Friday, August 20, 2010

A Life In Transition, or, The State of Things

Yes, I know I've been punking out and posting a bunch of wordless photo posts. Yes, I miss writing about farmers' markets and local produce and dinner parties and chef secrets, and yes, I will be writing more, but let me fill you in on the events that have led to this photofueled silence. It's been a year in transition, so let me ramble for a few moments to catch you up. Life's been kind of messy, like that photo of a one-pot chicken stew gone awry, but also really, really tasty.

I've been living downtown for the year, in a tiny studio apartment with an even tinier kitchen, which has really put a damper on my raucous dinner parties. Long-time readers will harken back to the days of Family Dinner, epic baked good sprees, and birthday parties, but the last few months were filled with thesis-writing, single-serving stir-frys, and lots of farmers' markets. A lot of my friends moved away, as Portlanders, it seems, are wont to do. This, for some reason, made me stop wanting to bake. Go figure.

That being said, there are a couple of changes in the works that will definitely heighten the opportunities for blog-worthy stories.

I graduated from Reed College in May, and have since been filling my time with freelance photography and writing gigs, hopping from coffee shop to coffee shop, camping out anywhere with free WiFi and caffeine. I've been doing some photography work for Eater PDX, which is an absolute blast. I get to go to new restaurants and bars before they open to the public and snap a few shots of the interiors to get the buzz going. I've already met some amazing people, like the owners of June, Hair of the Dog Brewery, Pinot, FIN, and the soon to open Little Big Burger. It's such a privilege, and I see myself falling more and more in love with photography. For the first time, I can see myself actually making a career out of it, as difficult as that will be. Its such a joy to be able to see something I love, capture it, and show someone else what made me happy. It's communication in a really pure form, so please forgive me if my words come and go and the photos do a little bit of the talking for me. There's a lot of me in the images I create.

Perhaps most importantly, however, I'm moving. Into a real house. With a formal dining room and a six-burner double wide Wedgewood oven. A few weeks ago, my sister Casey, her partner Mike, and I found the perfect home in Southeast Portland, and I've been camping out. It's just like regular camping, but instead of a tent, I'm sleeping on a futon on the hardwood floor of a 1700 square foot Victorian masterpiece. This house is absolutely gorgeous, but almost as delightful as the stained glass windows and gorgeous wood floors is the location - I'm smack in the middle between Belmont and Hawthorn, steps away from everywhere I want to be. It's an odd limbo-world, waiting to move until my family comes to town. For most of the day, I'm alone without televisions or computers or radios... just me and a futon, a few books, and a grumpy cat named Baby Britain (he came with the house... Elliott Smith used to live there, hence the name.) I'm spending my time kicking around plastic balls filled with catnip, sitting on my front porch feeling the breeze, and making simple one-pot dishes on the new stove. It's delightful and contemplative, a bit melancholy but full of potential and small joys.

I don't have internet in the house yet, so I'm trekking out into the world to find the perfect, cozy spot to write and email and network. My favorite so far is Happy Sparrow, owned by, quite possibly, the sweetest people in town. Danny and Mary Quach came from Austin to bestow upon us the delightful Kolache, the sweet dough bun filled with savory or sweet combinations. They greet me by name in the morning and fill me up with tasty snacks - I've been enjoying the breakfast sausage, all-cheese, and raspberry cream cheese versions. Best of all, they are only a few steps from my new home.

Casey's finishing up her doctorate at Princeton, but is making the big move to PDX at the end of the month to work at OHSU (she's basically a genius) and Mike is joining us in another month. For the first time in over a year, I'll be making dinners for someone other than myself on a regular basis, and I am. so. excited. about. that. Casey and Mike are foodies to the nth degree, and I know our lives are going to center on the pure enjoyment of making food, talking about food, going out to eat, and running around town trying to absorb every bit of culture, music, beer, beauty, and fall colors this little city can push out of its pores. I'm really excited to share our adventures with you, and am very thankful for those of you that have stuck with me through this transitional phase. There's so much to look forward to! This city is our oyster. Bottoms up!


  1. Congrats on your move. It sounds perfect for someone who is as active in the community as you. And your pictures are amazing

  2. all the best for the move just came across your blog its great I will be back Rebecca

  3. I am so happy for you!!! The house sounds incredible, and if it comes with a cat, well that's bona-fied. Great neighborhood. I have heard rumors of my beloved kolaches making a migration up to these parts... I will have to check it out!

  4. Thanks guys! You're all so wonderful!