BEST GIANT SHRIMP COCKTAIL AT 3 AM
A night of drinking and clubbing demands the rejuvenation of the body with food—and no other Portland establishment meets those needs with more stylish aplomb than the Tik Tok Restaurant. A fun bar in and of itself, the liquor stops flowing at two, followed by steaming pots of piping hot joe. The diner-style vinyl booths are inviting to both the lonely drunk, as well as the post-clubbing make-out session. And the food runs the gamut from the belly-busting pedestrian (ultimate burger with ham, egg, bacon, and cheese, only $6.95) to our personal favorite, the fancy-pantsy GIANT SHRIMP COCKTAIL (only $3.95!). This towering glass of crustaceans comes jam-packed with what seems to be two pounds of baby boiled shrimp, lovingly drowned in sweet marinara, and refreshingly garnished with a lemon slice and lettuce leaf. A dangerous dining choice at 3 am? No worries, these shrimp taste fresh as two pounds of daisies (at least to our liquor-saturated palates), and we made it home without throwing up once. A personal record!
Tik Tok Restaurant, 3330 SE 82nd, 24 hours
BEST PLACE TO REALIZE YOU'RE TOO DRUNK TO HOP A TRAIN
Hop the slow-moving train making its way to the train yard. But sometimes, sometimes, you're simply too drunk and inexperienced to hop a train. Even one that's almost at a full stop. The best place to realize that is on the west side of the Steel Bridge, which the train crosses at a snail's pace. Instead of meeting an untimely death in pieces under the train, you'll probably give up and quickly walk away, where you'll trip over a curb and gash the holy hell out of your knee. You might have forgotten about the whole thing by morning, but that bloody, bruised leg will be a pleasant reminder of your mortality.
Train yard, 3 am, free (make sure you have insurance)
BEST LIVE SEX SHOW AT 3 AM
I must say, folks, if you're looking for action at 3 am, the Ace of Hearts marks the spot. There's girl-on-girl action, guys surrounding girl-on-girl action, and the always-exciting hetero wife-swap action. There's also some happening dancefloor action, peepshow action, glory hole action, all-you-can eat buffet action, and naked hot tub action. And worry not; even if you just want to look around, the Ace is worth mustering up your courage. The members are extremely friendly, they always respect your right to say no, and everyone talks about sex with refreshing candor. Plus, after you tell your friends you braved the Ace of Hearts, you'll be the chairman of the gossip circle for weeks.
Ace of Hearts, 3533 SE 39th, Fri-Sat 9 pm-4 am, 727-3580, aceofhearts.org
BEST PLACE TO CATCH FISH AT 3 AM—WITH YOUR HANDS
Tanner Springs Park is an innovative, man-made wetland, designed to collect and cleanse storm water in an eco-friendly way. It's also a great place to disrupt the delicate ecosystem by trying to catch handfuls of the little fish swimming around in its murky, shallow water. Your odds of catching anything are exactly zero, and your odds of being yelled at by a security guard are 100 percent—but you'll have fun in the process and learn a thing or two about the environment. Also, make sure you scrub the shit out of any body part that touches the water—there's no telling what microbes are lurking in there.
Tanner Springs Park, NW 10th and Marshall
BEST PLACE TO EXPLOIT YOUR IMPAIRED JUDGMENT
Admit it, when you find yourself doubling down at the blackjack table at The Last Frontier Casino in La Center at 3 am, you've hit a new low. That last whiskey shot spiked your testosterone, you weaved your way up I-5, and now look: You're plowed and spending the rent money beside your two best buddies. Well, while you're here, it's time to give those big balls of yours some exercise. The new rules are: $100 minimum bets on blackjack, and no pussing out until you're broke!
La Center Casinos, I-5 North from Portland to exit 16, follow signs, open until 4 am and later, 360-573-6442 for info on New Phoenix and The Last Frontier Casinos
BEST PLACE TO PLAY PICK-UP DRUNKEN BASKETBALL
At the end of a night of heavy drinking we really like to shoot some hoops and trade some "trash talk." That's when we slip out of our Steve Maddens, lace up our Air Jordans, and hit the outdoor courts in Unthank Park. The lights are still blazin', so you won't miss your jumper and your opponent won't miss you blocking their shot and yelling, "In your FACE, beeeeeee-YOTCH!"
