Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Weekend Hotlist

Portland Erotic Ball

On Halloween, join the cool kids at the Crystal Ballroom for the biggest, best, erotic themed party in the Northwest. The evening includes performances by Pepe & the Bottle Blondes, Broken Soviet and the March Forth Marching Band, as well as a burlesque show by The Rose City Sirens, and fetish demonstrations by the Lady Alycyn. Ooh la la! This gig is a "costume mandatory event" (which means they won't let you in if you show up in your own tight jeans and hoodie and say you're dressed as a "hipster"). If your costume is really cool, you might even win some cash. In fact, PDX Magazine will be helping judge the costume contest where winners will receive $5,000 in cash and prizes. Tickets ($30adv/$35door) are on sale at Taboo Video or online and can also be purchased at the door. Snatch up a VIP ticket if you still can because it includes a hosted bar!


Every fall, Miracle Theatre pulls out all the stops with their Day of the Dead production, written this year by Martín Milagro. In it, the dead are commemorated with a lively show of dance, music and theatre. Miracle is celebrating their 25th Anniversary season (no small feat!)and director Phillip Cuomo says they wanted to explore the ideas and relationships that exist between "folkloric master" and "contemporary apprentice." The show, a "mod, mid-century mash of bobby-soxers and beatniks, a defining point in time when culture revered — and counter-culture reinvented — tradition" plays through November 9. This weekend, however is a great time to catch the show because Day of the Dead (the traditional day of remembrance Mexican heritage) falls on November 1 and 2.

Halloween on Broadway at Portland Center Stage

If you're as fond of costuming as we are, you'll love this event. Dress up like your favorite Broadway character and get $10 tickets to the Halloween performance of Guys & Dolls or R. Buckminster Fuller: THE HISTORY (and Mystery) OF THE UNIVERSE (We wonder if the one above counts. It was oddly mislabeled as "theatre critic").
Ten dollars! Seriously, with ticket prices being what they are today, we sort of wish they'd implement a "dress as a character, get a deal" thing permanently. Come to think of it, given their line up, it could be fun. Top hats and bonnets for A Christmas Carol? Circa 1969 white shirts and black ties for Apollo? And we can only begin to imagine what sort of costuming Ms. Large would inspire.
After the show, stay for the party and enjoy complimentary beer from Deschutes Brewery, as well as wine and a few treats, and a costume contest (judged by the PCS costume shop, natch) where you could win a pair of "Broadway at Home" season passes to PCS. (Pssst! Here's the secret code to get your $10 tix: SPOOKY for Guys and Dolls and BOO for R. Buckminster Fuller.)

Portland Trailblazers v. San Antonio Spurs

Oh no-den! Despite the disappointing debut of Portland's seemingly cursed wunderkind against the L.A. Lakers on Tuesday, we were still hopeful. We were hoping Greg Oden would hammer down his first two-handed dunk on Tim Duncan’s head, the entire building would shake, the roof would be blown off the Rose Garden and the heavens would part, officially ushering in a new era of Blazer basketball. Sadly, he's out for at least two weeks. Nonetheless, there's still a lot to be excited about. We still have Brandon Roy, Channing Frye and LaMarcus Aldridge And they spent all last season proving that they didn't need no stinkin' Oden. This game is a sure sellout, so go on StubHub, hit up a scalper, mug a season ticket holder, do what you have to do—just make sure you get to the Rose Garden.

Portland Walking Tours: Beyond Bizarre

Portland Walking Tours is still the best way around to learn about our fair city. We are often amazed that more Portlanders don't opt in for the experience. Heck, we sort of love it when friends come into town so that we have a chance to do them again. One of our favorites, the Beyond Bizarre tour takes you through the best of Portland's paranormal. The 10pm tour is the most fun for all you thrill seekers (geared for 21 and over only). That tour sells out fast (at last check only Sunday was available) so book it now.

