FALL “THAT GERMAN GUY WAS A WOMAN, AND THAT WOMAN WAS ME.” P. 34 WWEEK.COM VOL 48/44 0 9.07. 2 02 2
GUIDE NEWS: Touchy-Feely Boys’ Club. P. 11 BUSINESS: Portland Hotels Underwater. P. 13 FOOD: Tacos by the Pound at Todo. P. 30
Kayla Hanson and Josie Seid
THE WILL BE PERFORMED AND WRITTEN AND CHOREOGRAPHED AND FILMED.
Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 7, 2022 wweek.com
FINDINGS PA I S L E Y L E E
SHAKING THE TREE THEATRE, PAGE 18
WHAT WE LEARNED FROM READING THIS WEEK’S PAPER VOL. 48, ISSUE 44 Bottles of stolen Don Julio were sold in the parking lot of Menlo Park Liquor. 9
Having sex with a yeti is easy once you’ve done it more than 30 times. 25
A Portland man has collected buildings that sit vacant as Alberta and Mississippi gentrify. 9
Starbucks Workers United held “sip-ins” at 16 coffee shops on Labor Day. 28
Patrons of Fuzzy Navels may not touch dancers in the “Speedo zone.” 11
We’ve officially hit peak tomato season. Yes, there is a festival. 29
A bank is preparing to auction off Portland’s flagship Hilton. 13
At Todo, you get to build your own tacos with fixings ordered by the half or full pound. 31
A new play is set in a nameless community ruled by a Trumpian politician simply called The Mayor. 18 Sarah Marshall’s You’re Wrong About podcast studies questions like “Does Ben Affleck belong in Shakespeare in Love?” 21
A new documentary explores the vibrance of Rochester, N.Y.’s drag scene. 22
At Somewhere, you can stock up on two types of greenery: cannabis and houseplants. 32 Spoon frontman Britt Daniel is craving Kenny & Zuke’s pastrami hash. 33 In the web series KEPT News, Lucy Paschall plays a narcissistic newscaster named Deborah S’malls. 34
ON THE COVER:
OUR MOST TRAFFICKED STORY ONLINE THIS WEEK:
Fall Arts Guide: Kayla Hanson and Josie Reid in Shaking the Tree Theatre’s Fucking A; photo by Paisley Lee.
Benson Hotel loses large corporate customer scared off by downtown Portland conditions.
Masthead EDITOR & PUBLISHER ART DEPARTMENT
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DIALOGUE A BULLY FOR ALL SEASONS
Thanks for Nigel Jaquiss’ excellent piece documenting Betsy Johnson’s record of bullying state agencies on behalf of corporate polluters and wealthy landowners [“The Advocate,” WW, Aug. 31]. A few other important facts not mentioned in the story: Johnson’s many votes against climate change legislation, her stated intent to reverse Kate Brown’s executive order on climate change, and her support for (and an award from) Timber Unity, the rightwing front group for extractive industries that played a key role in the GOP legislative walkouts. If Johnson becomes governor, expect our climate and environmental laws to be eviscerated, and pay-to-pollute to become the rule. Dan Jaffee Northeast Portland DOWNTOWN DUST BOWL
Downtown Portland has already been converted into a dust bowl by Mayor Wheeler, developers, and their ilk [“Mayor Ted Wheeler Wants Developers to Convert Downtown Office Space to Apartments,” wweek.com, Aug. 26]. Small businesses were the grassroots of Portland’s economic and creative soil for decades. They have been systematically destroyed and eroded by unaffordable rents and development projects gone astray. COVID, protests, Trump
and the homeless have all been the varied weather challenges that have simply blown in and completed what was loosened and eroded by this misguided strategy, and now provide optical “blame” cover for this destruction. The Dust Bowl in the U.S. was resolved by addressing the macro-scale farming practices that were eroding the soil. We must do the same for development practices that have eroded small businesses and continue to erode many aspects of an affordable and viable Portland. Our current leadership seems blind to this real need. Please, let us be properly alarmed by this ironic suggestion which is being made by parties who have been key to driving small business from the downtown core and now, funnily enough, have a suggestion for solving the problem they created. Jen Peterson Northwest Portland A LONG GOODBYE
We were surprised to see a picture of our beloved family store, The Man’s Shop, in WW [“Pattie’s Home Plate Cafe,” Aug. 31]. However, we were even more surprised to find an article that poorly represented one of our family members. Especially without affording them an equal opportunity to provide comment on why the building was
Dr. Know BY MARTY SMITH @martysmithxxx
I want to give money to Tina Kotek in the governor’s race because Betsy Johnson is a gun-toting narcissist and Christine Drazan is a mean-spirited Trump lapdog. Under state campaign finance laws, how much money can I give to Kotek’s campaign directly? —Very Concerned Hey, America! Tired of being hassled by The Man for smoking weed, possessing 1.99 grams of hard drugs for personal consumption, or giving suspiciously large sums of unregulated money to your favorite political candidates? Come to oh-so-permissive Oregon, the Las Vegas of everything except gambling, and let it all hang out! (Also, we have gambling.) How much money can you give to Tina Kotek, or any other candidate for statewide office in Oregon? How much have you got? Oregon is one of just five states—along with Alabama, Nebraska, Utah and Virginia—that places no limit on campaign contributions from any source. (Five others* allow unlimited contributions from individuals, but restrict those from corporations, unions, political action committees, etc.) Even though you can only donate $2,900 4
Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 7, 2022 wweek.com
vacant for so long. We would like to clarify a few of the points left out of this narrative: Barbara Leveton did not solely own the building at 8501 N Lombard St. It was owned by Leveton Properties, which comprised a group of Leveton family members. The decision to sell the building was made over a year after a key family member lost their battle with cancer, and after 75 years of service to the St. Johns community. All involved parties and tenants were informed of the decision with months advance notice. After a contracted, extended and failed attempt to sell the building, a successful transaction was completed September 2021. The amount of time that passed from when the family decided to sell the property to when it actually took place was unfortunate for all involved, but certainly not intentional. Closing The Man’s Shop and selling the building was an extremely difficult decision for the entire family. We were sorry to have to say goodbye after such a wonderful legacy. We wish the new owners nothing but good luck and prosperity for the St. Johns neighborhood. The Leveton Family LETTERS TO THE EDITOR must include the author's street address and phone number for verification. Letters must be 250 or fewer words. Submit to: PO Box 10770, Portland OR, 97296 Email: email@example.com
per cycle to a presidential campaign, you could give $7 million if you wanted to to a no-name candidate for the Oregon Legislature. (You could give even more; I just picked $7M because it would buy a strip-o-gram for every voter in a state House district.) How did solid-blue Oregon wind up to the right of Texas on campaign finance? Our state constitution’s exceptionally broad free speech clause (or at least one interpretation of it) was one factor. In 1997’s Vannatta v. Keisling, 13 years before Citizens United, the Oregon Supreme Court held that massive campaign contributions are a protected form of free expression, like naked pole dancing. It would be unconstitutional, the justices felt, for the state to place restrictions (or pasties) on them, even on really huge ones. Recently, however, the court has reversed itself, ruling in 2020 that campaign finance limits passed in 2016 by voters in Multnomah County were not necessarily unconstitutional. This could well open the door to limits statewide, so we can finally get the dirty money out of Oregon politics and put it back into Oregon journalism where it belongs. *For those keeping score at home: Indiana, Iowa, North Dakota, Pennsylvania and Texas. Questions? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Get Busy Tonight O U R E V E N T P I C K S , E M A I L E D W E E K LY. 6
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MURMURS MICHAEL RAINES
GRAFFITI AT AL FORNO FERRUZZA PIZZA ON NORTHEAST ALBERTA STREET BATTLE OVER SCHOOL’S GREENSPACE INTENSIFIES: Neighbors have for decades used the massive field at Hosford Middle School in Southeast Portland as a de facto dog park. But earlier this year, Portland Public Schools erected a chain-link fence around the field and locked the gates (“Freedom Fido,” WW, June 22). For six months, dog owners have been cutting locks, entering the field and getting in heated confrontations with school security guards. And the battle has escalated since school resumed last week. In a recent letter to school families and neighbors, Hosford principal Jill Liddle wrote that school staff has been regularly harassed, followed and threatened. “We will be seeking no trespassing notices to those who have engaged in destruction of property, harassment and/or threats,” Liddle warned. Video shared with WW shows a campus security guard asking a man walking his dog to keep the pet on a leash. The man starts screaming at the guard: “Fuck you! We hate you! We fucking hate you! The whole community despises you now! We’re going to keep cutting this shit open day after day!” The guard reminds the man it’s his own tax dollars paying for the repairs. The dog owner approaches him, yelling, “Why don’t you shut your fucking mouth? You’re obviously fucking unhinged!” GRAFFITI COMPLAINTS ARRIVE AT ASTONISHING CLIP: Portlanders are fed up with graffiti that has blanketed the city in the wake of 2020’s civil unrest—and they’re letting the city know. As of last week, nearly 10,000 reports of graffiti had poured in to City Hall, from tags (“Casio,” “Slide,” “Angel Dust”) scrawled near the burned-out Roseway Theater in Northeast to one-way signs downtown rendered illegible with spray paint. Analysis of a city database obtained by WW finds the number of graffiti reports this year has already eclipsed last year’s total and is more than five times the number received in 2020. Mayor Ted Wheeler used an emergency order earlier this year to take control of the city’s anti-graffiti program. “We are in the process of planning a more assertive response,” says Tom Miller, director of livability and sustainability for Wheeler’s office.
CAPITAL GAINS TAX MEASURE PUNTED TO MAY: Multnomah County’s wealthiest residents have one less worry on their minds this November. A campaign to get a controversial tax measure on the November 2022 ballot has moved the goalposts to the May 2023 ballot instead. WW learned of the change in plans as the deadline approached this week for finalizing ballot measures that will appear on the November ballot. The initiative, if passed, would impose a 0.75% tax on capital gains—profits investors earn on the sale of assets such as stocks, bonds and real estate—in order to fund free eviction representation for all Multnomah County residents. The idea immediately met opposition from the Portland Business Alliance, which unsuccessfully challenged the initiative in court. Eviction Representation for All, the group behind the measure, tells WW it’s close to the signature threshold: “We are very close to wrapping up our signature drive and submitting them for verification,” a representative says. The group would not say how many signatures it had collected so far. METRO REBUKES RATE OF HOMELESS SPENDING IN CLACKAMAS COUNTY: A report released last week on first-year spending of a tax to aid homeless people in the tri-county area showed Clackamas County had spent only 6.6% of its available funds. On Friday, Metro Council President Lynn Peterson and Metro Councilor Christine Lewis said in a statement that the committee tasked with overseeing spending of the tax would “identify and daylight the impediments and barriers to spending that existed in Clackamas County in the first year of the program—both operational and political.” That’s a not so thinly veiled rebuke of Clackamas County Chair Tootie Smith, a Republican whose relationship with more liberal jurisdictions is often strained. In a statement to WW last week, Clackamas County said it didn’t have infrastructure in place to swiftly allocate the dollars. County spokeswoman Kimberly Webb added that the county “tends not to spend money before we have it.” Multnomah County spent 38% of its available funds and Washington County spent 24%. Overall, the report said 1,639 homeless people were housed during the first year of the 10-year tax on high-income earners and businesses. Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 7, 2022 wweek.com
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS WEEK
How Often Do You Visit City Hall? We asked Portland’s five city commissioners how often they come to the office.
Mayor Ted Wheeler
Number of days in the office per week: His office wouldn’t say. But it said the mayor and all of his staffers work a hybrid model, meaning they must come in at least one day a week. Cody Bowman, Wheeler’s spokesman, says all come in “at least one day a week, though the majority of the staff comes into the office more frequently.” On bringing city employees back to work downtown: “The mayor does not have the sole discretion to make this decision and council is working together to develop a strategy that goes beyond the return of employees who are currently teleworking to city facilities.…The mayor looks forward to reviewing the findings, providing direction and input to the strategy, and finalizing a recommendation along with his council colleagues.”
Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty
NO LUCK: While City Hall remains barren, three hotels in downtown Portland approach foreclosure.
BY S O P H I E P E E L
Hundreds of Portland city employees are raising an outcry over the prospect of being ordered back to downtown cubicles. In a June letter, 70 employees who represent more than a thousand of their colleagues said such a demand would be racist, sexist and make them think about quitting (“Never Going Back Again,” WW, Aug. 31). That means city commissioners have treaded lightly on the topic, and only one—Commissioner Dan Ryan—has offered a specific number of days that he’d like city employees to report to the office weekly. (He suggests three days.) But leadership comes in many forms, including by example. So we asked the five city commissioners, including the mayor—how often they and their team set foot in City Hall on Southwest 3rd Avenue. 8
Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 7, 2022 wweek.com
Number of days in the office per week: Commissioner Hardesty works from the office two to three days a week, according to spokesman Matt McNally. Her staff work anywhere from one to three days a week from City Hall. On bringing city employees back to work downtown: “I believe many city positions will be able to perform most effectively in a hybrid model.…A side benefit is the reduction of single-occupancy vehicles traveling to and from work, which shows city leadership in reducing carbon emissions.”
Commissioner Mingus Mapps
Number of days in the office per week: Commissioner Mapps works from the office one to two days a week, says spokesman Adam Lyons, primarily because Mapps is one of two primary caretakers for his two children. Most of Mapps’ staff are there between four and five days a week.
On bringing city employees back to work downtown: “I have long said we need to reimagine the workplace post-COVID. Hybrid work models are here to stay, and we need to adjust. We have a lot of factors to consider, including employee satisfaction, productivity and economic impact. I want to take a balanced approach that considers all parties and the nature of the work.”
Commissioner Carmen Rubio
Number of days in office per week: Commissioner Rubio works from City Hall four to five days a week, as does all her staff. On bringing city employees back to work downtown: “In over 13 years as a manager, I learned the importance of listening well and respecting when employees share a hard truth about their workplace experience. It is also true that Portlanders have expectations of their city government, and accessibility is one of those. I’d like to thank the many city employees—such as many of our employees in Parks and Recreation, for example—who have continued to serve Portlanders in person throughout the last two and a half years. These employees are required to be in the field and did not, and do not, have a choice about whether they work from home. We have to accept that where and how we work is evolving, and I’m committed to ensuring we do not have two classes of employees in these changing times for our workplaces.”
