How the Institutional Racism of Yesterday Still Reverberates Today
It's snowing! Snow and Portland enjoy a strange, wonderful relationship, and if you wish to celebrate the miracle of cold, puffy water falling slowly to the wet, unforgiving pavement in the way a real Portlander would, this is how you do it!
Step 1: Lick the nearest window
Well, maybe don't go so far as to lick it, but fly immediately to it, and press your face as close as you can to the cold glass, all while proclaiming some variation of the phrase "It's snowing!" or "Snow!" or "Snuaah!" or "REEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE." This doesn't have to be sustained for the length of the snowfall, give yourself rest periods back at your desk/couch before returning to the window to resume the excited vigil.
Step 2: Lick the nearest phone
Well, maybe don't go so far as to lick it, but do exactly what you did to the window, but on your phone, preferably via your twitter or facebook accounts. The resultant effort should look something like this.
WHAT NOT TO DO:
Many of you reading this are here from places in the midwest, where flakes of crystallized water fall in amounts that would cause most Portlanders to completely seize up and keel over upon hearing tell of their legend. You will be tempted to indulge a minor amount of scoffing, sharing sentiments along the lines of "Oh, I'm from Minnesota, we don't close anything unless there's about two feet of snow on the ground, and even then, it doesn't always happen."
You will make it halfway through that sentence before someone from Portland farts on you. That is the penalty for daring to lord your Winter Weather expertise over the locals. You will be shunned for the rest of the day, for as long as the snow continues to fall. Do not remark upon the fact that none of it is sticking, either. Just be quiet and wait the 15 minutes for whatever is falling out of the sky to stop doing so. Their madness will recede after another 10 minutes, and they might even completely forget both your transgression and their flatulent response.
IF YOU ARE OUTSIDE:
If you are operating any vehicle containing wheels of any sort, make haste towards the nearest highway or freeway. A sufficiently busy street will also suffice. Immediately abandon your car in the middle of said thoroughfare. Do not bother to turn off the lights, or close any doors.
While walking away from your sacrificed motor carriage, you will be tempted to stride, as abandoning your car in the middle of the freeway seems like a badass thing to do. Do not stride. You will likely slip and bust your ass on the cold wet pavement, which will likely have zero snow on it to cushion your fall. Instead, employ a stooped, shuffling gait, and stare down at your feet as you scuttle slowly away from your car. This helps in that you are not noticing the legions of drivers who, panicked at the sight of miniature water pillows descending upon their windshield, are whipsawing their vehicle back and forth through the lanes, applying brakes as if they're attempting to communicate the word "SNOOOOWWWWW" to the drivers behind them via brake-light morse code.
This sounds horrific and apocalyptic, but the real key to finishing the illusion is to constantly smile, with a childlike glimmer in your eyes (this can be practiced in your rearview mirror before abandoning the car) and if approaching another citizen, giggle-whisper the word "Snow!" at them, as if you can't believe the gift bestowed upon us all.
Congratulations! Now you're celebrating Winter in Portland like a real Portlander!
Next week, we'll discuss what happens when an inch accumulates, the city shuts down, and you're forced to use the public transit system like a fucking savage.
Want to watch Seattle drivers panic and slide all over the road while driving in two inches of snow? No? Okay... how about we add a jaunty soundtrack from Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass? OH, I AM SO "IN."
* I'm tired of the words "snowpocalypse" and "snowmageddon." Can you think of a new term for people freaking out over a small amount of snow, and put it in the comments? Thanks.
AHHHHH!! SNOWLAMITY! (That's like "snow" + "calamity" = "snowlamity.") We dodged a snowlamity bullet today—we, being everyone who isn't dumb enough to live in the West Hills—BUT HOW SHALL WE FARE TOMORROW?? Here's the learned opinion of Fox 12's Chief Meteorologist Mark Nelsen on the adorably geeky Fox 12 Weather Blog. (By the way, the commenters on this blog are extremely pleasant. Please make a note of it.)
THIS EVENING (Through at least 10pm): Rain/snow showers, turning to steady rain/snow later…most sticking snow at/above 1,000′ through our 10pm show. Light accumulations during this time on the hills, this will be the calmest period.
OVERNIGHT THROUGH 7:00 AM: Winter Storm Watch is still up, and NWS will probably upgrade to a Winter Storm Warning mid-afternoon to be safe. I still think we’ll escape a big snow event here in Portland, but it’s going to be VERY CLOSE. So I’ll forecast 1-3″ of heavy wet snow possible anywhere from Wilsonville north through Clark County (all of the metro area) between Midnight and 5am. No snow for Wilsonville south to Salem. Once again, gut feeling is we get little or nothing here, but it’s safest to forecast (Dec 29, 2009) a few inches in the dark of night.
