new mercury t-shirt designs are now available!

Your Guide to August 2021 Events in Portland

The 25th annual Providence Bridge Pedal will offer cyclists and walkers the opportunity to ride and walk across Portlands many bridges.
The 25th annual Providence Bridge Pedal will offer cyclists and walkers the opportunity to ride and walk across Portland's many bridges. Karl Petersen

Although the delta variant is proving to be a bit of a killjoy, summer events are pushing on full steam ahead. Fortunately, a majority of events are taking place outdoors to take full advantage of the sunny season, and some hybrid events are still on the books. Heading to an indoor event? The county and state do recommend resuming indoor masking regardless of vaccination status. To make sure you’re not left with FOMO, we’ve rounded up our pick of the crop, from music festivals like the Vanport Jazz Festival and The Lot Summer Music Festival to entire weeks dedicated to a single theme like Sneaker Week PDX, PDX Hip Hop Week, and Portland Mercury’s Burger Week

COMMUNITY
Sneaker Week PDX
Sneaker Week highlights innovators and artists based in Portland, a hub for the global sneaker industry, through the themes of art, design, sport, music, media, tech, and science.
Various locations (Aug 5-11)

Read on EverOut »

Good Afternoon, News: Officials Sound Heatwave Alarm, Laurelhurst Sweep Begins, and Biden's Tough New Vax Rules

City begins sweep of Laurelhurst camp—just in time for heatwave.
City begins sweep of Laurelhurst camp—just in time for heatwave. Alex Zielinski

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:

• Oregon's Office of Emergency Management has issued a report about the state's failures to deal with our last deadly heatwave and has made suggestions for how to improve... just as highs in the upper 90s to low 100s (!!) arrive today and tomorrow. Multnomah County is trying to get ahead of the situation this time around, by opening five cooling sites (an increase from last month's three centers), extending the hours at 15 public libraries, and sending out cellphone public alerts. (By the way, you have to reply "yes" to make them stop calling you. THEY REALLY WANT YOU TO KNOW!) Our Isabella Garcia has more on the story.

• By the way, here's the list of cooling centers and public libraries with extended hours, if you (or someone you know) needs it!

• Mask up, kids! It was announced today that Oregon will require all students from kindergarten through 12th grade (including teachers and staff) wear masks during school starting in the fall. This overrides the previous decision to allow individual school districts to decide whether or not their kids would wear masks.

Continue reading »

This Week in Portland Event News: James Blake, STRFKR, and More

Let James Blakes haunting melodies wash over you on his Friends That Break Your Heart Tour. Tickets on sale Friday.
Let James Blake's haunting melodies wash over you on his Friends That Break Your Heart Tour. Tickets on sale Friday. Venla Shalin/Redferns/Getty Images

Another batch of new shows has been announced this week, including critically acclaimed artists Caroline Polachek and James Blake. And we don’t have to spell it out for you, Portland’s STRFKR and consummate jackass Steve-O are also back to doing what they do best. Read on for details on those and other events rolling through town, and check out our August 2021 event guide for more ideas. 

Tickets go on sale at 10 am unless otherwise noted.

ON SALE FRIDAY, JULY 30
MUSIC

Caroline Polachek
Wonder Ballroom (Tues Dec 14)

Dream Theater 
Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall (Tues Nov 2)

Read on EverOut »

County, City Expand Cooling Centers and Outreach Ahead of Weekend Heatwave

A man walking down a street lines with tents, rolling a cooler behind him. He has his hand cupped around his mouth and is talking loudly about having water and cooling supplies,
Outreach workers from Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare distributing water to houseless Portlanders during the historic June heatwave. Multnomah County

Portland is preparing for another heatwave this week with temperatures reaching the upper 90s on Thursday through Saturday. While Multnomah County is still in the process of evaluating what their agencies could have done differently to better respond to the historic heatwave in June that killed at least 54 people in the county and 83 people statewide, some of their early findings will be applied to this week's heatwave.