Unthank Park, N Failing and Haight, free
BEST 3 AM TEENAGE BOOZE PARTY
When late-night action lovers are looking for the next hot 3 am party, they know exactly where to go: 16-year-old Tommy Ferber's house. It's well regarded that Tommy (not his real name) throws the most wicked sick teenage booze parties in Portland. Why? Three reasons: (1) Tommy's parents live in the West Hills and are away on business more often than they're at home. (2) Tommy's parents have a wicked sick and fully loaded bar—that's UNLOCKED. (3) Tommy's parents have a kickin' stereo system and a JACUZZI, which means the ladies are sure 'nuff gonna get hyphy. The only rules? No making out on the parents' bed, and no lame-o's allowed!
Tommy Ferber's Teenage Booze Parties, undisclosed location in the West Hills, practically every weekend, 3 am, BYOWSH (bring your own wicked sick hotties)
BEST PLACE TO SEEK THE ELUSIVE AWESOME
So, you're driving down the mean streets at 3 am just goin' about your merry way, when you suddenly get a powerful hankering for plastic bags made by the Awesome brand. Well, brave seeker of awesome things, get thee to WinCo, a 24-hour grocery store which stocks all sorts of Awesome brand bags. Garbage bags, freezer safe, Ziploc style, you name it. Go get Awesome! Other wonderful WinCo finds include industrial-size bottles of ketchup, inspirational books, and cheap candles scented like melon.
WinCo, 11250 SE 82nd and various locations, 24 hours
BEST PLACE TO GET SOME LOG CABIN LOVIN'
Say what you want about the Doug Fir—it's open until 4 am, seven days a week, serving a late-night menu and takeout. It's not gourmet food or anything, but the Fir Burger and a milkshake are way above the stomach-opening sludge served in most drive-thrus. And, the Fir reopens at 7 am for breakfast, giving the food in your gut three hours to absorb excess alcohol before you start anew with a nice, fresh Bloody Mary.
Doug Fir, 830 E Burnside, 231-WOOD
BEST REASON TO REGRET WAITING UNTIL 3 AM
Most nights at 3 am, it's not hard to pick up a vegan doughnut topped with bright sprinkles, or a Portland Cream, or a doughnut adorned with cereal at the amazing Voodoo Doughnut. Other nights, packed crowds at nearby clubs clear out the doughnut stock, forcing Voodoo to temporarily post a "SOLD OUT" sign on the door. Those are sad nights. MORAL: Don't dilly-dally! Get those delicious doughnuts NOW!
Voodoo Doughnut, 22 SW 3rd, 241-4704
BEST SMOKER FRIENDLY STORE THAT REALLY ISN'T VERY SMOKER FRIENDLY
From deep within the bowels of 82nd Avenue shines a beacon of hope to anyone that loves the smooth enjoyment of smoking cigarettes. It's called Smoker Friendly—a convenience store/gas station(!) which proclaims to one and all that smokers are not only welcome, they are encouraged! OR ARE THEY? Upon closer inspection of the Smoker Friendly store, you will notice at least two signs posted next to the entry, clearly stating "NO SMOKING." That's totally not cool, dudes! I mean, sure, Smoker Friendly is a great place to buy discount smokes, soft drinks, twine, and gloves, but we expected a welcoming oasis of nicotine and carbon dioxide, where we could get a moment's respite from those anti-cigarette ZEALOTS. Look, if you're not going to let us smoke around a gas pump here—WHERE CAN WE SMOKE AROUND A GAS PUMP?
Smoker Friendly, 8320 SE 82nd, 24 hours
BEST PLACE TO WAVE YOUR GLOW STICK
Every window and dumpster in a two-block radius of Studio 415—the party space above the Eagle on W Burnside—was rattling at 3 am, causing a security guard perched on a bicycle across the street to stop and stare. "Looks like fun," she said to an SUV driver who'd paused to gawk at the crowd of kids lined up—glow sticks, cell phones, and cigarettes in hand—to join the all-night NW Ravers Unite party. It did look like fun, and we totally would've joined them... but our Metamucil was wearing off.
