him next year.

Charlie Hunter – 8 string guitar
Lucy Woodward – vocals
Derrek Phillips – drums

Set 1 start at 8:05pm
1. .
2. .
Set over at 8:52pm
Set 2 starts at 9:16pm
1. .
2. .
Set over at 10:03pm
Encore starts at 10:04pm
3. .
House lights at 10:15pm

Swifts Are a Thing

Vaux’s Swifts

I love stationary and Lark Press in northwest had this card but never understood the significance. It was one in a series of city landmarks like the bridges and the state sign when you cross over Burnside Bridge into downtown. This particular card was of a chimney and some dots around it. I didn’t get it.

For a nice evening out I suggested we visit Chapman Elementary School in northwest. In September migratory swifts pass through and use an abandoned chimney at the school to rust on their way south. The weather was going to be good and it just happened to be September when I found out about this.

We both picked up some items from the grocery store and headed to the school right after work. They start to circle the chimney just before sunset. I should have known from the parking situation things were going to be busy. When we got to the school I was shocked to see just how many people were there.

Vaux’s Swifts

There was plenty of time before sunset but the school was already packed with people. All the good spots were taken so we laid out the blanket and sat under a tree. As the sun set the birds started to gather. You could hear this weird chirp in the area. It was really neat watching the birds circle the chimney as they land inside. I don’t know how they perch in there. It was crazy watching this large groups of birds swirl around spinning tighter and tighter before the land inside. Two thousand people show up and who knows how many birds.

We spent several hours there that night just talking. It was really nice and relaxing. The sun was completely set and there was no one else in the park by the time we left. Now I understand the note card I saw so many months ago. It really is a think here to watch birds roost in a chimney in northwest Portland.


The Shape of Speed

So as most typical natives I don’t really play tourist in my own town. I love visiting art museums but the majority of those that I have been to have been while traveling. Seattle Art Museum, Denver Art Museum, High Museum of Art in Atlanta, National Gallery of Art, National Portrait Gallery, and Le Louvre.

Kristina proposed seeing the exhibit The Shape of Speed: Streamlined Automobiles and Motorcycles at the Portland Art Museum. A special exhibition featuring 19 rare streamlined automobiles and motorcycles from the 1930 to 1942. Sunday was the last day of the show and she knows I like cars. I was so excited when she said the museum. I have wanted to go here since I moved but just never found the time to make it. I was excited to see the cars but also the art on the wall.

We meet early for brunch at a cafe she found in downtown called Bijou Cafe. We got there rather early on her advice because by 10am brunch places get pretty packed. This early we were able to walk right in and get a table.

After a quick bite to eat we walked down to the museum to check things out. Being the last day it was rather busy but that’s ok. The first floor is where all the cars were. Lots of classically designed cars with sweeping curves and big personalities. All the cars were “production” cars near as I could tell. Such a great variety of manufacturers and designs. Also some innovated design elements like early electronic systems and umbrella’s in the door. Another thing I noticed with most of the cars is they where built with travel in mind. Mostly to store all the luggage one was to have when traveling back in the 30’s and early 40’s.

Next we went to the second level to check out some of the art on the wall. Honestly we didn’t get to deep into it. We saw a couple of rooms but that was it. We sat and enjoyed a couple of paintings, discussing the finer details of the works like civilized art critics. I do think most discussions of art are opinions wrapped as knowledge. Some good stuff here but some weird stuff as well. Couldn’t find an over all theme to the collection but still a worthy group.

A great exhibit and I was happy to hear Kristina recommend it. It was thoughtful, cultural and something we both could enjoy. The food was good which doesn’t hurt either. Honestly the highlight of the day for me was seeing her face when I gave her some flowers at the end of the day.