Recently, Alyssa visited Portland, and we made a special trip to the International Rose Test Garden. Thousands and thousands of roses are in bloom all at once. It’s absolutely intoxicating and brings me back by scent to a special time in my life. It may be cllche, but there is something I adore about roses. Their elegance, the thorns, the soft velvet of their petals. My favorites are red or yellow.
I met Kylie at our mutual friend Brian’s party. Kylie and I were sitting by each other on the couch commiserating about our gluten free lifestyle. We were both eyeballing the cookies while making chit chat. She mentioned she was a hairstylist, and I reported I had just that week gotten my hair cut. I had my hair pulled back and also was wearing a hat. I dutifully showed her what I was feeling rather apathetic about and she responded by saying we should cut it! I agreed!
She cut my hair with regular scissors in the hallway at Brian’s house in the middle of a party. I love her spontaneity and her infectious laugh. She’s a warm and caring person who is now my new hair stylist!
Jamie: Tell us a little about yourself.
Kylie: I was born and raised in sunny southern California, but now I choose to call Portland my home. I’ve been specializing in men’s haircuts for a little over eight years. I feel like the luckiest person alive because I get to make a living doing pretty much my favorite thing in the world. I also love to read; I have at least three books dog-eared at any given time. That’s right– books. The Kindle makes me nervous and doesn’t smell nearly as good as ink on fresh paper.
Jamie: Southern California and Portland, Oregon are practically complete opposites in some ways, yet really similar in others. What do you love about both places? And what do you miss most about SoCal? I’d love to know about some of your favorites places and restaurants too!
Kylie: They really are so different from each other. That’s what’s so nice about still having family in California. I get to enjoy for a few days and then come back to reality– kind of like playing with my friends’ kids. I love the warmth and smell of California. Maybe my olfactory system is super sensitive, but I think all places have a unique smell. I love that in Portland, you can walk to your neighborhood theatre and watch the Country Music Awards or just a basketball game with fellow beer drinkers. There’s such a strong sense of community here. What I miss most about where I grew up is the Mexican food! not many things are fried in lard up here in the northwest, unfortunately. I did find one restaurant that comes pretty close to SoCal- There’s a divey little joint on East Burnside called Ole Ole. The tacos are to die for and very affordable! Which is good, because everyone in Portland is either retired or working on their doctorate. Another place I love specializes in Ethiopian cuisine. No jokes, please. It’s called Bete-Lukas. The owner is a kick and the food is always fresh and delicious. And because I have three stomachs, I can’t forget about dessert. Rimsky-Korsakoffee House in the Buckman area is as out there as it gets. Incredible and interesting hand crafted pies and coffees. But, beware of the bathrooms- that’s all I’ll say.
Jamie: I thought I was a die hard paper book person too, but my friend Jill gave me a Kindle, and I was surprised how much I do like it! It’s been a lifesaver living in a small place. Haha! What kind of books do you read?
Kylie: I’ll read pretty much anything that I’m given or is recommended to me. I get a lot of books as gifts. It’s pretty interesting to see what people come up with. You can always tell what kind of person someone thinks you are by the books they give you. Chuck Pahlaniuk is my favorite author, so I’ve read all of his work. You may know him from such titles as, “Fight Club.” I’m really into science fiction and memoirs. I’m just fascinated by humans; I’ll read anyone’s story.
Jamie: You seem like a brave and fearless person. Does anything scare you?
Kylie: Turning thirty! No, but seriously, a few things do. I’ve always been deathly afraid of heights. Once I’m at 30,000 feet on an airplane I can relax–sort of. But skyscrapers…forget it. I also have a healthy fear of large dogs; it stems from some sort of childhood canine trauma, I’m sure.
Jamie: I used to love flying, but I like it less and less these days. I do like heights though. They remind me of dreams I have had in which I can fly. But let’s circle back around to the hair cutting thing: when did you get interested in hair cutting? And why are you specialized in men’s hair? What inspires you? Tell me all the things!
Kylie: Do you ever fall in your flying dreams? I heard that’s good luck! Hair cutting…let’s see. I’ve been fascinated with the entire beautification process for as long as I can remember. When my parents would have guests over, I’d walk around the room and paint everyone’s fingernails. I’m sure I did great work at four years old!
