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Paul Cuenco

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Member Since: Jun, 2010

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Blogs by Paul Cuenco

Predicament: Mississippi Street Fair, Portland, Oregon
8/25/2012 2:04:53 PM
I know, I know, summer is almost over! Although, the 100 degree Fahrenheit that just occurred last week really puts us in a tizzy, the cool 70-80 degree will soon dwindle to the 50-60 degree and the rains will come; oh surely they will come for this is Oregon. Gone will be the days when hanging out on Hawthorne will be a distant memory. Musicians will no longer play their songs. Children will wallow in their homes studying and doing their homework instead of promenading with their silly outfits and slurping their ice cream while their parents stops by the waffle shop to pick a flavor to top off their waffles with. And the sophisticates, if there is one in Portland, will lounge at a bar, street-side and people watch.
But it is not the end of the season. There is still some steam left for us to enjoy the season before Summer had given way to Fall.

Summer festivals are numerous here in Portland. You have parades and fairs occurring each week that you seem to lose track; and these on top of those occurring on a regular basis. Some even have it simultaneously with another event. I lose track myself for I regularly hangout in Starbucks and Greater Trumps. Although on occasions I venture outside my comfort zone and enjoy what Portland has to offer. It kind of reminds me of my younger years the adventures I had in Sweden and Germany, a gathering of many people on those narrow streets where hang-outs line the air between the streets and the bands play the oom-pah-pah's. It has this carnival atmosphere and I would always enjoy them because they are so uniquely European. (Back in Manila, districts have these, too; I think because the old part of the city has streets that are narrow and you could do the hang-outs.) People, people everywhere going to and fro wandering up those narrow streets, almost like alleyways, along its cobblestone roadway. Booths with an assortment of food and what-knots line the road.

Here in Portland, two of my favorite is the Mississippi Fair and the Hawthorne Fair. The Hawthorne Fair signals the end of summer which is yet to occur. But the Mississippi is close to the beginning of summer. I did not read the signs posted on boards or bills tuck on lamppost when the Mississippi Fair will occur but a friend just lackadaisically mentioned that he planned to go to this fair. But because the event occurs at the same time as that in Walla Walla, Washington, he chose to go to Walla Walla. Lucky for me to know when the fair will occur, for I attended the Mississippi Fair before and truly loved it.
I know that the Mississippi will play host to a lot of people, and I mean a lot! So, I drove to the fair really early in the morning. The booths are almost done and parking is almost none existent. Lucky for me, a car is about to leave and I promptly park at its place. And, it is only three blocks away from the fair. Although I am not yet in the main street, I pass by an empty lot where plants are being assembled. By the time I reached the main drag, the fair is in progress. You would imagine that at this hour, there are people preparing booths. But people are already buying stuff. I bought an ice cone and decided to get all the freebie food before I buy my own. I decided to look at the booths to my right, first and then upon my return, I would look at the booths to my left so that I shall never miss any booths. And then, I would go return to the booths I like to go back to.

There are booths that is so simple and mundane; your run of the mill ones like the ones with a wheel-of-fortune that gives you something as a reward. There are bars and loud music blaring and enticing you to come and spend some time with them. A man, half-naked, and a woman in faux-Hawaiian grass skirt entice you to try their juice. A group of those young-uns (anyone 25 or younger is what I call young-uns, for I am too old for them) giving away gummy bears. There is this booth connected to a shop that showcase taxidermied animals and paraphernalia that exhibits raccoons and bit animals heads and butterflies. They look gorgeous. The one business that bookends it on one end is the bar, Post! It is a German-styles pub that not only serves beer (good ones) but yummy food too. (It is very popular that there is no space for me to sit down.)
On my way back, I encountered the young-uns, again. Stop to take the photos of the fair; for it is on an incline that you can see the multitude of people on the upside and also on the downside. There were bands. I bought myself a slurpy. Booths and booths and booths. Dogs, too, were there and baby stroller. Can you imagine huge baby strollers in a crowded space? I guess. Parents wanted to bring their babies along without carrying their babies. But I remembered before, my cousins when they were babies where pushed in a tini-dinky stroller, and not these huge ones. After so much trouble and the heat of the sun begins to get to me that I begin to get exhausted, I bought myself a shredded pork, sat by the sidewalk and ate. This was at the other end of fair.

