great reads and good eats

Starbucks on every corner. It’s just baffling.

Yesterday Melody had the day off from work (at Starbucks!) so we spent the majority of the day together. We started off with a fabulous breakfast of from scratch waffles, maple syrup, and a yummy raspberry, cherry, rhubarb preserve. And of course, some French press to start out the day. I think I’m in love with French press. Because of my proud Texas roots, I wanted to give Portland a little taste of Texas, so I heavily suggested to Melody that we have pulled pork sandwiches for dinner. We decided on an apple slaw as a side. A short trip to the grocery store later, that delicious shoulder roast was smothered in seasonings and barbecue sauce and in the crock pot where it stayed until dinnertime. We then headed over to Sellwood to meet up with Taylor, a dear friend of Matt’s from the past two summers here. We had a great time together for about an hour at Blue Kangaroo, yet another great coffee shop in SE Portland. I’m sure I will be spending a lot of time there over the summer. It is just down the street from Grand Central Bakery and right in front of Cloud Cap Games. One of the best things about this place is an iconic piece of décor. No, not a kangaroo, but a flying pig hanging right in the middle of the room. Love it!

After we dropped Taylor off at home, Melody and I went over to ¿Por qué no? for lunch with Ken and Wes, the main men involved with the church planting effort in Sellwood. This was our second trip to the beloved Mexican food restaurant this week. I fully approve! I just love this little taste of the South up here in my soon-to-be new place of residence. Melody commented on how weird the décor of the place was, but to me it seemed fairly normal to see such odd things displayed in disarray. At least that’s how Chuy’s does it!

Some of you may know of my short architecture background and my love for the craftsman style home, so it’s only fitting to note that Portland consists largely of these types of homes. They are just too cute!

Now since my arrival I have had the luxury of being carted around the city in a car, but I knew I needed to step out and get a feel for the tri met system the city depends on. And let me tell you, it’s great! Melody dropped me off at Powell’s to browse a bit before I was to meet with a Young Life staffer for Central Portland. This would require me to hop on the streetcar, locally known as the MAX, and travel a short distance over the river to meet at… you guessed, it: Starbucks. I had a great time chatting with Karin, the assistant area director. I shared about my vision and passion for serving the Latino community and the low socioeconomic class, which is apparently a good fit for being centrally located in this city. The two schools in the Southeast area have just that, a good variety of kids from all walks of life. Perfect. If I get to stay in Portland after the summer, I will definitely get my hands into Young Life here because of the ministry’s relational aspect being so relevant and necessary for reaching an unchurched city. Afterwards, I hopped back over the river and made my way back to Melody’s place… All by myself! I’m already a pro.

Shortly after I arrived “home”, it was time to feast. And feast we did! Feast your eyes on this beauty:

My first attempt at pulled pork was superbly successful, thoroughly enjoyed by all.

Our last and most treasured stop of the day was to Moonstruck, a favorite local chain here in Portland. I was mystified by how many choices of delectable truffles there were, but I finally decided on this trio: A Bailey’s Irish Cream, a Broadway (a spin on PBJ with a wine/berry preserve and hazelnut mousse in a mini teacup and saucer), and a Mayan dark cocoa drink. What a way to end a long day!