Willamette Week, November 15, 2023 - Volume 50, Issue 1 - "Home, Sweet Home!"

Page 1

NEWS: Professor Accused of Fraud. P. 8 DRINK: Thanksgiving in a Glass at Aviation. P. 24 MUSIC: The Legacy of King Louie Bankston. P. 25


Home, WWEEK.COM VOL 50/01 11.15.2023

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Home! Portland’s most delectable desserts.

Donate now! GiftofMeals.org 2

Willamette Week NOVEMBER 15, 2023 wweek.com



WHAT WE LEARNED FROM READING THIS WEEK’S PAPER VOL. 50, ISSUE 01 “The pit” is now surrounded by

red fencing and “no trespassing” signs. 5

Because fentanyl is fat soluble, Medicaid patients who get residential treatment are dropping out faster. 6 Several of Nathan Vasquez’s donors don’t live in Multnomah County but own property here. 7 Mick Shillingford first ran an ice cream business, then a Doctor Who-themed bar. 7 A watchdog group says Qwo Li Driskill is not a member of an Indigenous tribe. 8 Corn husk meringue topped with nitro sweet corn Dippin’ Dots could be the final frontier of Portland desserts. 12

ON THE COVER: The most delectable desserts in a city of sweet; illustration by students of the Pacific Northwest College of Art’s Center for Design.

Don’t order bananas Foster at El Gaucho unless you’re prepared for foot-high flames. 14 Heaven is a cross section of meringue, fluffy whipped cream, and fresh berries. 14 A battle between grocery story birthday cakes ends in a draw. 20 The Allison’s latest ticketed feast focuses on seven foods that originated in America. 23

Anna Zusman


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 Rachel Saslow Copy Editor Matt Buckingham Editor Mark Zusman



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Aviation Gin is serving a turkey and gravy martini made with chicken stock this month. 24 A suit isn’t just a suit. 26

The protagonist of awe/struck feels awe and then is struck. 27

OUR MOST TRAFFICKED STORY ONLINE THIS WEEK: One week into the teacher strike and Portland Public Schools parents have some choice words.


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TRIVIA TIME! Which year did the USA Women’s snowboard team sweep the podium for slopestyle at the Olympic games?

A: 2008 || B: 2014 || C: 2018 || D:2002

Willamette Week is mailed at third-class rates. Association of Alternative Newsmedia. This newspaper is published on recycled newsprint using soy-based ink.

Willamette Week NOVEMBER 15, 2023 wweek.com





A T R E A LRBO S ER E T •••• A E H T

After two weeks of teachers striking, emotions run high and our inbox is overflowing. What follows are three letters we received from Portland parents in response to our story plumbing the feelings of other Portland parents.


NOV 15

Bluegrass supergroup

JOHN JORGENSON BLUEGRASS BAND a Star Trek comedy podcast – LIVE!

NOV 16


to celebrate, roast, & review Star Trek V: The Final Frontier NOV 18

NOV 19

placing no boundaries on the eras of the Dead



NOV 30

the Adrian Martin Septet feat. James Low

Portland’s ALL-STAR tribute to the Band’s “Last Waltz”


The NowHere Band + Rose City Circus

DEC 22

DEC 23


3 Leg Torso presents




a Burlesque tale inspired by A Christmas Carol




3000 NE Alberta • 503.764.4131 4

I’m sorry but your article was not at all balanced. While most would agree that we all would like more teachers, better facilities, and for those teachers to be better paid, those goals cannot be viewed in a vacuum. We need to look at the situation in the proper context. Portland residents pay the


I read your piece covering PPS parent sentiment, and it’s disappointing that three similar

BY MARTY SMITH @martysmithxxx



highest taxes in the entire country; unless you happen to live in Manhattan and make over $23 million a year. Meanwhile, parents who have the highest tax obligations in the country were faced with a school district that was the last in the entire country to go back to in-person learning. Every ounce of research has shown this was disastrous for children, particularly those from lower-income households. Now the same teachers who refused to go back to in-person learning have sent children home in the middle of the school year. Portland Public Schools is one of the best-funded school districts on a per-student basis in the entire country. Meanwhile, education results have been incredibly poor when measured by nonpartisan watchdogs. There is plenty of blame to go around; however, acting as if teachers haven’t played a significant part in this situation is intellectually dishonest. Justin S. Northwest Portland

