SCHOOL SUPPLIES (OR IN MEMORY OF THE TRAPPER KEEPER)
By Professor Will Gardner, Mercury University Bookstore
Since the sleek, efficient, all-in-one Trapper Keepers have inexplicably been rendered obsolete by earthdom, today's student is forced to shell out for copious monochromatic notebooks and folders. Avoid the humdrum selection available at your school's bookstore and head to sleek, efficient Office (2204 NE Alberta), whose array—though spectacular—may be too spendy for penniless undergraduates. But go take a look, by all means. Basement prices can be found at Office Supply Co. (706 SE 6th), where the stock includes those plastic bus pass covers and some psychedelic pushpins, or Peter's (835 NW Everett), family-owned and operated for damn near 40 years. I seem to be in need of report covers and legal pads quite often, so I frequent Stevens-Ness (916 SW 4th), a store primarily for legal supplies which outfitted me when I attended PSU—where I got a 3.9, by the way.
BIKE (THIEF) TOWN, USA!
By Professor Scott Moore, Dept. of Bikes and Thievery
You could spend mommy and daddy's money on a new top of the line Italian road bike from Veloce (3202 SE Hawthorne), but I can guarantee that unless you have it surgically attached to a vital organ, that shit will be stolen in under a week. Instead, follow these hot tips and you can get around town and still have enough parental skrill left over for booze and lap dances at Magic Gardens.
First, you need a cheap-ass used bike that has a sturdy frame and serviceable components. These can be found at any one of the do-gooder co-ops, like Community Cycling Center (1700 NE Alberta) or Citybikes (734 SE Ankeny). They recycle bikes that would otherwise end up in landfills, and CCC also donates free bikes to the truly needy—no, much needier than you.
That's great and all, but if you want to really save money and avoid being belittled by bike shop elitists, head over to the corner of SE 20th and Ankeny, where a local resident puts up a seemingly endless line of nearly free (but apparently solid) bikes for sale. Just look for the bikes locked up to the road signs—there's a phone number you can call to buy one or see what else is in the collection. For between $45 and $125, you can pick up anything from an old single-speed Schwinn to an off-market 10 or 21-speed. (Hot tip! Buy the ugliest bike you can find—it'll be less likely to get stolen and your ass will look hot by comparison).
It'll still need a good overhaul, so walk it a half block to Citybikes' repair shop (1914 SE Ankeny) and get ready to drop another $50-100. Of course, all the shops in town get backed up for a couple of weeks, so pick up a dirt-cheap beater as a backup. (And if you fall in with the Chunk 666 [www.dclxvi.org/chunk] crowd, you can dismantle it and weld on bathtub plumbing or bowling trophies or whatever the hell they're doing now.)
But even if you listen to nothing else I say, heed this: If you're just planning to ride around the streets of Portland, DO NOT buy a mountain bike—unless you're actually trying to look like a total douchebag.
YOUR FAVORITE BIKE RIDES
By Professor Phil Busse
With Special Guest Professor Ray Thomas
Ray Thomas is a local attorney who fights for the underdog, which from time to time, means he represents bicycle riders. Check out his book Pedal Power, a legal guide for cyclists. And check out his recommended rides:
Portland Wheelman: "The fountainhead of local bike rides hosts more than a dozen rides per week departing from all corners of the Metro area. Info at www.pwtc.com."
Noon-Hour Thigh Buster: "On Monday and Thursday at noon, the legendary climb-until-you-puke ride starts rain or shine from the SW corner of Pioneer Square and climbs up to the top of Portland's West Hills with a group of racing human whippets; done by 1:30 pm. I mean really done."
Waterfront: "The best intro ride in town is to cruise north along Tom McCall Waterfront Park, cross to the east side on the Steel Bridge, then continue south, past OMSI, through the Oaks Bottom Wetland to the Sellwood Bridge. Cross back to the westside and go on the bike path past Riverplace to downtown. Scenic and slow enough to take kids."
Bike Club: "Rides and events for all fitness levels. Includes lots of social events. www.shift2bikes.org."
STRIP CLUBS: PORTLAND'S SPACE NEEEDLE
By Guest Professor Viva Las Vegas
Editor of Exotic Magazine and Magic Gardens Dancer
Portland's preponderance of all-nude bars presents a veritable feast for the voyeur. Every type of flesh is on display for the price of a Coors Light (although you should tip a dollar a song if you know what's good for you). In my 10-year tenure in Rose City, I've been fortunate enough to witness deformed strippers, elderly strippers, extra-large strippers, one-legged strippers, and one lovely lady with a vestigial arm. Of course I've also seen hundreds—nay, thousands—of gorgeous girls NOT featured in Katherine Dunn's Geek Love.
Naturally Portland has its share of big glitzy gentlemen's clubs—places like the Dolphin, Stars, and Exotica. But I prefer the quirky mom-and-pop joints, places where everybody knows your name, places the Germans would call gemütlich. The following are my favorites:
• Magic Gardens (217 NW 4th) There's just something magical about the Gardens.
• Mary's Club (129 SW Broadway) Naked boobies since 1965. Great murals, awesome dancers, and fab staff.
• Devil's Point (5305 SE Foster) Incredibly beautiful and artful broads. Lots of Suicide Girls and Fatal Beauties. Sunday night Stripper Karaoke is not to be missed.
• Acropolis (8325 SE McLoughlin) Three stages. Fifty-one beers on tap. Awesome FOUR DOLLAR STEAKS.
• Club Cabos (5145 SE McLoughlin) Perfect for breakfast.
• Nicolai St. Clubhouse (2460 NW 24th) Classic blue-collar strip bar in industrial Northwest.
• Pirate's Cove (7417 NE Sandy) Formerly called the Sandy Jug, the Cove is the perfect place to bring out-of-towners on the way home from the airport.
