written from dapper & wise roasters, which recently opened on division st near unfold yoga studio
The past few weekends have been FULL. Full of goodness, of friendship, of work and of self-care. I feel like I’m beginning to find my footing in Portland (kinda literally). While I still feel like a New Yorker in Oregon (gardening is decidedly still a challenge – see below), there are many aspects of this relaxed, but still ultra meaningful way of life that I can get used to. The past two weekends are excellent representations of how Portland combines all of the above in its signature coffee-drinking, do-everything-in-the-rain lifestyle.
Garden Work Party
Part of my position for my service is to facilitate work in the school garden. School gardens are wonderful things (I wrote about my course on them here), but to be perfectly honest, I feel like a fish out of water when dealing with them (I’m a New Yorker, after all). I worked my toosh off on this event – acquiring volunteers, taking out tools and supplies, getting food donations. The most interesting part was that I wasn’t good at any of it…nor did I likemuch of it. But the feeling of loving it in the present moment – while I was doing it – and succeeding at something that I thought I was not good at or liked was so beyond worthwhile. Furthermore, it gave me permission – abundant, self-loving permission – to truly treat the rest of my weekend…as a weekend.
Soaking wet, I returned home from the garden work party (did I not mention that Portland has had perfect weather for weeks…until I host a three-hour-long outdoor event?). I took the best shower of my life, got cozy, made some lunch and tea and sat down to crack up with New Girl, a sitcom I’ve always found myself relating to, with a protagonist who is as strong as she is quirky…and whose sense of style I idolize (gooooo Jessica Day!). Oh, and did I mention that the character is from Portland?!
I’d been planning this AmeriCorps Yoga workshop since about a month before I broke my leg. I enjoy teaching yoga to all populations and stages of life, but especially to the stage of life that I personally am in at the moment. For me, this means teaching yoga to other AmeriCorps volunteers and service professionals. We began the class with tea and a brainstorm and circle-share of how we take care of ourselves, followed by a vinyasa yoga practice, then partner poses we can do with the kids and teens we work with. We closed with some luscious restorative asana and a quote on systems theory, the overwhelming and beautiful idea that we can be the small shifts, drawing a direct link from mindfulness to the social change we are capable of.
Happy Hour Warriors
On Friday, knowing that Saturday would be the pinnacle of a crazy work month (spring at the school I serve at, it turns out, is cray cray), I planned a happy hour with my roommates at what just might be the best happy hour deal in Portland. This says a lot, seeing as Portland prioritizes happy hours like no other city I’ve traveled to or lived in (and that says a lot – I’ve been to lots of cities…and happy hours) – they even have two of them, an early one and a late one. Anyways, my dad and stepmom got me and my roommates a gift card to Southpark Seafood in downtown PDX, which has a $5 happy hour menu that includes full meals. We ordered burgers, wine and a roasted brussel sprouts with breakfast sausage dish that was absolutely divine. We toasted to celebrating, and the importance of celebrations in ritualizing life.
Brunch: Portlandia Style
My favorite episode of Portlandia is the one with the brunch line. Since I first visited Portland a fateful two years ago, I’ve always said that Portlandia is an understatement. I stand by that now, as evidenced by the fact that my roommates and I, on Sunday morning, traveled first in search of biscuits (we saw the line wind around the block). Then, we went to our favorite brunch spot on Hawthorne – Cup and Saucer – and the waiting list didn’t budge. We’re all busy ladies so we decided to go to a spot that we’d previously only seen on Portlandia: Waffle Window. We all got our bacon-y waffles from a hilarious hipster stand, scarfed them down and went on with our days.
Deciding to get some work done later that Sunday, I went to Ford Food & Drink on 12th and Division. The ambiance was that of a bunch of freelancers working separately, but together: my favorite combination!
Yes, this class was described as goth yoga, though the instructor was far from goth personality-wise. He was completely ebullient and a lovely fellow teacher, introducing me (who he just met) to the other students at the end of class as a fellow teacher, a colleague of sorts. The whole scenario made me beam. We flowed event though the music wasn’t what I would personally choose when teaching a yoga class.