Wednesday, September 30, 2009

East Side and West Side? Tomayto, Tomahto when it comes to Canines.

So, in the month of September I have:
  • Trekked to the top of the Empire State Building and looked upon the beautiful views of Manhattan.
  • Walked along Wall Street and looked, in awe, upon the NYSE - undoubtedly one of the most important buildings in the entire world (and I don't say that lightly).
  • Sat at Autzen Stadium at the University of Oregon and watched the Oregon Ducks play an incredible game.
  • Chatted online with author Dave Cullen who wrote one of my favorite books (story to follow in later post).
  • Spoke face-to-face with Richard Kind in downtown Portland: a very famous and talented actor who just happened to be a Thespian with my Mom in high school.

However, out of all the amazing things that have happened this month - not much compares to the joy of this:

I came across this scene while on the East Side of Portland. If you aren't from Portland, it's undoubtedly the only side that's been presented to you through the Media. Differing greatly from the West Side, it characterizes itself as a more hippie/indie side, which tends to mean instead of conforming to the rules of the girls from "The Hills" or the men from "Entourage", they pride themselves on conforming to the "underground" scene. For instance, on the West Side you can't throw a dime without hitting a Starbucks. However, on the East Side, there are of course Starbucks but the majority of Java spots you'll find are small, independent coffee houses with live shows, patrons wearing pants with bells around the ankle and only cubes of "Sugar in the Raw" with which to sweeten your coffee (Splenda is wayyyyyyyyyyyy too mainstream).

I appreciate its presence and the difference in West vs. East (East Side restaurants are to die for) but I wish Oregon was also shown in the trendy, fashionable light that it also is. However, all this information is for another day, just slightly utilized now in order to describe the classic East Side owner of the dogs and his lack of joy in my trivial enthusiasm in seeing them.

Anyway, while spending an evening enjoying the East Side, I parked my SUV right in front of an independent coffee house where I planned to quickly grab a latte. As I parked, I looked to the right side of my car on the sidewalk and spotted these precious pups. I raced out of the car and came over to them, gaping smile, skirt flapping, hands wide open and literally said: "HOW DO THEY LOOK LIKE THIS!"

The owner, his tone riddled with judgment, "Um... they're just a grown up litter..." as if it was as obvious as the fact that it was evening. I then asked if I could pet them and take a picture of them. Their owner agreed that I could, all the while laughing at me with his friend and mocking my girly mannerisms.

I think he was judging me as an aloof West Side girl... how rude, I would never do such a thing! But I should give him the benefit of the doubt because he could have just been entirely too jittered up from drinking too much natural coffee with natural sugar and going through a rummage sale for clothes. :)

Anyway, differences aside:

Dearest Biggy,
Thank you for the joy of interacting with your pups. It's a sight I probably won't forget for awhile and I don't think I will be lucky enough to see something THAT cute in the month of October- melted my heart. Adorable dogs!

Sincerely, Tupac.

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Thursday, September 24, 2009

The Big Apple

New York... New York! Well, it was a fun-filled albeit brief trip to the Big Apple. My Dad had hoped to take my little Brother off on a Voyage before he headed off to college and due to my recent availability, I was able to come as well. I was BEYOND excited as it had been a few years since I've had the pleasure of being in New York. Despite being satisfied taking pictures of every day events, nothing is more fun for me than exploring a new city with a camera, good company and fun clothes.

Ah, yes - fun clothes. My Dad and Stepmom, bless their souls, are not ones to step lightly because you didn't quite pick the correct shoe to walk 10 miles in. On the contrary, I'll gleefully accept blisters as long as it means that I like my outfit. This rule more important on days when I plan on taking pictures that I know I'll have framed for years.

Before we departed for this trip I was already thinking of what I could wear that would be a fresh "beginning of Autumn" look but also said - "Yes, I can walk from Chelsea to Yorkville without problem" ...that was until my Dad gave me the call...

"Hey Caitie, just telling you - we're not checking any bags on this trip. So you need to put your items through carry-on."

