11.06.2007

Seven Days of Portland Life


Damn you, Dad.

You see, my father was in town last week for seven days, and he wore us ragged. I haven't consumed so much alcohol, eaten such a quantity of rich food, and stayed so busy in what seems like over a year...

In the few days since he went back to his home town of Crescent City (a sleepy ocean-side community in Northern Cali), I've mostly lain about in my pj's avoiding contact with the outside world, fasting to lose the 15 lbs. I gained, and nursing a persistent hangover.

Now I don't want to spoil his blog (coming soon, hopefully) detailing our adventures too much, but I thought I'd paint some broad brushstrokes, toss in a few tidbits of interesting trivia/observations that he may miss, and leave the meat of the story to his forthcoming, sure-to-be epic tale.

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Where to begin...I've got this Ticketmaster pouch stuffed to the gills with napkin scraps, bar receipts, ticket stubs, sticky-notes, and Djarum box inserts, all hurriedly scribbled upon with notes from the week Dad was in the Stump. This isn't looking pretty...

Thursday
-Dad rolls in around midnight:30, we share a few bottles of Mac's Amber Ale, shoot the shit, and hit the hay fairly early in comparison to all nights from here on out...

Friday

-No trip to Portland is complete without rolling to Freddy's (Fred Meyer for all you ignoramuses), stocking up on beer and food, the latter item being completely unnecessary, as we ate out nearly every meal.

-Did the Powell's City of Books thing, another mandatory stop. Dad purchased every Umberto Eco book written and spent the next week wondering what the fuck was going on in Baudolino. I picked up Michael Munk's The Portland Red Guide, J. Maarten Troost's The Sex Lives of Cannibals, and Jonathan Lethem's Men and Cartoons, and Orson Scott Card's The Crystal City (Jeff told you I'm a nerd like that).

-Grubbed on Reuben sandwiches, matzah ball soup, and phosphates at Kornblatt's Delicatessen.

-Happily got lost driving around Portland's many great North and Northeast neighborhoods.

-Stopped off at an Ethiopian market on MLK, and almost purchased a 6 lb. bag of injera (their culture's staple food, made from teff flour).

-Very much enjoyed the happy hour at Cafe Wonder (stiff $2 well-drinks, killer fucking fries).
-Assaulted mounds of southern food at Russell Street Bar-B-Que...Beef brisket w/Classic Virginia Sauce (heavenly, perfectly cooked and seasoned), corn bread (a bit too dry), collard greens (come on guys, it just doesn't work without the meat!), and some of the best mac'n'cheese I've ever devoured.

-Attended the Portland Mercury's annual talent show, Pizzazz, at the Wonder Ballroom. I'll leave it to Pops to report more on this. Suffice to say that City Commissioner Randy Leonard was judging folk's talent (or lack thereof), and the word "Scrabble Bag" was uttered by the host, Wm. Steven Humphrey, in reference to a man's scrotum. Obviously, this quickly became the word of the week.

Saturday

-Rode our bikes down to Rose's for lunch. A better Reuben than Kornblatt's down the street, in my opinion. I also spotted former-Mayor Vera Katz enjoying a meal at the table next to us, dressed incognito with a long-billed gardener's hat pulled down low upon her brow. Wow, she's so tiny...I just wanted to reach out and crush her between my forefinger and thumb.
-Burned off our recent acquisition of an ungodly amount of calories by biking down to the South Waterfront development, then back home along the Eastbank Esplanade (which is named for Vera Katz).

-Tried very hard to order almost everything on the menu at La Terrazza to take advantage of a coupon Dad brought with him, and ended up leaving disturbingly stuffed, a bit soused from the wine, and not very happy with the fact that they advertised freshly-made limonata, but got caught pouring it from a San Pelligrino bottle. Busted, dudes.

-Watched the classic Tarantino/Rodriguez collaboration, From Dusk Till Dawn, at the Laurelhurst, accompanied by a pitcher of Pabst. Such a great movie, but seriously, Sex Machine is the worst character to ever appear on the silver screen. And that's what makes him awesome.

-Hit the bottle hard on a whirlwind tour of some of my favorite bars downtown...

Shanghai Tunnel: If vampires are real, this is where their hipsters hang out.

Kells' cigar basement: Thank you, Mr. Security Guard, for sneaking us in the back door knowing full-well that a $9 cover-charge makes about as much sense as someone giving G. W. Bush his high school diploma.

Someday Lounge: We didn't actually go in here today, but it just reminded me of a time that Jeff and I saw Pigeon John perform here. That dude is a crazy mix of Freddie Kruger and Andre Nickatina. Trust me.

Backspace: Popped our heads in to show Dad this coffee bar/music venue/World of Warcraft geek network/art gallery/tree house.

Ground Kontrol: Tallboys of PBR and TMNT. Unfuckwittable.

