“WE HAVE FANS, AC UNITS, AND KIDDY POOLS” reads the handwritten sign outside my neighborhood hardware store.
They know what’s coming: inevitable stretches of 80, 90, and 100-plus degree days. The cruel scourge of an unrelenting sun. And the distinct... challenges faced by a city that was not designed for global warming. (Chances the MAX will strand sweaty Portlanders on the summer’s hottest days? About 100 percent.)
That’ll all come later—but right now? It’s the perfect part of Portland summer, and it’s exactly the right time to take advantage of it. Cyclists have taken back the streets, neighborhood gardens are bursting, and hiking trails—aside from the fire-ravaged ones in the Gorge—are offering cool mornings, warm afternoons, and fields of wildflowers. This shit is idyllic.
Even better, your semi-reliable, mostly sober pals at the Mercury are here with a bunch of ways to help you make the most of your summer, from a preview of this season’s best concerts to a rundown of the greatest patios for day-drinking. We’ve got biking info, tips on cheaply exploring the rest of the Pacific Northwest, a peer-reviewed scientific study of the best movie theaters with AC, and a Very Important Guide to nude-beach etiquette.
So read on, live it up, and appreciate all Portland has to offer. You’ll have plenty of time later to swear, sweat, and fight everyone else at the hardware store for fans, AC units, and kiddy pools.—Erik Henriksen, Editor of Summer