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38 Cheap & Easy Things To Do in Portland This Weekend: Jan 28-30, 2022

Move over, lip syncing queens! The piano playing, live singing Saint Syndrome has come to slay not one, but two events this weekend.
Move over, lip syncing queens! The piano playing, live singing Saint Syndrome has come to slay not one, but two events this weekend.
As is par for the course in Portland, the weather will turn from sunny to rainy throughout the weekend, so you may want to plan your activities accordingly. One thing you can count on not to remain constant? All of the events in this roundup are under $15 and easy to slot into your schedule, from Saturday Morning Cartoons to Level Up Dance Party.

FRIDAY


FILM


Jim Jarmusch Festival
The NYC indie-film king with his shock of silver hair has a singular style that favors drifters, disaffected youth, and Tom Waits. Get a taste of his oeuvre during this three-week festival, whose program includes such classics as Night On Earth, Down By Law,  Stranger Than Paradise, and Dead Man.
(Clinton Street Theater, Hosford-Abernethy, $6-$15)

Read on EverOut »

Good Afternoon News: Omicron Predicted to Peak Next Tuesday, Search Continues for New Tubman School Location, and Trump's Cronies Get Asses & Subpoenas Handed to Them

The Mercury provides news and fun every single day—but your help is essential. If you believe Portland benefits from smart, local journalism and arts coverage, please consider making a small monthly contribution, because without you, there is no us. Thanks for your support!

Following outcry, Portland Public Schools says that Harriet Tubman Middle School will not be replacing MLK Jr. Elementary.
Following outcry, Portland Public Schools says that Harriet Tubman Middle School will not be replacing MLK Jr. Elementary. KSMoCA

It's the final Friday of January, quite possibly the Friday-est kind of Friday you can have. Now... what's happening out there?

IN LOCAL NEWS:

• In a press conference today, state health officer Dr. Dean Sidelinger announced that Oregon will probably hit our Omicron COVID peak next Tuesday. Yay! But trust your mom friend Elinor and stay vigilant—I had one of those "mild" cases of COVID last week and it still sucked.

• And right on cue:

• Good news: Portland Public Schools announced today that Harriet Tubman Middle School students will NOT be relocated to the Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School building (as people were justifiably freaking out about), and so it's back to the drawing board to decide on a new location—AWAY from the unhealthy I-5 corridor. Our Isabella Garcia explains it all for you.

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Harriet Tubman Middle School Relocation Will Not Replace MLK Jr. Elementary

Students holding a sign reading Save MLK and other messages
MLK Jr. Elementary students at a rally. Courtesy of Save Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. School

Harriet Tubman Middle School students will not be relocated to the Martin Luther King Jr. Elementary School building as many had feared, Portland Public Schools (PPS) announced Friday. PPS officials are still deciding where Harriet Tubman students will move in 2027.

Harriet Tubman Middle School, which sits next to the Interstate 5 corridor in the Rose Quarter, has long been polluted by the freeway. According to a Portland State University study, the air quality next to the freeway is so dangerous that students shouldn’t be allowed to play outside.

The Oregon Department of Transportation’s plan to widen the I-5 Rose Quarter corridor in an effort to address traffic congestion would move the freeway even closer to the school grounds. The middle school is currently about 50 feet away from the freeway, at the closest point. According to early design plans, the freeway project would move the wall separating the freeway from the school less than 25 feet from the building.

Concerned that the project will only worsen the air quality around the school, the PPS board pledged in July 2021 that if the state moves forward with the freeway project, it will “rebuild Harriet Tubman Middle School in a safe, healthy location.” Governor Kate Brown said she will seek $120 million for the relocation project during next month’s legislative session.

However, finding a new location for the school is a challenge.

Continue reading »

This Week In Portland Food News: Han Oak Does Hot Pot, Skyline Tavern Closes, and Bar Diane Plans a Bottle Shop

The new spot Flattop & Salamander is serving up brunch with a side of booze.
The new spot Flattop & Salamander is serving up brunch with a side of booze. Flattop & Salamander
This week brings the long-awaited reopening of Han Oak, with a brand-new hot pot program to boot. In other food news, the boozy brunch spot Flattop & Salamander arrives, the Bar Diane team plans a new wine shop and market, and Skyline Tavern and Parts and Service say goodbye. Read on for all of that and more, plus upcoming events, like Portland Mercury's Highball Week. For more ideas, check out our food and drink guide.

