We didn’t plan on visiting Public Domain on this cold, dry, windy, invigorating ride. Four of us aimed for the new Barista spot in the Pine St. Market downtown, but found that this counter did not sell any pastries, and the shop in this food arcade that was supposed have baked goods, was under renovation. Thus, we headed to the sister Barista shop downtown on SW 3rd, but found it didn’t open till 9, so resignedly went to Public Domain.
Resignedly, because our impression of Public Domain from 5 years ago was that while the shop had great window light, and wonderful craftsmanship, seating was primarily via stools at tall but tiny tables, or at the window, making it difficult to converse and the shop feeling cold. Well,…. in the interim PD introduced some smaller tables and chairs that have made a world of difference. The result is a shop with a much more friendly and relaxed vibe, and we four spent a delightfully good hour-plus there as the time flew by. (ps, usually our coffee drinkers don’t review a shop’s coffee quality, but today all three of them were mightily impressed and pleased.)
Today’s discussion covered a range of topics, surprisingly none of them political: M spoke highly of the Ken Burns documentary on Jackie Robinson and his wife, and the recent John McCutcheon concert where he was reminded that 30+ years ago – when his son J was just a tyke – McCutcheon invited him to join him on stage for a duet; D talked about R’s and his rewarding car trip to CA, how this has spurred an interest in owning a camper van, that Ojai and Davis were highlights, and the preponderance of crystal/energy shops at Mt. Shasta; G mentioned that on special occasions he used to make talismen out of gems/rocks for friends undertaking new ventures, and was struck by the self-selective process we all use when deciding where to visit or relocate, to places where residents already share values similar to our own; H chimed in on the vortexes of Sedona, and how thought-provoking he found the plays “Marjorie Prime” and “Pen/Man/Ship.”
603 SW Broadway publicdomain.com
Two weeks ago we went to Marigold Coffee in SE and were drenched. On this outing, though the weather threatened a downpour, the three of us lucked out and reached home before the heavy rains began. What was also reminiscent of our bikeride from the 7th, was that the footprint of today’s destination – No Wave – and Marigold buildings felt almost identical, as were the unpretentious furnishings in each , as was the cheery friendliness of their owners/baristas, that made each rewarding to visit.
Discussion topics included H’s car being stolen Thurs morning and found by the police within 24 hours, it was trashed but mechanically seemingly unharmed; M’s experiences teaching a class on climate change to 12 members of his temple’s congregation; his reviewing 11 on-line classes on climate change for another organization, most of which he thought needed improvement; what it might take to persuade the owners of large footprint warehouses on Swan Island to install solar on their roofs; the recent storms in California; and the rides at Disneyland being closed while A’s children were there but not given vouchers or any remuneration on their all-day ticket.
7510 N. Portsmouth https://www.facebook.com/NoWaveCoffeeShop
Making a major exception from past practices of the past five years, today’s group of six chose to visit a Starbucks on this morning’s dry, scintillating ride. Our rationale was that we wanted to applaud Howard Schultz’s bold stand re. the Trump immigration ban: a commitment to hire 10,000 refugees worldwide, as well as free immigration legal assistance for employees.
The shop we chose was the one in the OHSU building at the west side of our favorite bridge, Tilikum Crossing. What we found was quite stylish, well appointed, and comfortable design-wise, plus the large glass window looking south gave those looking in that direction views of fellow bicyclists, passing trains, streetcars, buses, and pedestrians. The one downside was that the acoustics made it hard for us to hear each other at the long table, resulting in our having two conversations rather than one.
Among the topics covered at our two groupings were the three work-age children who obtained or were promoted at work, and the one who lost his job; code changes at the City and its effects; whether sanctuary cities be effective; an article on “cost disease” as it relates to education with outcomes stagnant; tentative plans for H’s 70th birthday; and the dreaded chest colds that have been going around.
2730 SW Moody Ave.
On this wet and cold morning, we two riders were very, very pleased to arrive at Marigold Coffee, as we were DRENCHED. Though our bikes and bodies performed well in the rain, our once waterproof clothing were in serious need of attention.
