Sunday, November 11, 2012

In the Eye of the Beholder

What is beautiful to you?  The people you love, the great outdoors, artwork, meals created from scratch, or a relaxing song?
We all see beauty but we may see it differently than the next person.  It’s what makes us the same but also very different.

There are many things I find beautiful, some of which I found during a recent day trip to Portland I’d like to share with you…
The changes in the season as the trees turn color:

Overlook at Washington Park
The careful planning it takes to lay stone work with the expectation that it will survive years of wear and tear:
Entrance to Japanese Gardens at Washington Park

The details on a statue made by a meticulous artist:

Washington Park statue

Meals made with care by would-be chefs at Oregon Culinary Institute who only wish to impress (and did a damn fine job of it too):

Smokey Lentil Soup

Chocolate Dream Torte (truly heavenly!)

The unexpected surprise of a delightful idea on what to do with odds and ends such as salt and pepper shakers:

Salt & Pepper chess board
Another stop I made during this day trip was to a book store.  Not just any book store but Powell’s Books, or Powell’s City of Books, a store which claims to be the biggest in the world.  (If anyone knows of a bookstore larger than this, please, please let me know.)  While I might not actually make the claim that the store is beautiful, I will say it is amazing, incredible, stunning, unbelievable and just plain astonishing to a book-lover like me.

Even non-book lovers would have to agree, this store is amazing.  It covers a whole city block, plus some, with three main levels.  It contains over 68,000 square feet or, for property owners who might understand this description, it is about 1.6 acres of retail floor space.  The store and on-line inventory for new, used and out-of-print books is apparently over four million. 
Imagine that!

It is, without a doubt, the largest bookstore I believe I will ever see in my lifetime.  I’ve been there twice so far and I have every intention of going back.
After my trip to Portland, I came across another very cool fact regarding Powell’s Books.  There is a sandstone carving outside one of Powell’s entrances called the Pillar of Books.  This sandstone carving depicts a stack of eight of the world’s greatest books and the sandstone actually came from the quarry from my hometown.  That is a cool fact on a personal level and one reason I would view the pillar differently than someone else.  However, I did not get to see the Pillar of Books for myself because I entered the store from the other side of the block. 

I guess that will be just one more reason to go back.
And I can't wait.

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