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Write Around Portland Free Workshop May 12, 2010

Posted by stacyb17 in Bars, Events.
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Last night before LOST at the Bagdad I participated in the first of Write Around Portland’s free writing workshops. This week, from Tuesday throgh Saturday, Write Around Portland is offering free workshops in different locations around town. RSVPs are necessary and most of the workshops are full, but last minute cancellations do happen. I know, I had to cancel my reservation for the workshop last night due to travel plans and then was able to get back into the session yesterday afternoon when my plans fell through (I hate Continental airlines, but that is a story for another time).

Write Around Portland is a local nonprofit that offers free writing workshops to people who would not normally have access to them. These people include recovering alcoholics and addicts, unemployed, and older residents. The organization publishes the works of the participants and offers them for sale. Its a pretty cool organization in my mind.

The workshop last night was at the LadyBug Cafe in St. Johns. Apparently I am a new St. John’s groupie (and if it hadn’t been for LOST last night, I definitely would have hit Plew’s Brews for a post workshop beer). There were two separate groups that followed the same exercises. A volunteer from Write Around Portland moderated each group. Notebooks, pens, and snacks were provided.

The moderator provided writing prompts and gave the participants time to write. Use of the prompts was optional. The prompts varied from a sentence beginning to natural items such as rocks and pine cones to pieces of paper with words on them pulled out of a bag. We also did a haiku exercise. After we wrote for a few minutes, participants had the option of sharing what they wrote and getting positive feedback from other group members.

The writing workshop was a good time. Everyone was very supportive and there was a lot of smiling and laughing. I’m considering doing one of their monthly workshops at Hot Lips Pizza on Hawthorne.

I’ve already written about LOST at the Bagdad, but it has definitely increased in popularity. So if you are planning to go for one of the two final episodes of the series, I recommend getting there early to get a good seat and have time to wait on line for beer and food. After the show my friends and I went to the Back Stage bar where it is happy hour after 9 PM. I love the super high ceilings and the chill vibe of that bar. They tend to play good music as well (if you are into classic rock).

I may take a few day hiatus from this as I head out to the East Coast tomorrow night for a weekend in Amish country (family function- no, my family is not Amish, but that is a great mental image for me). Next week- my first Beavers game!

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Swagat, Forest Park, St. John’s Bizarre and a BBQ in Gresham May 10, 2010

Posted by stacyb17 in Bars, Events.
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Another busy weekend in PDX. Friday went for a bke ride on the Springwater Corridor down in Sellwood. I definitely need to check out maps of that route. Nice, flat ride down by the river and it connects to the Esplanade. After the ride we headed to NW to Swagat for some Indian food. The food is really good and the portions are huge. We got a dosa and two thalis for the three of us and had plenty of food left over. I’m now a big fan of Taj Mahal beer. For some reason I don’t remember drinking that in India.

Saturday morning I had a 10 mile training run to do for the upcoming Helvetia Half Marathon in June. We decided to do a trail run in Froest Park. We started at Leif Erickson and then took the Wild Cherry Trail up to Wildwood (holy climb to get there). We took Wildwood down to Fire Road #1 and went back down to Leif Erickson. From there we headed up another 1.5 miles and then turned around and ran back to the parking lot. I need to find a way to measure that because I am convinced it was more than 10 miles. Great day for a run though!

After the run I went to the St. John’s Bizarre. It was my first outing to St. John’s and it is definitely another cool area of town. I started at a friend’s place and then headed to the beer garden to drink Lompoc and Ninkasi beers and watch Explode Into Colors. Before leaving the area, we went to Plew’s Brews for a beer.  Plew’s is a no nonsense beer bar. Nothing fancy at all. Just tables and patio chairs and lots of beer. The bar is basically a big fridge and some taps. I love it!

We needed to get out to Gresham for a BBQ that eve so we took a bus to the Max. We were at the start of the bus route and there was some confusion as to which of the two stalled out buses would run. A completely drunk guy dressed like a pirate got off one of the buses and proceeded to puke his guts out on a park bench. My buddy has a great picture of the puking pirate which he sent to his mom for Mother’s Day. Now that’s love.

It seemed to take forever to get out to Gresham, but we made it and found my friends’ place. I love the Portland tradition of turning the basements of houses into bars. This one had a sail mounted on the ceiling, a dart board with a blowdart gun, and a kegerator. I think I may try and move in. Totally worth the trek out to Gresham.

Sunday was a chill day. Went and saw Crazy Heart at the Laurelhurst. Very depressing. I’d give it a pass.

This week- writing workshop on Tuesday before LOST and hopefully a rooftop happy hour on Wednesday.