The Restaurants This Critic Returned to on Her Own Time and Dime in 2014
Let's face it: your holiday office party is TERRIBLE. Or even worse? You don't have one at all! That's why the Portland Mercury is pleased to announce the second annual Portland's Holiday Office Party! It's the party for party-haters, or party-non-havers! SO. What makes Portland's Holiday Office Party so much better? JUST THIS:
• Fun-time disco dancing music provided by ANCIENT HEAT!
• More crazy ass dancing courtesy of DJ EVIL ONE!
• Tons of BOOZE!
• A “make-out” cubicle to share with your sexy “co-workers”!
• A photo booth for taking pictures of your make-out sessions.
• And a complimentary Xerox machine that can be used to photocopy one’s buttocks and/or genitalia.
We're dressing up Branx as a fictional corporate office complete with cubicles, desks, crappy equipment, half-dead plants, and motivational posters. You come dressed in semi-business attire (neckties and pantyhose are encouraged)! And TRUST ME, things are gonna get wild!
It all goes down on Friday, Dec 19 at Branx (320 SE 2nd Ave) from 8 pm to late, and tickets are only $12 in advance and $15 at the door! That's not much money for a LOT of holiday fun! SO GET YOUR TICKETS NOW AND HERE!
Or if you're feeling lucky, try to win a pair of tickets below! Deadline is tomorrow noon, and don't forget: If you tweet or Facebook it, you'll get extra chances to win! Good luck and I'll see you at Portland's Holiday Office Party—because as the management requires, "ATTENDANCE IS MANDATORY."
- Crow Indian Artist/Archivist Wendy Red Star (Now currently featured in the APEX Gallery in the Portland Art Museum!)
- Photographer Holly Andres (featured in The New York Times Magazine, Time, Art in America and more)
- Essayist and head writer of Live Wire! Radio Courtenay Hameister
- Seattle comedian Scott Losse (2013 NW Comedy Competition Winner, Bridgetown Comedy Festival, Bumbershoot)
- and music from Portland rock pianist Bryan Free, who is "recommended by four out of five doctors."
Tickets are just $10 in advance ($15 day of). BUT as a loyal Mercury reader you can also win tickets right here! Just use the win-tickets-widget-thing below (tweet or Facebook it for extra entries) and you could get all this great stuff for free! And we'll throw in an undercoating. Deadline for entries is noon tomorrow!
In case you weren't a child growing up in America, Rudolph: On Stage is a theatrical adaptation of the classic Rankin/Bass creepy wooden puppet holiday special, Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, which tells the story of a reindeer who's marginalized because of his glowing nose, and his elf friend who wants to be a dentist. (METAPHOR ALERT!!) Anyway, instead of using creepy puppets, Bad Reputation Productions—fine makers of Roadhouse: The Play, and Lost Boys: Live—are doing it with verrrry funny humans, including Portland's best improvisers The Liberators. It's jam-crammed full of nostalgia and modern comedic stuff, it co-stars me as the Burl Ives Snowman character and the reviews are very glowing. (Hey, just like Rudolph's nose!)
But guys! This thing sells out super quick, and only runs from this Friday to Dec 20 at the CoHo Theater. SO GET YOUR TICKETS (AND MORE INFO) NOW AND HERE. Or if you feel super lucky, try to win a pair of tickets to this Saturday's performance (Nov 29 at 8 pm). Don't forget, if you tweet or Facebook this contest you get extra entries! Deadline is noon tomorrow! (Also "Abominable Snow Monster.")
Sure, we all like to complain about the twee and offbeat image of this city so often beamed to the rest of the country. When that image descends on your place of business on a lackluster Monday afternoon, though, you've no choice but to embrace it.
And so it was that bow-tied Congressman Earl Blumenauer and the folks behind Portland ice cream behemoth Salt & Straw stopped by the Mercury offices a moment ago with a bunch of fruitcake, ice cream, and fruitcake ice cream.
(I have just gorged myself on five types of holiday-flavored ice cream, so the somber shaking of your head means nothing.)
Backing up: Blumenauer goes about town distributing homemade fruitcakes each holiday season. Has for 25 years or so.
Last year, he came 'round on December 18th and, bewildered at the fruitcake that had fallen into my lap, I wrote about it. This set off a series of events that led to the Mercury being Blumenauer's first stop this year, when not only is he bringing fruitcake, but his very own fruitcake-flavored ice cream from Salt & Straw.
It's coming out for public consumption Friday. If you buy some, proceeds will go to the nonprofit Community Cycling Center. Here are your details.