In the words of Tracy Morgan's many thug characters on Saturday Night Live: "Ohhhh Hayyls, nah!"

My mind started racing about possible excuses to why I couldn't only Carry-On:
  • "I don't have a small suitcase"
  • "I broke my arm"
  • "Satan carries on his luggage"
...but really I couldn't quite escape the truth that I was
  • A) Going to bring much more than a carry-on bag would allow
  • B) I planned on bringing many outfits knowing fully well I would wear about 4 of them but I couldn't possibly decide until I got there
  • C) I was already proud of packing light by going from 2 checked bags to 1... this would be too much.
Surprisingly, he said I could check my bag and no blood was drawn. Phew. First bullet dodged.

"One more thing..." my Dad's stern voice spoke before the words even escaped his lips. I knew him understanding the woes of a 25-year-old "Sex & the City" wannabe wasn't as easy as it appeared when he said I could check a bag!

"Ok Caitie... I only want you bringing tennis shoes! We are going to be walking a lot and I'm not going to stop because you didn't pack adequately."

"Ok Dad," I wryly responded.

You know when you're young and your parents tell you that it's okay to lie only when it's a little, white one?:
  • "You don't look fat"
  • "Yes, your voice sounded great!"
  • "Well! Of course I love this Orange headband you gave me!"
The point of course being that there's no harm in easing someones' peace of mind even if it means that you have to smudge the black line between LIE and TRUTH so that each is adorned in a lovely grey (which would put it in style for this season). That's where I was.

The problem didn't become how to pick outfits for tennis shoes (don't make me laugh! I don't "do" Tennis Shoes minus athletic activities), it became how to pick shoes that I want to wear with an outfit I loved but that I could truly look at myself in the mirror and say without smiling that "I, Caitlin, can trek across New York City in this attire with comfort."

After much soul-searching and self-discipline, I can enthusiastically say that I managed to wear heels only once when we went to see a show on Broadway and I spent the rest of the week in comfortable travel outfits with pain-free feet! All in all- my ability to walk with ease meant more time to really focus on the wonderful experience I was having with my family and enjoy the history, beauty and culture of Manhattan (a culture which frowns upon tennis shoes - and who am I to argue with the laws of the land?)

MORAL OF THE STORY: When in New York... wear cute, comfortable flats.

A few shots:

My Brother and Me, fresh off the plane, feeling and looking tired. Ready to get to the hotel and change! Please don't judge me for my plane outfit (also, my heart lies in Chicago). (Below)

Me and my Brother Conor outside the 9/11 Firehouse. Literally right across the street from Ground Zero. We didn't want to smile for the picture, seemed innapropriate, although we do look a little like Children of the Corn. (Below)
My Dad looking at the 9/11 Memorial for those fallen on that day. (Below)
My Dad on the Ferry coming back from Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. (Below)
Me and the View from Ellis Island of Manhattan. (Below)

My Stepmom, Maggie, on the Ferry to the Statue of Liberty. (Below)Manhattan skyline and Me as seen from Ellis Island. (Below)
Manhattan skyline and Me as seen from Liberty Island. (Below)
Note the missing height from the present skyline. I love this picture. (Below)
Maggie and My Dad at Liberty Island. (Below)
Me and my little Brother doing jumps on Liberty Island! (Below)
I couldn't have done this jump in heels! (Below)
Conor and Dad departing Battery Park. (Below)
Rockefeller Center at night. I very much wanted to have a glass of wine at that bar but it was always closed when we got to it. I was, however, perfectly happy walking in leggings, oversized, classic Men's button-up shirt and flat, flip-flops. (Below)
Conor and Me and the Subway. Loving the comfort of a thick, cotton black dress, flats and an adorable North Face backpack, compliments of my Sister. Great outfit to walk in. (Below)
My Father, Brother and Me in Times Square. Our first night - very tired but still having fun. (Below)
Wonderful wine in Little Italy. (Below)
A shot I took of St. Patrick's Cathedral with my Dad's wonderful camera. Can't wait to own my own expensive camera someday. Beautiful. (Below)

