The Mercury's Holiday Gift Guide!

Your Guide to Hanukkah 2021 in Portland

Load up on crispy potato pancakes from the Killingsworth Station cart Sweet Lorraines Latkes & More for Hanukkah.
Load up on crispy potato pancakes from the Killingsworth Station cart Sweet Lorraine's Latkes & More for Hanukkah. Sweet Lorraine's Latkes & More

After the piousness of the Jewish High Holidays has passed, Hanukkah rolls in with jelly-filled sufganiyot, chocolate gelt, and menorah lightings celebrating the triumph of the Maccabees and a very miraculous bit of oil. The holiday runs from November 28-December 6 this year, and there are plenty of ways to celebrate around Portland, from latkes at places like Kachka, Sweet Lorraine's, and Ben & Esther's Vegan Jewish Deli (which just opened a new Northeast Alberta location) to a menorah lighting at Pioneer Courthouse Square.

HANUKKAH SPECIALS


Bullard
Cap off your Hanukkah celebration with a festive dinner package that includes smoked brisket, herb potato confit, spiced honey glazed carrots, savory kugel, and chocolate walnut rugelach. Optional wine is also available. Pickup is available from December 3-5.
Downtown
Pickup, delivery

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31 Festive Markets and Shopping Events for the 2021 Holiday Season in Portland

Find imported German nutcrackers, smokers, and ornaments amongst other artisan goods at Silvertons authentic German Christmas Market.
Find imported German nutcrackers, smokers, and ornaments amongst other artisan goods at Silverton's authentic German Christmas Market. Silverton Christmas Market

The supply chain is all sorts of messed up and it’s prime porch thief season, so beat the hassles of holiday shopping and support local businesses with these curated markets featuring the city’s finest vendors, makers, and artisans. From procrastinators to folks looking to support social causes with their dollars to shoppers looking for a luxe experience, there's a market this season that will fit your needs. Happy shopping, happy gifting, and happy holidays! 

BLACK FRIDAY & SMALL BUSINESS SATURDAY
Black Business Pop Up Market 
Built Oregon will “turn Black Friday into….well, Black Friday,” giving you the chance to support Black-owned businesses with your dollars. Among the lineup are Glory Skincare (a 2021 Sephora Accelerate Program participant), growing media empire A Kids Company About, and social justice-minded brand Mimi’s Fresh Tees.  
CENTRL Office, West End (Fri Nov 26)

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

Cant... stop... eating... chips... and... reading... these... great...Mercury... stories!
"Can't... stop... eating... chips... and... reading... these... great... Mercury... stories!" SeventyFour / 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.)


The 10 Weirdest Revelations from the FBI Files on D.B. Cooper for the 50th Anniversary of His Escape
For the 50th anniversary of skyjacker D.B. Cooper's infamous crime and escape, local historian Doug Kenck-Crispin read all 22,000 (!!) FBI documents on the case, and shares the top ten WEIRDEST revelations!

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Courtesy FBI Files

City Announces Third Planned Location for Homeless Village
The city has announced a new location for its third "Safe Rest Village"—this one is in the Multnomah Village neighborhood. Commissioner Ryan appears ready for any pushback from neighbors.
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Google

Oregon Lifts Outdoor Mask Mandate, Launches COVID-19 Testing Program in Schools
Oregonians no longer have to wear masks in crowded outdoor settings, the Oregon Health Authority announced. The agency also launched a new COVID-19 testing program in schools that aims to reduce quarantine time for students.
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PPS
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WORST... THANKSGIVING... EVER! Mercury Readers Share their Most Disastrous and Disgusting Turkey Day Memories

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KEITH GREIMAN

[The year was 2009. That's when we asked Mercury readers to share their most disturbing, disastrous, and disgusting Thanksgiving memories for our "Worst Thanksgiving Ever" essay contest—and boy, did they deliver!—eds]

TURKEY DAY (A THANKSGIVING MEMORY)
by Santi Elijah Holley

My old man approached the bird slowly and told me to get ready. The blade, longer than my forearm, trembled precariously in my hand. The old man took one step toward the bird, then another, but the turkey didn't move an inch. It only stared at the old man as though it were watching some strange and uninteresting performance. Then, suddenly aware of what was going on, the bird raised its head, puffed out its chest, and lifted its tail feathers like a battle flag.

"Get ready!" the old man shouted, but I couldn't tell if he was addressing the turkey or me.

He made a quick dive toward the bird, but it managed to jump clear of his grasp. The bird then began hopping from side to side, like a prizefighter, jabbing the air with its beak, while a terrible cackle emanated from somewhere deep within its throat.