He even suggested Salt & Straw should whip up a flavor called "Cooperation" for the folks in DC, which co-owner and ice cream maker Tyler Malek theorized would have to contain sedatives. It's intuitive ingredient choices like that that earn Salt & Straw lines down the block. First they're putting bone marrow in ice cream, next they're slipping an entire congressional body a Mickey.
Anyway, we've got a freezer full of various flavors. And while I've got no problem with the Community Cycling Center, if you're going to wait in the rain for holiday-themed ice cream, I say go all out with the Mincemeat Pie (this is an unpopular opinion in these offices).
Hey sex lovers! (As opposed to all you sex haters.) IT'S HUMP WEEK, which means everyone's saving up their juices for the funnest, and sexiest li'l amateur porn festival around... HUMP! This year's festivities start this Wednesday and go through Sunday, and many of the shows are already sold out. (Eep!) However, if you move fast, you can snag some tix to the show EVERYONE who is ANYONE will be talking about. (Plus sex guru Dan Savage will be in attendance! SQUEEEE!)
But if you're feeling extremely lucky, why not try to win two tickets to the Sunday, Nov 16, 6 pm screening of HUMP with the handy widget below? You have until noon tomorrow to enter, and if you tweet or Facebook your friends about it, you'll be given extra chances to win! DO IT ALREADY!! (That's what he/she said.)
We're less than a week away from the sexiest/funnest event of the year, HUMP! 2014! Woot, woot, woot! Be sure to read this week's Mercury feature which describes the hilariously dirty movies you'll see at this year's festival, and to celebrate we're giving away TWO TICKETS to next Wednesday's, Nov 12 debut screening of HUMP at 8:30 pm!
BE THE FIRST ON YOUR BLOCK TO SEE HUMP!, AND SAY HI TO DAN SAVAGE WHO WILL BE HOSTING THE FESTIVITIES IN PERSON!
(Not feeling lucky, then GET LUCKY by buying your tickets here and now!)
Enter to win two tickets below (contest ends tomorrow at noon), and remember: Tweet it out or Facebook it and you'll get extra entries and more chances to win! HUMP ON HUMP DAY, Y'ALL!
This week's Live Wire's really up our alley. While your mileage may vary when it comes to some of the show's old time-y sketch traditions, but their guests generally lean on the best side of excellent. This Thursday's lineup for the live taping is even better than most, with our own Dan Savage—just in time to remind you about our upcoming HUMP! amateur porn festival! And! They'll also have our favorite wizard-loving Trail Blazer Robin Lopez! And Shane Torres, who we just featured before he says goodbye to Portland and hello, New York! Plus: award-winning poet Derrick Brown, and music from Hook and Anchor and Modern Kin.
Being that the evening is so perfectly tailored to Mercury interests, it's only appropriate that we be the ones to offer you the chance to win a pair of tickets to Thursday's show. Here's the deal: Just email me with "Live Wire" in the subject line, and let me know which guest you are most excited to see. I'll pick two winners by 5 pm. Go!
Got plans tonight? Now ya do!
"Our newest live storytelling format features behind-the-scenes stories combined with film/TV clips from the storytellers’ own work—including outtakes and never-before-seen footage," says Back Fence PDX's B. Frayn Masters. They've assembled some of the city's most interesting filmmaking types for the task: James Westby (Rid of Me, The Auteur), Beth Harrington (The Winding Stream), October Moore (Portlandia, Grimm, City Baby), Jason Rouse/Ian Berry (Make Mine Country, More Porkchop), and Casey Parks (Diary of a Misfit).
If you've—gasp!—never been to a Back Fence night of storytelling, you need to correct that, STAT! And if you have you don't need me to tell you how hilarious and touching a night like this can be. Wanna go? Email me before 4:30 with "REEL STORIES" in the subject line and be entered to win one of two pairs of tickets to tonight's show at the Hollywood Theater.
As we report in this week's paper, the office responsible for Multnomah County's emergency planning experienced something of a mutiny starting in late June. Three separate employees complained to the county's Office of Diversity and Equity that Joe Rizzi, then-director of the Office of Emergency Management, had committed a litany of managerial sins—including skipping out on work for large portions of the day to brunch and hang out with his girlfriend, singling out minorities and women for harsh treatment, and recording his conversations with coworkers without telling them. That last one is a potential breach of state law.
It's important to note that Rizzi denies most of those claims. He says the complaints were part of a smear campaign organized by staffer Rachel Novick (newly married to City Commissioner Steve Novick). But Rizzi nonetheless chose to leave his $122,000 a year position in mid-July, a day after he'd been put on administrative leave due to the allegations.
"If you have a staff that's undermining you, it's really hard," he told the Mercury. "I don't want to be part of the slander."
