Thursday, July 31, 2014

7-31-2014 Last Thursday on Alberta

This is our favorite Portland Event.  The reason is because it is big and doesn't cost anything to participate.  So all sorts of regular people make things to sell there.  Lots of acts perform and everybody has their cup out.  It is held the last Thursday of each month.

They shut down about 15 blocks of Alberta Street from 5-9 pm.  We knocked off of work at 4:30 and biked over there.

This gives you a flavor of it and this is one of the street performers.  They have these ribboned socks on a stick and the girls work the crowd while the band performs.

Zumba in the street
This is the marching band in the video getting started on their trip down the street
This is another piece of art Cara really likes.  It lives just off Alberta Street.

7-30-2014 Music on Main - Vagabond Opera

Portland rocks by having so many free events throughout the city during the summer.  We are lucky to be only 6 blocks away from where they have "Music on Main" each Wednesday evening from 5 to 7 pm.  This particular night we enjoyed a free concert from Vagabond Opera, which was described as " Bohemian Operatic Steampunk Cabaret from Portland, OR".  Cara LOVED this band so much she bought one of their CDs and had them sign it.

Below is a youtube video shot with a phone.

Vagabond Opera - check them out, they're awesome!
The place was packed with people, though not very many got up and danced.  Cara doesn't understand why, because
she couldn't help but move to the music.
After the concert we walked over to Karam Lebanese Restaurant at SW 4th and Washington.  (They just moved from SW Stark within the past week.)  The atmosphere is really nice, and the food is good.  Cara enjoyed a delicious veggie mezza plate, and Eric had a goat dish he really liked.

Wednesday, July 30, 2014

7-29-2014 Social Media Club event

Social media is one of many things that we need to stay on top of for ourselves and our clients, so we go to any kind of meetup on that topic.  Social Media Club is one group we really like for such events.  (They have a good chapter in Austin, TX as well that we like.)  The event was held at Ecotrust event space (a very cool place), and we enjoyed free, yummy pizza from Hot Lips Pizza located downstairs.

So, this nights topic was "How To Create Great Visual Media On A Shoestring Budget".  The presenters were Jennie Day-Burget and Jessica Williams from Prichard Communications, and we learned about how and why to use Instagram, Pinterest, and Vine, which are three frontrunners of visual social media.  We both learned a lot and were inspired by the presentation.

Presenters Jennie Day-Burget (in the black dress) and Jessica Williams (in the red dress)
They gave lots of good examples of what they were trying to show us on the visual media platforms.
After the event we just had to stop by one of our favorite haunts for some pinball.
We LOVE Ground Kontrol Classic Arcade!

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

7-28-2014 Cara's Yelp event at Besaw's

This Monday evening I (Cara) went to a Yelp Elite event called "Yelp's Summer Sangria Social @ Besaw's".  It was the first Yelp Elite event I had attended that did not allow guests, so I couldn't bring Eric.  That felt weird, but I decided to just get out there myself and meet people.

Besaw's (at NW 23rd & Savier) has been around since 1903 - wow!

Don, the Yelp community manager for Portland, explained that Besaw's  is primarily known for breakfast and brunch.  So, this event was to highlight some of their lunch and dinner items, as well as their signature drinks, in hopes of drawing in more evening business.  (Case in point:  about half the people at the event had been there for breakfast or brunch, but none had ever been there for dinner.)

Cara enjoyed good food, good Sangria, and did make a new friend named Tom, who also wasn't able to bring his +1 (his wife).

Sunday, July 27, 2014

7-27-2014 - The Big Float

This was the second annual BIG FLOAT.  They said it was a world's record float, but I have no idea if that is true or how many people were seems like I have been at bigger floats and we used to go to a float in Indiana on Lake Monroe that was so big that it got out of hand and they quit even doing it.

This was the area where people were staging for the event and this is the lawn where they listened to the band.
We did not float or pay for the event, but we hung out and listened to the band.  That line is where people are lining up
to get their rafts blown up

They started down by a bridge in the horizon.  This picture was taken where people were ending up after the float.
The band is there under the tents on the barge.

Another view of the float in progress

The boaters got to enjoy a free concert like we did.

It was a warm day, so most people were in the water, not on land during the concerts.

After the float we went to a restaurant called Isabel Pearl.  They had really cool doors that swung open and created a
nice open access to the patio where we were sitting.

Our Food

It is not often that your bill comes back as 0.  We had a living social deal that we paid
14 bucks for, and that entitled us to 30 bucks in food....and low and behold, we ordered
exactly 30 bucks worth?  (There is no sales tax in Portland.)

Saturday, July 26, 2014

7-26-2014 Division/Clinton Street Fair & Tiny Houses

This isn't as big as some of the street fairs, but there was a lot to do.  We got over to the street fair at about noonish.  The first place we stopped was behind a new apartment.  They were offering free beer, popcorn, and peanuts. 

This singer sang sweetly like a bird.  We listened to a few songs before we had to go.

This shows you the space they had the function in.

I took this picture because it is rare to find a pinball machine in America, but in Portland they are everywhere and this
 place even features them in their signage.

It is interesting to see the old and the new together....I bet these guys wanted to race each other at some level.

The street fair was also on Clinton Street. 

At 5 pm we went over to a barbecue presentation on how Portland could have some tiny house communities.  Tiny
houses are about 200-800 square feet and are often prefabricated.  The problem is that cities don't know how to classify
them.....are they an RV?  What if you want to turn a shed into a tiny house?  What is the minimum square feet that a
building can be to be habitable?  Cities don't really love to zone for campgrounds and trailer are they going
to deal with Tiny Houses?