And we were equally pleased to visit Marigold this first time. Its website speaks volumes about its mission: “WE LOVE OUR NEIGHBORHOOD. Our cafe is our laboratory, our tasting room and, we hope, your sanctuary. It’s a place where our coffees shine at their seasonal best. We often serve special, hard-to-find coffees you can’t buy elsewhere. We love sharing our coffee home and being a part of a town with such rich coffee culture.” So what we found is an unpretentious shop in a non-pedestrian-friendly area on SE Holgate, where the staff and its customers were very friendly, and everyone seemed to feel right at home.
Discussion topics today included updates of our children, our healths, our travel plans, M’s organizing, and Marigold’s ingenious way to hang and protect bicycles.
2815 SE Holgate https://marigoldcoffee.com/cafe/
Groundwork Coffee, an organic roaster from L.A., recently purchased two Tin Man Coffee outlets, one on NE Hawthorne/47th, the other downtown on SW 1st, (the latter closed on weekends.) Thus four of us, accompanied by O, took off this overcast wintry morning for the shop on Hawthorne, and discovered it full of light with two windowed, sliding garage doors in a newly constructed, multiple storied building. The lines are clean, the woodwork is luscious, and there’s a variety of seating options. All in all, this Groundwork outlet is a pleasant space in which to hang out. Groundwork’s motto, btw, in Coffee, Tea, Community.
Unfortunately for our discussion, two riders had to leave early, and a lot of our discussion ended up being three-dimensional: the activities of O’s scouting troop, the Otters; H’s positive impressions of his January weeks in Colombia, especially Medellin; and how the emotional reactions of E’s boomer friends to the new President are noticeably different from his Generation X comrades.
4703 SE Hawthorne https://local.yahoo.com/info-990204645684-groundwork-coffee-company-portland?stx=groundwork%20coffee&csz=Portland,%20OR&fr=lsrp
On this cold, dry, post-X-mas Monday, two of us visited the former Green Beans shop next to the Screen Door. We had visited 10 months ago when the new owners were in the early stages of their Indonesian/SE Asian-themed modifications, and are glad to report that they’ve been extremely successful at their improvements so far. As hang-out specialists, we’re usually drawn to amenities that help stimulate discussions; often they includes lots of window space, a variety of softer chairs, and attractive art, for example. Visiting Kopi reminded us that an atmosphere that can transport us to a new culture, is equally effective for stimulating our interactions. So simple eastern curtains, a respectful interesting altar, wooden chairs, and SE Asian music in the background, assisted us in jabbering on for over an hour.
Today’s topics included a continued analysis of the election that went awry, comparisons of each’s holiday traditions, updates on each’s children, aches, and music playing, and travel plans – with H next week going to Colombia to see a friend who 21 years ago his family had hosted when she was an exchange teenager, and T going to New Jersey in the spring to meet face-to-face his birth siblings for the first time.
2327 NE Burnside http://www.facebook.com/KopiCoffeeHousePDX
Though a wet morning didn’t deter we four from bike riding, it did persuade us to stay in N/NE, so we checked out Compass’s first shop in PDX. Close to the entrance to & exit from the Fremont Bridge, this Compass outlet is a completely brand new shop in a recently opened mixed use building; and like a couple of other newer shops, during business hours it opens directly into the lobby of the building’s residential section, allowing for additional seating and table options. However, in the shop proper itself there are only a few tables for sitting and conversing, with lots of single seats around the counter and some along the window looking out. All in all, although this shop is very attractive, and has advanced coffee + tea equipment, its table limitations limit those who want to hang out.
Topics today wandered some, from E’s interest in the tiny homes exhibit at PNCA where various architectural firms designed their best ideas; to D+R’s spring Amtrak trip that’ll include staying in a back-country chalet in Glacier, his 50th high school reunion in Wisc., and their $200 per-seat tickets to Hamilton in Chicago; to M’s backpacking group planning their summer trip around this coming summer’s solar eclipse; to H+P’s upcoming trip to Colombia, instigated by an invitation from a Spanish friend – who lived with them for a summer in the mid-90s as an exchange teenager – and is now a human rights lawyer in Bogota on a 2 yr. assignment.
3270 N. Vancouver, Ave. http://www.compasscoffeeroasting.com