It’s springtime, and that means wildflowers are blooming in the gorge! Knowing when to go and what trails you want to take can be overwhelming. Here’s two good resources.
Oregonwildflowers.org, is created and maintained by flower superfan and photographer Greg Lief. The exhaustive site collates recent trip reports from wildflower wanderers. Follow links to discussion groups and “up to the minute bloom conditions” as well as links to further information including handy wildflower databases and local plant lists.
ReadySetGOrge.com, a clearinghouse maintained by local partner agencies. ReadySetGOrge offers complete information — maps and directions; trail lengths, elevations and difficulty levels; facilities and required passes — for all 181 recreation sites in the Gorge.
BricksBoy Studio does a complete walkthrough of the San Francisco ‘Art of the Brick‘ installation. Currently only in San Francisco and Chicago, this video is perfect for Covid time adventuring without leaving your couch.
The cafe is for writers of all kinds who are facing imminent deadlines. Customers first write down their work goals and an expected length of time it will take to achieve them. Next, they choose between three levels of intensity of progress checks from ‘mild’ to ‘difficult.’ Only after achieving said goals can writers check out. According to the cafe’s owner, Takuya Kawai, every customer has achieved their goals, even if they’ve had to stay past closing time. The cafe also offers unlimited coffee, tea bags, high-speed Wi-Fi and charging ports to maximize work efficiency.
Here’s the address if you want to go. It turns out that I walked a block away from here a few years back, but it didn’t exist as this kind of cafe yet.
One such architectural marvel was the Pullman Mansion. The Pullman Mansion was built for George M. Pullman on Prairie Avenue and was known as the social center in Chicago for over 50 years. When the area surrounding the mansion became blighted in the 1920s, the Pullman family auctioned all the contents in 1921 and demolish the home.
At the sale, everything was sold – not just furnishings and art, but also the wall panels and decorative interiors. Everything that could be pried loose was sold.
In 1984, architect Michael Shymanski made a discovery in the basement of the old Chicago Historical Society Building that shed light on the Pullman mansion. He found a whole pile of pieces from the old Pullman home – along with the original construction plans. It turns out that the craftsman who built the home had numbered and labeled each of the pieces during fabrication (something very common for the time). It was possible to know exactly where each piece came from.
This video is one of the best put together documentaries about how the house was put together and what it looked like. Definitely worth a look if you like Chicago architecture.
Les Mystères de la Passion, de la Résurrection et de l’Ascension du Christ
For Christians, we are about to enter the mysteries of Holy Week. Christ enters Jerusalem, is crucified by the temple leaders, and then rises from the dead – an act which opens the gates of eternal life for humanity. There is so much going on in such a few short days, one can barely keep up with it all. It’s no wonder the different events of Holy Week have been the subject of countless masterpieces over time.
What is fascinating about it is that the more you look at it, you see all the events of Holy Week until the Ascension of Christ in one picture. I spent a lot of time looking at it and finding all the different parts. There is so much detail in this one giant painting! Just some of the events are:
Meeting of the women while carrying the cross
Jesus is stripped and his garments nailed to the cross
The history of the Oberammergau Passion play begins in 1633. In the midst of the Thirty Years’ War, after months of suffering and dying from the plague, the people of Oberammergau – a small town south of Munich, Germany – pledged to act out the passion: the suffering, death and resurrection of our Lord, Jesus Christ once every 10 years.
Normally it should have happened in 2020, but was delayed due to Covid. Instead, it was moved to this year: 2022. The 5 hour play will now have performances from May 14, 2022 until October 2, 2022. If you are in the area, you should catch it since it won’t return until 2030.
Perhaps you’ve seen this little drive in located on NW Skyline Blvd. These days it sits empty except for Christmas time when it has a Christmas tree in it.
It turns out this little landmark has an amazing back story. It was run by a WW II veteran called Old Ben (Benjamin Pachkofsky) that built the drive-in himself and also created a zip-line and a gigantic A-frame swing in the woods behind the building. It became a spot for people to come hang out and enjoy his creations and his food. Unfortunately, Ben seemed to suffer from the effects of the war via PTSD. His marriage ended in divorce and his son said he was a generous man that unfortunately needed help. Help that really wasn’t around back then.
The place now belongs to Scott Posey. Ben sold it to Posey for a song when he reached his 80’s. Posey has been approached countless times about people wanting to turn it into a 7-11, bikini baristas, and everything else you can imagine. Posey denied all the requests and hopes somehow to open it back up for it’s original style, but only time will tell.