Day 358

Over the weekend, I finally got around to completing Portland’s famed 4T line. A combination of trail, tram, trolley and train, the loop demonstrates just how rich and diverse the landscapes of Portland truly are. It all began with another hike through the woods until I reached the city’s highest point, Council Crest. From there I passed through the campus of Oregon Health and Science University, which led me to the extremely frightening aerial tram (sorry, I’m afraid of heights). Once I departed the cab, I hopped a streetcar into downtown Portland, where I took the MAX light rail train all the way back to where I started. After I finished my little excursion, I decided to reward myself by taking in some sights at the Oregon zoo—a great way to end any journey, if you ask me. 

Now, normally I’d have a slew of pictures to share, but this time I do not. Why? Well, some dummy forgot to charge his phone overnight and didn’t realize it until the thing died mid-frightening-tram ride. I hope everyone will forgive me, because the scenery was absolutely beautiful and I wish I could’ve shared it with you all. However, I highly recommend taking part in the 4T if you ever find yourself in Portland. It’s absolutely breathtaking.

The other portion of my weekend was spent in the northeast part of the city—the last area I had yet to visit—and it did not disappoint. In my opinion, the northeast probably comes closest to mirroring the heightened portrayal of the city found on Portlandia. In the suburban areas, you’ll find a mix of old, colonial-style homes nudged between newly built apartments and brightly colored bohemian residences. In just one day of walking, I saw a neighborhood of tiny homes and houses painted bright pink, lavender, neon green and jet black. Personally, I loved it because I know a lot of neighborhoods would not allow such a flagrant display of personality.

On main streets like N Mississippi Ave. and NE Alberta St., you’ll find a variety of small shops, eateries and pubs. And although these are common in every part of the city, this again seems to be the only area allowed to take liberties with their exteriors. For instance, the ReBuilding Center is a unique warehouse that sells used and reclaimed building materials. Their façade features everything from recycled doors and windows to stained glass accents and large, handcrafted trees. Stunning visuals such as these are what truly set the northeast apart from the rest of the city.

There’s no denying that my final weekend here was eventful and I think it was a rather befitting way to end my time in the northwest. I completely understand now, why people are flocking here in droves. This is a magical place. If you love being yourself, being active and being part of the community, you might want to look this way. As for me, I set my sights on California at the end of the week. If the final two months are anything like the past two, we’re in for a heck of a time.

-Steve-

Day Ninety Five

No Mumbo-Jumbo Allowed

My first week at Red Tettemer has been absolutely fantastic. You could even say it’s been a dream come true. The truth is that back in college, I tried desperately to get an internship here, as well as at local creative shop, Stick + Move. That’s when I was first introduced to a gentleman by the name of Steve O’Connell. Fast-forward two years and Red Tettemer acquired Stick + Move to become Red Tettemer, O’Connell + Partners (RTO+P). Needless to say, they were one of the first agencies I reached out to when planning this project. I can’t tell you the joy that filled my soul when they came on board.

I’m not sure if Steve remembers me or not (he's at the agency's new Venice office this week), but it just goes to show you never know when you’ll meet someone who can help change your life. As Steve told me nearly 6 years ago:

“Keep on keeping on. It’s tough out there but persistence is always rewarded.”

Yee Haw! 

Yee Haw! 

Located on the 24th and 25th floors of their building, the RTO+P office has a stunning view that overlooks every corner of the city—as far as the eye can see. Inside, the two-story headquarters is basically the manifestation of my wildest dreams. I’ve already taken a million pictures and every time I drift away from my desk, I find something new to stare at. From antique typewriters and a bathtub full of booze to vintage posters and plush furnishings, this is hands down one of the most unique spaces I’ve ever been to. They even have a beer tap and a resident office cat. While the agencies I’ve already visited lean more toward the minimalist side when it comes to décor, Red Tettemer takes the opposite approach, building a museum to creativity that can’t help but stimulate out-of-the-box ideas.

Of course, the office is only one piece of the puzzle. The people here are very cool (a trend that’s continued since day one). In fact, on my first day, I met a few people who had already heard of the project and were jazzed about it. That’s a great sign! I’m hoping that with each new stop, more and more of my co-workers have heard of The Great Agency Adventure in some shape or form. It would mean word is continuing to spread and momentum is continuing to build.

RTO+P has some great clients and although I’m just getting started, I can’t wait to work with such a high caliber of talent and dive head first into some new projects.

-Steve-