A LETTER OF INTRODUCTION Dear Reader, As host of The Pedal Powered Talk Show, (America’s only talk show built into a bicycle), I’ve been lucky enough to interview a lot of fascinating individuals in this town. For this zine, I’ve included some of my favorite interviewees and many new ones. I’ve promised that the people profiled in the following pages are the most interesting people in Portland, and I stand by that claim. But I also think that everyone in Portland is interesting. I love talking to people sitting next to me on the bus or the folks waiting behind me at the coffee shop because, chances are, they also have fascinating stories to tell. So talk to some strangers while you’re in town. Portland attracts people who are creative, independent and driven and the combination of those things often results in interesting schemes, new ideas and unique businesses. So join me in meeting some of Portland’s brightest thinkers and chefs and performers and bagpiping unicyclists. And you can head to some of the spots they mention if you want to meet them yourself. Yours sincerely, Boaz Frankel Host of The Pedal Powered Talk Show P.S. These interviews have been edited and condensed to better fit in the pages of this zine.
Walter Cole just turned 85 years old, but six times a week he dons a towering blonde wig and performs as Darcelle at her namesake club in Portland’s Old Town. In addition to managing the longest-running drag cabaret on the West Coast, Walter performs at countless charity events and runs La Femme Magnifique, an annual pageant that celebrates the world’s most glamorous female impersonators. I met up with Walter on a quiet afternoon at Darcelle’s, a few hours before showtime. Boaz: You did a lot of other things before you became a female impersonator. Walter: I worked at the Multnomah Country Library and Fred Meyer. Then I got drafted into the military. When I came back, I decided I didn’t want to work for someone else so I opened up Portland’s first coffeehouse. Back then we had the only espresso machine north of San Francisco. Then I owned a jazz club and an ice cream shop before I opened this place. Boaz: When was the first time you dressed in drag? Walter: It was 1968 and I was 37 years old. I went to a party with Roxy (Walter’s longtime partner). It was a drag party, and I got all done up not knowing what I was doing. It took two hours to put on my makeup. Now it takes me ten minutes. It was a strange evening. I’d walk by a mirror and not recognize myself in it. I’d been in local theater and dressed up to play lawyers and doctors, but this was completely foreign. Boaz: What’s a show like at Darcelle’s? Walter: It’s a ninety-minute cabaret show full of big production numbers and solo numbers, and I emcee and do a couple of songs too. People come for birthdays or bachelorette parties, and they’re always blown away by the costuming and feathers and rhinestones. Every once in awhile a wife or girlfriend will drag a guy through the door who doesn’t want to be here. He thinks he’s too macho. The other night a guy came in and sat in the front row with his arms crossed. I walked onstage and he stared at me with this evil look. I reminded him that this won’t rub off and the audience laughed. We went on with the show, and at the end he shook my hand. They come in here and think they’re going to see some queers onstage and be miserable, but then they have a delightful time. Boaz: Do you have any plans to retire? Walter: No, I’m only eighty-five! We’re in our 48th year and we’ve been doing 6 shows a week for about thirty years. And I’m still nervous before a show. Maybe when I’m not nervous, that’s the time to stop. In 48 years, I’ve never said I don’t want to go to work tonight. I have a dream job that I love.
