As I sit here in the coffee shop I can’t help but feel overwhelmed by the combination of Seahawks fans stopping off for a drink before heading to Sunday’s big game and ever present population of homeless who use the shop for their bathroom visits and to charge up their electronic devises. One who took up four tables while doing so. Things I’ve come to both expect and accept as a coffee loving, coffee house freak. Having grown up in what could be considered as a suburb of New York City. (Jackson Heights, Queens to be exact and having lived in a section of Manhattan once known as Hell’s Kitchen. I’ve been used to feeling quite comfortable living within very varied surroundings. However, it wasn’t until I began traveling extensively, especially the country and farms. For it was on those trips and excursions that I found my true peace and happiness. So much so that, years after my move to New Jersey. I found myself opting for weekend trips to upstate towns and farms more then the possibility of hopping a train or a bus to the city. Having enjoyed both in my lifetime. I would never judge or criticize anyone for the lifestyle they choose. I’ve experienced both at different times in my life and both have provided countless rewards and lessons. I just feel that after a lifetime of city life. I might be opening up to something different. For now, my little weekend getaways are the perfect balance I’m looking for.
When agreeing or planning to attending any type of county or state fair. You have to open yourself to being exposed to some outlandish and outright redneck culture. Outdated and often unsafe carnival rides that feature soundtracks from the earl 80’s. D list cover bands who haven’t updated their sets since the Reagan. Deep fried everything and of course, the occasional Trump supporter or mullet fashioned family. It’s low brow entertainment in the third degree. And like it or not. Once you enter the fairgrounds, you are a consenting, willing participant and member of its subculture. For, it is only with that acceptance and embrace, that you will truly know the pleasure of eating bacon on a stick while crowding near a pen of newborn piglets to coo and look on in awe of their cuteness without even a minute sense of irony.
Over the last two weekends, we traveled to two separate fairs. One a County fair, the other, the mighty State fair. While I avoided the rides, one of which was featured on the news due to it breaking down. I took a bunch of pictures, had the worst BBQ in my entire life and chose not to seek the answer to the question, “WTF are elephant ears, anyway?”
So go, try the bacon wrapped hot dog, mount your five year old on an unwilling sheep and ride the wooden roller coaster and have a blast. Life is short and the rewards often outweigh the risks. Worst case scenario, you end up on the news when the fire department arrives to rescue you from a ride called “Satan’s Revenge”.
Instead of writing a long winded recap regarding our first ever trip to Portland Oregon. I thought it might be better to just refer to some of the images taken over our two day stay. Since moving to Seattle in June of 2017, there has been no shortage of things to do. From our trips to the mountains, beaches, island hopping, drives to Tacoma and Olympia. As well as our future plans to visit Vancouver, Canada and Alaska. We’ve definitely made the most of our time in the great northwest. We both loved our visit to Portland. Leaving our car in the hotel garage was a great choice. We really enjoyed walking and burning some of the calories we amassed at the hotels breakfast and the bacon donuts we picked up at Voodoo Donuts. Though we often credit ourselves anti-tourist. It’s probably easy to say, we probably stood out like sour thumbs on a hand model.
The images below were taken along Mississippi Ave. in the less tourist driven area of Portland. We really enjoyed spending much of out Sunday strolling around the neighborhood. Along the way, we stopped for ice cream and ice coffee before our final stop at Mississippi Records. Now I can happily join my friends when they say how much they love Portland.
Growing up in Queens I didn’t have many opportunities to visit farms or hang around with horses. The closest I ever got to a horse was when my Dad took me to the racetrack or the local O.T.B. (Off Track Betting) to collect debts from degenerate gamblers. As an adult I find myself visiting farms throughout New Jersey and upstate New York on a fairly regular basis. These little weekend getaways serve as somewhat of a detox from the pressures of city life and the stress and anxiety that often plagues its inhabitants. Fresh air, farm fresh food and a much-needed escape from the monotony of city life. I’ll take it.