Goofing off in Muppet Land at FAO Schwartz with Conor. (Below)Conor and an entire Lego Chewbacca. (Below)
Me outside the Plaza Hotel - loving the reminiscing of Home Alone 2. (Below)
Outside Prada- Carrie Bradshaw's favorite place to shop! + I'm loving the Fall Display (Below)
Conor in St. Patrick's Cathedral - always 10 times prettier than I remember (Below)
Me outside the NYC Public Library. Beautiful architecture. (Below)
66 Perry Street aka Carrie Bradshaw's Brownstone. One of the more exciting moments. (Below)
I hope Carrie likes my scarf. (Below)
Conor and Me outside the Seinfeld restaurant... my Dad was very excited! (Below)
Maggie and My Dad excited to be there. (Below)
Mexican Restaurant in NYC - surprisingly not that good! And they only played Beatles music. Don't get me wrong- love, love, LOVE the Beatles but doesn't quite set a great "Mexican" feeling. (Below)
Conor loving Strawberry Fields. (Below)
Me in Central Park. (Below)
Loving my red bag, my pink/black scarf and my oversized cream sweater. Thank you "Vanilla" boutique in Bend, OR for those finds. (Below)
Conor testing his photography skills in Central Park. (Below)
The view of the Plaza upon the entrance of Central Park. (Below)
Central Park. I love the serene scene. (Below)

Enjoying some peace in Central Park. (Below)
Dad, Maggie, Conor and Me in Central Park. (Below)
Me in Central Park. (Below)
Conor enjoying the AMAZING Create-Your-Own-Salad bar that are rampant over there. (Below)
View from the Empire State Building. (Below)View from atop the Empire State Building. (Below)
View from atop the Empire State Building. (Below)
View from atop the Empire State Building. (Below)
An awful picture of me and the Wicked set. (Below).
Having dinner on our last night before seeing Wicked on Broadway. (Below)
Me and Conor at intermission. (Below)
Me and Conor at Wicked. (Below)
In Times Square after the show. Only night I wore my beloved heels. (Below)
Me and Maggie at Vinyl. Great food and setting! (Below)
Conor and Me after Wicked. (Below)
Dad and Maggie at Wicked. (Below)
Dad and Maggie at Vinyl. (Below)
Our final drinks in Manhattan. Maggie, Dad, Me and Conor. (Below)
As Mayor of the Munchkin City... (Below)

Conor, Me, Maggie and my Dad right outside Wicked. (Below)
Very happy to be having a lovely dinner. I love those Northern Cities (Below)
The Wicked set. (Below)
Conor and Dad en route to Wicked. (Below)
Conor and Me at Intermission. (Below)
So here we go... I forgot an evening purse on this trip and didn't notice until I had 5 minutes left to leave for the show, so I was stuck using a day purse. A fashion faux-paux for sure... in all my efforts to find an appropriate shoe that didn't tie at the top... I must have forgetten it. So as the Oz would no attention to the red bag!... (Below)
Conor at Wicked. (Below)
Dad in Rockefeller Centre. (Below)
Dad and Me at the MET (Below)
Conor loving the "Arms and Armor" exhibit... so him! (Below)
The American Wing at the MET. Dressed in a way I could walk but also conservative enough for a museum... can't go wrong with houndstooth. (Below)
Outside the MET, ready to go after hours of beautiful exhibits. (Below)
One of the most beautiful bedrooms I've ever seen. (Below)
Conor and Me in the Modern Art wing. (Below)
Ready to explore the MET. (Below)
Departing JFK... goodbye beautiful NYC! (Below)
Thank you Dad and Maggie for a great trip!

All photos on this website are copyrighted material and all rights are reserved.
This means you must have permission to use the photos in any way that does not fall under the limited rights granted by the "fair use" clause of the copyright law. "Fair use" does not extend to taking the photos and putting them on your own website, even if modified and for non-commercial use.