DoveLewis Wet Nose Soirée

This Saturday at the Governor Hotel help celebrate DoveLewis' 35th birthday at their annual masquerade gala. The Wet Nose Soirée is DoveLewis’ largest annual event where guests can honor the two and four-legged creatures we all adore while kicking up their heels and having a darn good time. The event features a hosted reception with a signature cocktail, silent and live auctions, a formal dinner, Dove Awards and live entertainment. Honestly, we wish there were more masquerade balls (see costuming obsession above). And this one is made all the more fun because if you get tired of hanging out with other partygoers, you can visit with some of their therapy dogs instead! Don’t miss this unique event, packed with Portland’s premiere animal lovers.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Weekend Hotlist

Portland Center Stage opens R. Buckminster Fuller: THE HISTORY (and Mystery) OF THE UNIVERSE. Get the story behind the story by attending a (free) conversation with Allegra Fuller Synder (his daughter) and DW Jacobs (director/playwright) on Saturday, October 18 at 2pm. Says Snyder of her father, "One of the most vivid images I have of my father are his fingertips. I can see him sitting, with his eyes closed, searching deeply into his mind/experience, with his fingertips barely tapping together, or his hands reaching out in one of those broad and animated gestures so common in later years when he lectured. His fingertips were exploring the universe around him. His fingertips were his antennas to experience." Go HERE.

W. (The Oliver Stone movie about Georgie) opens this weekend. Feel free to watch and laugh/cry/groan as Josh Brolin does his best take (and a fairly accurate one at that) on the current president. It's hard not to picture this movie being a jab (especially given the timing of the release) but Stone is adamant that the film is not intended to be a jab. He's shown restraint, but has admitted in no uncertain terms that the man lends himself to parody. See for yourself.

Pink Widower, Plants & The Winebirds featuring Portland Cello Project in a fundraiser for Obama at The Someday Lounge on Friday, October 17. Tickets are $7 at the door and (according to Someday, "the purpose of this fundraiser then, "The Obama Battleground Booster" is to raise resources for The Democratic party in one of the important battleground states, in this instance, the highly contested state of Ohio" Come and show your support while taking in some good tunes.

Portland Open Studios
. If you’ve ever marveled at a painting and wondered how it came to be or sat wide-eyed watching Bob Ross paint, “happy little trees,” then you will love Portland Open Studios. For one final weekend, a number of Portland’s hottest artists will open their doors to the public. Offering a chance to “go behind the scenes to see where, how, and why art is made in an up close and personal view.” The self-directed tour ($15) includes two tickets, maps, pictures of all artists' work (in a beautiful 2009 calendar format). This weekend will focus on eastside artists like Sam Roloff, Don Jacobson and Nicky Falkenhayn. If you don’t want to drive, you can hitch a ride with other art lovers on EcoShuttle ( whose carbon-neutral tour vans are powered with biodiesel. Tour vans will make different pre-scheduled stops each day of the event and you can sign up for one day or both. For more information, visit

Pizzazz! The annual Merc-sponsored talent show kicks off tonight. Think it's just a lighthearted show of spoon players and crunk dancers? Think again. With a grand prize of $1000 it's bound to get as fierce as an America's Next Top Model "Go See" (only with less whining). The show starts at 8pm and tickets are $8 to $12. Check out the musical (and dance) stylings of Della May and the Apocalypse Unicorn from last year's event.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Upcoming Events


R. Buckminster Fuller: THE HISTORY (and Mystery) OF THE UNIVERSE at Portland Center Stage. From now through December 7 catch this "one-man show that blends videos, lectures, poetry and a healthy dash of humanist humor." Based on the life of one of the greatest thinkers of our time (If you've ever read about him, you'll understand why so many folks say that he should have been from Portland). On Saturday, October 18 you (and a team of friends) can even take party in a "Bucky" themed photo scavenger hunt. Be among the first 20 to submit and you could win tickets to the show (for your whole team) and dinner in the pearl. The details are here.

