Mr. Park’s Mr. Park’s NEIGHBORHOOD NEIGHBORHOOD WE FOUND THE HIDDEN GEMS OF 7 UNSUNG PORTLAND DISTRICTS PAGE 15 NEWS: Revenge of the Sex Shop. P. 11 EAT: FilipinoStyle Fast Food. P. 26 MUSIC: Spoon Benders’ New Direction. P. 29 Featuring! Featuring! Chowder in Portsmouth. P. 16 Cats in Rose City Park. P. 16 Sushi in Montavilla. P. 19 Dumplings in Slabtown. P. 20 Video games in Woodlawn. P. 21 Toys in Multnomah. P. 22 Hiking in Pleasant Valley. P. 24 “I LOVE.” P. 31 WWEEK.COM VOL 49/26 05.10.2023
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2 Willamette Week MAY 10, 2023 wweek.com
WHAT WE LEARNED FROM READING THIS WEEK’S PAPER VOL. 49, ISSUE 26
Ben Stutz is spending $15,000 a month on security for Kelly’s Olympian 8
Parking at the former Eagles aerie on Hawthorne is available for $7 an hour. 9
Rosa Cazares and Aaron Mitchell founded “Jessica’s Sex Shop” as revenge on the mayor of North Bend. 11
Charro’s Street Tacos serves a “Mexican pancake” in a 76 gas station parking lot. 16
Cosmic Monkey Comics sells Studio Ghibli posters for $10. 17
Miyamoto and Roscoe’s are connected via a series of secret tunnels 19
Don’t confuse Pleasant Valley with Happy Valley. 24
Want to get Mom smashed this Mother’s Day? There is a bloody mary bar at Ecliptic. 25
SoundsTruck NW’s new traveling stage will host a free concert outside Blanchet House following Tuesday lunch service. 25
Sick of high food prices? Learn how to forage at the Edible Wild Plants book release party. 25
Always order Chicky Bites sticky. 26
Stoners of any zodiac sign looking to channel Scorpio’s intense energy should smoke Bruce Banner 28
Katy Black thinks L.A. is a bad word, but she’s moving there. 29
If you give it to KOKOKO! , they will give it to you (but not like that). 30
Never trust Jimmy Kimmel with a donkey. 31
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Willamette Week welcomes freelance submissions. Send material to either News Editor or Arts Editor. Manuscripts will be returned if you include a selfaddressed, stamped envelope. To be considered for calendar listings, notice of events must be received in writing by noon Wednesday, two weeks before publication. Questions concerning circulation or subscription inquiries should be directed to Skye Anfield at Willamette Week. Postmaster: Send all address changes to Willamette Week, P.O. Box 10770, Portland, OR 97206. Subscription rates: One year $130, six months $70. Back issues $5 for walk-ins, $8 for mailed requests when available. Willamette Week is mailed at third-class rates. Association of Alternative Newsmedia. This newspaper is published on recycled newsprint using soy-based ink. BOO HAN MARKET, PAGE 18 ON THE COVER: Anthony Park of Du’s Grill in Rose City Park, one of seven unsung Portland districts; photo by Nathaniel Perales @nathanielperales OUR MOST TRAFFICKED STORY ONLINE THIS WEEK: Two La Mota dispensaries shutter amid controversy. Masthead PUBLISHER Anna Zusman EDITORIAL Managing Editor Aaron Mesh Arts & Culture Editor Andi Prewitt Assistant A&C Editor Bennett Campbell Ferguson Staff Writers Anthony Effinger Nigel Jaquiss Lucas Manfield Sophie Peel News Intern Jacob Moore Copy Editor Matt Buckingham Editor Mark Zusman ART DEPARTMENT Creative Director Mick Hangland-Skill Graphic Designer McKenzie Young-Roy ADVERTISING Advertising Media Coordinator Beans Flores Account Executives Michael Donhowe Maxx Hockenberry Content Marketing Manager Shannon Daehnke COMMUNITY OUTREACH Give!Guide & Friends of Willamette Week Executive Director Toni Tringolo G!G Campaign Assistant & FOWW Manager Josh Rentschler FOWW Membership Manager Madeleine Zusman Podcast Host Brianna Wheeler DISTRIBUTION Circulation Director Skye Anfield OPERATIONS Manager of Information Services Brian Panganiban OUR MISSION To provide Portlanders with an independent and irreverent understanding of how their worlds work so they can make a difference. Though Willamette Week is free, please take just one copy. Anyone removing papers in bulk from our distribution points will be prosecuted, as they say, to the full extent of the law.
WILLAMETTE WEEK IS PUBLISHED WEEKLY BY CITY OF ROSES MEDIA COMPANY P.O. Box 10770 Portland, OR 97296 Main line phone: (503) 243-2122 fax: (503) 296-2874 Classifieds phone: (503) 243-2122 fax: (503) 296-2874
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On May 2, Shemia Fagan resigned as Oregon secretary of state, following reports by WW’s Sophie Peel that she had taken contracting work with an affiliate of the La Mota cannabis dispensary chain. In a cover story, Peel examined the decisions that ended Fagan’s political career, including allowing La Mota co-founder Rosa Cazares to steer the direction of an audit of state cannabis regulation (“Up in Smoke,” WW, May 3). The reaction to Fagan’s resignation echoed across Oregon and the country. Here’s what our readers had to say:
FENIT NIRAPPIL, VIA TWITTER: “The alt-weekly Willamette Week in Oregon has now brought down a secretary of state, a governor, a Portland mayor, the legacy of a governor/Portland mayor...and probably more I’m forgetting.”
MICHELE MCNAMARA, VIA EMAIL: “As much as I am disappointed in Shemia Fagan, I am super impressed with Sophie Peel. It had to have taken a lot of digging and checking and cross-checking to develop such a crucial story.”
WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY, IN THE PORTLAND MERCURY: “THIS IS A BUMMER ON MULTIPLE LEVELS, which includes (1) rest assured a Republican would never resign over this type of ethical breach, and now Democrats have lost a smart, progressive voice that was otherwise doing a great job, and (2) probably not much will be said or done about the fact that Fagan was only making $77,000 per year as the SoS. And to make that little as a single divorced mom trying to support her family in Portland’s expensive market, WHILE ALSO carrying the burden of one of the most important state government jobs? That is
a fucking ridiculous, untenable position to be put in, and this is exactly why we have a lack of diversity in government, and the reason it’s largely run by rich, white misogynists.”
THE OREGONIAN/OREGONLIVE EDITORIAL BOARD: “Oregonians legitimately may wonder whether anyone else felt pressured or made decisions to accommodate the couple, as Fagan appears to have done.… One prominent Democrat has lost her elected position for good reason. Our elected officials should not treat that as the only outcome Oregonians will see.”
JACK BOGDANSKI, VIA HIS BLOG: “Although I always love watching inept politicians go down in flames, the takedown of Fagan is not exactly striking a blow for better government. Her departure is no doubt a great relief to the state’s controlling Democratic Party machine. Fagan belonged to the party but showed little allegiance to the machine.”
CANDACE AVALOS, VIA TWITTER: “A sad day for Oregonians. I hope we can recover swiftly from this political fallout and restore
BY MARTY SMITH @martysmithxxx
You, sound incompetent and like a defeatist. Let’s just sit around and wait for the “gumbmint” tO Do iT 4 uS. If it meant practical choices have to by pass ineffective laziness due to the negligence of tax funded officials and programs, DO IT YOURSELF. Also, learn how to talk to people a bit better. —Rob B.
I bow to your superior tact and diplomacy, Rob, and if your road construction skills are anything like your sentence construction skills, I have no doubt you’d make a remarkable addition to any repair crew. For the folks at home, the column in question was about how the city doesn’t want random Portlanders trying to fix potholes themselves. After publication, it met with a fair bit of pushback from readers, as above.
And I sympathize! (Never mind that these same folks would be the first to scream “tyranny!” if the government actually asked them to help with the potholes.) The combination of inflation and more fuel-efficient vehicles means the state gas tax that funds a lot of our road construction has less than half the buying power it had when it was initially approved. If
trust in our SOS office ahead of the upcoming election season. We need that trust more than ever right now.”
TIM NESBITT, IN OREGON CAPITAL CHRONICLE: “This is a lesson in how power blinds one to the ordinary norms and consequences of one’s actions. It’s not any one party’s problem. We’ve seen too many examples of this in all political parties. It’s a human problem. The Greeks had a word for it—hubris.”
CUNNINGWIZARD, VIA REDDIT: “Wow. Folks, this is why true local investigative journalism matters. Without it she may have gotten away with this.”
JACOB SMITH, VIA TWITTER: “Is this the first marijuana scandal leading to resignation that didn’t involve any actual consumption of marijuana? It truly is the 2020s!”
JEANETTE BURKET, VIA DONATION TO FRIENDS OF WILLAMETTE WEEK:
“Awesome reporting on Fagan as well as exposé on La Mota. Thorough, detailed, beautifully written articles. Sophie Peel is my new hero! WW is the only news source that still supplies the ‘why’ in addition to the who, what, where and when. Thank you, WW, Nigel and Sophie!”
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: P.O. Box 10770, Portland OR, 97296 Email: email@example.com
people want to pitch in and help, shouldn’t we let them? Individuals and government, working hand in hand, restoring faith in our institutions! Kumbaya!
The problem, as I said last week, is that private individuals typically don’t have the skills or equipment to do street repairs that meet city maintenance standards. (I shortened this to “most people are idiots,” but it’s the same thing.) After some more research, however, I found some good news for those dead set on fixing a hole.
For starters, if the hole you’re bitching about is on one of our city’s unmaintained blocks— those for which the city is not responsible, often marked by a “Roadway Not Improved” sign—knock yourself out. (You know it’s the Wild West when a Portland Bureau of Transportation spokesperson says, “You don’t even need a permit!”)
Finally, I learned it’s not actually illegal to do your own street repair. It’s just illegal (and civilly actionable) to damage the roadway or alter it in a way that creates a hazard. Follow the standards outlined in the 1,298-page “City of Portland Standard Construction Specifications” and you’ll be fine. (Don’t forget to maintain the crack sealant in your indirect-heating, mechanically agitated double boiler between 280 and 400 degrees—that’s the one that always gets me.)
Questions? Send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
4 Willamette Week MAY 10, 2023 wweek.com DIALOGUE
DIVE A PODCAST BY WILLAMETTE WEEK
YOUR BACKSTAGE PASS TO THE NEWSROOM
STREAMING ON ALL MAJOR PLATFORMS
5 Willamette Week MAY 10, 2023 wweek.com
6 Willamette Week MAY 10, 2023 wweek.com
MULTNOMAH COUNTY AMBULANCE DELAYS
SKYROCKET: The number of “late” ambulances in Multnomah County climbed to alarming levels last year, according to a new report obtained May 8 by WW. In March 2022, ambulances responded on time to more than 87% of life-threatening calls in the county’s urban areas. By February, that number had fallen to 68%. A late ambulance in an urban area is one that takes more than eight minutes to arrive. The numbers were included in a report from the county’s “six-month review” of its contract with American Medical Response, which provides ambulance services in the county. The contract is up for renewal this year. The report also provided a timeline of reforms, which include triaging low-priority calls and sending out “Basic Life Support” ambulances staffed with emergency medical technicians, not paramedics. AMR has long advocated that the county change its unusual policy of requiring two paramedics to staff each ambulance. Aaron Monnig, the county’s health officer operations manager, defended AMR in a statement to WW and noted the county was not fining the contractor for its failing performance: “What we’re experiencing now in Multnomah County—and what we have experienced since 2020—is not really within AMR’s control.”
REFORMERS UNVEIL RANKED-CHOICE VOTING
INITIATIVE: The city of Portland and Multnomah County adopted ranked-choice voting last year, and House Bill 2004, which would convert statewide elections to ranked-choice voting, remains alive in Salem. On May 9, proponents also filed the Voter Choice Act with the secretary of state, an initiative aimed at the November 2024 ballot. It would implement ranked-choice voting in statewide and legislative contests. It joins already-filed measures on campaign finance reform and open primaries. “We know voters— especially people of color, working-class people, rural residents, and young people—are losing trust in our elections. Ranked-choice voting is one step towards restoring that trust,” says Sol Mora, lead organizer for the statewide coalition of 35-plus organizations supporting HB 2004. “We are excited that if the Legislature fails to act and refer this critical reform, voters will still have the option through the Voter Choice Act.”
PROTECTIVE ORDER UPHELD AGAINST STATE
LAWMAKER: In an opinion that painted freshman Rep. Brian Stout (R-Columbia City) as a hothead with a questionable commitment to the truth, Columbia County Circuit Judge Cathleen Callahan ruled this week that a five-year sexual abuse protective order will stay in place against him to protect a woman who worked on his losing 2020 campaign for the Oregon House. Callahan labeled Stout’s testimony during a three-day
hearing “not credible” four times in her 13-page order, while ruling that the woman had proved she was subjected to sexual abuse and had reasonable fear for her personal safety. (It is WW ’s policy not to name the victim in sexual abuse cases.) Stout, who is married, started a consensual relationship with the woman in 2020 under grim terms, set down by him, Callahan wrote.
”After the agreement vis-à-vis their new status, [Stout] stated, ‘If you ever tell anyone about this, I’m going to push you off a cliff at Multnomah Falls,’” Callahan wrote. Stout then “slapped her bottom and grabbed her arm to pull her back towards him.” Stout’s attorney, Nicholas Herman, says his client plans to appeal. House Speaker Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis) and Majority Leader Julie Fahey (D-Eugene) called on Stout to resign.
KOTEK WITHHOLDS SIGNATURE ON BUN -
NY BILL: When lawmakers passes a bill, the governor signs it into law or vetoes it. On May 8, Gov. Tina Kotek did neither when House Bill 2689 came to her desk, allowing the bill to become law without her signature. That hasn’t happened since 2007. The new law will allow the slaughter of up to 1,000 rabbits a year without a license, mirroring an existing law that allows the unlicensed slaughter of poultry. Sen. Lynn Findley (R-Vale), a co-sponsor of the bill, knew some Oregonians would object to “butchering and eating cute little bunny rabbits,” but Findley noted Eastern Oregon has no year-round rabbit processing plant, and the animals are a cheap, healthy source of protein. Lawmakers agreed: The bill passed with bipartisan support. But Kotek kept her pen in her pocket. “Gov. Kotek supports the intent of the bill, allowing meat processing for small-scale, local farms,” says Kotek spokeswoman Elisabeth Shepard. “She also has a personal belief that animals should be treated humanely before being slaughtered, and believes rabbits and chickens should be added to Oregon’s humane slaughter statutes.”
CANNABIS LAW FIRM MUST PAY $4.9 MILLION: The state’s largest cannabis law firm, Portland-based Emerge Law, was ordered by a Clackamas County jury this week to pay $4.9 million to a local weed company. The company, Tidewater Investments, alleged in a 2019 lawsuit that Emerge helped the company acquire a Canby property in 2016 without warning Tidewater it would not be allowed to operate an indoor cannabis grow there due to zoning restrictions. Tidewater, based in Lake Oswego, sued for legal malpractice. “We are disappointed and disagree with the verdict, but it doesn’t affect our ongoing work serving our clients,” the firm said in a statement to WW. “We are evaluating next steps with respect to the litigation with our insurer providers.”
