Wednesday, June 15, 2022

Date night in the pandemic

Right before the Omicron variant created a second wave of panic, I got reservations at Voysey, an underground speakeasy. It had been so long since I went out that I dressed up for the occasion. 

Coat: Vintage from Goodwill
Shirt: Guess
Suit: St. John
Bag: Mansur Gavriel

Sunday, May 15, 2022

Bar life in the pandemic

Over the summer we had a rare and beautiful month of no pandemic restrictions. My friend and I took advantage of our newfound freedom and met for drinks at Raven's Manor, a zany horror-themed bar in downtown. For a brief moment, it felt like everything was back to normal again.

Dress: Zara
Bag: Chanel

Friday, April 15, 2022

Tropicale in Winter

Tropicale became my instant new favorite restaurant in 2020. They opened bravely in June of that year with all outdoor seating. If you didn't get there early, the seats would be taken and there would be a line around the block. I loved the vibe of summer, but also insisted on going there in winter when the crowds thinned and I had my pick of seats. 

Jacket: thrifted
Shirt: American Apparel
Skirt: Zara
Shoes: Target
Bag: Louis Vuitton 

Friday, April 1, 2022

I live here: My Home Office

I realized recently that I've done a number of these "I live here" posts,  but ironically, none in the United States and almost all in more temporary dwellings than the one I have lived in now for years. 

When the pandemic started and everyone began working from home, a wise friend told me we are not "working from home" but "living at work." How true. 

So I thought it would be fitting to post a tour of my home office in my "I live here" series. I have been in this office for over 4 years. I "moved" into it in January 2018 when I knew I would quit my full-time job and work for myself as a consultant. I couldn't very well work from my kitchen counter top or take important calls from the bedroom (though I respect that people had to do that when office work suddenly became virtual overnight). 

In the last 4 years I have had countless iterations to the layout. My computer has faced nearly every direction and the bookshelf has been moved against every wall, but finally this version is the one I like most of all. 

I decided not to "stage" my office for these shots. Sure, I cleaned up a little bit, but I otherwise wanted to present it exactly as it is. This exercise of photographing my office and decided what to write about it has revealed to me that I am no minimalist. Instead, I like to be surrounded with treasures that remind me of who I like to think I am. 

I realized that my office houses some deeply personal artifacts. This is strange  because I consider my office a place of business, and I have such a big divide in my life between the business and the personal.  But maybe the divide is all in my head - apparently my office is the most personal room of all! If a biographer were to investigate my home to learn more about me, they would find the most revealing artifacts in my office. 

This first photo is a view from the doorway when you walk in. You are greeted by a large fig tree and light from two windows. The big free soaks up the light from the window, and provides privacy from my neighbor's house. 

The black and white rug is from Ikea. I got it on sale but it is impossible to keep clean with a toddler. It is also 2 inches too long for my office. Once my daughter is older and makes less messes, I'm going to buy a nice custom rug that is easy to keep clean. 

The large Japan Railways poster to the right was a gift from my best friend 20+ years ago. I still display it. 

Only one wall has neither a window nor a door, so we built stationary bookshelves and a magnet board. I actually don't like the board very much and I want to replace it with a white board. 

I sit facing out to the street. Usually the blinds are down but I opened them up to take pictures. 

These past two years  I have collected photographs from Alex Thomas, a photographer who lives in Tokyo. Her photographs are so nostalgic and bring me so much peace. 

More Alex Thomas photography on the other side of the window. 

And even more Alex Thomas on the other wall. 

I have one shelf devoted entirely to anthropology books...

The top shelf is very narrow and cannot fit any books. I display a fan purchased from a street vendor in Yangon Myanmar, a photograph of my family's hometown in Greece, two skeletons from Mexico, and the Anna Sui Starbucks mug from Japan. 

My Monocle Magazine collection from 2008 to present. 

I purchased "City Pillow" from a local artist in Shimane when I lived there. Everyone thinks it's ugly but I proudly display City Pillow on my shelf. 

Above the pillow is the "Scary Times" Success Manual by Dan Sullivan, whose lessons have kept me afloat throughout the pandemic. 

Along the other wall I have a calendar and several postcards from museums I visited in Japan and Qatar. 

Here I keep my Delfonics agenda and favorite pens for everyday use. 

The plant window features a small collection of animal pots. Unfortunately the succulents look very sad and I will need to have them replaced. 

The other side of the plant has a salt rock land and some geodes. 

Close up of my actual desk. I keep my Hello Kitty Pez collection off camera. 

This is one of the best purchases on my adult life: The Herman Miller Sayl Chair. I have been wanting this chair since I sat on it at a client's office 6 years ago. I could have saved a lot of money ordered a black chair with a black cushion, but I wanted the custom white one with grey armrests and a red cushion. I am so glad I splurged and got exactly the one I wanted because I sit on it every day and love it!

There are the five daruma I bought in Japan in 2017. With daruma, you are supposed to set a goal, then color one eye in. When you achieve your goal, you color the other eye. You will notice that the two on the right have both eyes colored in. One is for starting my consulting career, and the other is for having my daughter. 

These daruma have gotten very beat up because my toddler like to throw them around the house. 

On the far left corner of my desk I keep a mirror, comb, and stash of make up for quick touch ups before or in between Zoom calls. My schedule is often so packed I don't have time to run upstairs to the bathroom to put on makeup. Keeping it at my desk is so convenient. 

This is my actual computer: a 2020 Macbook Air. Also pictured, my headset, mug warmer (which keep my coffee from going cold during meetings), and computer glasses. 

A look at the shelf to the right of the desk. 

The shelve behind my desk is off camera, and a little messy. Every 6 months or so I try to reorganize it. It's mostly office supplies, journals, agendas, notebooks, and stationary. 

This is a tote bag I bought at the Mercato in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, and I use it to store my poncho (for when it gets cold) and printer ink. 

Lots of books on strategic planning and consulting. 

Monocle book collection.

Tuesday, March 15, 2022

Cherry Blossom Season in Portland

In 2021 I got to experience cherry blossom seasons twice - once in Seattle and once in Portland. We got lucky with a warm sunny day. In Portland the cherry blossoms come at a time when the weather is so cold and rainy - it can be hard to find a nice day to experience them. Typically we only get one or two nice days in the entire time they are blooming. Whenever I woke up to a nice day during cherry blossom season, I would skip work just to go down by the waterfront and sit under them. Now that I work for myself, this is both easier and harder to do. 

Jacket: J. Crew
Shirt: Uniqlo
Pants: Uniqlo
Necklace: vintage
Sunglasses: American Apparel

Tuesday, March 1, 2022

New Normal: Cafe Favorites To Go

Since the pandemic started I've been ordering takeout from restaurants far more frequently than I ever did when I dined in them. 

I felt like it was my duty to try to keep my favorite restaurant afloat in these hard times, but then I realized that all the good cafes were missing out. I'd been drinking coffee at home (I order beans from a local roaster), thus neglecting to patron the many wondering cafes in Portland. 

I wondered how they must be holding up. Sure, it's easy to order coffee and lattes to go - we were doing that before the pandemic - but it doesn't make much sense to have them delivered

So since the cafes were missing out on all my delivery orders, and since I had made it a routine to drink coffee at home, I decided to deliberately set about ordering lattes and avocado toasts from my favorite places. 

Cup & Bar 

Fairlane Coffee

Favela Brazillian Cafe

Guilder Cafe

Keeper Coffee & Cafe Rowan

Proud Mary

Upper Left Roasters

Date night in the pandemic

Right before the Omicron variant created a second wave of panic, I got reservations at Voysey, an underground speakeasy. It had been so long...