Dr. Know

DEC 16

Beatles/circus mashup

DEC 20

Thank you for putting voice to our feelings [“Rage Against the Machine,” WW, Nov. 8]. With a senior at home wondering how to complete college applications and an eighth grader going stir crazy, we feel this deeply. The lackadaisical tone of the negotiations so far is, frankly, infuriating. That the mediator thought that a few days of other work should come before resolving this strike says plenty. I see that one of the teachers’ demands is to keep the classrooms between 60° and 90°— and that the district is balking? I have a proposal that combines equity with cost savings: set the district office thermostats to the same range. Matt B. Northeast Portland

Willamette Week NOVEMBER 15, 2023 wweek.com

Why has weathercasting gotten so dramatic? Growing up, we had heat waves, heavy rains, and major snowstorms. Today we have Heat Domes! and Atmospheric Rivers!! and Bomb Cyclones!!! Are these fundamentally different weather patterns, or simply hype to keep us watching through the next commercial break? —Wet in Beaverton Don’t forget the Polar Vortex! We all know that climate change is making weather events more intense—but is the “atmospheric river” that brings us 4 inches of rain in 2023 really all that different from the “rainstorm” that brought us 3 inches in 1990? The answer is no—but before you accuse our brave local weatherfolk of selling out to the great media hype machine, there are some legitimate reasons for the shift in our terminology beyond naked click-baiting. The first is simply the inexorable march of progress. We haven’t met, Wet, but anyone who still writes letters to the local newspaper has to be at least as old as I am. That means that roughly half of all the world’s science has happened in your (our) lifetime. We didn’t hear much about atmospheric rivers when we were younger, but that’s because they weren’t even discovered until the 1990s—before that, scientists just knew it was raining, probably because we’d angered the gods somehow.

perspectives were collected. There’s a general fear of criticizing the Portland Association of Teachers’ leadership and tactics because everyone supports teachers and wants them to be compensated fairly. Still, you wouldn’t have to look far to find parents equally frustrated by both sides’ leadership. With the state CFO now assigned to get everyone on the same page about the district’s finances, I wonder if PAT will amend its primary talking point that “the money is there.” Of course, they won’t because it would expose that a core pillar of PAT’s argument is based on either (a) an inability to decipher the budget or (b) a willful misrepresentation of data to garner support and justify this strike. The fact is, an impasse was always inevitable due to the fiscal realities. PPS and PAT could have negotiated in earnest over the summer and avoided inflicting this damage on children and families. But they didn’t. And their prolonged refusal to engage meaningfully—and in good faith—will create wounds in our community that will take years to heal. What a shame. What a sham. T.S. Southeast Portland 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: mzusman@wweek.com

A second reason for the shift is that, as a culture, we just talk about weather more now. In the old days, the weather was confined to five minutes on the local news. This gave you time for WHAT (rain), WHEN (tomorrow) and WHERE (here), but definitely not WHY or HOW if you wanted to wrap things up in time for sports. Now, though, we have eight separate 24-hour weather networks, plus another 6 million weather-related social media channels (and we pay attention to them, because we all know weather is how the world ends). It’s little wonder that our weather-related vocabulary has gained some colorful new terms. Finally, at least some of this zippy language has been deliberately pushed by meteorologists to make the public take dangerous weather phenomena more seriously. “Bomb cyclone,” for example, clearly evokes an intense storm that comes up suddenly, and as one of the researchers who coined it told The Washington Post in 2018, “If the term conveys the importance and the danger associated with [such storms], then I think that’s a good thing.” Perhaps we’re too cynical—what some decry as weather-based media hype is really just experts trying to get us to be more careful. Still, if The Weather Channel rolls out “plague drizzle,” “volcano mist” or “flesh-eating sleet” anytime soon, I’m going to want to see evidence. Questions? Send them to dr.know@wweek.com.


