Monday, October 04, 2004

Last Thursday

I had hoped that this blog entry would be a first-hand account of the much-anticipated next eruption of Mt. St. Helens, as seen from our very own Burger Island Memorial Observatory. Alas, not even a wheeze yesterday. Rest assured, however, that we are monitoring the volcano closely and the digital camera is on the ready.

In lieu of actual snapshots of the eruption, I offer this impressionistic snapshot of a completely unrelated event--“Last Thursday,” a gallery walk/street fair sort of a thing that happens every last Thursday of the month on NE Alberta Street in Portland, Oregon.

Last Thursday was Last Thursday, and since this was likely to be the last Last Thursday before hats, mittens, and mufflers would be required, we walked over to check it out. Last Thursday appeals to all five (and possibly six) of the senses. In random order, here’s some of the things that interested and/or entertained me:

  • Standard poodle: white, with ears dyed pink
  • Jug band, or what I believe to be a jug band: banjo, guitar, and washtub bass
  • Contingent of costumed “protesters” parading down the street chanting, “Cordelia is a witch!” And carrying posters advertising a production of King Lear.
  • Male fire dancer
  • Lots of incense (thankfully not patchouli) wafting all over the place
  • Hemp-clad, dreadlocked dancer-painter guy dancing to a Bollywood musical soundtrack and simultaneously daubing at multiple canvases
  • Guy playing a concertina
  • Four young women in fairy costumes having difficulties navigating through the wing-crushing crowd
  • Handknit hats—beautiful and a real bargain at $10
  • Guy strumming a dulcimer
  • T-shirts with a pair of lips labeled “Good Hummer” and an actual Hummer (the kind Arnold Schwarzenegger owns five of) labeled “Bad Hummer”: $5. Should have bought one (a T-shirt, not a Hummer).
  • Bake sale to benefit the American Legion (Bingo every Tuesday!)
  • Bake sale to benefit the homeless
  • Guy promoting an upcoming bike event: “Get yer portrait painted with your bike.” “Eat bike food.” “Drink bike beverages.”
  • Five-minute sketch for a $1 donation
  • Seventies-style jazz fusion combo
  • Three-hour-old hot dogs cooked on a crusty hibachi: $1 each (bun and condiments not included)
  • Highly skilled drawings done on Etch-a-Sketches. Do not try to take them through Security at the airport or ship them FedEx (for obvious reasons).
  • Bongo boys bongo-ing
  • “Anyone But Bush” posters featuring drawings of either Martha Stewart, Michael Jackson, or a carton smiley face wearing a pointy hat
  • Quartz crystals with energy-balancing powers

I’ve not mentioned it, but there are actual art galleries containing bona fide art (paintings, photography, sculpture, etc.) on this art walk, and B and I did dip into some of them, but the street scene is much livelier. I also may have given the impression that if you get hungry, you’ll have to choke down a charred and desiccated bunless hot dog and a bike beverage. Not so. There’s a nice assortment of health-code compliant restaurants. B and I availed ourselves of one of them, topping off the evening with a slice of pizza and a pint of hefeweizen.


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