Spring is in full bloom in Portland, and I know this because for days I've been sneezing like a mutha. I've been sneezing like I'm Sneeze Man and sneezing is my superpower.
The evil pollen pretty much hit on Thursday. By evening I was really suffering, which is why it was probably not such a great idea for me to have gone out to Alberta Street for Last Thursday. Evening air is full of pollen, as the sun goes down the air cools and the pollen drops down to hang in the air by the ground. Right where you're breathing, or in my case, sneezing and coughing. My throat was totally raw by 8 pm and I'm still recovering.
If you're not from Portland, Last Thursday is a street art/craft exhibition/sale for the DIY art community that happens along Alberta Street on the last thursday evening of each month. Most artists you will see out there do not show in galleries, and they usually don't have a card or a website. They just come to Last Thursday, set up on the sidewalk and display their wares there. You buy art directly from the artist, and you know they're just trying to make ends meet and get their art out there. I like the grassroots feel of Last Thursday.
There's always buskers (musicians, etc.) and other entertainment going on too. Like I saw a guy driving a big shoe down the street, and a small fleet of home-made sculpture/bikes riding around. One of them, the front wheel of the bike was an old push-mower.
There were a ton of babies out, making me wish I'd brought mine instead of putting him to bed and running. Maybe next month.
Last Thursday was a cool night out for me. I haven't been for over a year, and it's grown. There were so many great artists and crafters out. I brought cash with me and had a tough time deciding where to drop it. But for this month, here's what I brought home.
A darling baby-dress, of which I have no need. But you never know what the future holds. If not for me and a second babe someday, somebody I know will be receiving this little lovely for a gift:
These beautiful handmade candles. One is sandalwood and one is Nag Champa. They smell wonderful. I got both for $14. In a store just the larger one would have easily cost more than that.
This tie-die outfit for my Boohbah. I guess I'm a died-in-the-wool first-time mother. I escape my child for a break for myself and what do I do? Spend the evening buying him things. I bought this one hanging off the side of a parked VW bus. The hippie couple selling the clothes were so happy I bought this, as they were just about to pack in and take off. The hippie chick told me, "I'm just trying to get as much tie-dye out there as I can." I told her I'd help her with her mission.
These handmade pants, also for Boohbah. Not from the hippie chick, from another earthy-goddess-Tribal bellydancer-grrl. She had a little Boohbah too, very cute! She also recognized me from (we figured out) the bellydance shows I've attended when E. was playing drums. We had a nice conversation about bellydance and Boohbahs, and I bought these little pants from her.
And, as I was about to leave (it was getting too dark to see anything properly anyway) I encountered a painter whose work caught my eye. There were several painters who caught my eye but this one really did. I think because we're getting ready to paint our dining room a pale chartreuse color and I could "see" this painting hanging in it. I stepped totally out of character for me and bartered the artist down to the amount of cash I had remaining, and then I dropped it all to buy this painting. I messaged E. on my cell phone, "Just bought a painting, and I hope it's a good one because I can't see a friggin thing!"
And that was my Last Thursday haul for the night. Next month, I am going back looking for, among other things, the lady who makes garden/patio torches out of vintage glassware and china. They were gorgeous, and I want some for my yard.