Monday, November 12, 2007

Nora's First Field Trip To Powell's

I didn't realize what a big deal today would end up to be! Nora took her first trip to a Portland, Oregon institution: we went to Powell's Bookstore.

I've been to Powell's once before, just when I was pregnant this summer and had just arrived here in Oregon. Brian and I didn't stay long because I was fat and tired, and when you come in the door you need a map and a compass to get around the place.

It's then that you realize no one was screwing around when they said that Powell's is not just an institution in the figurative term, but a literal one as well. Well, it's the size of one anyway. It takes up an entire city block at Burnside and 10th Avenues in downtown Portland, and has more mezannines than Rome.

Today my sister Jill and her boys wanted to stop by Powell's on the way home to Seattle, and my Mom wanted to look for some of her favorite mystery novels, so I thought "hey, why not take Nora?"

Of course as the mother of a two-month-old infant, we spent the bulk of our time in the restroom changing diapers, and in the coffee shop heating up and eating a bottle, but it was a good trip nonetheless.

I MUST comment on the clothing Portlanders wear after a very fun 45 minutes in the coffee shop watching people read everything from Klimt to Kant, the Oregonian newspaper with nary a Wall Street Journal in sight. My God, if it isn't just a pile of REI fleece and down vests. It's like Seattle was 20 years ago -- lacking a shower and any smugness.

But I've digressed:

My sister asked if it was a big pain to bring her out, and I said "Yeah, but it's worth it."

I think my daughter will be better off if she's just out in the world seeing it from the beginning. I'm sure I'd sing a different tune if she wasn't such a good baby, but she travels well and is pretty darn patient for an 8-week-old baby, so why not?

After lunch at Henry's around the corner, we headed back to the parking garage, and the 6 1/2 of us piled in an elevator before another woman came on board. She asked as many people do how old Nora is, and when I told her, I said "It was our first trip to Powell's today."

I didn't realize what a great "first" that was until the woman nodded with such approval that I thought SURELY this makes Nora an ideal Oregonian, who is doing all the right things to show she belongs here by heading to THE bookstore in the state.

Check them out at http://www.powells.com/, or better yet -- go there.

And we can make an Oregonian out of you too.

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