Saturday, January 29, 2011

More of Portland and throw in some Wallingford too.

Sorry I’ve been absent lately, I have just moved to my new house here in Wallingford. With the packing, and working full-time I’ve been a busy little lady. I know I promised part two of the Portland adventure but life just kind of got on top of me as it sometimes does. Anyway here a few pictures taken from the streets of Portland. My highlights were visiting the infamous Powells bookstore which is story upon story of beautiful new and secondhand books. I spent many hours browsing the shelfs and ended up leaving the store with a stack of secondhand treasures including William S Burroughs ‘Junky’, Salinger’s ‘Catcher in the Rye’ Hemingway’s ‘The Sun Also Rises’ and the beautiful Autumn de Wilde hardcover photo collection of my all- time favourite band Death Cab For Cutie. It was also nice strolling the streets of such a beautiful city with lovely brick buildings and footpaths and hidden parks around every corner. I found the waterfront area to be especially pretty and as it was a cold day we were left to our own devices to explore the riverside. I really hope to return to Portland in the spring time as I can only imagine how the city looks in full bloom. Also I wouldn’t mind checking out the Japanese gardens and rose gardens which we were unable to visit in the winter.

Back to Wallingford.

I’m so happy to have moved here already. I moved yesterday with the help of one of my new flatmates Jim. It was an easy move considering I own next to nothing and I was lucky enough to score a bed as well. I can already tell the environment here is much better. It just feels more relaxing and friendly. Within minutes of moving in the new roomates were discussing making me dinner! What a lovely bunch. I was also standing on the porch lastnight and looking out to the Seattle skyline and space needle. It is quite spectacular how you can see the lights from the city reflecting in the water. Seattle really is a beautiful place.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

Portland! Part 1.

As promised, although two weeks late (sorry!) here is the Portland post.
Day 1.
We headed out for Portland from a dark and rainy Seattle. Driving wasn't going to be easy considering we could hardly see in front of us which also meant that i saw little of the roadside. However i couldn't let this dampen my spirits so we drove the three hour drive on the Interstate with my eyes glued to the window the whole time, waiting patiently for any break in the weather. The interstate is a funny thing. It just goes and goes in a straight line, void of any personality. Four to five lanes on either side, vehicles moving all in one direction. I like a road where you can take in the scenery but on a rainy day it wasn't such a problem. After what seemed like a blink of the eye drive we were hitting Oregon state and crossing the bridge into Portland. I didn't really know what to expect. I have always wanted/dreamed of going to Portland and then all of a sudden i was there. While the weather had cleared some it was still an exceptionally grey afternoon.

We went to check into our hotel, the Ace Hotel. I highly, highly recommend this hotel to anyone. We stayed in one of the dorm style rooms so it only ended up costing us around $35 each a night. The place had character, was clean, comfortable and had stumptown coffee right in the lobby. 

Our lovely room at the Ace Hotel, we managed to mess it up in less than an hour.

After checking in we were approached by a group of people filming in the lobby. They asked if we would be interested in attending a filmed performance in one of the hotel rooms. Turns out it was the artist Pictureplane from Denver. We headed up to room 406 to watch him perform. I can tell you know it was a very strange experience. We all squished into a room where others stood around looking as dumbfounded as we felt. As a bunch of scenesters sat on the bed having a photo shoot we all kind of looked at each other sheepishly. Then out came the drugs, alcohol and whippets and pictureplane began his performance. As millions of cameras circled around we danced in the middle of the room, not sure what else to do. The scenesters got high and did scenester things. Pictureplane performed three songs and then it was all over. We left the room giggling to ourselves wondering what the hell we just got ourselves into. Overall it was pretty fun though.

                                                                                 Pictureplane perform.

