I spent most of last week in Portland, Oregon, attending a library conference and falling in love with the city.
I took the train to Portland, thanks to wonderful information from Kenneth, who knows Amtrak inside and out.
I stayed at the Ace Hotel and felt such affection for my funky room. The wallpaper was made from player piano rolls.
Stumptown Coffee, which is just off of the hotel lobby, was divine. Unbelievably good espresso drinks and pastries. I ate an almond brioche for breakfast three mornings in a row and finally branched out and had an almond croissant the next morning.
I made multiple trips to Powell’s Books, which was ridiculously close to my hotel. God, I love that bookstore. Even though I spent hours there, I bought just four books because I was loading up on so many amazing free books at the conference. Many were advance reading copies (ARCs), but lots were the real thing. Andy now has three new books related to soccer!
I had a fabulous meal at West Cafe with Bob and Pamela, who gave me some terrific gifts. I’m a little giddy about them, especially the German magazine with the Patti Smith article in it and jaw-dropping photo on the cover.
I took free transit around Portland because Portland gets it. They sure put Seattle to shame. It’s easy to navigate and the free area generously includes the Convention Center across the river.
I got to see my co-worker David shine in a very big way. He presented at two conference sessions and was the most comfortable and enjoyable presenter I saw BY FAR. What a gift he has for speaking in front of groups and for creating non-boring PowerPoints. I told him later that he should create a side business dedicated to teaching people how to give presentations and I meant it.
I spent quite a bit of time with Nancy, which was a kick and a half. It’s weird hanging out with someone who attracts so much attention at an event like that. We were able to have a semi-private lunch before the whole thing began, but after that, she was pretty much in demand. All the time. Even walking from one exhibit booth to another becomes an adventure in people stopping her for photos, autographs, and exclaiming. Nancy made a point of taking my pal Linda and me around the Exhibit Hall and introducing us to the big shots. She was beyond generous with her mentoring and I am truly touched.
And, the best thing about Portland, for sure, was hanging out with Linda. What a good sport she was, helping me find my way around that confusing Conference Center (if one ballroom is named Portland and one ballroom is named Oregon, you’re bound to mix them up, believe me), making sure I caught the right light rail trains, and making me laugh and laugh. Thank you, Linda, for driving all my books back to Seattle for me AND delivering them to me, and for all the great time together.
Thank you, Portland, OR. I’ll be back soon.