• Beavers (9603 SE 82nd) Your grandma works the red shag carpet-covered stage at Beavers and holy cow! Is she HOT!
GROCERY STORES 101
By Professor Lance Chess,
(located in your grocer's freezer)
Let's face it, we all gotta eat. It breaks up the monotony between the frequent binges and late-night cram sessions that come with collegiate studies. Healthy body healthy mind and all that crap right? Besides, if you can whip up a culinary masterpiece with your own two hands, it's almost a guarantee that you won't be spending those chilly autumn evenings alone. Let's start with the basics...
New Seasons (6400 N Interstate, 1214 SE Tacoma, 5320 NE 33rd)
Wild Oats (3016 SE Division, 3535 NE 15th, 2825 E Burnside, 1954 SE Division)
An excellent choice for payday, these high-end grocery stores offer the most attractive produce, the finest cuts of meat, and a variety of natural and organic groceries with an emphasis on sparkling quality.
WinCo Foods (11250 SE 82nd, 1222 NE 102nd)
WinCo is an employee-owned working class cash and carry. This is the place to go if you want to stock up on stuff like basic spaghetti ingredients, bulk foods, and staples like beer and cheese.
Food Fight! (4179 SE Division)
A vegan grocery and long-time Mercury favorite, Food Fight! sources most of their stock to the highest vegan standard. Once you learn the real story behind the food you eat, you may not be able to shop elsewhere.
Big City Produce (722 N Sumner)
This is a grocery with an emphasis on fresh local produce, which they offer year-round. Staffed by the nicest people in Portland, shopping at Big City is about as close to "keeping it in the family" as you can get.
Daily Grind Natural Foods (4026 SE Hawthorne)
The go-to store for natural foods in the SE, Daily Grind has an in-house restaurant, a bakery (yes vegans) and all manner of natural foodstuffs. The bakery makes a dinner-plate sized cookie that is so substantial that I couldn't eat the whole thing in one sitting and I can f&$%ing eat.
3 Boys Market (6728 NE MLK)
Attention bargain hunters! 3 Boys is the place to go for expensive staples, as they stock the dated stuff from the shelves of New Seasons and Wild Oats. Things to look for: coffee, tea, olive oil, pasta, and canned goods.
Food Front Co-op (2375 NW Thurman)
People's Food Co-op (3029 SE 21st)
Alberta Cooperative Grocery (1500 NE Alberta)
Each touting their own perspective and strengths as cooperative grocers, co-ops are the responsible feel-good way to stock your pantry. Shop here if you want to give your money to people who care what you eat.
Safeway, Thriftway, Fred Meyer, Albertsons, Etc. (Numerous locations throughout the Portland Metro area)
Shop here if you must. Good for can and bottle deposit returns.
MASSAGE, SKIN CARE, ACUPUNCTURE
By Professor Will Gardner, Dept. of Spoiled Rotten
After that oh-so-wearying toga party or exhausting ice cream social, a massage is in order. Visit Jen Kneedler (756-1032) who, in her NE Broadway studio, rocks deep-tissue, hot stone, and Thai massage. For those on the westside, try Equilibria (1536 NW 23rd). The therapists there specialize in couples massage, but don't scoff at singles. Between them all, they run the gamut in massage styles; several even offer two-hour sessions. Also in-house at Equilibrium is Angie Carver, who can tend to your monthly waxing. Most highly recommended among males-with-healing-hands is Chris Lacy (2908 SE Belmont, 481-2390), particularly for Thai massage—he still offers a 10 percent discount to East-West students. Though not a massage therapist, Gary Bondurant (212 NE 20th, 502-5939) includes rigorous massage in some of his acupuncture treatments. If your spine is on the blink (or you want to give up smoking)—and if you don't mind that your acupuncturist isn't Asian—Gary works on a sliding scale (and sometimes attends ice cream socials).
THE PERFECT DATE
By Professor Katie Shimer, Dept. of Failed Relationships
Finally your months of scouring singles bars and the internet have paid off. You have a date. Now don't screw it up by telling your hottie to meet you at the Lloyd Center Applebee's. Take our advice and hit one of these great date spots.
Bossanova (722 E Burnside, 233-7855)
If you fancy a game of billiards with your possible new sweetie, Bossanova is a great spot. They have 11 pool tables, cozy booths, and tons of liquor for all. And, if you get hungry, grab a tasty panini, pasta, salad, or an antipasta plate that's as big as a tire.
Brazen Bean (2075 NW Glisan, 294-0636)
If you're going on a date you may want to bail on, this is a great destination. Meet between six and eight o'clock on a weekday for happy hour and toss back a couple of strong, perfectly crafted $4 martinis. If the weather's nice the wrap-around porch is optimal, if it's not, the dark lighting of the gothic bar makes everyone look years younger. The food at Brazen Bean is just nibbles, but then you won't make an ass out of yourself by dripping spaghetti sauce on your shirt.
Noble Rot (2724 SE Ankeny, 233-1999)
While I'd normally recommend Navarre for tapas (just up the street at 28th and Burnside), Noble Rot is better for newbie daters who don't want to dive into a whole big meal. Plates are small and delicious—try the mac and cheese or the meat plate—and glasses of wine are plentiful. The dining room is super cozy and reeks of highbrow daters—so if you're lowbrow, choose someplace else.
Sapphire Hotel (5008 SE Hawthorne, 232-6333)
Another spot with fabulously low lighting, the Sapphire Hotel really is a tasty date spot. Share a cheese plate, order a glass of wine, speak candidly over the music, and pretend you're an adult.