Whenever my dad would go in to get his hair cut, even if it was early in the morning, I’d go with him. I’d sit in the lobby and watch intently. I loved the sound of the shears snipping the hair and how effortless and graceful the stylists looked while working. Later in life, I was always the first in the house to notice when Dad came home with a fresh haircut. His face looked brighter and he seemed to have a spring in his step. Men’s hair holds my interest because of the precision involved in cutting, and even styling it. Women’s hair is fun to look at and play with, but the technician in me loves dealing with tight shapes and weight lines. It’s also fun to show a man that a good haircut really can make a difference in how he feels and even acts. I feel that the extra time and attention I’m able to devote to my clients gives them a certain confidence and dare I say…swagger?
I love to flip through cheesy magazines like US Weekly to see what the “beautiful people” of the world are doing with their hair. Since my shop is in a men’s clothing store, I also draw a lot of inspiration from expensive suits. I like to give my clients a haircut that will enhance their style and maybe even get them to switch from a polo to a nice sport coat.
Jamie: Would you like to share some internet links?
www.schedulicity.com (online scheduling.)
Thanks to Kylie for participating in my interview series! If you have any questions for her, ask in the comments below! (And go get a hair cut!)
I first met Corey at the sausage making class at Portland Homestead Supply. He was the instructor but seemed more like a host of a party. (If you get a chance, you really should take his class. It’s like an intimate dinner party where you get to help make the food.)
The thing about Corey is he is one of those clever and charming people that you feel like you’ve known forever. He’s a great conversationalist and super intelligent.
Jamie: Please tell us a little about yourself.
Corey: You can never step in the same stream twice.
Jamie: I’ve never had anyone answer that first question so succinctly. I am curious to know the journey of an anthropology professor into a software design and development founder. I picture one as a nutty professor of sorts, surrounded by cobwebs, dust, and musty books. Perhaps with an old desktop that is terribly out-of-date. While the other person has a pristine Apple laptop, wears a hoodie, and goes to “meetings” at coffee houses. How did that transition happen? (And don’t destroy my illusions of what an anthropology professor is like if you can.)
Corey: Actually, being an anthropology professor prepared me well for a life of software design. Anthropology’s focus on culture and ethnographic field methods have been somewhat co-opted by the user experience industry. Also, delivering over 4,500 hours of lectures prepares one for speaking at conferences – something I do quite often. This is my main form of marketing. Lastly, my talks, blog posts, and approach to digital strategy and design all derive from historical and anthropological research about things like stone tools, cave art, and medieval scrolls. So – I’m still a nutty professor, writing pedantic and oblique blog posts, surrounded by musty books. I do, however, have a shiny Macbook Air and meet with clients at Heart Coffee Roasters. No cobwebs, however. And hoodies are for hipsters and children.
Jamie: You told us a lovely story about “becoming a foodie” in the Sausage Making class I took at Portland Homestead Supply. Would you mind sharing that story again here?
Corey: I had been a line cook on and off for a few years. However, I did not yet understand the magical aspect of food. It was a meal at Wildwood on NW 21st – it had just opened and there was a real buzz about the place.
I remember the dish being set in front of me: bacon wrapped trout on a bed of lentils. Simple enough. But it was symphonic – an astonishment. The woodsmoke of the bacon, the texture of trout. And the lentils were all nose – so complex and perfect that I can STILL taste them. I put my fork down after a few bites, took a deep breath, and wiped away tears. That was when I realized I knew nothing about food.
I’ve been trying to learn a little something of that magic ever since.
Jamie: So if you had a perfect food day in Portland, what would that look like?
Corey: The perfect food day – love the concept. It would start at home with a hot mug of black Heart coffee made in a french press. I would fry eggs in walnut oil and an eventual splash of moscatel vinegar (cooked off), salt, pepper. This is eaten with good toast and enjoyed with the wife and children. Lunch at Olympic Provisions – probably one of Joe’s genius soups (beet!), a green salad, and a glass of white. Snack of nuts and chocolate at 3:00. Dinner with the fam at Navarre. Stinky wine, greens, rabbit, mussels, white beans. Right before bed, I smother a banana with peanut butter and eat this over the sink, breathing out of my nose.
Jamie: Haha! That last part! Would you like to share some internet links?
