A couple weeks before heading to Portland, I saw the movie Grey Gardens on HBO. The story revolved around the lives of Edith Ewing "Big Edie" (played by Jessica Lange) and Edith "Little Edie" (played by Drew Barrymore) Bouvier Beale, the aunt and cousin of Jackie Onassis. The two were fallen socialites who lived in a dilapidated 28 room mansion in east Hampton with their 52 cats. The HBO film was based around a 1973 documentary about Big and Little Edie by Albert and David Maysles. The HBO film also included the story of the Beales lives in the four decades before the making of the documentary. I really enjoyed the film, so I was excited to see that an adaption had been made to the stage and was being performed at Portland Center Stage. I went to the Thursday matinee, which was the most economical of the performances. The set was very well done, the writing good, and the actors even better. But, it was much like reading a book then immediately watching a movie...You kind of know what's going to happen and it's not as much fun.

After the play, I walked to the Museum of Contemporary Craft, which is only a few blocks away. I was a little disappointed as the museum was not very large. I was expecting with all the contemporary crafters and artists in Portland and the northwest in general, that the museum would be much larger. I did like the exhibit "call + response," though and especially the work by Jiseon Lee Isbara. She uses a combination of patchwork, hand and machine embroidery, and printing to create really neat pieces that look like office memos, letters, etc.

There is a lot of great shopping and restaurants in the Pearl District. However, I was a little tuckered out after almost a week of being a tourist so I decided my last stop for the day would be Powell's Books, the largest bookstore in the world. Powell's sells used and new books, is open 365 days a year, and covers an entire city block. It was neat to see, but a little overwhelming unless you know what you're looking for. And, I found the prices on the used books not as reasonable as I would've liked. Here are some fun facts about Powell's taken from the website...

- 68,000 square feet packed with books
- they buy 3,000 used books over the counter every day
- approximately 3,000 people walk in and buy something every day
- another 3,000 people just browse and drink coffee
- the parking garage provides space for 40 cars (ok, so there are bigger parking garages)
- they stock 122 major subject areas and more than 3,500 subsections
- there are more than 1,000,000 volumes on their shelves

Portland Center Stage
Gerding Theatre at the Armory
128 NW Eleventh Ave.
Portland, OR 97209

Museum of Contemporary Craft
724 NW Davis Street
Portland, OR 97209
Hours: Tuesday through Sunday 11am - 6pm, Thursday 11am - 8pm

Powell's Books (There are 5 Portland locations. The address below is for the largest).
1006=5 W Burnside
Portland, OR 97209
Hours: Daily 9am - 11pm

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