Watch Walter/Darcelle Perform Here: Darcelle XV Showplace 208 NW 3rd Ave darcellexv.com
Bugs, gravy and blue cheese are all potential ice cream flavors when Tyler Malek is in charge. He’s the Head Ice Cream Maker at Salt & Straw and he’s constantly collaborating with chefs, farmers and even elementary school students to discover his newest flavors. I visited Tyler in the Salt & Straw kitchen, where we was experimenting with tea-infused candy in their R&D corner. Boaz: So your cousin Kim called you a few years back and asked if you’d make ice cream with her? Tyler: She didn’t actually ask me. She refused to let me. That’s how it started. It was more me begging. I loved the idea of ice cream and how it can bring people together. It’s the happiest part of people’s day. I told her I’d work for free and I could live in her basement, and if I sucked I could just be the delivery driver. And she said okay. And we honestly don’t talk about that anymore. Boaz: Was there a point when you realized that you definitely don’t have to be the delivery driver? Tyler: No, I’m still worried my job might be on the line. (laughs) Boaz: You source your ingredients from local farmers and chocolatiers and brewers, so it seems like your range of ice cream represents the city, in a way. Tyler: Yes, thank you. There aren’t any companies in the world right now that are trying to grow in way that’s unique to that community. When it came time to make a beer-flavored ice cream, we reached out to a brewery and I just spent a day in their brewery making beer and talking to their brewmaster about how they would integrate different malts and hops into cream. We realized that’s how we wanted to build our company, by collaborating with the entire city. Boaz: What have been your most delicious and disgusting ice cream discoveries? Tyler: That’s a good question. We’re constantly trying to figure out what our limits are when we’re making new flavors. For every victory that we have and every good flavor, we have twenty really really bad flavors. I’ve learned to avoid garlic across the board. Right now we’re making a kimchi and rice flavor with KOi Fusion. The owner’s mom gave us her recipe and we’ve been working with it to figure out how to make a caramel out of it. That’s going to be one of my favorites, I think. Boaz: Is it strange to pass your shops and see hundreds of people lined up outside? Tyler: Yeah, it’s a serious honor. There’s really nothing in this world that brings people together like food. You’re forced to interact with friends and family and neighbors and out-of-town visitors. It’s uplifting. There’s no reason for someone to come and get ice cream other than fun. You don’t need it like coffee or lunch. We’ve had people get job offers in line. We’ve had marriage proposals in line. We actually replaced a flavor with “Jenny, will you marry me?” Every day at least one person buys ice cream for the person behind them.
Taste Tyler’s Ice Cream Here: Salt & Straw’s Three Locations 3345 SE Division St, 2035 NE Alberta St or 838 NW 23rd Ave saltandstraw.com
Yes, Sofia von Trapp is related to those von Trapps. The Captain from The Sound of Music is indeed her great grandfather, and she and her three younger siblings live in Portland when they’re not performing their music around the world. Their latest EP, Dancing in Gold, produced by Blind Pilot’s Israel Nebeker, was released in 2015. I met up with Sofia at Water Avenue Coffee in inner Southeast Portland. Boaz: What was the first performance you ever gave? Sofia: I was 14 years old and we sang for 300 people at a performing arts center in Bethlehem, PA. Thinking back, the fact that we were headlining our own show was bizarre. Most bands play their first show in a bar in front of 5 people who are probably related to them. Boaz: At some point, this must have switched from a hobby to something you were truly going to pursue. Sofia: I remember that conversation. We were sitting in the kitchen in our house in Montana with our parents. My sisters and I were really into soccer at the time, and we had to decide whether we were going to go on tour or stay in town so we could be on the soccer team. Our parents were supportive but they didn’t push us. They said, “If that’s what you want, then we’ll do it with you.” So we started making albums and touring the world. I remember doing algebra during intermissions in Korea. I tried my first real cup of coffee in Australia—it was a flat white. It was an amazing way to grow up. Boaz: Do you remember the point when you realized that being a von Trapp was sort of a big deal? Sofia: I don’t think there was one moment, but the more we traveled, the more we saw how much The Sound of Music has affected people around the world. It’s translated into 55 languages. When we were in China, they had a contest where all these kids competed and sang “The Lonely Goatherd” in Chinese and whoever sang it the best would get to sing “Do Re Mi” with us at the show. And we had no idea this was going on. So we arrived and suddenly we had to judge all these adorable little kids. We were supposed to choose one but we couldn’t do it, so we ended up choosing three kids to sing with us. Boaz: And then you moved to Portland by accident? Sofia: Thomas Lauderdale (of Pink Martini) invited us here to make an album with him. He said that we should come for two weeks and record, but then two months passed and we still hadn’t finished it. And after two years passed, we realized we were staying. I’ve been living out of a suitcase for half my life, but Portland really fit our personalities. Portland may be ironic, but there’s an earnestness about this place. You’re celebrated for whoever you want to be. Boaz: Do you see a lot of live music here? Sofia: I love Mississippi Studios. We’ve done a lot of shows there and I love the people. That’s probably the venue I go to the most. I love Doug Fir too.
