Holding it Down in the Stump

My brother Dan (aka MC Roofless, one half of the world-renowned Weapons of Mic Destruction) rolled through the City of Roses a few weeks back, fresh off a trip to Seattletown, fiance Marie and friend Colleen in tow. It was Marie's first time in the Stump, so we had to hit the streets hard, embarking on a non-stop whirlwind tour of all the city has to offer...after thinking of all the shit we did and jotting down some infamous "Old's Notes" (keep an eye out for scanned copies in a future blog post), I realized only a literary genius or someone with untold hours of leisure time could squeeze a detailed and descriptive narrative out of this mess of an activity list. Instead, I'll simply reproduce the list below, in full, and add a few colorful bits of commentary wherever I deem necessary...

Their week in Bridgetown in no particular chronological order:

-Hotel Monaco...Colleen works for this chain of hotels and was able to put Dan and Marie up for mere pennies. Though not much time was spent here, we did appreciate the French/Arabic/Northwest vibe and the free wine/beer/martini/massage/canvas painting-filled happy hour. The owner of Voodoo Doughnuts was also on hand, setting up shop next to the booze, handing out freebies (There is a God!). Of course, we both grabbed a Bacon Maple bar, the equivalent of a complete breakfast in each bite. "I recommend a BM a day," he spake. We concur, good friend.

-Chin Yen...the best goddamn Chinese food in Portland. But really, the green tea is extra? Seriously? That's like paying for hot sauce at a taqueria; it just isn't done.

-Stumptown Coffee..."and on the eighth morning, the Lord figured he'd like the most delicious cup o' joe, and he created Stumptown." Genesis 1:29.

-Costello's Travel Cafe...euro vibe, good coffee, good enough.

-Kes and I found out we're having a boy. We've named him Jasper. He already hates us for it. Hey, it's better than Sue.

-Staccatto Gelatto...the tasty flavors of ice cream's cousin sure hit the spot on a very warm day, one of four we're likely to have all year.

-Columbia Gorge...we made a day out of this, motoring up into the hills on the old Colombia River Highway, stopping at the Crown Point overlook, Latourell (my personal favorite), Upper Horsetail and Multnomah Falls (second tallest in the States). We attempted to get arrested at the Bonneville Dam, and admired the whale-sized sturgeon guarding the fish hatchery.

-Stood by helplessly as Dan purchased a Bluetooth Cyborg Cochlear Implant for Marie. I now officially hate her and Dan for populating this earth with one more of those pieces of Mongoloid Machinery.

-Marinepolis Sushi Land...cheap sushi, cheap tempura, cheap sake, FREE green tea...Haaaaii!!!

-Citybikes...great bike repair/parts shop. Unfortunately, they don't sell bikes, losing out on a few hundred bucks from my wallet. Dan tried to become an apprentice mechanic, but they sneered at him to get the fuck out.

-Upper Playground...Frisco-based T-shirt shop/art gallery (did anyone see the wonderful Usugrow show?...it was off the chain-link fence). I recently purchased a mock Sesame Street shirt, that reps our local Couch (that's Cooch, for you's not knowin') Street, featuring the show's cast swigging Old E and smoking crack pipes. Got to be a role model for the baby boy, right?

-Crema...my favorite coffee joint, serving Stumptown and homemade nuggets of pure delight. The kalamata olive bread is not to be slept on.

-Pioneer Courthouse Square...checked out the Festival of Flowers. An interesting enough temporary addition to the city's living room.

-Laurelhurst Park...our very own mini-Central Park. Met up with my homie Robinson Crusoe the Raccoon. He looked so lonely, I just wanted to swim out to his island and rescue the poor little mammalian castaway.

-Kes took Dan to the Saturday Market, the Hollywood Farmer's Market, and a HOST housing fair (where we might be purchasing a house...maybe?) while I wasted away at work, taxiing monkeys around at ZooDooLand.

-Checked out the new "hydro park" in the Sabin neighborhood up the street...not worth the hike, but we were dizzy drunk and just happy to be moving. Unfortunately, our Speedo swimwear was completely unnecessary, as Raging Waters this was not. We did take a dip in the drinking fountain to cool off.

-The Italian Joint...waxed nostalgic about about our homeland while guzzling olive oil and hearty mountains of pasta. I love this place, but the prices are starting to get out of hand. Chalk it up to the rising cost of oil and food, I s'pose.

-Buffalo Exchange...bought a gently used suit for 20 bucks. No complaints.

-Multnomah County Library...discussed religion and philosophy with a trio of homeless heroin junkies while slurping Tom Kah Gai from my favorite Thai food cart. Obviously, my library is better than yours.

-Cellar Bar at Ringler's Annex...this French Resistance hideout/speakeasy is such a great place to drink McMenamin's shitty beer. At least Tony wasn't lurking about this time, smashing bathroom mirrors and acting all Armenian.

