Monday, August 31, 2009

Side Trip to San Francisco: The Bay

Golden Gate Bridge

Oakland - San Francisco Bridge (Bay Bridge)

San Francisco Bay

Sunday, August 30, 2009

Side Trip to San Francisco: Ferry Building

"The San Francisco Ferry Building is a terminal for ferries that travel across the San Francisco Bay and a shopping center located on The Embarcadero in San Francisco, California. On top of the building is a large clock tower, which can be seen from Market Street, a main thoroughfare of the city.

The present structure of the Ferry Building in San Francisco is designed by local San Francisco architect A. Page Brown and opened in 1898. Until the completion of the Bay Bridge and Golden Gate Bridge in the 1930s it was the second busiest transit terminal in the world."

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Columbia River

Sorry for a couple of days of absence. I was in San Francisco Bay Area visiting cities of Oakland, San Francisco, Sausalito, and Berkeley. I will post some photos of my trip to California soon.

This is a photo I took from the top of the Multnomah Fall a few days before my trip to California. Columbia river is really big. It's the border line of Oregon and Washington.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Timberline Lodge & Mount Hood

Mount Hood

Timberline Lodge
(I took this photo in June 2009. It was much colder that day)

We were lucky that my mom's visit coincided with a Mount Hood trip held by the PSU international students office. It was a wonderful trip. Twenty or more PSU students, I and my mom got into two vans and headed to the Timberline Lodge for a hike to the top of Oregon's tallest mountain, Mount Hood. It was a very steep hike about one and a half mile. At first, everyone was worried if my mom can make it. We were told we can come back wherever we thought that's enough but mom amazingly made it. We all were almost on the top of Oregon's tallest mountain. The first photo in the bottom shows the parking lot of the Timberline Lodge where we parked the vans and started the hike. You can see the Mount Hood. There were still some snow on the mountain in the middle of summer. I took the second photo when we were in the middle of the hike. You can see the lift and the Trillium Lake along with a beautiful view of the Cascade Range. I can't believe we were on top of the mountain which I always looked at it from my window every clear morning when I was living in the dorm. See this post.

Mount Hood from the Timberline Lodge parking area

A view of the Cascade Range from the Mount Hood

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Friday, August 21, 2009


Tonight is Friday night. Well, I'm not a fan of going to bars and clubs and spend time (actually waste time in my opinion) for a whole night getting drunk or dancing among some full-drunk or half-drunk people. Instead I'm updating my blog now, visiting some other blogs, reading some articles online and getting ready to go to bed after a while. Some people go to such places to make friends or even meet potential boyfriends or girlfriends. I don't think if a bar/club is a right place to do that. I personally prefer to meet a girl in school or at work or in an event or somewhere like this rather than a club. I've only been to such places three times in my life. The first time, I was curious to see what's going on there and I was in Cyprus. The second and third time, it was a friend's birthday party in the US. Yeah I know, people have different preferences. Have a good friday night everyone.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Pittock Mansion

"The Pittock Mansion was home to Portland pioneers Henry and Georgiana Pittock from 1914 to 1919. During the late 1800s and the early 1900s, their lives and work paralleled the growth of Portland from a small Northwest town site to a thriving city with a quarter million population. With its eclectic architectural design and richly decorated interior, including family artifacts, the Pittock Mansion stands today as a living memorial of this family’s contributions to the blossoming of Portland and its people.

English-born Henry Lewis Pittock journeyed on a wagon train from Pennsylvania to Oregon in 1853 where, at the young age of 19, and in his own words, “barefoot and penniless,” he began working for Thomas Jefferson Dryer’s Weekly Oregonian newspaper. In 1860, at the age of 26, he married 15-year-old Georgiana Martin Burton of Missouri. Six years prior, Georgiana had crossed the plains from Keokuk, Iowa to Oregon Territory with her parents. Georgiana’s father E.M. Burton was a flour mill owner and one of early Portland’s well known building contractors.

They began planning and designing their new home in 1909. The mansion was completed in 1914, replete with stunningly progressive features including a central vacuum system, intercoms, and indirect lighting. The house also creatively incorporated Turkish, English, and French designs. In keeping with their loyalty to their home state, the Pittocks hired Oregon craftsmen and artisans, and used Northwest materials to build the house. The final estate included the mansion, a three-car garage, a greenhouse, and the Italianate gate lodge servants’ residence, all situated on 46 acres of land almost 1,000 feet above downtown Portland."