Sofiaâ€™s Favorite Spots to Hear Live Music: Mississippi Studios Doug Fir Lounge 3939 N Mississippi Ave 830 E Burnside St mississippistudios.com dougfirlounge.com
Gregory Gourdet is a celebrated Portland chef who’s just as comfortable in the kitchen as he is running the Wildwood Trail in Forest Park. Trained in the kitchens of Jean-Georges’ restaurants, Gregory’s been cooking modern Asian cuisine for over ten years. I met up with Gregory on a rainy afternoon at Departure, where he’s the executive chef. Boaz: How did you end up in Portland? Gregory: I was in rehab in New York City and my old chef offered me a position in San Diego, but it wasn’t a great fit. Then I heard from my friend here in Portland, who was the executive chef for this building, and he told me I should come out and apply. I was really open at that time of my life and it seemed like an amazing opportunity, so I moved to Portland. I used to sit at the PSU Farmer’s Market every weekend and just observe. I’d never seen this much produce before. You have all the people making salt and honey and jams and hot sauces. My style of cooking has changed a lot because of the way we grow and raise things here, and because of the relationships I have with the people who catch my fish and the people who are [raising] the meat. Boaz: Was there any food that you learned to love here in Portland? Gregory: Salmon’s the biggest one. Back on the East Coast we’d have king salmon super seasonally for parts of the summer. A few years ago I went to New Orleans for a seafood contest, and they shipped me salmon that had just been caught. I cooked it and it was like no salmon I had ever had in my life. It blew my mind. It was a completely different ingredient. This is only from Oregon. Boaz: Have you had any exciting moments in the kitchen where you surprised yourself? Gregory: We have those moments daily with our cooks. The Sandwich Invitational at Feast (Portland’s annual food and drink festival) was fun. I never make sandwiches, so it was very fun to create something and go against a lot of really solid chefs. I love breaking down ingredients and trying to make each component of a dish as amazing as possible. I don’t care how long it takes. I made pork pastrami that took about 2 weeks with brining, smoking and curing. And then I put it in a millet crepe with chinese barbecue sauce. It’s a lot to make 800 of something and serve it all in three hours. I had four cooks with me that day. It’s nice to work so hard on something and be rewarded. Boaz: Why do you think Portland has become a food mecca? Gregory: I think nationally, people are getting priced out of New York and San Francisco and LA, and they’re reaching a point where they want something different. That’s what happened to me. I couldn’t live in New York City anymore. I was partying way too hard and doing too many drugs and I needed to slow down and focus on my career. The best part about Portland is that you can accomplish anything you want here. It’s competitive because there are so many other great things happening, but it’s incredibly supportive. We’re happy to have a guest come in Monday and have them eat at our friend’s restaurant on Tuesday.
