It took me 10+ years to figure out my favorite band even though it should have been quite obvious. After seeing Flogging Molly for the 12th time in 2015, I finally had the realization that the Celtic-rock band I’d been listening to since before high school was a clear and distant first place.
I’ve now seen Flogging Molly 14 times and have every intention of continuing to do so at every opportunity. I’ve attended their shows in Tempe, Peoria, Flagstaff, Indianapolis, Los Angeles and San Diego.
From the moment I heard their Irish-brand, sound I was in love. It mixed the depths of my emerald colored soul with the hard, punk sound I enjoy. When I went to my first Flogging Molly show in 2005 I had no idea what I was in for. The smell of beer and the drunken mob of pasty-white, American-Irish boys doing a combination of what can only be described as a ‘mosh-jig’, was both scary and mesmerizing at the same time. It’s something I’ve come to expect and appreciate with every FM concert I attend. I know exactly where I want to situate myself before the show for my ideal experience – near the front of the crowd, close to the stage and slightly to the left. If everything goes according to plan I am close enough to the mosh pit to be bumped by the over-zealous pushes, but out of direct harms way and with plenty of room to flail and jump around to the music myself.
I’ve changed a lot over the years, but my love for Flogging Molly, and the sweaty mess, absence of a voice, Lizzy I’m left with at the end of every show will always be a constant.
“No color left, but black and white and soon we’ll all turn grey.
But may these shadows rise to walk again with lessons truly learnt.
When the blossom flowers in each our hearts shall be the new found flame.”
Less than three days. That’s all the time I spent in Portland. Flying home to California I somehow feel like I’m leaving my home; it’s a crazy sensation. I’m not done with you, Portland, but goodbye for now.
I made the most of my time to say the least. This trip came on the tail end of a partnered adventure with my friend Bridget – we crammed Napa and Portland into 5 days (keep an eye out for my wine country post – coming soon).
The moment I stepped off the MAX light rail and onto the streets of downtown Portland I felt at home. The culture, the climate, the people… it’s me.
*public transit in Portland is fantastic
The city is also very walk-able. We basically only walked or utilized the MAX to get around.
Day 1 (evening only):
First things first: FOOD. Bridget and I had the same thought after landing at PDX – where are we going to eat. After dropping our stuff at the beautiful new AC by Marriott downtown we picked a pizza place and made the 2 mile trek across the river. Well worth the walk. I’ll be doing a dedicated post on the food scene in Portland, but this pizza deserves a highlight here. It was insanely delicious, had great atmosphere, and fantastic service.
Virtuous Pie – vegan and gluten free
I looked up every live music act I could find happening that first night and landed on a 3 band show in SE Portland at a local joint called Bunk Bar. The bands were Castles, Naked Walrus, and Grey Fiction. The venue was intimate and the crowd even more so. I don’t think there were more than 15 patrons at one time throughout the entire evening. Which is surprising because every band was AWESOME.
Bunk Bar – SE Portland
After the show we had a few drinks and vegan tacos at Conquistador Lounge.
Day 2: Full Day
SE Portland is fantastic for exploration. It has blocks full of vintage shops, record stores, tiny local food joints, tattoo parlors… and they’re all nestled in between neighborhoods. We spent a good half of our day here exploring and practicing the art of will power by not purchasing every single thing we saw.
*We can’t have will power all the time. I bought the eff out of these books.
Portland Art Museum is $5 after 5pm on Fridays… so that was a must. They had a few of Monet’s paintings and a really great contemporary art exhibit.
Deschutes Brewery is a given when in Portland… and they even had gluten free beer on tap for me which was a pleasant surprise. I also hear good things about their food menu (straight from the mouth of one Mr. Brent Shirley).
Day 3: Half Day
This was my solo day in Portland. And it was magical. I missed my travel companion, but I also really got to feel the pulse of the city as I explored it on my own.
Saturday morning Farmers Market at Portland State University
After exploring Washington Park I headed back into the city and then to the airport (another $2 ride on the MAX). My heart fairly heavy, but I was excited to get back to Jack and to my own bed.
THANK YOU, PORTLAND.
Bonus: I had the best Pho of my life at the Portland airport. Bambuza Vietnam Kitchen… not your expected airport food. But then again, if my short trip was any indication, Portland isn’t really your expected kind of place.
It includes the Zoo, Forestry Museum, Hoyt Arboretum, Portland Children’s museum, Rose Garden, Japanese garden, amphitheater, memorials, archery range, tennis courts, soccer field, picnic areas, playgrounds, public art and many acres of wild forest with miles of trails.
*There is a stop on the MAX for Washington Park and a free shuttle to the various attractions
*This is an amazing hotel located in the heart of Portland’s downtown area. It was less than 1 block from the nearest MAX stop, less than 1 block from 40 lbs coffee, and everything you could want is within walking distance. The decor is modern and heavily influenced by Portland’s hipster vibe while still holding true to Marriott’s expected service and amenities. For leisure or business – this is a MUST stay. Property includes a coffee shop, bar/lounge, kitchen business center, spacious lobby, fitness center, local art, and a small library. Also, it is pet friendly.
Experience is a word that I would use to describe the purpose of this blog. I am all about it – both in the way I live my life and the way I like to affect the lives of others. I’ve always been an adventurous person – the word impulsive has been thrown around a time or two. In my adult life I’ve found the opportunity (or rather made the opportunity) to take my experiences to new levels.
In this blog I will focus on my favorite expressions of the word: travel, food, and music.
TRAVEL: I currently reside in sunny San Diego, California. My travel posts will include international adventures, exploring at home in the US, and some right in my own backyard.
Monkey attack – Phuket Thailand
FOOD: I am a foodie. Vegetarian by choice and gluten-free by nature. I’ll be posting about restaurant experiences and at-home culinary adventures. As in my life, food will more than likely dominate my blog.
Virtuous Pie – vegan pizza – Portland, OR
MUSIC: My music posts will be a little more random. There are some singular songs I could probably write an entire post about, and of course live musical experiences.
Jason Mraz – Mraz Farms – Oceanside, CA
So I hope you’re quite ready for another adventure…because I know I am.