Studio 415, 415 SW 13th
BEST PLACE TO PRETEND YOU'RE STRAIGHT AT 3 AM
At 24 Hour Fitness, the Doors were playing in the locker room at 3 am, as we tried to execute a perfect wrap-towel-around-waist-while-removing-trousers-and-trying- to-look-as-straight-as-possible maneuver for the benefit of the middle-aged guy in a red Speedo, who was changing next to us. What possessed the music people to include "Hello, I Love You, Won't You Tell Me Your Name?" on their late-night compilation? The steam room is closed from 11 pm-4 am, but with a sideways glance, (let's call him) George headed for the hot tub. He was still there later when I was done swimming, smiling with his eyes closed as he made emphatic hot-tub waves in time to the music with both arms. Which, in its way, was very nice — just not my way, that's all.
24 Hour Fitness, various locations, 24 hours
BEST PLACE TO CATCH THE HANTAVIRUS
During daylight hours, the stretch of the west bank from the Steel Bridge to Burnside teems mostly with hobo layabouts and the occasional wayward tourist. But at night—well, it's still teeming with layabouts and people waiting around for god knows what kind of unholy deliveries... but it's also swarming with rats. Lots and lots of rats. As numerous as the stars, if stars were fast and furry and disease-ridden. We spent a good 20 minutes trying to grab one, because our blood-hantavirus levels were apparently a little low. Or because we're stupid. Or because we were really hungry, and those little fuckers are as plump as they are quick. If you ever find yourself homeless and hungry, get your hands on a BB gun and head down to the waterfront. It's like a goddamn rat smorgasbord. One thing, though, that you'll never, ever forget: the sound of a 100 rodents squeaking from the safety of a cement hole as you walk past.
West bank of the Willamette, midnight–5 am, free
BEST WAY TO EARN FIVE BUCKS AT 3 AM
An anonymous female convenience store clerk informed us of the best way to make five bucks quick at 3 am in the morning. Here's her story:
"So this bitch walks up to the counter, right? And she's expecting me to sell her a couple of forties at 2:55 in the morning! So I tell her, 'Sorry, ma'am. Cut off is at two,' and she's like, 'Look, bitch... I want me some BEER!' and I was like, 'Well, you're going to have to get it somewhere else!' So she huffs and puffs, and finally says, 'FINE. Then give me two crosswords [lottery tickets].' I give her the tickets, and she throws 11 bucks at me and yells, 'There you go... CUNT!' She leaves, but what this bitch didn't know is that two crosswords only cost six bucks—which means I made $5 for being called a 'cunt'! So I took that $5 and bought me a Hurricane [beer] to drink after work. And while I'm drinking it, I'm gonna think about her, and laugh about the easiest 5 bucks I ever made."
Undisclosed convenience store, 24 hours, $5 to call employee a "cunt"
BEST WASTE OF FIVE BUCKS AT 3 AM
The Crown Motel lured us off of charming N Interstate with its glowing neon sword and possible allusions to The Boy Who Would Be King. We loitered around the front office while a couple asked about room rates. It was $45, even though the night was almost over—but here's where they really get you: You've got to bring the room key back! Otherwise, they keep your $5 key deposit, and the joke's on you. But even more importantly than that, as the manager stressed three times to the couple: "No cat allowed!"
Crown Motel, 5226 N Interstate, 288-5277
BEST PLACE TO GHOST-RIDE THE WHIP
If you can't find any fun at 3 in the morning, it's time to take matters into your own hands—or into the hands of Casper the Friendly Ghost! That's right—it's the perfect hour to "ghost-ride the whip." ALL THE KIDS ARE DOING IT! First, get your vehicle cruising at just the right speed—slow enough to hop out without busting your ass, but with enough velocity to ghost-ride with style. Once you've got the car rolling at the perfect clip, it's time to let Casper take the wheel. Pop your car door open and jump out carefully; what you do from here is left to your own discretion. Some people pop 'n' lock, we like to moonwalk next to the car then hop on the hood for a second—but you need to come up with your own routine. (Just make sure your alignment's in shape before trying this.) So when the party starts winding down prematurely, you know what to do—let Patrick Swayze do the driving.
Anywhere you want, just watch out for the Ghostbusters (AKA the Po-Po!)
