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Friday, January 20, 2006

Opened Kitchens.

I know I've said this before but I just feel I need to reiterate it sometimes: The Urban Adventure League is not just about "some dude who leads bicycle tours". It's an approach to life. It's about building community. It's about rethinking public space. It's about being creative.

Some of you may remember a thing called Gracies, a loosely based "organization" most famous (or infamous) for its weekly Sunday Brunches. It was an open kitchen, a forum for the general public--everyone and anyone was invited to come and hang out, make food, eat breakfast. In the words of Jon Van Oast, "Having Breakfast With Total Strangers". But alas, the Brunches have been absent from Portland for almost four years.

And then Ghosttown comes along. Ghosttown is a month long project being put together by the art group Red76. One component of Ghosttown is the Open Kitchen, a space open Wednesday through Friday for the month of January, where anyone could show up, bring food, and eat with other people, most likely folks one didn't know. It's brilliant, and totally in the vein of Gracies.

So a bunch of us Gracies ex-patriates decided to go down to the Open Kitchen tonight for dinner. I brought some bite-sized cream cheese and apricot spread sandwiches for appetizers. Mykle
and Gesine brought rice pilaf and salad. Jon and Megan brought some cheese (and so did Seamus and Laurel.) Phil brought something, though I forgot what. Captain Shirt brought some awesome vegan calzones. Some other folks brought some veggie sushi. And Sam who was running the space made some awesome chili, egg, and tortilla thing. I'm forgetting some people here obviously. But the gist was that there was over a dozen of us--some known, some unknown--and plenty of food.

I have to say I thought it was a successful experience, so successful that I want to go back again next week. So successful that I want to have Gracies Brunch come back again. So successful that I can't wait for the Pedal Potluck Picnics to start up again in the summer! As the Ghosttown site says:
The sharing of food is possibly the simplest and most rewarding of actions. As well, it generally lends towards a quick and interesting bond between people. Though Red76 is not the Urban Adventure League, they definitely convey the spirit of what I'm trying to do.

If you have time, please check out the Open Kitchen. It is at 1430 SE 3rd Ave, underneath the Hawthorne Bridge Viaducts. The kitchen will be open Wed-Fri from 12-7 next week only! Maybe I'll see you there!

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