Category Archives: fix

Patti Smith at the Bagdad

“I hate being odd in a small town
if they stare let them stare in New York City
as this pink eyed painting albino
how far can my fantasy go”


– Lou Reed


Occasionally somebody interesting will come through our big little town. How nice when they come to the Bagdad Theater, just a couple blocks down the street. Oddly, we are at our worst in the grace of the great. I wasn’t there when David Byrne spoke at the Bagdad recently, but from everything I read it was a feast of the small-minded and self-important hosts.


Portlanders gracious hosts do not make. We set up a plush arm chair with dim lights so a poet and musician from the New York City punk rock movement can read from her book about groundbreaking photographer Mapplethorpe. Well she may be over sixty and have trouble reading in poor light, but to her credit Ms. Smith ain’t gonna sit in the armchair to do the story hour.


We wanted to disappear from embarrassment in our imagined plush armchairs when our fellow Stumptowners proceeded to loudly put away dishes in the background, take flash photos from every which angle and parade four starstruck yet self-important questioners from the audience.


Amazing grace. I am in awe how Patti Smith held her composure and gave earnest answers to awkward questions. We have much to learn.



BASE Jumping Off Monkey Face

Hiking up the trail to Misery Ridge at Smith Rock we catch a person fall off the Monkey Face spire out of the corner of our eyes. Leigh lets out a little scream. A blink of an eye later a parachute opens.

Monkey Face is about 350 feet tall. It stands on a hillside so you have maybe another 150 feet to clear to the ground if you jump out far. That would be about 5 seconds of free fall. Even with a parachute the ride is only about 10 seconds long with a landing on steep terrain. 

The pictures are in flight-sequence but show three different people. I wasn’t expecting this, so of course my camera was in worst possible mode to take snapshots. The last picture shows the spire from the landing area perspective taken earlier. The person on top must have been one of the people who later jumped.



Boston – Too Ugly for Film?


Not often do you see film crews in Portland during the summer. The Oregon known to film is self-destructive (My Own Private Idaho), scary (The Shining) and rainy (The Hunted). So the east-coast police ‘cah’ ‘pahkd’ down-town can only be explained with sunny Portland being a stand-in for Boston. I don’t know how they will edit all our bicyclists out and replace the ubiquitous local coffeeshops with Dunkin Donuts in the chase scenes.