It was then time for dinner so we found a cheap pub serving happy hour special food. I had some greasy fries and a little burger which were actually quite delicious. I'm always slightly uncomfortable in places where football is playing on the screen in the background so needless to say we didn't stay around for too long. Instead we went back to the room and got ready for a night out and about in Portland. I had done some research so had some idea of what bars to check out. There was one that was recommended to us from a person i met at a gig in Seattle. The bar was called The Tube and had an amazing happy hour where spirits (or well drinks, as the Americans call them) were only $2 till 10pm at night. We ended up staying here for sometime before meeting up with a friend of Jill's and heading to Dantes bar. Dantes were having a circus type performance which was extremely entertaining, especially the double jointed stripper who pulled out a cigarette from it's packet, lit it and smoked it all with her foot. The night ended off with a gypsy type band and gypsy type dancing.

                                                                       Some of the performers in the circus.

So day one of Portland was over and was a very interesting and enjoyable day. I was looking forward to waking up and getting stumptown from the lobby plus exploring more of the streets. I'll tell you more about that in Part 2 tomorrow.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I just don't know what to do with myself.

I swear i used to be so good at filling up my spare time but as of lately i feel sort of lost. I don't know what it is that i used to do but everyday i had off would be filled with some sort of adventure. I guess it's a mixture of things at the moment
  • getting used to a new city/country
  • not knowing a lot of people
  • feeling like a stranger in my house, i'm moving next week.
  • living in a weird area with little room to explore, once again i'm moving next week
  • getting used to wintery weather
I have two days off from my job. I wish i was able to drive i kind of feel like jumping into a car and driving somewhere by myself with my music blaring and nothing but open road. Then i would find somewhere to stay whenever i got tired and spend the day exploring unknown territory tomorrow. The whole idea seems rather romantic. I have been lucky to meet one fantastic person. We meet up on Monday night for coffee and food and talked for nearly 3 hours. It's a nice feeling when you meet someone you immediately connect with. He is actually on his way other now to hang out before he heads up to Bellingham for a couple of days, if i didn't have work on Friday i would probably go with him. So i'll keep this post short and sweet. I'm getting my Portland photos back tomorrow so look out for a post about that weekend.
Much Love xox.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Change is good for the soul.

No i'm not referring to the loose change you find in your pockets, although that too is good for the soul. Especially when it's just enough to buy a coffee. I'm actually referring to change in life, whether it be a change of scenery, a change of friends, a change in work or even a change of clothes. All this change makes a person feel renewed, rejuvenated and revived. So what change do i have instore...
Well the first obvious one is my move to Seattle. I have been living here for a little over a month now and while i feel it has been fantastic i know there is so much in store. It is hard in winter when all you want to do is hibernate. You look outside at those dark grey clouds and feel the winters chill and just want to sit down with a cup of tea and a biscuit and watch some trashy reality tv. We can't deny ourselves this luxury in life. However as i am only here for 12 months i want to make sure that everyday is special in someway. I feel great just for having come all this way on my own even though sometimes i feel a little daunted by the distance between my homeland and my new semi-permanent residence.
  •  NEW HOUSE!!!
Yes! I got the house i went for. Although feeling confident after leaving on Monday night i wasn't too sure whether i would be the lucky person to get the room. Everyone seemed so nice and chilled and i fell in love with the house. I knew i would be disapointed if i didn't get it but luckily i did! I'm so excited to move in. I'm looking at a February 1st move in date. I feel like this will be another positive chapter in my Seattle adventure. I'm looking forward to being closer to the city, to walking out of my house in the morning and seeing the water in front of the downtown skyline. There is also a really lovely park down the hill of our street which i know is going to be a real treat in the spring and summer time. I'm also looking forward to meeting new people. Moving into a house of 5 is bound to bring about a few new faces. It will also be good living with boys. I'm one of those girls that just seem to bond better with males around.
Thinking of my new house, i'm trying to think of new and inexpensive ways to decorate my new bedroom. I'm really into the idea of hanging fabric from the ceiling/walls. I think it would be real cute to have a few different prints hanging down, maybe behind my bed? Do you have any ideas for bedroom decoration? Please feel free to share with me i really appreciate your input.
I start my new job tomorrow which i am really excited about. While it has been nice being unemployed for two months and feeling like i am permanently on vacation it will be great to get back into a routine and earn some cash as well. In order to travel around America in December i am going to need to save some money. I'm also taking suggestions for places/cities/states to visit on my American road trip. I want to slowly plan out the route so i get to see as much as possible without spending any ridiculous amount of money. It should be a heap of fun. I wonder what it's like to be a barista in thing i'm excited about is the tips! Bring on the customer service.