I really enjoyed this fair and I plan to return again a year from now. It reminds me of summer, of the days I spent in Sweden and Germany and it tells me that I am quintessentially in Portland. This is Portland! But this fair was only the beginning of summer. Let's see what my other favorite fair, Hawthorne fair, offers. And here, Summer ends to begin anew next year. For those visiting our fairs, Welcome to Portland!



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More Blogs by Paul Cuenco
• Predicament: Dave and Annette's Housewarming 2012 - Sunday, September 16, 2012
• Predicament: Portland Sands and its vicinity - Sunday, September 02, 2012
•  Predicament: Mississippi Street Fair, Portland, Oregon - Saturday, August 25, 2012  
• Predicament: Astoria, Oregon - Friday, August 17, 2012
• New Book for Father's Day! - Saturday, June 23, 2012
• Predicament: Saving Money - Wednesday, May 23, 2012
• Predicament: Old Haunts - Sunday, May 13, 2012
• Predicament: Courteous Portland Traffic - Wednesday, May 02, 2012
• Sorry - Wednesday, April 11, 2012
• Predicament: A Day at the Beach - Thursday, April 05, 2012
• Predicament: Dinner at a Deserted Restaurant - Tuesday, April 03, 2012
• Predicament: My Stroke and Writing - Monday, April 02, 2012
• Predicament: The World of the Bay Area - Sunday, April 01, 2012
• Predicament: A Competitor Indeed - Saturday, March 31, 2012
• Predicament: Democracy! - Friday, March 30, 2012
• Predicament: The Garden Party - Thursday, March 29, 2012
• Predicament: Gift-Giving - Wednesday, March 28, 2012
• Predicament: Suicide - Tuesday, March 27, 2012
• Predicament: Water, Water Everywhere - Monday, March 26, 2012
• Predicament: The Floods Of Manila - Sunday, March 25, 2012
• Predicament: Tita Dimple's recollection of Papa Trining - Saturday, March 24, 2012
• Predicament: The Future Should Be Brighter - Friday, March 23, 2012
• Predicament: Death of a Writer - Thursday, March 22, 2012
• Predicament: The Season Re-liveth - Wednesday, March 21, 2012
• Predicament: Time Had Forgotten About - Tuesday, March 20, 2012
• Predicament: Closing Time - Monday, March 19, 2012
• Predicament: Hasan Baharin - Sunday, March 18, 2012
• Predicament: A Pimple of my Nose - Saturday, March 17, 2012
• Predicament: What is Mike Cooking? - Friday, March 16, 2012
• Predicament: Papa Eriong - Thursday, March 15, 2012
• Predicament: Kind Words - Wednesday, March 14, 2012
• Predicament: Music and Whit 2 - Tuesday, March 13, 2012
• Predicament: Music and Whit 1 - Monday, March 12, 2012
• Predicament: What You Want to Be - Sunday, March 11, 2012
• Predicament: Father and Son - Saturday, March 10, 2012
• Liza's Life Plan - Friday, March 09, 2012
• The Colleague - Thursday, March 08, 2012
• Oh Taylor! - Wednesday, March 07, 2012
• Dena - Tuesday, March 06, 2012
• Losing My Job, Again - Monday, March 05, 2012
• A Plane to Nowhere - Sunday, March 04, 2012
• A Slave No More - Saturday, March 03, 2012
• Cirque du Soleil - Friday, March 02, 2012
• Mendocino - Thursday, March 01, 2012
• Th Coming Storm - Wednesday, February 29, 2012
• Becoming Old - Tuesday, February 28, 2012
• Ordinary Lives - Monday, February 27, 2012
• Books I Read - Sunday, February 26, 2012
• Discrimination - Saturday, February 25, 2012
• Quintessential Jokes - Friday, February 24, 2012
• The Catholic Experience - Thursday, February 23, 2012
• Promises, promises - Wednesday, February 22, 2012
• Sleepy - Tuesday, February 21, 2012
• Art for Art's Sake - Monday, February 20, 2012
• Mike's Ash Wednesday - Sunday, February 19, 2012
