There's a place in Portland that I like to think of as my Other living room: the main floor lobby in the Ace Hotel on Stark Street. If you could see it, you would want it to be your Other living room, too. Here's why:
- It is lined with cushy, olive green couches and has funky salvage-y pieces scattered around just so.
- It has a floor-to-ceiling bookshelf filled with books.
- It has a Photo Booth. Who doesn't like a Photo Booth?
- It has a door that opens into Stumptown Coffee, which might be the best coffee on the planet. The espresso is smooth and creamy, rich and dark without a hint of bitterness.
- Stumptown Coffee sells a cookie that might be the best cookie on the planet. When I wrote that I wasn't that interested in food these days, I meant to write "... with the exception of the chewy dark chocolate cookie at Stumptown in Portland, Oregon." This cookie has a crackly top and a chocolatey, walnut-studded interior that resolves into ooey-chewy goodness inside your mouth. Is it worth booking a trip to Portland for? Oooh, yeah.
This is the lobby-living room inside the Ace Hotel:
This is the counter at Stumptown, above which swirl the aromas of roasted espresso beans and smoky dark chocolate and pine needles:
Okay , it doesn't smell like pine needles. But this is Portland, land of pine & fir trees, and doesn't it sound poetic?
This is my gorgeous baby nephew's first outing to the Ace Hotel:
Babies are like catnip. Everybody wants to look at the baby, coo at the baby, exclaim over how beautiful the baby is. If you're ever feeling lonesome, just borrow somebody's baby and take it to a public place for an hour or two; you won't be lonely for long.
This is the first time the baby has been inside a photo booth with his rock 'n roll mama:
He was not at all fond of the bright flashing light inside the booth, but we promised him that he wouldn't have to see another photo booth for at least a few weeks.
I did not offer him a bite of the cookie, and therefore he did not get to experience its chocolatey bliss.
But someday - oh, someday - he will.