Mixing it up and moving to Portland!

I’m back! Sorry everyone for the short hiatus from posting. I recently took a new job in Portland, Oregon and have been crazy busy with the transition. Last week I moved north to the big city into a studio apartment – man did I have to downsize my stuff! It’s amazing how much crud you can accumulate in a few years, but the purge felt good…real good!

After a few days as a new, very lost & lonely urbanite, I am finally settling in or I have at least found the grocery store, set up internet and a located good place for a run and a cold drink. Here is a photo from my first run through Washington Park. I think I’m going to like it here!

Washington Park, Mac Trail, Portland

With this big change, you can expect new posts and photos about my explorations around this northern region of Oregon and maybe even more from Washington as well. But no worries, I will still be hiking, running & traveling to show off this beautiful state that I call home!

Not Your Paint By Numbers Art Scene

Numberism Art by Sienna Morris

Over the past few weeks, I have had the pleasure of traveling to Portland, Oregon a handful of times and exploring the city’s thriving arts scene. From live theater performances to art walks, café concerts and plays, Portland houses hippies to hipsters and everyone inbetween for an unforgettably creative gallery for the arts. One of my favorite art vendors to stop by is the huge, eclectic Portland Saturday Market along the Willamette River. Featuring hand-made goods, jewelry, paintings, glass art, ceramics and so much more, the market is a wonderful showcase opportunity for all the local artist.

On my most recent trip to the Portland Saturday Market, my friends and I stumbled upon the most amazing booth - Fleeting States Studios by Sienna Morris– where we all made an thorough donation.

Using numbers to build images frozen in time, Sienna Morris creates numberism art that evokes emotion and aww in its imaginative projects – this is no simple kids’ paint by number.

Each image is created using only numbers and each string is painstakingly thought out to represent the mathematical, scientific or numerical representation of the image. The amount of thought and precision that goes into each creation just blows my mind.

The most extraordinary piece that I viewed in Sienna’s booth was her creation called “A Cello.” The strings are drawn with the hertz frequency along the notes, the wood of the bow is drawn with the Pythogorean comma and the body of the cello with the speed at which sound travels parallel to the grain of wood! View this amazing work of art here.

Falling to Pieces by Sienna Morris

Falling to Pieces by Sienna Morris

Sienna created her first drawing in 2008 titled “Falling to Pieces.”  My friend Sarah purchased a reproduction of this moment frozen in time, which is built using the numbers of the clock, 1-12. The image represents a moment in time that is precious and intimate, yet quickly disappears like the numbers falling away from the two faces.

Midnight by Sienna Morris

Midnight Special by Sienna Morris

Bioluminescences by Sienna Morris

Bioluminescences by Sienna Morris

My friend Dani purchased for her sister, the piece titled “Bioluminescence.” This drawing is much more complex then the first. The fireflies’ abdomens are drawn with a chemical formula for their bioluminescence, while the light coming from the fireflies is drawn with the speed of light (299792458 meters per second). The girl is drawn with the numbers of the clock, 1-12 to represent the moment in time.

My friend Bre bought from the booth’s display, a piece titled “Midnight Special,” which depicts a Billie Holiday-esque image of a young lady holding an old fashion microphone. This image is also created with the numbers 1-12 as part of her time collection.

Finally, I purchased the beautiful intro piece, “Et Memorium.”

I highly recommend stopping by Sienna Morris’ booth at the Saturday Market or viewing her collections online.

Happy 2012!

From the center of Burnside Bridge overlooking the Willamette River and lights of downtown, I rang in 2012 with friends in Portland. Waking up with the sun, the new year greeted me with a firm punch of reality and a fat lip (I was elbowed in the face at the bar). Hopefully this isn’t a sign of things to come this year!

I hope everyone had a wonderful, pain-free 2011 & may this new year be full of surprising, joyful adventures!

Midnight view looking south from Burnside Bridge, Portland

How was your New Year’s Eve? Where did you celebrate?