Shanghai Tunnel (211 SW Ankeny, 220-4001)
While too smoky for some, Shanghai has and always will be one of my favorite Portland hangouts. Their food is amazing considering the basementy environs—try the seared tuna, noodle bowls, or just a plate of cheese fries. Shanghai is always dark, relatively crowded, and filled with attractive people, so if your date sucks, just blow the loser off and find someone new at the bar.
CHEAP EATS 101
by Professor Katie Shimer, Culinary School Dropout
In Portland, the list of cheap, delicious eateries is as long as the Willamette—but here are a few you shouldn't miss.
The Dog House (2845 E Burnside, 239-3647)
Dogs filled with cheese. Dogs covered in kraut. Veggie dogs. Brats. Potato salad. Need I say more? And if you're over on Hawthorne and want a dog and a beer stop by Zach's Shack, it's great, too (4611 SE Hawthorne, 233-4616).
La Bonita (2839 NE Alberta, 281-3662)
With so many taquerias in Portland, how do you choose? Well, La Bonita gets the highest approval rating with great food (try the pork quesadilla or fish tacos) and a staff so friendly you might want to move in.
La Villa (719 SE Morrison, 872-9696)
This great Middle Eastern food spot is never that crowded and always delicious. Grab a falafel for only a few bucks or throw down another dollar or two for a tasty mezze platter.
Sushi Takahashi (24 NW Broadway, 224-3417)
Cram your gullet with good cheap sushi delivered by train. And worry not, your bill should be less than $20, even if you're a giant sushi pig.
Valentine's (232 SW Ankeny, 248-1600)
This hipster sandwich joint makes deliciously simple creations like a beet salad with a tiny sprinkle of goat cheese or an egg salad gussied up with bacon. Everything on the menu is great, and guess what else? They serve beer.
COFFEE SHOPS:THEY'RE EVERYWHERE!
By Professor Katie "Cuppa Joe" Shimer
It's a proven fact: Portland has some of the best coffee shops in the world, teeming with cute Portlanders getting their sip on. Check out these.
Albina Press (4637 N Albina, 282-5214)
According to Phil Busse, "Everyone at the Albina Press is beautiful, and they make great coffee." Sounds good to me.
Anna Bannanas (1214 NW 21st, 274-2559)
A mellow coffee shop with a nice front porch, Anna Bannanas is a great place to spend an afternoon paging through magazines. Grab a milkshake and a sandwich, or have a Doot-De-Doo (Chai tea with espresso), one of their specialties.
Stumptown (128 SW 3rd, 295-6144; 4525 SE Division, 230-7702; 3356 SE Belmont, 232-8889)
All three Stumptown locations are highly trafficked and great to hang out in. The Division location is the chillest, the Belmont location is the busiest, and the downtown location has beer.
Portland Coffee House (2511 SE Belmont, 230-8914; 603 SW Broadway, 243-6373; 1951 W Burnside, 459-4495)
Both westside locations are usually bustling, but you can still find a table or piece of couch to sit on. The Belmont store is more eclectic and less busy than the other two coffee shops, located in an old Portland house.
A HIKER'S HIKE
by Professor Phil Busse
With Special Guest Professor Erin Ergenbright
When not bogged down by deadlines, local writer Erin Ergenbright escapes into nearby Forest Park, the largest wild park in any US city—5,000 acres, 27 miles of trails, and a somewhat checkered past (think serial killers!).
Tunnel Trail to Upper Macleay: "Head west up NW Lovejoy Street. Immediately after the tunnel, turn into the gravel area on your left. Once up the steep, beautiful beginning of Tunnel Trail, take a right through the old-growth forest. Stay right when you come to the three-pronged fork in the trail for a lovely, 45-minute loop."
Leif Erikson at Germantown Road: "Head north on Highway 30, taking a left at the signal just past the St. Johns Bridge. Then take a hairpin right turn onto steep, curving Germantown Road. After nearly a mile and a half, turn left into a gravel parking area. This segment of Leif Erikson is popular with hikers, bikers, and dog people. But just as often you won't see a soul."
Maple Trail: "Head north on Highway 30 and turn left onto Saltzman Road. Drive 0.8 miles to the locked gate, being careful not to run over the neighborhood cats. Head up the trail for about a half a mile, then turn right at Maple Trail. This beautiful, totally unpopulated trail leads back to Leif Erikson Drive."
LET'S GO YOGA
By Professor Phil Busse
With Special Guest Professor Tonya Hise
After being crunched into her office chair all day, nothing helps the Mercury's classified ad manager untangle like yoga. Smooth out your kinks and let go of midterms stress at some of the city's hot yoga spots. Tonya's advice: "Support your local neighborhood yoga studio. Find one convenient to your house with teachers you like and a schedule good for you."
In Southeast, Yoga Union (2043 SE 50th)—"The teachers here are the best. You will instantly feel at home. No attitude, no silly questions, and great for beginners, ladies having babies, or seasoned professionals. They teach hot yoga without the Bikram militance. Something for everyone."
Also in Southeast, Sarahjoy Marsh at Amrita (4515 SW Corbett)—"Pretty view of Mt. Hood, nice hardwoods. There are straps, props, partner poses, and the instructor often plays a song on an interesting accordion-ish box instrument."
In Northwest, Yoga in the Pearl (925 SW Davis)—"Hot Yoga, hatha, prenatal, pilates, Ashtanga. A fancy-schmanchy studio with Bikram-trained teachers."
Downtown, Yoga Bhoga in the Galleria (600 SW 10th Ave, Suite 311)—"In Sanskrit, Bhoga means fun or enjoyment. The owner, Bill, is the greatest. They offer power yoga, Vinyasa, Ashtanga, Kundalini, and more. There's an introductory special, and a teacher whose prices cater to students and the unemployed."
SUPPORT THE LOCAL TEAMS!