Enjoy Gregoryâ€™s Cuisine Here: Departure Restaurant 525 SW Morrison St departureportland.com
After Gert Boyle moved to Portland from Nazi Germany, her father started a small hat company that eventually became Columbia Sportswear. Gert’s husband, Neal, took over the company, but when Neal passed away suddenly in 1970, Gert became president of the company. With Gert in charge, Columbia Sportswear became the largest American seller of ski apparel. Boaz: You were a teenager when you moved here with your family from Germany. What are your earliest memories of life in Portland? Gert: Well, my sister and I looked different with our long braids and we couldn’t speak a word of English, so my earliest memories are of standing out. But Portlanders are very friendly. We made several new friends quite quickly. Boaz: You faced a lot of challenges after you took over Columbia Sportswear. Was there a point when you realized that you’d turned the corner? Gert: There was a gentleman who wanted to buy the company for $1,400.00, so I kicked him out. I used a few very choice words. I figured, why should he have all the fun? For that much, I can run the business into the ground myself! From there, I really learned to trust my instincts and never take no for an answer. From that day on, things seemed to get better. Boaz: How did the first Columbia fishing vest come to be? Gert: My husband loved to fish, and he and his fishing buddies encouraged me to design it. There was not a truly functional vest out there, so I sat at my sewing machine and started to build one. It had magnets for fishhooks and about two million pockets. That was the original Henry’s Fork vest. The newest version is down the street for sale at our store. Boaz: When you have friends or family visit, where do you take them in the Portland area? Gert: I love going to new restaurants in Portland. I haven’t found one restaurant in this town that I don’t like. The food carts are fun and the breweries are off the charts. Beyond that, I may be a bit biased toward our family businesses. I really enjoy taking friends to World of Speed, the motor sports museum founded by my daughter in Wilsonville, Oregon. I’ll also take visitors to the Moonstruck Chocolate Cafe up on NW 23rd, another familyrun business. Of course, the greatest thing to do in Portland is to go to the Columbia flagship store on Broadway. Tell them Gert sent you! Boaz: You’ve been a key part of Columbia Sportswear’s advertising for many years. Do people recognize you? Gert: Oh yes, people recognize me. But only the bravest approach.
Shop Where Gert Shops: Columbia Sportswear Flagship Store 911 SW Broadway St columbia.com
Billy Wilson never intended to invent the “multi-roaster cafe,” open four Barista locations and change the world of coffee. He didn’t even like coffee that much. Or at least, he didn’t think he did until he signed up for Bible college. I met with Billy at Nong’s Khao Man Gai on SE Ankeny. Boaz: When did you first come to Portland? Billy: I was probably in 4th grade on a school field trip. I grew up in a small town where the biggest building was three stories tall, so seeing a real city was amazing. But I moved here around 2000. My buddy’s dad owned a moving company, so I worked for him, packing up houses and offices. Then I enrolled in Bible college and worked on campus doing security. I hated that job. The walkie-talkie was probably the coolest part of the job. Boaz: So how did you first get into coffee? Billy: My buddy was a youth pastor and he was working up in Washington and I would go help him and we’d always stop at this coffee shop called Lava Java. They were hiring for a barista so I applied since I hated working security. So I got trained as a barista, but a few months after I started, another woman bought the shop and they retrained all the baristas. This new trainer had a completely different way of doing things. I started asking a lot of questions and I wasn’t satisfied with her answers. She recommended some reading and I started doing a ton of research. A buddy saw that I was getting into it and he said I had to go check out Stumptown. So I went there and I ordered an espresso, and it looked so different than anything I had seen before. And then I drank it. Mother f***er. It was good. I’d never had anything like that in my life. And I was really bummed because I wasn’t making coffee that good. My obsession went to the next level. I had to figure out why my coffee wasn’t tasting like that. Boaz: And then you opened up your own shop? Billy: After I took fifth in the national barista competition, I figured that I must be okay at it. And I also saw how people were legitimately helping people in third world countries and changing the coffee industry. And I had a pretty clever idea. I thought it would be cool if you could go into a coffee shop and get coffee from all over the country. It was weird that no one had really thought of it. The “multi-roaster cafe” was not a term yet. So I opened Barista and it was a hit and the whole industry changed. What if it’s single origin? What if it is from one farm? What if it’s different from week to week and then you can’t get that coffee anymore because it’s run out? If you’re an independent coffee shop today, chances are that you’re a multi-roaster. We did something crazy and people just accepted it. Boaz: What do you order at Barista? If it’s early enough I’ll start with a cappuccino but then I’ll move to espresso. Unless it’s really f***ing hot and then I‘ll get an iced mocha or a coffee shrub.
