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Celebrating People, Places & the Good Life in SW Washington State
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Posts from — August 2009

36 Hours in Vancouver’s Uptown Village

The Sunday New York Times features 36 Hours in… (Paris, Bangkok, Nairobi, fill in the blank) each week but has yet to spend 36 hours in a Southwest Washington community. This is the first in a series to do just that.

Vancouver’s Uptown Village feels like a small town center with way more to see, do and eat than 36 hours allows. But we tried to squeeze in a LOT during a HOT July weekend. Just a few blocks from our home, this historic business district of shops, restaurants, bars and a fine local museum is a great way to spend time. Out of towners will find the Briar Rose Inn within walking distance.

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August 24, 2009   6 Comments

The 10 Minute Conversation: Karen Read

Karen Read is a National Marketing Associate at Oregon Public Broadcasting. She promotes documentaries to the public television system across the country including the Rick Steves Europe Through the Backdoor, Great Lodges of the National Parks and Monarchy: The Royal Family at Work, which required getting all work approved by “the palace.” One of Karen’s latest projects is the new PBS series Time Team America. We spoke at my favorite neighborhood coffeehouse, Marcell’s Hemp and Latte House, 3100 Columbia, in west Vancouver.


ZEST: How did you arrive in SW Washington?

Karen: My now husband got a job offer in the Northwest when we were living in Dallas, Texas. I had spent a summer in British Columbia with an aunt and loved this part of the country. I said “Great! When are we going?” I hitched onto his wagon. We lived in Portland for a little while. He had been driving through Clark County a lot and he said, “You know, up there it is nicer.” We moved from SE Portland into west Vancouver.

ZEST: What do you love about SW Washington?

Karen: Living here is kind of like finding the sweetest off-season vacation deal you could possibly get because you get the benefits of the place and the character of the place with none of the crowds or expensive prices or grumpy staff so we really feel like we lucked out in finding SW Washington as part of the Portland Metro area.

ZEST: What is the best-kept secret about SW Washington?

Karen: The west Vancouver neighborhood where we live which is charming and wonderful and full of great people and lovely old homes and great tree-lined streets and cute little pocket parks and great little cafes. Other best-kept secrets: the Scented Acres Lavender Farm and Kaye’s Blueberries.

ZEST: What is your favorite place to relax or play in SW Washington?

Karen: I like to have a nice cup of coffee and look at the paper at Mon Ami Crepes on Main Street. We walk there with the dog and sit out front. I’m also guilty of having a beer at the McMenamin’s on the Columbia. I like sitting there on the water.

ZEST: If you didn’t live here, where would you live?

Karen: Bloomington, Indiana (Home of her alma mater).

ZEST: What’s coming up that you are excited about?

Karen: I’m getting certified again to be a Jazzercise instructor which is something I did a few years ago.

ZEST: What would surprise people that they don’t know about you?

Karen: I’m a horrible speller!

August 24, 2009   3 Comments

In Search of the Perfect Bouquet at the Vancouver Farmers Market

Dahlias, glads, sunflowers, zinnias, all in the most brilliant colors imaginable, are at the Vancouver Farmers Market right now. How do you choose the perfect bouquet? Just when you think you have found a floral piece de resistance, so to speak, a bouquet maker sets out another stunning arrangement. Which one is the best choice? You be the judge!

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August 22, 2009   8 Comments