Thursday, July 31, 2008

Oregon Part II: Day 3

Day three was my last full day in Oregon. It started like any normal day. I woke up. Then Dara's mom (Mona) made breakfast and we chilled with the Easley's for the morning as we figured out what we (Dara and I) wanted to do for the day.

Corvalis had some festival going on called da Vinci Days. It is a celebration of da Vinci so there are tons of exhibits that blend art and science. There was sidewalk chalk art, glass blowing sculptures, regular sculptures (themed unidentified flying art), and the main attraction kinetic sculptures.

The sidewalk chalk exhibit was pretty cool, and surprisingly there were a lot of really good portraits. Why is this a surprise? No one there was a professional. There were only two major faults with this competition... everyone used pastels instead of chalk, and no one was allowed to walk on the sidewalk!

The glass blowing was spectacular! I've been to the Murano glass factory and they have some amazing sculptures in there, but these were done by American artists and they are easily just as good. Check out those pieces. I have more that I will post in a separate post (Oregon: Pictures).

Then there was the main event. The kinetic race sculptures. These things are designed to be man-powered racing machines that must traverse land, water, and mud. They are also magnificent pieces of art. The creators/racers will come up with a theme, design the "car", and dress to match the theme. The perfect examples of this was this car labeled the Fun Guy. The driver and his cronies dressed as giant mushrooms and yelled "Fun Guy" (fungi) constantly. These things were primarily bike, with arts that would enable them to float and would typically have paddles so to get through the water. It was pretty cool.

The sculptures put on a little parade as well. This was funny as the kinetics were pretty much like floats so it all worked out. The parade paraded the many themes of the festival. There was a section of it designated for electric cars which was hilarious because they are quiet vehicles... but they were even more quiet then the man powered kinetic sculptures. There was also this pretty funny routine performed by people with shopping carts. It was choreographed and had this one guy yelling out commands, like a jazzercise class.

We then headed back to Portland for some last day shopping/browsing, culminating in a trip to Powell Books. The shopping visits included the Hello Portland General Store, this store filled with hilarious little trinkets like the one you see here, and Wham! another store with cool things and some really awesome t-shirts. There is one the I especially want that I haven't bought because it is like $30. It is a t-shirt of the Oregon Trail video game from back in 1864 (a couple years after the actual migration of the people on the Oregon Trail, when floppy disks were floppy and computers had like 3kb of RAM). The shirt says "You died of dysentery." Hilarious.

We also went out to dinner with Dara's friend Leah at a Cuban restaurant. More on this later. After dinner we headed over to Powell BOoks. This is a used book store that is so large it takes up an entire city block. It was amazing and I could have easily spent days there. I didn't want to leave. I bought a graphic novel there about Big Foot's autobiography... looks pretty funny, but I haven't read it yet. I just want to live in there...

The next day was like any other day. I went to breakfast and then headed to the airport to deal with Southwest's stupid lineup system. Its like people don't know how to buy their own seats when they order their plane tickets and it is just sad. Oh well, I got kickass seats both directions so I can't complain.

Goodbye Oregon and Portland, it was great to see you again. I hope to see you soon!

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