The Receptionist at CoHo Productions. Opening this weekend (with 2-for-1 tickets), The Receptionist is the latest production from Adam Brock who brought us PCS's award-winning show Thugs (2007). The show is directed by Rose Riordan and features Sharonlee McLean, Laura Faye Smith, Chris Murray and Gary Norman in a "post 9/11 noir comedy with "equal moments of subdued terror."

Delirious -- An IFCC Homecoming. Join hosts Mayor-Elect Sam Adams, Comissioner Charles Jordan, Michelle Harper and Susan Fartheree-Goodson for Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center's 25th Anniversary. There will be live music from Crazy 8's, Sneakin' Out, Melao De Cuba and dancers from Hurricane Tumbo. Also featured is a comedy performance by "Bruce" (a.k.a. Jennifer Lanier, a homecoming court, Back to the Future photo booth, and an 80s-themed costume contest. Food will be provided by DiPrima Dolci, E'Njoni, Huber's and Kinta. Tickets are $15 in advance and $18 at the door.

Encores: The Best of Bodyvox
. The innovative dance company celebrates 10 years by bringing back some old favorites. Their performance (from October 22 to October 25 at PCPA) is a fan-fed playlist determined by online vote. Known for their "breathtakingly physical and highly original" work, Bodyvox is sure to put on a phenomenal show. Just check them out on YouTube if you don't believe me. Tickets are $12 to $46.

Pterodactyls at Theatre Vertigo. Vertigo kicks of its 11th season with Nicky Silver's dark, dark comedy about "hypochondria, denial, terminal illness and incest...just to name a few [elements]" Says The New York Post of the script, "There are times-not all that many, admittedly-when a critic wishes he had never used the word 'brilliant' before, so he could offer it fresh minded and glittering to something new." The show runs October 24 through November 22 and tickets can be purchased from


Haunters. Just in time for Halloween, on Friday, October 24 at 10pm, The Someday Lounge presents a free special screening of Haunters, a full-length documentary "about haunted attractions and the strange community that surrounds them. " According to, "Every October, numerous men and women called 'haunters' drop their normal lives to create sometimes elaborate, always entertaining haunted house events. For some, it starts when they are kids. Others do it for the money. But almost all "haunters" do it out of a passion for Halloween and the desire to make you scream."

Nosferatu at McMenamin's Mission Theater. At 8:30pm on Halloween night (Friday, October 31) Mission will present a screening of F.W. Murnau's horror classic, "Nosferatu" accompanied by a Piazolla -inspired neo-tango ensemble performing an original score. Also on the docket for the evening are two short films by Georges Melies, "Voyage to the Moon" and "The Golden Bug." Tickets are $6 and can be purchased at Mission Street, Crystal Ballroom and Ticketmaster outlets.

100 Feet at Bagdad Theater. On Thursday, October 30, McMenamin's Bagdad Theater presents a one-night-only screening of the ghost-horror flick starring Famke Janssen, Ed Westwick and 80s idol Michael Pare (of Eddie and the Cruisers fame). Pare and director Eric Reid will also attend the event. Tickets are $5 at the door.


Second Annual Artists Night Out at ART. On Monday, October 20, writers of all sorts will gather on Artists Repertory Theatre's Morrison Stage for their second annual spoken word extravaganza. Doors open at 6pm for sign-ups. The reading will start at 6:30pm. The event will be hosted by Tommy Gaffney, author of Three Beers from Oblivion and These Whiskey Days. Featured readers include local literary legend Elizabeth Archers, editor and photographer of the new book Blown Out, and Todd Van Voris, local actor, writer and member of Artists Rep's resident acting company. This event is free and there will be drinks and treats as well as a photography display by Paul Thacker and local books on sale.

David Sedaris at Arlene Schnitzer. On Halloween night, spend your time with acclaimed-author and satirist David Sedaris (who wrote the runaway hits Naked, Me Talk Pretty Someday, Holidays on Ice, and more). Tickets are $30 to $60 and can be purchased from the PCPA box office or Ticketmaster.

