August 4, 2005
I like Portland
Portland has wicked karma. Reasons? Glad you asked.
1. Seriously beautiful city. You can see Mt. Hood and Mt. St. Helens (Though when it blew, even though you could hear it in BC, you couldn't hear it in Portland. The sound travelled the wrong way. A waiter told me that. The top of the mountain is gone. Crazy.) The city is clean and beautiful and full of trees and coffee.
2. Right. Peet's coffee. I think they are really in Berkeley, but every where you turn around in Portland...Peet's. The glorious brown elixer of life has never been better.
3. This guy.
This dude was so charming about holding the sock. He kept saying "just hold it?" (What else would you do buddy? It's a half knit sock. It's useless except as a knitting project or a holding thingie. ) He was perplexed to a degree that I found endearing. I finally told him not to think about it too much, and that's when I got the snap. I love the way that he looks like he's given up, but likes it.
4. Fab hotel. Great beer.
5.. Powell's. This is, and I don't have it in me to lie to you....not even to defend Canadian bookstore pride, the best bookstore I've ever been in. The place is huge. (They give you a map. You need a map).
6. Stunning knitters. This is at Powell's where there was a microphone (which still totally flips me out. I don't know who they think I am.) and the knitters where a whack of fun. Portland knitters ask deep questions. Deep.
Check out the reciprocal blogging in this one. They're blogging me while I'm blogging them. If you think it's hard to explain your feelings about knitting? Try explaining that.
My favourite moment, when a lovely knitter confided to the other 80 knitters that she feels separation anxiety when she finishes a project. She feels sad to let it go. I thought for a minute, then (suspecting the answer) asked her how many projects she had on needles at once. Perhaps not enough?
When she replied "One at a time", the whole room heaved an enormous "Ohhhhhhhh" and knew instantly what she should do. More projects at once. Takes the sting out of finishing something. (Sort of gives you the feeling you never finish anything, but it takes the sting out of the finishing nicely.)
This was the pile of books I signed with my unreasonably long name after everybody left. (By the way...the hyphenated name? Big mistake. I would have totally made it shorter if I'd have known I would be writing it this much.)
See the sock? See the sock's new friends? In LA was presented with "Groupies" for the sock. These wee buddies for the sock made me laugh for....well. I'll let you know when I stop laughing.
Today was Seattle, (which is also a totally cool place) but I'm too tired to tell you anything. More tomorrow, after a morning flight to Vancouver.
Posted by Stephanie at August 4, 2005 11:16 AM
The guy is totally awesome, I love him. And it looks like a ton of fun, I would love to visit portland.
Ah, I went to college in Portland, and oh, I ache when I think of Powells. I miss Powells. I long for Powells. I spent many a day and a dollar in Powells. And, how could you not love a bookstore where Fup, store cat has her own column in the newsletter?
Thank you again for a lovely experience here in the Emerald City. I'm sad you're leaving, but hope you had a great time. *beams!*
Love the embarassed but hanging-in-there face of the dude.
Powells is mecca for book lovers.
That gentleman looks totally awesome and super nice.
Sock groupies! I love it. Sounds like Sock is getting to be as famous as you.
Powells is just the best. And when I can't be in Portland, I still shop at Powells. After years of retail harmony, Amazon.com & I had a nasty break up, oh it was messy. Now I go to Powells.com where I am confident the book will be shipped by a real human being who is wearing birkenstocks and is a vegetarian. Very good book karma. Also I noticed that you can pre-order a fabulous new book that they promise will be available in 25 days. You need to check it out:
What an awesome place, and what great knitters.
Having several things on the needles at once hasen't dulled the separation anxiety for me. I get the guilts for neglecting the poor dears who wait while I work on something else.
The Sock has groupies? Wow! Lucky sock!
I am getting a definate feel for the places to visit when I eventually "do" the US.