BEST PLACE TO HOST A BUM PARTY/BEST PLACE TO READ A NEWSPAPER/BEST PLACE TO FALL FACE FIRST DOWN A STEEP FLIGHT OF CONCRETE STAIRS INTO A PILE OF GARBAGE BEING USED TO COVER UP HUMAN FECES
The Morrison Bridge is one of the city's most useful thoroughfares, and it was thoughtful of city planners to include a walkway, so pedestrians can share in its convenience. And what a walkway it is! Just ask bums—they love it! They party their asses off up there. And at 3 am? Hell, ain't nobody gonna come poking around. Except us, but we brought weapons (a yardstick, a phone book, and a gallon jug of water we found in the car). We also discovered that it's probably the best place to read a newspaper at 3 am. There's a copy of everything (watch for the ones that're actually "lids" to impromptu toilets), and when there's no partying, it's pretty quiet. All you need is a penlight and it's like you're sitting in a dark, smelly library.
Morrison Bridge pedestrian walkway, under the Morrison Bridge, 24 hours, 365 days of the year, free (BYOB)
BEST PLACE TO FEEL WHITE LIBERAL GUILT
How about the Greyhound Station? Seriously, where else are you going to find a sleeping homeless couple spooning, a man air-humping a fire hydrant, someone selling "flashlights," a real-life crack deal in which the dealer keeps the stash under his hat, and a sea of people with no direction or hope for the future. And then, because it's 3 am and you're pretty drunk and kind of an asshole to begin with, you'll probably think it's kind of funny. Prick. As a side note, the Greyhound Station is also the best place to be deaf and in need of a security guard. They have one who knows sign language!
Greyhound Station, NW 5th and Glisan, 3 am
BEST PLACE TO SIP STRAWBERRY NECTAR AND WITNESS LOW-GRADE DOMESTIC VIOLENCE AT 3 AM
When it comes to people watching, you're going to have a hard time beating Javier's Taco Shop on N Lombard. During our 3 am visit, we spotted overweight indierockers in Joy Division T-shirts and Clark Kent glasses; two 11-year-old kids slouching wordlessly by themselves at a table; Latina chicks with enormous cleavage who never stopped talking on their cell phones; two gay boys with tight T-shirts and impeccable sideburns; and our favorite couple, who rolled up in a black Escalade. She was decked out in some crazy pink dress from Forever 21, and his hair clicked and clacked because of all the beads in it. While they were waiting for their (delicious!) tacos, he tried to catch a quick titty squeeze. She slapped his hand away, and he slapped her back—kinda playfully, kinda not. Then she punched him hard, and he gave her a "dead leg" (knee to the thigh) that would have dropped a lesser woman. She retreated to the Escalade and laid on the horn until their tacos were ready. Funny thing is, nobody seemed to care or notice. Did we mention Javier's has strawberry nectar? Yum.
Javier's Taco Shop, 121 N Lombard, 24 hours
BEST PLACE TO RUN INTO YOUR DAD AT 3 AM
Unlike a lot of joints in town, which shut their doors way too early, Fantasy Video is freaking slammed at 3 am! Specifically, the labyrinth of private viewing booths in back, which are teeming with customers: almost all male, checking out dirty-ass videos—and I do mean dirty and I do mean ass. They even have booths where you can open a little window into the next booth, so you can... you know... check out your buddy and, like, see what movie he's watching! Part of the reason it's so busy at 3 am is 'cuz some people don't want anyone to see them there (puritans!), so you might be pretty surprised who you run into at that hour. We were! (And boy, was he embarrassed!)
Fantasy Video, 3137 NE Sandy (six locations in the Portland area, fantasyadultvideo.com), 24 hours except for McLoughlin and Beaverton locations, $8 for two and a half hours of viewing, $2 per additional person
BEST PLACE TO CATCH FISH
Catching things is exciting, unless, of course, it's an STD. But there really is no feeling like the one you get when you realize something is tugging on your line and you get to yell, "Fish on!" For late-night fishing action, cast your rod off the end of the dock by the boat ramp in Cathedral Park. No one is around and you can catch and keep all the baby sturgeon you want. Know this though: It's pretty much illegal. So if some pesky reporters bother you at 3 am, snooping around and accusing you of violating the law, feign a broken foreign accent and say, "Leave alone, please."
