- Three or four shades take place in Portland.
E.L. James is gracing fans of her problematic sex books Fifty Shades of Grey et al with a book signing on Monday at Powell's. Let's not look down our noses at her just because she's sold over 40 million copies of her disturbing erotic fan fiction. Let's look down on her because she chose the Portland area as the backdrop for much of her horrible, offensive bullshit.
The Heathman Hotel owners have embraced their prominent placement in the book. For a mere $2,750 you can enjoy a helicopter tour plus dinner for six plus a bottle of the wine they drank in the book. Of course, if it really is the Fifty Shades experience, an attractive asshole who you REPEATEDLY TOLD TO STOP TALKING DOWN TO YOU will chose what you eat at dinner because his BDSM interests include a bizarre food-controlism.
During dinner he'll repeatedly tell you that he wants to screw you on the table in the Heathman dining room (and for $2,750, I think the six of you should be allowed to do that if you want). When you're strapped into the helicopter, he'll get a gigantic boner because he's thinking of doing things to you that you REPEATEDLY TOLD HIM YOU'RE NOT INTO. And later he'll spit that fancy wine into your belly button and that will be kinda hot but also sticky.
WSU Vancouver doesn't yet offer anything like the Heathman package, but they should. All of the reporters from the school paper (the annoyingly capitalized VanCougar) should be sexually harassed by their interview subjects. Remember, ladies. Behind every inappropriate comment is a future husband (spoiler alert).
Most of the other locations in E.L. James's pile of nightmares are fake so you can't visit as much as you'd like. Clayton's Hardware is the fictional hardware store (she could disgrace a fine hotel, but would never dream of using a real hardware store) where
Bella Swan Ana Steele sells Edward Cullen Christian Grey duct tape, cable ties, and rope all of which will later be used in the sex games she REPEATEDLY TOLD HIM SHE DOESN'T WANT TO PLAY but that she gives into because he's hot and nobody's been interested in her before.
There's a bar in Portland that doesn't have a name. That's where Ana is hanging out with friends when Mr. Grey tracks her cell phone (Illegal? Yes. A red flag in a relationship? Very yes.) and then shows up after she REPEATEDLY TOLD HIM NOT TO because he wants to control every moment of her life.
Next time you drive across the I-5 bridge going north, remember that's where Christian's chauffeur drove Anna because he doesn't believe she can safely drive herself across town.
There's a small risk we're going to turn into Forks, Washington. The economy there is almost entirely dependant on Twilight fans. But even if we aren't flooded by middle aged women experiencing a sexual renaissance (yay!) because of one of the worst written books of all time (boo!), every time you see a helicopter buzzing around downtown, you'll have to wonder if the pilot has a giant boner and the passengers have wine in their belly buttons. Thanks a lot Mrs. James.