Ah, Peets...truly the best coffee anywhere and lucky me just found a store that sells it in Nashville. The world is now a better place! I'm so glad to read that you're checking out all the cool places you are going and am jealous, jealous, jealous of your tour of California and the Pacific Northwest. San Fran, Portland and Seattle are three of my favorite cities. So, next book and next tour do you think you'll come to Nashville, TN? Hint, hint - my shop would LOVE to have you with us.
It was great to hear you at Powell's, I'm glad you liked Portland...
And thanks for signing all 6 of those books for my mother's & my friends.
Wishing you safe travel and that you enjoy the rest of your tour!
Dang Stephanie, you're making all this travel, beer, knitting and coffee sound like fun. I think it's time to grab my sock and hit the road!
Blogging someone blogging. Is that even legal?!
Oh, you're making me miss the northwest (do you Canadians call it the southwest?) so badly. I can't wait to move back there one day. I'm so glad you loved it. Have the sock give a wave to my home, the San Juan Islands, for me on your way up to Vancouver!
ooooooooooooooh Portland! I've always wanted to go. A dear friend has told me that she could see me living there. I'm glad you had an awesome time.
Yeah, no hyphanation of the last name for me if my boyfriend (even though it would sound really really cool) & I get married, it'd be 17 letters long...
The more I read about the traveling, the more I realize that my little dream of seeing you is just not as cool as seeing you in person. I'm hoping Chicago ends up on the next book tour map.
Ohhhhh, I want to go, I want to go! Can I be another one of the sock's groupies? I loooooove (even though I've never been there) the Pacific NW. I was so lobbying for Abigail to go to college there, but alas, she wanted to be closer to home.
You gotta love Portland - I was there only once and I'd go back in a flash. And as for the question about the "northwest" - when I lived in Vancouver, everyone called it the Pacific Northwest, same as Americans do, and refered to our own coast just as the West Coast or the Coast. Further north is just the North. I lived in Vancouver for five and a half years and got used to all the backwards geography. I envy the sock and am not letting my half-knit socks know how far the sock has travelled.
"sock groupies"! That has made my day, proving further that I should get back to work!
That is a fantastic set of photos! I think I'm being inspired to photograph more of my own life... :) Thanks Stephanie!
Portland sounds great - and I can vouch for the Seattle reading... ...Stephanie, you were in great form, and everyone laughed to the point of tears. I can't imagine how ANYONE present could ever see the Goodwill, or Memphis, the same way again.
It was great to find out that in person - you're just as fab as on the blog. And, uh... ...Rose is excited to the point of breaking, in that inimitable, 7-year-old-girl way, to have the autographed copy of your book. Thanks!!!
Oh, how I miss living in Portland! *sigh*
I'm glad you enjoyed it too. But then, how could you not??
And Portland has the most amazing natural grocery, with fresh wheat free & vegan baked goods! And you're right about Peets. Started right here in Berkeley, although now franchised on the West Coast.
You don't want to know this, but I'll tell you anyway, just to share the love: Powells is online. www.powells.com. Used-book Mecca.
Have fun in Vancouver!
Oh, Peet's is the best damn coffee around. In the days when my cost of living was a LOT lower, I used to mail order it. I'm sure there are places here that sell it but I'm too lazy to find them.
Sock groupies? What's next--drugs and rock 'n' roll?
Hmm. What would you shorten your name to?
How about Steffie McPearl? It's shorter, yet has a little bit of everything. And kinda kicky, no? Very hip. Very now.
(Sorry. I have a job in marketing/PR. This is how our minds work.)
Moved up to Portland (from SoCal) for a few brief years back in the 90s, and it truly is a beautiful city. I couldn't take the lack of sun, but the three things I do miss are the scenery, the dim sum down on 4th Street, and ... Powell's. Wow, what a store. Makes Borders look like a rather pathetic wannabe.
Love the sock groupies. :D
I've never been to Portland (my only visit to the left coast has been Seattle) but my husband has a huge love affair with Portland. Too bad its much too far from our midwestern and east coast families or we'd consider moving there.