Friday, July 25, 2014

7-25-2014 The Bike Design Project Unveiling Party

Portland is one of 5 cities that is competing in an urban bike design competition.  We went to check that out and we knew that the bike tinkerers would also come out there.  We were right.  The featured bikes are very artistic and I guess I like functionality.

This bike was handcrafted by a mechanical Engineer who recently moved here from Detroit.  He wanted to make a
mountain trike with full suspension.  He said the worked on it off and on for 1 year designing it and 2 years building it.
It features a 350 watt electric rear drive and the front wheels are pedal driven.

This guy also modified his bike to be electric.  That motor is inline with the chain drive so you get a geared motor.  It
also has the continuously variable nvinchi transmission in the rear.  He has a business that uses electric bikes to do
urban deliveries to business in Portland.  They haul a thousand pounds of goods on those truck bikes. We saw him
speak last year at an electric bike presentation at the Portland Art Museum.

This is Portland's entry.  The bike is made out of titanium and was 3d printed in its prototyping phase

This shows you the 3d printed components

The event had a HUGE turnout and the streets were blocked off with vendors in the front.

7-24-2014 Oregon Brewers Festival

After work we walked over to the Oregon Brewers Festival in Waterfront Park.  We did sample a few beers (raspberry wheat, chocolate porter, double latte coffee milk stout), but our main reason for going was to watch the Scott Pemberton Trio perform.  We had seen him first last summer at the Waterfront Blues Festival (he rocked), and then we paid to see him at Doug Fir (great show, great venue, great company).  Once again, they did not disappoint.

The nice bike parking area for the Oregon Brewers Festival.  But, that's just par for the course here in Portland.
Looking south to just one half of the festival.  It's huge, and there were lots of people there.
The "uncrowded" back side of the other half of the festival.
The pretzel necklace hawker was there, ready with his tool to sell you one and hand it over the fence.
We made it to the stage just in time to get front row seats for the fabulous Scott Pemberton Trio!
Below is a 10 minute video of the show.

So, if anyone is interested, we tried Cascade Brewing's "Raspberry Wheat" (Fruit Beer), and Mazama Brewing's "Rasplendent" (Raspberry Hibiscus Wit), but we were not impressed.  Cara thought they were very fruity, but not hearty enough.  However, we did really like Boulder Beer Company's "Shake", a really chocolaty Chocolate Porter, as well as the "Double Latte Coffee Milk Stout" by Sierra Nevada (in collaboration with Ninkasi Brewing Co).

Thursday, July 24, 2014

7-23-2014 Marketing Automation meetup

Brian Rants of DMX Engage (a marketing automation company) recently started a meetup group, and this was only their second or third meeting.  The topic tonight was "Beer, Donuts & Marketing Automation: How to Score with Marketing Automation".  It was exactly that...Widmer beer, Voodoo Donuts, and a talk about marketing automation from a John Zaterka from Silverpop.  IBM Silverpop is a high-end email and CRM (customer relations management) platform used by huge companies to "score" leads (determine how likely people are to buy), and "nurture" people through from being lookers to becoming buyers of their product or service.  It's way more than our customers need, but it's good to see how the big boys do things.  We try to get some ideas on how we can bring some of these services into play for our clients.  We also made some good contacts.  We could tell by the questions and answers that there were lots of very intelligent people in the room, so it seemed like a great meetup group.

Brian Rants of DMX Engage (left), and John Zaterka of Silverpop (middle)

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

7-21-2014 Tech Meetup & Puppet Labs "Open House"

Monday was a busy night.  Eric first went to a Tech Meetup, then we both met at Puppet Labs for an "open house" (party).

Eric's friend Thubten runs the PDX Tech Meetup
The Tech Meetup was well attended and informational.
Puppet Labs OSCON "Open House" (aka party) is always a fun time!  Free good food and drinks, plus networking.
They have a very cool workspace that is fun to explore as well.

Saturday, July 19, 2014

7-19-2014 Berry Festival and a long walk about.

It was a nice Saturday with highs about 83 and full sun.  We rode our bikes over to the Saturday market which is held every Sat. and Sun. by the river.  There is always a lot going on and while many of the booths are the same many are different.  There are always a lot of street performers and bands and sights and smells.

Portland Saturday Market - it goes on for several blocks and has maybe a hundred fifty total booths.
Then we headed over to the Oregon Berry Festival.  It was much smaller and surprise surprise, they sold a lot of berries and berry dishes there.  3 bucks a pint for anything.

There is always a band playing in Portland and they are usually pretty good.  This was no exception.

Tough Love Pyle is the name of this band

Cara and our cousin Savana

In Portland the citizens want to try to reduce landfill waste.  The people go to great lengths to
 recycle and people here are very proud of this.  I mostly see people sorting their trash properly,
and there are recycling bins everywhere.

After we left the Berry Festival we went walking around and stumbled upon this area that is designed to trap and filter runoff from rain.

After that we walked over to 21st and 23rd streets and walked around this is a large area of shops and restaurants and bars along the street.  It is fun to walk by and look at what everybody is eating and doing.

There is a lot of Art in Portland and it is mandatory to include art in major new construction.  Lots of walls are painted with all sorts of random things.

7-18-2014 Movie in the Park - "Gravity"

Another great series of free summer events in Portland is "Movies in the Park".  They are at parks across the city on different nights of the week.  This particular Thursday they played the movie "Gravity" in Irving Park at NE 7th & Fremont.  Last summer we lived near this park, though we never visited it, so it was good to see it now.  You can bring your own food and drink.  There was pre-film entertainment, food trucks, free popcorn, and a fabulous setting!  Plus, our cousin Savana met us there and also loved the experience.

Just to the left of the movie screen is a stage where The River City Band played before the movie.
By the time the movie started (at dusk), there were at least 3 times as many people there as in this picture.
And so it begins...