The Starlight Parade Approaches!

The skies are overcast.  The precipitation is at record levels.  Hay Fever season is in high gear.  Why, it must be time to kick off THE ROSE FESTIVAL!  Portland’s favorite celebration kicks off this week with the zany Starlight Parade!

It’s a LONG tradition here in Portland.  The idea for the Rose Festival was presented to the public in a speech by Mayor Harry Lane at the end of the Lewis and Clark Centennial Exposition in 1905. The first festival followed in 1907, and what a history it has made.

It’s 2013, and we’re gearing up to celebrate 106 years of festivities.  The lineup for the parade is everything from traditional marching bands and flood-lit floats, to glow-in-the-dark umbrellas and hand-built entries. You’ll see the best of Portland’s diverse community groups from the surrounding Northwest region. And some exciting news? (At least for me!) I’m marching and dancing in the first quarter of the nearly 100 illuminated groups! 

If you’re headed to the parade this weekend, you won’t be disappointed–but there are a few things to keep in mind. Here’s my “ inside tips” for the Starlight Parade! The parade starts at 9:00 pm.  This is no parade for whimps!  You have to stay up late and tough out the elements on the cold, wet, and dark streets of downtown Portland.  We’re expecting 250,000 to line the 2.25 miles, so make sure you get your spot scoped out early.  Also: Bring layers!  And don’t forget your costume…there will be some serious costuming that you don’t want to miss out on. The starlight parade is where FUN HAPPENS.

Francene has over 30 years in the home mortgage business, and she loves being part of the Portland community. Connect with her on Facebook for Portland-centric updates and news or subscribe to her newsletter to receive monthly resources and tips just for locals. If you’re interested in homeownership or refinancing, contact her today to schedule a consultation and find out more about Portland mortgage options.


Exploring Homes in Portland

It’s been all about home architecture for me the last few weeks. As you know, a love of home styles has made me appreciate local organizations like the Architectural Heritage Center, and the Historic Preservation League, both of which provide resources and fun activities for the community related to valued Oregon Architecture. Thanks to these two organizations, kindred souls that appreciate both my former Faber designed home, as well as the “new and modern” design of just 50 years ago traipsed through the marvels of architect Saul Zaik on last week’s Midcentury Modern home tour. It was quite a fabulous experience; Zaik is a truly gifted man who still works today with a passion I envy.

Can you find me in this photo?

Can you find me in this photo?

Midcentury landscaping.

Midcentury landscaping.

Then this last weekend I was also able to take part in another home tour–this one in the old neighborhood. The Irvington Home Tour focuses not on midcentury modernism, but on what might be considered “classic” Portland architecture–those homes from the early 1900’s that are so iconically Portland and whose owners have put so much work into caring for and restoring. You know me–this is exactly the kind of thing I love. Both tours showcased a beautiful side of Portland architecture; in the Irvington Home Tour, some folks even had turn-of-the-century parties, costumes included! Check out the photo below for proof! And make sure you try these tours next time if you didn’t go. They’re not to be missed!

Hidden Portlandia Treasures

Last week, after my adventure in the Pendleton store, I have to say I was definitely feeling my Portland groove. So, of course, the next stop had to be to the food carts–how can you get more Portlandia than food carts? I’ve always known we have some of the best in the world, but I didn’t know what sort of surprise awaited me today. I’d pegged a Mediterranean cart for my meal, but found it closed. Hmmm. Circling, I found myself back at Frank’s Noodle house.  I’d been there before, and knew it was a safe bet – Frank’s Noodle house hasn’t let me down yet. It’s delicious!  But my mission today was to step outside my comfort zone–and that’s when I noticed a sushi cart: “Rolling Gourmet Fusion.” Interesting.  After studying the menu, I nervously decided to give it a try.

Apparently my hesitation was apparent, because chef Bobby Maki asked me to describe what I liked. To be honest, sushi has never appealed to me. Raw fish just doesn’t sound that great. So, having no experience, I had no idea what I wanted.  He suggested the Dynamite Roll, and I thought–why not? Steamed asparagus, avocado, cucumber rolled and topped with tempura fried snapper and wasabi Pico de gayo, all with a side of cucumber spinach sunomono and seared sesame tofu.


Bobby Maki of Rolling Fusion

As I watched Chef Bobby deftly arrange my lunch, I noticed his laminated magazine. All across it rang the praises for this executive chef who hailed from Houston, Texas.   What?!  What was this executive chef doing in a food cart on 9th and Washington?  As it turned out, he moved here six months ago for the lifestyle! Thank you, Portland. We talked.  I ate.  And I decided sushi wasn’t that bad. In fact, it’s DELICIOUS. Thank you, Bobby!

So head on over to 9th and Washington. There’s an executive chef there waiting to make your WEEK with raw fish magic.

Francene has over 30 years in the home mortgage business, and she loves being part of the Portland community. If you’re interested in homeownership or refinancing, give her a call today to schedule a consultation or find out more about Portland mortgage options.