(More pictures coming soon.)
John and I returned from Oregon last night. It was refreshing to see so many people I have missed this past year, to revel in the general mayhem of Reed and Renn Fayre, and to smell the crisp mildewy Portland air whilst adoring unbelievably green foliage. In order to ensure this post isn't entirely off topic, I will give you a brief description of some of the bars/restaurants I was able to reacquaint myself with this weekend while also telling a bit about Renn Fayre.
Thursday: We flew in late, ran around campus enjoying the decorations and gave our greetings, then we went to The Pub at the End of the Universe with Meg, Harold, and Skye. The Pub is a bit of a hike from campus, but was close to my apartment senior year. They have some of the best Northwest beers on tap including my favorite, Terminal Gravity. The selections rotate often and the clientele is laid back. I wish I still had such a dreamy local bar.
Friday: I woke up at a decent time and went to Meg's for breakfast. She made Harold and I delicious blini. We then met John and headed to campus with many pounds of champagne and proceeded to partake in thesis parade. Soon after Urupan opened it's tent and we were all able to happily coat our stomachs with the best burritos in Portland. The beer garden opened at 6. The beer garden is a classy endeavor run by the excellent kids that make up Beer Nation. Beer Nation is a smoothly (and legally!) run student organization with the express purpose of getting of-age Reedies drunk (and on top-quality beers too). Here's to those that make it all happen! Aesop Rock put on a great show in the SU. That night I stayed out too late in the beer garden.
Saturday: We slept late and tried to go to Putter's for breakfast. However, they had just stopped serving breakfast when we walked in. We went across the street to the Village Kitchen, this adorable hole in the wall diner next to the giant Safeway. I paid for my wild night by not having the ability to consume my lovely looking scrambled eggs, toast, and potatoes and then we went back to campus and proceeded to drink more. Oh Renn Fayre.
We watched the Jigsaw Gentlemen and the Jailbait Philosophers play on the lawn during feast, played some pool in the pool hall, and watched the Black Peppercorns. That night was filled with the fireworks, glo opera, more beer garden, and sitting on the front lawn for a long time waiting for something to burn. John and I are old and went to bed early.
Sunday: I woke up super early (well, 9) and met a friend from high school, Jessica, at Fat Albert's for breakfast. Ask any Portlander what their favorite place for breakfast is and you might get as many answers as there are reproductions of tight Motorhead t-shirts, but mine is Fat Albert's. I used to go nearly every weekend when a past boyfriend lived near the place. It is tiny and you have to wait during peak hours for bit, but they make the smoothest, fluffiest eggs, and bar-none the best biscuits I have tasted. It was lovely to see Jessica again, I miss her.
I then went back to campus where they were giving hot air balloon rides and found John who had just gotten up. We then finally made it to Putter's where I attempted to drink a too-spicy-for-me bloody mary. Then back to Reed and back to the beer garden. We watched some lube wrestling and some high-profile Reedies get wet in the dunk-tank and, um. . back to the beer garden. Then sadly, as all things must do, we realized Renn Fayre was ending as we were ushered out of the beer garden and into a confused mass by the Urupan stand. We collected a few people (John, Erik, Leah, Elly, Meg, Harold maybe. . It's not my fault, they had Old Rasputin on tap in the beer garden.) and walked up the hill to the Delta for some greasy southern food. The Delta is great. Nice decor, delicious food (the southern sampler is a steal), and 40s of Pabst served in a bucket of ice. Now that's class. If you can wade through some of the hipster pretension it is one of my favorite restaurants in Portland (even though the formerly mentioned past boyfriend broke my heart there). We then moved on to the Lutz . I was pretty out of it so I didn't stay long, but the Lutz is a highly frequented bar just up the hill from Reed. I spent quite a bit of time here during my college years. They served $1 Pabsts, a good juke box with Neko Case on it, and familiar faces. I hear the Pabst is now $1.25. Whew, it seems I skipped town just in time. We went to bed very early.
Monday: We woke up early and said a quick goodbye to Noah who was leaving for his orals. We then met Meg, Harold, Dan, Leah, and Sam for breakfast at the Cup & Saucer . I didn't go here that often as student, but it is a nice place. Reasonably priced and inventive options, daily specials, lots of vegetarian dishes, and crummy diner coffee. And we were off. I miss Portland. I didn't really love the city while I was there, but of course I am nostalgic now.
Finally, thanks to Scott Foreman-Murray, Leah Johnston, and Dan Morrell for a great Renn Fayre. (Especially Dan, I remember how hard running Renn Fayre AND finishing a thesis is--an amazing feat few have attempted.)