The bride was beautiful, the groom looked dapper … and the price tag was microscopic. That’s because the wedding we’d inadvertently crashed was taking place at Voodoo Doughnut Too, where a legally binding ceremony — including doughnuts and coffee for 24 guests — costs just $200. Voodoo Too is the eastside sibling to downtown Portland’s weirdest and most popular doughnut shop (Voodoo Doughnut), where the pastries come in crazy flavors and the décor is, naturally, voodoo-inspired. The shop’s owners are Universal Life Church ministers, making it legal for them to marry couples in all 50 states. But they prefer their home turf: inside the hot-pink Voodoo Too building, standing beneath the autographed velvet painting of Kenny Rogers (who, incidentally, has nothing to do with voodoo). (more…)
Archive for August, 2009
My friend and I were driving back from the beach on Sauvie Island the other evening when we spotted something happening at Kruger’s Farm. Picture this: a stage set in a field of sunflowers and zinnias, surrounded by people sitting on blankets, kids dancing and BBQ cooking nearby. We swiftly pulled into the parking lot to check it out. It turned out that this was one of the farm’s weekly summer concerts, where, for $10 a car, families can pile in to enjoy the music, idyllic farm setting and fresh local food. There are still two more concerts to go, the last one being Felicidades, playing salsa/reggae/calypso music on September 3rd. (more…)
Before my first visit to the Rice Northwest Rock and Mineral Museum about a year ago, I simply couldn’t pass up the chance to lampoon the hobby so popular with my mother, her sisters and their significant others.
To me, wandering around a mountainside or stumbling through a field picking up rocks sounded about as much fun as dental surgery. When my stepfather bought a rock saw and polisher, I had flashbacks of biggest nerds I can remember from elementary school. (Full disclosure: I was a nerd too conducting experiments with my chemistry set and watching my ant farm evolve).
So when I visited the museum located just outside of Hillsboro (roughly 30 minutes from Portland) with my mom and many aunts, I was beyond skeptical. (more…)
Sad news this week: After a long fight with cancer, Bob Gerding passed away (you can read the Oregonian article here.) An environmentalist at heart, a pioneer of the green building movement, a strong supporter of the arts, of historic preservation, and of social issues in Portland — and an overall smart and good guy — Mr. Gerding will be missed.
Most visitors unknowingly pay tribute to him when they come to Portland. Here is why: (more…)
Our great state has nearly 363 miles of pristine, public coastline. South of Portland, you’ll find a smorgasbord of attractions and quaint towns, including Newport, Oregon.
Situated just two hours from Portland, Newport happens to have plenty of places to dig your toes into the sand and enjoy the fresh catch of the day — as well as one of the top aquariums in the U.S.
Check out this message from our friends in Newport. As you can see, this coastal town offers plenty of options.
Trains … they bring the best of both worlds: the convenience of traveling while playing crossword puzzles or sleeping, but without dangling 30,000 feet above sea level. It’s even better when they’re efficient, on time, cheap, and offer a super scenic route.
On Wednesday, August 19, Amtrak Cascades will introduce a new, complete connection between Vancouver B.C. and Eugene, Ore., via Portland. For $46 (or cheaper if you’ve got AAA) here is what you can expect: (more…)
Note: This is the third in a series of posts about Portland’s craft spirits movement.
The beautiful truth is that many, many Portland bars and restaurants serve locally distilled spirits. Blame it on our local pride and dedication to supporting the “little guy.” Here’s a quick guide to a few of my favorite spots for cocktails mixed with local spirits. If you’d like to recommend others, please add them in the “Comments” section.
Far more than an average hotel restaurant, The Heathman Bar and Restaurant is widely respected for its French Northwest cuisine (available at a deep discount during the recently extended happy hour). The James Beard award-winner helped establish Portland’s reputation as an “eat local” mecca. The Heathman applies the same philosophy to their cocktail list (PDF), employing more than 20 Oregon spirits in drinks — both classic and cutting-edge — that incorporate fresh, local flavors. Try the summer special, Grapes of Wrath, made of pressed Willamette Valley red grapes, fresh lime, sugar and Sub Rosa Tarragon Vodka. (more…)
You know you’ve been dying to wear your puffy shirt, eye patch and gold hoop earrings. Well, bring it on, because officials from the Guinness Book of World Records will be in Portland on September 20 to count pirates at the 2009 Portland Pirate Festival in Cathedral Park. If the festival can draw more than 1,140 scurvy scalawags decked out in all their pirate finery, it will capture the record for most people dressed as pirates gathered in one location.
Pint-sized pirates count, so dress up the kids too. The Portland Pirate Festival runs Sept. 19-20 (BTW: Saturday, Sept. 19, is also International Talk-Like-a-Pirate Day). There’ll be lots for families to do: “Let’s Pretend Pirate Adventure,” starring kids from the audience who get to dress up and perform alongside professional actors; free group fencing lessons from Academia Duellatoria fencing school; a cannon and flintlock battle; jugglers; storytellers; two stages of music, including performances by Captain Bogg & Salty and the B.O.O.M. Pirates; a Grub ‘n’ Grog food area; and lots more.
For more on the Portland Pirate Festival, visit www.portlandpiratefestival.com.
September — which begins in earnest with the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s annual Time-Based Art Festival (Sept. 3-13) — also marks the return of another kind of performance art: the breathtaking nightly acrobatics of the Vaux’s swifts, migratory birds that roost in huge numbers (think 15,000) in the chimney of a Northwest Portland elementary school.
The scene is part picnic (bring your blanket and some nibbles), part neighborhood block party and 100% Portland. For details, visit the Audubon Society of Portland’s website.
As a cyclist, I love all things bikey. I have bike photographs, a bottle opener made from a bike chain, bike sculptures and even jewelry made from old bike parts. This slight bike obsession has me anxiously awaiting October, when I’ll get to revel in bike goodness thanks to Oregon Manifest or OM.
What began last year as a three-day event featuring hand-built bikes has exploded into a showcase of bike art, cycling personalities, and, of course, bike gear. A six-week extravaganza celebrating bikes and bike culture, OM runs from Oct. 2-Nov. 8, with signature events held every weekend. While the schedule is still a work in progress, confirmed parties include the hand-built frame competition and race, a bike fashion show as part of Portland Fashion Week, and the kickoff to Cross Crusade, the country’s largest cyclocross race series, with more than 1,000 participants each week.
In addition, Dreams on Wheels, a Danish bike exhibition, will set up shop at the Oregon Manifest Bike Union. The bike union will be the official headquarters for OM. Located in the Pearl District, it is easily accessed by Portland Streetcar, with free travel to and from downtown thanks to Fareless Square.
Watch the website for new events to be added each week. If you stop by, say hello to the girl with the goofy smile on her face, drooling over the amazing designs and dreaming of a hand-built bike.