Anyway i'm going to cook some dinner, have a shower, read some of my book and have an early night.
Happy Thursdays to you all, wherever you are in the world. xox.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Did somebody say Snow?

Yes! It is snowing in Seattle and i am so excited. Finally an authentic winter. The roads are covered, the trees are being weighed down by clusters of frozen ice, the sky is white as is the ground. Everything is so beautiful. I love snow.

Thank you, thank you.

To anyone who read my last post and gave advice. I believe the situation is sorted. I talked to Kate about how i felt over a glass of wine at a cosy and private bar. We had a really good conversation and i explained my situation in full (the alcohol really helped here). While she was a little upset she understood where i was coming from. Lastnight i went and looked at another place in Wallingford which is a really cute neighborhood closer to the city. The house is on a street that goes down a hill towards a park and the waterfront. When you walk out of the house you can see the skyline of the city with the water in front, it was really quite beautiful. The house itself was great also as were the people. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that i get it! I will let you know.

Also keep an eye out for my Portland post coming up shortly, i have to get my photo's developed from film as the digital camera started playing up. We brought a cute little plastic disposable film. It made me feel like i was six years old again and was heaps of fun. I should be taking it in today so will update about the Portland trip soon. But yes apart from that i am feeling much, much better. I guess it didn't help that i was sick last week and that drained most of my energy. Jill and I were hanging out lastnight as well. We were baking together and then watched a movie. I made a banana cake which turned out really well and Jill made brownies. Apparently Americans don't do Banana cake so i'm excited for Kate and Jill to try it.

The temperature here in Seattle has really dropped over the last couple of days. I'm hanging out for the snow that is rumoured to be coming. I want to make snow angels and build snowmen in the backyard! I also start my new job on Friday as a barista at a local coffee lounge. It will be good to get back into a regular schedule and to meet some new faces.

Anyway it's a quick post today but i will be back soon to talk more. Have a great Tuesday everyone!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

When something doesn't feel right.

We've all experienced that feeling before. It sits in the back of your mind, makes your stomach feel unsettled, makes you constantly anxious. It's the feeling when you know something isn't right and you know in time you will have to make a decision. However there is always one element that prevents you from easily making that decision. Here is my scenario:
I moved to Seattle a couple of weeks ago and moved straight into a house that i got from craigslist. The ad on craigslist advertised a cute little house in North Seattle with two girls who liked to cook, listen to music, drink wine and keep the place looking cute. They also assured me that they were willing to take me around and help me out a bit considering this was my first time in America. However....
Things haven't exactly turned out this way. One of the girls i live with has just announced she has depression. I had already guessed this was the case when she would go to bed at 4am in the morning after watching television on her laptop and not wake up till 2 or 3pm in the afternoon only to go straight to her job at a restaurant. She has also constantly being smoking pot which i am not the biggest fan of. It seems she is always getting high and the smell of pot is stinking the house out. I am finding it really hard to make any sort of connection with her and it is really hard when i don't really know anyone in the city. I find myself feeling more alone and it is this feeling that makes me question my move here. But i musn't let this effect me. Without this problem in the equation i feel great. It isn't until i return home from a day out and about that i start to worry and feel more frustrated. So the easy and simple answer seems to be to move, however, this is where that other element messes with the equation.....
Kate. My other roomate is pretty much amazing. We have already clicked and are quickly becoming the closest of friends. We do everything together. When she isn't working she is taking me around, listening to music and cooking with me, going out for coffee and taking me to see live music. She really is quite the catch and a great person to live with. So it is hard to decide whether i should leave her. I know that if i move into another place i will most likely meet some new people as well that can introduce me to other people and hopefully i won't feel the same way that i do now with my current roommate. I know Kate and I will still be close even if i do move out which makes me think i should go ahead and do it. Still these little decisions in life aren't easy, what would you do?