NEW OPENINGS AND RETURNS


The Celery
This health-centric spot recently opened on North Williams, slinging juices, smoothies, oatmeal, açai and smoothie bowls, grain bowls, and salads.
Boise
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

Read on EverOut »

Comics Review: Made in Korea Is the Best Comic Book We've Read in the Last Decade

Made in Korea
Made in Korea Image Comics

I have had two memorable VHS-related experiences on long bus trips. The first was on a ride from New York to Boston, on which the only available tape to watch was the movie Twister. The first half of the film was entertaining enough, but the second half had been taped over by someone’s home movie of a walk through a neighborhood decorated with Christmas lights, and to this day I don’t know if Helen Hunt ever managed to track down that cow.

The second was on a trip from Boston to New Haven. That time, the movie was AI, starring Haley Joel Osment as an uncanny robot child. Though the tape was intact, I couldn't watch the second half because I found the entire experience far too disturbing. A child that is not a child, adrift without a family, humans exposed as callous inhumane monsters — I could feel the panic attack coming on and scrambled for headphones to block the movie out. I was going through an awful several-months-long breakup at the time, and a story about the revoking of love was too distressing to watch.

But maybe it’s time for me to revisit that story, twenty-something years later, because I can’t process how much I enjoyed the similarly unsettling storyline of a new paperback out this week. When Made in Korea released its first issue last year, it was the only time I’d ever given a book a rating of six-out-of-five. Now I’m issuing the same rating for a collection of the first few issues.

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Catch Up on the Stories You Missed This Week with the Mercury Weekend Reading List!

Huh! Thanks to the Mercurys Weekend Reading List, Im suddenly not the asshole anymore!
"Huh! Thanks to the Mercury's Weekend Reading List, I'm suddenly not the asshole anymore!" iridi / iStock / Getty Images Plus

Whooo! You're a BUSY BEE. Look, it's completely understandable that since you've been SO busy, you may have missed some of the great reporting and stories the Mercury churned out this week! So while you're lounging about this weekend, catch up on the knowledge you need by reading some of these A+++ Mercury articles! (PRO TIP: If you despise being "the last to know," then be one of the first to know by signing up for Mercury newsletters! All the latest stories shipped directly to your email's in-box... and then... YOUR HEAD.)

A Short History of Portland's Long Road to Police Body Cameras
Portland's been waffling on equipping its officers with body cans for nearly a decade. Will it stick this time?

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ARTAS / GETTY IMAGES

Portland Rap Superstar Aminé Is Coming Home to Kick Off His "Best Tour Ever Tour"
Hometown rap hero Aminé returns to Portland Saturday for his "Best Tour Ever Tour," and our Jenni Moore has the canary yellow preview.
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Clubbanana.com

Review: Solve the Weekday Dinner Dilemma with Chicken and More From Rotigo
Move over, Costco rotisserie chicken! There's an amazing new chicken roaster in town (who also serves up sides, wine, and more) and you can take it to-go. Our Janey Wong reviews the delicious Rotigo.
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Janey Wong
Continue reading »

Good Morning, News: TriMet's "No Spitting" Rule, Man Killed By Clackamas Cop, and All Hail America's New "First Cat"

The Mercury provides news and fun every single day—but your help is essential. If you believe Portland benefits from smart, local journalism and arts coverage, please consider making a small monthly contribution, because without you, there is no us. Thanks for your support!

Meet Willow Biden, Americas newest First Cat, whose first order of business is to rip the shit out of President Monroes mahogany living room set.
Meet Willow Biden, America's newest "First Cat," whose first order of business is to rip the shit out of President Monroe's mahogany living room set. White House

GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! Don't you promise me the world. All that I've already heard. This time around for me, baby, actions speak louder than words. LET'S GO TO PRESS.

