WILT #10 (10!), in which PDX has it all

So today I went up to get a haircut in NW. I basically asked the guy to trim and furminate–“keep the length (for now), cut off the fried stuff, and de-bulk what you can.” I had been going to the same fabulous haircutress in St. Paul since 2006 and wish I could have brought her out here with me. It’s not easy to find someone who isn’t afraid to cut curly hair. So many stylists think that curly hair should only be worn long in layers. I object!… though I am, currently, wearing my hair long in layers. But I need to know that my stylist can give me a pixie if I want one without batting an eyelash.

Am I seriously still talking about this?

Anyway. I got a trim.

And then I headed to SW where I dropped off my sparkly ring to have it re-sized. I parked and walked two blocks to the jeweler… and found myself walking past a Nordstrom Rack. Really? 95% of my clothing comes from either Target or the Rack. And I have a dress-worthy shindig coming up this weekend. Perfect. I stopped in and 15 minutes later walked out with that delightful bright blue Rack bag.

And the Waterfront Blues Festival was this weekend! Oh! I’m definitely taking all three of those days off next year. I was working on Saturday and Sunday, so Jesse and I headed up on Friday with a giant Costco-sized package of Zatarain’s red beans and rice to donate to the Oregon Food Bank. We meandered past smaller stages and some vendors’ booths and tents until we found an ATM. I walked into a booth selling silver jewelry of all kinds and bought a couple hoops for my nose for less than a latte. Suddenly, the Blues Fest became a one-stop shop. Finding a sterling silver nostril hoop had been on my list for a month.

I wonder how many other people had that sitting on their to-do lists last week.

And then I mused to Jesse, “I wonder if they can sell me a non-beer adult beverage that is not a crappy chardonnay?” And there they were with Mike’s Hard Limeade. Soda, basically, and NOT safe for celiacs (see the email from a Mike’s communications coordinator here), but for someone like me who at this point doesn’t have to worry too much about cross-contamination, the risk was small. And delightful, I’m not a little ashamed to say. (Never fear, though–my recipes here are celiac safe.)

So Jesse with his beer and I with my Mike’s headed to the main stage where Trombone Shorty and Orleans Avenue was just about to start. We stood by the production tower with our outrageous timing as the band got started. 89.1 KMHD had been playing the crap out of Trombone Shorty over the last few weeks and I knew I had to see the band live. And no disappointment!

The set was bananas. The bass player had a wild solo that was as entertaining as it was musically developed. The sense of humor these guys showed both in their performance and in their arrangements was clever and punchy. They layered a verse of “Blister in the Sun” into their finale, a killer version of “When the Saints Go Marching In,” and my head exploded.

Jesse can corroborate.

Seriously. Next year? I’m taking three vacation days and camping out with my beach chair like the pros who’ve been attending the festival since it began in 1987. Y’all are welcome to join me. One fellow I met while standing in line for a taco told me that he’d just driven up with some friends from Jackson, Mississippi. 48 hours of driving. For the Waterfront Blues Festival. I made sure to buy a t-shirt.

So the moral of my story, my 10th WILT, is that Portland is great. And has everything. Right around the corner from all the other things.


2 responses to “WILT #10 (10!), in which PDX has it all

  1. Nice…I used to love going down to the blues fest. More of a rock and roll guy, but I’ve always loved the musicianship and comeraderie that pervades Waterfront park during the fest. One of the jewels in the crown of Portland for sure… 🙂

    The only thing that gets my goat are the lines and small (and kinda spendy) drinks there…but it’s a short hop to Ash St. Saloon or Berbati’s Pan (or any of the other stumble-zone hideaways) to fix that!

  2. This is pure Annie and I love it. I’m thinkin’ I love Portland, too.

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