Commissioner Dan Ryan
Number of days in the office per week: Commissioner Ryan reports to City Hall three to four days a week. His staff comes in two to three days a week. On bringing city employees back to work downtown: “I think all city employees should come in three days a week, and that work teams should identify an all-in day each week. “We absolutely need to prioritize flexibility for child care, family care, personal self-care appointments, and to further incentivize transportation that will meet city employees where they are. As public servants, our mission is to show up and be accessible to all Portlanders. I go into the office three to four days a week: My team comes in every week, and my office is launching all-in Wednesdays in September. In-person collaboration and connection builds trust, and trust is the Np. 1 indicator of a successful and functional workplace. It’s time for us to be in solidarity with our city employees who have not missed a day of in-person service since the beginning of COVID.”
BOTTLE SERVICE Portland is on a record pace for liquor shoplifting.
THE ALBERTA COLLECTION
As Alberta Street gentrifies, one man holds on to his properties.
Police reports of shoplifting at liquor stores. Source: Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission
BY LUCAS MAN FIE LD
lm a nfield @w week .com
Oregon’s booze thieves are getting bolder. Shoplifting at state liquor stores has skyrocketed and is only getting worse, data from the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission shows. “I’m trying to scream and shout from the rooftops,” says Dan Miner, owner of two Portland liquor stores. “This stuff is on the rise, and no one’s doing anything about it.” WW obtained a list of crimes reported to the OLCC at state liquor stores. In 2018, there was just under $16,000 in shoplifting reported to the agency. Two years later, that number had tripled. Saleem Noorani, president of the liquor stores’ trade group, says this number represents just a small fraction of total theft, most of which is never caught. Thieves know that “nine times out of 10, I’ll get away with it,” Noorani says. He blames state law for not posing more of a deterrent. Petty theft is a misdemeanor. “Legislatively, something needs to be done,” Noorani says, noting that when store owners report a theft, taxpayers foot the bill. In some cases, the robberies have been brazen. Miner showed WW a video in which a thief brandished a pistol and walked out of his Northeast Portland store with its cash box. Armed robbers have hit Miner’s stores three times this summer alone. “Someone’s going to get hurt,” he says. He blames a lack of police response during the 2020 riots, when liquor stores reported a series of burglaries totaling more than $100,000 in losses. As WW has previously reported, armed robberies of cannabis stores have become a regular occurrence in Portland (“Grass at Gunpoint,” WW, July 27). But Miner’s experience notwithstanding, the OLCC has recorded few liquor store robberies. And burglaries are down from their 2020 peak. It’s booze shoplifting, when thieves grab liquor off the shelf during store hours, that’s continued to increase. In fact, this
year thefts are on a record pace. There were 465 reported shoplifting incidents in 2021. By August of this year, there were already 450. Around half were in Portland, according to a WW analysis of the OLCC’s statewide data. Thieves have been caught on camera walking out of stores with entire cases of alcohol, valued at over $300. Emails obtained by WW from the OLCC give a hint where those bottles go after they leave the building—in some cases, they’re resold online or in the parking lots of other nearby liquor stores. In July, an OLCC manager emailed a photo of a suspect and wrote: “This guy was selling Don Julio to customers in the parking lot at Menlo Park [Liquor].” Last week, he sent another email saying he had “found Facebook pages with them selling stolen goods and getting orders for their shopping sprees.” In the email chain, a Portland police detective promised to help work the case. The Portland Police Bureau declined to comment on the ongoing investigation. A spokesman for the bureau noted it’s hiring more officers to help address the recent crime wave. “Seeing a police officer near the corner store someone wants to rob makes them think twice,’ Lt. Nathan Sheppard says. Later this month, Miner and Noorani plan to present data to the OLCC board highlighting the scope of the problem. Agency spokesman Mark Pettinger says the OLCC is aware of the problem and is working with law enforcement to help track down suspects. If crime keeps up, shop owners will be forced to install bulletproof glass and other protections common in cities like Chicago, Noorani says. He hopes it doesn’t come to that. “Oregon is not like that. Oregon has never been like that,” he says. “We have to do whatever we can to retain that flavor of Portlandia.”
Address: 2812 NE Alberta St. Year built: 1907 Square footage: 1,377 Market value: $482,170 Owner: Gregory J. Martin How long it’s been empty: At least two decades Why it’s empty: It’s part of a collection. Twenty-five years ago, it was hard to imagine Alberta Street being home to a French bakery (Petite Provence), an Australian coffee shop (Proud Mary), or a home décor store peddling succulents (EcoVibe). These days, it’s hard to fathom how the hulking warehouse that sits amid all the fancy stores at Northeast 28th Avenue remains such a mess. The side facing Alberta is a Potemkin shell, made to look like an apartment building. Now covered in graffiti, it went up some years ago to hide the wreckage inside. But the junk remained unconcealed out in back, where an irregular tide seems to wash up wrecked cars, mattresses, lumber and a lot of trash. A visit last week revealed that the flood had spilled out from the chain-link fence and into the alley between the warehouse and the building next door, which houses the Black United Fund of Oregon. There, a gold Toyota Avalon is beached beside an ancient forklift. Deep in the trash around the vehicles was a late model Ford F-250 Super Duty pickup, its passenger door open. A man slept inside, his spine bent backward at an unnatural angle, his legs hanging out like a rag doll’s. The story of this retrograde building is a sad one. It’s owned by Gregory J. Martin, according to property records, an electrician who decades ago had enough money to buy up a lot of real estate in Northeast Portland. In addition to the Alberta junk pile, he owns a derelict house just north of Alberta in the 5100 block of Northeast 23rd Avenue. The once-stately foursquare sits among decades of dried weeds, its white paint dirtied to a depressive gray. The only bit of color is a red notice from the city that hangs on the doorknob. “Act now to prevent water shutoff,” it warns. Martin owns at least three other properties in the Mississippi neighborhood, all in the 600
block of North Beech Street between Kerby and Borthwick avenues. They also appear to be abandoned and are falling into disrepair as the neighborhood around them gentrifies. All of the properties have been hit with nuisance complaints. In his prime, Greg Martin was a hard worker who made enough money to amass a small empire in Portland real estate, says a person who knows him but declined to give their name for fear of losing Martin’s friendship. Now, he’s in his 70s and is unwell, the person says. “He doesn’t trust people.” Martin lives near North Mississippi Avenue, the person says. Many would-be buyers have courted him over the years, looking for bargains on his broken-down properties. He’s balked in almost every case, the person says, missing out on one of the greatest real estate booms in Oregon history. Both Mississippi and Alberta have become hipster havens, and prices have soared in the past two decades. Adding to his woes, Martin’s ex-wife, Rose, and his daughter, Alzena, sued him in July to remove any interest he may hold in their house at 2507 NE 8th Ave., at the corner of Brazee Street. Rose and Alzena claim Martin hasn’t paid any of the taxes on the property since 1981 and hasn’t paid his full share of other costs since 1988. Worse, in 2015, Martin had a judgment entered against him for $7,952.16, and that became a lien on the property, they said in their complaint. They want Alzena declared the owner of the property, free and clear of Martin. They also seek damages equal to 50% of the property costs when he was a co-owner. The Alberta property has had an “AVAILABLE” sign on it for months now. A phone call to Magellan Properties, the listing agent, wasn’t returned. Perhaps the agent knows his client isn’t really interested in selling. ANTHONY EFFINGER.
Every week, WW examines one mysteriously vacant property in the city of Portland, explains why it’s empty, and considers what might arrive there next. Send addresses to email@example.com. Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 7, 2022 wweek.com
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Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 7, 2022 wweek.com
men who have sex with men. None of which sounds like great news for a gay adult entertainment venue where the central selling point is touching. “I guess there’s always something coming down the line,” Clouse says. “It’s like anything: You just adapt as you go.”
Portland’s first touching-encouraged gay strip club faces challenges in the era of mpox. MICK HANGLAND-SKILL
SANDY VEGAS: Fuzzy Navels is open Friday and Saturday nights on Northeast Sandy Boulevard, just east of 105th Avenue. BY A N D R E W J A N KOW S K I
@ A n d r e wJ a n k
I have to sign a waiver to enter Fuzzy Navels. That’s not something required at Silverado or Stag, Portland’s only other two gay strip clubs. “This is not Silverado or Stag,” owner Justin Clouse says. At the main stage, the club’s other two guests this Saturday night have already paid to get our first dancer completely naked—which, according to Fuzzy Navels’ tipping incentive policy, costs at least $35. The young man wiggling on a small chair to the Backstreet Boys’ “I Want It That Way” looks somewhat like Harry Styles: skinny with a few tattoos and wavy, sandy blond hair. Clouse reminds the four of us that we’re allowed to touch the dancer and direct him from our seats, should we want him to show us our favorite parts of his body. We’re told to be creative with our demands. For $40 more, any one of us could buy the dancer’s underwear as a souvenir. One of the other men moves to the front row and strokes the dancer’s thigh and biceps but doesn’t venture further. For the past two months, Fuzzy Navels has been operating Friday and Saturday nights, its blue neon glowing between a poker lounge and a shuttered dancing school on a dreary stretch of Northeast Sandy Boulevard out by the airport. The Parkrose neighborhood storefront previously held the clubs Passionate Dreams and Secret Rendezvous, lingerie parlors where women modeled negligees at the request of straight men. Such businesses are often referred to as “jack shacks” for their reputations as barely concealed fronts for prostitution. Clouse says Fuzzy Navels isn’t that, exactly. Signs are posted around the club forbidding
patrons and dancers to touch each other anywhere in “the Speedo zone”—that is, the penis, testicles, sphincter and spaces in between. But touching anywhere else? That’s encouraged—making Fuzzy Navels the only hands-on gay strip club in Portland. “Our unofficial motto is, if it’s legal and you can afford it, we’ll make it happen,” Clouse says. Clouse concedes attendance has been hit and miss. On its busiest night, Fuzzy Navels was only half full. “I think all industries are still suffering right now,” he tells WW. The new club is part of an expansion in homoerotic entertainment businesses east of Interstate 205. A mile south, along Southeast Stark Street, the storied gay bathhouse Hawks opened a new, two-story location built from shipping containers. Inside: an outdoor hot tub, gym-style showers, caged lounge, glory holes, a sling swing, and scores of private rooms. The grand openings arrive at an awkward moment, however. Portland’s queer community might celebrate the launch of more venues to physically connect if only they didn’t appear during the outbreak of a virulent contagion most commonly known as the human monkeypox virus. Health officials are now calling it hMPXV, or mpox, in an effort to distance the virus from racist and homophobic connotations. Nearly 20,000 infections have been diagnosed in the United States as of Sept. 2, with 141 cases in Oregon, 119 of which originated in Multnomah County. The disease, characterized by fever, sore throat, aches and rashes followed by painful sores across the body, is spread by any kind of prolonged contact with infected skin and surfaces, and is disproportionately affecting
Portland has long been ripe territory for lingerie parlors and sex shops, thanks to Oregon free-speech protections that rank among the nation’s strongest. Lake Perriguey, a Portland lawyer who worked on Oregon Supreme Court cases that reaffirmed those protections, says the practices at Fuzzy Navels likely fall under what’s protected. “The court affirmed that there is a lot of breathing room in Oregon’s constitution,” Perriguey says. “Indeed, a lot of heavy breathing room.” Clouse, 46, decided to start Fuzzy Navels as an extension of his career in online content. His previous projects include the porn sites Straight College Boys and Redheaded Men, which he founded more than 20 years ago, and Bait & Tackle, a Las Vegas porn modeling agency and studio. Clouse lived in Las Vegas for 10 years, and now lives in Vancouver, Wash. Fuzzy Navels has so far signed only two house entertainers, who closely resemble the models on Clouse’s previous sites: young, lean men in their early 20s who could pass for “Portland straight,” as Clouse puts it. Clouse’s dream: a club where guests can meet erotic performers in the flesh—and direct softcore scenarios in real life that men often pay to watch online.
“Our unofficial motto is, if it’s legal and you can afford it, we’ll make it happen.”
“At the base level, when the crowd tips at least $15, the guy’s butt will be visible with no underwear,” Clouse said. “If you spend $35 from the crowd in any which way, there’s going to be a guy fully nude onstage.” The reality? Fuzzy Navels has the potential to stand out in Portland’s gay nightlife scene, especially for anyone with a penchant for bossing around boys, but it’s still a work in progress. Photos of supposedly straight men with erect penises and hairy ass cheeks from Clouse’s archives are plastered throughout the club, both a celebration of his work and a last-ditch effort to deter straight men who didn’t notice the new signs or read the waiver‚ which states that their likenesses can be used online if recorded for the club. Lap dance booths are still under construction, as are the club’s kitchen and full bar. “I say if you’re here to eat, you’re here for the wrong reason,” Clouse says. You cannot yet order a fuzzy navel at Fuzzy Navels. For now, it’s soda or beer. Bryant Haley of the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission confirms that Fuzzy Navels has a limited license to serve beer, wine and cider. “We do not have a specific regulation that covers ‘touching,’ as other similar businesses have differing forms of contact with dancers,”
Bryant adds. There is a photo booth to snap memento pics, and a VIP room where guests can pay to play card and classic video games with dancers. On my second night at the club, I spent more than an hour playing Uno with the two dancers. No one else entered the club until it closed at midnight. A few blocks north, the new Hawks location has stark white walls, bright white light, and narrow corridors. It feels more like a repurposed corporate park than a bathhouse designed from scratch. Moody dance pop and techno played. Men soaked in the hot tub, chatted on the cannabis-friendly smoking patio, showered together, and reclined in lounge areas on both floors, occasionally disappearing into dark corridors or private rooms. The most basic of these contains a locker and a cot-style twin mattress pad, and the most deluxe boasts full-size mattresses and a Dutch door-style glory hole obscuring a participant’s upper body. Hawks’ employees made the most laps throughout the club, checking rooms regularly for any signs that sheets needed changing or surfaces required spraying and wiping down. Cleaning instructions to new employees were heard louder than any other noises. Hawks originally opened on Southeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard in 2012. It hosted regular HIV and STI testing clinics through the Multnomah County Health Department and Cascade AIDS Project. The new Hawks will soon feature clinics for administering mpox and COVID vaccines from the health department, along with its other health care offerings. Dr. Kim Toevs, director of the county’s communicable disease and harm reduction programs, says it’s actually safer to allow places like Fuzzy Navels and Hawks to operate than to leave people vulnerable to mpox to their own devices. “Folks are going to connect with each other anyway, and it is a better use of our relationships with those venues to be sites where we can provide vaccinations,” Toevs says. “It’s an important pathway to reach folks in the community who are highest risk.” Multnomah County provides education for all businesses where contact with strangers is unavoidable—including hotels, gyms, nail salons, barber shops, massage parlors, and medical clinics, along with nightclubs, dance parties, and sex clubs—and advises them to continue following their COVID sanitation regimen, wear hygienic personal protective devices such as gloves and face masks, and quarantine if they suspect infection. Toevs says it’s too early to tell if mpox cases will continue to fall, but its spread is nowhere near as rapid as COVID or HIV, and she attributes the LGBTQ+ community’s education about symptoms and vaccines as a reason for comparatively low case numbers. Meanwhile, at Fuzzy Navels, Clouse is not discouraged by the bad timing of his club’s opening. “We just want people to come in, have fun, and not worry about anything else,” he says. “You’re not seeing the guy you’re going to go on a date with. But it’s fun for the night, we play the fantasy, and I guess I’m not conservative about nudity, so I thought, why not make an experience that you know what you’ll get?” Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 7, 2022 wweek.com
Jam on Hawthorne Thank you for 20 years of laughs, friendship, kindness, delicious food, patience, dedication, hustle, overall good times, and your ongoing support. We are thrilled to still be going strong because of all of you!