Sip Billy’s Espresso Here: Barista’s Four Locations 529 SW 3rd Ave 823 NW 23rd Ave baristapdx.com/
539 NW 13th Ave 1725 NE Alberta St
A chance Dumpster find started Brian Kidd’s journey to becoming the unofficial mascot of Portland. If you haven’t seen him in person, you’ve probably seen him online, riding his unicycle and playing the bagpipes, often in a Darth Vader costume. I first met Brian a few years ago when I hired him to dress up as a wizard and perform at a graduation party. We caught up at Rontoms on East Burnside. Boaz: What did you learn first? Unicycling or playing the bagpipe? Brian: I was in the process of learning bagpipes when I found a unicycle in a Dumpster. So I ended up learning them simultaneously but never with the intention of combining them. Then several years later, there was a drunken bet. My friends knew I had these two peculiar skills so I said, “Why not, let’s give it a shot,” and it just clicked right away. Boaz: And now people are inviting the Unipiper to perform all over the world. Brian: A company sent me out to Denmark, I did a Celtic music festival in Canada and this year I performed on the main stage at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in Scotland. Performing in a country where people know what bagpipes are supposed to sound like was a little scary. But they’ve never seen them with fire, so I was able to distract them. And then this year I competed on the 10th season of America’s Got Talent. They flew me down and I performed in front of the celebrity judges. They absolutely hated me. It was great. I don’t think they quite understand what makes Portland so weird and awesome. Boaz: In addition to being the Unipiper, you also have a day job? Brian: Yeah, I oversee a fleet of aircraft and a crew of fifty individuals who are collecting data all over the country in these aircraft. We collect geospatial and hyperspectral data to make topographic maps. Boaz: And you met your wife, Sarah, while performing as the Unipiper. Brian: Yeah, I was performing at Saturday Market and she brought me an iced tea because it was a hot summer day. But before I could really thank her some police officers came up to me and started pushing me away. It turns out that the week prior, there had been another bagpiper down there who was being obnoxious and playing in the same spot for a long time. They thought I was that same guy. By the time we sorted all that out, Sarah had walked away, but then later that week, we ended up getting matched on an online dating site. And the rest is history.
Brian’s Favorite Unicycling Spot: PSU Farmers Market Or head to unipiper.com Saturdays, 9AM–2PM to see where Brian’s SW Park & SW Montgomery performing today! portlandfarmersmarket.org
Emi Lenox started keeping an illustrated journal she dubbed EmiTown after a rough breakup. She never thought she’d show it to anybody else. But once she did, it didn’t take long for it to get published, and now she’s working on a slew of other comics projects. I met up with Emi at Coffeehouse Northwest. Boaz: When did you start drawing EmiTown? Emi: I was working a temp job at a trucking company doing data entry. I got really fast at typing, but the job was so boring. I would sleep under my desk. I would set up the garbage cans in a way that no one could see me and I could just lie behind them. I did a lot of drawing there. Boaz: EmiTown was just a personal project but then you decided to make it public? Emi: Yeah, I had an epiphany. One of those moments at the desk job. What am I doing? Why am I here? I don’t care about trucks or extended policies. And then I sat there and thought about what I wanted to do. I knew I liked comic books and drawing, so I thought maybe I could work on the editorial side of comics. So I googled “comics” and “Portland.” Even though I grew up here I had no idea that we had all these comic publishers that were local. So I applied for some internships and got one at Top Shelf (a local publisher) and Periscope (a collective of artists). I did two internships at the same time while doing a forty-hour-a-week job. I was very busy. And I was drawing EmiTown everyday and eventually, the people at Periscope and Top Shelf encouraged me to put it online. My friend Joe Keatinge (another local comic book writer) gave a mini comic of mine to some people at Image Comics, and a week later I got an email asking if I wanted them to publish my book. I think I got really lucky. I don’t think it normally happens like that. Boaz: Do you work from home? Emi: Yeah, it’s very sad. I don’t get out much. I’m working on Plutona now. It’s a comic project I’m doing with Jeff LeMire (a comics artist/writer) about a group of kids who find the local superhero from their city, dead in the woods. It’s about how it affects those kids and what they do about it. Working with him is great because we both love sad, depressing stories. After that I’m doing an autobiographical comic about a trip to Japan I took with my mother to visit my grandmother’s tomb. It’s really about the family experience and cultural differences. I’m nervous because I’ll be writing about myself and there were definitely moments when I was acting like a brat with my mom, so I’m interested to see how people perceive me after reading that. Boaz: And you’re a bartender too? Emi: I tried to just work freelance for a year, but that was too stressful. A friend told me about a bar on NE 28th and Flanders called Red Flag. It’s more divey. More of a neighborhood bar. And I love it. I’ve been there for two years now. And I play on their bar league softball team too!