Theresa M. Kºhlhºff Attºrney At Law

MR. HOOKAH TURMOIL AT ANOTHER SCHOOL UNION: As the Portland Association of Teachers strike hits the nine-day mark and shatters West Coast records, there’s turmoil at yet another union for school employees: The Portland Federation of School Professionals has failed to ratify its contract twice this fall and is now out a president. John MacDuffee, the previous president, stepped down Oct. 8, after contracting COVID at a conference. “I am no longer capable of performing the duties of PFSP president to my expectations,” he wrote in an email to members, adding that he would take vacation immediately through his retirement date of Nov. 30. Elizabeth Held, a paraeducator at Ockley Green Middle School, has stepped in as acting president. “While it has certainly been a challenging time to step into the role of acting president,” she says, “I am grateful for the opportunity to serve our members.” PFSP represents 1,350 members, including school administrative assistants, paraeducators, library assistants, and campus safety associates. They are bargaining for a three-year contract that provides a living wage and safe working conditions, the union says. NEW COST ESTIMATE REVIVES CROWNE PLAZA DEBATE: Turning the Crowne Plaza Hotel near Moda Center into a homeless shelter wouldn’t cost anything like the $149 million previously estimated by Multnomah County because it wouldn’t have to be retrofitted for earthquake safety. That’s the opinion of John Tessem at DCI Engineers, which he shared in a Nov. 6 letter to Crowne Plaza owner Mark Hollander. Earlier this year, County Commissioner Sharon Meieran proposed putting a $25 million down payment on the 241-unit hotel and turning it into a permanent shelter. Other county officials were skeptical, especially after an opinion by the county’s facilities division that earthquake retrofits would break the bank. In his letter, Tessem says he examined city code and spoke with an official at the Portland Bureau of Development Services to determine that mandatory seismic retrofits would not be triggered by Meieran’s proposal. Among other things, the occupancy load would not be increased beyond the code’s threshold, Tessem said. Nor would the cost of improvements be high enough. Meieran said Tessem’s study proves buying the Crowne Plaza would be a good use of the millions pouring into county coffers from Metro’s supportive housing services tax. “Contrary to the hastily convened and superficial evaluation of my proposed project by the county, the conclusions in the DCI report were reached by meticulous analysis over time by a dedicated structural engineering firm with direct involvement of a city BDS planning official,” Meieran wrote in an email. County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson says: “The Crowne Plaza proposal not moving forward had nothing to do with the seismic costs and everything to do with

the lack of board support. Commissioner Meieran proposed inadequate funding to purchase this building but said that she knew of partners ‘extremely supportive’ about the opportunity. Those partners never materialized.” CITY DELAYED CLEARING “THE PIT” FOR MONTHS AS COUNTY HOUSING EFFORTS FALTERED: This spring, Portland and Multnomah County officials were contemplating a plan to permanently eliminate “The Pit,” an expansive homeless encampment under the west end of the Steel Bridge, according to senior officials in the mayor’s office. The plan, they say, was simple: The city would hold off on cleaning up the site until the county could “rapidly rehouse” its occupants. City officials say they initially believed the project would be done by May. But things didn’t go according to plan. As The Oregonian has previously reported, the county struggled to find a contractor willing to do the work of finding the campers housing. Ultimately, Transition Projects began work in June. Then, months dragged on as outreach workers rushed to sign leases—a challenge given the fact that many of the campers didn’t have identification cards, let alone furniture. By the time city cleanup crews surveyed the site in October, they found 50 people still living there. The county had successfully rehoused a total of just 18 people in private apartments—moving 20 more to one of the city’s large new temporary pod shelters in Southeast Portland. “The pit” is now surrounded by red fencing and “no trespassing” signs paid for by the city. The conclusion of the saga left a sour aftertaste for some. “Transition Projects does not support camp clearing,” the nonprofit said in a statement. It says it will continue trying to find housing for 150 people its workers met at the encampment, and is hoping to expand its outreach further into Old Town.


FREE WILLS, TRUSTS & PROBATE SEMINAR Sunday Dec. 17 Noon to 2pm 7512 N. Berkeley Ave. www.NorthPortlandAttorney.com (503) 286-1346 TheresaKohlhoff@gmail.com

STATEWIDE FLAVORED TOBACCO BAN WON’T HAPPEN NEXT YEAR: The deadline has passed to introduce legislation in January’s five-week short session of the Oregon Legislature, and there’s no sign of a renewed effort to ban flavored tobacco statewide. A bill to do so last year failed after facing opposition from distributors, who say banning the products will simply fuel an unregulated black market. Advocates of a ban say the products target kids and encourage smoking. “The Oregon Legislature has once again failed to take the tobacco epidemic seriously,” said Jamie Dunphy, a government relations director for the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network. Five other states have banned the sale of flavored nicotine products, as have Washington and Multnomah counties, although both have been challenged in court. Multnomah County’s ban begins in January after a legal challenge failed earlier this year. Willamette Week NOVEMBER 15, 2023 wweek.com




grams in 13 facilities, covering the gamut from basic medical care to post-incarceration life skills to intensive drug treatment at Hooper Detox Center. Mendenhall, a physician, joined Central City in 2017 as senior medical director for substance use disorder services and became CEO in July 2022. That gives him a unique vantage point on the mental health and addiction crisis that has poleaxed the region. Last week, Mendenhall came to our offices to discuss conditions he’s seeing. We asked him to diagnose Portland’s ills and to prescribe a cure. Here’s what he told us, edited for brevity and clarity:

Concerned Citizen The CEO of Portland’s largest social services nonprofit says things are really bad—and he now has the data to prove it. BY N I G E L J AQ U I S S njaquiss@wweek .com

Andy Mendenhall runs Central City Concern, a Portland nonprofit larger than most city governments

in Oregon. Central City Concern employs 1,200 people and will generate revenue of about $150 million this year. It operates 2,600 units of affordable housing and runs 29 different pro-




One of the problems is a lack of data—and that nobody has asked for it. “We haven’t really had a sense of how many people have a particular problem. Whether that’s severe pervasive mental illness, opioid use disorder, or stimulant use disorder, and then where those folks are getting services—or not getting services. And then more broadly, how those populations are changing over time. “I’m disappointed that no one has asked for this data before.”

Nobody has been in charge. “One of the greatest challenges in this state is that we’ve historically lacked a strategy for our behavioral health care

system. That shows up as Oregon historically being in the bottom five. And sometimes we’re at the bottom in terms of our access on a per-capita basis to behavioral health services—in particular, substance use disorder services.”

New data shows people are in worse shape than we knew. Meanwhile, there are no beds at Oregon State Hospital for people who need to be civilly committed. “There’s never been a clear understanding at the state level

shop for a short time before it went under. He ran a convenience store for a while, too, but, according to Guffey, the bottle drop exchange and cheap beer upset surrounding neighbors because those offerings attracted homeless campers. Shillingford managed to run a couple businesses out of the building that lasted more than a decade. He opened the Fish & Chip Shop in the Killingsworth building in 2008, where he served classic British cuisine, including Scotch eggs and shepherd’s pie. (Reviews of the food vary widely.) Inside the pub was a Doctor Whothemed bar and music venue, the TARDIS Room, where local punk and rock bands came to showcase their songs (the performers included Shillingford himself ), and where Shillingford would show episodes of

Doctor Who on a modest television mounted on the wall. Its novelty gained media coverage, including by WW, which in 2012 wrote that this was your spot “if you fancy some sci-fi geekery and a chance to get off with some authentic fish and chips.” Shillingford never appeared to make a steady profit from any of his ventures. In estate documents, Portland Ice Cream Company is valued at $175,000. The pub is valued at $11,890. The property itself is valued at $2.1 million. “Every couple of years, my dad would think, ‘This would be a great thing to open, I can make a ton of money,’ and then he wouldn’t make any money and close it down,” Guffey says. “Ice cream paid to keep the building open.” When Shillingford died in 2021, all of his assets went to his wife, ac-

complished computer scientist and researcher Kathryn Mohror. Shillingford left nothing to either of his two sons, both of whom have frequent run-ins with the law and one of whom has been homeless on the streets of Portland for years. Shillingford wrote in his will of his two sons: “While I love them both, I leave nothing to either of them.” Mohror, his widow, has been trying to sell the building since her husband’s death. She did not return calls or texts from WW, but the real estate broker who’s working with Mohror to sell the building, and who also worked with Shillingford before his death, described the man as a “salty old English bloke.” Twice in the past year, Mohmor and Jason VanAbrams, the property’s broker, lowered the price of the building. Now it sits at $1.9 million, but VanAbrams is jockeying to lower it again soon. After all, it needs a new roof and the 50-foot-long walk-in freezer that Shillingford proudly installed years ago has actually been a detractor for potential buyers. “We’re waiting for a buyer who wants the whole freezer,” VanAbrams says. Guffey doesn’t recall his father affectionately. He doesn’t think he was a good businessman, a good boss, or a good father. But he did make some damn good ice cream, Guffey says. “He would find the best tasting ingredients he could get.” S O P H I E P E E L .


Frosty Relations ADDRESS: 1200-1218 N Killingsworth St. YEAR BUILT: 1927 SQUARE FOOTAGE: 5,982 MARKET VALUE: $2.4 million OWNER: Nansen Properties LLC HOW LONG IT’S BEEN EMPTY: 2 years WHY IT’S EMPTY: The owner died. Mick Shillingford got the ice cream bug in 1997. Shillingford, then a single father living in Southeast Portland with two young boys after the sudden death of his wife, bought a truck, a loudspeaker, and ice cream, and began a route he would perform every day for nine months of the year. One of his sons, Brandon Guffey, remembers riding in the truck with his father every day after school beginning when he was 7 years old. Between the months of March and October, he’d peddle ice cream to kids along the route as songs like “Turkey in the Straw,” “Ding Dong” and “Pop Goes the Weasel” emanated from the truck on repeat. “My dad would pick me up every day from school in the ice cream truck, and it was my job to hand out ice cream bars until we got finished at about 11 o’clock at night,” Guffey 6