ALEX WITTWER ALBERTA ROSE THEATRE ••••••••• •••• albertarosetheatre.com 3000 NE Alberta • 503.764.4131 ••••• ••••••••••••• 6/1 - 17TH ANNUAL DOLLY PARTON HOOT NIGHT TRIBUTE 6/9 - THE STINKFOOT ORCHESTRA FEAT. NAPOLEON MURPHY BROCK 6/17 - BOOKER T. JONES 6/18 - THE WORLD IS WITH UKRAINE UPCOMING SHOWS + Rob Ickes & Trey Hensley the Chicago Sesssions tour Australia 20th Anniversary Tour Gulf Coast Records album release flamenco guitar superstar MAY 10 MAY 12 MAY 18 JUN 4 OTTMAR LIEBERT & LUNA NEGRA RODNEY CROWELL MAY 13 MAY 17 HOWIE DAY BLOOD BROTHERS ANTONIO REY RIZO + Glitterfox Prizmatism MAY 21 fundraiser + Waterfront Blues kickoff TOO SLIM AND THE TAILDRAGGERS REUNION TY CURTIS BAND • NORMAN SYLVESTER BAND JOHNNY WHEELS AND THE SWAMP DONKEYS KEVIN SELFE BIG BAND BACK WHAT YOU BELIEVE IN featuring Mike Zito & Albert Castiglia an evening of award-winning flamenco PASCUALA ILABACA Y FAUNA MAY 28 MAY 25 TAMIKREST BIKINI DRONE 7 Willamette Week MAY 10, 2023 wweek.com
RABBITS ON THE OREGON COAST
HOUSE BILL 3414
Kotek seeks to free developers from NIMBYs. Will her plan lead to chopping down forests to build McMansions?
CHIEF SPONSORS: House Speaker Dan Rayfield (D-Corvallis) and Rep. Maxine Dexter (D-Portland) at the request of Gov. Tina Kotek.
WHAT IT WOULD DO: HB 3414 would significantly reduce local governments’ ability to deny developers variances from land use regulations for properties inside urban growth boundaries that are zoned residential. (The bill includes exceptions for applications that involve “health, safety or habitability issues” and does not waive regulations around height and density.) Since the bill was introduced, interested parties have proposed a flurry of amendments, but none has yet been accepted. The bill would also create a new entity called the Housing Accountability and Production Office.
PROBLEM IT SEEKS TO SOLVE: Oregon is short at least 110,000 housing units, according to a 2022 state analysis. Many economists believe that Oregon’s disproportionately high rate of homelessness is attributable to the high cost of housing and the time it takes to produce new homes. Some critics believe state land use laws and local zoning codes give neighborhood associations and government bureaucrats pretexts to slow the development of new homes and to make it more costly.
This bill pits two powerful, countervailing forces: Kotek and her many allies’ desire to increase housing supply against environmentalists and local governments who want to protect water, habitat and the principles behind Oregon’s pioneering land use laws.
WHO SUPPORTS IT: Kotek, the Oregon Home Builders Association, various trade unions, and Home Forward, the state’s largest owner and operator of subsidized housing.
In testimony before the House Committee on Housing and Homelessness, Home Forward gave an example of why developers want variances waived. Since 2019, the nonprofit has been trying to develop a 100-unit apartment building in Troutdale. It asked for variances to increase window sizes and reduce the number of parking spots from two per unit (many of the apartments are studios). Troutdale said no. Home Forward reduced the number of units to 85 and upped the number of parking spots to 140, but the project still hasn’t started.
“The delay caused by the denial of Home Forward’s variance requests and subsequent process has added a year and half to our expected project timeline,” Home Forward testified.
WHO OPPOSES IT: The cities of Happy Valley, Wilsonville and West Linn, among others. The city of Portland didn’t outright oppose the bill, but suggested several changes. Environmental groups, including the Urban Greenspaces Institute and Willamette Riverkeeper, also testified against the bill.
Critics’ objections range from a loss of local control to the failure of the bill to require demonstrable increased housing production in exchange for the waiver of variance, to the wholesale gutting of certain protections that underpin Oregon’s land use system. Bob Sallinger, conservation director at Willamette Riverkeeper, says the bill as currently written would allow developers to cut down trees on any Portland lot or develop freely along the Willamette River and to erect McMansions rather than multifamily housing.
“The bill was portrayed as cutting red tape and getting rid of NIMBYism,”Sallinger says. “It radically tips the land use planning system in favor of developers at the expense of other critically important values for our communities and without necessarily securing any tangible community benefits in return.”
At a lengthy hearing May 9, advocates and lawmakers debated amendments aimed at allaying critics’ concerns while still generating more housing. NIGEL JAQUISS.
BY ANTHONY EFFINGER email@example.com
Since it opened in 1902, Kelly’s Olympian, the bar on Southwest Washington Street, has survived two world wars, the Depression, Prohibition, the Great Recession, the 2020 protests and COVID-19.
It’s an open question whether it will survive the fentanyl den across the street between 4th and 5th avenues.
Kelly’s is hanging on “by a string,” says owner Ben Stutz. Blight, crime and untreated mental illness and addiction in downtown Portland are driving customers away, and Stutz is spending $15,000 a month on full-time security guards for Kelly’s and tenants on the floors above. Recently, a woman came in, splashed the bartender with soda and screamed F-bombs before heading to the restroom.
Kelly’s is next door to the most notorious building in Portland: Washington Center, a vacant, 1970s-era commercial complex that remains an open-air fentanyl market despite police sweeps and the installation of panel upon panel of plywood to cover alcoves and outdoor stairs.
Stutz, 66, moved to Portland in 1987 to practice law, then got into the real estate business and bought Kelly’s, along with the rest of the six-story Bullier Building, in 2005. He says he’s at the end of his rope after seeing an interview on Fox News on April 29, in which Mayor Ted Wheeler bragged that Esquire magazine named Portland’s Kann the best new restaurant in America and that Forbes called Portland one of the best places to travel in 2023. Wheeler told Fox he was “optimistic” about Portland’s future.
“The mayor’s office is in La La Land,” Stutz says. “It’s like, where are you living, man?”
This week, WW talked to Stutz about what he’s seeing. The interview has been edited for brevity and clarity.
WW: You’re from Detroit. Is Portland going the way of your hometown?
Ben Stutz: I have friends from back home who six months ago were saying this is like Detroit. And I said, “It’s not, guys, come on, gimme a break. Let’s calm down.” Now, I’m going back to these guys and saying that I never thought this could possibly happen here. But one storefront after another is closing.
I’m not scared of a little grit. But this is way beyond that. Downtown is dangerous. Our employees have been beat
up and threatened. We have lost societal norms here. At a meeting with city officials, a police officer told me he had someone blow fentanyl smoke in his face. I asked if he gave the guy a ticket. “No,” he said. “The DA won’t prosecute.” We are in a situation where people are literally blowing fentanyl smoke in a policeman’s face.
What would you like the city to do?
I would like them to board up more of Washington Center, under the awning, where there is protection from the rain. I would like more police patrols. Just walk the street. Go in and deal with people. Make it uncomfortable for people to break the law. I’d also like to see the governor get some State Police and National Guard out here like they’re doing in San Francisco. California Gov. Gavin Newsom is not what you’d call a bleeding heart. He took a look at San Francisco and said, “We can’t have this happen.” But our governor isn’t doing that. The mayor talks about a reset. The governor needs to talk about a reset too.
How is this affecting business?
We have security guards. But on top of that, we have to schedule more employees because no one can work alone. There have to be two people in the front of the house all the time. So, payroll is up significantly. And we can’t just have one security guard, we have to have two because the violence is so crazy. On the weekends, we’ve literally had five people fighting off intruders: two security guards, a box office person, a bartender and our manager.
Kelly’s has survived in part because you opened a music venue at the same location. Is that still helping?
We have bands that have been playing in our place for years. Now they are saying, “You know, man, we’re a little bit worried about playing in your neighborhood right now.” These are not butterfly-type folks. We’ve lost some band nights because the band people just won’t come.
So, you’re not optimistic like Mayor Wheeler? No. We started this conversation talking about Detroit, and is that where we’re heading? It’s drip, drip, drip. It’s one business after another after another. It’s one storefront closing and then another and another. At a certain point you lose a quarter of a street. It’s like cancer.
8 Willamette Week MAY 10, 2023 wweek.com WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW THIS WEEK NEWS
The owner of Kelly’s Olympian is despondent about the fentanyl den across the street.
FIVE QUESTIONS FOR
FENTANYL FEST: The owner of Kelly’s Olympian is fed up with the drug market across the street.
BILL OF THE WEEK BRIAN BURK
ADDRESS: 4904 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
YEAR BUILT: 1910
SQUARE FOOTAGE: 7,481
MARKET VALUE: $1.4 million
OWNER: The Fraternal Order of Eagles North Portland Eagles Aerie #3426
HOW LONG IT’S BEEN EMPTY: 3 years
WHY IT’S EMPTY: Dwindling fraternalism and aerie infighting
Motorists venturing far enough east on Southeast Hawthorne Boulevard are routed south at 50th Avenue to veer around the foot of Mount Tabor. There, they circle one of Southeast Portland’s more conspicuous examples of urban blight, an abandoned meetinghouse of the Fraternal Order of Eagles. It was once known as Aerie #3256, and it’s now coated in graffiti and ringed by tents and dilapidated cars.
A neighbor expressed surprise to WW that the property hadn’t been redeveloped into condos, like the four-story “Meridian Lofts” across the street.
In fact, it nearly was. In 2016, with aerie membership dwindling, the national organization tried to sell the property. At the time, former member Pete Forsyth says, it was fielding offers north of $5 million.
One developer discussed plans with the city to build a “new 5-story apartment building with ground floor retail, basement parking, and 210 apartment units,” according to a preliminary building permit.
But the deal fell apart after extensive pushback from members like Forsyth who felt betrayed by national leadership. A petition to save the aerie received 805 signatures online. “It seems to me that [the meetinghouse] was a better service to the community than another four-story condo,” Forsyth says. (He hasn’t been involved in the organization in recent years.)
The fraternal order’s plans then hit another roadblock: pesky
WW’S MAY 2023
In an unusual circumstance, we have reversed an endorsement. Ballots must be postmarked or dropped off by 8 pm May 16.
permitting issues. A developer didn’t want to pay to widen 49th Avenue for required parking, Forsyth says.
“There were so many permit issues,” agrees Peggy Aeh, who was a member of the aerie until it shut down for good during the pandemic. She’s now part of the organization’s state leadership.
The aerie closed for good at the beginning of the pandemic.
Like other fraternal organizations, the Eagles have struggled to recruit younger members. WW profiled a similarly vacant Elks lodge last year prior to it burning down in April.
“Remember, that without all of you, our Aerie is just a building,” wrote President Dave Haskins on Facebook, announcing the closure March 19, 2020. The following year, ownership of the building was transferred to the North Portland Eagles, the last remaining aerie in Portland.
The property is still for sale, Aeh says, although WW couldn’t find an active listing online. Spots in the parking lot, however, are available for rent for $7 an hour.
“It hasn’t been a good market,” Forsyth muses. “They might
MULTNOMAH COUNTY COMMISSIONER
At this difficult juncture in Multnomah County history, voters need a budget hawk who will help Chair Jessica Vega Pederson devise and execute a plan, even if that means making some people angry.
PORTLAND PUBLIC SCHOOLS BOARD
Patte Sullivan WW initially endorsed Derrick Peterson in this
be attached to a higher price tag than they’re able to get.”
Aeh said she would put WW in touch with the administrator responsible for the building, but the newspaper never heard back.
Without its membership, the East Portland aerie was soon transformed.
For a while, a member lived in a trailer in the parking lot to keep away vandals, Aeh says. But that seems to have accomplished little. Soon, the decade-old mural spanning the Hawthorne side of the building was ruined by graffiti and had to be painted over—before soon being coated in graffiti yet again.
Forsyth says he’s glad to see the property being used by unhoused Portlanders. “They’re able to sort of live on the edges of it without getting harassed too much,” he notes.
But he’s changed his prior views about the prospect of redevelopment. “Maybe it is a better use of the resource for it to be turned into condos and ease some of the housing crunch,” he says. LUCAS MANFIELD.
contest. On May 3, he withdrew from the race, following media reports of his church ties to a Christian nationalist group. Since then, he has declined to answer WW’s questions regarding his affiliations. But WW obtained a text message from Peterson to a PPS board member in which he says that if he wins the seat, he will keep it.
It’s unusual for this newspaper to reverse an endorsement, but Peterson has left us little choice with his inconsistency and lack of transparency. His opponent, Patte Sullivan, is not running a serious campaign, but she is well intentioned and, as a former teacher, has relevant experience. Also, it’s clear why she’s seeking the office. Vote for her.
Imposes capital gains tax to fund eviction relief services and legal representation
We encourage voters to reject this sloppy, unnecessary measure and instead raise their voices to encourage the county to deploy existing funds to help more residents avoid eviction.
Five-year renewal of Portland Children’s Levy Yes
Voters should renew the Children’s Levy, which has demonstrated a track record of real good for vulnerable kids.
9 Willamette Week MAY 10, 2023 wweek.com
An Eagles aerie was supposed to become housing. Instead, it has drawn the unhoused.
UNDEVELOPED: The Eagles have been trying, unsuccessfully, to sell their abandoned aerie for years.
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A bright pink building four hours south of Portland hints at La Mota’s tactics.
BY SOPHIE PEEL firstname.lastname@example.org
Last month, Oregonians learned the names of Aaron Mitchell and Rosa Cazares, the co-founders of the cannabis dispensary chain La Mota. The couple gained statewide prominence after WW broke the news that Oregon Secretary of State Shemia Fagan was moonlighting as a consultant for their chain and gave Cazares a chance to edit the scope of a state audit of the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission.
Last week, Oregonians watched in shock as Fagan, a rising star in the Democratic Party, resigned over her work for Cazares and Mitchell. On May 8, Fagan left office.
But Mitchell and Cazares were already known in North Bend. The tiny Oregon Coast town has its own La Mota tale to tell.
It’s far less scandalous, but it’s also much stranger: It involves bright pink paint, a proposed sex shop, and a mayor named Jessica. Those close to the matter say the paint job seemed like retribution against a government official who got in their way.
The actions of La Mota’s owners in North Bend, a town of 10,000 whose proudest triumph is an Olympic-sized indoor swimming pool, is indicative of the aggressive tactics the chain honed over the years—a model that helped it grow into the second-largest dispensary chain in Oregon, but also earned it dozens of lawsuits and, ultimately, repudiation from the very industry it dominated.
This week, following Fagan’s resignation, Democrats who had taken campaign contributions from La Mota hurried to donate them to charity—and to pledge new scrutiny of the cannabis industry. The OLCC, which did little to restrict La Mota’s growth even after WW revealed $7 million in tax liens against companies controlled by Mitchell and Cazares, now says it is considering how to tighten its rules.
“Businesses licensed by the state should be in compliance on their taxes,” wrote agency spokesman Mark Pettinger last week. “OLCC and the Oregon Department of Revenue are discussing ways to address this.”
In fact, the state’s leading weed industry guild is asking lawmakers to restrict any expansion by companies that owe tax debts. “The owners of La Mota have funded and accomplished their expansion by remaining in significant arrears with the Oregon Department of Revenue and IRS,” the Cannabis Industry Alliance of Oregon wrote in a letter last week to legislators, “by refusing to pay vendors for products sold in their stores, and by taking advantage of the OLCC’s unmetered issuance of licenses.”
The sudden eagerness of the weed industry to be regulated may have something to do with the legal battles La Mota is currently waging.
if we change any rule at this point,” said City Councilor Pat Goll at an April 26, 2022, meeting. Mayor Jessica Engelke agreed: “We have the code that we adopted.” The council upheld staff’s recommendation.
That must have stung. After all, Engelke had received emails from—and the city manager had met with—Cazares. (Cazares wrote in an email that “Val” had shared the mayor’s contact information with her. Engelke tells WW that former Oregon labor commissioner and now U.S. Congresswoman Val Hoyle [D-Ore.] called her earlier that day and asked if she could give the mayor’s contact information to Cazares.)
“ We would like to see an exception to this rule made for our building,” Cazares wrote in one email. “We know how important it is to cities like North Bend to support minority and independently owned businesses working to bring jobs and revenue to the city.”
Then, on June 21, the city received a curious business application from Cazares: for a sex shop called “Jessica’s Adult Entertainment.”
