Port-Land Ho!

Portland, Oregon

With David Backman and the Sherman Family

August  2007

During his successful tour of the Pacific Northwest with David Backman and the Shermans it was off from Seattle and on to the great state of Oregon. 

Now NOT is a literate duck, so stop one (no matter how geeky you think it is) was the world famous "Powell's City of Books," which is claimed to be the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world.

Powell's Books

Occupying an entire city block (over 68,000 square feet, or 1.6 acres, of retail space according to Wikipedia) the store serves bibliophile needs 365 days of the year. The famous "U.S. Department of Literature" even has marked this famous store.

Powell's Books Marker

After all those books, it was time to whet his beak.  Now it's not common knowledge but "Rogue Dead Guy Ale" is one of NOT's favorite beers, and guess who has a brew pub in Portland?  You got it, the Rogue Brewery.

Rogue Brewpub

D'oh!  Portland gave Matt Groening a start, and many of his Simpsons characters are named after family, friends and even streets in his native area. NOT's not sure how pious Ned Flanders would feel about a brewpub on his street, but since he had his own cold tap rumpus room, it's a good bet he would not have a problem with it.

Flanders Street

NOT got his start at Tufts University, and even though he's not a graduate he still considers himself a member of the Jumbo nation.  So what does he spy with his little (beaded) eyes?  Elephant piggyback rides!

Elephant Sculptures in Bronze

According to the accompanying plaque, the sculpture is called "Da Tung & Xi'an Bao Bao" which symbolizes safe and prosperous offspring. It is a replica of a wine pitcher from the late Shang Dynasty (1100 B.C.E.) though is a bit bigger than the original (that's a lot of wine!).  Da Tung translates to "universal peace" or "large bronze" and Xi'an Bao Bao means "baby elephant."

Not only are there elephants, but totem poles abound (it is the Pacific Northwest after all).  Though not all of them are quite as anthropomorphic as those normally envisioned when referencing "totem poles." This one is a totem by way of the cubists.

totem pole

NOT also caught the wave in some mini-wetlands in the Pearl District. Being that he has no real feet, he couldn't hang 10, but that didn't stop NOT.

While saying good bye to one set of Shermans, NOT discovered another Sherman with Clay Pianos.  How you fit a baby grand into the kiln is a mystery for another day.

Sherman Clay Pianos of Portland

"We have Steinway, Yamaha and Adobe pianos for sale."


North American Travel

United States Travel

Oregon Travel

Photos courtesy of David Backman

Last Updated August 2007