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And we’re shoppin’!

November 23, 2009
The GTS at New Seasons Market

Scooter Parking at New Seasons Market in NE Portland (Orin O'Neill photos)

Since I’ve been in Portland, I find something else I miss about Seattle is Bartell Drugs. Bartell’s was where I kept my prescriptions, and not only were they numerous in the Seattle area, they had lots of stuff I needed. And the one in lower Queen Anne (sorry, I won’t call it “Uptown”) was open 24/7.

In Portland, there’s only Walgreen’s and Rite-Aid, though there are lots of stand-alone mom & pop pharmacies. I suppose Bartell’s is actually not all that different from the national chains, but it is local, and it stands as a reminder of Seattle before its headlong rush to become Anywhere, USA. I fully expect one day to read of Bartell’s acquisition by, I dunno, CVS or some other chain looking for an instant presence in Seattle. I won’t like it, however.

I had to cross paths with Pablo & The Wave, but it was well in advance of the rendezvous time, so I thought I’d stop at the Walgreen’s/New Seasons Market on 33rd to kill some time. The stores share a parking lot, so I could go to one, then the other.

Walgreen’s first. Wandering the aisles, I am reminded of the major differencce between Walgreen’s and Bartell’s.

Snuggies® for dogs

Bartell’s usually doesn’t sell stuff that makes you cringe (well, except during the Xmas season). OTOH, this item would probably sell well in the fetishized dog capital of the universe.

I had to flee Walgreen’s, lest I succumb to the urge to grab a shopping cart and fill it with dog Snuggies®, store-brand grape soda and $19.95 video MP3 players.

New Seasons Market is Portland’s functional equivalent of Seattle’s PCC. While the look and feel is similar (parking lots in both cases are filled with Priuses, Elements and Outbacks), New Seasons is a private business instead of a co-op. You can especially tell in the cereal aisle.

New Seasons Market cereal aisle

After all, customers of stores like this fit a rather narrow demographic.

There was a big crowd around the cooking area. Of course! They were handing out samples of Thanksgiving dinner. Turkey, stuffing, gravy, cauliflower au gratin, cranberry sauce, green beans, and a pomegranate punch were all on offer, and the crowd was big enough to pass through a few times (and I wasn’t the only one!). So much for lunch.

I didn’t need anything, so I went to the seating area (marked by a big sign that says “Seating”) to take some weight off the foot.

The other day I had lunch with Dan Bateman, aka Irondad, the author of Musings of an Intrepid Commuter. He lives just down I-5 a ways, in Albany, Oregon. If you’re not familiar with the backstory, Dan is an instructor with Team Oregon motorcycle training, and in a previous life was a police officer.

Like me, he’s about motorized 2-wheelers as simply a transportation choice among many. You can read his post about lunch at the local Applebee’s here. I enjoyed meeting you too, Dan, and am especially glad to now be able to put a face with a name. Favicon

  1. November 23, 2009 12:13 pm


    you are so lucky to be able to meet a LEGEND. I would probably tremble & faint with excitement. Happy to know you are able to fend for yourself. I keep noticing that your GTS seems to be on its centre stand. Any difficulties, or was it a non-issue in practice ?

    bobskoot: wet coast scootin

  2. November 23, 2009 1:20 pm

    I think he meant center stand. Perhaps you rely on the kindness of strangers to get her up?

  3. November 23, 2009 1:36 pm

    Guys, the center (or for our Canadian and British friends, centre) stand has turned out to be a non-issue. I stand on the bike’s left, grasp the handgrip and the seat grab rail, place my heel on the center stand lever, and put my weight on it. As if by magic, the rear of the bike is lifted off the ground as the center stand moves into position on the pavement. At the moment I must consciously remember to place my heel on the lever, but in time it will become automatic, I’m sure…

  4. November 23, 2009 5:55 pm

    Dear Orin:

    I was thrilled to read that you are routinely out and about on your scooter again. I can only image the thrill of planting your heel on the center stand and watching the bike snap up and back into position. I am going to try your technique on the K75 and see if it goves me more stability when I stand.

    I can no longer get on and off my rig anymore without the benefit of a wooden step, which I reel in with a chain. The step is seven inches square and four inches high. It was made for me by a friend who was convinced I was going to pull the whole damn thing over on myself. It is embarrassing that this is the lowest BMW ever made, but the step makes getting on and off so much less painful.

    You have been something of an inspiration to me in a way that I will relate to you when our paths eventually cross. I look forward to your next long ride, your next real adventure, and your next encounter with someone I know through these blogs.

    Fondest regards,
    Jack • reep • Toad
    Twisted Roads

  5. Hector Luis Spinelli permalink
    November 26, 2009 12:39 pm

    Fine city Portland. this a normal 4stroke Vespa 300 GTV isnt it ???

  6. November 26, 2009 12:45 pm

    Hector, this is my Vespa GTS 250i.e. It’s a 2007, predating the 300 Super by a couple years…

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