By Professor Phil Busse
With Special Guest Professor Benny the Bookie
For a robust discussion (read: trash talking) about professional sports and to represent for your favorite team, check out Benny the Bookie's message board on the Mercury's Blog Town, USA (www.portlandmercury.com). But if you want to check out the best local sport teams, Benny recommends:
University of Portland Women's Soccer—Led by senior striker Christine Sinclair, who recently scored FIVE goals in a game, the undefeated Pilots are ranked fourth in the nation and primed for another strong run in the NCAA tourney. Schedule at www.portlandpilots.com.
Portland Lumberjax—The inaugural season for Portland's lacrosse team begins January 21 at the Rose Garden. With enough rough stuff to please hockey fans and a pace befitting an NBA fast break, it'll be interesting to see if indoor pro lacrosse can find its own Army. www.portlandjax.com
Trail Blazers—Can new coach Nate McMillan turn high school phenoms Sebastian Telfair and Martell Webster into future all-stars? With a dynamic mix of veterans and youth and the former Sonics coach at the helm, the Blazers could provide some surprises this season. www.nba.com/blazers
Portland Roller Derby—Rose City Rollers are finally ready to strap on the skates and throw some elbows! First bout is Saturday, October 22 at the Expo Center. More info at www.rosecityrollers.com.
LET'S GO TO THE MOVIES!
By Professor Erik Henriksen, Geek Studies
One of the upsides to living in a place where it rains for nine goddamn months straight is that we've figured out how to have a good time inside. Nowhere is this better exemplified than in our selection of kickass and independent movie theaters.
First up, there's the no-brainer of the group: The Laurelhurst Theater (2735 E Burnside, 232-5511)—which has beer (both PBR and microbrews), pizza, and boasts classic flicks like The Goonies or Reservoir Dogs alongside its second-run films. For those that're more daring, the Clinton St. Theater (2522 SE Clinton, 238-8899)—features some rad foreign and domestic films, along with the occasional underground film or über-indie flick—and beer from the neighboring Clinton St. Brewpub. Cinema 21 (616 NW 21st, 223-4515)—offers a more traditional, but equally interesting blend of independent and foreign films, in a sweet old theater. And the old, nonprofit Hollywood Theatre (4122 NE Sandy, 281-4215)—once you can get past its nearly decrepit interior—has its fair share of indie and foreign films along with events like Monty Python double features and no-budget debuts from local filmmakers.
GET YOUR VIDEOS HERE!
By Professor Erik Henriksen, Geek Studies
Alright, you lazy shit: Fuck that staid, impersonal bullshit that is Netflix. Get off your ass and hit one of Portland's welcoming, eccentric, and locally owned video stores—where I guarantee you'll stumble across films you'll love, but would've never thought to search for online.
Video-Rama (2640 NE Alberta, 288-4067; 7522 N Lombard, 247-3433; 1990 SE Ladd, 231-1181; 1136 NW Lovejoy, 796-2825; 2310 N Lombard, 289-8408)—A veritable shit-ton of convenient locations, without the corporate aftertaste of a Hollywood Video or Blockbuster.
Clinton St. Video (2501 SE Clinton, 236-9030)—Tons of foreign flicks. Like you need anything else?
Trilogy (2325 NW Thurman, 229-1884)—Cult, foreign, documentary, and family flicks—and audio books.
Movie Madness (4320 SE Belmont, 234-4363)—Jesus Christ, this place is insane. It's the Portland video store, and you'll happily be lost for hours among its packed shelves.
Video Verite (3956 N Mississippi, 445-9902)—Mississippi's a-bustlin', so swing by and check out Verite's cool selection of DVDs.
Watch This! (916 W Burnside, 223-1791)—Can't find anything anywhere else, or just want to find something you never knew you were looking for? You've found your spot.
JUST (SPORTS) WATCHING
By Professor Phil Busse, Advanced Armchair Quarterback
Sometimes it is good to take a time-out and check in with your favorite teams.
Slabtown (1033 NW 16th, 223-0099)—A gloomy bar can be just the right place to watch your favorite team get its butt kicked. Better yet, Slabtown's remarkably good burgers are just the thing to take the taste of defeat out of your mouth. But, a note of caution: If you're looking for Big 10 or Pac 10 games, they seem to favor Southern football here.
On Deck (904 NW 14th, 227-7015)—With almost as many yuppies per square inch as televisions (which is a lot), this is as close to the skybox that most of us will ever get. Great place to watch the MLB playoffs and World Series.
Claudia's (3006 SE Hawthorne, 232-1744)—What this old-school standby lacks in décor, they more than make up in enthusiasm (and number of TVs).
Corbett Fish House (5901 SW Corbett, 246-4434)— Sure, there are some decent dark-and-dingy taverns in Southwest (mostly along Macadam) that show that other green-and-gold team (you know, the college team from the South), but for real football (Go Packers!), a slice of Midwestern class and for great food (the walleye melts in your mouth), there's no place as good as Corbett Fish House. An extra-large drop-down screen. Breakfast served for early games. (Viking and Bear fans, consider yourselves notified.)
Mission Theater (1624 NW Glisan, 225-5555)—Watching the game on a full-sized movie screen makes the players appear intimidatingly life-size. Cheap beer and rowdy crowds. It's as good as being at the game.
FUN FOR GEEKS
By Professor Erik Henriksen, Geek Studies
When it comes to nerdy fun, there's no beating what I—embarrassingly geekily—call "The Geek Triumvirate": Backspace, Just Be, and Ground Kontrol, which are all right next to each other, so as to convenience-ify your geekdom. Backspace (115 NW 5th, 248-2900), a PC/Xbox gaming haven, also boasts kickass art, Stumptown coffee, and events, while Just Be (107 NW 5th, 796-2733) has hard-to-find imported Asian DVDs (from obscure Stephen Chow flicks to even more obscure anime), plus slick clothes, toys, and art. And within spittin' distance there's retro-gaming arcade Ground Kontrol (511 NW Couch, 796-9364), which also hosts regular music events.
