Sunday, February 24, 2008

A Random Day

My SO and I traveled around town yesterday after the morning errands and dropped a couple of bucks here and there to keep the economy from slipping into a depression. Our first stop was to the 3d Center of Art & Photography. It’s a neat little nonprofit that promotes 3D as a fine art and showcases various stereoscopic cameras. The Center currently has an exhibit by Claudia Kunin titled 3D Holy Ghosts. The themes in Kunin’s work are taken from the bible, folklore, and classical mythology. Medusa clearly was the most impressive piece from the show and Walpurgis Nacht was a close second. The erotic nature of the pieces is enhanced by Kunin’s use of photographic rather than representational images. We also were fortunate because the 3D Center had an amazing slide show of an African Safari. I’ve seen 3d images before but the combination of National Geographic quality with eye-popping depth was fantastic. There was one up-close shot of an elephant’s eye that blew me away because that’s not something I would ever experience in daily life. Another fascinating aspect of these stereoscopic photos was how strange water appeared. It’s hard to describe but the depth made the water seem almost plastic or jelly-like and yet it still come across as H2O.

We made a stop at Haba, a Japanese cosmetic store, so the SO could pick up some of “her” all-natural skin toner. It’s funny because Haba chose Portland of all the places in the U.S. to hawk their wares. Good for my SO, bad for most other Japanese in the states. On the way to Haba, we saw the Silver Guy. He’s a performance artist that stands motionless for hours until you drop money into his pot. The cash prompts him to lean over and shake your hand, leaving it covered in glitter. He’s been doing this for over a decade I think.

After heading over to the Eastside, we stopped by a game store I know to see if a buddy of mine was working. He wasn’t but the smelly, belly boys were out in full force playing Warhammer. There was a ton of D20 stuff on sale probably because 4th edition is coming out soon. I bought a post-apocalyptic game supplement that was half off. They had a copy of Arkham Horror; that made my mouth water…

After a nice dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant we enjoy, the SO and I swung by Cosmic Monkey. It’s a comic shop I would occasionally frequent when I lived on the Eastside. They had moved to a new location last year and yesterday I finally had a chance to check it out. I gotta’ say I liked the new digs a lot. The place was very inviting and comfortable like a coffee shop or an indy bookstore. They had a large selection of trade paperbacks, much better than my regular store, and a upper level had couches for folks to hank out and read. Of all the shops in Portland, this is the one I would bring someone to if they had trepidations about comic book stores. I talked to Andy, the owner, and he told me that they will be hosting some of the events scheduled for the Stumptown Comics Fest. The Trophy Awards will be handed out at Cosmic Monkey and the latest installment of the Comic Art Battle will be fought there as well. Sounds like fun! I picked up a copy of the collected New Mutants volume 1 before we headed back home.



Pandabonium said...

Sounds like a neat day all around. The 3D art and slides sound fascinating.

The airport at Fukushima erected a big statue of Ultraman in the terminal to celebrate their 15th anniversary. (The creator of Ultraman was from the adjacent town.) Article and picture here: Ultraman

Arkonbey said...

Wow. what a day of fabulous geeking!

I live vicariously through your adventure in a town with such wonders

ladybug said...

Walpurisnacht is a Germanic celebration...also known for witchy connections

(for more info)

The Cosmic Monkey Store sounds totally cool! We'll have to all check it out sometime!

Selba said...

The first pic is kinda scary....

Sounds you had a fun day :)

Eaglewing said...

Wish I had a store like Cosmic Monkey Comics 'round here. Something different than the usual hole in the wall motif would be welcome. So would a cool Silver Guy.

Arkonbey said...

Another thing: "... the smelly, belly boys were out in full force playing Warhammer. "

The only thing good about my (terrible)local comic store is there is a dedicated gaming store on the second floor of the building. This means you can browse without embarrassment.

The gaming store is not terrible and is run by cool people and they have *gasp* a dedicated gaming room so you can browse the retail space without aforementioned embarrassment.

pissed off patricia said...

What a cool and interesting day you had. It must be nice to live in an area that isn't all malls and strip malls. I would so give the silver man a couple of bucks to get the silvery handshake.

Swinebread said...

Panda – It was very cool!

That Ultraman story is great. They need to setup something from Dark Horse comics in the Portland Airport. Hellboy?

Arkonbey – I felt little guilty about this post because Cosmic Monkey is the kind or store you need.

LB – Most of those holidays have Witchy connections right?

You like Cosmic Monkey

Selba – Hey You! It was a scary pic but really well done. The snakes just came right at me when I had the 3D glasses on.

Eaglewing – Most of the hole in the wall stores are gone in Portland. They had to get serious or go out of business. Some places cater to the toy crowed a little too much for me, but there you go.

Arkonbey – Yeah, the store I mentioned has a gamming side and a hobby side (models). There is no other room for the gamers so they’re right there, in the way, when other patrons are trying to look at stuff on the shelves. I’ve been considering writing a letter.

POP – The strip malls drive me insane! We’ve got ‘em here as well but you can head into the city to get away from them.

Hopefully, you’re able to come to Portland someday so you can!

Dean Wormer said...

The silverman is fun to mess with.

I've found that spraying glass cleaner in his eyes will throw him out of character.

Cosmic Monkey is da bomb.

Don Snabulus said... bastard.

Me and Ladybug need to do some cultural carousing some Saturday. You hear me LB?

Dean Wormer said...

Sorry, don. Wassat you? didn't recognize you under the silver paint.

The Moody Minstrel said...

The Silver Guy reminds me of those Buddhist monks you sometimes see on streetcorners in Tokyo. They, too, spend the day standing motionless except for the little bell they ring at intervals. If you drop some money in their bowl they say a quick blessing and quickly turn back into a bell-ringing statue. I've heard that most of them are frauds; they buy a monk outfit for around 3000 yen at a temple gift shop and then, by doing the begging monk schtick, they earn several thousand yen a day, plenty enough to earn their living.

Okay, so they're not silver, but anyway...

You'll have to introduce me to the Cosmic Monkey when and if I manage to make it to Portland next.

Swinebread said...

Dean and snab – down boys!

Moody – I’m so glad I didn’t give them money now. I thought it would be funny to give them American coins, maybe I should have done that.