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Posts from the ‘Portland’ Category

greenpeace visits portland & hangs around for a day

“There is absolutely no greater high than challenging the power structure as a nobody, giving it your all, and winning!” ―Abbie Hoffman

“Silence becomes cowardice when occasion demands speaking out the whole truth and acting accordingly.” ―Mahatma Gandhi

I spend the winters in Antibes, France, a small town on the French Riviera. Not far from Antibes is the smaller coastal town Golf-Juan where the King of Saudi Arabia owns a villa on the water front with access to a public beach.

Recently, the king and his entourage decided to spend three weeks there. A summer vacation it was to be. For security reasons, he closed off the public beach and without a permit built a temporary scaffolding to the beach. Mistake.

Needless to say his actions did not go unnoticed. Petitions were signed. Les citoyens ne l’ont pas accueilli avec de grandes manifestations d’amitié. Non, pas de tout.

The French will forcefully take sides, as the United States discovered during the months leading to the invasion of Iraq. In our own history we have learned that neutrality helps the oppressor but seldom the victim, and that one’s silence will encourage the tormentor but seldom the tormented.

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But wait, there’s more!

everyone loves a parade

Portland, Oregon likes its parades.  It really likes the Junior Rose Festival Parade, which winds through the Hollywood neighborhood in early June each year.

Marching bands. Children in colorful costumes.  Dance teams, some twirling batons.  Floats.  Bikes decorated in many colors  Kids come from all over Portland and from parts of Vancouver.

20150603_084_PortlandThe 2015 Grand Marshall was Spider-Man, himself.  Portland felt honored that he could find the time from his daily life as a superhero and agree to join the children as they celebrated the coming of summer and the end of the school year.

The parade is so popular that families begin reserving spots along route early in the day by placing chairs and blankets on the sidewalks.  (For the Grand Floral Parade they pitch tents and camp over night.  For a short time, Portland streets become a large homeless encampment.)

But wait, there’s more!

oh, toto, can we truly be in oregon?

“The sun,–the bright sun, that brings back, not light alone, but new life, and hope, and freshness to man–burst upon the crowded city in clear and radiant glory. Through costly-coloured glass and paper-mended window, through cathedral dome and rotten crevice, it shed its equal ray.” ― Charles Dickens, Oliver Twist

“Oh, Toto, can we truly be in Oregon?  Life here has so many gleams of sunshine.” __not Dorothy

I could not endure to waste anything so precious as a quirky spring sunshine by staying in the house.  I took a long walk around downtown Portland.  Je suis allé me promener autour de Portland.

But wait, there’s more!

wandering without a paved paradise

This fall I will leave Portland, Oregon and embark on an adventure.  I will travel to India for a 21 day tour, where I will practice yoga in the morning and will walk–meander, amble, rove, a flâneur in practice–for the remainder of each day.  Afterward, in mid-September, I will leave New Delhi and fly to Nice, France, take the train to Le Puy-en-Velay, and from there begin a four or five or six week walk–I am not sure how long it will take–along the chemin de Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle to Saint-Jeans-Pied-de Port, the last French town before the route crosses the Pyrénées  to Spain.  750 kilometers approximately.  I will engage in le pèlerinage de Saint-Jacques-de-Compostelle,  although it will not be for religious reasons.

20130503_121_Portland-EditGoing to India is understandable, but why would one want to leave the comforts of home in Portland and go on a lengthy walking pilgrimage?  It is so hard to leave family and friends.  Some wonder why I am not the kind of person who stays.  I leave so I can return, come back and love my family and friends and rediscover Portland for new reasons.

But wait, There’s more!