Tuesday, January 4, 2011


Despite waking up feeling under the weather and having spent most of the night with hideous stomach pains today was quite a good day. The bright sunny weather we have been having for the last couple of days seems to have gone and Seattle was more like it's raininy self. It also felt incredibly cold although i hear some parts of the country are far worse than we are. I'm hoping it will snow sometime in the near future because i am so excited about playing in the snow. We don't really get snow in New Zealand, in fact winters in Auckland never feel that cold. It is nice to beable to experience a proper winter although half of you probably think i am mad for saying this.
Anyway today my friend Kate and I decided to go to the Seattle Art Museum to check out the Picasso Art exhibition. Kate's father is a huge fan of Picasso and was lovely enough to shout both of us a ticket to the show and also dinner afterwards. I wasn't too sure what to expect from a Picasso exhibition but went with high spirits. I have studied Picasso a little in school but can not pretend i know a huge amount about the man. A lot of people are on the fence with his art work, some call him a genius while some see him as hugely overated. When we walked into the exhibition i was immediately overwhelmed by the quantity of work. There were about five rooms filled with Picasso pieces. On every wall dating from the beginning of his career to the end were beautiful paintings and sketches. It felt so unreal to stand infront of something that Pablo Picasso's hands had painted. I wanted so badly to touch the canvases and feel the thick layered paint that was applied by Picasso's brush but i knew that would be both disrespectful and would probably be my ticket out of the exhibition. I can only imagine the worth of all those pieces. I think after looking at all the pieces that nobody can dismiss Picasso's talent. Not when it is sitting right in front of your face. I was a huge fan of his rough sketches. There was one titled 'War and Peace' which was by far one of my favourites. If you're in Seattle i strongly recommend checking out the exhibition, it is well worth the $23 you pay for it.

After looking at art for a couple of hours we had built up quite the appetite. Kate suggested heading to Capitol Hill to find somewhere cheap and delicious for dinner. After circling around in the car for over 20 minutes and walking up and down the street numerous times we grew so ravenous that we stopped in at the nearest Indian restaurant and quickly ordered off the menu. I had a delicious, delicious chicken tikka masala curry with Garlic Naan while Kate went for the vegetarian curry. It was a very satisfying dinner except for the fact that a couple were fighting at the table next to us for the duration of our meal, slighlty awkward.

Well i'm showered and already in bed with a hot cup of tea about to watch the movie Easy A. Feeling like something light hearted and humorous. Hope you all had great Tuesdays.
Goodnight xx.

Seattle in Snapshots.

On a clear, sunny, winters day, a foreigner to the city takes her camera and captures some of the beauty that is Seattle.

The Pike Place Public Market, perhaps one of the most iconic places in downtown Seattle.

The waterfront. The water sparkled like millions of diamonds as a lonely cargo ship fleeted across the calm surface.

Late afternoon in Belltown, the last moments of the winter sun before it hides it's face for the night.

From 280 metres up in the sky on a clear day i felt like i was in paradise. On every side Seattle is surrounded by beautiful mountains covered in snow, here we can see the Olympic ranges.

A kind American man offered to take my picture in front of the water. Wearing my new favourite cape, black skinny leg jeans, black chucks, and grey gloves. Winter makes fashion easy.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Diana F+ Dreamer.

Today i brought a new camera, a Diana F+ Dreamer. I have had my eye on this little beauty from the moment i got to Seattle and so today i thought oh heck i'll buy it. It is plastic, light, mint green and totally cute. After spending about half an hour just trying to thread the film in through manually i am ready to begin my very own Diana adventure. The quest for dreamy, slightly unfocused photography has started. I'm going to adventure around some parts of Seattle tomorrow to see what i can come up with. Wish me luck.