If you prefer your geekdom in non-electronic form, then there's no beating Portland's two best comic shops: The Hollywood location of Things From Another World (4133 NE Sandy, 284-4693), which also features toys, apparel, collectibles, and the friendliest damn staff you've ever met, and Excalibur Comics (2444 SE Hawthorne, 231-7351), which has a supply of back-issue comics to make you weep, along with DVD rentals. Venture forth, Portland nerdlings.
CHEAP CLOTHES 101
By Professor Marjorie Skinner
With Guest Professor Laura Leiby, Freelance Make-Up Artist and Stylist
Oodles of Portlanders live stylishly on a tight budget, thanks to our collective casual bent, emphasis on home-grown creativity, and of course, a talent for bargain hunting. The latter trait is particularly apparent in Professor Laura Leiby, who is as known for her ability to sniff out a steal as she is for being the most put-together looking person in the room. Here are her secrets to penny-pinching style success:
• Garage and Estate Sales: "Don't even bother going garage sale-ing in Portland. Portlanders don't seriously garage sale, and they don't know how to price things. Beaverton, however, is excellent. Unfortunately, garage sale season is almost over—but estate sales go year-round, and are easy to find listed in the Oregonian. I literally go through the listings and make a map. Get a bunch of friends together to share the gas, and head to sales in Lake Oswego, where there's old money. You can find vintage designer stuff for nothing. I once got a pair of Salvatore Ferragamo boots, a Calvin Klein scarf, and a Diane von Furstenberg scarf—all for four dollars."
• Forever 21: "It's shit for clothes, but it's awesome for jewelry. If you look at people like Mary-Kate Olsen, she looks like shit except that she always has a fabulous handbag and she piles on the jewelry, which is something you don't have to spend a lot for."
Forever 21: Pioneer Place, 700 SW 5th; Lloyd Center, 2201 Lloyd Ctr.
• Price Adjustments: "Save your receipts because most stores do price adjustments. Less common sizes usually go on sale more times, so you can get some of your money back—just ask. It's especially good at places like the Gap, because you'll go back a day after buying something and it'll be selling for $10 less than you bought it for."
By Professor Phil Busse
With Special Guest Professor Colleen Finn
To find out how to dress yourself for sporty success, listen to what Colleen has to say. The lovely founder of Portland's thriving kickball league knows style. The kickball league also has expanded into bowling (but don't kick the bowling balls, okay?), Monday nights at Hollywood Bowl, 4030 NE Halsey. For information about both: www.nwkickball.com.
Lucy (1015 NW Couch)—"For the westside work-out lady who wants her sweet ass to look J.LO-licious. Great customer service and a variety of apparel and footwear."
Far Post (825 SW 14th)—"An awesome spot for cleats; they have a special little side room just for cheapies. It's a soccer store so you can get good apparel and they usually have team discounts."
Andy and Bax (324 SE Grand)—"Great for fall apparel. Cheap heavy-duty sweaters, hats and pants that will keep you warm when you're roasting the other team."
Red Light (3590 SE Hawthorne)—"The most important accessory at kickball is flair. No one wants to be ridiculed for taking things too seriously. Red Light has everything from a Nixon mask, hot pink boas, Neon Orange wigs to Burberry tennis shoes. Whatever the theme, they can make your true alternasport team flavor shine through."
G.I. Joe's (Delta Park Exit off I-5)—"For all other sports gear, GI Joes has everything you'll need—plus, you can stock up on Looney Tunes car accessories. (Blech!) The one-stop shopping option."
YOU NEED FURNITURE
By Professor Evan James, Woodworking Dept.
Oh, I just love furniture! Unless you own a house, Portland is pretty much a second-hand furniture kind of town. In fact, a lot of people just hop on their bike and cruise around town looking for discarded chairs; people have so much furniture they often just leave it on the side of the road with a FREE sign on it. Now is the best time to look, before the rain starts.
There are Goodwills and Value Villages scattered all over the city, but The Bins (1740 SE Ochoco, Milwaukie) stands alone when it comes to thrift shopping. Not only do they sell clothes by the pound, they also have a lot of second-run furniture to pick through. Just be sure to bring hand sanitizer (for your entire body). There are a lot of thrift shops with furniture around town, especially on Hawthorne.
If you actually want to buy new, fancy things, you can pretty much just start wandering the Pearl district; Design Within Reach (1200 NW Everett, 220-0200) is a super-mod option that's a little higher end. You'll pay a pretty penny for anything you buy West of the river—but daddy's got the money, so why not show it off?
BOOKSTORES FOR BOOKWORMS
By Professor Justin Sanders
With Special Guest Professor Pablo de Ocampo
Pablo de Ocampo's the executive director of the wonderful, book-makin', DIY-lovin' Independent Publishing Resource Center (www.iprc.org), which means if anyone knows places to buy books that aren't Borders, Barnes & Noble, or hell, even Powell's... it's him.
He suggests beginning your search for a smaller, better bookstore at that downtown rock of indie magic, Reading Frenzy (921 SW Oak, www.readingfrenzy.com), which specializes in small press books, zines, and other hard-to-find items. "This store is the best!," raves de Ocampo, "and we're not just saying that because they're our neighbors."
If you're sick of the downtown scene, head over the Hawthorne Bridge for a dose of feminist love at In Other Words (3734 SE Hawthorne www.inotherwords.org), a "nonprofit, women-run" apex, according to de Ocampo, of "zines, books, and other amazing writing by women... and longtime IPRC staff member Nicole Georges works there. What more could you want!?"