According to Multnomah County spokespeople, the county is addressing the coming temperature spike by improving collaboration and communication with the city and by increasing the number of phone calls it makes to county residents alerting them of the heatwave. Anyone with a county landline, mobile numbers associated with a utility bill, and people signed up for the county’s Public Alert system will receive a call today announcing that the National Weather Service has declared a heat warning from Thursday through Saturday. The automated message warns about the risks of the heat and encourages residents to call 2-1-1, the county’s information hotline, for more information and cooling center locations. Hundreds of thousands of county residents will receive the calls, according to a county spokesperson.

Continue reading »

Review: The Green Knight Sees a Dashing Dev Patel Fight a Giant Tree Man. It’s Outstanding.

Dev Patel as a shouting Gawain in The Green Knight.
Dev Patel as a shouting Gawain in The Green Knight. Courtesy A24

A masterful meditation on the hero's journey, The Green Knight gives writer-director David Lowery the reins to expertly craft a profoundly atmospheric film that invigorates the senses to the point of breathlessness. It sees the equally breathtaking Dev Patel give his best performance to date.

The film, an adaptation of the Arthurian poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, takes many creative liberties with its source material while still maintaining a high degree of faithfulness to the text. It follows Patel as Gawain, an ebullient man who spends most of his days drinking and fornicating without much of a care in the world. The most accurate modern term would be to identify him as a fuckboy of the highest order. He is charming yet chaotic, a combination that foreshadows complications for his life.

These complications for Gawain come knocking at the front door of the castle while he's in the midst of celebrating Yuletide with the king. Interrupting the revelry and feasting is an imposing figure on horseback, the Green Knight himself in all his horrifying glory. He emerges from the shadows to issue a challenge: Any who can strike a blow against him will have a chance to do so. However, in one year this person must go on a quest where, at its conclusion, the Knight will return the blow in equal measure.

It offers the supposed honor of battle to those who wish to make a name for themselves, though at a steep price.

Continue reading »

This Week's Comics: Superhero Chef, Space Mysteries, and Hot Horny Angels

IMG_E9115.JPG

I hope you’re ready for a hot take about Austin Powers, a movie franchise that is nearly as old today as the time period that it references.

I recently attempted a rewatch of the films, because they feature briefly in the new Space Jam movie and I was wondering how well they hold up. The first Powers film is indeed quite good: It’s energetic and joyful; and when it feels hacky, it’s not the movie’s fault that catchphrases like “oh behave” became so overdone following its success. (“That’s a man, baby” does not age well.)

The movie’s economical reaction shots do a lot of the heavy comedy-lifting: Austin says something funny, then there’s the briefest of takes from him or a co-star, and the joke is left to settle naturally over the audience. It’s the same reason Airplane! and Sam the Eagle are funny — they never nudge the audience’s ribs and holler “GET IT???”

Austin’s subsequent installments, alas, are quite musty and sale. In addition to being inexplicably cruel — did the ‘90s love anything more than a mean-spirited fat joke? — the two sequels are loaded down with mugging. Austin proclaims a catchphrase; then he goggles his eyes at the camera; then there’s a cutaway to co-stars looking chagrined; then Austin gasps; then a minor character shrugs; then we cut back to Austin repeating the catchphrase as if he knows that half the audience probably missed it the first time because we were composing a grocery list in our heads.

Anyway, the reason I’m composing this timely hit piece is because my rewatch has me thinking about the importance of negative space in art — that is, often gaps and pauses and emptiness are much more effective than cramming muchness into the frame. That’s certainly borne out by the new comic book releases I read this week, one of which is loaded with too much; one of which is beautifully sparse; and the third of which strikes a perfect balance of empty and crammed.

Continue reading »

Good Morning, News: Dangerous Heat Approaches, Clean & Safe Criticism, and Olympic Gold for Sunisa Lee

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!

Team USAs gold-winning Sunisa Lee kicking ass and taking names on the balance beam in the all-around gymnastic finals.
Team USA's gold-winning Sunisa Lee kicking ass and taking names on the balance beam in the all-around gymnastic finals. Jamie Squire / Getty Images

GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! I'll stand up on a cloud, shout out loud, "You're the one for me." With your love by my side, the world will be mine. You're the one for me. LET'S GO TO PRESS.