Sarah Vowell at Bagdad Theater. Powell's brings one of the smartest, snarkiest writers of our time to Portland to celebrate the release of her new book, The Wordy Shipmates. Vowell (best known her contributions NPR's This American Life and for her sassy historical read Assasination Vacation). Tickets are $25 and include a copy of Vowell's new book.

Madeline Albright at Bagdad Theater. In Albright's new book, Memo to the President Elect, she offers "a persuasive, wide-ranging set of recommendations to the next president by drawing on her extensive experience as an adviser to two presidents and a key figure in four presidential transitions." Tickets are $15 (available from Powell's) and include a copy of the book.


sm{art} at Worksound Gallery. Anyone remember Judy Chicago's controversial and "convention-shattering" work "The Dinner Party" which featured an elegantly appointed table set with artist-themed plates in the shape of the female genitalia? Bitch Magazine remembers and they have asked her to be the honorary chair of their annual art auction and reception to benefit the non-profit publication/media organization. On hand for the night will be food from Montage, Rocket, Saint Cupcake and Sugar Beets; drinks from Porches, Lagunitas and New Deal Distillery; art from all walks (including some from Chicago herself), crafts, tarot readings and more. VIP tickets are $75 dollars (including a goodie bag and early bidding) other tickets are $15 for students and a sliding scale ($20 to $50) for all others.

"Dreams" at Launchpad Gallery. All month long, Launchpad "invites you to delve deep into the subconscious and the private worlds of sleep, hope and the darker corners of the mind" with their sixth open-call themed group show. With work from more than 100 artists, there's a lot to take in. According to gallery director Ben Pink, "The dream that we...have for this show is to encourage creativity, provoke thought and share great art with the world." Check it out before October 31 and find out what really happened to a "dream deferred."


Nicky's 8th Annual Wild About Game Festival
at The Resort at the Mountain. Got meat? Love good game? Check out the game festival at the Resort at the Mountain in Welches, Oregon on Sunday, October 19th from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. This annual event pairs some of the Pacific Northwest’s best game chefs with a variety of game birds and meats like Cervena Venison, Nicky Farms Rabbit, Muscovy Hen and MacFarlane Pheasant for a lively cooking competition and cooking demonstrations. Tickets are $25 for the day and $40 including the evening feast.

Farm to Table Wine Dinner with Ivy Manning. Acclaimed food writer, Manning has just released her Farm to Table Cookbook, which is focused on the art of eating locally. On Saturday, October 18, she’ll be practicing that art when she jumps into the cork kitchen to prepare a meal from the book (which will be paired, of course, with Northwest wines). Reservations are required and seating is limited, so call now to reserve (281-2675). Tickets are $75 per person and include dinner, wine and gratuity.

Our Third Birthday

Well, it's hard to believe, but it's our third birthday! After 3 years (and 37 issues) it feels good to still be around. Honestly, I had my concerns. I was worried that by now, we might have run out of things to say. I was worried despite how long we've been around that when people ask me, "What do you do?" they would still reply, "PDX Magazine" Never heard of it." or (my favorite) "Is that a magazine about the airport?"
But here we are, three years in and, I have to say, things are going pretty well. In fact, we're so excited, we're throwing ourselves a party and you're invited.
Please join us on October 22 beginning at 7pm as we commemorate the occasion at the Star Theater (13 NW 6th Avenue). We'll have music, food, champagne, cocktails and espresso as well as some treats from Cupcake Jones!
If you'd like to get on the VIP list, email us at before Monday, October 19.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Port in a Storm

By Hollyanna McCollom

Picture this: You’ve just finished a nice meal; maybe you even had a Manhattan or a glass of wine. As you soak in the ambiance of the candlelit dining room, the server comes around with the dessert menu and asks, “Can I bring you something to drink with that?” If you’re the sort of person who always orders coffee in this situation, it’s time you explored the world of port.

