BUENOS DIAS, BRAINY BUTT! It's time once again to put your brainy-brain to the test with this week's edition of POP QUIZ PDX—our weekly, local, sassy-ass trivia quiz. And this week, we're focusing on newsy stuff as well as how much you know about our local and state parks—and in particular the animals who are pretty intent on biting your butt off! 😬

But before we continue... HOW DID YOU DO ON THE PREVIOUS QUIZ? Ooh, super-duper good! And I can't argue with the fact that if one is going to create a new religion, punching Nazis should be a major part of it!

OKAY, TIME FOR A NEW QUIZ! Take this week's quiz below, 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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Looking for a fun (and free!) night out on the town? Check out this week's Mercury giveaway which gives you the chance to win TWO FREE TICKETS to see the mighty Duran Duran at the Moda Center! Are you dreaming? Let me check... NO, YOU ARE NOT!

That's correct! Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Duran Duran are coming to Moda Center on their Future Past tour, with a hit-packed evening that spans the band’s spectacular four-decade career. Enter to win a pair of tickets, or if you're not the gambling type, purchase your tix now and here! 

Duran Duran, w/ Bastille and Neil Rodgers & Chic; Moda Center, 1 Winning Way, Thurs June 1, 7 pm, $33-$215, all ages

GOOD LUCK, and winners will be notified by Monday at noon. And check back next week for more FREE TIX from the Mercury!


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!

GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! Time for another day of May sunshine. Let's get into the news.


 A new Safe Rest Village is slated to open in North Portland with 60 units for unhoused Portlanders. But will it be effective in transitioning people into longterm housing? People are skeptical, especially given its controversial operating organization, Urban Alchemy. Our Courtney Vaughn has the story

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UPDATE 12:30 p.m. May 25: After the Mercury's initial reporting, city staff say the Safe Rest Village data dashboard will be updated with clear definitions, and eventually, more specifics about outcomes for occupants.

Portland’s third and largest Safe Rest Village is slated to open soon–the first to be managed by controversial California-based homeless services provider, Urban Alchemy. The new alternative shelter site will come online as the city of Portland continues to clamp down on camping in visible, public spaces, despite Multnomah County’s homeless population jumping 21% since 2022.

The 60-unit Peninsula Crossing Trail site in North Portland’s University Park neighborhood is one of six designated Safe Rest Villages planned by City Commissioner Dan Ryan’s office, in coordination with Multnomah County’s Joint Office of Homeless Services. The new village for unhoused residents was unveiled Thursday, May 18. 

“This humanitarian crisis has been uncomfortable for a lot of people, and I think that today, there’s hope,” Ryan said during a tour with media and neighbors.

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EverOut May 24 5:04 PM

10 Barbecue Places Worth Trying in Portland

Podnah's Pit, Homegrown Smoker, and More

As the weather warms up, and picnics become more common, few foods are more ideal for an al fresco meal than barbecue. We've compiled this list of Portland joints worth your time, from the Texas-style Podnah's Pit BBQ to the clever vegan Homegrown Smoker. Grab some takeout and head to your favorite park or beach for a memorable moveable feast. For more ideas, check out our food and drink guide.

Botto's BBQ
The Portland Mercury's Andrea Damewood writes, "Botto’s opened in 2016 to much acclaim, especially for its brisket and ribs, done up in the Austin, Texas-style that owner Darren Bottinelli loves. It closed when Bottinelli went to the minimum-security Sheridan Federal Correctional Institute, convicted of stealing $3 million from his former healthcare funds management company. Botto’s reopened this year, and the barbecue remains as good as I remember, especially the lean brisket cuts with a kick of housemade sauce. The smoked turkey and a side of broccoli and cauliflower casserole were both a bit sogged down with grease, but it’s nothing a side of pickled veggies couldn’t cure."
Pickup, delivery, dine-in

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Hear In Portland May 24 12:30 PM

Hear in Portland: Wynne's Super Sexy Music Video for "Jaw Morant" Is Here

Plus, dream-folk duo Shady Cove at Lollipop Shoppe, and the unmissable local talent at a Prince birthday tribute night.