Emiâ€™s Favorite Comic Shops: Floating World Comics 400 NW Couch St floatingworldcomics.com
Bridge City Comics 3725 N Mississippi Ave bridgecitycomics.com
I’ve been watching Matt Zaffino on Portland television since I was in elementary school. In that time I’ve seen him forecast epic storms, report on climate change in Greenland and even do the weather from the top of Mount Hood. I finally met Matt at the KGW studios in SW Portland. Boaz: Were you interested in weather when you were a kid? Matt: My passion for weather really got ignited in high school. My buddy and I loved snowstorms. We loved being out in them. We loved it when it snowed. And then I had a high school German teacher who was a weather wonk and he would draw weather maps on the chalkboard and explain why we would or would not get snow. Boaz: He would explain the weather in German? Matt: He would do that in English, but I’ve been drawing weather maps ever since. I’ve been forecasting the weather in Oregon for 30 years and in Portland for 28 of those years. Boaz: And you once reported the weather from the top of Mount Hood? Matt: As far as I know, I’m the only person to do a live TV broadcast from the top of the mountain. We put together a crew and hauled up all that really heavy gear from the early nineties. I think there were five of us, but one of the guides got altitude sickness so we had to take all his gear. And then you have your normal climbing gear. It was so much fun. Boaz: Have there been any especially memorable storms that you’ve covered here? Matt: During the Arctic blast of 2008, I was actually on my way back from Mexico and they were calling me at the airport in LA asking when I would be landing. At the time, I was living up on Skyline (a neighborhood at the top of the West Hills). Not a great place to be during a storm and all my suits were up there, so I had to borrow my friend’s suit. And no one was picking people up at the airport, so everyone was in the cab line and we were still dressed for Mexico so we opened up our bottle of Damiana, this Mexican liquor, and started passing it up and down the cab line. And then I was on the air for the next ten days straight right through Christmas Eve. My favorite story from that was the email I got from a woman who was housebound but said, “We really appreciate your coverage. In fact, we’ve made a drinking game out of it. Every time you guys say Arctic blast we take a shot and we’re getting hammered.” Boaz: What do you do when you’re not doing weather-related activities? Matt: I love being outside. Backcountry skiing is one of my favorite activities. I’ve run 16 marathons. I love to play golf. I love to go mushroom hunting. My 3-year-old son is really into that too. We pick chanterelles in the fall and morels in the spring. We’re super careful but it’s super fun. It’s like Easter-egg hunting on a hike.
