Freunde von Freunden: James Tucker & Risa Culbertson
An interview with my friends James Tucker & Risa Culbertson, who are letterpress printers in the Heath Ceramics building, right around the corner from me. The story was shot by Mark Wickens, and I hosted the conversation. We had quite the San Francisco day: starting off at Pier 39 in James' fishing boat, eating lunch at Swan Oyster Depot, and then traveling south to the Mission to James and Risa's studio. We also toured the Heath Ceramics building and saw all the amazing artist studios in there!
18 Reasons Website
18 Reasons Blog: Butcher, Baker, & Candlestick Maker
I've had an ongoing relationship with 18 Reasons, a food-oriented non-profit organization whose mission is to "empower our community confidence and creativity to buy, cook, and eat good food every day." For almost a year now, I've taken photographs for them: at their classes, events, and community meals. They recently launched their new website, and a lot of my photographs are featured on the website.
I also wrote a little blog post for them recapping a community meal they hosted at the Heath Ceramics building--a beautiful dinner that brought together local artisans and makers, called Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker. I highly recommend checking out the 18 Reasons space & taking a class there, especially if you like cooking and food.
I went to Portland last weekend, and here are some pictures & places I enjoyed:
We stayed in a particularly charming (3-story) AirBnb with a particularly un-charming cat. There were a total of seven of us in the house and enough beds for us to all sleep comfortably--we each paid $40 for the stay--such a good deal!
A map drawn by my friend Pili, the morning we arrived.
Table of Contents -- feels more like a well-curated space for objects, than a store that supports reasonable commerce.
Ned Ludd -- A charming restaurant with a lot of wood and kitschy objects. Great for long, group dinners. Food was delicious, felt very Portlandia. I had a seafood stew & roasted carrots. The entire table shared amazing flatbread with olive oil & sea salt, a charcuterie platter, and a gooey skillet chocolate chip cookie.
Noun -- This is the best tagline ever.
Stumptown Coffee -- This is the best vase ever.
Powells Books -- did not disappoint. Lives up to the hype. A paradise, refuge, and other-world for book-lovers. Powell's overwhelming nature is to its advantage, but I also liked the taxonomy of books, the curated shelves, the compartmentalization of its literature.
Maurice -- A self-described "pastry and luncheonette" that was charming and European: a French menu, earthy baked goods (a barely sweet rosemary scone; butter cookies composed mainly of butter, little sugar), intriguing dishes that seem practically medieval in America (Goat Bisteeya, Duck Fat & Prune Rissole, Polenta Clafouti with Chicken Confit). I am very much drawn to the grotesque of old-world foods.
Canoe -- "Simple, beautiful, functional objects." A design store with European, Japanese, and American objects--some things were impractically priced, but if you treat design stores as museums for ordinary things, then you'll be quite pleased by the marriage of function + aesthetics of the objects in this store.
Palace -- My favorite shop that we visited. I am always impressed by the excellent curation of old and new, and also the ability to organize those curated objects into a fluid and seamless arrangement. Palace had a great selection of facial and body products, alongside vintage clothes (great color palettes), ceramic spoons (Shino Takeda!), delightfully strange textiles, etc.
Grain & Gristle -- We had Saturday brunch here. Great vibes (I am getting a sense that Portland excels in "vibes"). Particularly memorable were the buckwheat crepes with ricotta, marmalade, and pistachios.
Wolf's Apothecary -- Though "apothecary" has been usurped in ways that do not fit the original meaning of the word, I am still a sucker for places that dispense elixirs / remedies / herbs / spices, the way I'm a sucker for various interpretations for how the full moon affects me (don't try to talk science with me). This place makes their own teas / salves / lotions / soaps / candles with locally wild-harvested plant infusions and botanical essences. In conclusion, I am a sucker.
Portland, I will be back.
I leave you with this:
“…To reserve a part of your life for taking care of yourself has indeed become a radical thing to do because it effectively means you are taking yourself out of circulation. You deliberately hold back resources, free time and potentials that could be used productively. Still, you can never be sure whether the free time you gain is not just the time you need to restore your energies to be fit to perform again on the next day so that you never escape the cycle of compulsive activity.”