At Profile Theatre, Quiara Alegría Hudes and the Dream of the Female Road Narrative

Andy Kinder

“Lewis and Clark, Jack Kerouac, and me: hitting the road!” That’s the cheesiest line in Quiara Alegría Hudes’ 26 Miles, now showing at Profile Theatre. It may also be the most important, as a nerdy teenage girl, Olivia (Alex Ramirez de Cruz), earnestly announces her place in a pantheon of iconic road narratives.

26 Miles is the latest in Profile’s season of plays by Quiara Alegría Hudes. Following last year’s focus on Sarah Ruhl, this season reflects the company’s relatively new initiative to spotlight work by women and people of color. It’s a sensible approach to counterbalancing theater’s well-documented diversity problem, and one the company, which each year dedicates an entire season to work by a single playwright, is uniquely positioned to take.

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Portland's First-Ever Mountain Bike Park Opens This Weekend

Single-track trail at the brand new Gateway Green.
Single-track trail at the brand new Gateway Green.

Remember how for our summer guide this year, we previewed the brand new mountain bike park taking shape out at the convergence of interstates 84 and 205?

Well, summer arrived yesterday, and the park opens this weekend. If you're into mountain biking, you're keenly aware of Gateway Green's opening day on Saturday. If you're not, check it out anyway. The Gathering at Gateway Green will have free bike rentals and safety courses for the uninitiated, a beer garden, puppet shows, and tons more (like sunblock, hopefully—it's supposed to be in the 90s).

More than a decade in the making, this park is a big deal in a city that's had fits about expanding access for mountain bikes in the past. Gateway Green features miles of single-track trails, a pump track, a skills course, and a set of dirt jumps.

Here's a rundown from River City Bicycles:


Living A Car-Light Lifestyle? This Is The App You’ve Been Missing In Your Life.

With only 1.46 cars per person many people in Portland are looking for alternative options that help get around town. If you haven’t heard of ReachNow yet, it’s time you met the car sharing service that gives you access to over 350 BMW and MINI vehicles through an app. It’s free to join and there are no membership fees. Drive for just $0.41/min and drop your car anywhere in the Home Area for free. So, now you’ve got wheels when you need them, where to first?

(Sandy) Alex G Doesn't Want to Kill the Magic

(SANDY) ALEX G Songs about hot dogs... or ARE they?
(SANDY) ALEX G Songs about hot dogs... or ARE they? Tonje THILESEN

“Is the truth trapped behind iron lock and key?” asks Alex Giannascoli on “Guilty,” the closing track of his excellent new album, Rocket. When it comes to his music, the answer is a resounding yes.

Six years ago, the Philadelphia-based musician began releasing his lo-fi bedroom recordings on Bandcamp, with double-tracked vocals that’ve inspired some knee-jerk comparisons to the late Pacific Northwest singer/songwriter Elliott Smith. Giannascoli—who now records and performs under the moniker (Sandy) Alex G, after another musician trademarked the name Alex G in late 2015—isn’t all that much like Smith, but his experimental pop does have a similarly cultish following.

For someone who’s only spent 24 years on this planet, he’s already pretty prolific. Giannascoli’s released seven full-length records, and was invited to play guitar on Frank Ocean’s new albums Endless and Blonde. But he’s hesitant to say much about his own music. In an interview with Bandcamp last month, Giannascoli addressed this caginess, citing his fear that learning the meaning behind songs could “destroy the mystery.”

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The Nib's New Animated Series is 🔥

The Nib

The first episode of The Nib's new animated series is online today, and it's a perfectly TOO REAL political cartoon. It's produced by Matt Bors, the Portland-based founder of the The Nib whose analog comics appear weekly in the Mercury (check the front of the paper under our letters to the editor section), and the story for this animated episode was edited by our former news writer and forever-friend of the paper Sarah Mirk! 👏 👏 👏 to everyone involved!