Now...when are you going to have the SMALL TOWN tour? Plenty of yummy shops dotted throughout central New York. Heck..if your publisher would pay for it, I'd host it in my yard ;)
Did I not warn you of Powell's? It's like a book lover's craziest wet dream come to life. I haven't been in 5 years, and I still sigh in delight when the store is mentioned.
You should try Alaskan Amber beer while you are on the west coast. It is my husbands favorite and he can't get it anywhere on the east coast, we've even considered ordering some online but i would cost $5 a bottle.
Stephanie - You should shorten your name to St_____________________. Much easier to write, yes? :)
If you did not have the opportunity to take the sock to see the Ride the Duck, the EMP or the Troll, let me know and I can take a stand-in (like a crash-test sock dummy or knitty stunt double of sorts) for the sock and you can PRETEND you got to see all of the way cool things that Seattle offers :D
I KNOW we don't have any cool Beefeater-type peoples...at least, if we do, I have not yet (living here for the last 26 years of my life) had the pleasure of seeing any...
I am so very sad I missed you! But I am truly happy that you enjoyed our little city:) Powell's is a wonder. I can easily spend hours just browsing. I hope the rest of your trip is fabulous and I'll just have to catch you for the next book signing trip;)
I love the sock groupies! He looks so much happier with pint-size company lol
Not a chance on hyphenating names when I get married... bf's last name is 16 letters, and Czech as if 16 letters isn't bad enough. I get writer's cramp just writing it out once!
I kinda like McPearl though ;-)
I'm so glad the sock has friends! I was a bit worried about its isolation and lack of opportunities for socialization. (With other socks, that is. It meets far more people than I do, after all.)
Sock groupies. That's hillarious. Who thought that up?
I'm so bummed I couldn't get there, but the 4 hour drive from Central Oregon would have been too much. Powell's is amazing, did you see the three door elevator they've got? My kids love that. And Peet's is definitely the best. I'll feel I've died and gone to heaven if Peets ever makes an appearence in Bend. I do order my beans from Peets on a regular schedule though, couldn't live without it!
Glad you got beer. And good beer at that. Makes all the difference.
Sock groupies ARE funny. What are those Californians thinking giving you groupies for the sock but no beer?
I love Portland. I love Portland so much that if someone said to me, "Would you like a job picking cigarette butts out of the gutter for minimum wage? It's in Portland." I'd take it in a heartbeat.
Powell's. And the Saturday Market. And the rose garden. And, and, and.... *sigh*.
I keep hoping that you might make it to the Chicago or Milwaukee area with THIS book tour, but perhaps you might get to one of them with the NEXT book?
Have fun in Seattle! Hubby's from there. MORE COFFEE. STARBUCKS.
Portland is a lovely city and Powell's is my Mecca. My husband & I drive down from Seattle just to go to Powell's. Glad to hear you enjoyed it too.
And it was great to see you in Seattle.
Anxiously awaiting your arrival in Vancouver! Hurry up, Stephanie! I'm giddy to meet you! I love me a Harlot on a hot summer day. ..
Ohhh...The Heathman Hotel. And Mirror Pond. Those are two of my all time favorite things.
I had such a blast at your reading. I have never felt so comfortable with my obsession! It's so nice to know that there are others out there. I think I need to find a Portland SNB after that experience!
Thanks for coming to Portland. I'm glad you enjoyed our awesome city!
You were magnificent in Portland! My husband wasn't going to come with me, but when I said it was at Powell's, he quickly changed his mind. You fit right in with your Birks, coffee and knitting. Who needs dress sandals in the NW anyway?
I'm sorry, did you say SOCK GROUPIES?
It was nice meeting you Portland! Powell's was such a fantastic venue for you - and it's awesome that you stayed at The Heathman. You lucky lucky woman! If you wind up on another cross-country/cross-continent "Book Tour" (Yarn Crawl), we'd love to see you here in Portland again!
Ugh - your post deepens my pangs for Portland! I went to college there (very deep questioning folk indeed at that place), and yes, Powells is hand-down the best bookstore on the planet. I always thought I'd make my way back somehow - there's time yet LOL.