IN LOCAL NEWS:

• The National Weather Service has issued a warning for the state of Oregon, saying that we can expect dangerously high temperatures over the next three days. And due to oncoming thunderstorms, we may also see lightning strikes, and (you guessed it) dangerous new fires.

• Oregon's Office of Emergency Management has issued a report about the state's failures to deal with our last deadly heatwave and makes suggestions for how to improve... just as highs in the mid-to-upper 90s arrive today and tomorrow. Multnomah County is trying to get ahead of the situation this time around, opening five cooling sites (an increase from last month's three centers) and extending the hours at 15 public libraries.

• The contract for the controversial Clean & Safe program—a security/clean-up crew staffed by security guards and cops that patrol the downtown area—is up for renewal, and Portland's citizens gave the city and the business owners that funds them an earful about how the program repeatedly hassles houseless folks while taking money from small businesses that don't want the service. Find out a lot more about this program and the many objections against it from our Alex Zielinski.

Continue reading »

Good Afternoon, News: "Clean & Safe" Under Scrutiny, Masks Continue to Be Back, and Infrastructure Bill Heads to Senate

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!

KILITO_CHAN.jpeg
KILITO CHAN

Good afternoon, Portland! Here's the latest on local news, national news, and a little bit of fun.

In local news:

• As Portland seeks to "rebuild" downtown after the pandemic shuttered businesses, there's little mention of what that means for the many unhoused Portlanders who reside on downtown blocks. On Tuesday, several dozen members of the public spoke out on the issue during a city meeting on the pending renewal of Portland's contract with Downtown Clean & Safe, an organization that charges property owners located within its 213-block boundary to fund additional, or “enhanced,” services not already provided by the city. Unhoused Portlanders say Clean & Safe's security crews are known to threaten houseless campers from legally resting in public spaces, putting them in a constant state of unease.

• Just a few days ago, the City of Portland announced that it wouldn't require COVID-19 vaccination or regular testing for city employees. Today, Mayor Ted Wheeler reversed course on the new policy, saying he will push for requirements. Wheeler's move comes one day after state officials advised Oregonians to start wearing masks in public, indoor spaces again.

• Portland's white fragility is showing:

Continue reading »

Hate Being the "Last to Know"? Here's an Easy-Breezy Solution!

Screen_Shot_2021-07-28_at_11.06.21_AM.png
motortion /iStock / Getty Images Plus

Look, you are a busy bee, correct? So of course you may occasionally miss some of the great investigative reporting and snappy reviews that the Mercury puts out on the daily. But if you're feeling like you're sometimes "the last to know," here's an easy-breezy solution:

SIGN UP FOR THE MERCURY NEWSLETTERS!

By subscribing to the FREE Mercury newsletters, you'll have the latest can't-miss Mercury reporting delivered right to your email's in-box. Here are the facts: We're covering lots of stories that directly affect your life and those near-and-dear to you, so it's imperative nowadays to be an informed resident of Portland. But ya can't do that if ya don't know! And with Mercury newsletters, YOU'LL ALWAYS KNOW. (And as an extra bonus, you can lord all that knowledge over your snooty friends. Hee-hee-hee.)

But get this! With Mercury newsletters, you'll also receive info about the latest, coolest events, food and drink reviews and recommendations, special bargains around town, and loads of the funny stuff that the Mercury famously provides.

So don't be "the last to know!" SIGN UP FOR FREE MERCURY NEWSLETTERS RIGHT HERE! And get all the daily information you need delivered straight into your in-box (and your brain)!