IN LOCAL NEWS:

• Let's kick off Friday with some good news: Dr. Robin Holmes-Sullivan has been chosen as the first Black person and woman to be president of Lewis & Clark University. “It’s obviously something that is going to be, and is, very meaningful to me and to our school and also to the young people who will be looking at me as someone who they can feel inspired by,” Holmes-Sullivan said. “They can realize that they can dream big.”

• There's been a distinct rise in violence directed at TriMet drivers, inspiring the organization to start cracking down on asshole riders, and they're starting with lengthy-to-lifelong bans on butthole passengers who spit on drivers. Our Isabella Garcia has more!

• The Yamhill County Commissioner who threatened the county's health department has backed off after health officials refused to add wrong information—such as discrediting vaccines or other bullshit, crackpot cures that Republicans seem so fond of—to the county website.

• According to police, a Clackamas County Sheriff's Deputy shot and killed a 32-year-old man during a high-speed chase and crash on I-205 Wednesday night. A source within the department told OPB that the chase began following a domestic disturbance call—but we all know by now to wait until further details emerge.

Continue reading »

This Week in Portland Event News: The Decemberists, Pod Save America, and More

Arise from your bunker and head to The Decemberists summer concert on the lawn at Edgefield.
Arise from your bunker and head to The Decemberists' summer concert on the lawn at Edgefield.
Portland’s favorite troubadours The Decemberists are beckoning you out of your homes for their Arise From the Bunkers tour. In other local music news, Portland Cello Project is set to showcase and collaborate with the PDX Soul Collective, and the Northwest String Summit’s 20th annual festival will be their last. Plus, it’s Pod Save America to the rescue! Read on for more newly announced events, plus some news you can use. 

ON SALE FRIDAY, JANUARY 28


MUSIC

Bear's Den
Revolution Hall (Mon Oct 3) 

Read on EverOut »

Good Afternoon, News: No Spittin' on TriMet, 'Cron Cases Down (Hospitalizations Up), and Sarah Palin: COVID Superspreader

The Mercury provides news and fun every single day—but your help is essential. If you believe Portland benefits from smart, local journalism and arts coverage, please consider making a small monthly contribution, because without you, there is no us. Thanks for your support!

Sarah Palin: Oh, hi! Just stopped by to give everyone COVID.
Sarah Palin: "Oh, hi! Just stopped by to give everyone COVID." Chip Somodevilla / Staff / Getty

Hi, everyone! Can you believe it's still January?! Wow!!! They should not put the longest month right at the top of the year. Years should start more gently. Watch for my forthcoming petition on trading January for February, or possibly even April.

IN LOCAL NEWS:

• Today in "whoa, that wasn't already a rule??" TriMet announced that it would permanently ban any rider who spits at a bus driver. A TriMet spokesperson also shared that there were reports of around 300 attacks of bus drivers in 2021. Shame on you, Portland! We're supposed to be the place that dramatically thanks every bus driver upon exiting a bus!

• Last night's crazy winds got a barge stuck on the Columbia River just north of Portland near Fairview. Since no injuries were reported I feel okay gleefully thinking back on when that one ship got stuck in the Suez canal and the world was briefly united. This barge wasn't that ship, but still.

• I'm going to copy this whole headline because it's a journey: Oregon’s weekly COVID-19 report shows slight decrease in cases, significant increase in hospitalizations. Here is my impression of you reading that: :D :0 :(

Continue reading »

Hear in Portland: A New Project from Southern Rapper and Former Portlander Quinn, Aminé’s Homecoming Show, and the Blues Fest Returns!

Pandemic be damned, the Waterfront Blues Fest is planning to return this summer.
Pandemic be damned, the Waterfront Blues Fest is planning to return this summer. Waterfront Blues Festival

There’s always a lull in activity this time of year, but personally, the slow season of infrequent shows and fewer new releases helps me focus, so I can actually digest the good stuff that is popping up. This month shows there’s much to look forward to: Former Portlander Quinn dropped the first of a series, Brain Dump, Vol 1., and Aminé comes home for the first night of what’s sure to be an exhilarating and highly stimulating tour. Also, remember music festivals? Apparently the Blues Fest will make its comeback this summer after a two-year hiatus brought on by (you guessed it) the ravages of COVID-19.