Snowlamity (probably) diverted!
Oh, Jack Frost, you're no Frosty. You're better!
I know, it is way too early to be talking about cold times and holiday parties, but this little rumor just came across my desk: The flagship location of the annual downtown pop-up shop program (you can read some of my coverage of past years here and here) has been accidentally announced. If all goes as planned, Boys' Fort will be housed in the downtown Galleria at 600 SW 10th starting Oct 17, boasting "classic men's products with a modern urban curve."
But settle down there, shoppers: Holiday pop-up honcho Lisa Frisch cautions that this little press release has wandered out prematurely, and final details, including pretty important ones like, you know, the leases, are still being hammered out. So not to count our chickens before they hatch, but Frisch does confirm that "We plan on having three to four PDX Pop-Up shops this year." Stay tuned for the official word, due next month. In the meantime, it's probably safe to start getting excited about the third round for this program, which props up the work being produced by the local industry and has even, in the case of the Portland Design Collective and Crafty Wonderland, produced permanent new residents on the downtown retail map.
I love the hell out of John Carpenter's The Thing, which means I can't help but be curious about its prequel/reboot, which is also, rather creatively, titled The Thing. The Thing (Again!) was supposed to come out last April, but got delayed to October, and now MTV has 46 seconds from it. While it's always impossible to judge whole films based on isolated little clips, this particular snippet doesn't inspire a whole lot of confidence. Then again, it does star Joel Edgerton and Mary Elizabeth Winstead, and Ronald D. Moore did chime in on the screenplay, so hell, maybe this is just a goofy clip and the film itself will end up being as cool as I want it to be. Also, let it be known that I will award it bonus points if the Thing ever changes form into awesome old-school Kurt Russell.
• Why does Portland cancel school for, like, a quarter inch of snow but not super heavy rain?
• Portlanders don't know how to handle the snow, dognabit!
• Snow is pretty!
Send good snow photos (snowtos) to firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll post 'em.
You've been bombarded by snow for weeks on end. Trash is buried and rotting outside your apartment. So, what's a bored New York artist to do?
Why, make Castle Grayskull, of course.
And it comes with lights and a guard dog! Clearly the best snow castle of the year and decade.
Look what fugliness Etsy hath wrought this time:
However, if you are a woman, or just a man who chooses to avoid the oft-lampooned condition of actually having a beard, this would be a super handy temporary fix to avoid freezing your face off while you attempt to bike commute during the maybe-sorta-maybe-sorta-not-gonna-happen snowy-icy cold today. Only $40!
Today may be all warm and in the 40s, but tomorrow.... tomorrow meteorologists are already describing as a frighteningly vague "major event."
Snow! beginning in the afternoon.
Freezing Rain! continuing until midnight.
"Significant amounts of snow, freezing rain, ice, or slush!" destroying your commute.
If you have to drive up hills, use chains. If you can, take transit and pray to the Gods of TriMet that your bus doesn't get stuck.
Best case scenario: Stay home and film people out your window.
This film deserves to win the Academy Award for best live-action short subject.It's certainly a beautiful piece of work—its flash and quick cuts make it look a little like a commercial to me, but what do I know. It is the best presentation of the storm (which I witnessed firsthand) that I've yet seen, even if this film doesn't capture the beauty of what the storm looked like outside the city.
(1) Because of its wonderful quality. (2) Because of its role as homage. It is directly inspired by Dziga Vertov's 1929 silent classic "Man With a Movie Camera." (3) Because it represents an almost unbelievable technical proficiency. It was filmed during the New York blizzard of Dec. 26, and Jamie Stuart e-mailed it to me with this time stamp: December 27, 2010 4:18:18 PM CST.
You can tell from the cinematography he knew exactly what he was doing and how to do it. He held the Vertov film in memory. Stuart must already been thinking of how he would do the edit and sound. Any professional will tell you the talent exhibited here is extraordinary.
As Steve mentioned in GMN, the Minneapolis Metrodome roof collapsed under all that snow... and now there's video!
Cadallaca, "Winter Storm '98." It's a song about Oregon and snow. I was 16 in 1998 and that might've been the year my dad took me to a parking lot to teach me how to snow-drive. Last winter I had to abandon my roommate's car on the side of Burnside, 6 blocks from my house, so I guess the driving lessons didn't take. Oregonians. I know. We suck.