This week we’re absolutely jazzed about Wynne’s full video for “Jaw Morant” (it’s fucking delicious). Plus, an Oregon-based dream-folk duo plays live, and we want you to take note of the powerful voices and talents behind an upcoming Prince birthday tribute night. Interest piqued? Read on for what we want you to Hear in Portland.


Upcoming local show(s) featuring local artist(s).

Shady Cove

Oregon-based duo Shady Cove—Sarah Rose and Sarah Nienaber of the dream-pop trio Candace—didn’t mean to create a new band when they began recording songs. However, the two frequent collaborators formed something special in a modest cabin in Shady Cove, Oregon, which would become the inspiration for their moniker. (We’re only a little disappointed they didn’t name their new band the Sarahs.) Those songs went on to become the self-titled debut that dropped last year, via Park the Van Records, on which the “defiantly optimistic” pair explored themes of desire and impulsivity. Shady Cove’s upcoming headliner show at Lollipop Shoppe will also host Seattle experimental folk act Somesurprises, and the debut of a new dream-grunge act, Nome. (Lollipop Shoppe, 736 SE Grand, Sun May 28, 8:30 pm, $12, tickets here, 21+)

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Comedy May 24 11:00 AM

Want Some Devilish Fun? Don't Miss Thursday's "TWO EVILS" Live Comedy Game Show!

It’s audience vs. a special guest comedian in a devilishly fun game of good vs. evil!

Who's ready for a little EEEEVIL?

Well, you're in luck, because Mercury Geniuses of Comedy, Arlo Weierhauser and Kate Murphy, are your hosts for the most diabolical, hilarious, and EVIL live game show in town… TWO EVILS! Join Arlo and Kate as they ask a series of truly evil questions, and it’s up to our special guest contestant and the audience (who will vote on their phones) to decide which is the lesser of TWO VERY EVIL ANSWERS. Are there prizes? You bet your butt! Is there comedy? Oh, absolutely!

Plus, we'll be welcoming very special guest comedian contestant NARIKO OTT! 😍

And WARNING: This show will almost certainly sell out (like it did last month) SO GET THOSE TIX QUICK NOW AND HERE!

Don’t miss the most delightful and morally corrupt comedy game show of the century… TWO EVILS with Arlo & Kate!

WHEN: Thursday, June 1, doors 7 PM / 7:30 pm show

WHERE: The Siren Theater, 3913 NE Mississippi

TICKETS: $15 advance, $20 door

Presented by your pals at the Portland Mercury!

A gay man is simultaneously weirded out and turned on by using the word “daddy” with his boyfriend. Should he stop immediately? 

A woman’s husband cheated on her and it breaks her heart. She can’t divorce him because she would get deported. How can she stay married and stay sane for the next three years when she can become a legal citizen? 

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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!

GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! Get ready for another warming trend, as temps rise to 76 today with partly cloudy skies and a chance of a shower later, and hopping up to a balmy 82 by Friday! But keep reading, because there's about to be a strong chance of... NEWS.


• Portland's Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) is apparently in far worse shape than most people know, and Mayor Wheeler's new plan to slash its budget by halting plans for a 40-cent parking meter price increase is raising serious alarms from PBOT workers and experts who say the bureau is currently on "life support." Where does PBOT get its money, and what can happen when it runs out? Find out in this excellent report from our Taylor Griggs.

• Yet even more random threats and desperate maneuvers from Mayor Wheeler: Now the mayor is threatening Multnomah County by saying he may not extend the city’s partnership with the Joint Office of Homeless Services, unless they commit the entirety of a $25 million windfall to his problematic mass shelter plan as well as a pittance to rental assistance. Oh, and Commissioners Mingus Mapps and Rene Gonzalez also chimed in with short-sighted, self-serving Portland Business Alliance talking points, to the surprise of no one.

