All of Dymaxicon’s writers were there: from left to right, Chris, Hillary, me, Larry, Nancy and Lilly. Over the course of two days, we got to know one another and it began to feel like a family.
By backing up a little bit, you can see our booth, with all of our books on display. With seven stages all going at once, featuring readings, panel discussions and conversations, plus an exhibit hall full of booths, no two people attending Wordstock were apt to have the same experience. Portland is a very bookish place, so there were plenty of local writers. More surprising was the number of big names like Pulitzer winners Isabel Wilkerson and Jennifer Egan and best selling author of The English Patient Michael Ondaatje. Lesser luminaries and stars of the future rubbed elbows with students, publishers…basically anyone engaging in a love affair with words. Saturday evening, we all trooped over to the Aladdin Theater to watch the Live Wire radio show being taped. My favorite part of their manifesto reads: “We believe that ‘funny’ and ‘culturally relevant’ aren’t mutually exclusive.” They put that into practice by incorporating many of Wordstock’s authors into a highly entertaining evening. The shows, taped in Portland, can be heard on public broadcasting stations around the country.
Not far from the convention center, on East Burnside, is the Jupiter Hotel. A funky old motel from the ’50’s has been remodeled into a stylish place to lay your head, or, in our case, to gather to rehash the weekend, tipple and tell stories in the bar/restaurant, the Doug Fir.
I had been scoping out E Burnside the week before, so when the question “where shall we go after?” arose, I actually had an answer. It was late, and a bit rainy to enjoy the wonderful outdoor space, but gathering around the fireplace in the lounge served us well. Roll-around tables and seating could be reconfigured to our liking. Now, since this is purported to be more of a garden-centric blog, I will leave the word stuff and take you back a week to my prowl around Burnside.
Formerly a down-at-the-heels area, considerable work has gone into upgrading. These bioswales occupy several corners between traffic and pedestrians.
I especially like the metal domes protecting the drains.
Formerly derelict buildings have been reclaimed to house little boutiques, vintage resale, galleries and restaurants.
…and in the next block, more of the same. Across the street from these is the Jupiter.
I went around the block to get headed in the right direction and came across this bicycle shop with personality.
In the next block, this radio station was not to be outdone.
I parked the car to get pictures of the murals, and that was when I spied the back alley of the Jupiter, where guests can enjoy bamboo-lined patios.
Or lunch on a fine day, far from the traffic and noise of busy streets.