Enjoying PDX When the Rain Starts
Oct 13
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It happened so abruptly. Portland can usually expect some gorgeous weather into October, but not this year. The rains started on October 1, way too early. I'm pissed about it.

So I started shopping. Why not? Conscious mood disruption is cheaper than a plane ticket to Fiji. First I stopped at some old faves, like Union Vintage on Canyon Road, where I bought the cool sign in Pic 1. The Community Warehouse currently has this stunning industrial cart in stock (Pic 2). Someone needs to buy that beauty. Checking out the cool doors at the Rebuilding Center (Pic 3) made me think of summer, so I immediately left the premises.

More distraction was needed, something more than my usual haunts. As the first week of October drew to a rainy close, I enjoyed a particularly Portland-style afternoon. It started with a stop at some Portland Open Studios. Have you heard of the Open Studios Tour? Artists open their workplaces so the public can see how their processes work. It's fascinating. For someone who likes inventory, poking around an artist's equipment and supplies is addicting. It helps you understand how the process of making art moves from an idea to an end product. I loved it. Plus, the artists have stuff for sale, sometimes at special Tour prices. It's happening this weekend too, so get yourself out there. It's going to rain. You might as well.

After the tour stops I ran over to Metalwood Salvage on Prescott, a uniquely Portland place. The owners buy from scrappers and turn old goods into new, or sell the scrap to the public directly. Some scrap is sold by the pound, some on a per-item basis.

I hadn't been to the store in perhaps a year - maybe longer. A lot has changed! Metalwood has purchased the shop area and building behind the store and greatly expanded. They are roofing the front lot (Pic 5), which holds miscellaneous metal and random salvaged inventory, with ladders and corrugated metal (total low tech repurposing in Pic 6). The store will soon have a receiving / loading area out back with a scale for sales and purchasing by weight. BTW, if you need a stump or some big gears, this is the place to get them (Pics 7 and 8). If you don't think you need a stump or a gear, you're wrong: You DO. Stumps are side tables and coffee tables, foot rests, support for sinks, you name it. Gears are beautiful. Put them in your empty fireplace as d├ęcor or use them for stepping stones. I've used them for fence railings. They're wonderfully versatile.

The sun came out on Monday, but there wasn't much in the way of heat. So I kept shopping, this time in Aurora with my friend Lori (of the kitchen remodel). Our ostensible purpose was to look for cool barware (Lori will have an all new bar area, perfect for vintage barware), a stool for reaching high cabinets, and empty picture frames. My bridge group wants to make something like this in the empty frames, only perhaps with vintage jewelry and buttons. Yes, I have a bridge group, and yes, I'm a million years old. Bridge and craft projects, baby. All the cool kids are doing it. All the cool, crypt-keeper kids. Aurora rocks. We didn't finish shopping - not even close. There's a glassware shop that is a joy to investigate (Pic 9), and a store with loads of vintage jewelry (Pic 10) that will take at least an hour of our time. But we got the picture frames! And we'll head back to Aurora soon.

Right after that, I'm buying that ticket to Fiji. The sun is calling.
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