Date night! - Winterlude 2021 - CycleBlaze

November 14, 2021

Date night!

Last night was an evening the likes of which we haven’t experienced in close to two years - dinner and a movie!  It didn’t quite feel normal yet, but close enough that it felt like the world as we once knew it is starting to reemerge.   It starts with us walking down Kearney Street to Seratto, a restaurant on 21st we’ve favored over the years.  We’re on Kearney rather than Johnson, the way we’ve normally walked there in the past, because we’re still testing out the after dark safety feel of the local streets, and the freeway underpass on Johnson has always been a magnet for the street sleepers.  To our pleasant surprise the walk there and then home four hours later feels fine, better than we’d expected; though I doubt Rachael will be out walking alone after dark.

The restaurant at Serrato was nearly full inside and out - much more so than when we ate here last summer and they were just beginning to support limited indoor dining again.   Covid protocol is pretty minimal though.  The staff are all masked, but no one questions our vaccination status even though we’re prepared and bearing documentation.  At least the tables are spaced more widely apart than when they ran full capacity.

While we wait for our kale salads to arrive Rachael hustles down the street to buy two tickets for Kenneth Branaugh’s new semi-autobiographical film Belfast, cashing in part of a $100 coupon that we bought from the theater at the start of the pandemic when the theater asked for their regulars to consider prepaying for future films in the hopes that they’d be able to be redeemed someday.  

We greatly enjoy a leisurely dinner, one worthy of a few food photos.  Rachael’s done and I’m just mopping up when she checks her phone, let’s out a yelp, and we hurriedly settle the bill, rush down the street, and arrive at the theater just minutes before showtime.  There’s a frantic moment when we can’t find the tickets, which I think I must have left on the table in our haste to leave; but she shows the guy at the ticket window our $100 coupon and her familiar face he was looking at just an hour earlier, and he ushers us in after checking our vaccination cards.

The theater is nearly empty, with perhaps a dozen in the audience for Belfast, an early contender for best picture of the year.  Masking is required, but with no one within 20 feet of us and we’re all vaccinated anyway, we and everyone else let the masks drop below our noses so we can breathe and our glasses don’t fog up.

It’s a great film, worthy of the buzz in our opinion.  The child actor portraying the younger Branaugh is excellent, and it’s especially enjoyable to see Ciarán Hinds and Judy Dench as his grandparents.  There’s plenty to talk about on the way back to our studio apartment.  It’s warm, nearly sixty, and an almost full moon breaks through the clouds - has it really been almost a month since the last one, back in Cuneo?

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Date night at Serrato: seared sea scallops for Rachael, roasted chicken and a glass of Albariño for myself.
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A closer look at those roasted sea scallops, the primary reason we came here tonight instead of nearby Mingo. Rachael checked the online menu first to make sure they were still available.
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Earlier in the day we got our first miles on the board for this ‘tour’/journal with a bike ride out along the Columbia.  We both have some getting used to the different fit and feel of our town bikes after so long on the Fridays, but it feels great to be out.  It’s warm, mostly overcast, and windy.  We bike out as far as the Glenn Jackson Bridge and then turn back and are planning to bike the long way home past the University of Portland and Willamette Boulevard, but the wind really picks up on the way back - a strong crosswind that must be 25+ mph and fights us for control of our bikes - so we decide to just head back the way we came.  By the time we’re back to the neighborhood it’s abated though, and when we arrive home Rachael decides to just keep going west along the river and returns a half mile later.

One frustration: I forgot my camera, so I content myself with stopping a few times with the Android.  Not bad though, really.  If phone cameras were this good ten years ago when I broke my Panasonic on the rocks of Corsica on the first day of the tour I’d have been a lot less disappointed.

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Warm! It’s about 10 AM, and nearly 60. We only get as far as the Broadway Bridge when Rachael realizes she’s overdressed.
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Bruce LellmanYou have super sharp phone camera optics.
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2 months ago
Scott AndersonTo Bruce LellmanI’m really pretty impressed. The latest generation is a big step up. I can almost imagine traveling with it as the only camera. Almost.
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2 months ago
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North on Williams.
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Still on Williams, chatting with another cyclist who rode along with us for a few miles until we reached the river and went in our different directions. Nice to be in a country where we speak the native language again.
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Rodriguez and Government Island, both looking their best this morning. There’s still a lot of color in the trees but it’s dropping out fast.
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This morning I’m off to the waterfront just past sunrise on my way to Cafe Ponte.  There was a brilliant purple band below the clouds when I look out the window of our flat, but it’s gone by the time I reach the river.  I should have stopped for a shot first, especially because then I would have discovered that my camera has a problem.  When I’m at the riverfront and pull it out, it tells me to reinsert the SD card; which I do a few times to no effect.  Who knows what that’s about, but for the moment it means it’s just me and the Android again.

Too late for the best part of the sunrise, but it’s great to see this scene again.
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Yes, Portland is still really a beautiful place. It’s good to be back. There’s Hood peeking through in the middle! I didn’t know it was visible from this spot.
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Smith’s Block on Naito, with Big Pink behind.
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Back at a familiar post, with a not particularly interesting chair but we’re making do with the native materials.
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Scott AndersonTo Graham FinchIt took some chutzpah on my part. There was an old lady sitting here basketweaving, but I asked her to move for a minute.
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2 months ago
The sun comes out, briefly. Not for long though - heavy rain is a few hours away. I’ll have to watch the time.
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It might hold off until 11? If I’m lucky they’ll be time to fit in my coffee date with Bruce and get home dry.
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Today's ride: 20 miles (32 km)
Total: 20 miles (32 km)

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