Northwest Food and Wine Festival

Last night I attended the Northwest Food and Wine Festival hosted at the DoubleTree Inn at the Lloyd Center in Portland, Oregon. Featuring hundreds of different wines from Washington and Oregon along with 50 restaurants best finger foods, the festival buzzed with happy sippers.

Roaming the aisles of wine and food merchants, I scooped out the company before excitingly jumping in with a splash of Carton Cellar’s Pinot Gris, a crisp, dry Gris with a lovely minerality and bright citrus. A delicious start to a night that was filled with tantalizing and varied flavors that took over every corner of my month.

A few of my favorites from the night include:

J. Scott

Poured by the wine maker, who looked like he just walked out of the vineyards in a hat, jeans and work button up, J. Scott ‘s Grenache was a delicious and smooth red wine with a light blackberry aroma like the first hot week of August along the river. Based out of Eugene, Oregon, J. Scott is a small boutique wine producer blending handcrafted batches of Oregon wines.

Tesoaria

The only bottle of wine that we purchased from the festival was a deep, fruity Sangiovese by Tesoaria. Smooth on the tongue but not short in flavor, this Italian style red wine abounded with bright cherry and a floral nose. Plus never doubt the influence of a knowledgeable and personable pourer. Jay Schmidt, the winery’s proprietor greeted us like best friends and spoke openly about the wines. We had a fantastic time hanging out later in the night and swapping wine suggestions. Tesoaria’s home soil is in Roseburg, Oregon.

Chateau Lorane

Another Eugene area winery representing with wonderful wines, Chateau Lorane sampled three fantastic wines at the festival. A light, fruity red with a smooth & silky finish, Chateau Lorane’s Counoise surprised even my wine saturated mouth. With an alluring fragrance and amazing drinkability, this is a wine I would most definitely buy and drink regularly.

I also enjoyed Van Duzer Vineyard’s Pinot Noir and Mt. Defiance’s Hellfire wines.

Beyond the wine, the NW Food and Wine Festival also featured a wide selection of vodka, gin, whiskey and some more unique liquors like Pisco. From a fresh, herby gins to Cofia Hazelnut Espresso vodka by Bend Distillery and Trillium Absinthe by Integrity Spirits with a refreshing licorice flavor, the festival had a little bit of everything for guests to sample – and a lot a bit of Pate. After sampling about five different varieties of pate, which before this night I had never had before, I found out that the mushy, meat mixture was the food competition piece for the festival. Other noteworthy food items included a thinly slight beef open face sandwich with lamb meatball and a blue cheese sample topped with nuts and drizzled with honey.

Thanks to @WineJulia and Eugene Daily New’s Wine Down Eugene for the tickets and a fantastic night of wine, food and fun.

#Chardonnay Day Recap

The wine was flowing and the fingers a-typing to commemorate the day of the chard.

While I am an avid wine drinker, I have never been a huge chardonnay drinker (I always left that to my mom). With a bad rap of tasting like you are gnawing on a tree or drinking butter cream – or that is only for Cougars (great article by Indie Vinos), I have frequently overlooked the variety, especially if I’m paying. But to participate in the world-celebration of chardonnay day, I opened my mind and mouth for some new Oregon chards.

The Slate

Held at TheSlate, a trendy Portland car display room/community space with spray-paint, stenciled records hanging on the wall, the Taste and Tweet had a hip, open feel very fitting for the social media wine event. Hosted by Indie Vinos, an online wine-venture to bring hard-to-find artisan wines directly to the public through the website, I heard about the event through Twitter, which I admit I have become sickenly addicted to – I think I check my Klout score almost more than the scale. One of my followers @KarinMcKercher, who works for Indie Vinos, sparked my interest with a tweet mentioning the evening. One it was free, two it was about wine, and three I was free so why not. Additionally I’ve always wanted to meet other tweeter and wine peoples, so after a half day of work I made the trek two hours north.