This Week's Style Events

MOORE Custom Goods
MOORE Custom Goods Jeff Wong

Modified Style, an annual fundraising fashion show and competition that showcases the work of up and coming designers, is back with a fairly long list of hopefuls vying for the top spot in their category, which include youth, amateur, professional, and professional collection. Each designer is tasked with creating a one-of-a-kind garment made exclusively of recycled materials, and the main focus of the event is to bring awareness to the disposability of fast fashion and the damage and pollution it creates in the environment. MOORE won the professional category last year, and we all know how much that company has grown since. If you want to check out the next generation of Portland designers this is a great event to attend. Proceeds from the show this year will benefit Caldera Arts, a nonprofit that blends art and environmental education to improve the lives of underprivileged youth.
Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside, Thur June 22, 6:30 pm, $18- $50, all ages


Parachute, a direct-to-consumer home essentials brand based in Venice Beach, will open their second brick and mortar on NW 23rd today. The store was custom designed by Jessica Helgerson and Kayti Huffman of Portland based Jessica Helgerson Interior Design and features Parachute’s bedding, bath and tabletop collections. Shoppers can purchase items on-site or place orders in-store with complimentary shipping, and Parachute will also offer one-on-one design consultations. The store will also carry like-minded and local vendors, and a garden in the back of the store will serve as a setting for future Parachute parties and community events.
Parachute, 820 NW 23rd, Store Hours, Mon- Sat, 11 am- 7 pm, Sun, 11 am- 6 pm

Portland is all about DIY culture, but some might be a little intimidated to attempt to make their own footwear. Well, intimidation be damned! Learn how to make your very own leather sandals at Broad Space’s Shoemaking 101. Broad Space is a fairly new art and work collective that seeks to connect women that are looking for a space to grow their business and art ventures, and provides workshops as well as spaces to rent. In this one-day class, taught by Nike footwear designer Sarah Rabebda, you will learn design principles, how to measure the foot and turn your design into a pattern, how to dye and cut the leather, and how to assemble and finish the final product.
Broad Space, 425 SE 3rd, Sat June 24, 9:30 am- 6:30 pm, $195 (includes cost of materials), register at

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The Internet is Having a Lot of Fun with the New Ken Dolls

As you may have heard Mattel has rolled out a new series of Ken dolls (Barbie's side piece) to appeal to a new generation of kids. From NPR:

On Tuesday, the company rolled out 15 new Ken dolls with three body types: "slim, broad and original." They have seven skin tones, nine hairstyles — including cornrows and "man buns" — and an array of sartorial styles from business casual to athletic-chic.

"We are redefining what a Barbie or Ken doll looks like to this generation," Lisa McKnight, senior vice president and general manager, Barbie, said in a press release. McKnight says the new Ken, "allows girls to further personalize the role they want him to play in Barbie's world."

And oh dear god, the internet is having some fun with that. BEHOLD.

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Benson High School Community Marches to Protect Sports


In the few days since the school year ended, a group of teachers and coaches came together to orchestrate a demonstration against the rumored cut of Benson High School’s sports programming.

Led by John Slaughter, former football coach at Benson for twelve years and a graduate of 1998, and Steve Curley who has taught at the school since 2005, the pair created a Facebook event over the weekend and planned a march to interrupt the Portland Public Schools weekly board meeting. At the same time, a petition signed “Benson Athletes” began circulating and garnered over 600 signatures in three days.

In the hour leading up to the march’s departure, kids of all ages filed out of the on-site basketball camp that was founded by A. C. Green almost 30 years ago. Green, a Benson graduate of 1981 and retired NBA player who boasts the title of most consecutive games played in NBA history says, “[Sports are] really important for other kids who are in the same environment as me. You never know the diamonds in the rough that you may see and get discovered inside of a high school… Education is also so important [because] the focus, the learning, the discipline of school, and how to apply yourself in school—the foundation work—always starts in high school.”


The march, comprised primarily of Benson students, staff, and family, began on the front lawn of Benson Polytechnic High School and neared 150 participants at its prime as they snaked through the sidewalks of Northeast Portland.

The initial speculations were that sports programming was to be cut altogether, but newer information also spread by word-of-mouth suggests the proposal would reduce programming to a handful of select sports including basketball, track, and tennis. A lack of competitiveness has been cited as a reason for the looming decision.

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Timbers Implode in Minnesota

Minnesota United

All that stood yesterday between the Portland Timbers and their massive Sunday showdown with the Seattle Sounders at Providence Park was the small matter of a midweek trip to Minnesota to play MLS' joint-newest club.