Mattâ€™s Favorite Spots, Rain or Shine: Forest Park Powellâ€™s Books NW Portland 1005 W Burnside St forestparkconservancy.org powells.com
Naomi Pomeroy has been involved with numerous restaurants in Portland over the past fifteen years but now she’s calling the corner of NE 30th and Killingsworth home. That’s where she heads the kitchens of Beast (where she serves six-course, family style dinners, twice a night), and Expatriate (a highly curated cocktail bar). I met Naomi around the corner at Extracto Coffee Roasters. Boaz: What do you like about Beast’s way of serving food rather than a traditional restaurant? Naomi: The truth of it is that I don’t like communal seating that much. But I’ve found that people love that part of it. Even people that are very skeptical of it. My favorite part is that people don’t choose what they eat. And that’s often the customer’s favorite part of it as well. As a culture, I think we really suffer from decision fatigue. If you go to store and you need to buy a toothbrush, there are 400 toothbrushes. And eating is one of those experiences that is similar. You can’t get exactly what you want but that’s something magical because sometimes you don’t actually know what you want. We introduce people to things they’ve never had before or things that they maybe wouldn’t order. And maybe they’ll fall in love with it. Boaz: And Expatriate is right next door? Naomi: My husband, Kyle, is a bartender. He was talking about opening a bar and I realized if we opened a bar across town and he was working till 2 o’clock in the morning, we would probably never see each other. Then all of sudden I saw the lady who owned the hair salon next door packing up her car with all her equipment. So I found the landlord and asked him what was going on and he said he had someone already interested but I went home that night and made a whole business plan and he gave us the space. It’s another intimate project. There are only about 30 seats. I love doing the menu there because it’s super creative and very different from what I do at Beast. Boaz: And it seems like being a chef has led to so many unique opportunities. Naomi: Last year I got asked to be part of the Culinary Diplomacy Program. It’s run by the State Department so I have a special issued chef coat with the seal of the US Government. I went to Burma with the state department. I taught Thai culinary students how to prepare Alaskan salmon. I taught a group of Hong Kong chefs about United States cuts of beef. Boaz: What’s your favorite snack? What do you make for yourself at home? Naomi: I’m a really lowbrow and highbrow person. I can be healthy sometimes and other times just eat crap so I’ll give you two examples. I love to eat fresh vegetables and I make this dipping sauce that has tahini and garlic and fish sauce and togarashi which is a Japanese spice. And the opposite of that is sometimes I like to take sour cream and cheddar potato chips and put sriracha on them.
Enjoy Naomiâ€™s Cuisine Here: Beast Expatriate 5425 Northeast 30th Ave 5424 NE 30th Ave beastpdx.com expatriatepdx.com
Diego Valeri grew up in Lanús, Argentina, and played soccer professionally in Portugal and Spain before joining the Portland Timbers in 2012. In 2014, Diego was part of the Major League Soccer All-Star team and helped score the game-winning goal against Bayern Munich. I chatted with Diego after a practice at the Timbers Training Center. Boaz: What’s your hometown, Lanús like? Diego: Lanús is a kind of an industrial neighborhood close to the downtown of Buenos Aires. It’s a port city, so there are lots of soccer clubs around. All the kids play soccer, and my younger brother and I played in a little indoor club. It’s a real soccer city. Now my brother helps run a shoe factory there with my father and uncle and cousins. It’s a beautiful life there. I miss it. Boaz: And when did you realize you might play soccer professionally? Diego: When I was fifteen or sixteen years old I started to see that I could play professional soccer. So I got more serious with my training. It’s very hard but it was a good opportunity. Boaz: What was the first you heard of Portland? Diego: The first time was when the Timbers first had interest in me. They came to Buenos Aires to watch a game, and my agent told me about Portland. I went on Google and looked at pictures and read about it. Then I came to Portland to get my physical exams in December of 2012. I visited for a couple days. I remember it was a long flight, and I was surprised how cold it was because that’s summer in Argentina. It seemed very different, but I loved it so I came back with my family and now we live here. It was a very good decision to come here. Boaz: What do you do in Portland when you’re not playing soccer? Diego: I like to hang around the city, especially in Northwest and close to the river. We love Italian food, so we go to a couple places, especially Piazza Italia and Via Delizia. My daughter loves pasta. She’s six years old. But there are a lot of different restaurants in Portland. We love the city. Boaz: Does your daughter play soccer? Diego: Yes, she started this year. She plays at Wallace Park in Northwest and she loves it. Boaz: The fans in Portland are famous for being enthusiastic and supportive and a little crazy. Is that fun for you, as a player? Diego: The tifos (massive banners and stunts created by the Timbers Army) are amazing. They’re so creative. They’re artists. So I love that. Every home game I’m waiting to see the tifo. There’s so much passion and kindness. Every single player here loves that support. Sometimes we don’t play well and they still support us. They’re very warm. It’s a warm place to play.
