Mumsy is in town for a few days visiting Portland for the first time. We had a wonderful first day together – food carts for lunch, farmers market for fun samples, and walking Alberta to give mom a taste of local culture and people.
Along the way we visited so many delightful artisan markets. Alberta Street has a vibrant culture, rich in experience and flavor. I loved having an excuse to purchase a couple of Mel’s hilarious, whimsical, charming art cards from Redbird Studio and always enjoy the ambiance of the store – celebratory bunting, natural light, and beautiful art colors. I’m so glad we found them through Supportland! I also have a $20 gift certificate from an IHEARTARTpdx lucky win for collage so I was going in to check it out for the first time. I have to admit I was pleasantly surprised. I didn’t expect a “scrapbooking” store to be so well curated. Lots of fun bits to spend out my prize in a future shopping spree. Well done, collage! And thank you, iheartart! Finally, we wanted to stop by Back to Eden vegan bakery for a cool drink on the way back to the car, but the line was too long and we didn’t see tea on the menu. Luckily, next door is Townshend’s Tea. (Follow them on twitter! Check them out.) Ambiance, comfy seating, natural light, mellow vibe, a huge tea list and ridiculously affordable prices mean that this is one establishment I will frequent. Thank you Townshends People — I am happy to meet you. Mwah.
The reason I am sitting down to write this post is that I recognized a brand from yesterday’s work-related research of Portland-area designers. I really liked the name and branding for Ampersand Vintage (Twitter here). Highly recommended, whether entertaining your mother or just out to explore.
In Ampersand, we bought a book for $60. I didn’t hesitate to spend that much money on a book, and didn’t even want to go buy it from Amazon for half the price. The reason I immediately, unhesitatingly shelled out the money is that as Ali was browsing the book stopped him dead in his tracks. Asking questions about the product, his voice quavered a little and he said “this is beautiful.” We often joke about Ali’s lack of accessible emotions versus my constant life drama. We balance each other well, but when he sees me tear up when I walk into Therese Murdza’s art studio or when listening to a poignant moment of a soviet-era symphony, I think he is a little bit jealous because he doesn’t really feel things like that. Today in that little curiosity shop, looking at a well-designed book about math theories, Ali was moved. And that $60 to our new curator friend is a small price to pay for setting the stage for my husband to get a little bit emo. Thank you, Ampersand, for your well thought collection and artful displays. You helped set the stage for a milestone.