With only two hours to taste, the wine aficionado and tweeters attacked 15 different artisan Oregon Chardonnays with smart phones in hand. Using hashtags #chardonnay and #IVTnT to follow the chatter, the battle was drawn – to oak or not to oak, that is the question.

The tasting included Chardonnay’s by:

Kramer Vineyards (Follow @kimkramerwine)

Thistle (Follow @Thistle_Wines)

Durant Vineyards (Follow @OregonOliveMill)

Adelsheim (Follow @Adelsheim)

Winderlea Vineyard and Winery

Chehalem (Follow @chehalemwines)

Stoller Vineyards (Follow @Stoller_Vineyards)

LongPlay (Follow @LongplayWine)

Pudding River Wine Cellars (Follow @puddingriver)

Apolloni Vineyards (Follow @apolloniwine)

Seven of Hearts (Follow @7ofheartswine)

Ayoub

So what style won the battle? It’s up in the air. It’s like what Aron Hess, the winemaker for Longplay said, “wine is kind of like music – it’s a question of taste.”

Top Tweets of the Night

@NWWines: #IVTnT#Chardonnay @Adelsheim 09 Willamette Valley 86% stainless taste nice acid soft berry http://twitpic.com/52yxwn

@PDXfoodcarts: This 2009 #chardonnay from Adelsheim would go great with fishy chips from @EuroTrashCart #ivtnt

@oenoblog: INOX #Chardonnay from @chehalemwines #ivtnt brilliant clear water white gold

@Anna_V: The crowd is loosening up at the #chardonnay speed tasting wonder why? #closeproximity #yummywine #ivtnt

@bottlescene: And @chehalemwines 09 Ian’s Res. #chardonnay has a beautifully complex nose…I almost don’t want taste it…almost ;) #ivtnt #orwine

@nwwines: #IVTnT #Chardonnay 07 SV Estate Chard @Stoller_Winery nice soft oak on nose smooth Finnish http://twitpic.com/52z2ss

@oenoblog: 08 @longplay jory slope #chardonnay clean lots of candied tropical fruit caramel some creaminess #ivtnt

@KelseyIvey & @Anna_V: So super cute these #chardonnnay boys #maybetimetoslowdown #ornot #ivtnt ;)

@oenoblog: Next is @puddingriver 08 #chardonnay clear bright medium deep straw yellow. Tropical banana caramel and marshmallow #ivtnt

@OregonOliveMill: RT @nwwines: #IVTnT #Chardonnay Durante Vineyards 09 Chard Dundee Hills @OregonOliveMill tropical nose, toasty nice Finnish

@dieselboi: New fan of @puddingriver. They have a rooster on their label.#chardonnay #ivtnt

@dieselboi: Drinking some @apolloniwine. When I see the name, I think of purple rain.@appolonia #chardonnay #ivtnt

@bottlescene: Sean Driggers & his 2 #Chardonnay efforts. Great work on both! 07 reserve is my unique wine o the night…so far! #ivtnt http://t.co/zX5PrbQ

@decoywine: RT @Anna_V: The room erupts with friendly conversation #chardonnay as social lubricant #ivtnt

@AyoubWines: RT @oenoblog: 09 Ayoub #chardonnay clear bright gold. Soft nose creamy vanilla pear. Dry great length fresh yellow apple candiepear vanilla. #ivtnt

@KelseyIvey: Favorite thing about the #IVTnT #Chardonnay tasting with @indievinos is tasting #Wine with others with huge wine vocabularies.

Recap

By the end of the night (at least for me, since I needed to drive back to Eugene) our group of wine-tweets had the hashtag #IVTnT trending in Portland. (@TrendsPortland: @ivtnt is now trending in #Portland http://trendsmap.com/us/Portland)

And as @HarvestMari tweeted “You guys, I might be a #Chardonnay believer,” I think I may be converted as well. Go Oregon Chardonnays!