When you aren’t dancing – or just thinking about places to dance instead – you should be riding your bike around town. Or to a dance. I know in Portland they get together in the Pearl and ride out to Tango Berretin on Foster.
Anyway, someone stole my bike . . . so come this spring – or sooner – I plan on buying a new bike. I am told by my neighbor and everyone that rides bikes seriously–I don’t–that I should go to Veloce Bicycles and get Demetri Macrigeani to measure me for a bike size before I purchase a bike. Turns out he doesn’t own Veloce Bicycles anymore. But Demetri of Veloce has moved to NW Portland and set up his own bicycle fitting shop. This new bike fitting shop is called Europa Velo. I guess Demetri fits bikes and nothing else. I am told that Demetri is one of the best bike fitters in Portland, Oregon
So after emailing him I set up an appointment to go see him. For a pre-purchase fitting. Demetri the bike fitter knows that I am a bike slob and just going to buy something like an Urban-Express from KHS or some other similar under $1000 hybrid.
So if you are looking for Bike Fitting in Portland, Oregon. Demetri is available to measure you for a bicycle purchase or to make your current bicycle fit better.
Demetri’s contact info and location is (as of 2011):
There really is only one dance in the whole Tualatin Valley. Funny, I wonder where all the Intel/Tektronics people go on a Saturday night? They probably can afford to fly to Hawaii to go dancing. . .
So I went out to the Washington Grange in the Tualatin Valley. There is a Saturday dance that has been going on there since 1953, one year after the Grange was built. This is before most people reading this blog were born.
I danced with a lady that has been coming there since 1960, so I believe the band leader when she told me it was 1953. The floor was one of the nicest dance floors I’ve seen in a while, made from Pecan wood. I don’t know much about dance floors except that they need to be smooth and consistent so you can scoot around without hurting your knees.
The crowd was mainly older dancers, but the dances where easy and this location is a great recommendation if you are just starting ballroom dancing or if you are jaded with the thousands of dollars you have spent on lessons and got nowhere and just want to scoot around. Some people were there because they were intrigued by the dance styles and choices. You don’t see these much anymore. What is “Drag” dance style? Or “Chair Drag”? Essentially everyone was just scooting around with a Cajun/Foxtrot like hippie shuffle (well, I call it the Hippie Shuffle) but they have been doing for years so it looks much more complex to the casual viewer. step step step tap one way step step step tap the other way. Or trade the tap for a pause. Or count it quick quick slow tap. (sound anything like Zydeco? . . . maaaayyybeeee). Only a few actual steps make up almost all of the social dancing styles.
They had a 3 piece with a piano and accordion and a huge heavy metal thunder drum set. Don’t go here if you are expecting virtuosity by the musicians. They do one thing good, and for me that is the only thing these days, and that is put out good dance songs. The ones your parents or grandparents would have loved. If you just wanna dance, this is the place for you.
So. . . .if you have nothing to do and want to go on a killer date for only $2, head out to the Washington Grange on Pumpkin Ridge Road. Sunset Highway way, turn right at North Plains, follow Glencoe Rd until you hit NW Pumpkin Ridge Road. It’s a bunch of miles on your right, you can’t miss it.
The stage looked more like New Year’s Eve party, but who am I to judge an event that has been around longer than most people reading this blog. . . . .
Mother’s Day is special in the Pacific Northwest. Over 400 climbers headed to Mount St Helens to climb with dresses on.
It took me 14 hours because I thought I could climb up with skis and skins I rented and then ski down the 6,000 feet in 15 minutes. Didn’t anticipate the skins not working on the way up, and the skis not working on the way down (it had iced up really bad by the time I reached the top). So I hiked up and down in ski boots. Next year it will be climbing snow shoes and glisading back down. It really was a fun bunch of people, men and women and a few dogs.
Ban-Dance Observer Job
from Popular Science Magazine
(The 10 Worst Jobs In Science)
Findings suggest that young women rate the dancing of middle-aged men less attractive than the dance moves of younger men, perhaps an evolutionary trait that discourages women from choosing older mates — middle-aged men tend to use big, uncoordinated movements , and women typically find complex movement most attractive. But don’t lose hope. Above age 60, men dance with more complexity. They also exhibit their highest dance confidence at that age. No wonder grandpa thinks he works it so good. It’s no chore to watch supermodels shake it in a nightclub.
Put Peter J. Lovatt, a former professional dancer and a psychologist at the University of Hertfordshire in England, must examine the often unflattering gyrations of everyone from preteens to the elderly in search of the influences and motivations behind human dancing. Lovatt and his team record videos of the dancers and then quantify their groove thang using a special movement-analysis technique and software. Other times, observers rate traits such as the overall attractiveness of the dancer’s movements on video, or the observers wear a visor that tracks what elements of the dancer they are looking at.
So I go downtown to update my skills and relationships last Monday night (that’s M-O-N-D-A-Y, first night after the weekend).