2239 SE Hawthorne Blvd jamonhawthorne.com
WAKE UP TO WHAT MATTERS IN PORTLAND. Willamette Week’s daily newsletter arrives every weekday morning with the day’s top news. 12
Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 7, 2022 wweek.com
Three hotels approaching foreclosure in the heart of Portland offer a warning to city leaders. BRIAN BROSE
EMPTY: COVID-19 put downtown Portland hotels in financial peril. speel@wweek .com
In an era when people can work from anywhere, few choose downtown Portland. That’s clear from a July study by ECONorthwest, not yet finalized, which shows that on any given day, there are 55% fewer workers downtown than there were before the pandemic. In the same report, consultants estimated it would take until 2034 for office vacancy in downtown Portland to drop below 10%—the ideal range. One consequence of a hollowed-out downtown: fewer bookings at the city’s top hotels. Last week, wweek.com reported that the swanky Benson Hotel in downtown Portland complained of losing a corporate client that booked 300 rooms a month. Now WW has learned that three high-end hotels in the downtown core—including the city’s flagship Hilton—are in foreclosure proceedings with the banks that issued their mortgages. Such proceedings are the first signal that the emptiness of downtown Portland has reached a critical stage. Property owners are irate. Greg Goodman, whose company owns a patchwork of properties downtown, calls the vacancy rate “a fullfledged disaster” and says city leaders “are doing nothing about it.” Yet most corporations with downtown offices are not requiring workers to return. Portland General Electric’s 900 downtown employees can work remotely if they choose. So can the 1,900 Standard Insurance workers who once populated two enormous buildings downtown, and 600 NW Natural employees. Environmental consulting firm ClearResult recently downsized from 60,000 square feet in a waterfront office building at 101 SW Main St. to a 5,000-square-feet conference room in the same building, telling WW it is “leading by example for other businesses looking to reduce their environmental impact.”
J U S T I N K AT I G B A K
BY S O P H I E P E E L
GOD SAVE THE QUEEN: Dossier Hotel is approaching foreclosure in the fall.
According to the latest estimates, office vacancy downtown is at 26%. But the real number may be much greater. David Squire, executive vice president of the real estate brokerage Newmark, estimates there’s a much larger share of office space that’s still leased but unused. He says those spaces will show up in vacancy figures when five- and 10-year leases expire in the next two years. “You’ve got vacancy, and frankly, a more important number to focus on has to do with the office utilization,” Squire says. “It’s much, much lower.” Squire’s brokerage has a number of buildings that are 99% leased on paper but only 40% occupied. Many of those leases expire within 24 months. “This is a conversation that’s going across every company downtown,” he says. Those numbers have city leaders sweating. Two weeks ago, WW reported that Mayor Ted Wheeler plans to bring an ordinance to the Portland City Council that would waive one-time charges for developers who agree to
convert office buildings to reasonably priced apartments for a minimum of 15 years. But experts say those charges are a mere drop in the bucket of what it costs to convert office to residential space. Squire says the mayor must do a lot more if he wants to spur conversions. “It can’t be done without some city assistance. The numbers just don’t work,” Squire says. “The glut of office space has been coming for years. Has Portland stubbed its toe? Absolutely.” An exodus of lessees from downtown office spaces places building owners in an impossible bind: reinvest more capital to refinance the loan and stick it out or enter foreclosure and give the keys to the bank. And if there’s one industry that is giving a taste of what’s to come for office buildings, it’s Portland’s downtown hotels. Last week, WW reported that the Benson had lost two large clients due to downtown conditions, per an email written by a top Benson executive and obtained by WW. “Too many
homeless and crazy people running around. Suffice to say, I’m furious!” the executive wrote. An examination of court and property records by WW found three hotels have reached a more alarming stage than the Benson: The banks holding their mortgages are preparing to foreclose. Nathan Sasaki, owner of Apex Real Estate Partners, says their fates show the consequences of a derelict downtown. “If we don’t do something with downtown, there will be an amazing amount of properties that will go into foreclosure,” Sasaki says. “We haven’t even started to feel the pain yet. The banks are trying to keep these properties off the foreclosure list, because why would you want to take something back that you know is a bloody mess? But eventually they have to.” The Portland Hilton and Duniway Hotel 921 SW 6th Ave. and 545 SW Taylor St. The Portland Hilton and its partner building Duniway have 782 rooms combined; together, they constitute the biggest hotel in the city. The Hilton has 21 conference rooms and rises 22 stories. The Duniway underwent a massive renovation just five years ago and renamed itself after pioneering newspaper editor Abigail Scott Duniway. It boasts a double-decker cocktail bar and a balcony of lawn games on the 11th floor. But both are about to be auctioned by the bank that holds their mortgages. The 22-story Portland Hilton and the neighboring 20-story Duniway were both built in 1962. The hotel is owned by an institutional investor—meaning an entity that pools money to invest in assets. In 2020, a judge put both hotels under a receivership because of missed mortgage payments to the bank. (A receiver is a neutral third party that comes in to run the business and its finances in an effort to dig it out of financial hardship.) Property records obtained by WW show the bank will put the two properties up for sale Sept. 13 at a courthouse auction. Owners of the building owe more than $270 million to the bank, according to records. Those same documents offered a peek at how things went down the day the lender served notice of sale on the building. “Server spoke with the manager on duty at the Hilton Hotel. He refused to give his name.” Dossier Hotel 750 SW Alder St. The lenders of the Dossier entered nonjudicial foreclosure proceedings earlier this year after the owner of the building failed to make mortgage payments between March 2021 and May of this year, according to property records. The building itself was first erected in 1999 but, after a massive renovation, reopened as the Dossier in 2017. The hotel is adorned with local art, and chandeliers hang in its event ballroom. Patrons are offered discounts to Knot Springs, which the hotel touts as the “city’s social wellness club.” The property will be put up for auction Nov. 29 “on the front steps inside the main entrance to the Multnomah County Courthouse.” Records show the owner of the building owed the lender $8.7 million, as of May. Provenance Hotels, parent company of the affiliate that owns the Dossier, was formerly owned by Gordon Sondland. A Texas company recently bought out Provenance this summer. Sondland now sits on the board of the parent company. Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 7, 2022 wweek.com
Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 7, 2022 wweek.com
PA I S L E Y L E E
PAGE 17 INTRO
PAGE 18 THE A WORD
PAGE 23 LIGHTS, MUSIC, MOVEMENT
PAGE 21 SPLINTER OF THE MIND’S EYE PAGE 25 OF RELATIONSHIPS AND YETIS
PAGE 22 WHAT’S UP, DOC-O-RAMA? PAGE 27 FALL ARTS CALENDAR
Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 7, 2022 wweek.com
Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 7, 2022 wweek.com
PA I S L E Y L E E
ou say you want a revolution, but where? When it comes to battling forces of political oppression, one imagines the struggle being ignited on the streets or in the halls of government. Yet there are more modest—and still consequential—arenas where battles are being waged. At Shaking the Three Theatre’s warehouse in Southeast Portland, for example, where rehearsals are taking place for Suzan-Lori Parks’ Fucking A, a play about an abortionist who is ostracized from her community à la Hester Prynne. Progressive art is as common in Portland as Teslas in Los Angeles. But in the wake of the U.S. Supreme Court decision overturning Roe v. Wade and on the eve of the midterm elections, our city is revving up for a particularly innovative and engaged season of dance, literature, podcasting and theater. Want to question all you think you know? See a live episode of Sarah Marshall’s podcast You’re Wrong About (page 21), famed for its contrarian takes on Tonya Harding and Martha Stewart. Interested in Rochester, N.Y.’s drag scene? PAM CUT’s Doc-O-Rama series (page 22) will be your guide. Desperate to get out of your comfort zone? “Yeti Lovemaking,” a short story from Ling Ma’s collection Bliss Montage (page 25), is a fine (and furry) start. And then there’s Shaking the Tree. Fucking A promises to be one of its most provocative productions—an unabashedly pro-choice play that is also a disquietingly detailed reflection on the tortured, co-dependent relationship between America and abortion. We’ve put together this package of stories about the fall arts season (along with a calendar featuring 10 other intriguing events, page 27) because we think they’re all worth experiencing. Some will entertain and some will disturb, but all are likely to reawaken your faith in what humans can achieve when they harness the collective power of stories, images and ideas. If that’s not worth voting for, what is? —Bennett Campbell Ferguson, Assistant Arts and Culture Editor Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 7, 2022 wweek.com
The A Word In Fucking A, Shaking the Tree Theatre reveals the inner life of an abortionist. BY BENNETT CAMPBELL FERGUSON PHOTOS BY PAISLEY LEE
“Bitch!” “Excuse me?” It’s Wednesday, Aug. 31. Samantha Van Der Merwe, founding artistic director of Shaking the Tree Theatre, is guiding actors Josie Seid and Briana Ratterman through a scaldingly intense scene in Suzan-Lori Parks’ play Fucking A. Words fill the rehearsal space like daggers—and Van Der Merwe stops to explain how Ratterman should react to each verbal strike. “The first ‘Bitch!,’ you challenge—and the second one, I think, frightens you,” she says. Her direction is relaxed and friendly but precise. When you’re producing a play as ideologically and emotionally combustible as Fucking A, every word matters. Inspired by The Scarlet Letter, Parks’ 2000 play is haunted not by adultery, but a different A word: abortion. The story is set in an unnamed “small town in a small country in the middle of nowhere,” where an abortionist named Hester (Seid) dreams of having a picnic with her son, who has been in prison for 20 years. Given the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade last June, you might think Van Der Merwe (a fiercely progressive voice in Portland theater) chose Fucking A to meet the moment. But she has long sought to produce the play—and while Parks’ nuanced storytelling artfully undermines much conservative dogma, it wouldn’t fit neatly into a pro-choice op-ed or a campaign speech. “This is a play about people trying to deal with the circumstances that life has handed them,” Seid says. “I have to say—I have to believe, I have to think—that’s what life is about. It’s not about who’s right, who’s wrong.” Originally, Van Der Merwe planned to stage James Ijames’ Kill Move Paradise (about four Black men who are murdered by police and meet in the afterlife) this fall, but the audition process convinced her to pivot. “We just got the same message from quite a few of the actors who reauditioned—that this was not a story they wanted to tell right now, and they would rather focus on joy and not pain,” she says. Over the summer, her thoughts returned to Fucking A. “I was looking up at my bookshelf with all my plays, and it just jumped out at me,” she says. “I felt a mix of excitement and absolute horror because it’s such a big play, and I want to make sure that I do it justice.” Van Der Merwe assembled a formidable cast to populate the play’s nameless, all-too-familiar community, which is ruled by a Trumpian politician simply called The Mayor (Jonathan Cullen). The other actors include Ratterman as The Mayor’s wife, First Lady, John San Nicolas as the benevolent Butcher, and Kayla Hanson as Canary Mary, the sex worker who is Hester’s best friend. “Both of these things, abortion and prostitution, have been around since the beginning of time and will always be around,” Van Der Merwe says. “It’s so interesting in this play how [Hester and Canary Mary] have this language that they speak that talks about sex and 18
Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 7, 2022 wweek.com
ARE YOU WATCHING CLOSELY?: Josie Seid.
anything to do with sex—or anything they need to keep hidden.” The cast didn’t just perform the power imbalances of Hester and Canary Mary’s world—they attempted to understand them intimately. Seid says Van Der Merwe in rehearsal arranged the actors in a line based on questions they answered in character, including “How hopeful do you feel?” and “How much power do you think you have?” “[In terms of ] safety, I was probably closer to the top of the line,” Seid says. “Hester has nothing to lose. She knows that she’s a commodity in the community, so no one’s going to mess with her.” That’s the paradox of Fucking A: Those in power despise Hester as much they need her. Like her namesake in Nathaniel Hawthorne’s novel, she bears a shameful A (in this case, a stinking, oozing brand seared into her flesh) and is ostracized by callous hypocrites—including
a group of ruthless men called the Hunters. “Hester will say to these Hunters, ‘You’re telling me that I’m disgusting and I should get out, but your wife came to me last week,’” Van Der Merwe says. “Or, ‘You force yourself on your wife, but you think I’m a terrible person.’” Of course, it isn’t always that simple. Hester’s relationship to her work as an abortionist is fraught—she was forced into the profession and sings hymns for the unborn (while not a musical, per se, Fucking A features several songs). And as for her relationship with her son, anyone expecting an ebullient reunion will be brutally disappointed. Still, Van Der Merwe—who was born in Johannesburg, South Africa, and has now lived in the United States for over two decades—draws valiant optimism from the endurance of storytelling beneath the shadow of political oppression.
“Growing up in a country where there were so many terrible rules and such an oppressive regime…this idea of having the freedom to put up a piece that just stands in the face of what’s happening, it does make me feel like I have more freedom,” she says. “I want to celebrate that freedom.” Van Der Merwe recognizes that artistic freedom isn’t given—it’s fought for. “Can you imagine if the day comes when we can’t do that?” she asks. “And, of course, that’s our job in the theater. We would just go underground and do it anyway.” SEE IT: Fucking A plays at Shaking the Tree Theatre, 823 SE Grant St., 503-235-0635, shaking-the-tree.com. 7:30 pm Thursday-Saturday, 5 pm Sunday, Oct. 8-Nov. 5. $5-$30. Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 7, 2022 wweek.com
Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 7, 2022 wweek.com
Sarah Marshall’s podcast You’re Wrong About wants you to rethink everything you know.