Just days before, the building at 1625 Sherman Ave. had been painted bubble-gum pink.
“This store will be for patrons 21 years and older,” Cazares wrote on the application. The business activity listed included “adult entertainment/gift novelty/retail store.”
City staff tells WW the move was clearly a middle finger to Engelke. “It’s horrible,” says a manager of a smoke shop across the street from the pink building. “When you’re driving along 101, and the sun hits it, I still have customers complain about the glare sometimes.” (The city also received a complaint about the building’s color from the insurance business across the street.)
In June, Cazares and Mitchell appealed the city’s decision to deny their application to open a weed shop to the Oregon Land Use Board of Appeals. In September, the board dismissed the appeal.
Cazares and Mitchell never did open the sex shop. But the pink building remains, as does the sour taste left in the city’s mouth. North Bend city staff say it cost $22,000 in legal fees to fight the LUBA appeal. La Mota did not respond to a request for comment.
Billin, either said those records didn’t exist or that they should be privileged. Then, in Billin’s latest filing before withdrawing from the case in April, the attorney said his hard drive with much of his work product in the case had crashed. The case is set for trial in July. What does La Mota say? In filings, the defendants argue they don’t owe the consulting company as much as the complaint alleges. A recent filing obtained by WW shows a new lawyer has signed on to represent the defendants temporarily, likely in order to allow the couple time to find a lawyer for trial. The defendants still have not provided all requested discovery materials.
THE FORMER BUDTENDER
What’s the allegation? Lacy Williams, a former employee of a La Mota dispensary in Lebanon, alleges in a June 2022 filing that a La Mota company fired her in 2021 after she reported she was being sexually harassed by the store manager. (That man, Jeremy Rowan, is now serving time in jail for rape, luring of a minor, and sex abuse.)
Why it matters, if true: It would mean the chain failed to protect an employee from a sexual predator. At least 20 former La Mota employees have filed complaints with the Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries, alleging unpaid wages, retaliation and failure to protect employees. (The current and past labor commissioners, Christina Stephenson and Val Hoyle, accepted campaign contributions from Cazares and Mitchell but have since given the money back or donated it to charity.)
What happens now? In recent months, Williams’ attorney alleged the defendants engaged in “intentional obstruction” and “spoliation” of evidence requested by the plaintiff. He’s since filed a motion to compel production of discovery requested last year.
What does La Mota say? The defendants deny the underlying allegations and say 503 Staffing LLC, a company controlled by the couple, fired Williams because she made “false statements regarding her failure to show up to work.”
Among the 30 lawsuits the chain has faced, six are from farms and other vendors that allege Mitchell and Cazares stiffed them.
And then there’s what happened in North Bend.
As he had done dozens of times before, Aaron Mitchell in March 2021 bought a building.
He and Cazares took their standard approach to expansion: give the neglected building a facelift, get the necessary permits from local government, obtain a license from the state agency that regulates cannabis, and open a dispensary.
This time, the building the couple bought, at 1625 Sherman Ave., had formerly been a tree-trimming business in North Bend. On one side of the building was the town’s oldest diner, Mom’s Kitchen, slinging bacon and hashbrowns; across the street was the town’s insurance agency.
But in March 2022, city staff recommended denying La Mota a dispensary permit based on new city code that two dispensaries could not operate within 1,000 feet of one another. An existing dispensary stood 951 feet away—49 feet too close. The chain appealed the decision to the North Bend City Council.
“I think we’re opening a bucket of worms
It’s just one of several legal battles the couple has waged as they sought the ear of top state officials. Here’s the status of three others, and why they matter.
THE TAX COMPANY
What’s the allegation? Cazares hired The Michael L. Larson Company in 2021 to complete its taxes. The company alleges in court filings that La Mota’s financial paperwork was “in shambles” and alleges Mitchell and Cazares stiffed the consulting firm of $154,000 in billings.
Why it matters, if true: It offers a glimpse into how the couple’s matrix of companies handle money. Cazares and Mitchell control more than 70 separate LLCs, business records show, making the tax work complicated and confusing. The lawsuit claims many of the couple’s companies had “missing or incorrect” financial records. “Defendants had engaged in a number of questionable business practices,” it adds.
What happens now? The Larson Company’s attorney, Bear Wilner-Nugent, has repeatedly made discovery requests since June 2022. He’s asked for the couple’s credit card and bank records, car ownership records and property ownership records, as well as tax returns from prior years. But La Mota’s former attorney, Rich
What’s the allegation? Eric and Alia Breon, owners of a Northwest Hills mansion where the Mitchell and Cazares hosted champagne fundraisers for Fagan and Gov. Tina Kotek, allege the couple failed to pay eight months’ rent and severely damaged the home. The Breons allege that “cats urinated and defecated” throughout the home. They’re demanding $417,000.
Why it matters, if true: It would mean the couple, who flaunted wealth—hosting a blacktie gala for Kotek last fall and driving Mercedes Benzes and Maseratis—failed to meet a financial obligation central to their political giving. What happens now? The case remains ongoing.
What does La Mota say? The couple stated in court filings that they withheld the $20,000 monthly rent because the homeowners refused to fix a major water leak. They filed a counterclaim and are requesting that the Breons pay them $660,000. The couple alleges they both suffer at least one of the following symptoms due to water intrusion: “upper respiratory distress, skin irritation, edema, cellulitis, fatigue, memory loss, chronic cold/flu-like symptoms, body aches and pains, numbness and tingling in extremities, headaches, nose and throat irritation, and sleep disturbance.”
11 Willamette Week MAY 10, 2023 wweek.com NEWS
“It’s horrible. Customers complain about the glare sometimes.”
The labor-friendly Legislature is struggling to walk its talk with its own staff.
BY NIGEL JAQUISS email@example.com
The Oregon Capitol can sometimes seem like a union hall.
Since claiming decisive majorities more than a decade ago, Democrats have rammed through big minimum wage hikes, family medical leave and, among many other organized labor priorities, a law mandating pay equity.
It’s continued this session, as Democrats have introduced bills that would protect workers from wage theft and require cannabis companies to open themselves up to unionization. Another bill proposes that substitute teachers, who are currently unrepresented, should be unionized.
Yet under the same Capitol dome, a nascent attempt to form what would be the nation’s first union for legislative assistants is mired in quicksand. According to interviews with a dozen prospective union members, Democratic Party lawmakers are denying staff
both overtime pay and the kind of basic workplace protections unions offer.
“There is hypocrisy at work here,” says Justin Roberts, a representative of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 89, who is leading bargaining for the legislative assistants. “We have definitely had frustration that we haven’t reached an agreement.”
There are other complexities. Turnover in the House, where members must run for election every two years, is constant; the work is episodic, 160 days in odd-numbered years and 35 days in even years; and many members take advantage of an exemption from nepotism laws that allows them to hire spouses or family members. And some members pay their relatives disproportionately well.
Historically, fresh graduates and campaign aides would come to Salem, seeking to get their starts amid a small coterie of long-term staffers. That created a pool of mission-driven workers who would mostly do what they were told without asking many questions or pushing for family wages.
The Legislature is an unusual workplace: Its 90 members are independently elected, decide on their own how to spend their office budgets ($234,465 each for the current biennium), and make their own hiring decisions, usually for a staff of two or three.
But the culture began to change with the passage of a 2017 pay equity law. The Legislature hired a consultant to construct a pay scale as part of a move to professionalize the workforce and raise and equalize pay.
Then, in late 2020, IBEW began
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LABOR DAZE: Oregon Democrats traditionally paid court to unions at the Labor Day Picnic at Oaks Park.
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“There is hypocrisy at work here.”
an organizing drive, with the enthusiastic support of many staffers, who felt exploited by Capitol culture.
I n December 2020, IBEW sought certification of the union from the state Employment Relations Board. The state objected, arguing that the Legislature was not an appropriate place for a union because it’s really 90 different, independent employers, each of whom entrusts their staffs with confidential information. The ERB rejected that argument. And after staffers voted to form a union, the two sides began negotiating a contract.
Almost two years later, they are far from having one—a source of growing frustration. Legislative leaders declined to comment on the pace of talks, delegating questions to legislative HR director Jessica Knieling.
Knieling says the Legislature’s bargaining team, which includes representatives from each of the four caucuses, has acted in good faith. She adds that the last scheduled bargaining session—which was set for March 30—had to be canceled when IBEW wasn’t ready with a new proposal.
“There are always unexpected delays in bargaining, and we understand and expect this, especially in a first contract in a most unique environment,” Knieling says, “but we do take exception to the allegation we have not done our part.”
Legislative assistants say in-
dividual members are generally supportive, but it’s not a top priority for any member. When the Legislature is in session, passing and blocking bills is most important. In the interim, lawmakers must work their day jobs and worry about getting reelected.
“There will never be a time in which it’s convenient,” says one staff member involved in negotiations. “If that’s the bar, it will never get done.”
A big point of contention: overtime. The new pay scale includes four levels of legislative assistant.
Those in the two most junior levels, called LA1s and LA2s, are eligible for overtime.
WW interviewed current and former LAs for this story (all declined to be named, citing fear of retaliation). The consensus was that virtually nobody—members or staff—knew that Capitol workers were eligible for overtime.
The numbers bear that out. The sum total paid out for staff overtime since January 2021 is $2,345.97 for dozens of eligible workers—and nearly half of that came in 2021.
Roberts, the IBEW representative, confirms that ignorance was widespread. “I have spoken with 10 or 20 staff who have said they have been impacted by not getting paid overtime,” he says.
Last month, Knieling issued a memo and provided further training on overtime, although she contends that members and eligible staff were notified of their rights when hired or after being sworn in. She says workers who think they were shorted can still get their money.
“Employees who did not record overtime can submit the prior hours to their appointing authority for approval and then to payroll for payment of wages or comp time,” Knieling says.
But, staffers say, since most eligible employees didn’t know they were eligible, they didn’t record their hours and are now trying to re-create their schedules.
In a session with an unusually high number of new House members—nearly half did not hold their seats in 2021—and new leadership in both chambers for the first time in a decade, staff turnover has been high, with some quitting and some getting fired.
Staffers say the turmoil makes the need for union representation greater than ever. Roberts of the IBEW pledges his team is going to amp up the pressure to get a contract in place.
“It starts with a petition and escalates from there,” he says. “If we need to look at information picketing, we’ll do that. All options are on the table.”
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Mr. Park’s Mr. Park’s
WE FOUND THE HIDDEN GEMS OF 7 UNSUNG PORTLAND DISTRICTS
Portland’s neighborhoods have always felt like hidden treasures. Few discoveries are so satisfying as turning a corner and discovering a row of shops you never knew existed, a public garden welcoming you to linger, or a cozy pub glowing at dusk on a rainy evening.
If those places seem a little more precious lately, maybe that’s because recent history shows how fragile they are.
For much of two years, a virus kept Portlanders locked out of our gathering spaces—and we emerged to find many of them didn’t weather the absence. Too many streets are now pockmarked with fenced-off storefronts and squatters’ dens—signals of neglect and the high cost of remaining housed. The city’s primary neighborhood, its downtown, has fallen into a sorry state, a condition that causes citizens to talk about venturing there like it’s a wartime sacrifice. It’s shocking how quickly a cornerstone of our shared civic life degraded.
But that should inspire gratitude for what remains—and how
swiftly it has recovered. Any Portlander who’s honest about the condition of the city knows that its vibrancy shifts from block to block. The result is that some neighborhoods and their business districts now feel like oases, or beacons out of the darkness.
For years, WW published Finder, an annual guide to the places and people that make Portland special. This year, we wanted to concentrate on our favorite element from that magazine: the neighborhood roundups.
We chose seven neighborhoods that are often overlooked—no Laurelhurst Park, St. Johns Bridge or Alberta Arts District grace the following pages. We zoomed in on the streets that fall between their more famed brethren.
Part of our reasoning is that we wanted to avoid the temptation that often befalls “Portland’s hottest neighborhoods” directories: that of defining a good neighborhood as a line of single-family homes where upper-middle-class white people live. That’s a false, exclusionary way of defining what makes a
place thrive—especially as more and more of Portland becomes prohibitively expensive.
So we tried to think about neighborhood character in a different way. What makes Rose City Park wonderful isn’t just its bungalows and bikeways. It’s a teriyaki shop (Du’s Grill, the best in the country) where Anthony Park so faithfully greets high school patrons that one of them (Aminé, the rapper) goes on to shout him out on a track. In other places, it’s international markets, food carts in gas station parking lots, and the everyday kindness of pod villages.
That’s why, whenever possible, we asked writers to tell us about their own neighborhoods. Our goal is to go beyond the landmarks and show you what makes some of the lesser-known spots in the city worth living in.
Consider what follows a guidebook to your own city. We hope it helps you find a place that feels like home.
—Aaron Mesh, Managing Editor
15 Willamette Week MAY 10, 2023 wweek.com
SPECIAL SAUCE: Anthony Park greets a customer at Du’s Grill.
Tucked between the more marquee Kenton and St. Johns neighborhoods, Portsmouth can have a “blink while tooling down Lombard and you’ll miss it” feeling. But this residential, working-class neighborhood has a lot to recommend pulling over for.
Arches Bookhouse (8900 N Wall Ave., 503-251-5383, archesbookhouse.com) isn’t on a main street, and despite its low foot-traffic location at the corner of North Wall and Houghton Street, it thrives with a broad selection of theology, rare, antique and technical books, and a hearty $3 paperback section.
Best Breakfast Spot
I don’t know what alchemy occurs at a food cart in a gas station parking lot exactly, but I believe in this magic. Located next to a 76 station, Charro’s Street Tacos (5305 N Lombard St., 253-883-9355, charrostacos.com)
has an amazing repertoire of tacos, burritos and tortas. But along with a solid breakfast burrito, it’s got a few more novel morning munches, including a huevos con chorizo omelet, served with tortillas and toppings. And it’s probably the only place in town serving a “Mexican pancake,” a regular griddled flapjack piled with your choice of meat and fresh pico, sour cream and cheese, smothered Christmas style in red and green chile sauces.
Place to Buy Your Stomach a Gift
An unassuming store with hand-painted window decorations proclaiming “Dog Food,” “Homemade Sausages” and “Sides of Beef,” Western Meat Market (4707 N Lombard St., 503-283-5174) is the place to score a reasonably priced pork chop, grab a four-pack of Hatch chile-and-cheese sausages on special for $6.99 a pound, a pepperoni stick, some twice-baked potatoes and a bag of Juanita’s, and still walk out for like $30. This is an old-school butcher shop, complete with gregarious counter guys who have clearly been in the biz a long time.
millennials with an unhealthy obsession with the seafood combo dinner, featuring cod, prawns, scallops and oysters, grilled or fried. (I’ll leave you to guess which one I am.) The drinks are cheap, few entrees cost more than $25, and the addition of bay shrimp to the chowder is genius.
There are a few iconic parks just outside of the Portsmouth neighborhood—Smith and Bybee Wetlands and Kelley Point Park are all a short jaunt. But within the ’hood’s boundaries, Columbia Park (North Lombard Street and Woolsey Avenue, portland. gov/parks/columbia-park-and-annex) can’t be beat. The 35-acre park is well shaded by tall Douglas firs and cooled by a splash pad. Explore the flower garden near the historic cottage and give the seesaws a test drive.
I could not be more charmed by The Fishwife (5328 N Lombard St., 503285-7150, fishwiferestaurant.com) if they paid me. The interior is filled with nautical knickknacks, clever posters, and red Formica tables around which gathers everyone from the neighborhood: grandmas out for a cup of chowder, punk rockers sucking down oyster shooters, and elder
The only true answer to the question of where to drink in Portsmouth is The Twilight Room (5242 N Lombard St., 503-283-5091, thetwilightroom. com). This dive is a little bit of everything: a University of Portland hang, a solid pool table situation, stiff drinks, decent burgers, and a giant patio out back. If you’re into craft beer, it’s worth it to walk across the street to the Chill N Fill for a growler on your way home, but your serious drinking should be done at the Twilight.