Could a repeat of last year's snowpocalypse be right around the corner? The streets may be drivable, but that hasn't stopped the cold from leaving a trail of destruction, this time right down the block from the Mercury offices!
The O reported that an industrial building collapsed in Northeast Portland, so I walked over to check it out. The fire department officials on the scene said that a pipe burst, waterlogging the empty building until the floor gave way (that's the floor in the photo below, sticking out of the structure like a tongue). Nobody was hurt, but given that the dissolving building is perched right over the MAX Blue and Green lines and I-84, if the soil keeps eroding there could be reason to worry. Similarly, the building is right next to the foundations of the bridge that carries NE 21st across the freeway, so here's to hoping this gets cleaned up quick.
More photos after the jump.
How many times do I have to tell you kids!? It looks like German chef Heston Blumenthal blew off both of his hands while "trying to empty a canister of liquid nitrogen." The use of liquid nitrogen is apparently part of some discipline called molecular gastronomy "a scientific discipline involving the study of physical and chemical processes that occur in cooking." (thx wikipedia)!
I, personally, feel it's a little over the top using something that boils at -196 Celsius in your cooking, no matter how bad ass you think you are. Hadn't this fellow seen Terminator 2?
UPDATE: Despite several sources claiming it was Blumenthal himself who destroyed his hands, it now appears it was an unknown German chef attempting to use a method commonly used by Blumenthal. (Thanks, Graham!)
While I'm not going to justify the actions of the rapscallion who wrote scatological words on various snow covered cars on NE 28th—between Burnside and Stark—that doesn't mean I didn't think it was pretty funny in a really juvenile way.
From the "Poo Mobil" to "Diarhea" (it's a tough word to spell, I won't judge you for missing it), almost every vehicle on the entire block was prominently marked. Nice form, young prankster. Keep honing those skills and you'll be working here in no time!
Last Sunday's screening of Silent Night, Deadly Night was canceled thanks to the stupid weather—but never fear, Xmas horror fans. From the Grindhouse Film Fest:
Rescheduled for Christmas Eve! On Wednesday December 24th at 10:15 pm at the Hollywood Theatre, the Grindhouse Film Festival presents Silent Night, Deadly Night! A 35mm print of the 1984 Christmas classic about an axe wielding psychopath dressed as Santa Claus. Plus, horror trailers and the ax giveaway!
If you bought advance tickets to the Sunday night show, they'll be honored at this screening, and if you need any more info, go here.
Because if you do, you might want to walk back over to my house and pick up your damn stroller.
This frozen block of stroller has been abandoned out in front of my house since Saturday, and I'm a little concerned for its former occupant and the sort of parent that would just ditch baby's ride in someone's front yard. Aren't these things expensive?
Also, it's days like this that make me wish I defaulted on my mortgage and bought that cherry red Hummer. Look at that thing! Boom! Right over the snow.
While KATU (studio location: NE 21st and Sandy) has been frantically, giddily engaging in nonstop reporting on SNOWPOCALYPSE!!—indeed, they've been breathlessly, repetitively announcing minute-by-minute conditions for days now, reporting from such far-flung locales as, say, the snowy intersection at NE 21st and Sandy—one thing that's utterly awesome about their coverage is meteorologist Scott Sistek's excellently named weather blog, Partly to Mostly Bloggin'.
Just looking outside and you can tell Old Man Winter paid us a visit, but in Lake Stevens, it looks like he put in a personal appearance!
GYAH! THE FUCK IS THAT? HAUNTED ICICLE! HAUNTED GODDAMN ICICLE! OLD MAN WINTER WILL KILL US ALL! THERE HE IS! KILL IT! KILL IT! IF WE MELT HIM THE SNOW WILL GO AWAY!
The initiation of a Snowball Earth event would involve some initial cooling mechanism, followed by runaway cooling due to increasing ice accumulation. The initial cooling could be facilitated by an equatorial continental distribution, which would increase the Earth's albedo near the equator, where most solar radiation is incident.
This arrangement would also allow rapid, unchecked weathering of continental rocks, a process that absorbs the greenhouse gas carbon dioxide from the atmosphere, resulting in further cooling.
Alternatively, changes in solar energy output or perturbations of Earth's orbit could act as a trigger. However the initial cooling comes about, resultant ice accumulation would reflect solar energy back to space, further cooling the atmosphere and generating more ice cover.
This feedback loop could eventually produce a frozen equator as cold as modern-day Antarctica.
Just $15.99. Tote bags, thongs also available.
|Most Popular||I, Anonymous||Best of the Merc|
Get the best of the Mercury each week in your inbox!