-Crystal Ballroom...I dragged the gang along to a fundraiser for music programs in Portland Public Schools. We were the only folks in the house over 18 (I'm not even going to elaborate on the irony of this). The initial acts (Typhoon, Shaky Hands, Y.A.C.H.T.) didn't win my companions over, but I managed to quell their budding rebellion and feel they enjoyed the second half of the show much better, nodding their wee little hip hop heads to the likes of State of Mind, Gray Matters, Sandpeople, and the unfuckwittable Blue Scholars. Is it just me or are these two cats the best act in the Northwest right now? Left right left/goes the pendulum...

-Powell's City of Books...this place is to bibliophiles what Mecca is to Muslims.

-Broadway Bar & Grill...I've been avoiding this place since it opened, believing it to be another yuppified den of over-priced food and drink on Broadway, and I can't say that I was far from the mark. The food was average and expensive, while the beer (organic, Old Market brew) was fairly hit or miss. However, we did order the sampler, and unsurprisingly, left the place feeling contentedly faded.

-Oregon Zoo...I was obligated to take them on a free tour of ZooDooLand. Unfortunately for Dan's-sake, there was nary a self-fellating critter to be seen. Next time, bud.

-Blue Nile...50lbs of Ethiopian food (an oxymoron right?) for $30. My kind of math. Not my kind of bowel movement, however.

-Ole Ole...best tacos in the Stump that don't come from a cart (that'd be the one on 122nd and Powell, in case you're wondering).

-Doug Fir Lounge...one of the best happy hours in the city, but a bit too hip (I'll put it this way...you'll feel guilty for not owning skinny pants and for showing up without prolific and "dangerous" neck tattoos) and much too crowded of late.

-Hollywood Burger Bar...the mother of all greasy spoons, this place has nothing but character going for it. Unfortunately, there was some gimpy children's parade and they were only doing a limited take-out menu. Next time, Dan.

-Voodoo Doughnut...hit up the SW original and the second location in NE. Same great fried dough, but not sure how their new "World HQ" is going to survive with almost no signage and very little visibility from Sandy Blvd. It was like the apocalypse when we visited. Empty school-desks in an empty room, our voices echoed in the dilapidated cavernous interior, and the only thing moving were the flies.

-Kennedy School...drank a pitcher of suds and for 3 bucks watched In Bruges, a surprisingly excellent film about midgets, dead kids, and Irish assassins. What's not to like?

-St. John's Twin Cinema...fulfilled what felt like 400 years of longing by finally witnessing a new Indiana Jones (and the Crystal Skull? Yuck.) film. Certainly ranks with the Temple of Doom in general crappiness, but this is our childhood, and damn it, we loved every second of it. Spoiler Alert: Watch for the aliens.

-Farm Cafe...the best burger in town, and it's a veggie burger. How very Portland.

-Ground Kontrol...while walking into this gamer's wet dream, we alternated between telling a British couple to "Feck off" and pissing our pants in the presence of one of the creepiest mental hospital escapees known to man. Swooping around like a bird, groaning profanities, and swinging a 12-foot rusty sword, this guy was ready to play some Qbert, but the doorman surprisingly blocked him from entering. We, on the other hand, stormed in, swilled Pabst, and beat The Simpsons on $2 worth of sweaty quarters.

-Of course, no trip to Portland is complete without a night at the Steel Bridge, where we inhaled a cheap six-pack of brewski and drifted away on the melodic tunage emanating from the infamous Boombox.

-Finally, somehow we also managed to squeeze in half a season of The Soprano's, a few hours of video games, a few test drives on my new hookah, and an awesome new art project that I'll be unveiling in a future post. Let's just say dragons and barbarians are involved.

Until next time, keep it soo fucking rell, Danny-boyo (& company, of course)...


Pork said...

Jasper will forgive you. He has such an international name going, what's not to like? Did you get to watch Carnivale yet? It is awesome.

Kesia said...

hey fans...you have to see the notes for this blog and others, because really although this post is an awsome glimps of a visit to stumptown, the notes are what are so quintessential to old's blogging! ...and really his whole life.

Anonymous said...

dude ground kontrol, some doughnuts w/ bacon and the steel bridge w/ the box and thats a recipe for an awesome time. in hind sight im so bummed i spit half my doughnut at jeff just to make a joke.


Pork said...

Nothing starts the day better than a BM....from Voodoo Donuts of course!

luckygreen said...

Ah, the bacon-maple bar/boombox/steel bridge combo. Don't forget all the beer. Aint it grand. Gib, you need to come back out here.

Max said...

Hook me up! That sounds like the most fun I could ever have.
I'll start saving to come over once I get accepted onto an MSc, and get a job with that MSc that pays enough to allow me to save some Euros (to flash about in the US).
Should be a few years. Hope those junkies are still going....
love a bit of philosophy.

Oldie said...

Pork...Carnivale was great. I almost shit my drawers, though, when learning that the last four seasons will never be completed. Uggh. Back to watching the Sopranos now.

Max...what is this MSc? Hooks us up wit the knowledge, whawhan. Anyway, the Irish are always welcome in the Stump.