Not quite Roseway and not quite Hollywood— although, it does weirdly remind me of certain parts of Los Angeles for some reason—the Rose City Park neighborhood is bisected by Northeast Sandy Boulevard. There’s a good chance you’ve driven through it without noticing. Ever rounded Interstate 84 around 60th Avenue and wondered about the warehouses lining its north shoulder? Rose City Park is what lies beyond.
Unless you’re the human counterpart to distinguished guests like Fuzzy Mama, Raccoon, Tolstoy, Anastasia, or Goblin King, it’s likely that Meowhaus Feline Boarding and Day Spa (6025 NE Sandy Blvd., 503281-0222, meowhaus.biz) has flown below your radar. Vet technician Anya Stites and her team of Kitty Cuddlers—yes, that’s exactly what it sounds like, and yes, I was tempted to ask for a job—have a crowd of recurring “regulars,” all of whom have their favorite of 44 private suites. From the luxurious, sunny Garden Room, to suites equipped with stairs for special-needs kitties, to views of an aviary full of live zebra finches (“It’s like TV for cats,” Stites says), it’s clear that Meowhaus staffers care for their feline guests as if they were their own.
To be completely honest, judging from its Medieval Times exterior, I did not have the highest hopes for Clyde’s Prime Rib Restaurant & Bar (5474 NE Sandy Blvd., 503281-9200, clydesprimerib. com). But I was so incredibly wrong. I don’t know if it was the soul band’s opening cover of my favorite Otis Redding song or the Key lime pie martini (largely a dessert, but oh my God, I have not stopped thinking about it), but what was supposed to be a bar crawl turned into my partner and I dancing to Lizzo covers with people twice our age for most of the evening. And it was incredible.
Best Breakfast Spot
A night of slaying the dance floor at Clyde’s alongside Miss Washington—it remains a mystery whether that was a nickname or her true title—is a recipe for a hangover in the morning: can confirm. But the bacon breakfast sando (add maple butter) and the French toast roll-up filled with housemade strawberry sauce and Nutella at Rose City Food Park’s Rocket Breakfast (5235 NE Sandy Blvd., 503-676-
16 Willamette Week MAY 10, 2023 wweek.com
GONE FISHIN’: The Fishwife is just across Lombard Street from Portsmouth in the University Park neighborhood, but we’re counting it anyway.
9056, rocketbreakfast.com) cured me. Plus, it’s open till 3 pm, which is an absolute godsend after a somewhat accidental bender.
Best Place to Buy Your Gamer Girlfriend a Nerdy Gift
As my partner and I enjoyed our likely first of many 2:55 pm French toast roll-ups, we noticed a little guy running around with a Pokémon poster three times his size, and immediately knew where we were headed next: Cosmic Monkey Comics (5335 NE Sandy Blvd., 503-517-9050, cosmicmonkeycomics.com). It just so happened to be “Free Comic Book Day.” Plus, the shop had enormous Studio Ghibli posters for only $10.
Du’s Grill (5365 NE Sandy Blvd., 503-284-1773, dusgrill. com) is a largely unassuming spot to be deemed “the best Korean teriyaki in the known universe” by Willamette Week writers past. But I totally get it.
It’s one of those spots where you know they know what they’re doing without even needing to try the food. But you definitely still should. I’d recommend getting the chicken teriyaki bowl and pairing it with some strawberry jasmine boba from Poke Qube next door.
As soon as I sat down at one of the picnic benches at Normandale Park (Northeast 57th Avenue and Halsey Street), a little off-leash lady (or gentleman) came up to me and asked for some world-famous teriyaki—not in so many words, but I could just tell. With its area for offleash friends (most of whom remained within the fenced confines), two enormous baseball fields, a playground, and several equally perfect spots to read a book in the shade, Normandale has pretty much everything you could possibly want from a park. 10/10 would recommend.
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BIG POPPY: Digging into a teriyaki plate (and a salad with poppyseed dressing) at Du’s Grill.
In the Portland imagination, Montavilla begins and ends with a picturesque stretch of local businesses that line Southeast Stark Street between 76th (neighborhood mascot Mr. Plywood) and 81st (the cackling laughter emanating from Roscoe’s). As charming as that strip may be, the true power and glory of Montavilla is derived not from a quaint stretch of Stark, but from the fast, cheap and oft-out-of-control 82nd Avenue. The 2 miles of 82nd that fall within Montavilla’s verdant borders host more than 20 used car dealerships, a half-dozen international markets, a community center, a community college, parks, trailer parks and some pervy stuff for pervs. 82nd is the Nile of Montavilla. It giveth and taketh away. Long may it run.
Some of Montavilla’s Vietnamese restaurants are hard to miss (the majestic Pho Van and the IHOP-looking Pho Kim being two of the finest). House of Banh Mi (511 NE 76th Ave., 503-254-7074, thehobpdx.com), tucked just north of the particularly accident-prone intersection of Glisan and 76th, is hard to find…but even harder to forget. A hole in the wall with minimal decoration outside of some Blazers posters and an old flat-screen TV, the HOB serves what might be the best banh mi sandwiches in the city at very reasonable prices. It’s run by the same family responsible for the excellent and fast-multiplying Ca Phe coffee shop/banh mi spots, but this is the no-frills original. Who needs frills when the bread is a perfect mix of soft and crunchy, the meat is indulgent, and the veggies are fresh? Throw a fried egg on top of your ground pork banh mi and call it brunch. Better yet, add a trio of gooey, coconutty pandan waffles to make it a feast. Do anything: There are no bad choices on this menu.
Best Breakfast Spot
While it’s facing increasingly tough brunch competition from the likes of its neighbors Lazy Susan and the earlier-rising Hungry Heart Bakery, the cozy and dim-lit Redwood (7915 SE Stark Ave., 503-841-5118, redwoodpdx.com) remains the unique and hearty center of a.m. culture on Montavilla’s main drag. It serves up rich hashes and indulgent fritters, plus a handful of twists on the time-tested mimosa.
Where to Buy Your Foodie Friend a Gift
From the sprawling former Safeway, Hong Phat, to the lovingly curated Stark Street market La Bouffe, Montavilla has a near endless supply of international markets. The store I frequent most is Boo Han (1313 SE 82nd Ave., 503-254-8606), a glorious Korean supermarket that specializes in fresh veggies and housemade fare (bulgogi and kimchi aplenty, rice cakes, addictive checkout-aisle gimbap rolls), and also features an elaborate and gift-friend-
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ly housewares section with woks, rice cookers, food storage solutions, and cuteness for the kids. If they don’t have the import you’re looking for, try the more Costco-esque China Food Inc. just across the street!
Picking a favorite restaurant in Montavilla is a painful exercise. Do I recommend the perfect tacos at Santa Cruz Taqueria, or give a shout-out to Bai Yok, the excellent Thai cart that literally rose from the ashes where its brick-and-mortar restaurant once stood? The rich and delicately spiced molé at Mixteca? The whitefish dip and tender pork secreto at Lazy Susan? All great choices, but I think the finest night out in Montavilla is at Miyamoto (422 SE 82nd Ave., 503-208-2253, miyamotosushi.com), one of the finest and freshest sushi joints in Portland, with the coolest staff and a decidedly old-school Portland décor (sorta half-finished and loving it). Pro tip: You can order from Roscoe’s elaborate tap list at Miyamoto, and you can also order Miyamoto from the bar. (They’re connected via a series of secret tunnels.) The loaded Chirashi Bowl may be the perfect meal-for-one, while the Jalapeño Ninjas are basically god-level poppers.
My wife has a daily routine of walking to see the tiny Himalayan chickens on 92nd, and there’s an old Russian graveyard at 90th and Glisan, but come on: The truth is that nature lovers of Montavilla are drawn to the imposing fir trees and impotent reservoirs of that wacky volcano the next neighborhood over, Mount Tabor Get a very excellent coffee (and cookie) at Coquine Market at Belmont and 69th, then ascend its steps for some of the finest city views and nature trails in town.
There are certainly fancier (Blank Slate), livelier (Thatcher’s) and more iconic (Montavilla Saloon) watering holes in Montavilla. There are no bars that do more with what they’ve got, though, than Growler’s Taproom (803 SE 82nd Ave., 503-254-8277, drinkbeerhereportland.com). A living room-sized (and -styled) curiosity in the back of Henry’s Market on 82nd, Growler’s is what community looks like. Big dumb movies on the patio, open jam sessions and Star Trek Trivia inside (the owner and primary bartender, who lives in the adjacent house, is a dedicated Trekkie), a great Thai food cart connected at the hip. If more bars were this warm and unpretentious, the world (nay, the entire Alpha Quadrant) would be a better place. I’ve never gone there without getting into a long and unexpected conversation. Last time I went, I signed a birthday card for a stranger. CASEY JARMAN.
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SHOPPING SPREE: Boo Han offers a glorious array of Korean groceries.
Unlike every other spot in this guide, Slabtown isn’t one of Portland’s 94 formally recognized neighborhoods. It’s a subset of the Northwest District, and its boundaries are a matter of debate, but roughly defined by Interstate 405 to the east, Forest Park to the west, and Lovejoy Street to the south. Go north far enough and you’ll walk off a pier. Anybody who last visited before the pandemic might easily lose their bearings—Slabtown is one of the fastest-blooming apartment gardens in Portland. Fortunately, WW World Headquarters has been planted here since Slabtown was a desert of trucking warehouses. My new officemates were quick with recommendations.
Up Northwest Vaughn Street and away from the hustle and bustle of 23rd Avenue, the dumpling house Bing Mi (2572 NW Vaughn St., 503-327-8574, bingmipdx.com) is tucked into the first floor of a four-story apartment building. It can be summed up as big windows and warm noodles. The you po mian noodles are particularly delicious. It’s the perfect place to cozy up and enjoy the rain without actually experiencing it.
Best Breakfast Spot
A block west from the action on Northwest 23rd Avenue is Stepping Stone Cafe (2390 NW Quimby St., 503-222-1132, steppingstonecafe. com). Its muted exterior makes it all
too easy to overlook. Inside you will find classic red diner stools, action figures hanging from the ceiling, and an incredible funk playlist. The menu is simple and the portions are massive. A full order of biscuits and gravy with eggs must weigh 2 pounds, and a section of the menu is dedicated to “Mancakes,” flapjacks that are easily 10 inches wide and an inch thick. What’s not to love?
Where to Get Your Partner
Pistils Nursery (2139 NW Raleigh St., 503-288-4889, pistilsnursery.com) is a small plant shop along a shopping promenade that didn’t exist five years ago. This isn’t a flower shop you go to on Valentine’s Day. It’s more like a hobby shop for those looking to buy their first houseplant. The entire western side of the store is filled with a variety of small succulents and fun pots to put them in. If you’re looking for an even cozier evening, pop across the street into Afuri (1620 NW 21st Ave., 503-384-2920, afuiriramen. com) and pick up an instant noodle cup—yes, the same Nissin carton you see on a grocery aisle, but with the Tokyo ramen chain’s signature yuzu shio broth blend.
The three-story, century-old Craftsman-turned-Vietnamese comfort food restaurant Lela’s Bistro (1524 NW 23rd Ave., 503-719-4744, lelasbistro.com) serves the classics: banh
mi sandwiches and bowls of pho. It even has a banh mi and pho combo, knowing that everyone wants both but can’t eat two whole meals. As the menu says, this place is dedicated to Vietnamese comfort food and will leave you feeling sleepy and bloated (in the best way), just like a trip to Grandma’s house.
The immensity of Forest Park awes newcomers to the westside, but if you’re looking for an introduction, a fun little creek tucked into the Northwest foothills provides an opportunity for a nice waterside hike up to Pittock Mansion. Lower Macleay Park (2960 NW Upshur St.) quickly transitions into the Lower Macleay Trail that leads deeper into the Northwest hills, past a small stone structure called the Witch’s Castle (it’s mostly haunted by Lincoln High students), and up to the mansion. Bring some snacks and a blanket and relax on the back lawn of this iconic Portland landmark before heading back down.
A neighborhood of newbies drinks in ancient taverns. Joe’s Cellar (1332 NW 21st Ave., 503-223-8825) is a classic dive. It’s difficult to find the entrance and, once you do, the bar’s so dark it’s just as hard to find a seat. The clientele has been coming here for decades, undeterred by brief closures, rumors of its imminent demise, and the seven-story towers closing in on surrounding corners. The encroaching development is even more dramatic where a gleaming office building hugs the Dockside Saloon and Restaurant (2047 NW Front Ave., 503-241-6433, docksidesaloon.com). Long a shiftdrink hangout of longshoremen, the Dockside explains on its menus how it achieved brief national fame thanks to Tonya Harding. The skater’s cronies tossed an envelope containing Nancy Kerrigan’s practice schedule in the diner’s dumpster—where management discovered it shortly after the tire-ironing of Kerrigan’s knee. Portland dumpsters: historically significant even before antifa started setting them on fire! JACOB MOORE.
Crisscrossing angular blocks make up the crux of the historic Woodlawn neighborhood, the oldest settled community in old Albina. The arrangement definitely has a bit of a labyrinthine, locals-only energy, but getting lost around here is entirely encouraged, and a perfectly charming way to spend an afternoon.
The Woodlawn neighborhood unfurls in all directions from the Dekum Triangle, where Classic Foods has occupied the iconic IceHouse building since 2011. Here, attached to commercial kitchens where they pump out fresh-made pastas, sauces and spice blends to a number of the city’s best restaurants, stands a Classic Foods Outlet Store (817 NE Madrona St., 503234-9387, classic-foods.com) where visitors can score the same handmade artisan raviolis and fragrant seasonal pesto sauces served at some of the city’s favorite pubs, cafes and cloth-napkin restaurants. Notable mention: Black Rose Market (6732 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 503-894-9698) features unique bottles from local and Black-owned wineries, as well as an exceptional house-roasted coffee served from the north side of the building.
Best Breakfast Spot
The archetypal coffeehouse experience is alive and well at Woodlawn Coffee & Pastry (808 NE Dekum St., 503-9542412, woodlawncoffee.com) where a concise breakfast menu (quiche, oatmeal, eggs and bacon, etc.) is supplemented with all manner of fresh-baked pastries and espresso drinks. Reclaimed-wood tables line the high walls, where bespecta-
20 Willamette Week MAY 10, 2023
DOCK AND ROLL: Brunch at the Dockside Saloon.
cled MacBook users sip lattes and pick at slices of lemon loaf while the open kitchen in the rear of the space hums with activity. Vibe: dreams, ’90s, etc.
Place to Get a
Gift for Bae
Custom, no-minimum, made-to-order T-shirts, hats and totes are the pillars of business at Urban Kingdom (6359 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 503-954-1837, myurbankingdom.com), but its MLK storefront is more than a tidy custom print shop. It’s also a garment district-direct department store full of fast fashions, candy-colored luggage, sparkling costume jewelry, trendy shoes, and racks of racy lingerie.
Visitors from other ’hoods regularly cross into the Triangle to sip Breakside beer from its flagship location, dine on American classics at the top-rated Firehouse, or sample the singular thin-crust pies from Good Neighbor Pizza, but my personal favorite Woodlawn plate comes from P’s & Q’s Market (1301 NE Dekum St., 503-894-8979, psandqsmarket.com), a market-deli-cafe with sidewalk and back patio seating. The plate in question is the housesmoked brisket sandwich, a supple meat mountain sopping wet with sweet-hot barbecue sauce and exploding with coleslaw confetti from inside the most pillowy potato bun of all time. Pro tip: It’s messy, so enjoy it in the seclusion of the back patio with a pint of the seasonal draft and a side of shoestring fries.
