Chris Walsh (chris_walsh) wrote,
Chris Walsh
chris_walsh

The Ambience of Smoke

"Ambience": there's something smoky, something cloud-like, about the word. It's an enveloping, encompassing word. It's a word I like. I also like that subject line: The Ambience of Smoke could be a title.

I'm now waxing poetic about Dot's Cafe. Tonight I went there for the first time; I'd decided yesterday that I should go at least once before the smoking ban takes effect January 1st, or, as it's also known this year, Thursday. Be in a smoky bar/restaurant combo, why not, I'd decided.

It's a bar/restaurant combo that had Sixties-era Spock and Bond on the walls, Queen on the sound system, and Reubens on the menu. Plus at least a little more vegetarian than you'd've found on a menu in the Sixties, but that's to be expected in Portland this decade. The place was at least three-quarters full with customers, warm in the low light. I braved sitting near the door in the single two-person table I found open; I wasn't in the mood to sit at the bar. (I wasn't in the mood to drink, either, which is good because I drove there.) I ordered -- a Reuben and a "small" fries, but that order of fries was big enough to need its own tray -- and then bounced my attention between the walls, the customers, and Stephen King's The Colorado Kid.

There's no dramatic twist here. I ate, I had water, I read. I then paid, tipped well, and headed home.

If I've read my maps correctly, Dot's would've been a casualty of the Mount Hood Freeway that was planned for SE Portland until a lot of Portlanders vowed to stop it, so Dot's should also survive not being able to have smokers anymore two days from now. It's likely built up a plenty good karma supply.

I'll go back sometime, in my slow Pluto-like circuit of Portland's eateries. It's likely to be the sort of place that'll still smell smoky.
Tags: language, portland
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