Big thanks to Corey for participating in my series! I really appreciate him answering my questions. If you think of more, ask them in the comments, I’d be happy to pass them along.
I love stew.
In particular, beef stew. There’s nothing quite as simple and comforting as a slow cooked, filling, and savory meal. I typically have a go-to recipe that I vary little from, but I thought I’d try a new twist using golden beets, celeriac, anchovies, and herbs de Provence. The recipe I used is from Chris Kresser’s site.
Stewing meat, vegetables, and spices together doesn’t get any easier. I like the ease of starting with a lot of fresh ingredients (and perhaps a few shortcuts if you don’t have your own stock or tomato sauce at hand), and ending up with something so hearty.
You start by sauteing the onions and shallots in your heavy bottomed pot. Add garlic when your onions are nearly finished (garlic can burn easily), then add all the rest of the ingredients to the pot save for a couple cloves of chopped garlic that you’ll add at the very end for a little punch.
celery root/celeriac (You could also use turnips, parsnips, or carrots)
red wine and beef stock
bay leaves and anchovies
tomato sauce, tomato paste, and herbs de Provence
grass fed beef
Once you’ve put all the ingredients into the pot, you simply leave it in the oven for a few hours. The low, slow heat does all the work tenderizing your meat and vegetables, and it melds all the flavors.
You can see even more photos of this stew on my Flickr page.
I joined a walking tour courtesy of my friend Rachel from Sellwood Soap! (She gifted me a ticket!) I learned so many new things about my lovely new neighborhood and it’s layered history as a blue collar railroad and sawmill town!
Sellwood was originally settled around 1848 by the Luelling family who brought five hundred fruit trees with them in their trek. Later, John Sellwood purchased three hundred and twenty acres from the Luelling family. Eventually, the town of Sellwood was founded and named for John Sellwood.
Nearby was the sawmill, Pendleton Woolen Mill (still in business today in a different location), and the railroad. It’s currently under construction and will be until 2016.
Portland Rowing Club Entrance (originally located by the Morrison Bridge)
The house in the photograph below was moved from another location. It was a parish house for a local church. (I learned a lot of buildings and homes have been moved! Who knew that was a thing?) See the house below the picture of the photo to see it in it’s happy new locale.
We saw condominiums where the location of the former Mount Hood Brewery (which originally began as Wilherm’s Brewery in 1890.)
Our tour guide suggested that the house below may have been a Sears Roebuck mail order house, but she was unsure.
The red house below sits next to the private gold course which borders Clackamas county yet sits on the Multnomah county side. It also had been moved from its original location on the golf course grounds.
This was a beautiful garden hidden in a neighborhood.
There are railroad tracks in our neighborhood that are still occasionally used but were part of the original Interurban Train Line. The current Springwater Corridor Trail which is used by bikers and pedestrians sits on a former rail line running parallel to a current one.
Our lovely and incredibly knowledgeable tour guide who also writes for the local Sellwood Bee.
We walked past a building which served as a break room and place to hang out for rail workers.
A former boarding house.
There are many multi-family style houses left in the neighborhood which served as affordable housing during economic hard times. Not unlike ours.
Another former boarding house.
This house below and the house below it were built about fifteen years apart with the same plans. They sit in adjacent lots. I’m told we have a poet laureate living in one of them.
Mrs. Randall’s boarding house.
In the photo below, you can see this was a former transfer building. Below that you can see the original building now painted gray and purple.
The brick building which now houses The Bike Commuter formerly served as the City Hall building upstairs and the Sellwood Bank below.
Here’s a building which will be torn down soon. The Black Cat Tavern’s last day is Saturday. The land has been sold. Supposedly, the building is not in salvageable shape. It will be rebuilt as condos above with retail space below.
The building below is now the SMILE station which is the Sellwood-Moreland Improvement League. It used to be the firehouse.
This building was a confectionery!
This building sits behind Gino’s but was originally situated on the corner.
I’ve wondered about this building for some time. It’s nestled in the neighborhood, but there is no sign on the exterior. Our guide said it used to be a church but now is The Sellwood Playhouse. Just opened in fact!
This last photo is of Oaks Pioneer Church. It was moved in 1960 from Milwaukee, Oregon. It was the 1851 St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. They moved it on a barge and floated it on the Willamette River. It is deconsecrated and is now used for weddings, memorials and family reunions.
