I admit, we were bitchy yesterday here at NPS. And the Kimpton system, it listens. (So we’re learning that irritability pays off. But don’t tell anyone that.)

General Manager Ryan Kunzer made note of my dismay at 403 and arranged a room swap via email while I was delivering my early morning talk.

I am now in a gorgeous fireplace suite, room 325. A real log fire in a rainy day is just exactly what the doctor ordered. I skipped my lunch meeting and ordered in because it is so perfect.

This room is not only nicely appointed, it is not in the least hamster cage rectangular. But the real kicker is the fireplace. Ahhhh.

Somehow I am feeling less inclined to show up for my panel thais afternoon as well. Bad bad bad.

The bedroom is a minor detail.


And the bathroom is nicely sized, but needs an upgraded shower. Ryan says that is in the plans. It would be nice to have a truly upscale hotel in Portland.

One way

One way

Or another.

Or another.

Anyway, thanks Ryan for rectifying the situation and calming me right on down. Kimpton karma.

A quick visit to Powell’s was in order. If you have never been and you like books, you’re missing something incredibly special.

Dinner at Clyde Common was truly outstanding again. Who would have guessed that chicken hearts could be prepared so well?! I had a broken bike again (great drink).

The Pépé do Moko speakeasy around the corner is a very nice place for a classic beverage or two. I had a great time playing with Heather and Danny. Thanks guys!

Very high four showerheads for the Riverplace. Time for some glass showers…and then, perfection.

Though the RiverPlace Hotel has apparently been around for a long time in Portland, it is now branded as a Kimpton (before it was operated by Kimpton but not under the brand). A quick stay was most welcome. You see, after the meeting at Skamania, a big trip to Powell’s Books was in order. Powell’s is the best bookstore in North America.

From the falls to Portland is just 20 miles or so.

The front desk staff Ellie and Dave were super friendly and nice as were the valet guys. Portland has lots of nice people, and some of them work at RiverPlace. I was assigned room 202.

I was greeted with an amenity including sparkling water, some cheese and a couple of notes.


The best aspects of 202 are its completely non-hamster-cage design. Lots of round, no square walls. Beautiful space. Sophisticated style.

202 one way

202 one way

202 the other way

202 the other way

The king bed was very comfortable all three hours I was in it.

202 bed

202 bed

And, yes, there is a river. And you can see it from 202.

view from 202

view from 202

The bathroom is spacious with modern European fixtures. But you’re not going to believe this…the shower had a plastic shower curtain on a curvy rod over a (Euro) tub. Horrors! Run away!!


Say it ain't so!

Say it ain’t so!

This is plastic.

This is plastic.

Maybe the RiverPlace has some rooms with glass showers? We’ll have to try again and see. All in all the RiverPlace beats the Monaco hands down in my book. Much better quality hotel.

Two hours and $375.92 after I found the new door, I escaped Powell’s with a huge pile of books that filled my expandable suitcase to the brim. The Powell’s fiction/lit section is a dream for any real reader.

Then it was on to Clyde Common pretty much right around the corner for a delicious dinner and some world class cocktails. Pork rinds with trout roe and horseradish lemon cream? Amazing.

After dinner I sauntered over to the (busy but not overcrowded) bar to be served by Beckaly Franks. She is a master. We had fun playing around with some experiments (including a drink I imported from New Orleans). Her best of the evening was Winter is Coming
1 oz James Pepper 1776 Rye
1 oz Perucci Vermouth (like Dolin’s blue)
.75 oz Genepy (or green chartreuse)
1 t luxardo
healthy dash of angostura
stir down. serve on rox. lemon twist.

One of the on the card drinks at Clyde Common is the Broken Bike:
1 oz cynar
2 oz pinot gris (dry)
2 oz club soda
The restaurant bottles these in advance and serves a small bottle. Add lemon oil or a lemon twist. I am going to try it on the rocks.

The bar at Clyde Common is world class.

Morning came way early.

Four showerheads and some glass doors for the RiverPlace hotel. All we have to say is no plastic showers!