The county's emergency management office sees a lot of turnover at the top. Rizzi was the seventh person to helm the department since 2000. At least one of those departures was even cloudier than Rizzi's.
Initially, when the Mercury asked for complaints against Rizzi in a formal records request, the county sent back several lengthy complaints filed by Novick, as well as documents Rizzi's administrative leave and subsequent resignation. You can read those records here.
Because we'd been told there might be more complaints than just Novick's, though, we made another request. "If not formal complaints than at least written communications detailing concerns about Mr. Rizzi. Possibly from staffers mentioned in the complaint by Rachel Philofsky: Tina Birch, Luiz Hernandez, or Kristen Baird." We were told none of those existed either.
It wasn't until we filed a third request that the county handed over records of concerns that had been raised—by the aforementioned Baird and Birch—weeks before Novick filed her complaint. Those documents are mainly notes a diversity and equity office staffer took of the women's concerns. They're here.
HOLY HELL. Look, gang! The octopus from the old Greek Cusina downtown has popped up on Craigslist!
Greek Cusina, on SW 4th and Washington, closed down more than four years ago, in January 2010—after a blistering code fight between owner Ted Papas and then-zoning Commissioner Randy Leonard. (That code fight later spilled into a court fight.) The iconic sea beast was moved to a fancifully painted barbershop out on SW Barbur the month after.
The octopus is looking a little worse for wear these days. But the ad doesn't explain why it's got to go. It also doesn't include anything like... oh... say... contact information. Just a note that whoever shows up to kick the thing's tentacles come with their own crane.
The HUMP! Tour has been a raging success across the nation, and now it's come home to roost in Portland for one weekend only... STARTING TONIGHT (and through Saturday)! It's some of the best short dirty movies chosen from years of HUMP! festivals, and you can read more about the lineup here, and get your tickets for this weekend's shows here!
Orrrrr... you can try to get lucky by winning two passes to the Saturday, May 17, 9:45 show! As always, tweet or Facebook it to get extra entries... but this is your last chance! So enter and GOOD LUCK!
Yahoooooie! The "Best of HUMP" tour—a curated "best of" night featuring some of the greatest HUMP dirty films ever created by regular sexy people of all sexual persuasions—is this coming weekend! It runs Thursday, May 15 through Saturday, May 17 at Cinema 21, and if you haven't seen HUMP! before, it's a great entry point into one of the funnest (and dirtiest) film fests you will ever see. But don't take my word for it! Here's what VICE magazine had to say about the HUMP! Tour:
Best of all, the festival taught straight dudes to get down with realistic gay and lesbian porn. One guy, Ben, saw gay porn for the first time at the festival. Krutch taught the audience about realistic lesbian sex and to remember that disabled people have fully functioning private parts. Described as proof “that people with disabilities have [genitals] that work just fine,” the movie cut back and forth between the disabled protagonist walking through New York City, dealing with public transportation, and masturbating at home in her leopard-print sheets. At the end of the film, her girlfriend walked in to join her, finding her face flushed with post-orgasm sweat. (Porn can be romantic!)
Read the rest here for even more details, and how this tour's films were chosen (and reacquired—since we destroyed out original copies, as promised).
SO! Now that you're convinced, GET YOUR TICKETS NOW FOR THE HUMP TOUR before they sell out! Or, if you're financially strapped, try to win two tickets to the Saturday, May 17, 7:15 pm show! Tomorrow noon is the deadline, and remember, if you Facebook or tweedle-deeedle-tweet it, you will receive extra entries into the contest! BWAA-HA-HAAAA! (Not sure why I'm laughing evilly, it's perfectly legal.)
HEY SEXY PEOPLE! The "Best of HUMP! Tour"—featuring a curated lineup of some of the best dirty flicks from HUMPs past (reacquired from the thrilled directors and casts)—is coming to Cinema 21 next week (May 15-17)! And as god as my witness, IT WILL SELL OUT. That's why I'm giving away free pairs of tickets this week and next
in order to get inside your pants because I'm a nice person. If you're not feeling lucky, GET YOUR TICKETS HERE. Otherwise, try the contest below to win a pair of tickets to the Friday, May 16, 7 pm HUMP Tour—and remember, if you tweet or Facebook the contest, you'll be given extra entries! GOOD LUCK, SEXY PANTS!
Holy shoot! The three-day series of Open Season fashion shows—the Mercury's 10th annual!—starts on Monday already, which means that this is your last chance to scoop up a pair of series passes to all three evenings for freeeeee! (If you don't get it, don't sweat it: tickets per show are just $5, though they'll jump to $8 at the door.)
To enter, just click below. It's so easy!
But don't take our word for it—see for yourself by winning one of the two pairs of tickets we're giving away! To enter, jump on over to End Hits!