Start at the top of the Ainsworth Linear Arbore -
tum (2105 NE Ainsworth St.), locally known as the Park Blocks, at Northeast Grand Avenue and Ainsworth Street, and work your way east towards 8th Avenue. Turn left into the residential neighborhood and, depending on the season, the third house from the southwest corner on 8th might be displaying its extensive, street-facing miniature dioramas (so get your camera ready). Keep heading north toward Holman Street, the next intersection, where a right turn will deposit you into Holman
Pocket Park , a small garden lined with concrete benches that enclose the neighboring streets, creating a tiny bike boulevard. Follow the concrete curves of the park to the left and stroll straight down 13th Avenue to Woodlawn City Park , an 8-acre greenspace, playground, sports field and baseball diamond, where, on a clear day, you can see the flat, snowy peak of Mount St. Helens.
While live music fans crowd Woodlawn’s dive bar the High Water Mark and beer aficionados flood Breakside Brewing, folks who prefer a less raucous environment can order boozy slushies and curry noodles while they nestle into cozy couches, playing NES games on a vintage tube TV at Retro Game Bar (6720 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 971-271-8079, rgbpdx. com) Alternatively, faux-dive, pro-mixologist bar Tough Luck (1771 NE Dekum St., 971-754-4188, toughluckbar. com), a few blocks east down Dekum, hosts events like drag queen bingo nights and the occasional drag brunch.
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21 Willamette Week MAY 10, 2023 wweek.com
TEE TIME: Shirts on display at Urban Kingdom.
Capitol Highway, 503-2460053, annieblooms.com). If Powell’s is the city’s bibliophile temple, Annie’s is one of those mountaintop abbeys where the nuns brew their own beer. The lovingly curated shelves take you on a journey from Willy Vlautin to Michelle Zauner. Plus, there’s a store cat, Molly Bloom, named after the joyful Ulysses. Yes.
Best Breakfast Spot
Something of a fraught topic ’round these parts, since Mar(7910 SW 35th Ave., 503-245-0199, marcoscafe. sits at the foot of the village and Fat City Cafe (7820 SW Capitol Highway, 503-2455457, tomswbs2.wordpress. com/menu) a block upland.
The ceiling of Marco’s is carpeted with umbrellas; the walls of Marco’s are lined with license plates. (Look, if you have a low tolerance for whimsy, you’ve wandered into the wrong part of town.) Want a greater array of Benedicts? Go to Marco’s. Over 55 and in search of a
deal? Fat City has the Geezer Grub, a $9.99 plate of bacon and eggs.
Place to Buy Your Child a Gift
Just visiting Thinker Toys (7784 SW Capitol Highway, 503-245-3936, thinkertoysoregon.com) feels like a reward for chores well done. There’s no children’s wonderland in Portland to rival this one: tin buckets overflowing with plush crabs and hedgehogs, one wall of Playmobil sets and another of scooters, even a thatchedroof cottage where kids can test the merchandise while
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WONDERLAND: The wares at Thinker Toys. 22 Willamette Week MAY 10, 2023 wweek.com
playing house. It’s a one-stop shop for birthdays, Christmas and feeling young again.
You can go old school (the schnitzel at Otto and Anita’s), new school (smoked brisket and eggplant at the latest Sesame Collective joint, Yalla) or out of school (Yoshi’s Sushi sea scallop nigiri is served at a handmade Parisian food court called Multnomah French Quarter). But it’s telling that Tastebud (7783 SW Capitol Highway, 503-245-4573, tastebudpdx.com) serves pizzas out of a window, for just three hours each evening, and people can be spotted carrying away their boxes as if they struck gold. The woodfired masterworks are topped with seasonal vegetables—this spring features an asparagus and pecorino pie that’s out of this world.
Even by the generous standards that have spoiled Portlanders, Gabriel Park is enormous: 89 acres, much of it
LIVE AT MUSIC MILLENNIUM!
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a former dairy farm owned by the Swiss immigrant founders of Alpenrose. Half of the park is rolling meadows dotted with baseball diamonds, the other is an old-growth Douglas fir forest crisscrossed by hiking trails. All of it is comically idyllic. Is this heaven? No, Gabriel.
Like an extinct antediluvian creature preserved in Jell-O shots, Renner’s Grill (7819 SW Capitol Highway, 503-246-9097) parties like it’s 1959 in a dark room that exactly resembles the best barroom you ever wandered into while tooling down the Oregon Coast. Don’t let the crusty vibes scare you off: There’s an array of local craft brew here, and an excellent club sandwich as big as your head. On a recent Sunday, the regulars watched Steph Curry demolish Sacramento while the barback described America’s most overrated cities. A lot of Portland institutions are inflated by nostalgia. Like Steph, Renner’s is the real deal. AARON MESH.
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23 Willamette Week MAY 10, 2023 wweek.com
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Do not mistake Pleasant Valley for the similarly named suburb just south of this sleepy Portland neighborhood. (That’s Happy Valley.) This is as far to the edge of Portland as you can travel without dipping into Gresham or Clackamas County. It might lack the amenities of Portland’s more central locales, but perhaps it makes up for that with its generous array of trees. If you’re always talking about moving out of Portland and into the woods, Pleasant Valley is a more gradual step.
In 1972, the Leach family bequeathed their 16-acre getaway on Johnson Creek to the city of Portland, which turned the estate into Leach Botanical Garden (6704 SE 122nd Ave., 503-208-6030, leachgarden.org). For $5, you can wander the grounds, which contain more than 2,000 species of plants, a restored manor house, and an elevated “tree walk” that is worth the price of admission alone. Go now to see the trilliums in bloom. Free tickets are available for those who qualify.
Place to Buy Your Garden a Gift
buy a “Fig City” T-shirt from the greenhouse shop.
Food options in Pleasant Valley are slim. Most are clustered in a single strip mall on Highway 26 anchored by a Bi-Mart. There, go to Oriental Food Value, an Asian grocery store, and peel left to the small deli counter, where Delish Kitchen 108 (17120 SE Powell Blvd., 503-912-0668, delishkitchen108.com) produces some remarkably good sushi and bubble tea. Opened during the pandemic, Delish Kitchen 108 was named after its owner’s lucky number and is now doing brisk business on Uber Eats and DoorDash. But visiting in person gives an added opportunity to peruse the aisles of vases, wooden furniture and Asian art—alongside, of course, the pickled radish, kimchi and supersized bags of rice.
Pleasant Valley’s crown jewel is Powell Butte Nature Park (16160 SE Powell Blvd., 503-823-4000, friendsofpowellbutte.org), a 616-foot cinder cone that features spectacular views from its summit. The butte is not only a popular recreation spot, but also holds a pair of 50-million-gallon buried reservoirs that feed Portland’s water supply. Check out the visitor center, and then spend a few hours enjoying the wildflowers and Mount Hood views on your hike to the top.
Tasmanian mountain pepper, whittleberry, and Formosan carpet raspberry are a few of the delights to be found at One Green World (6469 SE 134th Ave., 877-353-4028, onegreenworld.com), a one-of-a-kind nursery that ships rare fruit trees, and much more, nationwide. If you’re in Pleasant Valley, then you’re lucky enough to be able to peruse its wares in person. If you’re not feeling up to the challenge of caring for an exotic plant, then swing by for one of its seasonal fruit tastings or
Looking to throw a few back? There’s options for everyone at the Pleasant Valley strip mall. Parents can bring their kids to the Monkey King Play House (17112 SE Powell Blvd., 503-618-1818, monkeykingplayhouse.com) where an $18 admission fee gives little ones all-day access to a sprawling play palace. Meanwhile, Heineken, espresso and ice cream are available behind the counter. For happy hour, head to Ixtapa Mexican Restaurant (503-912-6483, ixtapapdx.com) across the parking lot. It’s all day on Sundays and Mondays, and its bar offers margaritas for every occasion. Cap off the night at Sip & Spin (503-328-8289, sipspin. business.site) whose offerings are exactly as advertised: a well-stocked bar, pool table and lottery terminals. LUCAS MANFIELD.
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FRUIT JAM: A row of trees at One Green World.
GO: Living in the Wilds: Caroll Simpson and Sarah Neidhardt in Conversation
If you’ve ever fantasized about leaving everything behind and going off grid (and, really, who hasn’t in recent years?), best to do some research first to determine whether you could really rough it long term. Start with this event, where writers Carroll Simpson and Sarah Neidhardt will discuss their experiences with rural living, including its hardships and rewards. Coincidentally, both released books this year about their alternative existences far from society. Simpson’s Alone in the Great Unknown describes her time running a lodge on the banks of Canada’s Babine Lake, where she worked as a fishing guide, fended off live animals and fought against a proposed mining operation. While Twenty Acres: A Seventies Childhood in the Woods recounts Neidhardt’s upbringing deep in the Arkansas Ozarks. Broadway Books, 1714 NE Broadway, 503-284-1726, broadwaybooks.net. 6 pm Wednesday, May 10. Free.
LAUGH: Bad Friends Tour
Comedians Andrew Santino, of FXX’s surprise hit show Dave, and Mad TV alum Bobby Lee are friends in real life, and like most friends, have ridiculous conversations about absurd things. Unlike most friends, however, these two record and share their barroom banter with the world via a podcast. Santino and Lee took Bad Friends on the road this year, so you can watch their back-and-forth in person. Newcomers, be warned that topics may range from dirty cat litter to foreskin to their shared hatred of dolphins. Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall, 1037 SW Broadway, 503-248-4335, portland5.com. 7:30 pm Thursday, May 11. $39.50-$69.50.
EAT & DRINK: Purple Hands
ChefStable’s new event space, The Mahonian, is hosting a multicourse dinner highlighting Purple Hands’ rosés, pinot noirs and chardonnays in recognition of Oregon Wine Month. Founder Cody Wright, son of industry legend Ken Wright, will be in attendance along with his wife Marque, who joined the business five years after its 2005 launch, and together they’ve built on the family’s decades of experience in the craft. Their wines will be served with chef Leather Storrs’ food menu, which includes an uni-butter-poached filet of halibut, pork loin with stuffed morels and vanilla panna cotta. The Mahonian, 726 SE 6th Ave., 503-389-5866, themahonian.com/phwine.
6 pm Friday, May 12. $185.
SEE: The 20th Anniversary Interdimensional Art Show
Overlapping real and imagined worlds has long been a theme explored by a variety of creatives, but this event helped spread the popularity of the modern visionary art movement. Now in its 20th year, the Interdimensional Art Show will feature work from established artists as well as newcomers. You can also expect music, panel discussions, as well as a private buyers club meet-and-greet, so you can take a painting with you and continue to transcend at home. The Den, 116 SE Yamhill St., 971-288-1982, thedenpdx.com.
7 pm Friday and 9 pm Saturday, May 12-13. $18-$50. 21+.
EAT: Mother’s Day Cosmic Brunch
This Mother’s Day, instead of bringing Mom flowers, take her to the blooms and enjoy a special meal while you’re at it. Ecliptic Brewing’s Mothership location is hosting a Cosmic Brunch for all of the
mamas out there who prefer beers over Bellinis with their poached eggs. The four-course meal includes a Greek yogurt parfait, wild mushroom and garnet yam hash, house-smoked salmon or tempeh Benedict and a bread pudding French toast with fried apple compote. Your ticket also gets you a pint of limited-edition Cosmos Coconut & Vanilla Hazy IPA, though if Mom really wants to get her day drinking on, you can buy her access to the bloody mary bar for an additional fee. After brunch, don’t forget to pick up a bouquet from the pop-up flower shop, run by organic micro-farm The Petal Dispatch. Ecliptic Brewing, 825 N Cook St., 503-2658002, eclipticbrewing.com. 9 am-1:30 pm
Sunday, May 14. $55 per adult, $25 per child.
LISTEN: Blanchet House & Chamber Music Northwest Present a Free Collaborative Community Concert
Blanchet House and Chamber Music Northwest have teamed up to host a free concert in a neighborhood whose residents might not normally have access to live stage performances. Violinist Rebecca Anderson and pianist Mika Sasaki formed a duo in 2018 in order to bring music to underserved communities, and they’re about to wrap up the second year of their residency with Chamber Music Northwest. The two will perform just after Blanchet House wraps up its lunch service on Tuesday. Look for the SoundsTruck NW mobile stage—which was also created with the goal of increasing access to the arts—in the parking lot next to the Old Town social services organization. The concert is open to the public. Parking lot adjacent to Blanchet House, 310 NW Glisan St., 503241-4340, cmnw.org. 12:45 pm Tuesday, May 16. Free.
LISTEN: The Lullaby Project Concert
The Oregon Symphony began this collaboration with Path Home (formerly Portland Homeless Family Solutions) in 2018 to support its mission to help homeless families with kids find stable housing. Modeled after the program launched by Carnegie Hall’s Weill Music Institute, The Lullaby Project is founded on the idea that songwriting can improve parent-child bonding during life-challenging situations. Locally, dozens of cradle tunes have been penned by people who’ve sought assistance from Path Home. You can listen to lullabies created by this year’s group of 10 participants at a free concert. Alberta Rose Theatre, 3000 NE Alberta St., 503-228-4294, orsymphony.org. 6:30 pm Tuesday, May 16. Free.
LEARN: Edible Wild Plants Book Release Party
Food prices are too damn high! We hear ya. Maybe it’s time to start foraging? Whether motivated by skyrocketing grocery bills or the thrill of the hunt, you can begin your research at this book release party. Author Dr. John Kallas will present a slideshow on how to identify, harvest and prepare wild plants—from greens to flowers to roots. Continue your exploration into becoming a full-on wild outdoorsperson by sticking around to watch demonstrations led by wilderness survival instructors. Trackers Earth Portland, 4617 SE Milwaukie Ave., 503-345-3312, wildfoodadventures.com. 7:15 pm Tuesday, May 16. Free.
SETTING THE STAGE: The SoundsTruck NW mobile stage, seen here at an earlier event, will be set up for a free concert outside Blanchet House on Tuesday.
OWEN CAREY STUFF TO DO IN PORTLAND THIS WEEK, INDOORS AND OUT SEE MORE GET BUSY EVENTS AT WWEEK.COM/CALENDAR MAY 10-16 25 Willamette Week MAY 10, 2023 wweek.com
WHERE TO EAT THIS WEEK.
1. VIKING SOUL FOOD
4422 SE Woodstock Blvd., 971-4300171, vikingsoulfood.com. 11 am-7 pm Sunday-Thursday, 11 am-8 pm Friday-Saturday.
Viking Soul Food, a long-standing member of The Bite on Belmont food pod, recently opened its first brickand-mortar, where many items on the menu come surrounded by a lefse, a delicate wrap made with potatoes, butter and flour. The versatility of the lefse works wonders, adding lightness to savory wraps, like the smoked steelhead, enhancing the crunch of the greens and tartness of the pickled shallots. Looking for something sweet?
Try the lingonberry lefse, filled with a tart jam and cream cheese. It’s intensely comforting and ideal for littler Vikings.
3244 NE 82nd Ave., 971-429-1452. 11 am-9 pm Tuesday-Sunday.
With a menu full of panuchos, salbutes, relleno negro and menudo, it feels sacrilegious to start with an ode to Manuel “Manny” Lopez’s burritos, but we’re gonna do it. We love these burritos passionately. Go for the asada, which is seasoned and grilled, layered with black beans made with lard and spices, and given the usual sour cream, cheese and guac treatment. But the true God-tier move is the layer of crispy griddled cheese, which adds salt and crunch, resulting in deep satisfaction.
3. PHO OREGON BEAVERTON
12870 SW Canyon Road, Beaverton, 503-747-0814, phooregon.net. 10 am-9 pm Monday-Saturday, 10 am-8 pm Sunday.
Pho Oregon, Portland’s 20-year-old Vietnamese beef noodle soup standard bearer, has opened its second outlet after nearly two years of planning. If an early visit was any indication, it was worth the wait. The must-have pho order, the No. 1, is a quart-sized cauldron of aromatic awesomeness with thin rice noodles as well as bits of beef tendon, tripe, quartered meatballs and more. When the urge for hot soup wanes, the menu seems to ramble endlessly with choices, from rice plates to grilled meats to stews.
