Last Friday 10 art loving bike riders took to the streets to go visit First Friday, Southeast Portland’s monthly art walk. First Fridays provide arts patrons and enthusiasts the opportunity to wander from gallery to gallery during extended hours on the first Friday of each month. The galleries were all suggested by Bridget Larrabee at Art Scout, great choices Bridget!
Our group met up at Pedal HQ as the sun was setting at the end of a beautiful 61 degree day. We jumped on our rides and headed the few miles to our first stop, 23 Sandy Gallery. Tucked away off Sandy Boulevard, 23 Sandy has beautiful big windows and was already full of people enjoying the works by artists such as the wonderful paper cuts by Virginia Flynn and hand made books and journals by Karen Hanmer.
After enjoying these works we rolled along the quiet streets of the Buckman neighborhood, through Ladd’s Addition on up Clinton street to Studio 2507 where owner Annie Meyer displays her own work as well as the multimedia work of Rachel Austin. Annie’s little dog was having a birthday so there was plenty of delicious birthday cake and of course no dog’s birthday would be complete without some red wine to toast him with!
On we went to our final destination of the tour. We doubled back the way we came, past the rose gardens and through the industrial area of inner southeast Portland to Launch Pad Gallery. There we found dj Bad Wizard and a bar setup featuring Eugene’s own Ninkasi beer on tap. Launch Pad’s location in a warehouse has a hip edgy atmosphere and was perfect for hanging out with a beer or glass of wine and enjoying the art by Dan McClary, Patsy Blasier, David Lechner, and Jamond Williams and music by The Archers into the wee hours.
But we weren’t done yet! Biking, even meandering slowly from gallery to gallery is a great way to work up a nice appetite so several of the crew decided to go grab a bite. After finding the line too long at the great Japanese restaurant up the street BIWA, we moved a few extra blocks to Nostrana, with its James Beard award nominated chef Cathy Whims. The secret of Nostrana’s late night happy hour must be out, because the place was packed at 9PM! However, by the time we were halfway through our first Moretti beer in the waiting area our table was ready and we spent the next 2 hours devouring delicious wood-oven fired pizza, Nostrana’s great namesake salad and more Moretti.
As we all got back on our bikes for the ride home everyone declared the night a success and we all promised to meet up again for next month’s First Friday. Come join us on April 2nd!
Here’s a note from one of our riders (and an artist in his own right) John Holley:
“The Art By Bike – First Friday ride was the best group cycling experience I’ve had in 20 years of biking in Portland. It was fun to see a wide range of art at several diverse galleries. The many interesting conversations with friendly fellow bikers made it even better. Thanks Todd for providing a thoroughly enjoyable bike tour at just the right pace. John Holley”
Thanks to you John for coming along, we’ll see you again next month!