Savage Love: Crabs

1627426465-072821_savage_crabs.jpg
Joe Newton

I’m a gay male in my forties and I’ve been married to my husband for nine years. There was some mild infidelity on his part (exchanging photos and flirting via text with another guy) early in our relationship. I confronted him at the time, and he lied to me. I decided to let it go, as it was early in the relationship. Fast forward a few years and he gets crabs and gives them to me. He told me it was most likely from the volunteer work he does in a homeless shelter. I let it go again. Fast forward another couple years and I’m feeling insecure and look on his iPad, and find confirmation that he was sleeping with the guy he’d exchanged photos and flirty texts with early in our relationship. This sent me into a severe depression. All my concerns over the years were confirmed, and further sleuthing revealed there was another guy he was fucking around with as well. He admitted to all of this only after I showed him the proof.

I chose to forgive and forget. The pain was too much to deal with and I just wanted to move on and get back to our lives. At the time we talked about having an open relationship and I told him I was cool with that, but I wasn’t cool sharing my life with someone who lies to me so easily. We mutually decided that opening the relationship wasn’t a great idea and never really discussed it again. I’m happy I decided to move past this because the last four years have been great. We never fight, our sex life is good, we have a wonderful home and social life. I hadn’t felt the need to sleuth on his devices in years. I felt secure in our relationship. Then two weeks ago I discovered he has crabs (again) after he gave them to me (again). He says he has no idea how he got them. This has obviously brought his history of lying and cheating back to the forefront and I’m questioning so many things. I feel like the only way I’ll ever get the truth is if I find proof and fuck that. I’m not going back to scouring his phone and devices. If I’m staying, I’m staying. But should I stay? Are all past infidelities moot at this point because we’ve put them behind us? Can this new case of crabs be viewed in isolation? Can people get genital area crab infestations during a non-sensual massage? Or am I the idiot whose husband has been fucking around on him the whole time we’ve been together?

Scratching Head And Meat

Continue reading »

Record Review: Portland Rapper Mic Capes Evolves on In Spite Of…

capes.png

North Portland-raised rapper Mic Capes established himself years ago as one of the city’s most promising hip-hop artists. Whenever he gears up to drop new music, the city is ready and listening, amped to support and promote the artist. On his fourth studio project, In Spite Of... Capes' evolution as an artist is on display, and that growth is paying off. Since its official July 20 release, In Spite Of... peaked at the #2 spot on the iTunes Top Hip-hop/Rap Albums chart.

The In Spite Of... title means to keep going in spite of one’s obstacles and adversity. Throughout the project, Capes spits inspirational, motivational lyrics that pay respect to his family and roots. The project as a whole sees Capes evolving from more ego-driven tapes like Cold Blooded Vol 1, and 2017’s Sheesh; the new album is about his journey with music, staying humble, working hard, and being true to his faith and values.

On “Affirmations,” which features Farnell Newton and jaminah, Capes raps about his family being on food stamps and getting free boxes of food when he was growing up, and hlameow that motivated him to pursue his music dreams. “I chose to quit my job and go against the odds/I’d rather chase a dream than work a 9 to 5/I’d rather take a risk than say I never tried,” he raps like a mantra, and then goes into prayer mode with “Lord give me strength/ Lord give me drive.” Another standout track is “Urgency,” in which he appropriately raps at a fast pace, and mentions balancing his music career with his relationship with then fiance (now wife): “I found the lady I love, yeah/ She wanna settle down/ I wanna marry her, I do this music though, hard to be tethered down/ I made a promise though, I gotta keep my word/ I know I gotta pray/ Ain’t even trippin though, I put my faith in God, I know we’ll find a way.”

Continue reading »

NewsCopsCity Hall

City Hears Opposition to Continuation of Downtown Clean & Safe's Contract

Barbara Weber speaking at a rally prior to Tuesdays public hearing.
Barbara Weber speaking at a rally prior to Tuesday's public hearing. Alex Zielinski

As Portland seeks to "rebuild" downtown after the pandemic shuttered businesses, there's little mention of what that means for the many unhoused Portlanders who reside on downtown blocks. If the city simply hopes to return to the status quo, this means that unhoused Portlanders will likely continue to face routine harassment by the team of security guards paid through a city program to patrol downtown Portland's streets.

It's not a future many Portlanders want to see.