4. SALT & STRAW
Various locations, saltandstraw.com. 11 am-11 pm daily.
More than a decade ago, cousins Tyler and Kim Malek began changing people’s taste for ice cream—daring them to go beyond Baskin-Robbins’ 31 flavors—by opening Salt & Straw and working with unique ingredients. The company, which has expanded considerably since then, is marking its 12th anniversary this month by unlocking its flavor vault and bringing back dormant varieties. That means for a limited time you can get old favorites, like black olive brittle and goat cheese, honey marshmallow rocky road and mango habanero IPA sorbet as a scoop, or in pints and milkshakes.
8268 SE 13th Ave., 503-327-8916, kaedepdx.com. 4:30-9 pm Wednesday-Sunday. Seating by online reservations only.
Kaede, a 16-seat “sushi bistro” in Sellwood, shifted recently from takeout service to dine-in and reservation only, making the bar the best place to be. It’s where you can sit with a cup of sake in hand and become entranced watching co-owner Shinji Uehara slice fish flown in from Tokyo and gently hand-mold the rice for nigiri. There’s no omakase meal here, but the nigiri premium will get you eight chef’s choice rice-and-fish delicacies. And keep an eye out for anything that’s rare in our neck of the woods, like the bright pink Japanese alfonsino fish we had during our visit.
WHERE TO DRINK THIS WEEK.
1. KNUDSEN VINEYARDS MOTHER’S DAY BRUNCH & WINE TASTING
9419 NE Worden Hill Road, Dundee, 503-580-1596, knudsenvineyards.com.
10:30-am-1:30 pm Sunday, May 14. $50 per person.
If you’ve ever wished you could transport yourself into the scene depicted on that Oregon Wine Country license plate the DMV rolled out about a decade ago, then you need to head to Knudsen during Oregon Wine Month. The painting it’s based on is of this winery, which is hosting a delightfully affordable Mother’s Day brunch. Admission includes wine tasting, a special gift and a gourmet brunch box with either a turkey and brie croissant sandwich or lox everything bagel smeared with dill cream cheese and topped in fruits and veggies. And you can’t beat the view of the 230-acre vineyard while sitting on Knudsen’s sprawling terrace.
2. FRACTURE BREWING
1015 SE Stark St., fracturebrewingpdx. com. 4-10 pm Wednesday-Thursday, noon-11 pm Friday-Saturday, noon-8 pm Sunday.
This month, the Lil’ America food cart pod welcomed its final tenant, and if you haven’t checked out the eclectic mix of vendors—Guyanese bakes are sold feet from crab boils, vegan corn dogs and Hainanese chicken rice—the recent opening is a good excuse to get out there. Be sure to order a beer (but, really, you should get several) made by Fracture’s Darren Provenzano. During our last visit, the medallionlike West Coast IPA and the canary-colored Hazy were both standouts, but the Pilsner trio (classic, West Coast, New Zealand) is what really stole our hearts. Yes, they all taste different.
3. LOLO PASS ROOFTOP BAR
1616 E Burnside St., 503-908-3074, lolopass.com. 4-10 pm daily.
Beyond giving guests a place to rest their heads at the end of the day, Lolo Pass is home to one of Portland’s newer rooftop bars where locals and visitors alike can sip drinks and take in the view of the Central Eastside. The fifth-story perch reopens May 4 following its winter hibernation with a new and seasonally changing cocktail menu. The debut Snap Pea martini sounds like the perfect vibrant drink to toast the warming spring afternoons.
4. DIRTY PRETTY
638 E Burnside St., dirtyprettypdx.com.
4 pm-1 am Sunday-Thursday, 4 pm-2 am Friday-Saturday.
This is the third venue in industry veteran Collin Nicholas’ quickly growing bar portfolio, which also includes Pink Rabbit and Fools and Horses. As with its sister locations, you can expect a fusion of Asian and Hawaiian ingredients in Dirty Pretty’s food menu (pork-shrimp shumai, fried saimin, furikake jojos), and the lengthy cocktail list is filled with tropical flavors. Drinks with names like Jungle Juice, Charliebird and Guava Wars should brighten what’s been a pretty gray Portland spring.
5. GIGANTIC BREWING
TAP ROOM AND CHAMPAGNE LOUNGE
5224 SE 26th Ave., 503-208-3416, giganticbrewing.com. 2-9 pm Monday-Friday, noon-9 pm Saturday-Sunday.
When considering a collaboration, Upright Brewing’s Alex Ganum posed this question to Gigantic founders Ben Love and Van Havig: “What would happen if we brewed an imperial Pilsner like an IPA?” Naturally, that led the trio to experiment, and the result is Czech Your Cold IPA, a crisp, light-bodied brew with hints of lemongrass and lemon peel. You can find it on tap and in bottles at Gigantic’s flagship as well as its two other locations.
FOOD & DRINK
Editor: Andi Prewitt
BY THOM HILTON
“The Chicky Bites…should I make them sticky?” I asked before putting in my order at Makulít.
“You should make them sticky,” Xrysto Castillo answered.
One bite in, I knew why.
“They’re probably my favorite thing on our menu,” says Castillo, co-owner of and co-chef at Makulít, a Filipino American fast food cart in Lil’ America, Southeast Stark Street’s much-reported-on new cart pod highlighting BIPOC and LBGTQ+ owners. Crackly, crusty bites of mustard-fried chicken thigh ($12 not sticky, $13 sticky) are tossed with Fresno peppers and scallions, coated in a bird’s eye chile sauce and then served over tender steamed rice. The dish is salty, vinegar forward and instantly familiar.
“One of our neighbors calls it orange chicken, and we’re just like, yes, yes,” says Makulít’s other co-chef and owner, Mike Bautista, but it isn’t quite so. The soul of the glaze is finadene, a popular soy sauce-based condiment in Filipino cooking that’s used on “anything,” as Bautista puts it: “rice, barbecue, chicken. We added sugar to make it like a sweet-and-sour sauce.”
Every dish on the menu at Makulít seems to be a challenge rooted in that balance: How can Castillo and Bautista infuse fast food staples with Filipino flavors, which most of their clientele have never tasted?
“We knew that there would be people who hadn’t had Filipino food at any level,” Bautista says. “There’s a lot of items we have to explain, but it’s like, here’s the thing you’ve never heard of, in a familiar context. There’s the Filipino side we grew up eating and loving, and then there’s the American food that we grew up eating and loving.”
The poutine is one example of Makulít’s melding the familiar with the unfamiliar, resulting in a vastly improved take on an appetizer found on many Portland menus. Its adobo version of the dish ($13), topped with a punchy braised pork gravy in lieu of the standard beef sauce, is one of those first-bite
eye-poppers that should be eaten in the company of others simply to relish the shared reactions of delight. I’m one to find a classic poutine pretty repetitive after the first few mouthfuls, given its piling of additional salt and fat on top of an already salty-fatty base. But here, each bite offers a jolt of black pepper and strong acidity, making me want to plow through the pile of melty cheese curds and crispy-gone-soggy potatoes in an animalistic fashion. This dish made me “get” poutine.
“We want our food to represent us the best it can,” Castillo says. “One of the big things is our playfulness in the kitchen. Filipino food is very in your face, very loud. We don’t want to tone it down.”
“Fun is the only barometer we have,” Bautista says. “If we have an idea for an item and think ‘That’s fun,’ we try it out.”
The most fun and playful dish is arguably the Big Bunso ($11), which looks like a classic drivein cheeseburger—toasted Franz bun, shredded iceberg, tomato, onion and melty cheddar that’s started to crisp at the edges from contact with the griddle. But, as with the two previous dishes, I was launched in a completely unexpected direction on first bite.
“We present it like it’s just regular fast food, but… no,” Castillo says, laughing.
The longanisa sausage patty is packed with warm spice, while atsara—a mix of pickled papaya, carrot, daikon and bell pepper—cranks up the decibel level. The resulting flavor combo lands somewhere between burger, meatloaf sandwich, and banh mi. Other dishes on the menu play a little more old school in their approach, like the pancit Canton ($12)—chewy stir-fried yakisoba noodles mixed with colorful and crisp charred snap peas, red cabbage and carrots. On a recent sunny afternoon, guests flowed in and out of neighboring Fracture Brewing with beer flights and sat in oversized lawn chairs while snacking on shareable and portable lumpia (3 for $7 or 6 for $13)—crunchy fried spring rolls with a rich meat filling and spiced vinegar dip.
“It’s an artistic expression,” says Bautista, who is also an illustrator and created the cart’s poppy pink and yellow logo. “We don’t really consider ourselves chefs. We do all of it. It takes longer, but it also means we get to do everything. We have free range of creativity and how we want to put ourselves out there.”
In my opinion, everything’s working.
EAT: Makulít, 1015 SE Stark St., @makulitpdx. Noon-7 pm Wednesday-Thursday, 4-9 pm Friday-Saturday.
Makulít’s Filipino American fast food mashups are an early standout at the new Lil’ America cart pod.
COURTESY MAKULIT 26 Willamette Week MAY 10, 2023 wweek.com
I LIKE BIG BUNS: The Bunso Burger features a longanisa sausage patty and a mix of pickled papaya, carrot, daikon and bell pepper.
CELEBRATING 30 YEARS IN PORTLAND YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD BAKERY SINCE 1993 MAY 12 - 27 BYIMAGO’SCAROLTRIFFLE An absurdist satire, a situational comedy, a postmodern musical or neo-vaudevillian farce. How about all of the above! IMAGOTHEATRETICKETS.COM 503.231.9581 TICKETS: IMAGOTHEATRE.COM | 17 SE 8TH WAKE UP TO WHAT MATTERS IN PORTLAND. SIGN UP AT WWEEK.COM/NEWSLETTERS Willamette Week’s daily newsletter arrives every weekday morning with the day’s top news.
Get Busy Tonight
Consider this a framework through which to view your stash box throughout the year.
BY BRIANNA WHEELER
Zodiac stoners already know we are more than our sun signs. We all have multiple planetary placements, embody various interstellar traits, and take on the multifarious energies each zodiac season gives off. So there’s no need to stick to whatever traits your sign has supposedly prescribed for you. In fact, you can assume the characteristics of any zodiac symbol with the right cannabis strain. ther you’re hoping to capture the sensual essence of Scorpio season, amplify the Type A vibrations of a Virgo, or lounge in Taurus’ lethargic complacency, there’s a weed for that. Use the following guide not as a curated strain list, but rather as a framework through which to view your stash box throughout the year, because regardless of the zodiac period we’re smoking through, cannabis can help you ride the best zodiac vibes, or at least protect you from each sign’s less compelling qualities.
Aries (March 22-April 19)
This cardinal fire sign kicks off the zodiac year with passion, enthusiasm and a masculine energy driven by its ruling planet, Mars. Users can lean into the impulsive intensity of Aries season with Fire OG, a potent cross of OG Kush and SFV Kush that delivers a euphoric, blissful high before dissolving into a cushy couchlock.
Taurus (April 20-May 20)
Taurus, represented by the bull, is a delicate and feminine earth sign ruled by Venus, despite its burly iconography This season delivers a pleasure-forever type of energy that is both as delicate as a tulip petal and stubborn as a dandelion patch. Give in to the luxury with Ice Cream Cake, a velvety cross of Gelato #33 and Wedding Cake that delivers a swooning, sedative buzz.
Gemini (May 21-June 20)
Gemini energy is restless and mercurial, ruled by the masculine and inquisitive energy of Mercury. Gemini is a mutable air sign associated with duality, but its season is less about balance and more about doing the most, seeing the most, learning the most, and mostly, discovering new perspectives. Explore that energy with Bubble Gum, a balanced cultivar that delivers energetic euphoria and blissful relaxation in equal measure.
Cancer (June 21-July 22)
Cancer is the cardinal water sign, represented by the crab, and ruled by the big-femme energy of our very own moon. Cancers are highly intuitive, family oriented, and often motherly. Cash in on these home-and-hearth vibrations with Sundae Driver, a cross of Fruity Pebbles and Grape Pie, which is known for its bright, giddy onset that unfurls into sleepy bliss.
Leo (July 23-August 22)
It’s highly probable that the hottest person you know is a Leo. And I’m talkin’ about more than physical beauty. Leo, the lion, is a fixed, fire sign with steely masculine energy and an undeniable joie de vivre. Leo energy is bold, dashing and enthusiastic—Leos are often great performers. Submerge yourself in Leo season potency with Purple Panty Dropper, an aphrodisiac cultivar that can impart sexy, Leo-esque vibes to earth, air and even soggy water signs.
Virgo (August 23-September 22)
If you’re suddenly compelled to organize your junk drawers, finish that half-read novel, and criticize your most trifling homies, blame Virgo season. The mutable earth sign is consistent and flexible, but, boy, does it ever drag its Type A energy through the atmosphere. Don’t fight it, instead maximize that perfectionist mindset with Durban Poison, a high-octane strain that delivers a focused, creative head high and a sparkling, long-lasting body buzz perfect for cleaning out your basement.
Libra (September 23-October 22)
Represented by the scales, Libra season is all about balance. This cardinal air sign is governed by Venus, so despite its soft, airy energy, Libra vibes can also bend dominant. Libras are famously indecisive, but can often balance that indecision with confident charm. Absorb some of their trademark friendliness with Blue Dream, a cross of Blueberry and Haze that delivers creative bliss and fizzy euphoria before dissolving into a comfortable couchlock.
Scorpio (October 23-November 21)
Be warned: Scorpio energy is intense. The fixed water sign is notably both fierce and emotional, resulting in a vibe that is, overall, pretty transformative. It’s very appropriate that Halloween happens during Scorpio season. What better way to celebrate such a period than with Bruce Banner, a cultivar well-known for its ability to transform a lethargic stoner into an energetic tornado person, which seems like the optimal high for Scorpio season.
Sagittarius (November 22-December 21)
Sagittarius season sees us rounding the corner from fall into winter, but despite the graying days, Sagittarius energy is joyful and bombastic. This mutable fire sign, represented by a centaur drawing his bow, is ruled by masculine Jupiter, and has an explorer-discoverer-wanderer-conqueror vibe that can liven up an otherwise dreary season. Exploit that energy by exploring your own mind with Dutch Treat, a euphoric, introspective cultivar with balanced cerebral and physical effects.
Capricorn (December 22-January 19)
Capricorn is the cardinal earth sign, and its energy is stoic, feminine and deeply driven. Imagine a mountain goat deftly traversing a sheer cliff and making it look effortless—that is the Capricorn vibe. During the dark months, when that kind of energy is most needed, Clementine can help users dial in their own Capricorn potential. Clementine is a brightly uplifting strain that delivers both creative euphoria and physical relief.
Aquarius (January 20-February 18)
Despite the title, Aquarians are air signs, not water signs. Ruled by Saturn and Uranus, Aquarius energy is a captivating riddle: Its fixed nature is at odds with its air qualities, resulting in its contrasting traits—community oriented yet fiercely individualistic. That suggests Aquarians can be serious change-makers, and that’s an energy we can all appreciate. Jealousy, despite its polarizing name, delivers a euphoric, motivating and social high that is also introspective.
Pisces (February 19-March 20)
The most mystical of the zodiac signs is Pisces, represented by two fish locked in an eternal dance, illustrating the Piscean connection to both the known and the unknown. This feminine, mutable water sign is ruled by Jupiter and Neptune, and can bounce between an all-knowing, psychic energy and self-destructive daydreaming. Zodiac stoners can keep those Pisces vibes right where they want them with Cheese, a potent hybrid that delivers an elastic euphoria and smooth physical bliss.
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OUR EVENT PICKS, EMAILED WEEKLY. 28 Willamette Week MAY 10, 2023 wweek.com POTLANDER
Away From the Drywall
Why Spoon Benders wants to stay uncomfortable.