"Damn it," he said. "Slippery son of a bitch."

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Last Chance! Stream Our Mini-Documentary Fest, SCOOP, This Weekend!

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ARE YOU READY FOR SOME TEENSY-TINY TRUTH BOMBS?

SCOOP is a new mini-doc fest brought to you by brilliant minds behind HUMP!, SLAY, and SPLIFF Film Festivals. Earlier this year, we asked readers to go out into our chaotic world and SEND US THEIR BEST SCOOPS on the issues they care about the most. After combing through hundreds of submissions, we've curated a fresh and international lineup of 11 documentary shorts, including reports on everything from trippy plants in Hong Kong to the fight to save historic community spaces. There are enough scoops to satisfy everyone's tastes, and we've made sure to include a lot of Pacific Northwest representation.

JOIN US as we celebrate the world and its truths this November with the inaugural SCOOP Film Festival, streaming at you RIGHT NOW. Tickets are live, and you can watch the fest anytime you want through November 30.

Wanna whet your appetite? Marvel at our teaser trailer and lineup below!

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How Will Oregon Address Its Growing Affordable Housing Crisis?

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JESSE TISE

In early November, Josh Lehner, an economist with the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis, delivered a simple message to the Home Builders Association of Metropolitan Portland: housing prices in Oregon are going to continue to rise.

Lehner’s presentation noted short-term issues in housing construction like labor and supply shortages that are partially responsible for a slow rate of building in the last year.

But he also highlighted long-term structural issues that confirm much of what many communities in different regions of the state have been feeling for years. Housing prices have become exorbitant, competition for housing is stiff, and many working people are being priced out of their communities.

According to Lehner, none of this was impossible to see coming.

“Affordability is worse,” Lehner said. “Purchase prices are up. That means that you need a larger down payment, so that means you need to have more income saved, or take out a larger loan, so those barriers to entry to the housing market are worse today than they have been… most of that has to do with the fact that we have underbuilt housing. That’s the root issue here.”

Oregon has indeed been failing to build enough housing to meet demand for decades. Starting around 1980, the state began planning on there being one unit of housing per household—whether that is a family or single individual—to meet the state’s housing needs. But that plan did not account for vacant homes, vacation homes, or the decay of a certain percentage of homes over time.

Now, Oregon has the second-lowest number of housing units per household in the country. Only Washington fares worse.

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Where to Get Christmas Trees, Wreaths & Festive Plants in Portland: Winter 2021 Edition

Take advantage of this festive photo op while you pick up a Christmas tree at Frog Pond Farms holiday market.
Take advantage of this festive photo op while you pick up a Christmas tree at Frog Pond Farm's holiday market. Frog Pond Farm

It’s time once again to deck the halls. We’ve compiled a list of places to pick up trees, wreaths, and more so you can get to rockin’ around your Christmas tree in no time. There is some slight bad news this year: Turns out the real Grinch who stole Christmas is climate change. Tree farms across the Northwest were hit hard by the intense heat wave this past summer, so expect shortages and grab your tree ASAP. For more holiday merriment, check out our guide to holiday markets and shopping.

CHRISTMAS TREE FARMS
Bob’z Tree Farm
This u-cut tree farm offers Noble, Nordmann, Grand, and Douglas Firs ranging from three to eight feet with full service shaking and baling. You’ll also find a selection of wreaths, swags, door charms, and cute reindeer and snowmen statues made from logs.
Estacada (Nov 26-Dec 6)

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New Savage Lovecast: Homo Takeover With Willam & Alaska from Hot Goss!

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Happy Thanksgiving, and welcome to the homo takeover! We’re focusing on queers exclusively this week, so MOVE OUT OF THE WAY, breeders.

A newly sober lesbian wonders if it’s normal to get SUPER-HORNY when you quit booze. Or is she #blessed?

How are you supposed to live your life when you are an ex-marine, macho, rural, hunter bro and also…bisexual? He knows he should be out, but worries he won’t be able to find women to date who would be cool with it.

Next, we crank the queer dial up to a billion with our guests Alaska & Willam from RuPaul’s Drag Race. Their podcast, Race Chaser and the Savage Lovecast were made to smash together in this unholy alliance. The queens answer some listeners‘ questions, and generally dish it up.

On the Magnum, some people of a certain age have a bad reaction to the word “queer.” This gay man was tormented by the word when he was growing up. Dan chats with him in a deep dive convo about the history of the words we use for “gay,” how they change over the years, and how LGBTQ folk will manage to rip the teeth and fangs out of every insult, every time.