Watch Diego Play Here: Providence Park 1844 SW Morrison St timbers.com
Tres Shannon has worked on the same block in Portland’s Old Town since 1990 as a music booker, deejay, flower deliverer and, finally, cofounder of Voodoo Doughnut. That’s probably why many people refer to him as “The Mayor of Old Town.” I met with Tres on that very block, at Dante’s on West Burnside. Boaz: Voodoo is known for its unusual doughnuts, and when you first opened in 2003 you even had NyQuil doughnuts. Tres: Yeah, and the Pepto-Bismol doughnut. That only lasted a month, but we got so much press out of it. We had to stop doing it, but people still talk about it. We got a phone call from the FDA. You can’t put medicine in food. Who knew? We also had a caffeinated doughnut back then. You could do the caffeinated doughnut followed by a NyQuil doughnut. We called it the John Belushi or something. To get buzzed off the NyQuil you’d need to eat 14 doughnuts, and by then you’d be buzzed off the sugar. When Cat Daddy (Voodoo cofounder) and I were still in the kitchen making doughnuts, we made some wackier, more off-the-cuff doughnuts than we do today. Today it’s a little more standardized though the decorating is far superior. Boaz: And you also play music every week here at Dante’s? Tres: I’m in the Karaoke From Hell band. When Dante’s opened, they asked us to play every Monday night and we’ve been doing it for fifteen years. We play from 10 PM to 2 AM. It’s like karaoke and you get the words to the song, but you’re backed by a live band, which is far superior. The only drawback is that we don’t know 10,000 songs, but we do know over 700 songs. We’re sort of Portland’s house band. We have a lot of regulars. You can tell some of them practiced at home. They get really nervous and it’s cute. Boaz: Have you ever had any famous people sing with the band? Tres: Oh, yeah, Pink came and sang “Me and Bobby McGee” and the Insane Clown Posse guys came and they love us. We’re Juggalos all the way. There’s not that much to do on a Monday night, so coming here is pretty fun. Boaz: And you ran for mayor once too? Tres: I ran for mayor in 1992 and came in 5th out of 13 people, which wasn’t too bad considering I only raised two grand. I think I got a hair over 3,000 votes, which is nothing, but I also didn’t have a million dollars. If I had a million dollars, I could have totally won that election. I got a lot of people fired up. I read poetry for speeches and jumped on a pogo stick for alternative forms of transportation.
Eat Tresâ€™s Doughnuts Here: Voodoo Doughnut 22 SW 3rd Ave voodoodoughnut.com
VoodooDoughnut Too 1501 NE Davis St
PEOPLE I WANT TO MEET IN PORTLAND:
WHAT’S A ZINE? /'zēn/ZEEN: An independently published booklet, usually reproduced via photocopier and folded and stapled. Zines represent a rebellion from mainstream publishing. Portland has one of the strongest zine scenes because of its progressive spirit and DIY ethos.
WHAT’S A PORTLAND? Portland is a friendly city filled with interesting, creative people who made this zine just for you. It’s a place for anyone who likes anything: From craft beer to homemade bitters, dormant volcanoes to 500+ food carts, Portland has it all.
CHECK OUT OTHER TITLES IN THE PORTLAND ZINES SERIES! Zines in this series include A Feminist’s Guide to Beer Drinking, Get Out, Portland Pizza Guide, 34 Things to Do in the Rain, Stand Here and Look Up, Riding in the Rain, An Octicorn’s Guide to Portland and more.
Discover all the Portland Zines and plan your trip at TravelPortland.com. © 2015 Travel Portland. All rights reserved.
ABOUT BOAZ & BROOKE Together, Boaz Frankel and Brooke Barker are coauthors of the It’s Different Every Day calendar. They’re also both copywriters in Portland, Oregon. Separately, Boaz is host of The Pedal Powered Talk Show (America’s only talk show built into a bicycle), now in its fifth season. Brooke is the creator of Sad Animal Facts, the popular Instagram account and soon-to-be-published book. If you want to learn more about them, you can check out these links: ItsDifferentEveryDay.com Follow us on Instagram: PedalTalkShow.com @boazfrankel SadAnimalFacts.com @sadanimalfacts