says. Guffey has few fond memories of the years accompanying his dad on the ice cream route. Their relationship remained fractured until Shillingford’s death in the summer of 2021. He was 61. “Working for my dad was not a good situation,” Guffey says, “and a lot of things about my dad were not very good.” Shillingford upgraded his business in 2005. He bought an old commercial building along North Killingsworth Street that for years housed a dairy operation, then a dry cleaners, then an auto shop, then a rotating host of small businesses, including a Mexican tienda. He began hiring drivers with trucks and vans to distribute ice cream along particular routes. Over the years he expanded into an ice cream wholesaler, too, and started a popsicle brand. At the height of the ice cream operation, Guffey estimates, his father had a fleet of about 10 ice cream trucks and vans crawling along city streets every day. While the ice cream business was the building’s anchor, Shillingford toyed with other storefronts in the building, too. He operated a coffee

Willamette Week NOVEMBER 15, 2023 wweek.com


The late owner of the Portland Ice Cream Company leaves a complicated legacy and a vacant building.

WHO GOES THERE: The TARDIS room in 2012.

Every week, WW examines one mysteriously vacant property in the city of Portland, explains why it’s empty, and considers what might arrive there next. Send addresses to newstips@wweek.com.

CONTRIBUTIONS OF THE WEEK and, up until recently, within our region of how big those populations of individuals are, who have significant substance use disorder, behavioral health, or both issues. They’re prodigious consumers of health care. We’re starting to see evidence that individuals who fall into this cohort are being hospitalized for physical health conditions at rates up to 12 to 14 times more than the average adult.” The new data drew on about 400,000 Medicaid patients in the tri-county area. It found their conditions have gotten worse in the past couple of years. “Acuity went through the roof because people had less access to care. My clarion call is that the level of care mismatch has never been greater between what people have access to and what they actually need. What does that mean? People with fentanyl use disorder, people with methamphetamine use disorder, need access to residential treatment beds more than they ever have, for longer periods of time. And those beds don’t exist at the scale that we need them to.” The people who do get treatment are dropping out more often and faster. Often that means they never find housing. “At our residential treatment program, 21-day engagement has dropped from 80% right down to 65%. That’s almost a pure fentanyl impact. The reasons for that are biological: People who have fentanyl use disorder have a protracted withdrawal syndrome that has to do with the fact that the drug is fat soluble. It takes an extended period of time for those individuals to withdraw and get stabilized on medication. “If we look at our alcohol and drug-free transitional housing, discharge to homelessness has gone up from about 5.7% to 15%. Our transitional housing completion rates have dropped from just shy of 60% to just above 40%. So, folks aren’t completing programming. That doesn’t mean that they’re all leaving to homelessness. But they’re not graduating.” The answer: more residential treatment capacity. “Many of these individuals would be doing better if they

got a residential treatment episode of care for 30 to 60 days. We need a tranche of inpatient psychiatric beds locally: somewhere between 40 to 50 inpatient psych beds. And we need upwards of 200 secure residential treatment beds.” Multnomah County pursued a flawed housing policy. “It’s easy to look in the rearview mirror and identify that there was a philosophy within the Portland metropolitan area that was ‘housing first’ strategy, as in only build housing units. And that was not an appropriate strategy for the region. Former Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury and Marc Jolin, the prior leader of the Joint Office of Homeless Services, had a very specific strategy that was focused on building housing units and not looking at the broader needs of a population of folks for whom you can’t take a housing-only approach to the intervention.”

“ Acuity went through the roof because people had less access to care.” Residents at Central City’s housing units are doing a lot of damage. “Having unmet high-acuity behavioral health needs in the community and having an amphetamine epidemic as well as a fentanyl epidemic have led to individuals having escalated behavior—within our housing but also in the lobbies of our clinics. We have people who have unmet behavioral health needs who come in, who are agitated, who are psychotic, who are hurting themselves, hurting our facilities, and hurting our staff. Our general liability insurance costs have gone up more than 300% in the last four fiscal years. And we have been told that our problems are also not unique, that many other supportive housing providers within the region are experiencing the same type of unmanaged behavioral health acuity among clients.”