BY MICHELLE KICHERER IG: @MichelleKicherer
After dropping singles like sexy chugger “Dichotomatic” and frenzied riffer “Rm 157” along the way, Spoon Benders is ready to unleash their sophomore album, How Things Repeat—and to leave Portland.
Before discussing the album, Katy Black, the garage psych-rock band’s lead vocalist, confirms what I’ve heard: Spoon Benders, along with their much-loved photographer Harper King, is leaving Portland for Los Angeles. Black shares that they’ve been planning the move for the better part of a year.
“Portland is the most amazing, comfortable and coddling music scene—which should never change,” Black says. “There’s a huge purpose for it being that way; it’s why the music scene here is so amazing and pure and wonderful.”
That said, the band wants to embark on a new challenge. “If you stay in the same place for too long, you become part of the drywall, and it’s really hard to get out of that,” Black says, explaining the importance of being a little uncomfortable in order to create art.
That very idea is part of How Things Repeat. While Black wants listeners to reach their own conclusions and curiosities about the meaning of individual songs, the overall theme of the album is cohesive—and largely related to the concept we’ve just talked about.
“ When things start to feel like each day is blending into the next, something’s wrong,” Black says. “And I think a lot of people look for that as comfortability. Like, it’s reliable and it’s dependable; it offers comfort and homeyness and stuff like that. But I see that as a waste, a little bit.”
How Things Repeat is about getting stuck in these hamster wheels
of boredom and repetition—like doing the marriage-house-kids bit out of a sense of obligation, then filling in the remaining void with empty pleasures, rather than fulfillment.
Black references the repetitive motions we find ourselves in again and again, whether it’s the aforementioned analogy of being “part of the drywall” or hardly having money for rent. The album also makes reference to the other side of the repeat coin: giving too much to your art. “There are just these confines of repetition that are constantly around us,” Black says.
As for the writing process on Repeat, Black shares that it’s been a lot more collaborative this time around. The band, she says, is moving into the “let’s just see what happens and jam for a while mode—which feels great. And we’re just better musicians [now].”
Black concludes by reiterating her love for Portland, insisting that after Spoon Benders moves this summer they’ll be playing shows here just as often as they have been (the band has been touring widely, playing festivals like Oakland’s Mosswood Meltdown and Boise’s Treefort, with bigger tours to be announced soon).
“It’s like a bad word to say L.A.,” Black laughs, adding, “It seems really counterintuitive to leave such a wonderful place that cultivates so much art. Portland is such a great place to be an artist. But I need to be uncomfortable.”
SEE IT: Spoon Benders performs at their album release party with Forty Feet Tall at Doug Fir Lounge, 830 E Burnside St., 503-231-9663, dougfirlounge.com. 9 pm Friday, May 12. $15. 21+.
BY DANIEL BROMFIELD @bromf3
SATURDAY, MAY 13:
Imagine what a goth-rock song sounds like and there’s a good chance what plays in your head will sound a lot like Molchat Doma . The Belarusian group leans completely into the sound of ’70s and ’80s gloom peddlers like Joy Division and Bauhaus, and their visual aesthetic is unlikely to correct anyone’s ideas of Eastern Europe as a place of unfriendly skies and weird-looking apartment buildings. Their ubiquity on TikTok has made them unlikely stars in a musical and cultural landscape where “aesthetic” is king. Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside St., 503-225-0047, crystalballroompdx.com. 9 pm. $30. All ages.
TUESDAY, MAY 16:
Gary Numan has turned worldbuilding into a nearly 50-year career. Enamored with sci-fi concepts and techno-existential quandaries ever since he first became a star in his teens with the icy electro-punk band Tubeway Army, Numan has long pursued a vision that’s as once chilling and endearing. No matter how much listening to his songs can feel like being chased by a steamroller, the joy of an adolescent transforming his darkly futuristic visions into catchy pop music still shines through in the 65-year-old’s music. Revolution Hall, 1300 SE Stark St., 971-8085094, revolutionhall.com. 8 pm. $35. 21+.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 17:
Since 1998, San Diego’s Jimmy LaValle has made music for the part of the brain that feels a twinge of awe upon walking into a Sharper Image or a stereo showroom. His work as The Album Leaf is elegant, pristine, ambient, and centered on the Rhodes electric piano. Small wonder his music played a major role in Helvetica a movie about the ubiquitous font—and a love letter to design, just like LaValle’s music. His newest album, Future Falling, his first since 2016, features singers Kimbra and Bat for Lashes. Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan St., 503-223-4527, mcmenamins.com. 8 pm. $25. All ages.
THERE IS A SPOON: Spoon Benders.
29 Willamette Week MAY 10, 2023 wweek.com MUSIC
Editor: Bennett Campbell Ferguson | Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org SHOWS OF THE
WHAT TO SEE AND WHAT TO HEAR
KOKOKO! AT HOLOCENE
BY ROBERT HAM
“If you give to us, we will give to you. If you give us more, we will give you more. You’ll see.”
In any other context, hearing those words from a man wearing white coveralls and a red balaclava would feel downright threatening. But as the source was Xavier Thomas, the musician and mastermind known as Débruit who leads the Congolese ensemble KOKOKO!, the comment was, instead, imploring. Directed at the dozens of people packed into Holocene’s cozy performance space on May 3, it was a call for energy. Feed the two men onstage with your movement and excitement and they’ll return it tenfold.
The crowd didn’t need much prompting. Who could stay silent or sit still in response to the rhythm heavy fusillades that Thomas and his musical partner Makara Bianko (for some unknown reason, the band’s usual fivepiece lineup has been reduced to a duo) were spraying around the room?
Thomas set the course for each track with a bank of electronic pads and widgets. Bianko slipped between and around the programmed beats and squelching melodies with polyrhythms beat out on a small batch of traditional drums and percussion instruments built from reused plastic and glass bottles. Through it all, the two chanted and sang lyrics that bounced from spirit-raising messages to allegorical rage at the political situation in their native country.
The symbiotic relationship of audience and performers set forth a constant whirl of sweaty motion. It became a joyous calland-response of unbridled elation and sociopolitical fervor that, in the right context, felt like it had the power to topple regimes. Or at the very least help people more easily survive with the rest of the work week and the unforgiving global news cycle.
The Eyes Have It
Joshua James Amberson reveals the inspiration behind his new essay collection, Staring Contest
BY MICHELLE KICHERER IG: @MichelleKicherer
“It starts as a mist taking over my world,” reads the start of “Hazy,” the opening essay in Joshua James Amberson’s new collection, Staring Contest: Essays About Eyes (Perfect Day Publishing, 224 pages, $15), which will be published May 16.
The Portland author sits down with me at a cafe in Southeast Portland, where we share a sunny day and a conversation around his new collection. I find myself doing the very thing he writes about, a reflex I can’t help: I look at his eyes.
In the essay “Off-Label,” Amberson writes: “In my daily life, no one ever picks me out as a person with an eye condition. And since I tend not to mention it, it’s likely that most of the people who know me don’t realize the condition is something I deal with or think about every day.”
The condition to which Amberson refers is called pseudoxanthoma elasticum, or PXE, a rare genetic disease that causes cracks in the retina—and, as he writes in “Hazy,” it “allows for the possibility for blood vessels to penetrate the macula, the retina’s most sensitive layer, leaking blood and causing loss of vision.”
Amberson tells the story of when he learned that the distortion in his sight was the result of something more than a need for stronger eyeglasses. “Hazy” details the experience of getting injections in his eyeball, a
procedure necessary to prevent further eye damage and to at least temporarily restore and maintain his vision.
In “Off-Label,” Amberson describes the experience of a needle going into your eye as a “strange violation,” and writes that even after having had so many of these procedures over the years, the emotional aftermath hasn’t gotten any easier: “No matter how much I prepare myself, the undirected, unnamable sadness always takes me by surprise.” He has had more than 30 of these injections to date.
“Now that it’s in book form, I think about the collection as a whole differently than I did [when it was in manuscript form]. I’d never had that happen before,” Amberson says, explaining how much the collection changed in the editing process.
Amberson does not appear directly in these pieces; we don’t see the questions he asks, only the subjects’ answers. These pieces read almost like essays written by the subjects themselves, sharing personal narratives that add further perspective on sight and art. In one particularly engaging essay from the “Styles of Living” series, the writer and former illustrator Keith Rosson says: “I get the ‘you don’t look blind’ thing a lot. I think it happens with all disabilities: There are degrees of disability, and it’s hard for a lot of people to understand that.”
Amberson wants it to be clear: he is a sighted person and understands that privilege. The “possibility that one day I’ll need constant assistance is still one of my biggest fears,” he confesses in “The Blind Cartoon,” which he says was one of the most difficult pieces to write.
One goal that became clearer throughout that process? To start a dialogue. “I see writing as a conversation in some way, whether I’m writing fiction or nonfiction,” he says. “It’s a conversation on the page.”
To bring more experiences into that conversation, Amberson conducted a series of interviews collectively called “One of the Styles of Living.” The interview series features legally blind writers and artists like Keith Rosson, Andrew Leland and M. Leona Godin.
While Staring Contest explores many facets of eye-related subjects—crying, Bette Davis, David Bowie, eyepatches, Mr. Magoo, Braille—the unifying theme here is Amberson’s eager curiosity to understand why vision holds such power, and how we navigate the world with and without it.
SEE IT: Joshua James Amberson appears in conversation with Elena Passarello at Powell’s City of Books, 1005 W Burnside St., 800-878-7323, powells.com. 7 pm Tuesday, May 16. Free.
PHOTO BY YAARA PERCZEK / BOOK JACKET DESIGN BY AARON ROBERT MILLER COURTESY OF KOKOKO!
30 Willamette Week MAY 10, 2023 wweek.com
“It’s a conversation on the page.”
BOOKS Editor: Bennett Campbell Ferguson | Contact: email@example.com
Editor: Bennett Campbell Ferguson Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
Day of the Donkey
WW visits the Oregon Donkey Sanctuary to learn why donkeys are more popular than ever in movies.
BY JOLIENE ADAMS
They may not be Hollywood royalty, but donkeys made it to the Oscars this past March.
They appeared in three Oscar-nominated films: EO, The Banshees of Inisherin and Triangle of Sadness. An actual donkey—who host Jimmy Kimmel claimed to be Jenny from Banshees but was really Dominic from L.A.—even made it onstage. Jenny wasn’t available; in an uncharacteristic-of-humans act of grace toward donkeys, producers paid for her retirement from public life post-Banshees
No horse has graced the Oscars stage, yet they’ve dominated the screen. What’s widely considered the first film—Eadweard Muybridge’s 1878 Sallie Gardner at a Gallop featured just horse and man.
Donkeys aren’t absent from stories, though. For a small sampling, the Bible mentions them dozens of times, and they’re in the Quran, Cervantes’ Don Quixote, Shakespeare’s plays, and at least 87 films, according to Mubi. But there is a world of difference in the characterization of horses and donkeys on film.
Ben-Hur (1959) has its iconic chariot race showing the unbreakable power of the horse. Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002) centers on the unbreakable spirit of the horse. The Black Stallion (1979) explores the unbreakable friendships between humans and horses.
Stories with donkeys, on the other hand, are generally about a broken creature and a broken human-animal relationship. Donkeys typically appear when needed for comic relief or labor, or as objects of abuse and neglect.
Both Polish director Jerzy Skolimowski’s EO and its inspiration—director Robert
Bresson’s Au Hasard Balthazar (1966)—predominantly use donkeys to comment on human nature. But what about the nature of donkeys themselves? Turns out, it’s chronically misrepresented.
Enter the experts at the Oregon Donkey Sanctuary. In 2006, Rhonda and Jim Urquhart moved to Oregon City. A big-spirited, Texas-born woman frequently seen in coveralls and almost always in muck boots, Rhonda and her good-natured, joke-ready husband Jim opened ODS in 2021.
engaged with donkeys. She’s deeply familiar with and appreciates both, conceding, “Horses are graceful, magnificent, majestic beings. Their stature and movement is a beautiful, flowing, waltzlike dance. Donkeys are more of a two-step line dance at a country bar after a few beers.”
What donkeys lack in graceful movement, they make up in grace of heart. “If you immerse your stare into a donkey’s eyes you can feel them looking directly into your being,” Urquhart says. “It’s hard to describe unless you’ve felt it...the horse will win ‘sexy’ every time! The soulfulness and kindness of a donkey is beyond.”
When treated with patience and respect by humans, donkeys can share strong, mutually beneficial, even co-therapeutic relationships with humans. Urquhart offers a powerful example.
BY CHANCE SOLEM-PFEIFER @chance_s_p
Their 40-acre Oregon City farm was a satellite of Peaceful Valley Donkey Rescue for years. Eventually, it evolved into ODS, a forever home for donkeys in need. And in 2023, the sanctuary received the Oregon Humane Society’s Diamond Collar Award.
For the record, Rhonda Urquhart insists that donkeys are not stubborn but highly intelligent, with a strong instinct for self-preservation.
“They ’ll pause to evaluate a situation. If a donkey doesn’t feel safe, they will freeze [and] analyze,” she says. “This action gives them their ‘stubborn’ reputation and is why many are abused by the impatient nature of humans.” Some 15 volunteers at ODS agree that donkeys’ reputation as biting, kicking asses is far from the truth.
Rhonda had horses her entire life, until she
“ We had an autistic nonverbal 7-year-old boy visit,” she says. “He had never spoken. He was loving on [the late donkey] Pearl, and his parents asked if he was having fun. He looked at them and said, ‘I love.’ These were the first words he had ever spoken.”
The Urquharts live for these moments, and ODS’s ultimate goal is to become a therapy center. In the meantime, if you want to meet some donkeys and learn more about the sanctuary, visiting season opens each spring, and the public is always welcome at their interactive fundraisers, like their upcoming plant sale.
GO: Oregon Donkey Sanctuary, 15900 S Thayer Road, Oregon City, 503-826-7535, oregondonkeys. org. Spring plant sale is Saturday, June 3.
From Satan’s son to Xenomorphs, birth horror has had a hell of a run at the movies. Rarer, though, is psycho-fertility horror about the insidious pressures on ambivalent women to procreate. In Clock, those forces accost successful interior designer Ella (Dianna Agron) from all angles— moneyed mommy culture in the morning, Dad’s wistful broken-lineage speeches at night.
These are realistic forms of duress, but Clock heightens them, rendering Ella defenseless to make choices or communicate clearly. Though the 37-year-old has never much wanted kids, she quickly wants to want them and enrolls in a biotech trial under the wonderfully petrifying gaze of Melora Hardin (The Office). Just some exposure therapy and synthetic hormones, and baby fever is guaranteed.
Unfortunately, Clock fails to get visually or sensorially freaky à la the Alex Garland and Julia Ducournau influences looming over its settings and subject matters. (Points, though, for Ella’s raw-egg obsession and one memorable sexual mishap.)
Instead, writer-director Alexis Jacknow’s debut film is full of big ideas—especially the compelling theme of Ella’s childless guilt being complicated by her Judaism—but in the execution can’t connect them. It’s left to play hot potato with Ella’s agency, biology and identity, separating and conflating them on a twist-driven thriller’s shaky whim. Hulu.
screener MCKENZIE YOUNG-ROY @MCKENZIEYOUNGART HULU
YOUR WEEKLY FILM QUEUE
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“The horse will win ‘sexy’ every time! The soulfulness and kindness of a donkey is beyond.”
The Night of the Hunter (1955)
Reputationwise, The Night of the Hunter has belatedly gotten its due these past 70 years. Martin Scorsese and Roger Ebert are among those who lifted this cinematic dread-feast from commercial failure and critical ambivalence to its current status as an all-time serial killer film.
That’s no reason to stop the celebration. After all, director Charles Laughton never got to see the reclamation. The revered actor retired from filmmaking after this one initial disappointment.
