What’s the Scoop?

What's the Scoop?, North Portland, Oregon

When I was little, my dad had a BetaMax camera that he used for gathering family memories. He had a signature style — narrating from behind the camera, asking his kids lots of questions in order to illicit the most adorable responses and actions, and having long, drawn-out goodbyes at the end of each segment.

A few years ago, for Christmas, we had all the old BetaMax tapes updated and put on DVDs as a surprise for my mom. She loved them, and we sat around for hours that Christmas reliving all the hilarious (and sometimes monotonous) daily goings-on of the Gray household in the 1980s.

In one particularly cute interchange between my dad and I, I sit in just a diaper in an oversized high chair, hair in a very fashion-forward mullet style. My dad cues me with a call-and-response song:

Do you like ice cream? I said:

Yes, I do!

Do you love ice cream? I said:

Yes, I do!

Would you like some? I said:

Yes, I would!

Cause it’s good, good, good.

What's the Scoop?, North Portland, Oregon

Clearly my childhood was filled with lots of this frozen treat. It’s a good thing since I live in a city that values their ice cream so much. I recently found a new and absolutely delicious spot on N. Williams Ave. — What’s the Scoop? Their signature flavor is the brown butter almond brittle (every bit as delicious as it sounds). Pair it with a housemade, fresh-off-the-press “fortune cookie” cone and you’ve got a winning pair.

What's the Scoop?, North Portland, Oregon

Run, don’t walk, to What’s the Scoop?, located at 3540 N. Williams Ave. Follow them on Twitter for more of the sweet stuff.

ink + peat

ink + peat, North Portland, Oregon

Summertime, and we were carefree! No school, no obligations. That summer, the one between 6th and 7th grade, was one of total relaxation. We laid by the pool and we ate ice cream and otherwise just relished the hot weather and lack of schedule.

I also had a great idea that summer — why not show everyone how fun I was by lightening up my hair a bit? My mom wouldn’t let me dye it, but she did buy me a bottle of Sun-in and let me  go to town. I sprayed a light shimmer across my hair that first day. Disappointed by the lack of results, I sprayed in more the second day. By the third, I was practically soaking my hair in it. Please tell me I was not the only kid who tried this.

ink + peat, North Portland, Oregon

By the end of the week, I was blonde. Bleach blonde. I thought it was awesome, and I continued to show my damaged blonde hair around the pool until August rolled around. I’d probably still think that I looked pretty awesome, if I hadn’t been forced to attend school picture day that year. My ensemble consisted of: a lilac T-shirt which made me look more than a little jaundiced, my bleach blonde summer experiment (full-bodied from all that sun damage), the eyebrows I inherited from my dad that hadn’t undergone any tweezing yet in my life and a full set of braces with pink rubberbands stretched across them.

When I got the photos back, I was horrified. By then, I had roots. Dark brown roots. But the rules hadn’t changed — I still wasn’t allowed to dye my hair — so I was stuck with the growout for the next 8 months.

ink + peat, North Portland, Oregon

My point is, I wasn’t always what you’d call put together. But I did have great ambitions. I think I keep it together most of the time now, but when I step into a place like ink + peat (a local shop that seriously has it together) I wish I could be cooler. The good thing is, they let you hang out and take cues from their stylish wares, which are always impeccably chosen and make a perfect gift — to someone else or to yourself.

ink + peat, North Portland, Oregon

ink + peat is at 3808 N. Williams Ave. It’s always impeccable — as is their home decor blog, housemartin.

Lodekka

Lodekka, North Portland, Oregon

I went to a lot of church camp while I was growing up, and I have to come clean — my favorite part of church camp was the boys. I was what Hall & Oates might have affectionately called a Maneater.

So imagine my delight when we loaded up the bus to head to the coast for a long weekend in sixth grade — they called it Winter Beach Camp — and my friend from school had brought his best friend for the weekend. A new one that I hadn’t met! Excellent.

As another song goes (well, kinda), he walked out of my dreams and into that yellow school bus. He was the most beautiful thing I’d ever seen. And I had a two-hour bus ride to convince him that I was the girl of his dreams, too. I used my time well, trapping him in his seat and forcing him to talk to me. I somehow (coercively and aggressively, I’m sure) convinced him by the time we arrived at camp that we were going out. I disembarked the bus optimistic for my blossoming relationship, ready to tell all my friends and sure we’d be together forever.

Lodekka, North Portland, Oregon

The magic of that bus ride dissipated, of course, when he denied it all the next morning. He had never agreed to go out with me, he said. Could we just be friends?

That stung a little, but I didn’t give up. Everywhere he showed up that weekend, I was coincidentally stationed nearby — one of the stealth moves of a sixth-grade Maneater. We talked and laughed and had fun, but he wasn’t interested. He never came back to another of our church camps after that.

A full decade later, I saw him at a distance of 20 feet at a concert at the Gorge and couldn’t bring myself to say hello because I was so embarrassed. But for the record, he was still dashingly handsome.

Lodekka, North Portland, Oregon

It may not last forever, but magic can happen aboard a bus. Time stops. You’re in a bubble. Also true at Lodekka, an ingenious little dress and accessories shop in North Portland on an old double-decker bus named Guinevere. They carry “everything a girl needs to put together a smashing outfit” and shopping in a bus can turn a regular experience into a special one. All the inventory is thrifted by master thrifter, musician and owner Erin, who keeps the finds fresh and new.

Lodekka, North Portland, Oregon

Lodekka is a double decker bus filled with fashion, parked in the 3900 block of N. Williams Avenue between Lompoc’s Sidebar and Hopworks Bike Bar. Check out her blog and Twitter for more info.