MUST-SEE:
This week's can’t miss upcoming show.

Aminé


Portland rapper Aminé, who now lives in Cali, is kicking off his “Best Tour Ever” tour with a homecoming show in Portland this Saturday, February 29. He’ll no-doubt be performing tracks from his latest full-length TWOPOINTFIVE, the sequel to 2018’s ONEPOINTFIVE, as well as from earlier projects like 2020’s Limbo, and classics from his debut Good for You. And while you can pretty much guarantee he’ll close with the viral mega-hit “Caroline,” I’m personally looking forward to hearing him perform his recent single “CHARMANDER,” and classic Portland-inspired cuts like “Woodlawn,” and “Turf.” What’s more? North Portland rapper Mic Capes will open, bringing his gritty rhymes and earnest tracks to the massive arena stage, while fellow Rip City rappers Heff and Niro Gotti back up the bill. Read the Merc’s recent analysis of Aminé’s TWOPOINTFIVE, and full concert preview here.
Moda Center: Theater of the Clouds, 1 N Center Ct, Sat Jan 29, 8pm, all ages, $29-75, tickets & info here; w/Mic Capes, Heff, Niro Gotti, DJ O.G. One

Continue reading »

TriMet Will Now Ban Riders Who Spit at Drivers

Riders boarding a TriMet bus
Assaults against bus drivers have risen throughout the pandemic. TriMet

Spitting at a TriMet employee is now punishable with a lifetime ban on riding the TriMet system.

TriMet’s board of directors unanimously approved the code change at a meeting Wednesday. TriMet officials say that no specific incident caused the code change, but rather the board took action in an effort to support bus operators who have faced an increase in attacks throughout the pandemic.

“Most riders treat our operators and other frontline employees with respect, but those who don’t should lose the privilege to use our transit system,” said TriMet General Manager Sam Desue.

Spitting at and on people is a crime in Oregon and has always been in violation of TriMet code. Wednesday’s code change, however, classifies spitting on a bus driver or other TriMet employee as a “serious physical offense”—a level of severity needed to give TriMet the authority to ban a rider.

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POP QUIZ PDX: It's Portland's Most Popular Quiz (Yes, More Popular Than "Wordle")

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HOWDY, SMART STUFF! It's time once again to put your exceptionally brainy brain to the test with the newest edition of POP QUIZ PDX—our weekly quiz chock full of sassy, fun multiple choice questions about what happened in Portland during the past week, along with a couple of rando questions just for laughs. And this week we're gonna test your music knowledge, your local-people-acting-like-buttholes knowledge, AND decide once and for all if you really want to pump your own gas!

But first... HOW DID YOU DO ON LAST WEEK'S QUIZ? Pretty damn excellent! And it's nice that you were able to "tell me what ya want, what ya really really want" when it comes to being reincarnated as a Spice Girl!

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OKAY, TIME FOR A NEW QUIZ! Take this week's quiz below, make sure to scroll to the bottom to submit your answers, and you'll instantly get your score that will tell you in no uncertain terms HOW SMART YOU AM. Also take our previous pop quizzes here, and come back next week for a brand spankin' new quiz! (Having a tough time answering this quiz? It's probably because you aren't getting Mercury newsletters! HINT! HINT!) Now crank up that cerebellum, because it's time to get BRAINY!

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Good Morning, News: Thorns Investigations Continue, Spotify Chooses Rogan, and Washington Truckers Need More Places to Pee

The Mercury provides news and fun every single day—but your help is essential. If you believe Portland benefits from smart, local journalism and arts coverage, please consider making a small monthly contribution, because without you, there is no us. Thanks for your support!

A line of port-a-potties outside
Washington truckers say they don't have any bathroom options while stuck at ports for up to six hours. Thomas Winz / Getty Images

Good morning, Portland! Let's dive right into the headlines.