COURTESY SARAH MARSHALL
Splinter of the Mind’s Eye
BY R O B E R T H A M
Sarah Marshall isn’t looking to break new ground with her popular podcast You’re Wrong About. A scan of the episodes of the show that have been released so far this year brings up many familiar names and subjects: eugenics, Martha Stewart, Go Ask Alice, the Donner Party. But as its title spells out, this podcast isn’t about big revelations and cracking open cold cases. Instead, Marshall and her rotating cast of guests look to take a walk down a well-worn path “talking about what was going on then and, based on both information that’s come to light and the perspective that time gives you, how maybe we had gotten the story wrong initially,” she tells WW. That approach has been key to Marshall’s work as a Portland journalist and media critic. She’s written extensive, well-researched articles that ask readers to look at oft-pilloried celebrities like Anna Nicole Smith and Portland’s own Tonya Harding from fresh, sympathetic angles. Bringing that approach to a podcast feels logical enough, but it’s something that Marshall hadn’t considered until she was approached by fellow writer Michael Hobbes. Inspired by “Remote Control,” the rather touching defense of Harding that Marshall had written in 2014 for The Believer, Hobbes wanted to start a podcast called I Misremember the ’90s. Marshall was immediately on board, but with one key change. “My only request was that we keep all possible history open,” she says, fighting to be heard over the sound of a garbage truck outside her apartment, “because I wanted to do something on Leopold and Loeb.” Their team-up You’re Wrong About debuted in 2018. From their premiere episode on the Satanic panic (the moral freakout that had conservatives in the U.S. convinced that satanists were secretly abusing children and holding rituals in the woods outside every major suburb), the pair’s exhaustive research and buoyant repartee were locked in. The podcast built a small, dedicated fan base over
its first two years, including a nod as one of the 10 best podcasts of 2019 by Time magazine. But its popularity exploded during the pandemic. “Early on, the scuttlebutt at the time was that it was going to be a bad time for podcasts because people weren’t commuting,” Marshall says. “I was like, ‘No, that’s not true. People are going to need something to do that makes them feel like they have a boundary between themselves and their spouses and children and roommates.’” Her hunch was dead on. The buzz about You’re Wrong About got loud enough to generate glowing write-ups in The New Yorker and Vanity Fair, while also attracting over 22,260 subscribers to the podcast’s Patreon. The show’s popularity has also allowed Marshall to introduce You’re Wrong About Live, a four-date West Coast tour that stops at the Mission Theater on Sept. 16 and features special guests and musical performances by Carolyn Kendrick. If there’s any small bump in the road to You’re Wrong About’s success, it was last October’s announcement that Hobbes would be stepping away from the show to focus on other projects. The news was big enough in the podcast community to warrant a worried write-up on Vulture.
ALL EARS: Sarah Marshall.
While it’s a little disappointing not to be able to hear Hobbes and Marshall’s banter, the shake-up has given fresh energy to the podcast as Marshall brings in a cast of new collaborators and guests to go deep on subjects they are passionate about. Recent episodes have featured comedian Josh Gondelman unpacking the deeper messages in Harold Ramis and Bill Murray’s Groundhog Day, a fascinating look at the Westboro Baptist Church with American Hysteria host Chelsey Weber-Smith, and writer Dana Schwartz asking the important question, “Does Ben Affleck belong in Shakespeare In Love?” “The nice thing about it for me is that if a guest is explaining something to me, my responsibility is to know as little as possible,” Marshall says. “The audience can hear me learning about it. The thing I want to model is that it’s hard to admit that you’re just learning something that you don’t know. I think listening to somebody ask the ignorant questions or hear the confusion or misapprehensions that they have, that’s good for people.” SEE IT: You’re Wrong About Live comes to the Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan St., 503-2234527, mcmenamins.com. 8 pm Friday, Sept. 16. $30-$35. All ages. Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 7, 2022 wweek.com
What’s Up, Doc-ORama?
PAM CUT’s documentary film festival shines a spotlight on queer performers. BY C H A N C E S O L E M - P F E I F E R
@chance_ s _ p
Mrs. Kasha Davis appeared in Season 7 of RuPaul’s Drag Race for only a few episodes, but her story and persona were enough to inspire Angela Washko to become a film director. “Kasha was such a casting anomaly,” says Washko, an associate professor at Carnegie Mellon and artist in the fields of new media, fine arts installations and video game design. “She’s a queen who found drag much later in life, with a very specific persona, which wasn’t like a pop star or model, but a 1960s housewife. That was radical to me as a feminist artist, to see a drag performer doing this as an homage.” Kasha’s life before and after national TV exposure became the focus of Washko’s debut documentary, Workhorse Queen, which screens Sept. 16 at the Whitsell Auditorium. It’s the first in PAM CUT’s Doc-ORama series, a five-documentary bundle highlighting queer performance and artistic figures “bold enough to call for change.” Workhorse Queen makes for a fitting start to the series, exploring the vibrance of Rochester, N.Y.’s drag scene, how Ed Popil’s personal history informs his drag persona Mrs. Kasha Davis, and the complex role of RuPaul’s groundbreaking program within drag. “Unfortunately, the structure of competitive reality TV creates this sense that people are operating in a vacuum—that they’re incredible and they end up on this show and they’re these individual forces of nature,” Washko says. “In Rochester, there’s an atmosphere of everyone working together. It’s an intergenerational community.” To achieve a conversation between Kasha’s story and Drag Race, Washko says she needed to situate Workhorse Queen in the same medium, but documentary filmmaking was new terrain. Despite her wealth of experience in museums and galleries, Washko having to play catchup in film led her to PAM CUT’s Sustainability Labs in 2021. 22
Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 7, 2022 wweek.com
During that workshop, industry leaders such as Angela Lee (director of artist development at Film Independent) and Alex Bulkley (co-founder of the animation studio ShadowMachine) were on hand to help Washko advance her filmmaking aspirations. Though Workhorse Queen was already on the festival circuit in fall 2021, Washko credits her panel’s feedback on crucial topics like how to pitch a movie as instrumental to her future. Currently, she’s poised to begin production on a new doc series with a “high-level” producing partner. “Sustainability Labs for me was nothing short of incredible,” she says. “There were actual tangible results from that lab, which I can’t say is always true for every professional development workshop I’ve participated in.” Associate director of creative programs Jon Richardson says PAM CUT tailors and personalizes its Labs program by focusing not on individual projects but helping “midcareer artists” realize their next steps and address careerlong challenges. The 2022 Labs fellows have been selected, but aren’t yet public. The day after Workhorse Queen, PAM CUT will screen All Man (about International Male founder Gene Burkard’s transformative fashion catalog) and Wildness (about the iconic L.A. bar Silver Platter and its significance to the Latino LGBTQ community). Then, on Sept. 23, is Aggie, which chronicles how Agnes “Aggie” Gund committed her lifelong art collecting and philanthropy to social justice. Finally, the series wraps with Moonage Daydream on Sept. 30, a kaleidoscopic and potentially blockbusting David Bowie documentary—the first fully authorized to employ his music. “We’re really trying to celebrate those who aren’t content to be contained [at PAM CUT], and David Bowie was a perfect example of that,” says Richardson, who’s also booked a Bowie double feature the following day, Oct. 1: The Man Who Fell to Earth and Labyrinth. Richardson predicts Doc-O-Rama could be a recurring series for PAM CUT, given both its malleability and the endless supply of adventurous documentaries available for those willing to search. “All of us love to get a glimpse into these other worlds we don’t necessarily know so much about,” he says. “It’s not something you can always get from narrative features. I understand the people who are just so obsessed with documentaries, because once I get into them, I can’t stop.” SEE IT: Doc-O-Rama plays at the Portland Art Museum at the Whitsell Auditorium, 1219 SW Park Ave., 503-221-1156, pamcut.org. Sept. 1630. Series passes $45-$55.
COURTESY NW DANCE PROJECT
Lights, Music, Movement
NW Dance Project kicks off its 2022-23 season with Bolero+. BY S A R A G I Z A
Now entering its sixth year, choreographer Ihsan Rustem’s Bolero headlines NW Dance Project’s triple-bill season premiere, Bolero+. In many ways, it seems Rustem has been preparing his entire life for this show—and given the grim state of the world, its ebullience has rarely been more welcome. “It’s this long, slow, take-you-to-the-edge-of-yourseat [performance]…and when that climatic ending happens, it’s like a release of energy,” Rustem says, noting that Bolero (inspired by Maurice Ravel’s inescapable ballet of the same name) is ultimately “tonguein-cheek fun.” Rustem’s road to becoming a resident choreographer at NW Dance Project began in London, where he grew up studying karate and the violin. He credits the secondary school he attended at the age of 11 (which offered dance as part of physical education) with providing him an entryway into the world of dance. “From doing karate for many years and playing the violin from a very young age, I had sort of a musical ear and my body was very strong and flexible,” Rustem tells WW. By the time he turned 13, he knew he wanted to devote his life to dance, a revelation sparked by his involvement with a boys’ dance group at school that he says was created “to remove stigma.”
“[Dance] just sort of came very naturally,” he says. “I didn’t understand why people thought it was difficult. I thought the whole thing was hilarious fun.” At 16, he left school for a full-time ballet education. Rustem’s passion is palpable. He was first introduced to Ravel’s Bolero as a teenager, and it stayed with him throughout his life. His version has toured nationally and internationally, but he says Portland will always be his “creative home.” Along with Bolero, NW Dance Project’s season premiere will include work by Italian choreographer Luca Veggetti, as well as artistic director Sarah Slipper (who founded the company in 2004, embracing contemporary choreography after serving as ballet mistress at Oregon Ballet Theatre from 1997 to 1999). “It’s a joy to be back in the studio creating again and bringing new characters to life,” Slipper says. “My new work is tentatively titled Down the Garden Path—it centers around a family and deals with their conflicts of love, envy, betrayal, duty and class. In developing my work, I am shifting between the music of Chopin and contemporary composers and playing with my own narrative and throughline.” Despite the thrill of being immersed in the creative process, Slipper worries about the future of NW Dance Project in a post-pandemic world. “Many organizations have used up all their resources just to be able to still be here at this point, but the rescue measures and funding has dried up,” she says. “I hope people appreciate how important live art is and turn away from the screen and get back into the theater to show their support.” SEE IT: Bolero+ plays at the Newmark Theatre, 1111 SW Broadway, 503-828-8285, nwdanceproject.org. 7:30 pm Friday-Saturday, Oct. 14-15. $29-$68. Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 7, 2022 wweek.com
Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 7, 2022 wweek.com
COURTESY LING MA
Of Relationships and Yetis
Ling Ma, author of Severance, talks about her new speculative short-story collection, Bliss Montage. BY M I C H E L L E K I C H E R E R
“Making love with a yeti is difficult and painful at first, but easy once you’ve done it more than 30 times,” begins “Yeti Lovemaking,” one of eight short stories featured in Ling Ma’s new collection, Bliss Montage (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 240 pages, $25). “‘Yeti’ was a story that came about while I was in my 20s going through a breakup,” Ma tells WW. “I was thinking that I’d like to just go through some sort of transformational process where I can just get rid of the pain of a breakup. I just thought this idea of yeti love making was kind of fun and kind of stupid.” “Stupid” isn’t a word readers typically associate with Ma, who will appear in a virtual conversation with Alexandra Kleeman hosted by Powell’s on Sept. 15. Her first novel, Severance (about an unfulfilled Bible product coordinator who becomes one of Earth’s last survivors after an infection wipes out the human race) won the 2018 Kirkus Prize for Fiction—and offered a brilliantly dark-humored look at the millennial condition. While not all the stories in Bliss are about broken relationships, they are a running and often painful theme. In “Yeti Lovemaking,” for instance, the narrator addresses the story to her ex, detailing the yeti night that happens shortly after their breakup—signifying the protagonist’s entry into a new phase of her life. When Ma was writing “Yeti,” she had just read St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, the first
short-story collection by Portland author Karen Russell. “I remember interviewing Karen Russell like back in the day—and I’m sure she doesn’t even remember this, I was like 24 or something—but talking to her and reading that book kind of got me down thinking about writing more speculative fiction,” Ma says. Relationships and speculative storytelling are also at the heart of “Los Angeles,” the opening story in Bliss Montage. “Los Angeles,” which came to Ma in a dream, features a female narrator married to a bajillionaire who makes enough money to house all 100 of the narrator’s ex-boyfriends. “It was partly the fantasy of never having to say goodbye to your exes—and, of course, that’s not necessarily a good thing,” Ma says. As with all of Ma’s stories, “Los Angeles” takes a turn. “I did not know, starting out, that it was about abuse,” she says. “I didn’t know where the story was headed, but that one wrote itself very quickly.”
DREAM WARRIOR: Ling Ma.
Ma is a master of creating emotive, high-stakes narratives set in memorable worlds. An especially gripping example is “G,” a story about a toxic and borderline romantic friendship between two girls who take a pill that makes them invisible. “If you’re just gonna do the drug element and get high, you might as well step it up a little bit,” Ma says. “Do something more magical with it.” Ultimately, Ma believes that Bliss Montage is more warm-blooded and mammal than Severance, which she describes as reptilian. “I hope people enjoy the stories,” she says. “I do feel like they could be very comforting to someone in the right life moment.” SEE IT: Ling Ma will be in a virtual conversation with Alexandra Kleeman. 5 pm Thursday, Sept. 15. Free. Register for the Zoom event at powells.com. Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 7, 2022 wweek.com
Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 7, 2022 wweek.com
Fall Arts Calendar BY A S H L E Y D E M E L L O
SEE IT: Filmworker When Leon Vitali died last month, he left a body of work in the film industry that’s largely unrecognized yet incredibly influential. Vitali was so devoted to Stanley Kubrick that he dedicated his career to the director after they met in 1974, filling an array of roles that ranged from Foley artist on Full Metal Jacket to orgygoer in Eyes Wide Shut (and he continued to work on Kubrick’s films after the director died in 1999, supervising reissues and ensuring the integrity of Kubrick’s vision). So in tribute to Kubrick’s often underappreciated right-hand man, the Hollywood Theatre is screening Tony Zierra’s 2017 documentary Filmworker, which delves into the bond between the two greats. Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd., 503-4931128, hollywoodtheatre.org. 7:30 pm Thursday, Sept. 8. $8-$10.