On Tuesday, several dozen members of the public spoke out on the issue during a city meeting on the pending renewal of Portland's contract with Downtown Clean & Safe, an organization that charges property owners located within its 213-block boundary to fund additional, or “enhanced,” services not already provided by the city—like graffiti removal, expanded trash removal, and augmented police and security patrols.

Unhoused Portlanders say Clean & Safe's security crews are known to threaten houseless campers from legally resting in public spaces, putting them in a constant state of unease. During a rally held by houseless advocates prior to the city meeting, Barbara Weber told the crowd about a time when she was living in a tent near NW Davis and 6th.

"I've been up for five straight days once... and not because of meth, it wasn't because too much coffee," said Weber, who also leads the garbage removal program Ground Score. "It was because Clean & Safe... they wouldn't leave us alone. Clean & Safe is programmed to think that we're the problem."

Continue reading »

Good Morning, News: Masks Recommended Statewide, Pandemic Funds Helped POC, and Mental Health Takes Center Stage at Olympics

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!

Olympian Simone Biles joins the athletes who are putting their mental health first.
Olympian Simone Biles joins the athletes who are putting their mental health first. Jamie Squire / Getty Images

GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! 24-7, I will make you feel like heaven. I'll turn you upside down. I'll spin you round and round. LET'S GO TO PRESS.

IN LOCAL NEWS:

• Following a HUGE spike of COVID cases in the state, and on the heels of an announcement from Multnomah County and the CDC, the Oregon Health Authority (OHA) is now recommending that everyone—regardless of vaccination status—wear masks in indoor public places. According to the OHA, "The highly contagious Delta variant has increased tenfold in the past two weeks in Oregon, and it is now estimated to be associated with 80 percent of the new cases in Oregon." Our Isabella Garcia has more.

• Former Oregon Republican Rep. Mike Nearman has grudgingly pleaded guilty to letting armed Trumpers into the statehouse during a special session last year, putting his fellow legislators in serious danger. The only thing Nearman actually admitted was that his thoughtless action would make him look good in the eyes of the extreme right wing. (And there you have the GOP's entire reason for being.)

Continue reading »

UPDATED: Multnomah County, State Recommend Everyone Wears Masks Indoors, Regardless of Vaccinations

A yellow sign on a door reading face masks required
Multnomah County recommends people 5 and older wear masks indoors. Hollie Adams / Getty Images

Multnomah County is recommending that all people 5 and older wear masks indoors, regardless of vaccine status.

The county, which previously recommended that only unvaccinated people wear masks indoors, announced the new recommendations in a press release Monday in response to a dramatic spike in COVID-19 cases across the state. While the county highly encourages people and businesses to follow the new recommendations, the guidelines will not be enforced in any way and individual businesses are still able to dictate their own masking policies.

Oregon has more than doubled its number of new daily COVID cases during July. The Oregon Health Authority reported almost 1,000 new COVID cases over the weekend, compared to 219 cases reported during the last weekend in June.

The press release cites an increase in social activities and the spread of the highly-transmissible Delta variant for the rise in cases. According to the county, universal masking reduces the risk of infection by at least 70 percent.

“We have an opportunity to make a difference in our county’s case rates right now,” said Multnomah County Health Director Jessica Guernsey. “But if we don’t act, we can expect an exponential rise in cases, especially in pockets with low vaccinations.”

Continue reading »

Good Afternoon, News: Nearman Banned from Capitol, Activists Plan a Month of Action, and Sushi is for Dinner!

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 group of people holding a sign reading stop zenith
Protestors in front of Zenith energy Tuesday morning. Isabella Garcia

In local news:

• Former state Rep. Mike Nearman pled guilty to official misconduct during the Oregon Capitol insurrection. Nearman allowed armed demonstrators to enter the state capitol in December of last year. Nearman is banned from the Capitol grounds for 18-months, must serve 80 hours of community service, and pay $2,900 in fines.

• I haven’t been able to stop thinking about eating sushi ever since I read Janey Wong’s review of Mitate this morning. You’ve been warned:

Continue reading »