RE: "Could a Rent Strike Work in Portland?" [News, Jan 20], Shelby R. King's story about the possibility of Portland residents withholding rent to gain protections in a roiling housing market.

This is a laughable idea, provides absolutely zero long-term solutions to a wide problem, and is just another way for the self-obsessed, wannabe "revolutionary" children set to pat themselves on the back (the ridiculous "Occupy" movement being their most recent great tantrum). I agree that we need to address the supply of affordable rentals issue in this town, but this is about the most ass-backwards way to do it. Go ahead and "strike"—and even if you get a rent reduction, you have created a highly tenuous relationship with your landlord, who will do everything in their power to see you get out of their unit as soon as legally possible and sure as hell isn't going to re-up a lease with you when the time comes. Then you are right back in the rat race of trying to find a market-rate apartment in this crazy market ruled by undersupply of units.

posted by JTR

It's hilarious to see a bunch of white middle-class kids who moved to Portland by choice throw a temper tantrum about the very problem they created. "Oh, I'll just work at a coffee shop or whatever," they all said, while concentrating real hard on anything but getting a decent-paying career. Well kids, the writing's been on the wall for at least a decade—what have you been doing all this time? Flicking your bean at "Star Wars Burlesque"? And now you're upset that you can't live next door to the combination Sizzle Pie/Little Big Burger yuppieplex that went up as soon as the slightly-more-well-heeled heard exactly what you once heard: That Portland's cheap, it's cool, and there are plenty of poors and minorities in inner neighborhoods to displace with generic beer-bike-DIY-indie-rock bullshit. (We'll call it an "arts district"!) Well, you could have fixed the poor part for yourself, but you didn't, and now you get a taste of your own medicine.

posted by Chunty McHutchence

I'm down to stop paying rent in protest. But hopefully the guy subletting my basement and my Airbnb guests in my second bedroom don't stop paying me, because I really need that cash!

posted by Prodigal Son


RE: "A Food Critic's Quest for Fitness Glory" [Feature, Jan 20], Andrea Damewood's contribution to our "The World of Alterna-Fitness" issue, in which she vowed to cast aside "beer, chocolate, and cookies."

In a world that's been taken over by fad diets and pseudoscience, it's pretty refreshing to hear that there are still people out there teaching good ol' fashioned calorie-counting, excesses in moderation, and exercise. The nice thing about calorie-counting is that it's easier in the long-term to make "diet" go from being a verb to a noun. Good luck. And I think I know of a good home for those poor cast-out cookies and beers.

posted by Aestro


RE: "Eating Old Portland: SE Powell" [Last Supper, Jan 20], Heather Arndt Anderson's tour of her favorite haunts on SE Powell.

As an inner-Southeast Portlander for 51 of my 71 years, I enjoy memories (mostly stoned) of these very first places I ate when I moved here. But only Edelweiss Sausage & Delicatessen remains on my list of essentials. As Heather Arndt Anderson writes, they make the absolute best Reuben in Portland. But how could anyone leave out mention of their amazing, delicious assortment of house-made tube meats: a revelatory variety of sausages, salamis, liverwursts, plus smoked ham and turkey, roast beef, potato salads, perfect jerkies—at way better prices and flavors than any other place I know. I don't feel much like long-distance travel these days, but Edelweiss takes me to places I want to go.

Steve Engel

Steve, your heartfelt ode to Edelweiss' tube meats is, without a doubt, the finest writing in this edition of the Mercury. As a token of our thanks, please accept two tickets to the Laurelhurst Theater—which isn't too far from SE Portland, and offers cinematic experiences only slightly less transcendent than those provided by Edelweiss' sublime sausages, salamis, and liverwursts.