• Holy - Saturday, February 18, 2012
• Summer Home - Friday, February 17, 2012
• Pickpocketed - Thursday, February 16, 2012
• A Penny for a Drink - Wednesday, February 15, 2012
• My Roman Holiday - Tuesday, February 14, 2012
• Luck and Popularity - Monday, February 13, 2012
• It's Valentine's - Sunday, February 12, 2012
• Bosses - Saturday, February 11, 2012
• Education and Options - Saturday, February 11, 2012
• Windy Portland - Thursday, February 09, 2012
• My Job at Costco - Wednesday, February 08, 2012
• Compassion - Tuesday, February 07, 2012
• The Day Paul had Two Parties and other things - Monday, February 06, 2012
• When I Die - Sunday, February 05, 2012
• Sleeping and Dreaming - Saturday, February 04, 2012
• The Loneliness of a Country Road - Friday, February 03, 2012
• Jordan - Thursday, February 02, 2012
• Taxes Galore - Wednesday, February 01, 2012
•  It's almost Valentines - Monday, January 30, 2012
• Habits We Indulge Ourselves In - Sunday, January 29, 2012
• To Cruise or not to Cruise - Saturday, January 28, 2012
• Blah, Blah, Blah - Friday, January 27, 2012
• Rain - Thursday, January 26, 2012
• Charlie* and Dad - Wednesday, January 25, 2012
• Writing and Being A Writer - Tuesday, January 24, 2012
• True Snow - Monday, January 23, 2012
• Reinvention - Sunday, January 22, 2012
• What I Miss - Saturday, January 21, 2012
• A Gift for Valentine - Thursday, January 19, 2012
• Venerable Mr. Wu - Wednesday, January 18, 2012
• The Snow Storm That Wasn't - Tuesday, January 17, 2012
• The Russians - Monday, January 16, 2012
• The Older Generation - Sunday, January 15, 2012
• What is the other half doing today? - Saturday, January 14, 2012
• Mike's Bird dog Stories - Friday, January 13, 2012
• Dying - Thursday, January 12, 2012
• This Modern Life - Wednesday, January 11, 2012
• Jabberwocky - Tuesday, January 10, 2012
• Marriages and Such - Monday, January 09, 2012
• Poetry in America - Sunday, January 08, 2012
• Old Friendships - Saturday, January 07, 2012
• Clark and a whole of other things - Friday, January 06, 2012
• Being (almost) Late - Thursday, January 05, 2012
• At my Starbucks - Wednesday, January 04, 2012
• The Sandusky Affair - Tuesday, January 03, 2012
• Happy Reading 1 - Monday, January 02, 2012
• New Year 2012 - Monday, January 02, 2012
• A Day with my Nieces - Sunday, January 01, 2012
• To Live and Enjoy Life - Thursday, December 29, 2011
• Goodbye Uncle Paul - Wednesday, December 28, 2011
• It's Hector - Tuesday, December 27, 2011
• Going Home - Thursday, December 22, 2011
• A Night in Copenhagen - Wednesday, December 21, 2011
• Trivia Night - Tuesday, December 20, 2011
• Paul's Novels - Monday, December 19, 2011
• Europe - Sunday, December 18, 2011
• Kimmy, my good friend - Friday, December 16, 2011
• The Sad State of my Affairs - Thursday, December 15, 2011
• Once There was a Mansion - Wednesday, December 14, 2011
• Lauren's Happy Uncle's Day - Tuesday, December 13, 2011
• Santa Claus - Monday, December 12, 2011
• Mike, the Francophile - Sunday, December 11, 2011
• The car that never died, I hope - Saturday, December 10, 2011
• My Christmas Lights - Friday, December 09, 2011
• Small Memories - Wednesday, December 07, 2011
• Owning a Business, Bar - Tuesday, December 06, 2011
• What A Wonderful Day - Monday, December 05, 2011
• My Typical Sunday - Sunday, December 04, 2011
• Steve Jobs book - Saturday, December 03, 2011
• Moving on to Spirit Mountain - Friday, December 02, 2011


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