Harmless, right? Not so much.

In just 90 minutes at TCF Bank Stadium on Wednesday night, the Timbers managed to concede three goals, lose two crucial players to suspension, and go down to a damaging defeat against the team with the league's worst record.

No one shattered their Achilles, but catastrophic injury aside, Portland's first ever MLS trip to the Twin Cities could not have gone worse.

The Timbers now face the prospect of heading into the biggest game of their season lugging back-to-back defeats, a five-game road losing streak, and just two wins in their last eleven games across all competitions.

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Good Morning, News: Portland's 1967 Race Riot, Inmate Healthcare Costs, and More Potential Mosquitos

Good morning, Portland. No time for small talk, let's get into these links.

Portland police chase a Black protester during the 1967 Irving Park riot.
Portland police chase a Black protester during the 1967 Irving Park riot. OREGON HISTORICAL SOCIETY NO. BB005805

First up is this week's feature, out in print as of yesterday, about the 1967 race riots in Portland. Santi Elijah Holley is a good writer:

Tensions had been building for weeks.

Portland Police, emboldened by the newly established Intelligence Division, had become a regular presence in North/Northeast’s Albina neighborhood, monitoring civil rights activity and “agitators.” Police relations with Portland’s African American community had never been positive, but in the summer of 1967, two years after the devastating Watts Riots, distrust between the police and the Black community ratcheted to new heights. In the opinion of many local residents, in particular young Blacks, Albina had come to resemble a police state.

“Where else but in Albina do cops hang around the streets and parks all day like plantation overseers?” commented one young man to an Oregonian reporter. “Just their presence antagonizes us. We feel like we’re being watched all the time.”

Also out in print yesterday, our story on the interconnectedness of the criminal justice and healthcare systems: "And in Multnomah County, taxpayers are now on the hook for nearly $1 million more than budgeted this year to pay for jail inmates’ trips to the hospital for care beyond what the in-house staff can provide."

Multnomah County released its tally of the homeless population this week: "Yes, the homeless population is larger. After tens of millions of public dollars spent, data analyses pointing toward how to spend it, and record numbers of homeless residents being placed into housing, the latest point-in-time count suggests the city’s homeless population has grown by about 10 percent in the last two years—from 3,801 in 2015 to 4,177 as of February 22."

"Newly released documents make clear just how uncomfortable FBI and U.S. Justice Department officials were in 2015 when Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum tried to participate in a joint investigation of former Gov. John Kitzhaber," the Oregonian reported yesterday evening. "Correspondence between leaders at the agencies, obtained by The Oregonian/OregonLive Wednesday in response to a records request originally submitted in 2015, shows federal officials worried about Rosenblum's conflicts of interest, given her duty to represent Kitzhaber's office and other state officials under investigation."

Four people are accused of murdering a Gresham man to rob him of his weed.

"The Multnomah County District Attorney's Office has taken the unusual step of deciding to no longer bring criminal cases before Circuit Judge Judith Matarazzo after determining she isn't 'fair and impartial,'" the Oregonian reported. "The office asked the court’s presiding judge to reassign a felony sex abuse case that was headed for trial this week in Matarazzo’s courtroom to another judge."

A Black-owned barbershop on Killingsworth, Studio Six Nine Hair Design, is closing and its owner blames gentrification, the Portland Tribune reports.

There may be more mosquitos here this year, KATU says: "Ahead of what are supposed to be perfect breeding conditions for mosquitoes, Multnomah County Vector Control specialists have been going troubled areas, trapping mosquito larvae, and treating them before they begin to develop. This year's late spring storms helped with the flood water mosquito population."

Some more Portland businesses were broken into last night. The cops arrested two people.

Per the AP: "Some folks in Oregon might not want to ask, when served an elk burger or a venison steak, where the meat came from. Under a roadkill bill passed overwhelmingly by the Legislature and signed by the governor, motorists who crash into the animals can now harvest the meat to eat."

It's going to be hot as hell this weekend, and the Timbers moved the game against the Seattle Sounders to the evening to deal with it.

Our dumb reality show president likes dumb reality shows:

Here's a Sneak Peek at the Stumptown Improv Fest Lineup!