Steeped in history and tradition, the process of creating port dates back to the 17th century when wine supplies to Britain were cut off by frequent wars in France. During that time, the British took a liking to the full-bodied wines produced in the Douro valley of Portugal, which, unfortunately, did not often make the trip without beginning to turn. To combat the problem, they began “fortifying” the wine with brandy, which stopped the fermentation process and allowed for safer (i.e. more lengthy) travel. To the delight of the winemakers, the resulting wine was surprisingly rich and more complex.

The different varieties of port are dependant upon many things, not the least of which include the harvest and the fermentation process. The youngest of these is a ruby port, which is readily available and reasonably priced in both stores and restaurants. As El Gaucho (319 SW Broadway, 227-8794, Wine and Cigar Captain Leann Loveland says, “It’s the white zinfandel of the port world in my opinion. It’s a good place to start.” A ruby will age in wood barrels for approximately two to three years before being bottled, resulting in a bright red or garnet blend that is vibrant and fruity. A good one to try is Warre’s Ruby Porto Warrior (about $15).

One of the most popular types of port is a tawny, which derives its name from the golden brown color it develops while aging in wood barrels. As a tawny ages it is exposed to more oxygen than its ruby counterpart and the gradual oxidation and evaporation result in a blend that is often described as having nutty, earthy or caramel-like overtones. A 10-year tawny is a fine choice and will only cost you about $10 to $20 a bottle. But like humans, the longer a port has to mature, the more complex and layered it becomes. A 30 or 40-year tawny will be deeper in color and will often pick up other flavors like dried fruit, toasted almonds and toffee. It’s well worth the extra bucks you’ll shell out for a glass as you smoke a cigar or nibble on a good blue cheese. A good low-priced version to try is Warre’s Otima (about $20 per bottle); or, if you want to splurge a little, try Graham’s 40 Year (about $150).

The most sought after is the vintage port, which must have the seal of approval from The Port Wine Institute (IVP) in Portugal before it can be declared. When wine producers feel that they have a particularly good port, they will send samples of it to IVP. If they agree, then IVP awards it with the honor of a “declared vintage.” It’s a coveted distinction since there are only about three declared vintages every 10 years. In fact, since 1901, there have been only 29–some of the most recognized are from 1927, 1934 and 1945. Vintage ports, like rubies, are aged in their bottles and develop a signature claret color. Unlike the younger wines, a vintage port will not be as bright, having had years to mellow, soften and mature.

In years past, children were often given a “pipe” of port (about 61 cases) the year they were born, with the intention that by the time the child was old enough to drink, the wine would have properly matured. Still today, a popular gift for landmark birthdays is a bottle from the year of the recipient’s birth. Pazzo Ristorante (627 SW Washington St, 228-1515, Wine Director Lemmy Cooper suggests pairing such a wine (like their 2003 Taylor Fladgate Vintage, $20 per glass) with a flourless chocolate cake and raspberry sauce to complement the fruit-forward flavor.
Similar to a tawny, a colheita (pronounced, “col-yate-ah”) is a port from a single harvest (i.e. one year, one region), the date of which is printed on the label. Unlike a vintage port, colheitas are aged in barrels, thus developing a tawny color and characteristic. Less than 1% of all port production results in colheitas, so it’s a rare treat that retails for around $20 to $80 a glass (or $50 to several thousand dollars per bottle). El Gaucho even carries a Porto Kopke 1937 colheita for $185 a glass. Like the vintage port, it is often presented as a gift to someone to commemorate an anniversary year or birthdate.

A Late-Bottled Vintage (LBV), on the other hand, is similar in character and flavor to a vintage port. Indeed, an LBV is also derived from grapes produced in a single harvest. However, an LBV will spend four to six years in wood barrels before it sees the bottle. The resulting wine is full-bodied and rich, a marriage between vintage and tawny. Says Cooper, “I think if someone was getting into port or didn’t know much about it, for an extra five bucks a bottle [as compared to a standard ruby or tawny] it’s a good choice. I’d rather drink these [LBVs].”