Thanksgiving Bounty Nathan Vasquez builds a big fundraising lead in the race for DA. Nathan Vasquez is handily outraising incumbent Mike Schmidt in the race for Multnomah County district attorney. Although Schmidt has attracted more donors, Vasquez has raised more than double the dollars— thanks to big checks from local business interests. Notably, Vasquez is raking in cash from deep-pocketed property investors who are interested in the condition of Multnomah County but in many cases do not live here. Vasquez is campaigning to unseat Schmidt next May by arguing that the DA’s progressive policies have led to increased crime and left the city less safe. Schmidt says he’s been a steady hand who’s navigated the office through a period of unprecedented crisis. So far, Vasquez’s message has resonated well with Portland’s business elite. He landed big contributions early on from sources like Nike co-founder Phil Knight, Columbia Sportswear’s Tim

Boyle, and Schnitzer Properties. And a flurry of recent $5,000 contributions has further accelerated Vasquez’s lead, including checks from lower-profile real estate developers such as Greg Specht and Kenneth Randall. Vasquez has “donors large and small, and from every corner of Multnomah County,” his campaign spokeswoman responds. Vasquez has previously told WW that he hopes to raise, in total, $1 million. (The county’s campaign finance limits don’t



apply to the race for district attorney, who is technically a state employee. Oregon is one of only a few states without a cap.) He will also likely benefit from independent spending. The advocacy group People for Portland has attempted to associate Schmidt’s face with downtown blight via a series of billboards, the most recent of which appeared on West Burnside Street near Zupan’s last month. By contrast, Schmidt’s campaign has not until recently made fundraising a priority. Rather than amassing a campaign war chest while in office, he raised less than $10,000 between 2021 and 2022, a surprisingly low amount for a sitting elected official. Schmidt has other advantages, however, like a wide swath of endorsements from a majority of the county’s board of commissioners and more than a dozen state lawmakers, which Vasquez has yet to match. LUCAS MANFIELD.




Pill Hill Investors LLC (West Linn): $5,000

Mary Ventura, Portland Public Schools teacher: $1,000

David Laurence (Medford, retired): $5,000

Kate Ides, Los Angeles corporate lawyer: $500

The Greenbrier Companies, Lake Oswego-based railcar manufacturers: $5,000

Monta Knudson, CEO of Portland nonprofit Bridges to Change: $500


Willamette Week NOVEMBER 15, 2023 wweek.com



Your place for


merrymaking Mannheim Steamroller Christmas Fri, Nov 24, 7:30 pm

Gospel Christmas with the Oregon Symphony Sat, Dec 9 7:30 pm Sun, Dec 10, 4 pm

A Very Merry Mariachi Christmas Concert with Mariachi Sol de México® de José Hernández Mon, Dec 11, 7:30 pm

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Willamette Week NOVEMBER 15, 2023 wweek.com

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Students, faculty and independent investigators say Oregon State is ignoring allegations of identity fraud against a prominent professor—who claims to be the real victim. BY N I G E L JAQ U I S S

Kristin Chenoweth with the Oregon Symphony


Malice in Corvallis

11/14/23 3:51 PM

Allegations of identity fraud against a distinguished professor and author are roiling Oregon State University, pitting faculty against one of their own and causing graduate students to turn against a mentor. The catalyst that caused a long-simmering controversy to boil over: an investigative report released Oct. 25 by the North Carolina-based Tribal Alliance Against Frauds. The Indigenous watchdog group says it investigates people who “falsely represent American Indian cultures, histories, and spiritual practices and/or falsely claim American Indian identity as individuals for profit or fame.” The most recent subject of the group’s scrutiny is Qwo Li Driskill, a tenured associate professor of Women, Gender and Sexual Studies & Queer Studies in OSU’s College of Liberal Arts. Driskill, 48, identifies as “trans, nonbinary, two-spirit, and queer multiracial and Indigenous,” according to a faculty biography. After a four-month investigation, the group determined Driskill’s claims of Indigenous and Black ancestry were bogus. “The Tribal Alliance Against Frauds is asking Oregon State University to fire…Driskill for academic dishonesty and ethnic fraud unless Driskill makes a public statement admitting that they are not American Indian at all and gives a public apology,” the group wrote.

UNDER SCRUTINY: Dr. Qwo Li Driskill.

Misrepresenting one’s ethnic identity is an explosive charge with a long history. The issue burst into the public consciousness in 2015, when Rachel Dolezal, then president of the NAACP chapter in Spokane, Wash., was outed—by her own parents—as being white rather than Black as she claimed. Critics say fakers steal the identities and authority of cultures they imitate, for motivations that include monetary gain, prestige and authority, all at the expense of groups, such as American Indians, that have long been exploited.