Cathedral Park docks, N Edison and Pittsburg
BEST PLACE TO JOIN DANTE'S INNER CIRCLE
We were enjoying a quiet pre-closing time beer when Dante joined our table. He needed a big favor. Those brutes at the Safari Show Club (3000 SE Powell) had cut him off, and he wanted us to buy him a drink. We told him that was lame. "I'm lame?! I'm lame?!" he screeched. No, we said this place is lame for cutting you off. "This place isn't lame. Look at all the pretty [naked] girls. Look at them!" We looked. "You all come sit up here with me," pointing to three empty seats at the rack. Dante started slapping down dollar bills for each of us. Then he threw a wad of cash at the stripper. We laughed nervously. A server came by to refill Dante's water glass and asked why he was acting so crazy. Dante slumped his head and looked subdued for a couple of minutes. We broke the ice and asked him if he came here a lot. "I'm everywhere." Yes, Dante, you sure are.
Safari Show Club, 3000 SE Powell, open from 11 am-2:30 am
BEST NOCTURAL GREASE-BOMB BREAKFAST
After a night of hard boozin', nothing soaks up nasty, putrefying liquor like sweet, ever-lovin' grease. The Original Hotcake and Steak House has it in spades—greasy luscious fries, juicy steak, omelets, and burgers (both cow and veggie) all sizzled to trashy perfection. Aesthetically speaking, it's got an oldies diner feel without coming off kitschy; the jukebox plays R&B sleaze, the booths are big and roomy, and the windows look out into late-night traffic, bums, and kids on lowrider bikes. In all honesty, we've feasted away potential hangovers at the Cake and Steak more weird, lonely nights than we wish to admit. Enough times, in fact, to witness some excellent post-3 am booty calls from suave gentlemen suitors. Best overheard line: "Baby, come on, you know I'm righteous."
Original Hotcake and Steak House, 1002 SE Powell, 24 hours
BEST PLACE TO PAY TRIBUTE TO VASILE BOROTA
Okay, fine. We have no idea who Vasile Borota is. But he has a totally awesome gravestone, and if you're looking for Portland's best, you would have to search pretty hard to top Vasile Borota's. In the 3 am moonlight, Vasile's tomb—conveniently located in the Multnomah Park Cemetery—reflects an unearthly glow that brings to mind the films of Ed Wood, and makes one jump at the slightest crack of a stick. Plus, check out the inscription: "Caci Pentru Mine a Trai Este Hristos Si A Muri Este Un Cistig." When we saw this, we hauled ass out of that cemetery like our pants were on fire. What the hell did it mean? And what freaking language was it in? We figured it was Transylvanian, and translated to some kind of curse, like, "The night enters your throat, suffocating the screams no one will hear...." As it turns out, upon further research, it was Romanian translation of some stupid Bible verse that doesn't make any sense anyway. Regardless! Multnomah Park Cemetery is haunted as shit, and Vasile Borota's headstone is SUPER creepy and cool, huh?
Vasile Borota's Headstone, Multnomah Park Cemetery, SE Holgate and 82nd, 24 hours (though it's most haunted at 3 am)
BEST PLACE TO WASH BLOOD OFF YOUR CAR
Accidents happen. But does that mean you have to ride around in a bloody car? GROSS! Get that whip back in showroom shape with a visit to Astro Jet 24 Hour Car Wash. Just seven quarters will grant you access to the most powerful jet hoses in the city, guaranteed to blast blood, hair, and bone particles off your back seat or car hood (and their onsite vacuum cleaners will take care of the rest)! Another plus? It's self-service—which means no snoopy employees to sniff around in your grill. Yet another plus? Astro Jet 24 Hour Car Wash is also home to the "Air Freshener Center," where you can purchase tree-shaped cardboard fresheners for a buck a pop! (Trust me on this one, the smell of gunpowder can really stink up your upholstery!)
Astro Jet 24 Hour Car Wash, 3420 SE 50th, 24 hours
BEST PLACE TO BE FRIGHTENED BY TEENAGERS PLAYING PICTIONARY
What with their computer skills, switchblades, and unwanted pregnancies, teenagers are terrifying. And where do the most heinous, evil-minded teens converge after the sock hop clears out? Fireside Coffee Lodge. With décor recalling a Northern Exposure-ish, Gold Rush, Yukon, Call of the Wild vibe, the Fireside serves killer coffee drinks (including an awesome Mexi Mocha), muffins, sub sandwiches, and a full on all-night breakfast menu. Add wireless internet, books (including Alcoholics Anonymous) comfortable log furniture, and a full selection of board games (Risk! Pictionary!) and you've got a perfect recipe for attracting teenagerus crazyus dangerus. Word is, they "study" and "cram for finals" sometimes at the Fireside. Horrifying!