Ringlers Annex Cellar Bar: A French Resistance underground honeycomb hideout.

Sunday

-Kes, Dad and I went up to Amboy, WA, grabbed Jeff, then journeyed to the Ape Cave in the heart of Bigfoot country. I'll let Dad fill in the details, but needless to say, there were frog pikas in the darkest depths of the lava tube (one of the longest in North America), my Dad's fart seepage is still killing lost spelunkers, and inexplicably, a sign at the entrance to the cave proclaimed the prohibition of "Butt Raping" down below. Aww, shoot.

-Recharged our cave-weary bones at Sushi Land Marinepolis, a hotbed of Sun Myung Moon cultists. Fuck it, I'll join 'em if they can keep my $1.50 tempura plates coming.
-Relaxed at home with a bottle of wine and watched the romantic comedy, Why We Fight. That affair between Ike and LBJ sure was hot and heavy...if only JFK hadn't of come between them.

Monday

-Politely nibbled nachos and chowed down on chimichangas at the neighborhood Cha! Cha! Cha!, then cradeled cups of coffee at Costello's Travel Caffe up the street.

-Met Kes at Parkrose High and attended the City of Portland Office of Transportation's open house on future Streetcar plans. Geeked out, gave a few suggestions, then stole a couple cookies and a cup 'o Joe on the way out.

-Rode our bikes to Belmont Station's Biercafe to meet Jeff for an Asian beer tasting. Over the next hour we sampled several Indian (Golden Eagle, Haywards 5000, Krait), Chinese (Yanjing), and Laotian (BeerLao) brews, all of which were quite tasty, featuring qualities not usually found in our domestics, with flavors of roasted banana, smoky ash, vanilla malt, and peat bog. The BeerLao was a personal favorite, invoking such varietals as Old English and St. Ides.

-Got our cowboy on at the Laurelhurst, with the so-so 3:10 to Yuma. My friend Matt S. is a major supporting actor, but unfortunately couldn't save this film.

-Enjoyed another drink in the cigar basement at Kells, then headed up to the 30th floor of Big Pink, and dove into the late night happy hour (10pm-close) at the Portland City Grill, ordering 9 appetizers and enough drinks to convince me to steal a lint-roller (what!? why!?) out of the men's bathroom, which I also somehow misplaced on the way home.

Tuesday

-Nursed our hangovers at Costello's once more, lounging about at the house until the evening when we set sail for the Jolly Roger to catch the Blazers' game and watch flies breed. We heart you Sergio (our team's resident gypsy wizard), even if Coach doesn't.

-Joined the Ghosting Tour lead by Portland Underground Tours, a real stinker that I'm sure Dad will fill you all in on. Ron Jeremy was our tour guide, a couple of gypsy girls shanghaied us, and Jeff and I discovered an old opium den while sneaking away from the rest of the group.

Tuesday

-Got up relatively early (1pm) and went on a spiritual journey to the Bagby Hot Springs, located in Yarlsburg, Kentucky (not really, but I don't want to so easily give away it's location...you'll have to do the research yourself if you want to find it). Easily one of the coolest things I've done since moving up to Oregon. Once again, I'll let Dad provide the details on this magical spot. It was featured prominently in last year's Old Joy.

-Smoked a bit of puff on the porch, developed a major craving for ribs, got our hopes dashed when Yam Yam's (made famous by a Mac Dre lyric on local rapper-gone-bad Cool Nutz' Verbal Porn album) was closed due to something called "vacation" and finally landed back at the Russell Street Bar-B-Que.

-Satiated our alchoholic jitters at my favorite dive bar, Lucky's (what Gale's is to Petaluma, Lucky's is to Portland), attempted to drink booze with Johnny Cash at Esparza's (closed...apparently cowboys can't stay up past sunset), and finally settled in for the hard shit at Beulahland, another favorite watering hole.

-Ended the evening, and the adventure, for Dad left early the following morning, with the greatest film ever created, Shaun of the Dead. Oy, prick! Thanks, babe. It's not hip hop, it's electro. Cockacidal maniac. I'm sorry, Shaun. OK, but dogs CAN look up.

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This is how we roll in the 5-0-3. The couch is always waiting.




2 comments:

luckygreen said...

Although bad for the liver, we need to get your dad up here more often. Oddly enough, he keeps us young.

Also, I'm pretty certain we can find our way back to that opium den. The question is, when?

DON DADA said...

If you guys weren't such pussys and had some balls in your scrabble bags we could have done twice the things, drank and ate twice as much. There are three things in life, work,fun and sleep. You can only do two of these so I will sleep when I die. Olde also fails to acknowledge that after he finally gave up the ghost and went to bed in his drunken stupor I returned to the quiet darkness of the Portland streets returning only early enough to my casket to avoid the earliest rays of sunlight. Details to follow in: Tubes, Tunnels and Other Dark Holes of Portland