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News May 24 7:45 AM

"PBOT Is on Life Support": Inside Portland’s Transportation Budget Crisis

An 11th-hour city budget amendment proposed by Mayor Ted Wheeler has revealed the depths of the transportation bureau’s woes.

Mayor Ted Wheeler’s last-minute city budget amendments left Portland transportation stakeholders feeling like they've had the rug pulled out from under them. Now, they want every Portlander to know: The city’s transportation system is in trouble and the effects will have far-reaching impacts. 

Wheeler’s plan to reduce utility fee increases and halt plans for a 40-cent parking meter price increase was spurred by his concern that people are leaving the city because it’s too expensive to live here. He said he thinks people will be more likely to stay if they weren’t saddled with additional utility and parking fees. 

“These increases are choking the life out of this community,” Wheeler said at a May 17 City Council meeting. “Studies now show that people are choosing not to stay here.” 

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Music May 23 4:00 PM

Western Sky Music Places Jeffrey Silverstein at a Crossroads

The Portland-based songwriter’s new album gives country music a cosmic twist.

For about a decade, Jeffrey Silverstein has been veering back and forth between his day job as a special education teacher and his lifelong pursuit of making music—not entirely out of necessity, but also because doing so provides him with a bit of personal harmony.

“As a teacher, you fall into the rhythms of the seasons and the school year. I kind of like that,” he told the Mercury. “There’s a really beautiful balance that comes along with it. You have pretty clear windows of when you’re teaching, when you might tour, or when you might have a little bit more headspace to write and record.”

In recent years, however, growing interest in Silverstein’s brand of pastoral, ambient-influenced folk music has threatened to throw off the balance. That wouldn’t be a bad thing, necessarily, but it does put the Portland-based songwriter at a crossroads.

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Comedy May 23 2:00 PM

Comedy Q & A: Dulcé Sloan Raves about Shalewa Sharpe's Solo Show Don't Reach in the Bag

Sloan used her Daily Show experience to produce Sharpe's solo show, and its Portland premiere at Clinton Street Theater.

"I think sometimes when people hear about the show," comedian Dulcé Sloan tells the Mercury, "they're like 'no no no!'" She's describing a solo comedic theater piece, called Don't Reach in the Bag, which was written and performed by her fellow stand-up Shalewa Sharpe about working in an adult video store in the late '90s and early '00s. 

Sloan believes in the show; she produced it. And to further support, she'll open its single-night Portland premiere at the Clinton Street Theater and co-headline a stand-up night with Sharpe the night after.

The two comedy-world friends have known each other for nearly fourteen years—both starting out within months of one another in Atlanta, Georgia. Sloan is most familiar to general audiences for her work as a correspondent on the Daily Show, and Sharpe has two comedy albums out: Stay Eating Cookies and So You Just Out Here? They both love to gush about each other, in true friend-love fashion, but Sloan stresses that her admiration for Sharpe's work goes far beyond friendliness: "Shalewa is one of the comics that I would watch and ask myself  'Am I writing jokes? Am I saying words?' It's not just that we're friends. As a comic, I watch her."

Over the course of the following interview, it became apparent the best way to handle two such charismatic and hilarious stand-ups was to get out of the way and let them riff on Sharpe's show, Portland comedy fans, and why people shout "oh god!" at climax.

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Savage Love May 23 11:57 AM

Savage Love: How's That?!

"I like to pee on myself. Got a problem with that?"

Dear Readers: One more from the deep archives! This column is from August 1997, back in the “Hey, Faggot” days, and features the birth of one of my readers’ favorite Savage Love-isms: “How’d That Happen?!” I’ll have a new column for you next week!

HEY, FAGGOT: My girlfriend and I only see each other on weekends. To overcome the overwhelming desire to jerk off during the week, I have discovered that I get great pleasure urinating on myself. I don’t know how this happened — one morning I just did it.

