MISSION: To visit every state and territory in the U.S. For my mission a visit is greater than a stop over; I wish to explore the natural and cultural environments of these areas. Each of these locations has a story to tell, and I want to find it.

As of February 2018 I have visited all 50 states (and Puerto Rico and 2 island in the US Virgin Islands) at least once.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Smooth Jazz in the City of Roses

Traveling for work means that you miss a lot a local has to offer; by the time you get off work, most galleries, stores and boutiques are closed.  Often you are left trolling the malls if you want to shop, and let's face it, you can get the most of the stuff in the mall in other namesake stores across the country.  I want the fun and unique - places that you can only find in that city/region.

Mel Brown Quartet at Jimmy Mack's
In Portland, friends and I gathered for our last night together and sought out something relaxing... we were looking for music.  We walked through the Pearl District to find some jazz and we found Jimmy Mack's (apparently one of the top 100 places to hear to jazz.)  There we were treated to the smooth stylings of Mel Brown's Quartet.  The master percussion beats were a fabulous way to roll off the exhaustion of the week.  The familiar face of Mel Brown really struck a chord with our group; googling him, we found the rich storybook history of his music career... we were truly being treated by a jazz great.  Exhausted as we all were, we stayed until we could not push it anymore... happy and relaxed.

That close to the Pearl District, I needed time to wander a few boutiques... and I squeezed it in before I left the next afternoon.  Wandering the streets looking for familiar places, I stumbled upon a "new-to-me" gallery, right next to the home decor favorite Bella Casa, The Dapper Frog.  Full of fun, color and glass, this lifestyle gallery calls for a lot of time to soak it all in.  Yes, there were plenty of frogs (and I love frogs)... fun, colorful frogs.  I was able to pick out a pink fella for a niece that plays with my bronze frogs every visit.    The gallery had plenty to offer beyond the webbed amphibians - fish, birds, pottery and sculpture.  I fell in love with a $10,000 chandelier.  Too big for my room, and too much for my pocketbook.  Doesn't matter, I still loved it.  In fact, I loved much in this place.  If I get back to Portland again, I will definitely make this a  stop.

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