As you've probably observed in the aforementioned hot spots, zines are everywhere in this town, but just to make sure you're getting your required dose, de Ocampo suggests hitting up Microcosm Publishing (311 N Ivy, www.microcosmpublishing.com), "a mail-order zine distro-gone-zine-store-megaplex... Well, maybe not megaplex, but they've got more zines than you can imagine."
And lastly, de Ocampo gives props to our good (best?) friend in city government, the Multnomah Library, which has plenty of literary love on sale at Title Wave (216 NE Knott, www.multcolib.org), a "dirt-cheap" paradise of books and what-all, "and it all supports the library!"
By Professor Phil Busse
With Special Guest Professor Tom Miller
When not holding down the fort for City Commissioner Sam Adams, Chief of Staff Tom Miller sheds his downtown business suits to ride the half-pipes and roundwalls. A founder of Skaters for Portland Skateparks, Tom knows where's what around town. Check out: www.pdxskaters.org
Cal Skate (210 SW 6th)—"Howard Weiner's shop is the second oldest skate shop west of the Mississippi River. Through the sport's tough years of scorn and neglect, these guys have carried skateboarding in Portland."
Burnside—"If you have to ask you'll never know." (Psst... It's underneath the bridge's eastside.)
Street Skating—"Portland basically sucks for street skating, compared to So-Cal, Arizona, and other places. Street skating is on the serious clamp down."
Donald, Oregon—"How badass is a farm town of 750 people with a world-class backyard-pool replica bowl that's available to everybody? People in Donald don't know how famous their town is globally." Take Donald/Aurora Exit from I-5 South, go west for a mile, turn left on Butteville Road.
Newberg, Oregon—"29,000 square feet of mind-blowing opportunity. It's like Gilligan's Island: You can sign up for the three-hour tour but you'll be chasing fresh lines three years later. Newberg remains one of the most inventive and brilliant skatepark designs. But beware: Christian youth groups sometimes turn up to proselytize." Take I-5 South to Newberg, once in town follow the railroad tracks south.
By Professor Evan James, DeVry Institute of Technology
Portland is an iTown. You can't walk by a single coffee shop without seeing at least three people hunched over their laptops, mixing business with pleasure.
If you're the iType, there's one sure-fire place for you to get your iFix, and that's MacForce (100 SE Salmon, 231-7707). Everybody I know has good things to say about their customer service, and they insist it's far preferable to some of the more generic Mac stores in town. They also offer seminars on how to use software, and have a great question-and-answer section on their website. I hear they throw parties sometimes where they give away iPods.
Macs aside, another unique Portland computer institution is Free Geek (1731 SE 10th, 232-9350). Free Geek is a community technology center where you can earn a refurbished computer in exchange for 24 hours of volunteer service. They can also teach you to repair and recycle computers, and they have a computer thrift store.
There are plenty of spots around town where you can slump against a brick wall with your laptop and siphon some stranger's wireless internet connection. There are lots of websites with listings of free WiFi spots, including this one: www.wififreespot.com/or.html. There are even some public places where you can pirate the web, like Pioneer Courthouse Square.
Every library has internet computers, although you often have to wait a staggering 30 minutes to use them. Then again, you are in school; isn't there a computer lab nearby?
THE JOY OF THEATER
By Professor Justin Sanders
With Special Guest Professor Jacob Coleman
A founding member of the fringe group Fever Theater (www.fevertheater.com), actor/writer/director Jacob Coleman offers a list of companies to catch for a crash course on what he calls "site-specific, ensemble-based theater." Lesson 1: It ain't Portland Center Stage.
•Liminal (www.liminalgroup.org)—"[Artistic director] Bryan Markovitz is in Chicago these days, but [co-founder/actor] Georgia Luce is planning to do a Caryl Churchill play, and some other people will continue to do Liminal projects while Bryan is gone."
•Sojourn (www.sojourntheatre.org)—"I feel like Portland has a lot of site-specific stuff; it's one of the most unique aspects of Portland theater, and they epitomize that."
•Hand2Mouth (www.hand2mouth-theatre.org)—"Blue, their current show, is this crazy outdoor street theater piece. They went to Poland, came back, and it's even better than it was before. They're doing this tour of a bunch of street fairs and it's just really cool, site-specific stuff." Catch Blue Sat Sept 24, 11 am, at the Polish Festival, 3900 N Interstate, and Thurs Sept 29, 7:30 pm at Last Thursday, 2215 NE Alberta.
GET ON THE BUS
By Professor Justin W. Sanders, Mercury Dept. of Transit
•#15—This is my favorite bus line in Portland, and not just because it picks up exactly 10 feet away from my house. I defy you to find a bus that passes through more key locations. Kicking off at the Parkrose/Sumner Transit Center, the 15 winds down SE Stark, across 82nd, onto Belmont, over the Morrison Bridge into downtown, and then up through the brunt of NW 23rd. And it's fast, too.
•#4—Portland's quirkiest bus line starts the hell out in Gresham and ends the hell out in St. Johns. Does any other route cover so much sheer area? The #4 also sports the most number of stops of any of the major lines—after leaving the downtown area and heading north it embarks on a twisty journey through what seems like every run-down suburban neighborhood in North Portland, with stops in the middle of side streets and back roads at approximately every 20 feet. Weird, and at night it gets even weirder. Take the last #4 ride out to St. Johns on a Friday night for a freak show that rivals the circus.
•#20—No list of Portland bus lines is complete without the never-boring #20. Your one-bus-stop for any place along Burnside, East or West, the #20 follows that magical road from its source in Gresham all the way to its end point up in Northwest. The bus never fails to deliver crazy characters and odors, and just when Burnside ends and you think life couldn't get any better, it does: Beaverton, baby, Beaverton!