Fireside Coffee House, 1223 SE Powell, 24 hours
BEST PLACE TO SHOP ALONGSIDE THE FACES OF METH
It was 3:15 am at Plaid Pantry. We were waiting in line to buy Chick-O-Sticks when the tweakers hit. They cut through the parking lot on mini bikes and came in low and fast and in heavy numbers. As the cashier rang us up, she squinted over her huge, grizzly-bear shoulder and muttered, "Shit, not tonight. Not tonight." The tweakers took the place like the SWAT team—efficient, merciless, splitting up and canvassing the store, rifling the beef jerky racks, jiggling the (locked) beer cooler, poking the sandwiches, sniffing the coffee canisters, and talking very, very loud about someone named "Ron." A few had mustaches. One was shirtless. Needless to say we were outta there fast, leaving the cashier to her fate. Stay away from the tweakers. Our mama says if they get a hold of you they rape you until you die, eat your flesh, and sew pieces of your skin into their clothing. Hopefully in that order.
Plaid Pantry, everywhere, all the time
BEST 3 AM SUGAR RUSH
After a night of the party-hardy, the pastry case at the Nob Hill Old Pharmacy Café is more than enticing: There's crème brûlée, chocolate torte, pie, and cookies. Across the room, there's a full-fledged ice cream counter, complete with milkshakes. In between, you can order cheap lattes and mochas (and even savory sandwiches, to counter the sugar). And all this great sweet stuff is available 24/7. So's the WiFi signal and the laidback atmosphere. It's enough to make you pass on that bump of coke!
Nob Hill Old Pharmacy Café, 2100 NW Glisan
BEST PLACE TO GET YOUR HULK HOGAN FIX
Don't be ashamed—we've all been there. Waking up at 2:30 in the morning, your brow slick with sweat, your hands trembling. Bed sheets cling to you; darkness closes in, thick and angry. There's only one person who can help you now....
But where to find Hulk Hogan at this hour? Worry no longer: Walgreens' discount DVD bin features not one but two of Hulk Hogan's classic films: the Academy Award-nominated 3 Ninjas: High Noon on Mega Mountain (1998), in which Hulk teams up with Rocky, Colt, and Tum Tum to save an amusement park, and Suburban Commando (1991), featuring Hulk's poignant, soulful performance as a fish-out-of-water videogame character. O, yes, at long last: a respite from the creeping pain and endless fear, the sweet lullaby of Hulk's baritone echoing from your TV as the sun rises, making everything right with the world.
Walgreens, SE 39th and Belmont, open 24 hours
BEST PLACE TO AWKWARDLY ASK SOMEONE ABOUT A THREE-WAY AT 3 AM
Get this: Even gay bars close at 2 am, leaving drunk, horny young men to straggle down the street looking for some action. If you happen to stumble upon three hot boys with their hands all over each other, ask them if they're going to have a threesome. You might get an answer like, "We were hoping for a fivesome," as they glare at you and your equally straight and uncomfortable cohort. Be sure to say, "Ummmmmmmm... okay."
Threesome information, corner of NW 3rd and Flanders, 3 am
BEST SCENE FROM A HORROR MOVIE IN REAL LIFE
You know that feeling after you hook up with someone random? When you're in their bed and the action's over and you're supposed to sleep, but you can't? Well, if you're in Northwest Portland, rethink your decision to bail at 3 am. Around this time is when the local insane methed-out lunatic has been known to ride his bike furiously toward the hoods of cars, and crazily try to open door handles, while banging maniacally on certain car windows. So, instead of slinking out of old what's-his-name's apartment, allot yourself some "think time" and wait until the sun comes out to make a run for it.
Aggro methed-out lunatic, Northwest Portland near NW 23rd and Thurman
BEST FREE TAXI SERVICE (FOR WOMEN)
So, whoever is writing this little blurb here has a thing for cops, all right? She thinks cops are hot and occasionally has sex fantasies about them. And every once in a while after bar time, when she's really drunk in certain neighborhoods and with a few cute girlfriends, she solicits them for rides home. Sometimes they say yes. And no, they don't require any payment if that's what you're thinking... cops are actually just really, really nice.
