We have had two exciting new events in the last few weeks: Earth Hour blind food tasting and our inaugural First Thursday Art Opening.
Earth Hour is a global event created by the World Wildlife Fund to raise awareness about energy consumption and global warming. Each year, citizens in communities around the world participate in Earth Hour by turning off all non-essential lights and electronics for at least one hour. From the Eiffel Tower to the streets of Beijing, and everywhere in between, lights went out and buildings went dark; a simple act with powerful results.
This year, Earth Hour took place on March 23rd from 8:30-9:30 local time. Following the “darkness” theme, the hostel decided to host a blindfolded food and beer tasting event. With the help of a few volunteers, we chose ten ingredients for the blind tasting competition, and a local brewer brought three different styles of home-brew to sample. The ten foods were put in closed containers and set out in the main kitchen. As the lights went out, we lit candles and passed out blindfolds. In pairs, guests approached the table and were handed each of the ten foods, one by one, with a toothpick. After each taste, they wrote down a guess on their individual answer sheet. Those who guessed at leaset 8/10 correctly won a Heart In Oregon sticker, and everyone who participated got a “hostels are cool!” sticker. The kitchen was packed with guests eager to give it a shot! Food #6 was the real curveball (dried dates) and elicited a variety of reactions from “EWW” to “I know this taste, but what is it???” to “American food is weird…”. Most people guessed #3 and #8 correctly: sunflower seeds and kiwi. Other ingredients included radish, edamame, feta cheese, green olives, dried mango, and chocolate-covered raisins.
Thanks to all the volunteers who helped but the event together and to all the guests who participated so enthusiastically! It was definitely a hit, and we’re looking forward to doing it again next year!
First Thursday is a monthly art walk that takes place in Portland’s Pearl District. Galleries stay open late to display their newest exhibits and (if you’re lucky) offer complimentary beverages and light snacks. The featured artist is often available to talk about his or her work and answer questions.
This month, the hostel hosted its inaugural First Thursday Art Opening, featuring bright, vivid paintings of Portland by local artist Michael Feliz.
The First Thursday event was a huge success with between 80 to 100 attendees between 6 and 9 pm. Feliz was able to present his work to different groups that came through, and Jim and Britta (the hostel co-founders) were there to answer questions about the hostel and give tours. Wine and light snacks were available, as well as postcards of the paintings. Special thanks to Michael, his family, Jim and Britta for putting it all together!
Feliz’s work will be on display until August 2013. First Thursday receptions will be held at the Northwest Portland International Hostel in April, August, and December.