GO: Time-Based Art Festival For those not yet entrenched in the contemporary art scene, TBA:22 (which marks the world-renowned festival’s 20th anniversary) promises a meaningful quick-dive into what’s happening right now. For seasoned artists and art appreciators, it’s a chance to engage deeply with colleagues and vanguards. On the menu are an exploration of the number 3 in a futuristic Indigenous concert collaboration, a discussion of the medieval four humors’ place in contemporary Black life, and a chance to activate sense memories through modern dance. When it’s time to reflect or unwind, head to the bar located at the Portland Institute for Contemporary Art’s headquarters at 15 NE Hancock St., which will be open throughout the festival. Times and venues for performances vary, 503-242-1419, pica. org/tba. Thursday-Sunday, Sept. 8-18. $75-$500.
GO: Curtis Salgado Portland soul singer-songwriter Curtis Salgado won the 2022 Blues Music Award for Soul Blues Male Artist of the Year, the seventh time he’s snagged that prestigious honor (he’s also credited with inspiring the Blues Brothers characters and has shared stages with Robert Cray, Bonnie Raitt and Muddy Waters). You definitely don’t want to miss his harmonica skills when he plays the Venetian Ballroom. Venetian, 253 E Main St., Hillsboro, 503-352-4450, venetianhillsboro.com. 7:30 pm Friday, Sept. 9. $20-$40.
GO: Flynn Creek Circus: Balloons, Birds and Other Flying Things This season, Flynn Creek Circus’ production Birds, Bees and Other Flying Things gathers and interprets audience members’ real memories in acrobatics and stunts that push the limits of human ability. The vignettes come together as part of an overarching story about the illusory nature of time, seasoned with humor and set to live music by Eric McFadden and Kate Vargas. It’s a welcome, all-ages performance with specially priced social bubble seating for those particularly disinclined to germs. The Lot at Zidell Yards, 3030 SW Moody Ave., flynncreekcircus.com. Thursday-Sunday, Sept. 22-25. $45-$416.
LISTEN: Fortress of Fun Anyone remember flipping through the yellow-tinged pages of Choose Your Own Adventure books in elementary school? One minute you were flying high as the newly appointed apprentice to a powerful wizard, only to find yourself facing inevitable evisceration by a minotaur after an ill-chosen page turn. Portland indie post-punk trio J. Graves brings the ups and downs of that experience to their latest album, Fortress of Fun, set to be released Sept. 30. Each of the seven tracks and corresponding music videos represents a different path on the journey—and it’s up to you to decide who wears the chainmail. publicdisplaypr.com/epk/jgraveslp.html. Release date: Friday, Sept. 30.
GO: The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity Find out what a superkick to the face has to do with the American Dream and neoliberal capitalism in Profile Theatre’s production of The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity. Protagonist Macedonio Guerra struggles with issues of race while pursuing his passion, professional wrestling, in playwright Kristoffer Diaz’s Pulitzer Prize finalist and Obie-winning saga. The play explores themes of identity and BIPOC disenfranchisement through comedic satire and, of course, body slams. Imago Theatre, 17 SE 8th Ave., 503-231-9581, profiletheatre.org/chaddeity. 7:30 pm Wednesday-Saturday, 2 pm Sundays, Oct. 5-23. $35-$55.
GO: Pearl Dive Live Chiseled abs, singlets and gyrating limbs are not the only things coming together at BodyVox in October— the multimedia dance company’s Pearl Dive Project is returning with live performances of all five of last year’s striking dance collaborations. The project asked prominent artists and innovators who work outside the field of dance to choreograph entirely new pieces, which were, in large part, developed remotely. See what comes to the stage from the minds of Matt Groening, Poison Waters, Ludovico Einaudi, Lois Greenfield and Yiyun Li. BodyVox, 1201 NW 17th Ave., 503-2290627, bodyvox.com/performance/pearl-dive-live.
7:30 pm Thursday-Saturday, Oct. 6-14; 2 and 7:30 pm Saturday, Oct. 15. $25-$70.
GO: Foolish Mortals: A Haunted Mansion Burlesque Cabaret As the “most gothic of seasons” approaches, Alberta Rose Theatre is offering a creepy addition to Portland’s seasonal events calendar: Foolish Mortals, a burlesque production featuring a cabaret troupe of ghosts. A full bar and pies from Pacific Pie Company will be on hand, so attendees can enjoy an evening of small frights alongside favorite beverages and expertly crafted savory pastry. Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta St., 503-719-6055, albertarosetheatre.com. 8 pm Saturday and Sunday, Oct. 8-9. $25-$40.
GO: The Reformers Present: The Landlord’s Game Visit the fringes of contemporary theater with The Reformers’ latest production, The Landlord’s Game. The pandemic-delayed immersive performance draws visitors into the offbeat created world of Lizzie Borden (hiding out from the repercussions of her disgraced reputation) and ambitious game designer and inventor Lizzie Magie. The Reformers’ quirky productions have earned them a cult following, but the group is quick to remind audiences they are not, in fact, an actual cult. Location revealed upon registration, thereformerspdx. com. Thursday-Sunday, Oct. 20-Nov. 6. Ticket sales start Sept. 8.
GO: Portland Book Festival The Portland Art Museum welcomes bibliophiles, writers and other bookish sorts to Literary Arts’ annual Portland Book Festival. Pop-up readings, author conversations, an exhibitor fair, workshops and more will transform PAM’s galleries into wordier spaces. Stay tuned to find out which literary greats are set to attend (organizers will announce them later this month). Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park Ave., 503-227-2583, literary-arts.org. Saturday, Nov. 5. $15-$25. Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 7, 2022 wweek.com
CREAM, SUGAR, SOLIDARITY Photos by Blake Benard On Instagram: @blakebenard
Organized labor is making inroads at Starbucks. That’s true nationwide, thanks to a Buffalo, N.Y., unionization drive that broke through decades of resistance. It’s happening here, too: 19 Starbucks in Oregon have voted to unionize since April, 11 of them in Portland. Over Labor Day weekend, Starbucks Workers United held “sip-ins” at 16 locations, including the Lloyd District and Jantzen Beach shops on the morning of Sept. 5.
Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 7, 2022 wweek.com
C O U R T E S Y B R O K E G R AV Y
COURTESY ERIC KRIESANT
C O U R T E S Y S I LV E R FA L L S B R E W E R Y
STUFF TO DO IN PORTLAND THIS WEEK, INDOORS AND OUT.
DRINK: Beer Flights & Dinner Oregon Garden Resort’s neighbor, Silver Falls Brewery, is highlighted in its latest beer dinner series, where you’ll get four 4-ounce pours alongside four courses of food as well as one full pint of your favorite brew. Be sure to tour the property’s late summer blooms before they disappear. Inquire with the resort about special overnight packages. Oregon Garden Resort, 895 W Main St., Silverton, 503-874-2500, oregongardenresort.com. 6-8 pm Friday, Sept. 9. $45. 21+.
WATCH: Shroom Show: A Foraging Tour
There’s a little something for everyone in Fuse Theatre Ensemble’s latest production. It’s part variety show, part opera, part forest hike, part treasure hunt, part hero’s journey, and appropriate for all ages (with parental discretion). At its mycelia, Shroom Show is about examining humanity’s relationship with fungi. Most performances take place at Tryon Life Community Farm, so grab your foraging basket. A few indoor stagings at Back Door Theater are scheduled for those who aren’t into slogging along a trail. Tryon Life Community Farm, 11640 SW Boones Ferry Road; Back Door Theater, 4319 SE Hawthorne Blvd.; fusetheatreensemble.com. 6 pm Thursday-Sunday, Sept. 9-Oct. 2. Free.
WATCH: Blithe Spirit
LISTEN: John Primer Blues Benefit Concert Born and raised in a Mississippi sharecropper shack, his father tragically dying at the age of 22 and his mother abandoning him to live with relatives shortly thereafter, musician John Primer certainly has the résumé to sing the blues. His talent and authenticity led him to quick acceptance in the up-and-coming Chicago blues scene in the 1960s, and later a place in legendary Muddy Waters’ band. Since then, Primer has recorded more than 87 albums, earned two Grammy nominations and been inducted into the Chicago Blues Hall of Fame. This week, he brings his talents to the historic Alberta Abbey for a concert benefiting local nonprofits. Alberta Abbey, 126 NE Alberta St., albertaabbey.org. 7-11 pm Thursday, Sept. 8. $25-$150.
Lakewood Theatre Company is opening its 70th season with Sir Noël Coward’s supernatural comedy Blithe Spirit, a reprisal of its very first production. If you’ve never seen the classic farce, consider it a cautionary tale about séances. Replete with Coward’s wit and charm, Blithe Spirit is considered a comedic masterpiece. And if you book your tickets on certain Wednesdays, you can participate in complimentary wine or whiskey tastings before the show. Lakewood Center for the Arts, 368 S State St., Lake Oswego, 503635-3901, lakewood-center.org. 7:30 pm Wednesday-Saturday, 2 pm Sunday, Sept. 9–Oct. 16. $25-$39.
LAUGH: Broke Gravy
The masterminds behind Broke Gravy (Eric Simons, Leon Anderson and Chris Williams) have earned comedic clout over the years, and most recently snagged a much-desired slot at the TEDxPortland seminar. The trio will next unleash their improv skills at Clinton Street Theater, drawing inspiration from three local storytellers (Flynne Olivarez, Monica Dailey and Mary C. Parker) who will also take the stage. A portion of the proceeds go to Kickstand Comedy’s BIPOC improv program. Clinton Street Theater, 2522 SE Clinton St., 503719-5685, brokegravy.com. 8 pm Saturday, Sept. 10. $15 presale, $20 at the door.
GO: Down the River Cleanup
Every year, volunteers pull approximately 2 tons of trash out of the Clackamas River during an end-of-summer cleanup—detritus left, undoubtedly, by buzzed jerks on inner tubes, but also clumsy kayakers or kids playing along the banks who accidentally drop a food wrapper or lose a shoe. Earn a pat on the back and then enjoy a free cookout by joining the ranks of these noble junk collectors for the annual event, which organizers promise is 90% leisurely floating. Clackamas River (various start locations), welovecleanrivers.org. 8 am-5 pm Sunday, Sept. 11. Free.
EAT: Wellspent Market’s 2nd Annual Tomato Fest
If your taste for tomatoes has evolved past McDonald’s ketchup packets (or even if not), head to Wellspent Market’s 2nd Annual Tomato Fest. It’s a chance to educate your palate with free tasting kits from Oregon State University’s vegetable program, learn about more sustainable tomato-growing methods, and gather some sweet and savory tomato-based treats from local bakery Lauretta Jean’s. There will also be BLTs, an Italian housewares market, and a bulk tomato pre-purchase option for those looking to channel their inner sauce-making nonna. Wellspent Market, 935 NE Couch St., 503-987-0828, wellspentmarket.com. Noon-4 pm Sunday, Sept. 11. Free.
SEE MORE GET BUSY EVENTS AT WWEEK.COM/CALENDAR Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 7, 2022 wweek.com
FOOD & DRINK
Hot Plates WHERE TO EAT THIS WEEK.
1. PONO BREW LABS
1728 NE 40th Ave., 503-432-8143, ponobrewing.com. 4-10 pm Sunday-Thursday, 4 pm-midnight Friday-Saturday. Pono fans now have a dependable place to find the brewery’s beer on tap and can accompany those pints with some stellar Pacific Island and Asian-inspired food. You really couldn’t go wrong with building an entire meal out of the starters, which include Filipino lumpia, kalua pork sliders, french fries topped with either more of that pig or beef bulgogi and sticky garlic shoyu wings.
2. TITO’S TAQUITOS
3975 SW Beaverton Hillsdale Highway, 503-406-5935, titos-taquitos.square.site. 11 am-6 pm Wednesday-Saturday. At Tito’s, the taquitos are neither an appetizer nor an afterthought but an elaborate—and elaborately composed—entree. They’ve got a spectacularly crispy crackle, strong corn flavor, and chunky-soft potato filling, plus an assortment of vegetable garnishes and your choice of proteins laid on top.
3. TERCET AARON LEE
515 SW Broadway, #100, 971-865-2930, tercetpdx.com. 5:45-10 pm Wednesday-Saturday. Located in the mezzanine of downtown’s historic Morgan Building, Tercet is the rebirth of beloved prix fixe seafood restaurant Roe, and you’ll find the new iteration maintains its predecessor’s high standards. Head chef John Conlin has expanded the menu to include meat—a recent visit saw morels draped over a tender beef tartare—though fish dishes are still superb, like a lightly poached wild Chinook in a green sorrel sauce.
4. CHAMPAGNE POETRY PÂTISSERIE
3343 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-265-8834, champagnepoetry.biz. 9:30 am-7 pm Tuesday-Thursday and Sunday, 9:30 am-9 pm Friday-Saturday. This new bakery is a pink wonderland of colorful macarons, airbrushed tarts and soufflé pancakes. Chef-owner Dan Bian is dedicated to infusing classic French desserts with exciting ingredients—from yuzu to guava to ube. The real stars here are the hyperrealistic cakes, including one that looks like a perfect Homer Simpson doughnut.
5. DESI BITES
16165 SW Regatta Lane, #300, Beaverton, 971-371-2176, desibitespdx.com. 11 am-2:30 pm and 4-9 pm Tuesday-Sunday. Desi Bites is one of the Beaverton’s newest South Asian markets with a full restaurant. Beware, however, the dining area is tiny (while the store is huge) and it fills up quickly. Plan for takeout, at least as a contingency. Don’t be afraid to try the fiery tomato- and coconut-based Telangana curry, a specialty of Hyderabad. For a more mainstream repast, try the kati rolls or kebabs wrapped in paratha bread, which are messy but delicious.
DIY: Building your own tacos is part of the fun at Todo. 30
Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 7, 2022 wweek.com
Editor: Andi Prewitt Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
WHERE TO DRINK THIS WEEK.
