I Live Here: Amy Cissell

Name & Age: Amy Cissell, 34

Hometown: various & sundry small towns in South Dakota

Current Neighborhood: St. Johns

How do you pay the rent and what is your slash? I am a Grant Administrator at OHSU/grad student/domestic badass (gardener, cheesemaker, home brewer, bread baker, canner of delicious food items, and aspiring cake decorator extraordinaire)

What do you create? I create delicious foodstuffs, wonderful growing things, and (I hope) a great environment in my home for people to have fun & learn about domestic bad-assery

How did you land in Portland? My husband, whom I met in LA (and who is an Atlanta native), had gone to grad school in Seattle. After a few years in LA, he was ready to move back. There was no way I was agreeing to move that far north, so he brought me to Portland to see if I would be willing to move here. We came on a long September weekend, and it couldn’t have been more perfect. Great weather, great temperatures, blue skies, Mt. Hood, friendly people, and really, really good beer. We went back to LA, I started to cultivate a taste for coffee, and less than a year later, we were here!

What is the last book you read? This will likely change between when I’m writing & when this is published, but on my bed stand right now, I have “Machine of Death: A Collection of Stories about People Who Know How They Will Die,” by Ryan North (for my book club) and “God Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything,” by Christopher Hitchens.

Name your favorite tattoo. I love tattoos – I have only three right now, but plans for LOTS more. My favorite is my pirate/poet on my forearm (quills instead of swords, the pen is mightier & all that), but I do love my gazelle, too.

What was the last thing you ate at a food cart? Ham & Havarti waffle from Flavourspot.

Oregonian, Willamette Week, or Mercury? Oregonian (online) usually, although I’ll pick up anything at a coffee shop.

What is your favorite bridge and why? St. Johns – it’s just beautiful, and I love driving across towards Forest Park & seeing the trees in their various states – autumn, frosty in winter, or variegated greens in spring & summer.

Stumptown Coffee or _________? I love coffee, but as long as it’s not Folgers or Starbucks, I’ll drink anything. (Hazelnut latte, please!) Beer, however, is another case. I’m definitely more of a snob with beer!

Coast or Mountains? Both! I love hiking, camping & trail running, but am not as much a fan of snow & cold. I do, however, love a stormy winter sea.

Only in Portland moment? So many of these involve crazy things I’ve seen bicyclists do – from the very, very tall bike that I see periodically in my neighborhood (how does that guy get on that thing?), to the bike I saw towing the canoe down Willamette Blvd., to the naked bike ride that surprised me by riding by last summer when I was enjoying a sunny happy hour at Vendetta with some girlfriends.  Most of those are observational, though. My personal “only in Portland” experience would have to be getting into a lively discussion with a stranger on MAX regarding best local beer. I don’t even remember how it started and what the outcome was, but it was pretty awesome. (His trump card: he had a beer tattoo…)

A favorite local business? I love Alisha Louise jewelry design, as well as theSt. Johns Cinema, Anna Bannanas (in St. Johns, of course), most of the breweries, and, well, just about everything!

Are you a car person or a bike person? Definitely a car person. I have bikes, and I will ride them occasionally (and even commute), but I’m much more likely to be found commuting on the bus & recreating on my own two feet (love my trail runs).

If you could change one thing about Portland, what would it be? I desperately need more really good Mexican restaurants. There are definitely places to grab a few good tacos (love you, food carts!), but I want the restaurant. Chips & salsa, cerveza, table service, the whole she-bang. AND – it needs to be good. And, ideally, in St. Johns, of course.

And finally, where can we find you on the web?

http://www.gazellesoncrack.com & soon at http://www.domesticbadass.com

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