THE JOYS OF PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION
By Professor Will "Who Needs a Car?" Gardner
A week ago, when I was driving in eastern Montana—I shit you not—I saw a TriMet bus on the side of the road. Naturally, it wasn't in service and had been tricked out into a hippie RV... but if this isn't a testament to the tenacity of TriMet, I don't know what is. While they normally don't go to Montana, they do reach Forest Grove, Estacada, and Happy Valley (wherever that is) regularly. The MAX trains are seen as a preferable mode of transport by most Portlanders despite that it doesn't cross over to Jantzen Beach (let alone Vancouver). The only perk of the "Czechexported" Portland Streetcar is that it's easy to ride ticketless—it's often slower than walking. For those going to Lewis and Clark, the free blue shuttle bus connects Pioneer Square (corner of Broadway at Morrison in front of Nordstrom) to the center of campus. All this said, the finest mode of transport is—until the Space Age is complete—a bicycle, which can also be transported on any of the above means.
OF INTEREST TO THE GAYS
By Evan James, Mercury Professor of Homosexuality
Some of my gay friends think I should tell you there's no gay scene in Portland. The truth is that it just lacks the anonymity you find in a bigger city. Translation: Portland is not a good place to sleep around. It might seem that way at first, but after a little while you won't be able to meet anybody who isn't connected to at least one person you've slept with. Degrees of separation are irrelevant in this town: There are none.
But seeing as how you will ignore my advice anyway, please proceed to ignore it at the following venues. Holocene (1001 SE Morrison, 239-7639) is hip to queers of all kinds, although you're most likely to meet a dropout from Parsons School of Design. Porky's Pub (835 N Lombard, 283-9734) still puts on Booty every Thursday; it's a stellar queer night full of trashy pirates and punks.
For drag (and good television), check out Embers (110 NW Broadway, 222-3082). For male strippers of varying qualities, you can go to The Silverado (1217 SW Stark, 224-4493). If you like big, hairy, leather-clad men, try The Eagle (1300 W Burnside, 241-0105). CC Slaughters (219 NW Davis, 248-9135) is the biggest scale dancery you'll find, and their drinks are quite cheap.
There's really no gay district in Portland, unless you count the compound of generic gay bars on Stark Street near Powell's.
The Egyptian Club (3701 SE Division, 236-8689) is the only exclusively lesbian bar in town, but again, Porky's and Holocene are good options. I've heard that Dingo's Taco Bar (4612 SE Hawthorne, 233-3996) is a lesbian meeting spot, so you might want to look into that.
If all else fails, just go shopping at Nordstrom or Banana Republic. All the (male) employees are gay.
FIND THAT HAIR STYLIST!
By Professor Will Gardner, Dean of Follicles
You can't go wrong with the old standbys: Bishops (210 NE 28th and three other locations, 235-2770) and Rudy's (3015 SE Division, 232-3850; 212 NW 13th, 525-2900). Hipsters tease and trim your hair over beer and to the tunes of Quiet Riot (or the like)—and, for hair styling, it's inexpensive. If you're down for a permanent wave, salons that do a little more—yet demand a little more —include Grace Hair Salon (1722 NW Raleigh, #110, 241-7771) and Blu: A Salon (1437 SE 40th, 230-7155). For just a snip, a block, and perhaps a shoulder brushing, go no further than Broadway Barber Shop (623 NE Broadway, 287-3111) for clever conversation and a good cut—all within your budget. Also recommended for name alone is 7 Bucks a Wack (8728 SE Lafayette, #5, 236-1010), for those of you in Felony Flats.
THE RECORD COLLECTOR'S GUIDE TO PORTLAND
By Special Guest Professor DJ Gregarious
My decision to become an "MP3-J" at the turn of the century was as cold and calculated as the new medium I was embracing. It helps knowing my prized copies of The Flamin' Groovies, Toy Dolls, and Bedazzled are safe in my vinyl vault, snug in their acid-free 28-lb paper record sleeves, instead of getting ripped, torn and frayed with booze, blow, and smoke. Strangely, this decision has inadvertently reinvigorated my passion for collecting records again. Having shopped both East and West Coast record stores, I rank Portland and the Great Pacific Northwest in the highest regard, second only to the SF/Bay Area. Here are some of my local faves and why.
Smut (11 SE 28th)—Though the smallest in square feet of all my picks, this one has the densest QPI (quality per inch). Not only does it have tons of staples like "Johnny, Are You Queer?" and whatever Stones/Smiths record you still need to complete your collection (sometimes in the dollar bin), it also has an amazing amount of rare must-haves. In general, the prices are about two-thirds to three-quarters cheaper on average than what the same record goes for at other record boutiques.
Everyday Music (1313 West Burnside, 1931 NE Sandy)—Every used record in Portland will eventually pass through EM. Likewise, every record collector in Portland virtually ends up living at this place. You find what you are looking for at the cheapest price, even if it means going EVERYDAY—hence the name.
Crossroads (3130-B SE Hawthorne)—This is where "record people" shop and sell. More for the connoisseur bent on finding something to impress other connoisseurs (think High Fidelity). Being run by 35 various record dealers makes for a pretty impressive and diverse selection. Bargains are found here, but usually this is where I go if I don't find a specific record somewhere else—or I got a tax refund and I want to finally get that damn Beatles' butcher cover before it goes up another 100 dollars.
Music Millennium (3158 E Burnside, 801 NW 23rd)—Music Millennium rules in many ways, just not in the vinyl category. For CD's, they should be your first and last stop. If they don't have it, they will get it.