About an hour after drinking a lot of water, I lay down in the bathtub. When I can’t hold it anymore, I direct a clear stream of urine all over my body. Then I pull my briefs back up and soak them. I keep my eyes closed — but do I need to worry about any long-term effects on my hair or skin? Is there anything wrong with me? I don’t want to be urinated on by anyone else.


We get a lot of letters here at Savage Labs. While every letter is unique, patterns do emerge, and Wet’s letter is a good example of a certain type of letter. The kids in the mailroom call them “HTH,” short for “How’d That Happen?!” letters...

Click here to read the rest of this week's Mini Savage Love (free-to-all).

Hey beautiful Portland people!

Thanks so much for your EXTREMELY warm welcome to the Mercury's first print product since the pandemic—our "SAY NICE THINGS ABOUT PORTLAND" guide to the city! (Pick one up here.) If you're anything like us, you're getting increasingly annoyed by the constant negative rhetoric about Portland being spread by corrupt, money-hungry special interest groups. (Cough, cough... People for Portland... cough, cough.) But guess what? Our "SAY NICE THINGS" guide is the perfect antidote to that crap, because as it turns out, we can work on Portland's hard problems while also celebrating the people and projects that make our city the envy of folks around the globe!

In our guide, you'll discover tons of awesome Portland people doing amazing things in the areas of music, art, activism, comedy, pop culture, food, sports, comics, and quirky shit. But that's not all! You'll also learn about the creative folks making good stuff happen in the LGBTQ+ community, lots of super fun summer events to attend, and we've even thrown in some smart 'n' sweet pro-Portland essays, as well as stuff to make you laugh.

But it's time for some real talk: Putting out a print product is insanely expensive and takes a LOT of work on top of all the stories and fun we provide every single day at portlandmercury.com. And while we love giving you stuff for free, if you'd like to see more print products and more online stories that platform the Portlanders who don't often get a voice in our community, will you please consider making a small contribution or, even better, become a monthly donor to the Mercury? We'd love to keep kicking ass for a long time to come, and with your help, we can do it!

In short, we really do appreciate Portland and especially YOU. Our city is worth fighting for, you are worth fighting for, and the Mercury is here to take up that battle every damn day. Thanks so much for your help and support, and be sure to pick up a physical copy of our "SAY NICE THINGS ABOUT PORTLAND" guide (available in 500+ places around town) or read it online right here!

Together we can be the ambassadors Portland needs right now. So don't be shy—let's shout our love from the mountaintops and SAY NICE THINGS ABOUT PORTLAND!

Yer Portland pal,

Wm. Steven Humphrey


Portland Mercury


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!

GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! Today is “tell your boyfriend to bring a sweater” weather. Despite some afternoon sunshine and the recent week-long dose of heat, it’s not summer yet. If you plan on being outdoors this evening, or even before lunch, a t-shirt and shorts probably won’t cut it. Today’s high will be 70, with a low of 49. Layers are your friend!


  • TriMet’s Board of Directors is slated to meet Wednesday and vote on the first fare increase in over a decade. Standard adult fare is expected to go up by 30 cents for two-and-a-half-hour bus and MAX rides. Not a quarter, or 50 cents, rather, an amount that will no doubt be a pain in the ass for riders who pay in cash. The proposed fare hikes have prompted backlash from folks who say the agency should find a way to keep rates the same, or go fareless, since fares account for less than 10% of the agency’s budget. A rally is planned as the vote takes place. 


  •  Gov. Tina Kotek threw a curveball at legislators, when she proposed changes to Senate Bill 337, aimed at fixing the state’s public defender crisis. The bill seeks to create a pool of state-employed public defense attorneys, rather than the current system of contracting with private firms. Kotek’s proposed changes have some concerned that support for the bill could now be thwarted. Continue reading »