In local news:

• The Portland Thorns have completed their investigation into how the club handled sexual misconduct allegations against former coach Paul Riley. However, no findings will be released to the public until additional investigations by the NWSL and US Soccer are complete. It's not clear when the two investigations are expected to finish.

• Portland officials are considering advocating for public records law restrictions after a years-long lawsuit ended in a $250,000 payout for a public records advocate. The records in question identified Portlanders who used a city service to report homeless encampments. The city denied the request in 2017 citing privacy concerns, but were forced to release the records this week after a judge determined the request valid under current public records law. City council members believe the state’s public records laws should do more to protect the identity of private citizens while public records advocates believe the city overuses exemptions already.

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Good Afternoon, News: Body Cams for Cops, Rental Assistance Back On, and Justice Breyer Reportedly Retiring

The Mercury provides news and fun every single day—but your help is essential. If you believe Portland benefits from smart, local journalism and arts coverage, please consider making a small monthly contribution, because without you, there is no us. Thanks for your support!

Justice Stephen Breyer (pictured alongside two jerks) will reportedly retire at the end of the term.
Justice Stephen Breyer (pictured alongside two jerks) will reportedly retire at the end of the term. Chip Somodevilla / Staff / Getty

Good, sunny afternoon, Portland! It's another beautiful winter day. (Enjoy it while you got it.) Here are the headlines!

IN LOCAL NEWS:

• Portland City Council is meeting this week to discuss selecting a vendor to operate the city's new police body camera program—a key step towards the implantation of an accountability measure that has been in the works for... (*checks notes*)... nearly a decade? Alex Zielinski has the story.

Oregon's housing department is again taking applications for rental assistance, restarting its program after an eight-week hiatus thanks to new funding from the state legislature. A spokesperson said that the department estimates it has between $43 and $60 million to distribute to renters who apply starting today. (So get going!)

• The Portland Clean Energy Fund is bolstering its proposal review process ahead of its second year of funding after last year giving $12 million to an organization whose executive director had spent time in prison for financial crimes. Isabella Garcia has more.

Continue reading »

Review: Solve the Weekday Dinner Dilemma with Chicken and More From Rotigo

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Janey Wong

Rotigo, a new counter-service restaurant, wine bar, and market, is a “choose-your-own-adventure” situation built around rotisserie chicken by jack of all culinary trades Cate Hughes. The many hats she’s worn in the industry include consulting, managing operations, doing fiscal analysis, putting together beverage programs, and more. This is her second brick-and-mortar and the 13th restaurant she’s been involved in opening.

“The concept really came out of how I like to eat, which is healthy and fresh. My daughter has a ton of pretty life-threatening allergies, so as a parent I’m super conscientious about giving people options without compromising flavor,” said Hughes. Everything is made à la minute (to order), so diners with dietary restrictions can request that ingredients be omitted.

Rotigo (the name is short for rotisserie to go) sources their pasture-raised chickens from Cooks Venture. Shipments come in thrice weekly, and the fresh—never frozen—birds are brined for 48 hours before going into the air chiller for 12-14 hours, which allows them to develop a crispy skin. From there, they’re rubbed with a mix of Mediterranean spices and head for the rotisserie. Rotigo’s rotisserie can roast up to 40 chickens at a time, with chickens always at the ready for folks wanting to grab and go.

The rotisserie chickens are available by the whole ($34), half ($19), or quarter ($10) and are accompanied by your choice of sauce (chermoula, salsa verde, garlic chili oil, chili-garlic aioli, and green goddess aioli), all of which are vegan. Once you make those selections, bolster your meal with à la carte vegan veggie sides (one portion feeds two) like smashed yukon golds, garlicky greens, roasted carrots, fried Brussels sprouts, and more.

Now, I’m one of the masses who is used to ye olde reliable five buck Costco rotisserie chicken, but I’m telling you now: don’t write off Rotigo because of the higher price point. It’s easily the most flavorful and succulent rotisserie chicken I’ve ever eaten, and has maybe even earned a spot in my top 10 most favorite chicken dishes.

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