There’s so much more to Sellwood, and this is just a small sampling of my neighborhood!
I’d also appreciate if I missed any information, or if you know of any that I have incorrect, if you’d let me know in the comments! Thanks!
I like whiskey and bourbon. I like to order an old fashioned.
I don’t always enjoying paying a bartender eight to ten dollars though.
Cherry season has come (and almost gone) here in the Pacific Northwest, so I thought I would try my hand at making my own cocktail cherries since we all know maraschino cherries are super gross.
2 lbs of red cherries
4 cups of drinkable brandy
2 cups of sugar
2-4 sticks of cinnamon
4 allspice berries
Rinse the cherries in a colander. Remove the stem and pit the cherries. Place the cherries in a jar.
In a saucepan, heat the remaining ingredients on medium low heat until the sugar has dissolved completely. Pour the liquid over the cherries. Let the mixture come to room temperature (or ice bath it) then stick it in the back of your fridge for six weeks. You could alternatively water bath can it, but I am too lazy for that at this point. Although I might have considered it if I had gone cherry picking.
In six weeks, you’ll have perfect cocktail cherries, but I’ve also put them in a homemade chocolate chili ice cream.
1/2 -1 tsp of sugar
several dashes of Angostura Orange Bitters
1 tsp of club soda or water (optional)
1 brandied cherry
1 giant ice cube or sphere
1.5 ounces of Bulleit bourbon or whiskey
1 orange wedge or peel (optional)
Put the sugar, bitters, and water in a glass. Mix or muddle them together. I like to muddle in my cherry too at this point and it would be a fine place to throw in an orange peel or even lime for something crazy, but try it without muddling fruit for your first time so you know what it really tastes like. Add one big ice cube. This is important. It’s preferred to have one large ice cube, so there is less surface area to melt. The original teaspoon of liquid is going to get your flavors melded together, and now your ice cube will slowly melt and the extra liquid will open up the flavors of the Bulleit, but you don’t want lots of little ice cubes because they will just water down your drink. Lastly, pour the Bulleit over the top and enjoy!
There’s a magical hat shop in Downtown Portland.
It’s called Pinkham Millinery. The owner Dayna Pinkham studied under the late John Eaton in Seattle. She’s a talented and inspired woman. (More of her story you can find on the web and also on her website.)
I first discovered her store by simply walking by it. It was old world. Charming. It was like stepping back in time. All of her hats are custom made. She measures your head, finds out what you want, and custom designs and builds a hat for your unique head.
She crafts using high quality felts and imported straw. The ribbons she uses are imported. The hats are amazing. I wanted one, but I am not prepared just yet for the cost. So I wistfully gawked, and I planned for the future.
But I really lucked out. REALLY LUCKED OUT. I was in Buffalo Exchange a week and a half later searching for a summer straw hat when I discovered a white straw hat with a little black tag that said Pinkham Millinery. I couldn’t believe my fortune! Fifteen dollars! I did glance around furtively to see if perhaps someone would come over and say, “Oops, we mislabeled that!” And then display it behind the counter. BUT NO! It was ignored and squashed. It looked ruined, but I was hoping that Dayna Pinkham could reblock it and restore it to it’s former glory.
I took the crumpled hat to her, and she evaluated it. She guessed it had been made about seven years prior. She said she thought she could save it, so I left it in her care and scheduled my return two weeks later.
And it was beautiful. She did a fantastic job and installed a little elastic cord since the hat was slightly too big for me (that’s why custom hats are so amazing!) I cannot wait until I can order a custom hat for myself-I’m thinking felt for the winter.
What do you think? Do I look glamorous?
You can follow Pinkham Millinery on Facebook here.
I’ve had the chair back in my possession for about a week and a half, but visitors in town!
Before for the reminder:
And the debut!:
I LOVE IT. It’s so much more chilled out now. More mellow.
I can’t believe the difference to be honest. This was worth it, and it felt really good to pay a local small business to do the work. They did an amazing job. If you’ve ever wondered what really goes into a professional job like this I’ve included the photos they sent me of the work below. One of the major differences in using a professional rather than doing it yourself is the quality of fabric. They have access to a million different types that also have been tested against wear and tear.
Thanks for the photos and the job well done Lake Grove Upholstery!