Besides being a fine accompaniment to dessert, Port is often paired with cheese, fruit, Fois Gras, paté or even cigars. Says Loveland, “Ports go hand-in-hand with cigars. We see a lot of younger clientele in the cigar room having one with their gin and tonic and maybe they don’t realize how much more they could enjoy their cigar if they paired it with a cognac, a scotch or a port.”
Finding the right style of port for you is not hard if you go to the right place. Most restaurants are happy to offer suggestions based on your preferences and sommeliers are often excited to share their advice. In fact, as Loveland suggests, it’s wise to ask if you can sample a bit before ordering to see what sort of port you prefer. “Most bartenders are happy to pour you a taste to see if it’s what you really want,” she says. You can also call ahead to many oenophile restaurants (i.e. wine heavy) and schedule a tasting or a private session with their sommelier or wine director, like Cooper or Loveland, who are not only fountains of knowledge, but a lot of fun to boot.

So, put down the coffee (it will probably just keep you up late anyway) and check out the “other side of the dessert menu.” Because whether you prefer to finish your meal with a Crème Brule or a fine cigar, there is sure to be a port that will enhance your experience.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Editor's Note- October

The first time I picked up a copy of PDX Magazine (the March 2006 issue, left), I was surprised I hadn’t heard of it. The glossy photos, the super-handy happy hour guide and the subject matter (tattoos, fashion and late night dining) seemed right up my alley.

Of course, I hadn’t heard of the magazine because at that time it was only six months old. It was only two days later that I saw their ad for an editorial intern.

Things have changed a lot since then. We have seen many of our co-workers move on to other things. We’ve seen the readership grow more numerous and more diverse. We’ve seen the pages inside the magazine change a lot, too, thanks to the remarkable work of our Art Director, Joel Masters (who has, by the way, been here since the magazine’s debut). When I see how far we’ve come in such a short time, frankly, I’m pretty proud to be a part of it. In fact (as we celebrate our third birthday) I am positively brimming with pride.

It hasn’t always been easy, of course. Times are tough for publications whether they are The New York Times or a little start up like us. Like anyone else, we’ve hit a few roadblocks (like the month we had to pack up our 40,000 magazines in trucks and deliver them ourselves!) but, in spite of it all, we are still going strong.

For me, I owe a tremendous amount of gratitude (and food, booze, prizes, money, etc) to my two assistant editors, Nathan Peasley and Jeremy Lloyd. There’s simply not enough that I can say about those guys and their ability to get the job done while still making me laugh. It’s pretty remarkable to get through a particularly grueling press cycle and still want to hang out with anyone from the office, but these guys are just that cool. And when the proverbial you-know-what hits the fan, they are just the sort of guys you want backing you up.

As we move forward, I am excited about the changes we have in store. Never the sort of publication to rest on our laurels, we approached this advent with more of a question of “what’s next?” than a sense of self-congratulatory relief. To be honest, I expected the latter. I have heard apocryphal tales of magazines surviving after three years, as if that were some magical threshold that had to be crossed.

Around here, though, we are simply glad to be around and glad to have the opportunity to express our creativity and share the things that we love about this city. Frankly, when it comes to creating a “where to go, what to do” magazine, there’s not a better city to be in.

Secret Garden

I am, admittedly, not much of a traveler. So, when faced with the opportunity to spend several days discovering the island of Kauai, I was excited, but dubious. The island is merely 552 square miles (the fourth largest of the Hawaiian Islands) and yet, only three percent of that is zoned for commercial and residential use. The other 97 percent (packed with canyons, rivers, beaches, trails and mountains) is lush, green and beautiful—a landscape ripe for exploration and adventure... read full article

Neighborhood Profile: 28th and Burnside

Bisecting Burnside and straddling North and Southeast, the small strip of 28th from Stark to Glisan has a lot to offer. This little hood, anchored by the historic Laurelhurst Theater and book-ended by Masu and Pambiche, is home to some of our favorite restaurants, watering holes, shopping, primping and pampering activities, all in a very digestible serving. That said, let’s slurp a few lovin’ spoonfuls of what this lip smackin’ locale has to offer... read full article