Listen here:


The 5 Steps to Watching Televised Thanksgiving Day Parades. (Step 1: Get High)

Crazy shit popping off all over the place.
Crazy shit popping off all over the place. JStone / Shutterstock.com

[What follows is some extremely helpful advice from our sister publication, The Stranger, written in 2015... you know, before the world went to shit. The 2021 Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade runs from 9 am-noon on NBC.—eds]

Step 1: Smoke weed, drink tincture, or have an edible. Your choice. Those are the only ways to properly watch a televised Thanksgiving Day parade. Vape it, dab it, spray it on your tongue, or slather your torso with cannabis coconut oil. Up to you.

Step 2: Mute the sound on the television, and put on Death Grips’ “Lil Boy” from No Love Deep Web. Let it play on repeat while the first three or four balloons and floats go by. The tension and impending tones of MC Ride’s vocals will make the people smiling at the parade seem like they’re all hiding a dark secret. They’re so happy, but are they too happy? There’s a procession of large, inflated humanoid and animal shapes being pulled by ropes. Something is off. The creatures are filled with 300,000 cubic feet of helium, and they’re peering down from another dimension. It’s ominous, yet clowning. Breezes gust up and catch one of Kermit the Frog’s bone-thin arms, making him wave and convulse in slow motion. He’s not saying, “Hellooo kids.” He’s saying, “Somebody fucking help meee.”

“Somebody fucking help meee.”
“Somebody fucking help meee.” Joseph Sohm / Shutterstock.com
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55 Cheap & Easy Things To Do in Portland This Thanksgiving Weekend: Nov 24-28, 2021

The Grottos Christmas Festival of Lights is one of Portlands most well-known light displays, and also happens to be one of the most affordable ones.
The Grotto's Christmas Festival of Lights is one of Portland's most well-known light displays, and also happens to be one of the most affordable ones. The Grotto

We don't need to remind you that Thanksgiving is this Thursday, or that Black Friday is this Friday, or that Small Business Saturday is this Saturday, but if the holidays have been taking up all your spare time and energy, one thing you might not know about are all the hassle-free events happening around town this long weekend—none of which will cost you more than $15. See them all below, from a Black Business Pop-Up Market to the Hollywood Theatre's Les Blank Celebration, and from a Grand Menorah Lighting in Pioneer Courthouse Square to the Pittock Mansion Christmas: Critters Make Merry.

WEDNESDAY
COMEDY

Dough
Thomas Lundy, Jake Silbermann, and Lance Edward host this weekly comedy showcase you'll want to plan your night around. (Unless the only other element of your night involves eating pizza, in which case you can grab a slice at the show—how convenient for you!) 
Mississippi Pizza, Boise ($5)

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Good Afternoon, News: TriMet Security Trainer Gets the Boot, Health Care Workers on the Edge, and Ahmaud Arbery Murderers Found GUILTY

The person assigned to train TriMet security personnel was a former cop involved in the infamous false arrest of a Black Portlander. (Not a good look!)
The person assigned to train TriMet security personnel was a former cop involved in the infamous false arrest of a Black Portlander. (Not a good look!) TriMet

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!

IN LOCAL NEWS:

• TriMet has done a quick about-face, requesting that former West Linn lieutenant Michael Stradley be removed from his post of training security personnel on trains and busses, after they were reminded that Stradley was involved in the 2017 false arrest of Black Portlander Michael Fesser—who was understandably NOT happy that the disgraced former officer was given the job!

• Happy D.B. Cooper 50th Anniversary! Don't miss this fun, interesting feature by Doug Kenck-Crispin on the 10 weirdest revelations from the FBI files on the only unsolved skyjacking case in American history!

• Bonus D.B. Cooper content: Author Doug Kenck-Crispin is currently live-tweeting a minute-by-minute recap of Cooper's caper as it happened!

• The Oregon Health Authority announced yesterday that Oregonians no longer have to wear masks outside in crowded settings, thanks to the progress MOST of us have made battling back COVID-19. GOOD WORK, (most of the) TEAM!

Continue reading »

Support Your Local Shops This Weekend with Help from the Mercury's Holiday Gift Guide!

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In case you haven't heard, the time to get that holiday shopping done is RIGHT NOW. And helping you along the way is the Mercury's annual HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE, featuring a jolly bag of present ideas for that hard-to-shop-for friend or family member. And even better? You can buy all these wondrous gifts LOCALLY, while supporting Portland's amazing small business community!

