Hey, Portland: We love you! And we love writing articles for you to read—be they newsy, artsy-fartsy, silly, or just downright deranged. As 2019 wraps up, we wanted to re-share some of our favorite things we wrote this year, just in case you missed them the first time around. Whether we were reflecting on the Portland Police Bureau's weaknesses, reviewing local concerts, or ruminating about eating 40 pizzas in 30 days, these are the articles we were proudest of.
Enjoy, and we'll see ya in 2020!
• What’s keeping Portland cops from helping people in mental health crises? The life and death of Portlander Sam Rice helps illustrate the issue.
• Food critic Andrea Damewood ate 14 Asian soups over the course of one week—that's two soups a day for the best seven days of your life.
• Revisit the incredible history behind The August Wilson Red Door Project’s series of monologue performances about racial profiling and officer-involved shootings—and what happened when they showed it to local officers.
• Marcus Fischer continues to create challenging and enrapturing sound art. Mercury Copy Chief Robert Ham was thrilled to write a feature about him and the two pieces he created for the 2019 Whitney Biennial.
• Music Editor Jenni Moore set out to find the city’s seven best bowls of vegan ramen for those soggy days (and to practice her still-developing chopstick skills).
• OHSU’s Transgender Health Program is among the leading trans health centers in the country. Reporter Blair Stenvick wrote about how the work they’re doing is influencing medical systems across Oregon, and around the country.
• Executive Editor Erik Henriksen put together this incredible "Reading List for the End of the World” to showcase some of the best, weirdest, and scariest books about climate change.
• There didn’t need to be a second season of Phoebe Waller-Bridge’s masterful TV series Fleabag. But we’re so very glad that there was.
• Former Music Editor Ciara Dolan’s mind-boggling list of summer’s greatest terrors.
• For our Pride Issue, Maarquii sipped kombucha with the Mercury and we got to chatting about what’s in their heavy rotation, future goals, and their journey to becoming a fabulous Black, genderqueer, multidisciplinary artist thriving in (of all places) Portland.
• Back in June, transportation advocates from OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon announced an ambitious new goal: making TriMet fareless. We explored whether that could, and should, happen.
• Aziz Ansari’s return to comedy after accusations of sexual impropriety was most unwelcome. His fumbling attempts at humility and apology within this new standup special didn’t help his cause one damn bit.
• Despite solid performances at the July 30 debate, Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders just couldn’t compete with Hobbs and Shaw.
• One asylum-seeker’s journey through America’s strained immigration system.
• How racist dress codes (and other club rules) have systematically kept Black Portlanders out of the city’s nightlife scene.
• Portland’s independent movie theaters that have made a habit—and in some cases, a tradition—of showing older films are poised to suffer from Disney's crackdown on repertory screenings.
• Shrill star Patti Harrison (you may also know her from the “Santa came early!” sketch on I Think You Should Leave) was kind enough to indulge our fan questions with thoughtful, hilarious answers. We’re obsessed with her, and you should be, too.
• Portland has become more diverse, but its neighborhood associations haven’t. Here’s how the city is choosing to remedy that problem.
• News Editor Alex Zielinski spoke with an everyday anti-facist about his experience undercover with Vancouver’s far-right extremists Patriot Prayer.
• Arts Editor Suzette Smith’s unapologetic screed about one of Portland’s most frustrating traffic habits.
• This story about Artists Repertory Theatre’s ART on Tour is evergreen for the next two years for everyone wondering: What happened to that theatre on SW Morrison?
• A friendly reminder: If you’re not antifa, you’re pro-fascist!
• A Major League Baseball team in Portland has never been closer to becoming a reality thanks to the Portland Diamond Project.
• A new law that will significantly narrow Oregon’s use of the death penalty got some political backlash from district attorneys—so we looked into how the costly, complicated punishment is used in Oregon, and why it’s so hard to rid ourselves of it.
• The legalization of cannabis has been great for capitalists, but not-so-great for medical marijuana cardholders.
• Nick Cave playing solo and speaking with his fans should have been a magical night. It was instead derailed by boneheaded questions and weird desperation on the part of the audience.
• Back in October, Music Editor Jenni Moore sat down with Dodgr to discuss her forthcoming solo debut, her departure from Portland, film placements, and more.
• Editor Wm. Seven Humphrey on why we should burn every grocery store self-checkout lane to the ground and salt the earth.
• One of the most striking things about Queen & Slim is that it’s intentionally absent of the white gaze.
• Remember when “Papa” John Schnatter ate 40 pizzas in 30 days?!
• In 2019, lots of art boasts about wrestling with America’s past. But Watchmen actually does, to jaw-dropping, fist-clenching effect.
• On Ancient Mahogany Gold, Catherine Harris-White’s new LP as SassyBlack, she sometimes flirts with the idea of having a partner, but the object of her affection and protection is usually herself.