Ride home from the Po-Po, various locations around Portland
BEST DEAD SKUNK
On the southbound lane of NW Skyline, about 60 yards north of NW Germantown
BEST LOCAL GIRLS GOING WILD
The Roxy on Stark has cleaned up quite a bit in the last few years. The bathroom still smells like it was imported from a truck stop—and the waitstaff have retained their unique brand of sass—but the late-night diner is smoke free, the menus less sticky, and the food less drowned in grease. That said, this place still draws in Portland's late-night misfits, like the two gals who squealed when the Cherry Poppin' Daddies' "Shake Your Lovemaker" came on the jukebox. For the duration of the song, the ladies—in short skirts and slinky halter tops—performed a personalized Girls Gone Wild routine; bumpin' and grindin' to the delight of everyone in the room. Especially us. 3 am is awesome.
The Roxy, 1121 SW Stark
BEST PLACE TO TAKE KIDS AT 3 AM
You're a good parent, we know. And we totally understand that sometimes a momma or a daddy gots to get their billiard on at 3 am—and who else is gonna watch the kids? Thankfully, Family 25 Hrs Billiards on Powell is kid friendly. (The sign on the door reads: "Children OK.") Inside you will find a vast and bounteous assortment of fun stuff including sweet pool tables, videogames, pinball, poker, darts, ping pong, and—strangely enough—a voting booth. There's also a killer menu of sodas and candy, all super affordable. (An hour of pool is $5.) If this couldn't get any sweeter, you can smoke inside! Kids love smoking! Cigarettes for all our little friends!
Family 25 Hr Billiards, 1430 SE Powell, 25 hours
BEST FRIENDSHIP TO ARISE FROM LARCENY
Though normally littered with drunken coeds at 3 am, besides ourselves there were only a couple of brosephs slurping soup at Pho Ton. After an exceptionally long period of time with no supervision, the dumbasses decided to dine and dash. Only after they rounded the corner did the manager emerge from the back, and take off after them down the road. Ten minutes later—enough time for us to follow suit, had we chosen to—the manager returned, chuckling, with the frat boys on either side, arm in arm. He bummed a cigarette from them before they all reentered the restaurant. "Honestly, we were going to come back," one of the cads said. "After all, you're open until 4 am."
Pho Ton, 35 NW 3rd, open until 4 am
BEST PLACE TO WATCH BEAVERTON TEENS
Surprisingly enough, Beaverton has little to offer bar crawlers after Club Amazon switches on those terribly bright "last call" lights. Despite this setback, Beaverton powers through to convene at the one open joint—Starbucks. The place becomes unbelievably packed with the most ill-fitted patronage sharing only one commonality: Everybody is under the influence of something. Once I saw a lowrider Asian kid hop on the back of a Hell's Angel for a piggyback ride around the parking lot. Be sure to grab a seat by 2:15 am to comfortably enjoy the spectacle.
Canyon Road Starbucks, 12874 SW Canyon, Beaverton, 24 hours
BEST CASE TO BE MADE FOR VEGETARIANISM AT 3 AM
Spotting a bustle of activity, we stopped at the Oregonian's Carrier Station on NE Killingsworth, where the daily paper is bundled and distributed to drivers. There we met Fred, a no-nonsense manager who seemed happy to have an early-morning distraction. Somehow, Fred let it slip that he was vegetarian. He explained that he chose the vegetarian lifestyle because he was bored with meat. "Chicken, beef, or fish—that's all you can eat. No matter where you go, it's the same choice. Chicken, beef, or fish. It's not like you can get anything exotic, like possum. It's all the same," he said with a faraway look in his eye. "Chicken, beef, or fish."
Oregonian Carrier Station Nos. 13 and 21, 1601 NE Killingsworth
BEST PLACE TO GET FREE BALLOONS
Balloons! They float happy and gay above us and go wherever the good winds blow. (Kind of like homeless people!) You can get balloons just about anywhere, but soon as the sun goes down it gets way harder. That's where the World of Wheels free balloon store comes in! Deal is, the balloons are tied to nice, new cars in the parking lot and they're as free as the day is long. Now, the twine they use is a little tough, so bring scissors. Be careful, though, helium is DEADLY. Little known fact: Our country uses helium to destroy Arab countries, sterilize black people, and defoliate Asia. Huff at your own risk.