Stephanie we loved having you in Portland. Thank you for the hour of constant laughing. I needed that! (You picked one of our finest hotels as well!). Thank you for the advice on the shawl - to maybe start with the Wool Peddler's Shawl - you got me over the "hump of insane indecision" which has been going on for at least a year (I'm embarassed to say). Thanks for coming, and I hope you didn't have to do any finger pointing (Heyyyyyyy!) while in our lovely city (heehee).
If only Powel's had yarn it is a place I could live in and never leave!
The key to signing lots of things with a hyphenated name (yea I was a feminist 25 years ago and did the same thing) is to write the first name legibly and sort of scribble the last name making the "P" and "M" legible. I am a judge and have to sign my name many many times every working day and this works for me and is cheaper than an autopen! The ONLY other problem is they way people mangle hyphenated names. My court officer and clerks have resorted to calling me Judge AW (like the root beer). You could be Stephanie PM (and it actually fits you with the coffee habit and love of late night knitting). Just a thought.....
I love traveling vicariously with you! I had to laugh and laugh at the man! When he asked "Do I just hold it?" You should have replied, "Unless you know how to turn a heel!" LOL I'm glad you felt welcomed in the Pacific Northwest!
I'd just like to add my voice to the clamor for a couple of Chicago stops on a future tour! and the pro-Portland clamour, too.
Shhhhh...don't give away the secret. Portland needs to keep that small city feel. I'm a native although I haven't lived there since the late 90's, and let me tell you: skip the Peet's (I know it's good) and go to a McMenamins and get yourself a Ruby. Best beer ever!
I always wonder about the sock-holders. Especially the ones who are not knitters or bloggers and have no idea of this travelling sock phenomenon.
I'm trying not to think about you in Vancouver, and me, unable to get down there. I hope you have a fabulous time, though!
Ohhhh, *Powells*. I grew up just outside Seattle, and recall my very first trip to the world o'books. Good thing for my bank account that I am now clear across the country, and can't get there in person. And this directive will probably come waaaay too late, but the sock simply MUST meet the Freemont Troll, or the Waiting for the Interurban statue. Ah, Washington, my home (in memory, still green).
I'm not sure which I love more: that your sock has socks, or that a bunch of people sat around knitting socks for a sock.
Portland rocks. I love all the trees, the bit of moisture in the air (but only a bit, not so much that you're in need of a humidifier), the whole atmosphere. And Powells...mecca for anyone who reads. Can you believe a whole city block of books? There's *another* Powells for business/scientific books down the street - they actually needed MORE room for all the books! Ahhhh....there's a town with the right set of priorities.
Glad the tour has gone so well!
Powell's is an experience within itself. It's my favorite thing about Portland, and seeing as how I love Portland a good deal, that's saying a lot.
Anywho, the book book book "thing" at the Weaving Works was so much fun! Glad to meet so many knitters! And to think! You have mobilized us! If only we had some common political cause...wait, we do! Tricoteurs sans Frontiers! Ha!
Note all the exclamation points...I have just had a good cup of coffee.
Powell's. What can I say? If I had to choose between that place and the world's biggest yarn shop, it would be tough.
Seeing you in Shoreline (Third Place Books)yesterday was a hoot. I'm surprised you can even remember what city you're in any more.
The sock groupies are awesome.
In a couple of weeks the boy is taking me up to Portland for the William Byrd festival, to meet all his musician friends. It'll be my first visit there, and having seen your photos of Powell's I really think I need to bring empty luggage for books! And for *cough* souvenir yarn, of course.
This does not particulary pertain to this blog but here goes...
Please remember that we are all in this fascination with fiber together. Whether we spin, knit (move the yarn with the left hand or right hand), crochet, weave or anything else with fiber we all groove by using fiber. This love of fiber unites us. In a world of ethnic groups, nations, happenings, beliefs and ideas which tend to polarize us (sometimes tragically) the love of fiber and working with it is our common love, the thing that binds us together. Please do not condescend to those of us who use different needles, hold the yarn differently, enjoy a different yarn, or even crochet. We're all in this together.