For more information you may like to visit

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Monday, August 17, 2009

Oregon Zoo II: Chimpanzee

I forgot what this animal was called? He is a different kind of chimpanzee and has a specific name because of his white beard and yellow-red forehead.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

Oregon Zoo I: Polar Bear

I will post a series of photos of the Oregon Zoo in next few days.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Friday, August 14, 2009

The Holocaust Memorial of Oregon

If you remember, I had posted some photos of the Holocaust Memorial of Oregon a couple of months ago. A few days ago, I and mom went to visit the memorial. She didn't know much about the Holocaust. She had just heard about it but she didn't know when and where it happened. I told her about the world war and the general story of the Holocaust and Jews immigration to Palestine during and after the world war. "The Holocaust is rarely mentioned in state media in Iran, school textbooks don't discuss it and Iranians have little information about it." I remember two years ago, the state TV had an amazing series titled "Zero Degree Turn" which was "clearly sympathetic to the Jews' plight during World War II." Click on the above link to read the article if you're interested. You may also like to have a look at this blog post written by a student in Portland from Saudi Arabia which is about answering four questions about Israel.

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Mom, Welcome to Portland!

On Monday, August 10, my mom arrived Portland for one month visit. It's exciting for both of us after almost a year of being far apart physically (but of course not mentally). Yes, she made it finally and now we are enjoying being together. Nothing is as memorable and enjoyable as feeling your mom's warm hugs and kisses.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Portland Bridge Pedal 2009

""Perfectly Portland" is what The Oregonian called Providence Bridge Pedal. This annual tradition is a community celebration of Portland, the Willamette River bridges and bicycling. It is your one opportunity each year to bicycle across Portland’s bridges from the Sellwood to the St. Johns, including the top decks of the Marquam and Fremont bridges."

It was a nice ride and a long one as well. We rode about 38 miles in 4 hours. We visited 8 of the bridges:
  • Hawthorne
  • Ross Island
  • Marquam (the third photo)
  • Burnside
  • Broadway
  • Fremont (the second photo)
  • St. Johns (the first photo)
  • Broadway
Marquam bridge, which is the highest bridge in Portland, is actually part of the I-5 freeway. It was interesting that they closed an interstate freeway for this event for like 2 hours. The last photo was taken when I was on the Marquam bridge. A pretty view of Portland.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Shaky Mirror of Water

This is a real photo without any photoshopping. It looks more like a blurry oil painting.

Monday, August 3, 2009

A Quick Trip to Mashhad, Iran


This is a shot of two of the minaretes of the holy shrine in Mashhad, Iran.


This one is a zoomed-in shot of inside the shrine in Mashhad.

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Iranian Festival

Today there was an Iranian Festival in Portland. It was good and happy. I made some Iranian friends, had some Iranian food and enjoyed listening to some Iranian music and seeing Iranian dance. It was all Iranian today. The first photo shows just a sign of the festival. The second photo shows Persian drawings of a traditional Persian girl and the third photo shows some Baghlava (Baklava.) Baklava is more known as a Turkish pastry. However we have our own Baklava in Iran too. Before coming to the US, I didn't know that Turkish and Arabs also have Baklava. By the way, it's so sweet and yummy!

Robert L. Bertini

In each person's life, there may be a few people who make a big difference; who impress the way we live and think and basically change the whole picture of our life. This post is dedicated to a person who has influenced my life a lot. He is Robert L. Bertini. I knew of him when I was 20 and back at home in Iran. I was surfing the net and searching for positions in graduate schools around the world that I saw a picture of this guy and learned a little about him through his web page. I was amazed. He had a resume of more than 50 pages. I emailed him and asked him about the program they have to know more. The first email I got from him was bright and hopeful. He gave me a sort of self-confidence for the way I was about to take the first setps toward it.

Monday, January 15, 2007 at 4:19 PM

Dear Meead: thanks for your note--we would be glad to receive your application for fall 08, the best thing to do to trigger our interest is to actually apply for the MSCE. We do expect to have graduate research assistantships in the areas you are interested. I hope this helps. Thanks and best regards,
Dr. Bertini

I still have his first email in my inbox and I will keep it forever. Since then I've had near a thousand emails from him and I've kept all of them. In each of his emails, I can see a short lesson, a hint, or an advice. In my Persian culture, two people deserve hand kissing. The first one are parents and the second one are teachers. He is going to leave Portland because of some good reasons. I'm happy for him. Right now I remember two of his valuable sentences that he has told me:
  • Treat everyone the same.
  • Be humble and honest both in your life and in your research and writtings.
He will be in my heart as a perfect teacher, a perfect advisor, and as a perfect man. God bless him and save him throughout his whole life. I hope I will meet him again and again.