So what's inside the Holiday Gift Guide? All the stuff you LOVE, and in all the categories: from fashion and food, to cannabis and sex toys! AND we're adding new stuff all the time, so keep checking back in for the latest gifts and sweet deals!

Find the things you need from all the local businesses you love, including Wildfang, Betsy & Iya, Everyday Music, New Deal Distillery, She Bop, and lots more!

Get the gifts you need NOW with help from our great local businesses and the Mercury's annual HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE (updated on the regular throughout the holiday season)!


Tips for Surviving Your Racist Family Thanksgiving

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ISTOCK/KARENFOLEYPHOTOGRAPHY

[Here are some wise words from former Portlander/current Denver resident and verrry funny comedian Andie Main that she wrote for us in 2016—and yet still hold true today!—eds]

Tips for Surviving Your Racist Family Thanksgiving


1) Steel your nerves in the car before entering the house by watching the opening scene of Saving Private Ryan, and that scene near the end of Schindler's List when Oskar wishes he'd done more. YOU ARE JUST AS STRONG AS TOM HANKS AND LIAM NEESON. ALSO, ISN'T SPIELBERG A NATIONAL TREASURE?

2) Bring your partner, even if the family doesn't approve of them. Especially if they don't. Never let go of your partner's hand and remember that we are just dumb primates, and this is one of those weird turf wars they like to have. Did you know that Bonobo Apes trade sexual favors for dominance in their family hierarchies? Be thankful you are not a Bonobo Ape.

3) Drugs. You have two different options: You can either medicate yourself with a tranq... or??? Medicate your relatives! Make those weed brownies and make 'em irresistible! Just don't let anyone have more than one and use less weed than it would ever take to get you high. Aunt Dorothy has a low tolerance and she is a nice lady.

4) Ninety minutes into Thanksgiving is going the time when either everyone is high or just you. THIS WILL SET THE TONE FOR THE REST OF THE MEAL. YOU MUST ASSESS THE SITUATION AND ACT ACCORDINGLY.

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Savage Love: Get Out

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Joe Newton

I have a friend who is a trans man. Recently he just got out of a shitty relationship. His ex suddenly lost interest in him and wouldn’t work with him on fixing it. He’s heartbroken. He told me women often reject him once they find out he is trans and he’s tired of endless rejections. We met in the college town where he still lives, but our entire friend circle (including me) has moved away. Even without the trans part, it’s not easy to be a 30-something single man in a liberal college town. He’s convinced he’s doomed to be alone. I don’t want to be dismissive about his experience as a trans person (I’m a cis woman), but I keep trying to walk the fine line of encouraging my friend to reach out, meet people through community events, volunteering, etc. He also mentioned to me that people our age (thirties) are more transphobic than younger people, but he doesn’t want to be the kind of 30-something perv who dates people in their twenties. My heart aches for my friend. Do you have any advice for him to make more friends and/or find a new romantic partner?

Friend Really In Extreme Distress

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Good Morning, News: D.B. Cooper 50th Anniversary, Outdoor Mask Mandate Lifted, and Good Economic News (Partly Thanks to Taylor Swift)

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!

Happy D.B. Cooper Skyjacks a Plane and Escapes with $200K in Cash Money anniversary, everybody!
Happy "D.B. Cooper Skyjacks a Plane and Escapes with $200K in Cash Money" anniversary, everybody! shironosov /iStock / Getty Images Plus

GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! All this love, waiting just for you. I just gotta know that your love is true. Can't keep running, boy, in and out my life. Wanna be your girl, not 'cause the mood is right. LET'S GO TO PRESS.

IN LOCAL NEWS:

• The Oregon Health Authority announced yesterday that Oregonians no longer have to wear masks outside in crowded settings, thanks to the progress MOST of us have made battling back COVID-19. GOOD WORK, (most of the) TEAM! The state will also be launching their “Test to Stay” COVID testing program in Oregon schools, which is a process to allow unvaccinated students and staff to stay at school if they test negative after being exposed to COVID-19 after a certain number of days. Our Isabella Garcia has the details!

• Happy D.B. Cooper 50th Anniversary! Don't miss this fun, interesting feature by Doug Kenck-Crispin on the 10 weirdest revelations from the FBI files on the only unsolved skyjacking case in American history!

• While COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations have dropped a lot since September, insufficient staffing and long hours are significantly stressing the health care system in Oregon, and nurses are taking the brunt of it, in some cases working 12 hour days up to 21 days in a row.

• Look out, vax card fakers! Washington state has developed a new method of verifying COVID vaccination status: a digital card with a QR code that can be scanned to see if you're telling the truth.

Continue reading »