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Food smells are free

Since earlier on Tuesday I'd earned a TriMet day pass and wouldn't have to pay additional fares, last night I didn't go straight home after being out for the day.

I'd spent time at Beulahland, visiting with Mary-Suzanne (who has a Tuesday morning shift there now) and Dawn Taylor (who went there to write), then I walked and bussed back to SE Portland and the Holgate Library...

(Sidebar: Out of slightly morbid and sad curiosity, I first went up to NE Glisan and walked past the closed building where, for a year, Big-Ass Sandwiches was a brick-and-mortar before the Woods closed it. In the year since then, unfortunately and sadly, the building was badly damaged by fire. It's abandoned and boarded up, I believe slated for demolition. I feel bad for the residents who lost their apartments. I also wonder if I've been past that building more often in the past year than the Woods have.)

...okay, back to the library.

I'd read while getting more power into my tablet, and left soon before the Holgate library closed; on Tuesdays it closes at 8:00. The heat of the day was radiating away by the time I left, and with a "why not?" feeling, I walked back to SE 82nd Ave. and the 72 bus, southbound.

Not all that far south of where I live is the large food cart pod Cartlandia. A sprawling, partially repurposed parking lot just south of the Springwater Corridor (a major biking/walking route...and also where currently a lot of people camp along or near, because being homeless is an issue in town), with a bar building off to the side. Still a fair number of people there late, plus some carts still open. I found an unobtrusive place to sit outside, got my tablet back out, and read further through the urban fantasy novel The Name of the Star by Maureen Johnson, as the night cooled further and the sky darkened. Food-cooking smells went past me. I did not mind.

By the way, I finished the book once I got home last night, and thoroughly appreciated it. I'd borrowed an e-copy from the library without knowing a thing about its story, just wanting to sample Maureen Johnson, whom I've meant to read. I can be spoiler-free as I recommend the book: sincere, suspenseful, and often very funny without undercutting the drama. And it's literal life-and-death drama. Also, I'd started reading it knowing that it was Book 1 of a series, but until halfway through I thought I don't see how this becomes a series. Then, halfway through, I went ...oh. NOW I see how.


Whale fluke
Chris Walsh

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August 2022


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