1. ROCKABILLY CAFE ALLISON BARR
COURTESY OF TODO
Taco Night, Every Night At Todo, the new restaurant by industry veteran Marco Frattaroli, you can order your tortilla fillings by the pound. BY T H O M H I LTO N
Build-Your-Own-Taco Night is a weekly staple for many families, and it’s easy to understand why. There’s something so playful and satisfying about the creative construction and consumption of the always en vogue handheld Mexican classic. That fun, familial feeling is a big part of the experience of dining at Todo, the new corner taco spot now occupying the former Blackbird Pizza space on Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard. Inside the sprawling, colorful dining room, much of it hand-built by veteran restaurant owner Marco Frattaroli (Cibo, Bastas), guests can choose from half-pound or full-pound plates of taco fillings and adventurously shuffle them with various toppings on soft corn tortillas or crisp tostadas. The runaway hit is the pastor de trompo ($16, $29), pork marinated in adobada that slowly spins on a spit and roasts with pineapple and onion, resulting in a plate that’s all sweet, juicy, crispy edges. It’s spectacular. Another highlight is the super-tender, sliced asada ($25, $42) marinated in citrus and achiote. The most interactive filling of the bunch is the carnitas de costilla ($22, $33), individual confit pork ribs that can be wrapped in a tortilla and slid off the bone with ease. It’s an unctuous indulgence that I’d recommend cutting with the spicy, acidic crunch of housemade carrot pickles. On the night we visited, specials included a tofu-soft boiled beef tongue and a lovely cochinita pibil—pork loaded with warming spices, which Frattaroli compares to Bolognese, that’s braised in banana leaves and served with pickled red onions. The battered local rockfish ($17, $27) is light and fresh, and pairs well with shredded cabbage and tangy cotija cheese. The suadero ($24, $39), a garlicky, slow-cooked beef belly similar to brisket, is nice but doesn’t really stand apart. The only real misfires are the very similar tinga de pollo ($14, $25) and vegan picadillo ($13, $22), which both have a mild, watery tomato flavor. The latter is especially disappointing. Being the only vegetarian option, the mishmash of undercooked vegetables and soy protein feels like an afterthought. In general, the restaurant is not yet a vegetarian or vegan destination (even the rice is cooked in chicken broth), so I can only hope that vegetables are soon given the same care and attention the meats receive.
One meatless bite that will satisfy everyone, however, is the guacamole, which is possibly the best I’ve had in Portland—salty and creamy, with big hunks of avocado, onion and tomato. Standout salsas include a creamy salsa verde and a very spicy and smoky salsa macha. There are a handful of smaller prepared dishes for those who find taco assembly too taxing. The aguachile de pescado ($14), a cooked rockfish ceviche, has a bright lime and cucumber flavor, but an unappealing presentation, with most elements clumsily cut into uneven pieces. Trendy quesabirria street tacos ($12 for three) are served red hot for maximum gooey cheese-pull potential. The accompanying consommé for dipping is rich and comforting, and the birria is preferable as part of this cohesive appetizer rather than flying solo as a taco filling. Flan Napolitano ($7) is the standout dessert, with a burnished caramel top and silky texture. But beyond that, you’d do well to stick with the taco kits and avoid a final sweet course. The arroz con leche ($5) is a watery and undercooked rice pudding, overdusted with cinnamon in a way that took me back to the decade-old viral eating challenge. The tres leches ($8) has a thick, cheesecakelike filling, rather than the cake’s usual moist sponginess, and is inexplicably covered in Amarena cherries. The chocolate ice cream with cinnamon and chile ($8), made in partnership with Pinolo Gelato, is a surprising one-bite gimmick that quickly grows tiresome. Superior sweet options can be found on the cocktail list, since juices for all of the drinks are made fresh in house. The exceptional margarita ($10) is tart, refreshing and balanced. The Verde/Rojo ($11), with tequila, lime, tomatillo, and watermelon, evokes the sensation of eating fruit gummies while laying in the grass during a picnic. Jorge’s Retreat ($13), made with mezcal, lime and orange, deserves to be crowned Portland’s “It Girl Cocktail,” thanks in part to its Tajín rim and mini-watermelon ice pop, perfect for dipping, swirling and munching. It’s a great way to conclude a dinner party with friends at a restaurant where, despite some repetitiveness and underseasoning, the mostly strong flavors and techniques of the focused offerings shine bright. EAT: Todo, 1935 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-208-3948, todotaco.com. 5-9 pm Sunday-Monday, 5-10 pm Tuesday-Saturday.
8537 N Lombard St., 503-384-2076, rockabillycafe.com. 8 am-8 pm Wednesday-Thursday and Sunday. 8 am-9 pm Friday-Saturday. About a month after opening last winter, Rockabilly added alcohol-soaked shakes to its menu, as if it knew we’d need another painkiller as the year wore on. Right now, you should be drinking the White Ukrainian, and not just because it’s trendy to protest the Russian invasion by boycotting the country’s exports along with its name. The shake’s soothing rum-and-coffee flavor is like slipping into that first light sweater of the season as we transition into fall.
2. TOPWIRE HOP PROJECT
8668 Crosby Road NE, Woodburn, 503-765-1645, topwirehp.com. 11 am-8 pm Thursday and Sunday, 11 am-9 pm Friday-Saturday. Hop harvest is officially underway, which means you need to head to Crosby Hop Farm soon if you want to take in the view of 18-foot bines. Those emerald curtains are quickly coming down—the cutting, separating and kilning is a fascinating process on its own to watch—and the aeromatic green cones will soon end up in beers all over the Northwest, including those pouring at the farm’s beer garden.
3. THE SUNSET ROOM
100 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., kexhotels.com/eatdrink/thesunsetroom. 4-10 pm Friday-Sunday. The rooftop oasis that once held Kex’s Lady of the Mountain has a new occupant. Renowned bartenders Jeffrey Morgenthaler and Benjamin “Banjo” Amberg opened the Sunset Room in late July after launching the hotel lobby’s watering hole Pacific Standard. The top-floor perch has a menu that’s more whimsical and experimental, which goes well with views of the riot of color that is the neighboring Fair-Haired Dumbbell.
4. OLD PAL
3350 SE Morrison St., 503-477-9663, oldpalpdx.com. 4-10 pm Sunday-Monday and Thursday; 4-11 pm Friday-Saturday. The new Sunnyside neighborhood restaurant Old Pal wants to become your regular drinking buddy. You’ll currently find a lineup of eight cocktails, including its eponymous drink made with rye, Campari, and Dolin Dry vermouth, as well as beer, wine and zero-proof drinks. Pair your beverage with the flavors of late summer, like an heirloom tomato gazpacho.
5. RALLY PIZZA
8070 E Mill Plain Blvd., Vancouver, Wash., 360-524-9000, rallypizza.com. 3-8 pm Monday-Thursday, noon-8 pm Friday-Sunday. Rally Pizza serves some of Southwest Washington’s best Neapolitan-style pies, hand-stretched pasta and frozen custard milkshakes, like the piña colada. The use of fresh-squeezed, sweet-tart pineapple juice makes all the difference. The custard floats across the tongue as smoothly as a whipped cloud of meringue, while flavors of the tropics, from coconut cream to molasses rum, slowly dissolve like a sunset.
Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 7, 2022 wweek.com
Dispensary Spotlight Portland is saturated with pot shops. Here are three committed to community with unique themes ranging from hip-hop to houseplants. COURTESY OF SOMEWHERE
BY B R I A N N A W H E E L E R
There are around 350 dispensaries in Portland. In fact, if you live in the city proper, there’s probably one in your immediate neighborhood. Walking distance even. And though the retail price of weed is holding steady at around five bucks a gram, the atmosphere of these storefronts can, to say the least, vary. Many of us want to support the shops in our own neighborhoods, which is understandable. But there are dispensaries all over town that offer much more than glass accessory shelves and branded hoodies that make them worth the trip. In fact, some stores—aside from satisfied employees and welcoming energies—are actively working to influence contemporary cannabis culture. So the next time you are up for a change of pace, happen to be exploring a different neighborhood, or embark on an epic strain hunt, check out one of these dispensaries currently on our radar:
Somewhere COURTESY OF GREEN MUSE
2128 NW Overton St., 503-384-2466, somewherepdx.com. 10 am-8 pm daily. Somewhere is a whimsically named dispensary and nursery featuring a curated menu of cannabis products as well as a collection of lush houseplants for sale. The airy storefront is reminiscent of a small art gallery or pop-up artisan gift shop, which makes it all the more fun to peruse the shelves. Rather than lining the walls with bud jars, edibles, dabs and doodads behind the counter, products are thoughtfully spaced throughout the store, so customers can read labels, investigate packaging and compare items. A menu describes the handful of flowers the store offers, with the most attractive buds displayed under glass. But what really makes Somewhere worth the visit are the shelves and shelves of baby houseplants. Dozens of philodendron varieties and pothos plants are on display along with palms, ferns and small containers of young aloe, and an adolescent ficus greets customers from the center of the room. For the pothead who could spend equally inordinate amounts of time in the Lowe’s garden center and the neighborhood pot shop, Somewhere is definitely somewhere to check out. COURTESY OF GREEN GREEN GODDESS REMEDIES
Green Muse 5515 NE 16th Ave., 971-420-4917, gogreenmuse.com. Noon-7 pm daily. Green Muse (formerly Green Hop) is the city’s first, and only, hip-hop dispensary. Housed in the historically Black Vernon neighborhood, Green Muse has deep community roots, as evidenced by its tribute to now-closed One Stop Music—one of the only Black-owned record stores in Portland. Classic albums line the shelves alongside top-shelf strains, vintage cassette cases are displayed like objets d’art, and mixtapes are stacked beside books documenting the history of hip-hop. If you’re drawn to the music of politically charged, community-centric hip-hop artists like Brand Nubian and KRS-One, you’ll feel right at home here. Founders Karanja Crews and Nicole Kennedy see the criminalization of both rap music and cannabis as fruit from the same rotten, racist tree, and their primary goal is to rejuvenate the community’s connection to both, while scrubbing the neighborhood of any leftover stigma. If both cannabis and hip-hop are among the loves of your life, Green Muse awaits your patronage, and the soundtrack is dope AF.
Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 7, 2022 wweek.com
Green Goddess Remedies 5435 SW Taylors Ferry Road, 503-764-9000, greengoddesspdx.com. 10 am-8 pm Monday-Saturday, 10 am-7 pm Sunday. On an otherwise residential strip of Taylors Ferry, Green Goddess Remedies offers a comfortably familiar dispensary shopping experience. Owned by Sally Bishop, the shop is a respite for the Ashcreek neighborhood and an example of a small-business success story. Rather than stretch profits by opening multiple locations, Bishop doubled down on serving her own community by investing in the store, becoming a beloved fixture rather than a disconnected proprietor. The result is a homey shop with evident values and seemingly satisfied employees. Even if you don’t personally prioritize community connection over financial gain, it’s hard not to rally behind the leaders who do. Green Goddess Remedies and owner Bishop are great examples, so let’s go buy some of their weed, yeah?
Editor: Bennett Campbell Ferguson | Contact: email@example.com
COURTESY OF SPOON
Hot Seat: Britt Daniel The Spoon frontman discusses his favorite Portland things, including Kenny & Zuke’s and Old Portland “deviancy.” BY J A S O N C O H E N
WW: How long did you actually live in Portland?
Portland, once I was in a touring band, we would come through all the time. It felt a little Old World to me compared to Texas. It felt like there was a lot of deviancy in Portland. A lot of kids doing music because there’s nothing to do. I always thought of [Daniel Clowes’ graphic novel] Like a Velvet Glove in Cast Iron—that sort of world. It was just a little sideways and run down and creepy and cool.
So when you come back now and have free time, what are the things you have to do, or food you have to eat? I really got a thing for the pastrami hash at Kenny & Zuke’s deli. ¿Por Qué No? still holds its own. And there’s a lot of bars where I can still remind myself of old times. I went to Electric Castle last time I was there. Still love that place.
Do you remember anything about your first show in Portland? First place I played was Berbati’s Pan. We were on tour with Guided By Voices. So the very first place that I stepped foot in Portland was that little alley between Valentine’s and what was then Berbati’s. I got a good impression of the creepiness of Portland right from the top.
Another Portland Spoon connection not everybody knows about is that former Sleater-Kinner drummer Janet Weiss has sometimes played a behind-thescenes role. Janet has a lot of skills, and one of the ones that people may not know about is she’s really good at sequencing things and sort of
WHAT TO SEE AND WHAT TO HEAR BY DA N I E L B R O M F I E L D @ b r o m f 3
FRIDAY, SEPT. 9:
FRIDAY, SEPT. 9:
“I GOT A GOOD IMPRESSION OF THE CREEPINESS OF PORTLAND RIGHT FROM THE TOP.”
Britt Daniel: From 2005 to 2011. I fantasize about moving back sometimes. I do love and miss Portland.
What did you love about it?
Alice Glass is one of the most dynamic and unpredictable performers in the past decade of rock, and she’s only just starting to unleash her full powers, working with producer Jupiter Keyes on this year’s gory, visceral full-length debut Prey// IV. Along for the ride on her tour this year is French pop singer Uffie, who emerged from the 2000s MySpace crucible to become one of the most artful and interesting representatives of that decade’s electro-party-trash moment (think a steely, European version of Ke$ha). Star Theater, 8 NW 6th Ave. 8 pm. $20. 21+.
Are you ready for some aughts nostalgia? Spoon is definitely not. Sure, the Austin band just released a 20th anniversary vinyl edition of their 2002 album Kill the Moonlight, and their “Lights, Camera, Factions” tour with Interpol also commemorates the 20th anniversary of the latter group’s debut, Turn Off the Bright Lights. Yet both Matador Records artists also released new albums in 2022, and Spoon’s Lucifer on the Sofa might be—in the context of the band’s stellar catalog—as good a 10th record as any artist has released. While Spoon frontman Britt Daniel is a native Texan and longtime Austinite, he actually lived in Portland circa 2007’s Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga and 2010’s Transference—a golden era for musical transplants to the city, if you recall former WW staffer Taylor Clark’s 2007 “indie rock Mecca” article for Slate (which also featured James Mercer, Isaac Brock, Stephen Malkmus, Sleater-Kinney and Chris Walla). The “Lights, Camera, Factions” tour hits PDX Live at Pioneer Courthouse Square on Sept. 17 and 18, with Spoon headlining the first night and Interpol the second (Brooklyn band Water From Your Eyes opens both nights). WW spoke to Daniel about his career and his favorite Portland things before the tour began.
establishing a vibe. I don’t know if it happened all the time, but I know that when she played with Stephen Malkmus she would do the setlist, so I let her do the setlist for Spoon a couple times. And then we started getting into this thing where she would help me with the order of songs on our actual albums. She has a real rock historian’s perspective on how that all comes together.
You’ve talked about how Spoon’s last album, Hot Thoughts, kind of revealed itself in new ways once you started playing the songs live. Any particular songs from the new one that feel differently now that you’ve been on the road for a while?