The Tattered Cover in Denver is another amazing bookstore.
ugh! I am SOOOO homesick right now... I haven't been back to PDX in years. I was craning trying to see if I knew anyone in the Powell's pics.
It really does have great karma and great beer and great coffee. you know what else? an adult kickball league, an amazing japanese garden, a 24-hour church of elvis (surely this one is gone, however... anyone know if it still exists?), and it is considered an example of fantastic urban planning. ah. I sure do miss the city of roses...
I think the Church of Elvis closed not too long ago.
I remember there being a write-up in the paper announcing it.... can any other Portlanders confirm?
It's me again! I'm soooo glad you got to see THE mountain, and St. Helens too? Your Portland cup runneth over.
As a migrant who didn't find Portland till the age of 69, I am in love with the place, with Oregon, the whole scene. LOVE it. Hope I never have to leave.
Also LOVED seeing you at Powell's and wish you every success with the bookbookbook and your tours... and the rest of your life!
All these commentary about your bookbookbook tour is almost making me wish tat you'll drop by Singapore! How's that for a thought?
Trust LA Knitters to give you groupies for the sock. I was so bummed that I couldn't make it to Knit Cafe to see you. Argh. We had a house guest from New Hampshire who is not a knitter and didn't want to go and then he went to see burlesque with the boy and left me home with the kids and... and.... *sulk*
So. Un. Fair.
Portland is the rock. Powells is wonderful. I maxxed out my VISA card the last time I was there and never even made it off the first floor. *sigh*
The 24-hour Church Of Elvis has, alas, closed. It is missed. :)
Sorry I missed you here in Portland, but I'm glad you enjoyed our fair city! Come back again! Powell's is, without doubt, just about the coolest bookstore ever invented. Someone mentioned the Tech branch. There's also a branch Powell's devoted to gardening and cookbooks, plus 3 "everything" branch stores, each as big as a regular bookstore. The overflow goes in something like 5 or 6 warehouses. The sheer volume of books is overwhelming. Without the store map, you'd wander aimlessly forever, lost among the books, trying to find the check-out.
Next time, try Stumptown Coffee. It's local and to die for. For beer, Portland has more microbreweries per capita than any other city in the US. They're all good!
I agree about Peets and am lucky enough to live on the west coast and get it some of the time.. the (half)grown kids moving to Chico next week will live only a mile from Peets:) I am glad you are enjoying the west coast and the deep knitters; some would have said "too New Age", so you are so kind.
I've had plenty of fun at Powell's (even ate prom dinner in the cafe) but your book book book tour was the best Powell's experience I've ever had. Never have I laughed so hard as at Hank's blue yarn. That was fabulous!
It is so cool that your sock has groupies. Now it won't get lonely while riding in your purse to all those cities. I see funnier sock adventures in the future.
Oh darn, you've left Seattle. After the combined beer and Peet's, I was reminded of a tv show ($40 a day with Rachael Ray on Food Network) which introduced a Brewery in Seattle that had Coffee Flavored Beer - http://www.redhook.com/ales_blackhook1.htm
It seems it has hints of chocolate, too. Not sure I want beer to taste like coffee or chocolate, but it'd be worth trying, at least.
More with the travel suggestions - In Vancouver, one must try the Dim Sum. Dim-Sum (Cantonese style brunch) is nothing short of heavenly in Vancouver. I kid you not. I swear on my stash. Vancouver Dining Suggestions - http://forums.egullet.org/index.php?showtopic=66736&mode=linear
My brain is stuck at "sock groupies"... wow...
Oh my god, I'm in that picture
Wow, that's a helluva bookstore. It looks just like my old university library. Any city with that big a bookstore has my vote for best in nation.
Why not just sign "Yarn Harlot" -- it IS shorter. And different. :)
It's supposed to be the biggest book store in the world. I grew up in Portland, my heart aches for the city now that I am so far away. It was like winning the lottery seeing your pictures.