The Night of the Hunter unfurls as a cat-and-mouse thriller within a holy war. Fashioned as a traveling revival-tent reverend, Harry Powell (Robert Mitchum) preys on a country family and seeks their dead patriarch’s stashed fortune. Entrusted with the money’s location, children John (Billy Chapin) and Pearl (Sally Jane Bruce) become Powell’s chief antagonists, lambs just barely escaping the panther’s fangs at every turn.
It’s arguably Mitchum’s finest performance, weaponizing all his languorous charm. But Laughton proves himself more than just an actor’s director. With cinematographer Stanley Cortez, he brings the good-and-evil allegory to the fore in gothic proportion and contrast. Breathtaking shot after breathtaking shot recalls Nosferatu and M more than any contemporaneous American film. Cinema 21, May 13.
5th Avenue: The State of Things (1982), Stranger Than Paradise (1984), May 12-14. Academy: Stalker (1979), May 11-18. The Iron Giant (1999), May 12-18. Raging Bull (1980), May 12-19. Clinton: Practical Magic (1998), May 11. What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (1962), May 13. The Dark Crystal (1982), May 13. The Holy Mountain (1973), May 13. The Alchemist Cookbook (2016), May 15. The Last Unicorn (1982), May 16. Hollywood: Blow Up (1966), May 11. Super Mario Bros. (1993), May 12. To Die For (1995), May 13-May 17. Jeanne Dielman, 23 quai du Commerce, 1080 Bruxelles (1975), May 14. Troll 2 (1990), May 15. Agency (1980), May 16.
THE EIGHT MOUNTAINS
The luminous cinematography of Ruben Impens takes the lead until filmmakers Charlotte Vandermeersch and Felix van Groeningen allow their characters to wrestle it back in this adaptation of Paolo Cognetti’s 2016 novel, which took home a Jury Prize at last year’s Cannes Film Festival. The film embarks on a four-decade journey with Pietro (Lupo Barbiero), who we first met as an 11-year-old city kid in 1984. His family has rented a house in a small mountain village for the summer. There, he’s introduced to the only other child in town, Bruno (Cristiano Sassella), who lives and works with his aunt and uncle. Each summer, Pietro returns, cultivating their friendship until they’re separated by diverging paths not of their choosing. Then, the boys reunite several years later, with unspoken envy frustrating any efforts to recapture that idyllic childhood connection. As the film progresses, the captivating imagery washes away, revealing a gruff reality resulting from the characters’ inability to communicate and the hidden traumas caused by their fathers. The oscillating nature of their friendship gets tedious over the two-and-a-half-hour runtime, but the film movingly explores family and identity, asking, “Can we truly ever go home again?” NR. RAY GILL JR. Cinema 21.
GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL. 3
Kicking off the action with the somber notes of Radiohead’s “Creep”—perhaps humanity’s greatest ode to self-loathing—writer-director James Gunn makes it clear that audiences are in for a weighty experience with Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 The story, which sees the team race across space to save the imperiled Rocket (Bradley Cooper) and uncover his tragic backstory along the way, is very nearly perfunctory, but that’s somewhat the point: These characters and the love Gunn and his fellow creators have for them are what shine through and give the whole series life. After an uneven first act and a comedy-of-errors heist, Vol. 3 finds it groove when our heroes face off against Chukwudi Iwuji’s High Evolutionary (who blends Alphonse Moreau’s mad science with Elon Musk’s messianic delusions) and truly sings in moments that acknowledge the darkness and abuse our heroes have survived, but also celebrate the humor, heart and creativity that make the superhero genre so special. Ultimately, Vol. 3 is a terrific conclusion to the trilogy because it does the same thing the previous movies did: shine a light on misfits and weirdos, celebrate their flaws and foibles, and prove that ingenuity, empathy and, yes, absolute silliness are the most valuable forces in the galaxy. PG-13. MORGAN SHAUNETTE. Academy, Bagdad, Bridgeport, Cedar Hills, Eastport, Fox Tower, Joy Cinema, Lake Theater, Laurelhurst, Lloyd Center, Oak Grove, Pioneer Place, Progress Ridge, Studio One, Wunderland Milwaukie.
BOOK CLUB: THE NEXT CHAPTER
Even with its jokes about meatballs and a male chef’s dough, Book Club: The Next Chapter isn’t as naughty as it pretends to be. A sequel to the livelier Book Club (2018), which was also written and directed by Bill Holderman, The Next Chapter is a pleasant portrait of female friendship bathed in prosecco and muted sunshine. This time, the four friends, played by Diane Keaton, Jane Fonda, Candace Bergen and Mary Steenburgen, take a trip to Italy. Along the way, they experience a series of mishaps, but nothing too serious. When their luggage is stolen, they buy new clothes. When they get thrown in the slammer, even the pale blue walls of the Italian prison are pretty. At 85, Fonda, who in real life endured five chemo treatments last year, can be forgiven for looking a little tired. But for a movie that’s supposed to be “slightly scandalous,” there’s a lot of talk about taking naps and making the most of the “time we have left” that wafts of sadness. A hilarious Zoom meeting montage, though, and Bergen’s one-liners add some pep. And the sight of the silver-haired Keaton in a sharp suit and a pair of Oxfords never gets old. PG-13. LINDA FERGUSON. Bridgeport, Cascade, Cedar Hills, Clackamas, Eastport, Lloyd Center.
EVERYTHING WENT FINE
André Bernheim’s daughters are experts in storming out and circling back. It’s the migratory pattern of adult children whose elderly father has ruled their lives through a potent combination of bullying and helplessness. Now, André (André Dussollier) requests a final favor: help with ending his life after a debilitating stroke. Sophie Marceau (The Party, The World Is Not Enough) plays André’s daughter Emmanuéle, the real-life author whose memoir director Francois Ozon here adapts to present-day Paris. (Emmanuéle, who died in 2017, authored screenplays for two of Ozon’s breakout films, Swimming Pool and 5x2 ). As a straight drama, Everything Went Fine is messy, unsparing and perhaps confused in its loyalties. The film seems to like the ghoulish André in his bedridden, sarcasm-couched flightiness as he holds court in the hospital while his ex-wife (Charlotte Rampling, an Ozon favorite) and ex-lover (Grégory Gadebois) become Emmanuéle’s responsibility. As a psychological conundrum, though, Everything Went Fine holds sway. The prospect of Andre’s assisted suicide darkly leverages family pathology. Maybe this one final time, if they let the old man manipulate and complicate, everyone at the end of it will have catharsis. “Is this love or perversity?” Emmanuéle’s husband asks of the euthanasia plan. Emmanuéle has an answer ready: “It’s both.” NR. CHANCE SOLEM-PFEIFER. Living Room.
: THIS MOVIE IS A STEAMING PILE.
: 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.
TOP PICK OF THE WEEK GET YOUR
PICTORIAL PRESS LTD/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO 32 Willamette Week MAY 10, 2023 wweek.com MOVIES
PICTORIAL PRESS LTD/ALAMY STOCK PHOTO
by Jack Kent
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ARIES (March 21-April 19): All of us are always telling ourselves stories—in essence, making movies in our minds. We are the producer, the director, the special effects team, the voice-over narrator, and all the actors in these inner dramas. Are their themes repetitious and negative or creative and life-affirming? The coming weeks will be a favorable time to work on emphasizing the latter. If the tales unfolding in your imagination are veering off in a direction that provokes anxiety, reassert your directorial authority. Firmly and playfully reroute them so they uplift and enchant you.
TAURUS (April 20-May 20): A famous football coach once said his main method was to manipulate, coax, and even bully his players into doing things they didn't like to do. Why? So they could build their toughness and willpower, making it more likely they would accomplish formidable feats. While this may be an approach that works for some tasks, it's not right for many others. Here's a further nuance: The grind-it-out-doingunpleasant-things may be apt for certain phases of a journey to success, but not for other phases. Here’s the good news, Taurus: For now, you have mostly completed doing what you don't love to do. In the coming weeks, your freedom to focus on doing fun things will expand dramatically.
punished by God. I’ve experienced deflations and demoralizations like that on far more occasions than I want to remember. And yet, I have noticed that when these apparent misfortunes have happened, they have often opened up space for new possibilities that would not otherwise have come my way. They have emptied out a corner of my imagination that becomes receptive to a fresh dispensation. I predict such a development for you, Libra.
SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Kissing is always a worthy way to spend your leisure time, but I foresee an even finer opportunity in the coming weeks: magnificent kissing sprees that spur you to explore previously unplumbed depths of wild tenderness. On a related theme, it's always a wise self-blessing to experiment with rich new shades and tones of intimacy. But you are now eligible for an unusually profound excursion into these mysteries. Are you bold and free enough to glide further into the frontiers of fascinating togetherness?
1. "C'mon, ___ it out!"
5. Graph starter
10. Otherworldly glow
14. Southern cornbread
15. Hard-hit baseball
16. Minute or milligram, e.g.
17. Home clearance event ["Here's where your ring fingers go ..."]
19. Bring down, as a building
20. Came to an end
21. Skiing surface
23. Country singer Musgraves
24. 2006 Nintendo release
29. Some retired boomers, for short
30. Digital gambling game
["Position your middle fingers right there ..."]
32. All dried out (and anagram of 28-Down)
33. Electrician's tool
38. "Oh, golly ..."
39. Comic book artists
40. Sound of contentment
41. Steak and peppers dish ["Let's get the index fingers back to home position ..."]
43. Obama-era policy,
47. Chihuahua, for one
48. Acne medication brand
49. Hall of Hall & Oates
50. "No question"
52. "___ borealis?! At this time of year ..."
53. Protein building block?
56. 1994 Robin Williams/
John Turturro movie ["Now move those index fingers inward ..."]
58. Rank emanation
59. Come after
60. "___ California" (Red Hot Chili Peppers song)
61. "Push th' Little Daisies" duo
62. Stashed in a new place
63. Those, in San Jose DOWN
1. Dots of dust
2. Pretend to be
4. Hints at, like a movie trailer
5. Answered a court charge
6. ___ Majesty the King (title official since May 6)
7. Per team
8. Singer-songwriter McKay
9. Pie crust flavor
10. "So long," at the Sorbonne
11. "Sherlock" actress Stubbs
12. "Sound of Metal" actor Ahmed
13. Had some grub
18. "Miss Pym Disposes" author Josephine
22. Cottonwood, for one
26. "Just pick ___!" (complaint to the tin-eared)
27. Presidential span
28. Scots Gaelic
30. Vice ___
31. Nearly 300-year-old unfinished Jean-Philippe Rameau work, completed
©2023 Jonesin’ Crosswords (email@example.com) 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.
and premiering in 2023, e.g.
32. Wave rider
34. Small prevarications
35. Working without ___ (taking risks)
36. Acronymic store name
37. What a flashing yellow arrow may allow (watching for crossing traffic)
38. "Jury ___" (2023 Amazon Freevee series)
40. Playfully mischievous
42. Song that Dolly Parton temporarily reworded as "Vaccine" in 2021
43. Finnish DJ behind the ubiquitous hit "Sandstorm"
44. Candle store features
45. 1993 Broadway flop musical based on a bignosed Rostand hero
46. "Jagged Little Pill" singer Morissette
49. "No ___" (No Doubt tribute band)
51. Rival of Lyft
52. Like most fine wines
53. Pull behind
54. Praiseworthy poem
57. Rapa ___ (Easter Island, to locals)
GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Most of us have an area of our lives where futility is a primary emotion. This may be a once-exciting dream that never got much traction. It could be a skill we possess that we’ve never found a satisfying way to express. The epicenter of our futility could be a relationship that has never lived up to its promise or a potential we haven't been able to ripen. Wherever this sense of fruitlessness resides in your own life, Gemini, I have an interesting prediction: During the next 12 months, you will either finally garner some meaningful fulfillment through it or else find a way to outgrow it.
CANCER (June 21-July 22): Many of us Cancerians have high levels of perseverance. Our resoluteness and doggedness may be uncanny. But we often practice these subtle superpowers with such sensitive grace that they're virtually invisible to casual observers. We appear modest and gentle, not fierce and driven. For instance, this is the first time I have bragged about the fact that I have composed over 2,000 consecutive horoscope columns without ever missing a deadline. Anyway, my fellow Crabs, I have a really good feeling about how much grit and determination you will be able to marshal in the coming months. You may break your own personal records for tenacity.
LEO (July 23-Aug. 22): Why do migrating geese fly in a V formation? For one thing, it conserves their energy. Every bird except the leader enjoys a reduction in wind resistance. As the flight progresses, the geese take turns being the guide in front. Soaring along in this shape also seems to aid the birds’ communication and coordination. I suggest you consider making this scenario your inspiration, dear Leo. You are entering a phase when synergetic cooperation with others is even more important than usual. If you feel called to lead, be ready and willing to exert yourself—and be open to letting your associates serve as leaders. For extra credit: Do a web search for an image of migrating geese and keep it in a prominent place for the next four weeks.
VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): I boldly predict that you will soon locate a missing magic key. Hooray! It hasn't been easy. There has been luck involved, but your Virgo-style diligence and ingenuity has been crucial. I also predict that you will locate the door that the magic key will unlock. Now here’s my challenge: Please fulfill my two predictions no later than the solstice. To aid your search, meditate on this question: "What is the most important breakthrough for me to accomplish in the next six weeks?”
LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Losing something we value may make us sad. It can cause us to doubt ourselves and wonder if we have fallen out of favor with the Fates or are somehow being
SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): Antonie van Leeuwenhoek (1632–1723) worked at a variety of jobs. He sold cloth. He was a land surveyor and bookkeeper. He managed the household affairs of his city’s sheriffs, and he supervised the city’s wine imports and taxation. Oh, by the way, he also had a hobby on the side: lensmaking. This ultimately led to a spectacular outcome. Leeuwenhoek created the world’s first high-powered microscope and was instrumental in transforming microbiology into a scientific discipline. In accordance with astrological omens, I propose we make him your inspirational role model in the coming months, Sagittarius. What hobby or pastime or amusement could you turn into a central passion?
CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): I wonder if you weren't listened to attentively when you were a kid. And is it possible you weren't hugged enough or consistently treated with the tender kindness you deserved and needed? I'm worried there weren't enough adults who recognized your potential strengths and helped nurture them. But if you did indeed endure any of this mistreatment, dear Capricorn, I have good news. During the next 12 months, you will have unprecedented opportunities to overcome at least some of the neglect you experienced while young. Here's the motto you can aspire to: "It's never too late to have a fruitful childhood and creative adolescence."
AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): As I've explored the mysteries of healing my traumas and disturbances over the past 20 years, I've concluded that the single most effective healer I can work with is my own body. Expert health practitioners are crucial, too, but their work requires my body's full, purposeful, collaborative engagement. The soft warm animal home I inhabit has great wisdom about what it needs and how to get what it needs and how to work with the help it receives from other healers. The key is to refine the art of listening to its counsel. It has taken me a while to learn its language, but I’m making good progress. Dear Aquarius, in the coming weeks, you can make great strides in developing such a robust relationship with your body.
PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Can we surmise what your life might be like as the expansive planet Jupiter rumbles through your astrological House of Connections and Communications during the coming months? I expect you will be even more articulate and persuasive than usual. Your ability to create new alliances and nurture old ones will be at a peak. By the way, the House of Communications and Connections is also the House of Education and Acumen. So I suspect you will learn a LOT during this time. It's likely you will be brainier and more perceptive than ever before. Important advice: Call on your waxing intelligence to make you wiser as well as smarter.
Homework: What’s the most fun experiment you could try right now?
BY MATT JONES "Home Row Truths"--a little typing test, and pinkies out!
WEEK OF MAY 11 © 2023 ROB BREZSNY FREE WILL last week’s answers ASTROLOGY CHECK OUT ROB BREZSNY’S EXPANDED WEEKLY AUDIO HOROSCOPES & DAILY TEXT MESSAGE HOROSCOPES freewillastrology.com The audio horoscopes are also available by phone at 1-877-873-4888 or 1-900-950-7700 34 Willamette Week MAY 10, 2023 wweek.com
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