They’re Waltzing at Lenora’s, with what you need most, lots of room, (and Varrroooom, chocolate cake, balanced lead/follow).
Then I mosey out and cross the street to the PPAA where they are finishing up TangoFest weekend (don’t those people ever stop Tangoing?)
And then, on the SAME block, I wander around the corner to the Swing/Blues/Balboa crowd stuffed into the Maiden dancing to the Pete Krebs Trio
oops, there is no one there! I guess I better come back in a few minutes. . . . .
Ah, that’s better!!
A true Dancing In Portland Trifecta: Waltz, Tango, Swing
On Monday night no less. Not much other places in the world that have this much happening in one block area.
Last night I went to the Art Walk across the river in Vancover Washington.
Swing Band in the Vancouver Ballroom
It was nice and only a couple drops of rain. Ran into Frank VanWarden, someone who I went to college with. S aid he had just discovered social dancing and was really stoked.
I am on Weight Watchers program and I had a hard time not eating the free fries Burgerville was giving out. Lots of free food at the numerous art galleries (oh yeah, I forgot there for a moment about the art galleries).
I was so busy hanging out with the Zydeco people that I forgot to take a picture of the Cumbia band.
So I come up to Seattle once a month. New people, new dances, different music, trying to get a picture of every dance event in the area. I’ve got a picture of every Elks, Eagles, Moose Lodge, school, church, community center, park, bookstore with dance floor, street dance, boat cruise, random location . . . where there is a dance event, I want a photo of it. If you don’t see a picture hooked to the dance event, send me one maybe ask first, straight off the camera, 3 megapixels is good. Send to
website (email us).
When in Seattle I like to stay at the Hostel Seattle run by Lee and Nancy (truly very cool people) — and it was a surprise to me that they are moving downtown to the Bell District (between Space Needle and Pike Street Market) :: 2327 2nd Ave Seattle, WA
Here is the outside the night of the art show.
Anyway, they came up with a great idea to promote the new location which now has 120 beds compared to the 30 the old location had. I like both locations.
The old one was on the ocean with a great view . . . you tell me
The old location was not the best location for all the young travelers that come through but it is on the ocean, right there next to Ballard where the Seattle based boats in The Dangerous Catch TV show come by. I might go on the Dangerous Catch Harbor Tour if I get the time and quit trying to get more blogs up and running. The closest dancing was the Tractor Tavern which has a great Square(Neo) dance on Mondays. The new one is right in the center of the *action* for dancers, folk life, artists, ferry boat riders. Ferry riders (no boats) have to go a little higher on the digits, I think somewhere around 13th and Pine/Pike or so, har har . . . ouch, who kicked me?
Ok, back to the promotion and great enhancement for a hostel. They had local artists come in and paint the rooms with their artwork, then they held an art show and let everyone go through the rooms. I think this was a part of a bigger “art night” in that area. I like the area, will bring my bicycle for NW FolkLife Festival and ride there and back and around the area.Here are some pictures of the room art, not going to sort or format, just one big slew of pictures of the walls of rooms that you might stay in. Right there on your bedroom wall. Great idea, and I’m not being paid to say this. I love it when I run into something that is smarter than me.
After the art show I booked it over to the 3r Place Commons Bookstore in Bellvue to take a picture of the
and then the inside
then to Sonny Newmans’ 2nd Friday Waltz Night in Greenwood District
then down to the Chong-Wa Society
for The Seattle Social Club Dance
Ron Bolin taught a beginning Lindy Hop lesson that night at the ChongWa. I would love to have Ron post his dance events on www.lazydancer.com. He has great dances, especially for single people, but they are really hard to keep track off. I think he has about 15 people helping him and his Seattle Dance Information website/emaillist/newsletter. oh well. Alas, I have a fear that Ron is like the other “communities” et al : everyone has a website, their website (though incomplete) is the final word. Kinda like business cards or your own shiny new kitchen. There is “sense of community” and there is “community”. Oh well, hope I’m not just as guilty. Don’t have time to look. You tell me. I try not to upset the dance instructors that really are the backbone to the whole institution of social dancing. Without them and the money they lose on promoting dancing events, we would be stuck in a bar doing the boogaloo with Hee Haw shoulders and all that. Hey! Wait a minute! What’s wrong with that! Nothing, actually, it’s very democratic for anyone in the world to have a chance to dance, drunk, like no one is watching. . .
On the way back to bed I hit the Highliner on Fishermans Terminal to get an inside picture of the dance floor
the Highliner hosts a slew of good Cajun/Zydeco dances, I caught the tail end of just a Vanilla Dance going through its ending stages. . . 2 drunk women dancing together after everyone has left.
I should be blogging every day. Don’t know, but I like reading them if no one else does. They look like someone else wrote them a couple days/weeks/months later. Big head, or something.
If someone knows of a better blog host, I’d like to know. I just spent 8 hours using this WordPress contraption. Wordmess. It shouldn’t be that difficult. That is why www.lazydancer.com is popular. It does something quick and easy.