We're giving away a pair of tickets! To enter, swing that hammer on over to End Hits.
In the meantime, we're giving away two pairs of tickets to the show. Get over to End Hits now for your chance to win, because they won't last!
Click play, and try to keep from wheeling your roll-y office chair around to the beat. See? You can't do it! It's the latest from disco-funk duo Chromeo, who are coming to the Roseland on Monday, April 14.
Want to win a pair of tickets to the show? Shake a tail feather over to End Hits!
Really. That's why, for your pleasure, we're giving away two pairs of tickets to the show, which hits the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall on Tuesday, April 8. All you have to do is...
... wait for it...
Yep, you guessed it. All you have to do is head over to End Hits!
NO is joining their Arts & Crafts labelmates Reuben and the Dark and the Darcys for a tour that stops by Mississippi Studios on Sunday, April 6. And hey, we're giving away tickets to the show! For your free live music action, hop on over to End Hits.
Here's a stream of the new Black Lips album, the seventh from the rascally Atlanta punk/pop/garage/oh-just-listen-to-thing-already-it's-great band.
Oh, and hey, we're giving away tickets to their show at the Hawthorne Theatre on Saturday, March 29! That's all happening on End Hits—click on over.
Old Town Chinatown is on everyone's mind lately.
The Oregonian recently published a series looking at its challenges, and the proposed economic development that could take it from dingy and underused to a haven for "workforce housing." And the city was abuzz last week after Mayor Charlie Hales announced popular vacation listing site Airbnb is moving its North American headquarters into the neighborhood.
Even Vice is chiming in, with a dispatch from KGW employee Evan Sernoffsky titled: "Portland's Iconic Old Town Chinatown Is Overflowing With Human Shit." Therein, Sernoffsky chronicles in great detail the time someone shat in front of Kell's. He talks of alcoves filled with "drooling junkies" and the indignity of having to observe squalor while ordering donuts. (Sernoffsky has taken a somewhat more-measured approach to the issue when reporting locally.) From the piece:
Last week, I ran into Carl panhandling downtown. I gave him some change and asked if we could talk about all the poop in Old Town Chinatown. After he rambled in his semi-coherent drawl, we took a walk to the Pioneer Square Mall so he could take a dump.
I work in Old Town, and have for years. I'm not sure I've ever seen human shit on the sidewalk. But who could be surprised that it happens? The neighborhood—like neighborhoods in medium and large cities the world over—has a lot of homeless people, and even three relatively nearby Portland loos aren't going to attract everyone. Even if Old Town were truly "overflowing," though, that's really worth 1,300 words? Without any substantive discussion about how the situation might be changed or improved? Am I overreacting to/overthinking what is, in essence, long-form trolling?
St. Vincent is coming to the Crystal Ballroom! On Monday, March 24, Annie Clark will bring her skewed, polymorphous, very modern rock to the Portland stage, and we're giving away a pair of tickets to the show! To enter to win, it's just a hop, skip, and jump—actually, it's easier than that, it's just a click away—over to End Hits.
OKAY, CHEAPOS! Here is your very last chance to win tickets to what has been called, "objectively, the best event ever"—okay, fine, I was the one who called it that, but I'm right. IT'S THE MALT BALL! Read all about it in detail here, but in short, it's a two day festival featuring tons of awesome bands (such as Genders, Summer Cannibals, Red Fang, and many more) paired with the finest local craft beer makers (such as Widmer, Fort George, Burnside Brewing, and many more). You get a glass mug, a handful of tokens, some awesome beer, and some amazing bands... I ask you, WHAT MORE DO YOU REQUIRE???
Oh, of course... you want it for free. Well, okay—but only if you're really lucky! While I still advise you to buy your tickets here, here's your FINAL opportunity to win a PAIR OF TWO-DAY FESTIVAL TICKETS. Deadline is noon tomorrow, and be sure to tweet it or like it on Facebook to gain even more entries. Either way, WE'LL SEE YOU AT THE MALT BALL... this weekend!!
Ford and her new backing band—which includes drummer Amanda Spring (from Point Juncture, WA), guitarist/bassist Anita Lee Elliott (from Viva Voce), and keyboardist Cristina Cano (Albatross)—take the Mississippi Studios stage on Friday, March 7, as part of local music podcast/party-throwers Party Boyz and their jam-packed Ladiez Night. The show also features Luz Elena Mendoza (of Tiburones and Y La Bamba), former Spinane Rebecca Gates, and Swansea. Holy smokes. That is a trick deck of cards right there.
And we're giving away a pair of ticketz! To enter, click on over to End Hitz, where we love to spell things with unnecessary Z's.
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