Hip.Bang Courtesy the Artists

If you haven't experienced the unbridled hilarity of the annual Stumptown Improv Fest, you really have some catching up to do! It's the fourth go-around for this fest (coming at ya August 3-5) which brings in some of the best local and national improv groups to strut their stuff in Portland, and this year's line up which has just been leaked to us is killer. Check it out!

Dasariski (LA)
Hip.Bang (Vancouver, BC)
Summerland (LA)
Orange Tuxedo (LA)
Broke Gravy (PDX)
Big Bang (East Coast)
Outside Dog (LA)
The Future (PHI)
Tunnel (PDX)
The Bloody Marys (Toronto)
Curious Comedy (PDX)
Brody Theater (PDX)
The Right Now (SF/LA)
Local Ensemble (PDX)
Peachy Chicken (PDX)

From the above list, we're most excited about seeing LA's Desariski (considered to be one of the best improv groups in the nation), Vancouver, BC's Hip.Bang (an award-winning duo that's whip-smart, fast on their feet, and absurd as all get out), and the return of the beloved Orange Tuxedo (Craig and Carla Cackowski) and Summerland who both killed it at last year's fest.

There's a ton to see and love from this list (plus a couple of secret additions that haven't been announced yet), so keep an eye on the Stumptown Improv site for more announcements and when you can start snapping up those tickets!

HousingNewsCity Hall$$$

City Council Allocates $800,000 to Prop Up Portland's Public Golf Courses

The City of Portlands RedTail Golf Course
The City of Portland's RedTail Golf Course City of Portland

Amid a litany of pressing needs that face this city, it was Portland's publicly owned golf courses getting a bailout from Portland City Council this morning.

It turns out that apart from bumming everyone out, the intense winter and spring rains further dampened revenue in Portland's typically self-sustaining fund for operating five golf facilities around town. With the city's current fiscal year set to end June 30, the Golf Fund required $800,000 to finish in the black, as required by law. City Council approved a transfer from the Parks Bureau's budget as part of a routine ordinance shoring up accounts at year's end.

The optics of the move—as Portland hosts a growing homeless population and ongoing housing crisis—were plainly not lost on officials at Portland Parks and Recreation, which runs the golf program.

Parks Commissioner Amanda Fritz took time at Wednesday morning's council meeting to acknowledge the bailout, and vowed it would never be repeated—even if she had to suspend the golf program to make that happen.

"The golf fund has in the past been completely self sustaining," Fritz said. "This is the first time general fund resources have been used for the golf program and it will be the last." Fritz said she and Parks Director Mike Abbaté would be taking a detailed look at the issue, and that "all options will be on the table, up to and including suspending the golf program."

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Savage Love Letter of the Day: It's Okay to Share Dick Pics at Work, Just Not His Dick Pics


I'm a 36-year-old homo in a large metropolitan city with a sizable gay community. I'm out, proud and being single. I'm also on the promiscuous side. Being that I'm a slut (a label I'm not afraid of) and that it's also 2017, there exists a number of photographs of me in a number of sexual positions. My face isn't clearly visible in any of them, but some photos show more of me than others, including tattoos.

I've sent these photos out over the gay hookup apps. Now, in my mild defense, I'm 36. I remember IRC chat rooms, which predate even AOL. When I used it took more than ten minutes to attach a photo to an email. I've sent and received dick pics thousands of times in 16 years.

So imagine my surprise when I was setting up work at my restaurant—where I've been employed for only three months—and I glance over and spot a busboy showing photos I recognize to a manager. I step closer and it's very obvious to me—having seen and sent this photo for over a year—that it's my mouth with a dick in it. I watch as he scrolls and it's a photo of me in a mask (my lower jaw visible) at IML, he scrolls again and it's me with another dick in my mouth.

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"Burn the Town Down": The Albina Riots of 1967

Portland police chase a Black protester during the 1967 Irving Park riot.
Portland police chase a Black protester during the 1967 Irving Park riot. OREGON HISTORICAL SOCIETY NO. BB005805

Tensions had been building for weeks.

