North by Northwest

February 27 - Portland

by Lenny Hughes

Seems like years since we talked.

That was back in Ohio, where we ended the romp in January at the Civic Theater in Akron. Beautiful place-the interior looked like an Italian cathedral, and Lew and John gave the crowd an appropriately reverent performance.

Civic Theater in Akron OH

The welcome break brought blizzards and other death storms back home, but it was nice to be off for awhile-a chance to see friends and loved ones, etc., and to catch a fine Super Bowl, some bizarre presidential debates, and endless reruns of "NCIS" and "Murder She Wrote."

Now we're cruising about 100 miles south of Seattle, after a fine couple of days in Portland.

Despite the rain (that persisted all through last night's show from load-in to load-out), Portland is a great city.

Walking around, you get the sense of civility. People are friendly, weather is non-threatening (even with the frequent rains) and the architecture is a harmonious blend of old and new. Place seems eco-friendly as well-one of the newer highrises sported a number of wind generators sprouting off the roof like palm trees.


Portland Architecture

I made several pilgrimages to Powell's "City of Books," and grabbed a couple of things I probably already owned. Made a stop at the legendary Voodoo Doughnuts with a couple of friends from the west coast. And I otherwise tried to stave off the effects of jet-lag after spending eight hours getting out here Thursday from back east.


The arts are also allowed to flourish in Portland. The Arlene Schnitzer theater isn't so ornate as Akron's Civic, but we always have a great time there. They were considerate enough to include John's name on the marque (he's too often overlooked). The show was excellent, of course, though I would also have liked to have seen the show in a nearby playhouse: "Bad Kitty," as advertised in a Dunkin Donuts down the street.


Bad Kitty

Naturally, the sun came out as we bugged out this morning, and we took our wistful last looks at the Portland skyline, crossing the bridge out of town. We hit Interstate 5, crossed the Columbia River this afternoon, and rolled into Washington State.

Farewell Portland

Seattle Washington

We'll be out here all week this time, so stay tuned for more later.