Monday, September 20, 2010

Monday in Rose City

Here we are at the Mark Spencer Hotel with just a mere block separating us from Powell's Books. We took the 11:25 AM train from Seattle yesterday morning, after dropping my son off with his mother. We watched in wonderment as an angry young man nearly came to blows one of the porters at King Street Station. It seems that he got off the train, and couldn't get back on until everyone else boarded. All that anger so early on a Sunday morning.

The train to Portland got us in just before 3 PM. We meandered our way over to the Mark Spencer, gazing into the window of Powell's en route, and exclaiming aloud at the crowds that seem to pack their every corner. We checked into our room, enduring as much of the stale cigarette smell as we could before heading out for a late lunch, and stopping by the front desk to request another room. We strolled across the street to the nearby Kenny and Zuke's Deli, and filled up on French fries, covered with cheese and pastrami. Needless to say, there was leftovers.

We then checked into a new room with less of a cigarette smoke odor, and more of an old musty hotel odor. We quickly transferred our things, and then headed over to Powell's for our first visit of the trip. I browsed through the sale books and the mystery sections for the most part. I came away with six books, all fiction, and for the most part, all titles I have been on the lookout for. I bought a paperback version of Jamestown by Matthew Sharpe. I just finished reading his latest book, You Were Wrong, and I've been wanting a copy of Jamestown ever since I initially read the review in the New York Times back in 2007.

Other titles I picked up yesterday were Wounded by Percival Everett, Delicate Edible Birds by Lauren Groff (a nice unmarked hardcover), I Wake Up Screaming by Steve Fisher (Hollywood noir from the 1950s), and How the Dead Dream by Lydia Millet. I also picked up a cheap mass market version of Joseph Heller's Something Happened, because I've been contemplating making it a staff pick at work, but not before rereading it.

Today was a day just to lounge about the hotel room, read books, and do crossword puzzles in pen. Tonight we had Domino's pizza delivered, and I enjoyed a hot bath, before logging on to update my Goodreads, and to post this blog. Tomorrow is our last full day in Portland. We plan to make one more foray into Powell's bookstore. There is also a little noodle shop around the corner that will probably get our business. Otherwise, doctor's orders are for rest and relaxation . . . Doctor Mark that is. We may have to make another stop at Georgia's grocery store, to pick up various sundries, including my precious unsweetened iced tea.

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