I hope you got to see some of the wonder of Seattle last night; I (over)heard you were stuck out by the airport, which is a crying shame when we have lovely hotels downtown.
There is more than one Powells in Portland there are several. Thanks for coming to Portland it made my week. Enjoy your tour!
You know, that sock's been around enough to write its own travel brochures. And the Sock Groupies? That's too dang funny.
It's a really good thing you've been coming this way up the coast, because if you had seen Vancouver first, you never would have made it to Portland.
It was a hoot Stephanie. I'm just sorry we don't get to sit around and do that more often. I figured you would mesh OK with Portland (yes, in Oregon). This is the land of coffee, beer and home to Moonstruck chocolate. Plus we are overly polite. Slightly Canadian I think.
They hand you a pair of Birkenstocks when you cross the border and it has been named the best city for cyclists in the US. Maybe you could trick the girls into cycling?
And you know, I was thinking about the lipstick. No need to rush into anything. Maybe you should just start with a gloss...
Oh no! I missed you in Seattle. :( Well I hope you enjoyed it. Can't wait to hear what you thought! And those groupies are such rockin' crazy socks, I love it!
New to your blog! Just "discovered" you at the Powell's signing the other night. You were a hoot and I'm thrilled you enjoyed beautiful Portland. I am a transplant from elsewhere myself but fell madly in love with Portland the first time I saw it and have no plans to leave!
Now to all y'all Portland knitters out there ... I'm still in the garter-stitch-scarf-only knitter stage (one attempt at a hat but it turned out to be a yamika and I've been too scared to reattempt!) ... do y'all hook up for a SNB anywhere I might find?? You guys were doing amazing things there, watching good ole The Yarn Harlot. This Grasshopper would love to learn from the pros.
Sock groupies! How clever. :)
I saw you in Seattle at your second incarnation in our great city. When I got home and showed my honey your signature, she was surprised that you *didn't* sign it the Yarn Harlot. :)
Either way, I'm happy, I just hope your hand didn't get cramped! Wouldn't want any injuries from something other than knitting!!
Of course, signing it Stephanie PM could indicate that you're a night-owl or pre-menopausal or post-menopausal. Which pretty well covers it.
(Oh relax, zoe. She also condescends to those of us who say sofa and spell color without a "u." It's called humor.)
Hey, if Koigu can abbreviate KPM, KPPM and KPPPM, why can't our Yarn Harlot save her ever-knittin' digits by simply signing SPM?
S.P-McPhee also has a writerly ring to it, no?
Glad you liked our town! It was awesome to see you in person and you put on a hell of a knitting rally at Powell's.
Kat, try Aunt Mabel's (SE 30th and Division, I think) on a weekend. Tons of knitters, plus they serve ice cream.
Wow! I loved seeing you at Powell's! Thanks for all the laughs! (Kat - hi Kat! - and I "discovered" you together.) We would've been the two dorks who opened the bookbookbook when you said "Open your books to page___." Yeah.
It was so awesome to see all the lovely Portland knitters, because other than Kat (and one or two people who are part-time knitters...I know...weird eh?) I have yet to find a group of people who don't give me "the look."
So, thanks y'all for reminding me why I love Portland so much and thanks Kim for the info on Mabel's (love Mabel's!).
So so so bummed I missed you! I had my car broken into and my laptop (gasp!) stolen that day... had to stay home and nurse my wounds with alcohol and a hot bath.... and searching for my new laptop. :D
Glad you love my fair city.. and our lovely city of books. :D Ah.. P-town is a city of coffee lovers, beer lovers, book lovers, and knitters. It's truly heaven! :D
Thanks for the heads up on Mabel's SNB. I mean, yarn AND ice-cream! Just try keeping me away....lol.
I never hyphenated, myself, because that would have made me Larissa Golden-Brown. No kidding.
I have to give a plug for stumptown coffee, which you seem to have missed while in Portland. It's an actual Portland coffee that is beyond belief. I'd love to send you some - send me your address!
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