ROCK CLUBS 101
By Professor Zac Pennington, Dept. of Music Know-It-Alls
Considering that music venues in Portland seem to open and close with the frequency of an elevator door, the first thing the newly matriculated need to realize is that the probability of any of the following information still being accurate even by the time this issue hits the newsstands is slim to none. That said, there are also very few cities of Portland's intimate population offering nearly the volume of viable sonic experiences as ours does on a nightly basis. This is by no means a comprehensive list—there are simply too many venues/cafes/basements/vegan co-op pizza restaurants hosting shows in this city to be illuminated in such a limited space—but here's for starters:
For bands big enough that you can read about them in Entertainment Weekly, you've got the Crystal Ballroom (1332 W Burnside) and the Roseland (8 NW 6th)—and though both are comfortably cavernous and offer most of your adult amenities, neither are places you're probably going to be spending a ton of time in unless the Bloc Party or whoever is in town.
When it comes to most medium-time touring bands that record store clerks won't make fun of you for listening to (as well as the upper echelon of Portland's local crop), the field widens considerably. A sampling of options include: the intimately sinful confines of Dante's (1 SW 3rd), the arty, electro-friendly academia of Holocene (1001 SE Morrison), the ever-reliable diversity of Berbati's Pan (10 SW 3rd), Doug Fir Lounge's (830 E Burnside) class-dividing cabinessence, Sabala's Mt. Tabor's (4811 SE Hawthorne) nightly metal wet-dream, and Aladdin Theater's (3017 SE Milwaukie) in bed by eleven, mom-friendly fare.
For the nubile freshman too cheap, unpopular, or ethical to acquire a fake ID, take advantage of the growing number of all-ages options sprouting up around the city—including longtime (by Portland standards) kiddie stalwarts the Loveland (320 SE 2nd), as well as their tiny satellite joint on the other side of the river, Food Hole (20 NW 3rd). New to the pack is the Hawthorne Theatre (1507 SE 39th), whose reputation is a little too clean at this point to properly assess.
Then of course, there are a number of notable off-the-beaten path venues, including the consistently surprising Towne Lounge (714 SW 20th Pl) and Dunes (1905 NE MLK), and Ash Street Saloon (225 SW Ash), and Tonic Lounge (3100 NE Sandy), and Acme (1305 SE 8th), and, and... Jesus, you get the point.
THRIFT AND VINTAGE STORES 101
By Professor Marjorie Skinner, Dept. of Cheapskates
Consider it a wearable lesson in history if you will, but getting to know Portland means getting to know its beloved secondhand stores. Give yourself a crash course in previously worn fashion, or at the very least buy yourself a Halloween costume. Here's a few to help you scratch the surface:
• William Temple House, 2230 NW Glisan
• Red Light, 3590 SE Hawthorne, 1111 SW Stark
• Buffalo Exchange, 1420 SE 37th, 1036 W Burnside
• Refind Fashion & Home Décor, 1907 N Kilpatrick
• Lived-in Lover, 3619 SE Division
• Value Village, 5050 SE 82nd, 4420 NE Hancock
• Betsy's, 1115 SE Division
• Magpie, 520 SW 9th
• Avalon, 410 SW Oak
• Smut, 11 SE 28th
YOUR NEW FAVORITE BAND
By Professor Kip Berman, Dept. of Cock Rock
It's important to remember that "the best band in town" is YOUR favorite band—not the decree of some aging hipster with a combover fellating his friends in print. So pick a band that makes you happy (or angry, horny, jealous, etc.) and go to all of their shows. Pay attention to the bands they usually play with, and start going to their shows as well. If you repeat this behavior with enough frequency, you'll eventually become friends with the seven other people who are ALWAYS at the shows, not to mention the grateful members of the local band themselves. Try not to pick a famous band like Stephen Malkmus, the Dandy Warhols, or The Planet The— if you do, you'll just seem like a groupie or worse—a hanger-on. Take care to pick a favorite band (and fan base) that suits your persona. Here are a few suggestions:
Drunk and Dangerous: The Hunches, Blackout Radio, I Can Lick Any SOB in the House
Holocenester: E-Rock, Snuggle Ups, Y.A.C.H.T.
Record Store Employee: Point Line Plane, Casiotone for the Painfully Alone, Swords
Punk: The Nice Boys, Diskords, Show Me the Pink
Indierocker: Just about every band this paper writes about, but start with the Kingdom, Viva Voce, Point Juncture, WA
Rock 'n' Roll Forever: Dead Moon, Goodtime Gil and the Champagne Cowboys, Lovely
Yes, Black Is My Favorite Color: The Prids, um... is there another one?
Legalize It!: The Plants, the Out Crowd, Menomena
Too Young to Buy Hustler: Crosstide, Oliver, Thanksgiving
By Professor Will Gardner, Dept. of Curatorial Sciences
Though Portland seems to be the only Pacific Northwest city without an antique telephone museum, there are loads of li'l' collections to satisfy local oddballs. Portland is, as it turns out, the only Pacific Northwest city with a museum of Jewish history and culture. Indeed a tiny museum (only two rooms), the Oregon Jewish Museum (310 NW Davis—$3 admission) hosts periodical exhibits in addition to its permanent collection. Even smaller in size is the Vacuum Cleaner Museum (107 NE Grand—free), but it's no less fascinating. Located in the Stark's retail store, the museum is a magical nook filled to the brim with 300 pneumatic devices.
Down the road a bit is the Kidd's Toy Museum (1327 SE Grand—free) with over 15,000 toys from the early and middle 20th century. On the same bank, skip over to Movie Madness (4320 SE Belmont—free) if you haven't already rented Bottle Rocket there. Owner Mike Clark goes to great lengths (and auctions) to amass the collection of Hollywood artifacts on display in the store. The memorabilia ranges from Orson Welles' jacket in Touch of Evil to a fluffy get-up Drew Barrymore wore in Never Been Kissed and my favorite—the white dress Anjelica Huston pissed on in The Grifters. n