“This problem is huge. It’s a plague upon us.” In this case, the Tribal Alliance Against Frauds alleged that Driskill’s claims of ancestral ties to the Cherokee, Lenape and Osage tribes were concocted. “[Driskill has] zero ancestry from any American Indian tribal nation whatsoever,” the group’s report said. “This is supported by hundreds of unimpeachable genealogical documents that trace Driskill in a direct line back several generations on both sides of their family. It is also supported by letters from all the nations they falsely claim ancestry from.” The Corvallis Gazette-Times and Inside Higher Ed reported on the fraud report earlier this month. Lianna Costantino, the director of the fraud detection group, tells WW the number of people falsely claiming American Indian ancestry is skyrocketing: Between 2010 and 2020 there was an 86% increase in the population of people claiming to be Native. “Obviously, it’s not from immigration or a big baby boom in

Indian country,” Costantino says. People falsely claiming American Indian ancestry, Costantino says, are stealing jobs, defrauding students and colleagues, and perpetuating a genocide and appropriation that began hundreds of years ago. She compares it to people who falsely claim military service. “It’s kind of like stolen valor,” Constantino says. “This problem is huge. It’s a plague upon us, and we’re drowning in it.” Costantino’s group has released eight fraud reports since its founding in May 2022, questioning the credentials of professors, an author and a singer, drawing on U.S. Census Bureau and tribal records. The group, Costantino says, made numerous attempts to reach Driskill with no response. Costantino says that’s typical. Joseph M. Pierce, an associate of professor of at Stony Brook University in New York, is an enrolled citizen of the Cherokee Nation and one of the academics who compelled U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) to renounce her claims of Cherokee ancestry. Pierce, who specializes in queer and Indigenous studies and moves in the same academic circles as Driskill, says Driskill wrote their best-known book, Asegi Stories: Cherokee Queer and Two-Spirit Memory while fraudulently claiming Cherokee ancestry. “Driskill helped establish queer indigenous studies as a field but did so under false pretenses,” Pierce says. “We as a people decide who belongs to our tribe. The Cherokee Nation has determined Driskill doesn’t belong.” Driskill, who did not respond to requests for comment, remains on the job. The university wouldn’t comment (or release Driskill’s photo, although it’s a public record), despite OSU’s professed commitment to academic integrity and a “land acknowledgment” mea culpa on its website taking responsibility for “impact that its land grant history had on Indigenous communities in Oregon.” Driskill’s attorney, Craig Crispin, says the investigative report is wrong and his client will be vindicated: “I anticipate a release in the near future identifying Dr. Driskill’s ancestral relationships with Native and Black Americans, rendering allegations to the contrary false and defamatory.” Indeed, an Oct. 5 complaint Driskill filed with the Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industriessays they are the real victim.

“I have been targeted for retaliatory actions, subjected to multiple and persistent microaggressions as well as macroaggressions, excluded from work-related positions and activities, and excluded from relevant and important department communications due to my gender identity, race and racial identity,” Driskill wrote in the complaint against OSU. The report about Driskill’s ancestry comes on the heels of other concerns. On July 31, seven graduate students submitted a nine-page letter to faculty leaders and Dr. Larry Rodgers, OSU’s dean of liberal arts, accusing Driskill of “biased and abusive behavior towards graduate students and graduate employees.” The grad students cited in-

Driskill punched back, filing the BOLI claim. The complaint alleges that, beginning in December 2022, Driskill repeatedly notified OSU adminstrators about “a culture of backchanneling and triangulation that created a hostile work environment, particularly toward trans persons.” The BOLI complaint, newly obtained by WW, was submitted right before the release of the fraud report. That report prompted Driskill’s colleagues to amp up the pressure, emailing OSU president Jayathi Murthy and provost Ed Feser on Nov. 9. They cited concerns that Driskill was bullying “queer trans and nonbinary students,” and demanded an independent investigation. In response to WW’s questions, university spokesman

“Students are continuing to be actively harmed.” stances of favoritism, bias and intimidation and pushed for change. “We demand that Dr. Driskill is replaced as director of graduate studies,” they wrote. On Sept. 5, seven of Driskill’s faculty colleagues followed up with a letter to Rodgers, supporting the grad students’ “perceptions of a culture of favoritism, manipulation, coercion, and fear of retaliation.” “Many of us have witnessed firsthand Dr. Driskill’s differential treatment of students and the consequences these behaviors have had,” the faculty members wrote. They asked for Driskill to be placed on administrative leave. In a follow-up message Sept. 19, the faculty critics added more specifics, alleging Driskill discriminated against some grad students based on gender, ethnicity and national origin and displayed a “willingness to harm faculty colleagues in the process of amassing power and control.” Even before the watchdog group issued its report, Driskill’s colleagues raised the issue of their ancestry, alleging Driskill “has committed academic fraud by misrepresenting themselves as Indigenous and two spirit,” the faculty letter said. (“Two spirit” refers to an Indigenous understanding of people who are gender nonconforming.) “This racial misrepresentation also has repercussions for our graduate students who will be harmed by this fraud, both personally and professionally, and our program whose academic integrity will be damaged.”