Osees is assured a place in music history for defining the sound of garage rock in the 2010s. But the long-running, ever-changing Bay Area group is hardly content to rest on their laurels, and for their new album, A Foul Form, their wiry, squawkvoiced bandleader John Dwyer pays tribute to the hardcore punk bands that first inspired him as a young musician. At just 22 minutes, it’s one of the band’s leanest, most blistering albums, and it’d be uncharacteristic if there were such a thing as a characteristic Osees record. Roseland Theater, 8 NW 6th Ave. 9 pm. $30. All ages.
WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 14:
Well, I guess the song “Lucifer on the Sofa” really kind of revealed itself. That’s a song I didn’t think we would be able to necessarily play, because the horns are such a big part of it on the album. But we do a sort of stripped-back, rock band version that feels like a different beast than the version on the album. It was our favorite song to play from the record for a while there.
It’s a song that really takes you back into the rawness of lockdown, so being able to play it live—to get up off the sofa, as it were—must feel really different. Yeah. That one very much was a song of its moment. It was written in April 2020, and it’s all about that moment. I can still feel a bit of that moment as I sing those words, but we’ve moved a little past it. SEE IT: Spoon and Interpol with Water From Your Eyes play at Pioneer Courthouse Square, 701 SW 6th Ave., 800-5143849, pdx-live.com. 6 pm Saturday-Sunday, Sept. 17-18. $55. All ages.
Cartoons are liberating because when you’re freed from the constraints of reality, anything can happen. If that’s the case, Gorillaz is a cartoon band both on and off the page; though its members are literally animated, its driving force is singer-producer Damon Albarn’s anarchic disregard for stylistic consistency, even within the same song. They’re one of the last groups running with the promise of Y2K-era, post-modern pop, in which old is new, genre is over, and Snoop can mutter over orchestras. Moda Center, 1 N Center Court St. 7:30 pm. $65. All ages.
Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 7, 2022 wweek.com
Editor: Bennett Campbell Ferguson | Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
NEW MOVE MEDIA
SUIT UP: Jay Flewelling and Lucy Paschall.
KEPT Plugging Price Robideaux and Lucy Paschall discuss the making of their sitcom KEPT News. BY J AY H O R TO N
Writer-director Price Robideaux already knew actress Lucy Paschall (Grimm, The Librarians) and musician Jesse Bettis (New Move, Oh Captain My Captain) from their regular patronage of his bartending shifts at Southeast Division bar Double Barrel. Nevertheless, the co-creators of buzzy local sitcom KEPT News had never worked together until mid-COVID doldrums found all three on the Olympia, Wash.-area set of an unnamed and still unreleased horror flick. “One of those indies born over a drink that never leaves the editing room,” laughs Robideaux. “It wasn’t our film. We just kinda bonded on set. I feel like a kinship grew from realizing, ‘Oh, crap, this is doomed—maybe we should start making stuff together.’” That initial spark of shared whimsy slowly evolved into a fully realized ensemble comedy series boasting a cavalcade of local talents—improv star Jay Flewelling, Loch Lomond frontman Ritchie Young, theater vet Andrea White, sketch comic and podcaster Andrew Harris—as distinct characters interwoven beneath Strangers With Candy-coated absurdity. While tweaking edits of their first season’s finale en route toward their debut public screening Monday, Sept. 12, at the Clinton Street Theater, Paschall and Robideaux talked with WW about the series’ roots, future plans, and the lure of networking.
WW: How’d this all come about?
Lucy Paschall: Two, three years ago, I was chatting around the craft services table about this crazy woman from YouTube. Wouldn’t it be funny if somebody was such a narcissist that she’d insert herself into every story, no matter how degrading, just for a bit of limelight? She’d hear someone talking at a party and be, like, “That German guy in your story was actually a woman, and that woman was me.” 34
Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 7, 2022 wweek.com
We all started riffing on sketches for the character—Deborah S’malls. Who is this person? Why is she here? What’s her game? How’d she get so fucking insane? Price Robideaux: We were working out how Deborah made sense, building this world around her as a newscaster at an old, dying network and then putting that character into a workplace comedy where she could shine. Paschall: It ended up more of an ensemble piece. Five-minute episodes stretched to 20. Some of the best creative people in town offered support. Storylines developed. The characters were bouncing off of each other. These amazing people who really believed in the project got involved, and it just kept growing and growing and growing. Robideaux: To be honest, the first couple were just kind of an experiment, but once the editing began, we saw the opportunities expanding. It was a journey from making something goofy with friends to realizing we had something here.
Council] grant for some financial help with filming, but now that the final episode’s in editing, we plan to make a really solid pilot that we can then shop to networks.
Are local news networks like KEPT still around?
Paschall: Oh, yeah, without a doubt. If a major network doesn’t pick up the pilot, we’ll just go on with Season 2. Everyone involved is already so committed, and we have so many ideas. It’s taken on a life of its own—like a snowball that just keeps growing. We’ve only made six episodes, and each one is so much bigger and more adventurous than the one before. Honestly, I don’t really care what people think. I know this is good. I’m really proud of what my friends and collaborators have all done together, and the work feels so fulfilling. I hope that other people like it too, but if they don’t, I won’t ever feel like I’ve failed.
Paschall: We definitely know these kind of weird little shows exist because we’re aired on cable access TV. Robideaux: We shoot at a community studio, Open Signal, that airs small things like this—religious shows, storytime shows where a teacher reads to kids. And then we come in with a fake news satire where everybody’s insane. Even though we’re making fun of what they do, they have been very supportive. Paschall: We had no budget at all, but lots of local bars let us film location stuff. We’ve been through the car wash a million times. There were sponsorships from local companies like Laughing Planet, Black Seed Burger Cult, the Burnside Olé Olé. Even with no money, we made sure everyone at least got fed.
What’s the next step?
Paschall: We actually won a $3,000 [Regional Arts & Culture
Do you think that would change the show?
Robideaux: In a general sense, our format is pretty traditional. It’s a workplace comedy, but I feel our environment just allows so much local talent to come in and out of this revolving door of characters. Whether that would transfer into a network project, I guess we’ll find out. Paschall: We never make a big thing about where the show’s set—it just happens to be Portland—but what’s important to us is that the actors and crew are all local. It’s become a very big community thing. We just want to get enough money so that all the actors and crew who’ve stuck with us over the last year will finally get paid.
Should the networks pass, could you imagine continuing along in the same way?
SEE IT: KEPT News screens at the Clinton Street Theater, 2522 SE Clinton St., 971-808-3331, cstpdx.com. 8 pm Monday, Sept. 12. Free, $7 suggested donation.
Editor: Bennett Campbell Ferguson Contact: email@example.com
STREAMING WARS YOUR WEEKLY FILM QUEUE BY B E N N E T T C A M P B E L L F E R G U S O N @ t h o b e n n e t t
FRANCOIS DUHAMEL / ANNAPURNA PICTURES
INDIE PICK 1:
Cinema of Choice Documentarian Jan Haaken takes audiences to the front lines of women’s health in Our Bodies, Our Doctors. BY C H A N C E S O L E M - P F E I F E R
@chance_ s _ p
SEE IT: Our Bodies, Our Doctors screens at the Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd., 503-4931128, hollywoodtheatre.org. 2 pm Saturday, Sept. 10. $8-$10.
HOLLYWOOD PICK 1:
Selena Gomez is reportedly in talks to produce a remake of Mike Nichols’ Working Girl, but it’s hard to imagine her topping the 1988 original, which starred Melanie Griffith as a secretary masquerading as a stockbroker and Harrison Ford as her unwitting (and enraptured) accomplice. Their chemistry and charisma are so delicious that, improbably, they make mergers and acquisitions seem sexy. Hulu.
HOLLYWOOD PICK 2:
8 Mile may be Eminem’s braggadocious fantasy of hypermasculine artistic dominance, but it’s hard not to be seduced by its swagger (especially during the climactic “You went to Cranbrook, that’s a private school!” rap battle). Still, you have to wonder if the Eminem who took a knee at this year’s Super Bowl halftime show would have made the film. Directed by the brilliant Curtis Hanson (L.A. Confidential, Wonder Boys), who died in 2016. Netflix.
When Our Bodies, Our Doctors screens at the Hollywood Theatre on Sept. 10, it’ll play in a different landscape for reproductive rights than the one in which it was filmed four years ago. After the U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade last June, some of the very clinics highlighted in the documentary by Portland filmmaker Jan Haaken (specifically those in Oklahoma) were banned by state law from providing abortions. Now, Haaken says, there’s increased urgency for clinics in pro-choice states to handle the influx of patients arriving from elsewhere. She describes Oregon and Washington women’s health clinics as currently “swamped”—part of why the Sept. 10 screening is a benefit for the Lilith Clinic, which opened last year in downtown Portland. “The cruelty and animating obsessions of the hardcore anti-abortion movement are being exposed now,” says Haaken, who’s also recently directed the documentary series Necessity (about climate protests) and has another film underway (about small modular nuclear reactors). Context aside, Our Bodies, Our Doctors doesn’t set out to paint in broad strokes the national state of abortion rights. Rather, with a clear, grounded focus on providers, the film lays bare the procedure in clinical settings from Seattle to Wichita. Haaken’s camera is most often found looking over a patient’s shoulder, attempting to destigmatize by capturing the steps, standards and bedside manner of abortion care. “I wanted to push against a narrative from the era of the back-alley abortions—that these are grotesque and messy events [done] by smarmy characters,” Haaken says. “These procedures are not that different from any time you go in for a procedure. These are people trained to follow a set of medical guidelines.” Nearly a dozen women consented to have their abortions shown in Haaken’s film, something she found “surprising and moving.” The director herself, though, is no stranger to the front lines of women’s health. A clinical psychologist and Portland State University professor emeritus, she began her career as a nurse in Seattle and also worked at the Feminist Women’s Health Center in Los Angeles. Given that experience, Haaken sought to explore the patient-provider nuances she says even the pro-choice
movement is sometimes wary of discussing, for fear of offering any new fuel to anti-choice activists. The film repeatedly normalizes, for example, the painful but temporary cramping that can occur in the aftermath of a procedure. “The uterus is the strongest involuntary muscle in the body,” Dr. Deb Oyer tells one of her patients in the film. “While it’s not comfortable, it actually means your uterus is doing exactly what we want it to be doing.” Likewise, Haaken says, some patients obviously experience emotional distress around the decision to terminate a pregnancy, but she rejects “the notion that sadness is the same as trauma” and emphasizes that patient experiences and clinic methodology are not “monochromatic.” Moreover, in a post-Roe world—where access to abortion has already been banned at or before six weeks in 14 states—Haaken sees shades of hope in the medical community itself. She says policies requiring obstetrics and gynecology students to receive abortion training (unless they opt out) demonstrate the unprecedented influence of women and feminists within academic institutions. “That represented a sea change in mainstream medicine,” she says. “It’s very different than when I was young as a nurse and doctors ruled. There was a kind of kingly authority that the position had.” On Sept. 10, Haaken will be joined in a post-screening Q&A by abortion rights activist Sierra Romesburg, obstetrician-gynecologist Andrea Chiavarini, and Judith Arcana, a Portland writer and activist who appears in Our Bodies to discuss her years in “The Service,” an underground network of abortion services in the 1960s and ’70s. Comparing those pre-Roe years to 2022 and beyond, Haaken doesn’t see a one-to-one match but emphasizes history’s potential utility. “We’ve made a lot of gains since that period,” Haaken says. “Women are in the medical profession in dominant roles, which was not the case then. There is widespread support for the rights of women, which was not the case then. But ‘The Service’ is important in terms of creativity, coordination, minimizing risks and being thoughtful. Some of those lessons are very relevant to the period ahead.”
Olivia Wilde may have lied about firing Shia LaBeouf from Don’t Worry Darling, but that doesn’t excuse the misogynistic online attacks against her (especially since LaBeouf may be using the controversy to distract from his upcoming trial for allegedly assaulting FKA Twigs). If you want to shut out the cacophonous social media discourse, watch Booksmart (2019), Wilde’s acclaimed comedy about two teens (Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever) chasing the myth of the perfect party. Hulu.
Yes, it was painful to watch Quentin Tarantino embarrass himself by mocking François Truffaut last week. But why brood over that sorry affair when you can revisit a Truffaut classic? The 400 Blows (1959) is a testament to the French New Wave icon’s artistry, ingenuity and humanity—a film directed by a grown-up who clearly never forgot the brutality of childhood. HBO Max.
Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 7, 2022 wweek.com
G ET YO U R R E P S I N ORION PICTURES
The Silence of the Lambs (1991)
Jonathan Demme’s twisted crime-horror classic historically swept all five major categories at the Oscars, and for good reason. The infamous cat-and-mouse game between Dr. Hannibal Lecter (Anthony Hopkins) and FBI trainee Clarice Starling (Jodie Foster) is oft-parodied, but the film’s perfect dual lead performances and creeping sense of dread can never be successfully replicated. Academy, Sept. 7-8.
Blue Velvet (1986)
A new 4K restoration of David Lynch’s atmospheric neonoir! A college student (Portland’s own mayor, Kyle MacLachlan, at least on Portlandia) finds himself enmeshed in a conspiracy after he stumbles upon a severed human ear. Featuring Isabella Rossellini as a troubled lounge singer and Laura Dern as the girl next door. Hollywood, Sept. 9-15.
High Art (1998)
Twenty-four-year-old magazine intern Sydney (Radha Mitchell) has her world turned upside down when she begins a sizzling affair with Lucy, a renowned 40-yearold photographer (Ally Sheedy) with a penchant for heroin in Lisa Cholodenko’s groundbreaking romance. Screens as part of the Hollywood’s “Thank God It’s Queer” series. Hollywood, Sept. 9.
In this Stephen King adaptation, a romance novelist (the late James Caan) crashes his car in a blizzard and finds himself bedridden in a remote cottage under the care of Annie Wilkes (an Oscar-winning Kathy Bates), a fanatic who forces him to write his stories exactly the way she so desires. Screens in 35 mm in honor of King’s 75th birthday (to add to the celebration, a rare first edition of the book will be raffled off). Hollywood, Sept. 10.
Dead Poets Society (1989)
“O Captain! My Captain!” Robin Williams headlines this English class staple as an unconventional poetry teacher who inspires his students (Ethan Hawke, Robert Sean Leonard) at a conservative all-male boarding school in 1950s Vermont. Programmed and introduced by Grant High Movie Club students. Hollywood, Sept. 12. ALSO PLAYING: Academy: Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), Sept. 7-8. National Lampoon’s Animal House (1978), Sept. 9-15. Clinton: Godzilla (1954), Sept. 9. Hollywood: Filmworker (2017), Sept. 8. Get Crazy (1983), Sept. 11. The Running Man (1987), Sept. 11. Shaolin Invincibles (1977), Sept. 13.
