Meet Ayni Raimondi

12 Aug

Meet my dear friend and fellow adventurer Ms. Ayni Raimondi:

Where are you from and why did you move to Portland?
I’m from Fairfield, IA – homeland of cornfields and the Transcendental Meditation movement (I’m what you would call a Ru). I moved to Portland from Bali for graduate school. And because its the raddest small town city I know.

What’s your hood and favorite neighborhood bar?
I think I now technically live in North Portland but I rep NE pretty hard. I always end up at The Know – addicted to Simpson’s pinball (thanks heather), cheap whiskey and my favorite boys in town live directly behind it. Bye and Bye also has the nicest bartenders, dominoes behind the counter, and really good black eyed peas. Plus, that’s sort of where we fell in backgammon playing friendship love isn’t it?

And your cocktail of choice?
girl… you know its whiskey. rocks. I really dig the ‘North Williams’ at Bye and Bye when I want something bubbly and the Sweet Tea whiskey cocktail at Savoy is delicious.

Who’s your favorite local band right now and where would you most like to see them?
The ladies in Purple Rhinestone Eagle are so good. So good. I’d see them anywhere – usually find them in the basement of a house show. I did go to a temporary venue the first week I moved here at some outdoor location in the hills just across the St John’s bridge that was pretty amazing – amplified instruments and loud music coming from a built out dirt stage under stars and trees and perfect portland fall. I’d like to go there again.

Dream date, tell me: date, activity and meal. Who, what and where?

Seriously? I’m not much of a romantic, and definitely don’t dream about dates so Mia Nolting is going to ask me an alternative question now:

MN: If you and I were stranded on a deserted island together what would we make for our first meal? who would gather the vegetables and who would build the fire?

AR: Interesting question Mia. I think what we’d want to do is catch a big fish and eat it grilled with chili’s and lime and you’d want corn tortillas.  In reality I think you’d run around talking about how cute all the fruit was, while I would confidently talk about starting a fire (while actually going swimming). Then when you got back from collecting and showing me how darling your finds were, you’d make the fire too (with my help and encouragement of course). That would be really fun. And then I’d dedicate this song to you.

The best date I’ve been on in Portland was to DOC. Amazing Italian wines and excellently prepared locally sourced food. I think we actually ate a rabbit.

Best cup of joe?
I think Mindy at The Red E pulls the best shots in town – the Coava single origin coffees they carry are killer. Matt Mathis at Extracto makes my favorite cappuccino – and they have the most beautiful machine at their Killingsworth location. There’s so much good coffee in this town.

Seems like you know just about everyone, any particular Portlander that you would like to meet?
I don’t know everyone, I just really like talking to strangers!

I’d really love to meet Neal Keny Guyer the CEO of Mercy Corps. They are doing some of the best and most interesting work in the world and I’d love to get insight into his ability to multitask and enact change on such a grand scale.

Favorite Portland smell?

The air up on Hood or riding past peninsula park at night in the summer. Nick Dude also introduced me to the smell of purple this past winter (no not that kind of purple). Its really winter daphne but when you smell it I think you get a strong sense of the color for sure. Ok now I’m talking about smelling the color purple – geeeeeze.

Why did you want to start
I get stoked about things and then I want to share them. Its in my nature I think. Plus, meeting you last summer has been a huge part of creating my Portland happiness and I think we both love this town in a similar way. Working with the project Free Life Center was a great experience for me, of how supportive this community is of each other. All of my friends are creating, making and/or a part of such amazing projects, music, art, food, good times, good causes, and adventures it makes my heart swell. I’m excited to have a platform to rep all the rad shit going on in this town, and to do that with you.

What local artist would you like to see on your wall?
Storm Tharp. I love his work and his pieces in the Whitney Biennial were my jam. But on a more affordable tip, I’ve acquired work from Mark Warren Jacques, Mia Nolting and Rebecca Artemisa Urias in the past few months. Im still daydreaming about a painting by Julianna Bright in Fontanelle‘s closing show.


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