Saturday, December 15, 2007

Keepin' Portland Weird

Here's yet another post about how much I love Portland.

Today I hopped on the #8 bus and went downtown, as I like to do on Saturdays. First stop was the Farmer's Market. It's winding down for the season, so a few of the regular stalls were missing.... in particular the one with the super yummy sausages. But I made up for it by getting a pulled pork sandwich... mmmmmm. Ok... that part isn't weird at all... just yummy, and nice because it wasn't too crowded.

From there I walked down towards Pioneer Courthouse Square, about half-way there I heard a guy across the street playing a tuba by Pizza Schmizza. That isn't even particularly weird. But when I got to the square (or as the newscasters like to call it 'Portland's Livingroom') I noticed more and more people with tubas, in fact the entire square was full of tuba players, seriously I've never seen so many tuba players in one place, easily 50, maybe 100. Several of these people were wearing matching hats that said "Tuba Christmas." Apparently I'd missed the show, because most of the people were lined up to get food or just milling about. But yeah... Tuba Christmas in the middle of downtown Portland. Just a little bit weird.

Weirder still, just walking around downtown... three fully-dressed Star Wars Storm Troopers and one very short (if I do say so) Darth Vadar, sans cape. Now I am irrationally afraid of Storm Troopers, Cylons, Borg, and all those humanoid-robotic-bad-guys from science fiction (just ask anyone who heard me screaming bloody murder at the Star Trek Experience in Las Vegas). But thankfully Darth Vadar & one of the Storm Troopers had their masks off when I first saw them, so I didn't feel the need to run screaming in the other direction. But I saw them again a little while later and they were just, you know, walkin' around being Storm Troopers and Darth Vadar. So yeah.... kinda weird... and a little creepy.

The final bit of weirdness was really just fun. I went to the mall to do a little window shopping. As I walked through the atrium I noticed something light and fluffy drifting down from the third floor. Just a flake or two and then more, and more. It was snowing. It was snowing - inside! Of course it wasn't real snow... it was some kind of foamy soap bubbles. But it looked like snow... and that's what counts. The kids just had a blast dancing in the snow bubbles. Well, the kids and a few adults... okay the kids and me. ;)

After that was a quick trip over to the Saturday market... a place so quintessentially "Portland" that it doesn't even register as weird. Not the marimba band playing, nor the pseudo-statue man, not the creepy greasy Elvis guy, not even the Spoon Man.... that stuff's all normal. As is this knitting bag I bought after chatting with the guy who made it.
Man, I love Portland.


Anonymous said...

Portland sounds ideal! Can I come and visit? LOL (p.s. I would probably have joined you playing in the snow bubbles, hehe)

Your bag looks stunning!

Michael5000 said...

Awww... I was going to go downtown for Tuba Christmas -- I used to play the euphonium -- but I got too wrapped up in my, um, wrapping. Pity; I could have been a reassuring presence for you when you encountered the delegation from the evil galactic empire.

Stacey said...

Man, I miss Portland. I love that you see odd things like that all the time :)

Bezzie said...

That's a great bag!!

So who had dibs on that "Keeping ____ Weird" phrase? Portland or Austin?

Melody said...

Sounds like an awesome day!

You know that mabrimba band? One of the ladies in it is a teacehr at my school.

Rebel said...

Shanon - yes... please come visit!

M5K - thanks, next time I hear creepy John Williams music I'll give you a call. ;)

Stacey - you'll be here soon enough, and I think Boston's pretty weird.

Bezzie - I think Austin started it, but Portland's keepin' the faith.

oh & I stopped in the Borders downtown =) But there were two gals who looked like they might have been your sister and I didn't feel like asking them about their family relations. They both looked happy & well though.

T said...

Portland is the best!!!!

Eryn said...

What a fabulously weird day! The bag is delightful.

Magatha said...

As I've said before (and I wouldn't be proudly middle aged unless I repeated my stupid jokes over and over again,) So you live in a REAL city!

We got that bizarre Christmas experience in SFO a few times. We were pronounced "Naughty & Naughty" by the roving gangs of Santas.

It's weird, but I am a trekkie and I've never set foot in the Star Trek Experience at the LV Hilton. Now I HAVE to go!

Rebel said...

Yes - if you're a trekkie, you really should go. There are two 'experiences' and it's kind of expensive, but I thought it was worth it. Go to the Borg one first, and then the other one... then go have a 'Warp Core Breach' at Quark's bar.

Rebel said...

"Melody said...
Sounds like an awesome day!

You know that mabrimba band? One of the ladies in it is a teacehr at my school."

I didn't see the name of the group because it was just PACKED with people, but they were teenagers - not the adult marimba band that plays on the other side of the Saturday Market. They were really good.

Zonda said...

An interesting fun day! I too love that bag!!

Phineas said...

Nice post. What a great day you had.

Houston is artificially trying to create that kind of local character. Why would anyone ever think it can be grown on demand?

At least Austin's not too far from here.