LOVING HIGHSMITH Patricia Highsmith may have invented Tom Ripley and Strangers on a Train, but she opens this documentary espousing no love for mysteries. Fitting, maybe. Portrayed here, hers was a lifetime of intermittent hope (see: Carol) and overriding tragedy (see: everything else), as she lived out the loneliness, globe-trotting and crippling sexual repression so often found in her novels. With Gwendoline Christie (Brienne of Tarth in Game of Thrones) narrating Highsmith’s diary pages and romantic letters in a voice like dry vermouth, we’re immersed in the author’s unrequited longing, most of all for her cruel mother’s affection (and for one great love whose identity remains a secret). Director Eva Vitija clearly devoted tremendous effort to interviewing and researching Highsmith’s romantic partners, but she lacks the footage necessary to provide narrative fuel. The film inexplicably overemphasizes Highsmith’s alienation using Texas rodeo B-roll, and Vitija’s sudden yet sparse first-person narration comes off as a last-ditch device to move us through the author’s biography. An interview with a Highsmith scholar or two could have added artistic insight without sacrificing intimacy, but instead Loving Highsmith paints itself into a melancholy corner. It fails to understand that while Highsmith’s life was sad, it was full. NR. CHANCE SOLEM-PFEIFER. Living Room.
GIGI & NATE
While director Nick Hamm deserves credit for making a movie about the issues surrounding the use of service animals, Gigi & Nate is both worthy of celebration and thoroughly unmemorable. Based on a true story (but boasting several differences from real-life events), the film stars Charlie Rowe as Nate Gibson, a teenage boy who becomes stricken with meningitis after a cliff dive during a Fourth of July getaway. Nate’s condition ultimately results in paralysis, but he finds hope in his companionship with Gigi, a loving capuchin monkey. Unfortunately, the film avoids showing many of the challenges that Nate faces during his rehabilitation and leaves too much of his emotional bonding with Gigi to montage (Hamm focuses much of his attention on the melodrama surrounding a potential law to ban capuchin monkeys as service animals). Aside from some mild cursing, Gigi & Nate is essentially a family movie that makes compelling points but isn’t a compelling watch. PG-13. RAY GILL JR. Bridgeport, Cedar Hills, Clackamas, Eastport Plaza, Evergreen Parkway, Hilltop, Lloyd Center.
: THIS MOVIE IS EXCELLENT, ONE OF THE BEST OF THE YEAR. : THIS MOVIE IS GOOD. WE RECOMMEND YOU WATCH IT. : THIS MOVIE IS ENTERTAINING BUT FLAWED. : THIS MOVIE IS A STEAMING PILE. 36
Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 7, 2022 wweek.com
If movies were only their premises, Saloum could be one of 2022’s finest. When their escape plane starts leaking fuel, a trio of legendary West African mercenaries transporting a Mexican drug lord must pretend to be gold miners while waylaid in a Senegalese village with a haunting secret (sold?).
On top of that, director Jean Luc Herbulot shoots the Saloum river delta with spaghetti Western pomp and breadth, while doing a low-budget Tarantino riff as antihero Chaka (Yann Gael) waxes poetic about post-colonialism over a tense, potentially cover-blowing dinner. But just as Herbulot’s powder keg of a narrative threatens to blow, an unwelcome hesitation creeps in. Action scenes are cheated around at the last possible moments—and a combination of hand-held camerawork, rapid cutting and hazy, colorless CG robs the audience of the cathartic violence and physicality you’d expect from a horror-revenge thriller-black hat Western amalgam. Genuine potential, though, is a rare thing. Saloum could’ve been this year’s Bacurau. For now, it’s best viewed as a glint of first-act promise (and a glimpse of what Herbulot could make with a few more million dollars and a VFX assist). NR. CHANCE SOLEM-PFEIFER. Streams beginning Sept. 8 on Shudder.
PETER VON KANT
Given that Rainer Werner Fassbinder’s The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant is a signature work of ’70s European cinema, a remake isn’t a ridiculous idea. But the original certainly deserves a more illuminating interpretation than the one offered here by director François Ozon, who also adapted the Fassbinder play Water Drops on Burning Rocks. Whereas Petra embeds with a fashion designer cooped up in her apartment, chronicling her affairs with colleagues and mus-
es, Peter von Kant gender-flips the lovesickness, centering a male film director in 1972 Cologne and the young man he molds into a star. Ozon (Swimming Pool) clearly relishes Peter’s homebound hedonism: His apartment has deep scarlet walls, a thousand gin-and-tonics, and robes for all seasons. Yet his film adds precious little to Fassbinder’s, constricting its emotions and meanings with literalism. Casting Fassbinder lookalike Denis Ménochet (Inglourious Basterds) as the titular film director, Peter loudly implies autobiography, even adding an ingénue (Amir Ben Salem, played by Khalil Ben Gharbia) obviously named for real-life Fassbinder lover and actor El Hedi ben Salem. What’s more, Ozon’s almost madcap storytelling (a sharp contrast with Petra’s languid ambiguity) creates a knowing soapiness that offers a few argumentative fireworks, but no reason for the audience to engage with the film’s characters or question their preordained fates. NR. CHANCE SOLEM-PFEIFER. Cinema 21.
TRUE SCENES FROM THE STREETS! @sketchypeoplepdx
by Jack Kent
Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 7, 2022 wweek.com
B Y M AT T J O N E S
"I'm Gonna Have Some Words"--themeless time again!
ASTROLOGY WEEK OF SEPTEMBER 15 © 2022 ROB BREZSNY
ARIES (March 21-April 19): My reader Monica Bal-
lard has this advice for you Aries folks: "If you don’t vividly ask for and eagerly welcome the gifts the Universe has in store for you, you may have to settle for trinkets and baubles. So never settle." That's always useful counsel for you Rams. And in the coming weeks, you will be wise to heed it with extra intensity. Here's a good metaphor to spur you on: Don't fill up on junk snacks or glitzy hors d'oeuvres. Instead, hold out for gourmet feasts featuring healthy, delectable entrées.
(April 20-May 20): I will remind you about a potential superpower that is your birthright to develop: You can help people to act in service to the deepest truths and strongest love. You can even teach them how to do it. Have you been ripening this talent in 2022? Have you been bringing it more to the forefront of your relationships? I hope so. The coming months will stir you to go further than ever before in expressing this gift. For best results, take a vow to nurture the deepest truths and strongest love in all your thoughts and dealings with others.
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Your mind is sometimes
"Aww Animals" and "Pets Awesome"
32. PNW-based coffee chain, on the NYSE
62. "Meh" gesture
33. Orangey tuber
63. _ _ _ Reader (eclectic magazine)
34. "House of the Dragon" network
64. "No injury"
36. "Scram," in westerns
37. Glacial features
66. Snippy comeback
38. Least lavish
16. "Pass Out" rapper _ _ _ Tempah
67. 2022 award for Shohei Ohtani
17. Stewed meat dish with a French name
39. "_ _ _ Sol" (Ron Carter song that's a poor translation of "The Night Sun")
1. Mr. Burns's teddy bear on "The Simpsons" 5. Like some chocolate 9. Bogus customer 14. Frondy growth 15. Fisher of "The Great Gatsby"
19. Getting grayer 20. Handheld flame starter 22. Braces (oneself)
1. Very close pal 2. "_ _ _ the ramparts we watched ..."
40. Correct a game outcome, perhaps 42. "So, apparently ..."
3. Illegal payment scheme
43. Snooze for a bit
4. As scheduled
44. Some TV drama settings
5. Fiasco 6. Part of NBA or NEA, e.g.
46. Prefix with friendly or tourism
7. "Full Metal Jacket" actor _ _ _ Ermey
47. Political activist Garvey 50. Downloaded clips, often
31. Agrees, casually
8. Kato of O.J. Simpson trial fame
52. Deck total for Caesar?
34. Serf of old Sparta
9. Play place
35. "Stayin' Alive" singer
38. Antidote source
11. Sign with letters?
41. Alkaloid in tomatoes
12. Limerick segment that usually starts with "Who"
24. Seething state 25. Suffix with Wisconsin 26. Broadcast 27. Main Street locales 30. Butler who voiced many Hanna-Barbera characters
45. Suffix with mega- or multi46. Expressive action in Fortnite 48. Blacktop material 49. Reply to a ques. 50. Late Beastie Boys member 51. Necklace parts 54. Northeastern U.S. locale known as an art colony 58. Quebec school 59. Typical offerings from compilation channels like
13. Part of some upscale theater seats 18. 2006 movie set in Georgia
53. Bill's "Groundhog Day" costar 55. Vergara's "AGT" seatmate 56. "So long!" 57. Chain components, for short 60. "And I _ _ _" (Jasmine Masters meme) 61. Planetarium view
21. 1040 issuers 22. Airline based near Stockholm 23. Carrere of 2022's "Easter Sunday" 28. Trireme propeller 29. "As a matter of fact, you're wrong" 30. Target of a 2022 government relief plan
©2022 Jonesin’ Crosswords (firstname.lastname@example.org) For answers to this puzzle, call: 1-900-226-2800, 99 cents per minute. Must be 18+. Or to bill to your credit card, call: 1-800-655-6548. Reference puzzle #JNZ990.
last week’s answers
a lush and beautiful maze that you get lost in. Is that a problem? Now and then it is, yes. But just as often, it's an entertaining blessing. As you wander around amidst the lavish finery, not quite sure of where you are or where you're going, you often make discoveries that rouse your half-dormant potentials. You luckily stumble into unforeseen insights you didn't realize you needed to know. I believe the description I just articulated fits your current ramble through the amazing maze. My advice: Don't be in a mad rush to escape. Allow this dizzying but dazzling expedition to offer you all its rich teachings.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): "Poetry is a life-cher-
ishing force," said Pulitzer Prize-winner Mary Oliver, who published 33 volumes of poetry and read hundreds of other poets. Her statement isn’t true for everyone, of course. To reach the point where reading poetry provides our souls with nourishment, we may have to work hard to learn how to appreciate it. Some of us don’t have the leisure or temperament to do so. In any case, Cancerian, what are your life-cherishing forces? What influences inspire you to know and feel all that's most precious about your time on earth? Now would be an excellent time to ruminate on those treasures—and take steps to nurture them with tender ingenuity.
(July 23-Aug. 22): Please promise me you will respect and revere your glorious star power in the coming weeks. I feel it’s important, both to you and those whose lives you touch, that you exalt and exult in your access to your magnificence. For everyone’s benefit, you should play freely with the art of being majestic and regal and sovereign. To do this right, you must refrain from indulging in trivial wishes, passing fancies, and minor attractions. You must give yourself to what's stellar. You must serve your holiest longings, your riveting dreams, and your thrilling hopes.
(Aug. 23-Sept. 22): It's impossible to be perfect. It's neither healthy nor productive to obsess on perfectionism. You know these things. You understand you can't afford to get bogged down in overthinking and overreaching and overpolishing. And when you are at your best, you sublimate such manic urges. You transform them into the elegant intention to clarify and refine and refresh. With grace and care, you express useful beauty instead of aiming for hyper-immaculate precision. I believe that in the coming weeks, dear Virgo, you will be a master of these services—skilled at performing them for yourself and others.
(Sept. 23-Oct. 22): According to Libran poet T. S. Eliot, "What we call the beginning is often the end. And to make an end is to make a beginning. The end is where we start from." Those are
Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 7, 2022 wweek.com
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Now and then, you slip
into phases when you're poised on the brink of either self-damage or self-discovery. You wobble and lurch on the borderline where self-undoing vies with self-creation. Whenever this situation arises, here are key questions to ask yourself: Is there a strategy you can implement to ensure that you glide into self-discovery and selfcreation? Is there a homing thought that will lure you away from the perverse temptations of self-damage and self-undoing? The answers to these queries are always yes—*if* you regard love as your top priority and *if* you serve the cause of love over every other consideration.
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): "Sometimes
serendipity is just intention unmasked," said Sagittarian author Elizabeth Berg. I suspect her theory will be true for you in the coming weeks. You have done an adroit job of formulating your intentions and collecting the information you need to carry out your intentions. What may be best now is to relax your focus as you make room for life to respond to your diligent preparations. "I'm a great believer in luck," said my Uncle Ned. "I've found that the harder I work, the more luck I have." He was correct, but it's also true that luck sometimes surges your way when you've taken a break from your hard work.
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Tips to get the most
out of the next six weeks: 1. Be the cautiously optimistic voice of reason. Be the methodical motivator who prods and inspires. Organize as you uplift. Encourage others as you build efficiency. 2. Don't take other people's apparent stupidity or rudeness as personal affronts. Try to understand how the suffering they have endured may have led to their behavior. 3. Be your own father. Guide yourself as a wise and benevolent male elder would. 4. Seek new ways to experience euphoria and enchantment, with an emphasis on what pleasures will also make you healthier.
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): Aquarian author
Richard Ford has advice for writers: "Find what causes a commotion in your heart. Find a way to write about that." I will amend his counsel to apply to all of you non-writers, as well. By my reckoning, the coming weeks will be prime time to be gleefully honest as you identify what causes commotions in your heart. Why should you do that? Because it will lead you to the good decisions you need to make in the coming months. As you attend to this holy homework, I suggest you direct the following invitation to the universe: "Beguile me, mystify me, delight me, fascinate me, and rouse me to feel deep, delicious feelings."
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): “I am lonely, yet not
everybody will do," observed Piscean author Anaïs Nin. "Some people fill the gaps, and others emphasize my loneliness,” she concluded. According to my reading of the astrological omens, Pisces, it's your task right now to identify which people intensify your loneliness and which really do fill the gaps. And then devote yourself with extra care to cultivating your connections with the gap-fillers. Loneliness is sometimes a good thing—a state that helps you renew and deepen your communion with your deep self. But I don’t belief that’s your assignment these days. Instead, you'll be wise to experience intimacy that enriches your sense of feeling at home in the world. You'll thrive by consorting with allies who sweeten your love of life.
Homework: I invite you to send a blessing to someone you regard as challenging to bless. Testify: Newsletter.FreeWillAstrology.com
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your guiding thoughts for the coming days, Libra. You're almost ready to start fresh; you're on the verge of being able to start planning your launch date or grand opening. Now all you have to do is create a big crisp emptiness where the next phase will have plenty of room to germinate. The best way to do that is to finish the old process as completely as possible.
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Willamette Week SEPTEMBER 7, 2022 wweek.com
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