Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Walking Tour

Yesterday we had another opportunity to walk and learn with the ever fabulous Peter Chausse who leads fascinating walking tours of Portland. I've lived here my whole life but each time we go out with him I see and learn new things. Perhaps the most memorable fact of the day: who knew there were Transformers on the Governor Hotel? If you click on the collage above, it will magically appear larger and you'll have no trouble spotting them.

Monday, March 15, 2010


My goodness it's been a long time since I posted. One of the things I've been doing while not writing blog posts has been dancing. For the last I've been going to Nia class 2-3 times a week which has done wonders for my strength, balance, and overall well being. But for pure, all out, goofy fun, nothing beats the Bollywood dance class I started taking in January. Keeping track of the choreography isn't that easy for my old brain and physically it's quite challenging (I generally have to recover with a serious nap on Sunday afternoons) but what a great time we have.

In the 8 weeks since our little group started we've done well enough that our teacher Sushmita decided to put us up on stage twice last weekend, complete with garish custom-made costumes and an astonishing amount stage makeup. I knew that the opportunity to perform would be offered to us but I didn't think it would come so soon and I figured my debut would be in some dinky little community center or grade school cafeteria.

In fact, we went on stage at The Roseland, a huge venue where we saw Manu Chao a few years ago. There were a few dance groups performing before "India's Most Famous DJ" came onstage and, surprisingly enough, hundreds of people showed up for our warm up acts. Yes, it was just a little tiny bit nerve wracking but we were great--at least it sounded that way from the applause.

Saturday evening we were part of a community Holi celebration which was a completely different experience. Friday night was all young hipsters, Saturday was a family event with lots of little kids all over the place and numerous performances--dance, poetry, theater which was all in Hindi so I had only the slightest idea about what was going on which was actually fine.

Both events ended with dancing and especially Saturday's dancing with local DJ Prashant was the best-- a perfect way to let go after the mild terror of being on stage. Despite the terror, it was loads of fun and I can't wait for our next performance.