For the past five years I’ve been keeping track of the trips I make during the year as a way to celebrate (and make note of) the people and places I/we had the good fortune to visit. This year I spent at least one night in the following places (other than at home in Portland, […]

Samish Island in Skagit County, Washington is an idyllic Puget Sound beach community. It was our great fortune to spend a relaxing week there in a beautiful beach-front home with stunning views of Bellingham Bay, Mt. Baker and Orcas Island. We had planned to visit Orcas and maybe North Cascades National Park while there, but […]

I like to visit Omaha at least once a year to reacquaint myself with my place of origin. I need to walk the hills, breathe the air and feel the positive vibrations of the people of The Corn in order to remember who I am. I am from the middle. The Heartland. It’s a place […]

SEATTLE—Out-spoken and fearless urban planning expert, social critic, author and journalist James Howard Kunstler is a man on a mission. He wants to shake the American people awake with his special brand of righteous anger, and tonight he’s on stage in a grand ballroom at the Westin to do just that. Kunstler is here to […]

There’s an increasingly tiresome argument being made in the corporate suits, government offices and newsrooms of Portland, Oregon. The argument goes like this: Portland doesn’t have enough top tier talent to properly grow a company, nor enough venture capital. According to Mike Rogoway of The Oregonian, three Portland companies—Jive Software, Ensequence and SurveyMonkey—all moved their […]

People tend to think of South Florida, and The Everglades in particular, as a swamp. But it’s not a swamp. It’s a massive river system that begins near Orlando with the Kissimmee River, which discharges into the vast but shallow Lake Okeechobee. Water leaving the lake in the wet season forms a slow-moving river 60 […]

For the past four years I’ve been keeping track of the various trips I take during the year as a way to celebrate (and make note of) the people and places I had the good fortune to visit. This year I spent at least one night in the following places (other than at home in […]

One of the charming aspects of life in the Portland Metro is this not little thing called the Urban Growth Boundary (UGB). It’s a line beyond which, “the city” can’t go. According to Eric Mortenson of The Oregonian, Portland’s elected regional government known as Metro–which serves more than 1.5 million residents in Clackamas, Multnomah and […]

We just spent a week in mythical lands with beautiful people. Except they’re all real. Our friends and family and the two places—Mt. Rainier and Hood Canal. These places deserve National Geographic-style write ups, but for our purposes here I’d like to focus on Hood Canal, an area of Washington that I heretofore knew nothing […]

Nau is a Portland-based active wear company that makes gear for “artists, athletes and activists out to unfuck the world.” I would have chosen a different way of expressing that sentiment, but I do hear what Nau is saying and I count myself among the people they’re trying to reach. When you visit Nau’s Web […]

Mainstream journalists in New York City love to fly to Portland and report. It’s become a quite a habit for gumshoes in the employ of The New York Times. Now The Wall Street Journal is picking up the ball. photo by Sean Flanigan of The Wall Street Journal The Journal’s piece is neatly framed by […]

Luzon Building, downtown Tacoma If you’re a real estate investor with a penchant for saving important old buildings, the city of Tacoma needs you. According to Tacoma News Tribune, The Luzon Building at 13th & Pacific in downtown Tacoma is one of two remaining West Coast buildings designed by famed Chicago architects Daniel Burnham and […]

I don’t read the Sunday Review of Books each week, but I should. There’s always something to learn in there. For instance, I just learned that Conan O’Brien went to Harvard, wrote a thesis on Flannery O’Connor and William Faulkner and spoke at Harvard’s commencement in 2000. Here’s some of what he shared with those […]

Diego Rodriguez, partner at IDEO and blogger at Metacool, got to hang out in Philip Johnson’s Glass House with RISD’s President John Maeda and other big thinkers. One of the topics that day was the power of simplicity. Here’s Maeda’s video recap of the event:

In 2006 I started keeping a list of cities where I spent at least one night during the year. Turns out 2008 was a big year in travel, made even bigger by a nine-day trip across country to our new home in the Pacific Northwest. Places visited in ’08: Boulder, CO Omaha, NE* New York […]

I read the book Ecotopia by Ernest Callenbach many years ago. In the book, the Pacific Northwest secedes from the nation. I’ve been a bioregionalist ever since. Now I see in “Sunday Styles” that the book—which sold over 400,000 copies in the 1970s—has caught on with new audiences in churches and classrooms around the nation. […]

Cross the Burnside Bridge into downtown Portland and you will be greeted by one of the most iconic neon signs in existence. It says, “Made in Oregon” and features a leaping stag whose nose cheerfully turns red during the holiday season. The sign was first constructed by the White Satin Sugar Company in 1940. It […]

I cherish the election maps offered by the design team at The New York Times. It’s good to see the overlap of these bubbles because it shows that red and blue co-exist in the same places. It’s a finer distinction than the red state/blue state point of view. Another striking map is the Voting Shift […]