Portland Police, emboldened by the newly established Intelligence Division, had become a regular presence in North/Northeast’s Albina neighborhood, monitoring civil rights activity and “agitators.” Police relations with Portland’s African American community had never been positive, but in the summer of 1967, two years after the devastating Watts Riots, distrust between the police and the Black community ratcheted to new heights. In the opinion of many local residents, in particular young Blacks, Albina had come to resemble a police state.

“Where else but in Albina do cops hang around the streets and parks all day like plantation overseers?” commented one young man to an Oregonian reporter. “Just their presence antagonizes us. We feel like we’re being watched all the time.”

In North Portland, as in the rest of the country, tensions between police and the Black community were at an all-time high, and the city was primed to explode.

The summer of 1967 was racked by nationwide uprisings. The “long hot summer” saw 159 racially motivated riots across the United States, beginning in June with violent events in Atlanta, Boston, Cincinnati, Buffalo, and Tampa, followed in July with more outbreaks in Birmingham, Chicago, New York, Minneapolis, and elsewhere. The largest and most extensive riots occurred in Newark, New Jersey (26 dead, 1,500 arrests) and Detroit, Michigan (43 dead, 7,200 arrests).

By the middle of July it seemed as though Portland would escape the violence sweeping the country, but 50 years ago next month, the city’s decades-long practice of discrimination and displacement had finally reached its boiling point.

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The High Cost of Inmate Healthcare

K. Marie

In America, the often-criticized criminal justice and health care systems are deeply intertwined.

And in Multnomah County, taxpayers are now on the hook for nearly $1 million more than budgeted this year to pay for jail inmates’ trips to the hospital for care beyond what the in-house staff can provide.

“A handful of people can make a big difference,” says Joanne Fuller, director of the Multnomah County Health Department (MCHD), which oversees inmate healthcare. “Hospitals are expensive!”

Last week, the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners voted unanimously to tack $900,000 of general fund money on to MCHD’s “corrections health” budget—a necessity in order to keep the department from closing out the fiscal year in the red.

The department expects to spend about $19.3 million this year for inmate healthcare-related expenses, including $2 million to compensate local hospitals that care for its inmates. That’s roughly double the amount budgeted for so-called “outsourced” care—and the reasons have reverberations in the ongoing national healthcare debate.

“This year we’ve seen an increase in inmates going to the hospital, and inmates who don’t have Medicaid coverage or are ineligible for Medicaid requiring hospitalization,” Wendy Lear, business services director for the health department, told the county board last week. “So we’ve spent more than we anticipated in outside medical costs.”

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Japanese Breakfast's New Record Is Outer Space Electro-Pop

JAPANESE BREAKFAST Thurs 6/22 Holocene
JAPANESE BREAKFAST Thurs 6/22 Holocene Ebru Yildiz

Last year, Philadelphia-based musician Michelle Zauner released her debut LP under the moniker Japanese Breakfast: Psychopomp, nine glittering pop songs that pass like an electric storm, with blinding flashes of nostalgia, grief, and momentary joy.

In 2014 Zauner’s mother was diagnosed with cancer, so she moved home to rural Oregon. Written in the wake of her death, it’s the product of all kinds of emptiness—the void her mother left, the strangeness of returning to your hometown, the people who let you down—but Zauner processes the pain freely, and lets light poke holes through the grayness. On opening track “In Heaven” she sings, “I came here for the long haul/Now I leave here as an empty fucking hole,” but she’s surrounded by gorgeous, crystalline swirls of twinkling piano and strings. This contrast between hollow anguish and striking beauty is what makes Psychopomp so great: It’s Zauner’s self-portrait from life’s darkest moments, but even there, she finds hope.

Next month she’s releasing another Japanese Breakfast record, Soft Sounds from Another Planet. True to the name, the new album sounds like it was recorded in outer space, with heavy synth and electro-pop beats. Zauner commands its gigantic, wildly expansive tracks with grace and power—just see the “Boyish,” an orchestral ode to romantic suffering and unrequited desire. “I can’t get you off my mind,” she croons, “I can’t get you off in general/So here we are, we’re just two losers/I want you and you want something more beautiful.” It’s shocking, that this mini-masterpiece fits into just three-and-a-half minutes. But that’s Soft Sounds from Another Planet—Zauner unfolds an entire universe, and for 12 songs, we get to visit.