World of Wheels, 333 SE 82nd, balloons available 24 hours
BEST PLACE TO PICK A POCKET
Hey, thieves! Looking for a good time and place to execute your casual criminal capers? Check the southeast "Pickpocket Strips" around 3 am. Once the bars close for the night, these concentrated clusters of drinking establishments are packed with wussy, unassuming drunken hipsters stumbling to and fro, desperately seeking a way to keep the party going. YOU'LL "keep their party going," won't you, you petty thug, you... by sneaking up and stealing their wallets! Ha! Those stupid drunks'll never know what hit 'em!
Prey on stupid, stumbling drunks in the areas of SE Belmont from 30th to 39th; SE Hawthorne from 30th to 50th; and the blocks around NE 28th and Burnside
BEST DRIVE-THRU RESTAURANT STRIP
The few blocks of NE Weidler between Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Lloyd Center Mall are a fast-food junkie's paradise: There's a Burger King, a McDonald's, a KFC, and a Taco Bell, and they all have late-late-night drive-thrus. But for the love of God, take it easy on them. Trust us, they've heard any joke you can dish out, and won't think it's a bit funny.
Burger King, 632 NE Weidler; KFC, 707 NE Weidler; Taco Bell, 725 NE Weidler; McDonald's, 1520 NE Grand
BEST PLACE TO BECOME SELF-LOATHING
Ever feel like you enjoy yourself too much? Like you're so, "I'm wicked cool, and my life is friggin' sweet" that you're starting to get jealous of yourself? Go to the airport at 3 am! See: the barren, industrial carpet! Pay: the stupid parking garage fee! Buy: overpriced bottled water and celebrity gossip magazines! Get: a raging headache from the oppressive lighting! Do: nothing! You'll leave feeling like the biggest loser on the planet, safe in the knowledge that your life is so pathetic you subject yourself to a deserted airport when you don't even have a trip to go on. You're a goddamn no account—but your obnoxious self-adoration is cured!
PDX International Airport, 7000 NE Airport, 24 hours, free (aside from the parking garage and the fact that you will keel over and die without water and gossip magazines)
BEST PLACE TO PICK UP PINK BABY KEDS AND A BUSTED VCR
Is your broke ass too poor to afford the pennies-on-the-dollar treasures at Goodwill? Too bad you're not a thief with a penchant for breaking the law, because people leave shit lying outside Goodwill at all hours of the night! Great stuff, too—too bad you'd be breaking the law if you wanted to steal it all. Of course, we didn't take anything that doesn't belong to us, because we're honest people. But if anyone's in the market for a slightly scuffed VCR or some tennis shoes for their baby girl, call 294-0840.
Goodwill, various locations
BEST PLACE TO GET YOUR NIETZSCHE ON
If you're on a whiskey bender at this late hour, you'll want to pair your sad, bitter, possibly volatile drunkenness with a nice, depressing view of the darkened Portland skyline. Head to Mt. Tabor Park or Council Crest (thought to be the highest point in town) for some choice spots overlooking the shadowy hull of your sleeping city. The lights are OUT at three in the morning, and the sight of all those grim, black outlines of buildings can really drive home the notion that, yes, you are indeed very much alone in the universe.
Mt. Tabor: SE 60th and Salmon; Council Crest: Exit 1C off northbound I-405 to SW Council Crest Dr, follow it up the hill
BEST PLACE TO TELL YOUR BEST FRIEND YOU'RE IN LOVE WITH THEM
Late at night, high school football fields and parks can lead to pesky interruptions of sensitive moments (vagrants and security guards have no respect for intimacy). Everybody knows it's best to say that thing you wanted to say after you've got some truth serum in the tummy, so it's best that you stick to the good ol' airport where whizzing aircraft can smooth over awkward moments—if necessary. There are two great spots on Marine Drive near the airport where carrier aircraft continue all through the night, but aren't too close. Having an airplane dump the contents of its toilet on your head can also lead to awkward moments.
PDX Airport, Marine Drive, all night long
PLACES THAT AREN'T, BUT SHOULD BE OPEN AT 3 AM!
The Inflatable Boat Store
Someplace to Buy Night-Vision Goggles
Well-Lit Golf Courses
Public Swimming Pools
Itchy Palms Clothing Store
Ex-Girlfriend's Front Door
Sleep Country, USA
More Places to "Do It"