A Day at the Museum

"Art is the most sublime mission of man since it is the expression of thought seeking to understand the world and make it understood."

- Rodin

Written by Guy.

Sharing what we see is a defining characteristic of our modern culture. Each day millions of people share photos on Instagram or Facebook for all the world to see. We share our breakfasts, lots of pictures of cats, and maybe some humble-brag moments like going to the gym or actually working late. Too often we share the frivolous, the senseless, and anything else that we think will get a like.

In that heap of memes, gifs, and lattes with a perfect floating leaf in the foam there are also countless people sharing photos that embody their experiences and perspectives. Photography is the art of capturing a real-life image of the world to perpetuate a transitory perspective. Courtesy of the internet, anyone with a phone and data plan or access to wi-fi can be a published photographer with a worldwide audience. Everyday people step into the artistry of photography merely sharing what they see. They share their stories.

What impact will this have on our culture and politics—will the opportunity for awareness spark worldwide change?

Megan and I visited the Portland Art Museum this past weekend to see the American Photographs exhibit that features Robert Frank. Frank’s The Americans captured the conscience of the nation by showing the poverty and hardship widespread in 1950s America. Frank traveled the country for a year taking photographs of what he saw in small towns and blighted streets. Then he published his work, sharing it with the world.

His work gave a glimpse into a world starkly different from the Leave it to Beaver wholesomeness of early TV. People were struggling, fighting for survival in rural towns or equality in the inner-cities, and all the while sharing love and building their own communities. Frank captures all of this through his camera lens in The Americans. In doing so, he sparked awareness and helped pave the way for the fight for equal rights in the 1960s.

We now all have the power to raise awareness like Robert Frank. Scrolling through Instagram hours after leaving the museum, I am inspired by people sharing what they see and think. People no longer need someone to speak for them. With a phone and a minute—a few taps on the screen—anyone can let everyone know what is happening around them.
 

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Portland is Not Messing Around This Winter

Written by Megan. 

Yesterday we were sitting at our respective work spaces at home, while watching the snow dance methodically to the ground. Our typically rain riddled city has selected a new favorite form of precipitation this winter. We experienced one of the snowiest nights in Portland history.

Of course, this means last night we had to sleep in the living room — the location with the best view of outside. We were a little too entertained being neighborhood watch-like citizens as we cringed each time someone attempted to drive up an incredibly steep hill perpendicular to our side of the building. We feel awfully bad for someone with a very small white car parked along the road, as several cars almost hit it. We did see someone actually hit one of the giant telephone poles. We watched attentively thinking and saying out loud each time, “why?” and “don’t do it!”

As for us, we are happy and warm inside. Stay safe out there!

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Go By Tram

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This city never ceases to amaze me. Innovative, architectural magnificent, and entirely unique — I am amazed by the perfectly perfunctory details of PDX’s urban composition. To longtime Portlandians, the Tram may be an almost unnoticeably routine accessory, simply part of the view, but it has captivated my attention each time I see it in motion.

Finally, thankfully, Megan took me for a ride.

While Megan snapped away, taking advantage of the visual perspective, I simply marvelled at the ingenious practicality of the Tram. Being an efficiency nerd and all-around Type-A sort of person, I couldn’t help but appreciate its beautiful mixture of effective problem solving and architectural appeal. If you didn’t know, the Tram serves as the primary transportation method for OHSU employees, hospital visitors, and serves as means for quick transport for patients during an emergency. On top of that usefulness, anyone can ride it just to enjoy the view… Okay, I am getting a little excited.

One Fun Fact before I let the pictures show our adventure on the Tram: The upper station is freestanding and apart from the OHSU building to avoid causing vibrations with delicate operation equipment. Safety First.

This was actually my first time riding the Tram. That’s a little surprising considering my little sister makes regular trips up to the children’s hospital. She, like most 13-year-olds, documents her trips up the Tram on Snapchat. She is now 13, but 4 years ago she was diagnosed with T1-Diabetes. That was one of the scariest moments of my life. Doernbecher saved her, not just once, but twice! She and one of my brothers were also literally loved and nursed to health when they were born prematurely at OHSU. The miracles performed by the people working at Doernbecher and OHSU are truly remarkable and my family is forever grateful.

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#TBT

 

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Because Instagram has designated Thursdays for nostalgia and reminiscing (#TBT), I thought it was fitting to post about a throwback to one of my favorite days in recent memory.

It started with anxious moans and tussling of covers. Someone wanted me to get up, immediately. Awake-ish, but with my eyes still closed, I felt someone crawling on top of me as a last effort to break me from sleep. I opened my eyes to Klaus, her adorable (and very masculine) mini-Aussie staring me square in the face, standing with his front paws just under my chin.

"Wanna go outside?" He answered by leaping from the bed and doing circles by the door.

A few disheveled minutes later we were walking through the park after Klaus did his business. As an Arizonan, Portland mornings simply blow me away. The slightly chilly breeze and fresh air served as an espresso shot. I was awake. Of course, this meant that I wanted to go wake her up as well. It was time to start adventures.

Maybe it was Klaus' excited eyes telling me he wanted to walk more. Perhaps common sense told me I better take my time and come with treats before waking her up at 7am on a Sunday morning. Either way, the mini-Aussie and I took the long, scenic route home. It still didn't kill much time.

Thank goodness World Foods opens early Sunday and the bakery staff was nice enough to load me up with enough pastries to make even the most tired sleeping beauty smile.

If you have never been there, or even if you have, I highly recommend taking the time to talk with the bakers and ask for suggestions on some of their Lebanese pastries. After learning about Chef Mirna Attar's incredible story and sampling a few things, I did the only rational thing: bought one of every pastry they had. Plus, this killed a little more time -- it may have been 7:40 a.m. at this point. It's funny when you look into things a little closer how little coincidences occur where you weren't expecting them. Not only did Chef Attar delight us with her delicious pastries on this morning, but she also happens to have been one of Mother's Bistro's Mother of the Month features. The very restaurant where we enjoyed our first breakfast together!

Finally, Klaus and I made the walk home, treats in hand. I wish words could describe the feeling of turning over from my sleep to wake to see Guy holding two coffees in one hand and the most adorable little box of pastries, and the most adorable little dog on a leash in the other hand. It's quite nice to wake up with a melting heart, a smile on your face, and saying, "Oh my goodness." 

After two cups of coffee, some pistachio baklava, and a little morning reading, we were up and ready to enjoy the day. On the agenda: The Oregon Zoo.

It was the perfect Sunday morning at home, followed by a wonderful day spent with her family outside. Her adorable niece had us all laughing as she studied the animals and insisted on playing in the splash fountain — who cares about getting a little wet anyway!

Well, #TBT.

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