Saturday, December 17, 2011

Grimm Reality

I like to take walks at lunchtime with one of my co-workers. A week or so ago, we were walking not a block from our office building and suddenly came upon this old-timey shop.

Teas, Spices, Soaps, Oils

It looked like it had been there forever, and yet, somehow, we'd never noticed it before and we walk up and down that street all the time. Then again, sometimes we're so absorbed in conversation that we are oblivious to our surroundings. Still, this place is like a block from where we work. We peered at it a little closer, noting the liberal use of the word "exotic" to describe the teas, herbs, soaps, and oils the shop sold. Was it kind of a sketchy front for something or just a regular place? That's the thing about the downtown neighborhood we work in. It's a weird mix of schmanciness and sketchiness. Like, one of my co-workers got flashed one evening and another time she was out walking and noticed a human tooth on the sidewalk--eek!

Anyway, the tea shop wasn't open, but we resolved that we would check it out sometime soon.

A few days later, I was out at lunchtime by myself, wandering around trying to decide where to get some lunch when I came upon the Mountain View Diner, more or less next door to the tea shop.


Again, it looked like it had been there since at least 1963 but I'd never seen it before. It looked a teensy bit skeezy, but somehow appealing. I liked that it sold "Hamburgs" and "Cheeseburgs" instead of hamburgers and cheeseburgers. I also liked that the front window advertised their salads in a less than gung-ho way: "Salads--If you like that sort of thing." Hilarious! I've got to check this place out. Also, they have chili con carne. Who calls it that anymore? How come I never noticed this place? It wasn't open for some reason, but I would keep it on my radar. I definitely wanted to try their cheeseburgs. I was looking forward to it.

Then a few days ago while I was eating lunch in the office lunchroom with some co-workers, my former boss came bustling in to tell us that the Grimm people are slapping together right this very minute a fake mailbox shop set, right next to the fake tea shop. Wait a minute. Fake tea shop? Hold on.

Sure enough, both the diner and the tea shop are fake!!!!!! They're sets for that new TV show Grimm that is set in Portland. I am so easily gulled! I felt very sheepish but admitted that I had actually been planning to patronize both places. I found out I wasn't the only one who was hoodwinked. Another one of my co-workers had been eagerly looking forward to an eventual meal at the Mountain View diner. I'm telling you, these Grimm set builders are extremely good at what they do. Both of those places look real and authentically old--the lettering on the windows is partially worn away, and the interiors are dusty and tired looking.



So now I don't know what to think. I'm starting to feel like I work in the Twilight Zone. For example, is this new business, Mom Jeans (M&M Jeans?), real or fake?


It's right next to the Mountain View Diner. I suspect it's real, because the PDC (Portland Development Commission) sign in the window strongly suggests that it is actual, but maybe not. One of those big Hollywood movie trailers was parked right in front of it. And what about the new business right next to Mom Jeans, an antique shop called Tarnish and Varnish--that wasn't open? I really just don't know anymore. It's a bit mind blowing. But fun!

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Saturday, December 10, 2011


Originally uploaded by Rozanne.
This is Russell Stover's "Caramel Santa Covered in Milk Chocolate." It is not even remotely Santa-like. Where's the beard? Where's the hat? Where's that sack of presents? It doesn't even have distinct arms or legs. Seriously lame. Not that I really care about things like that. I bought it on impulse at the checkout counter because I like caramel. It only cost 78 cents, so maybe I shouldn't be grousing. But come on.

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