A whirlwind weekend in Cannon Beach

Salish Sea, oil on canvas by Alfredo Arreguin.

“We have two missions this evening,” said my spouse. It was Saturday afternoon and the first mission started at 5 p.m., which is, in my opinion, an ideal hour to commence drinking. Even though we live in Party Central, one of my nicknames for the Coast, where people start drinking at noon or earlier, I have retained my East Coast prudishness about afternoon imbibing. A entertaining and educational beer tasting event we went to a few months ago at Haystack Gardens sponsored by Martin Hospitality and hosted by Public Coast where I drank a lot of beer at 2 p.m. made me feel naughty and guilty.

Our first mission Saturday was to head over to Fairweather House & Gallery in Seaside where the proprietor, Denise Fairweather, had assembled a party to kick off the autumn season of Saturday Art Walks. While featured artists took turns talking, I wandered about, nibbling cheese and drinking wine out of an alarmingly leaky plastic cup. The “home’ part of Fairweather is a dominant feature of the gallery showcasing a remarkable collection of useful, decorative, artisanal items to buy for yourself and others. I could easily envision spooning up my morning yogurt from one of those handmade bowls. A very luxe silvery candlestick would look good on my holiday mantel.

The next stop was Imprint Gallery in Cannon Beach where there was another party honoring artists Alfredo Arreguin and Yuji Hiratsuka. A limited edition print (there are just 15) called “Brico,” by Hiratsuka caught my husband’s eye. It depicts two young women talking. “They look really happy, truly unadulterated happy,” he said. “So carefree and full of life.”

The wine was served in real glasses at Imprint, so I accepted a glass and had a look around. I fell in love with a Maggie Taylor surreal image called “The Waiting Game,” of a woman with a fish on her head. “This is quite marvelous,” I said to a Gearhart friend we had in tow. I’ve been introducing her to my favorite spots in Cannon Beach, including Sea Level Bakery and Coffee. “The art here is as good as anything you’d see in a Manhattan gallery,” I said. “And here we are in Cannon Beach. Isn’t that lovely?”

Feeling peckish, we took a chance getting into Harding Trading Co. in north Cannon Beach. They don’t take reservations, alas. “This is our third time trying to get in,” I said to our friend. “Perhaps you are our lucky charm.” It turned out to be true and we got a table. We had a delicious and fun dinner that included a richly intoxicating fish bisque, Caesar salad, paté with cornichons, halibut with puréed peas (“Radical,” my husband called them), and my own personal favorite, mushroom tart. And of course there was wine. Since there were three of us, we got a bottle. Despite the fact I’d imbibed at both galleries, I had a glass-and-a-half of a superb pinot noir. As I said, I wasn’t driving.


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