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Wednesday, December 2, 2020

How To Be a Responsible Local Tourist

In this time when we aren't traveling, Eric and I have been trying to find ways to explore our city while still staying safe. In addition to watching streaming concerts and comedy shows, we've been trying to get out and about to get some fresh air and out of the house. 

One of the things we enjoy doing is going to different food trucks, and that brings us within a lot of different murals around Portland. Our buildings are covered in amazing creations from local artists, and I love it. 

The old Sunshine Dairy building is no longer in operation, but the entire building is covered in cool art of all different genres. I'm partial to this piece of advice: Life is full of distractions. Pay attention to what's really important. 

Someone also did a great portrait of a cow to commemorate what the building used to be and the animals responsible for the awesome milk they produced.

Here are some other pieces I've come across lately while driving around. We have a great love of individualism, the Portland Trailblazers basketball team, and the nickname The City of Roses.

Every few months we hit up the Pix Patisserie Pix-O-Matic. At the beginning of the pandemic, Pix put a dessert vending machine outside of their door as a way to bring in money for their restaurant when it couldn't be open to the public. It brought in revenue and gave folks the safest possible way to indulge in some sweet treats when they need it most. After several months, the Pix-O-Matic was so successful that Pix added a second machine.

During normal times, we've visited Pix for their afternoon tea service, which is brilliantly displayed and equally delicious. You know you're there by the vineyard grapes outside and the giant bull on the roof. At the start of the pandemic they gave him a mask and now they've added huge google eyes and it makes me so happy to see.

Back to the Pix-O-Matic machines. In April, when there was a run on toilet paper, you could get a roll of TP, a disposable mask, and a pair of latex gloves for $5. There were also RBG socks and Rick Astley buttons, among other things, like local handmade goods. You can choose from any of the desserts made at Pix, champagne glasses (you can order champagne and wine for pick-up at the restaurant), fancy sardines, caviar, and marinated olives. Sometimes we all just need a little something exotic or indulgent. 

Not only are there two machines with a huge variety of goodies, there's also dance music, a disco ball, and now they've added a selfie camera. 

Each time we visit, we try something new. Eric picked up their Opera Cake. 

I was looking for something a little less sweet and chose the Tiki Tiki. It turned out to be a little tropical vacation in a take-out box. That little drink umbrella was included. The Tiki Tiki had mango and coconut and a sponge cake base. 

Before leaving, we decided to try out their new camera. I didn't realize I chose the boomerang option on my first try, so you get our second video that I had posted on my Instagram story when we got home. Sorry it's so washed out. It decided to be super sunny right then. 

I love this cool little bright spot in Portland. There's always someone at the Pix-O-Matic, looking for something to make their life more exciting. Usually we have to wait a few minutes before they are done (standing on the sidewalk by the street to be considerate and properly social distanced), then we take out turn (there's a handy menu between the machines to show you what the dessert options are and what's in them) to choose desserts and any other things we might want, take a couple pictures, dance a little, and then we head out for someone else to browse. 

You might have something exciting like this in your city. Ask friends and family if they know of anything cool. We share things we've discovered each week in our Sunday Zoom brunches. We also use that to suggest our new favorite shows or music or podcasts. It's nice to see people's faces and chat with friends. I highly recommend setting up friend meets via Zoom or Discord. It's a wonderful way to feel connected. 

What cool things are you doing in your city to make quarantine more fun?

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