Rob Odom issued a statement. “OSU does not comment on personnel matters,” the statement said. “While we cannot comment on the particulars of any individual situation, OSU is committed to maintaining a working, learning, and social environment in which the rights and dignity of all the staff, faculty, and students of the university community are respected.” One of Driskill’s students feels anything but respected. When Mateo Rosales Fertig arrived on the OSU campus in 2019 to begin graduate school, part of the draw was Driskill. Fertig, now 30, grew up in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas, part Chicano, part Native American. Fertig uses they/he pronouns and identifies as queer and transgender. In Driskill, Fertig saw a role model and mentor. “I had known of them as a poet, and I was looking to do some work in poetry as well,” Fertig says. “That’s one of the reasons I applied to the program in the first place.” Fertig took classes from Driskill and eventually became their assistant in Driskill’s role as director of graduate studies in the Women, Gender and Sexuality Studies Program. Today, Fertig is one of more than 200 people who have signed a petition calling for Driskill to be fired. “It’s been devastating,” Fertig says. “Students are continuing to be actively harmed, but I feel our claims are pushed aside and dismissed.”

TICKETS: PDXJAZZ.ORG Willamette Week NOVEMBER 15, 2023 wweek.com



Willamette Week NOVEMBER 15, 2023 wweek.com

I l l u s t r a t i o n s a n d d e s i g n t h r o u g h o u t b y PN CA D e s i g n’s C e n t e r f o r D e s i g n : Ph o e b e M o r e n o , N i c h o l a s C a l h o u n , K a t h e r i n e F a k a s h c h u k , F r a n c i s B a g b y, M J J a c o b o , S a m i F i l o s a

Home, home! Portland’s most delectable desserts. The story of Portland is written in sweets. From the demure chocolate-frosted ginger cookies at Roste Chocolate House to the gargantuan Boccone Dolce at Papa Haydn, desserts are the way residents of this city mark a special occasion and say “I love you.” Even our perennial, exhausting debates about doughnuts are a tell: This town takes its sweet tooth seriously. As we head into a season when loved ones are near (and expecting gifts), it’s little wonder that our minds start compiling lists of sugary indulgences. Craving something deceptively simple? Read up on Lauretta Jean’s salted honey pie and its “pillowy” interior (page 18). Hungry for the deliciously extravagant? Turn to our profile of Screen Door’s triple-layer red velvet cake (page 18) and let the drooling begin. Flip through this issue and you’ll see the story of Portland emerge. Old Portland lives on through our ode to the bananas Foster at El Gaucho and the late wunder-chef Sherwood Dudley (page 14). The diversity and energy of the Foster-Powell area wafts through our pro-

file of An Xuyên Bakery, famous for Hawaiian doughnuts and guava cookies (page 16). For a taste of the future of Portland desserts, we visited new dessert bar Libre (page 12), whose inventive menu includes apple cake with mole ice cream. But we didn’t neglect the usual suspects. We conclude with a quest for the perfect grocery store birthday cake (page 20), a mouthwatering reminder that great desserts aren’t the sole province of boutique bakeries. Look, we know a lot of our covers contain a somewhat tortured stab at topicality. (What does red velvet cake say about the prospects of downtown, anyway?) But the premise of this package of stories is simple: We’ve tasted some sumptuous goodies, and we’d like you to try them. A truly transcendent dessert begins with a baker’s detailed vision, but the experience of eating it isn’t that complex. Flour + butter + sugar = yum.

We’ve tasted some sumptuous goodies, and we’d like you to try them.

— B E N N E T T CA M PB E L L FE R GU S O N , W W A S S I S TA N T A RT S & C U LT U R E E D I T O R Willamette Week NOVEMBER 15, 2023 wweek.com


Breaking Free Mole desserts and mezcal cocktails take center stage at new dessert bar Libre. By Andrea Damewood Photographs by Aaron Lee Behind every great restaurant menu is a great pastry chef: a hardworking master of sugar, spice and all the things nice, crafting the right tiramisu to finish a pasta course, or a matcha delight to end a sushi feast. Yet at Libre, a new dessert bar on Southeast Clinton, pastry chef Gabriella Martinez’s creations take center stage, highlighted by mezcal cocktails by Ketsuda “Nan” Chaison. Since the official opening on Halloween, Martinez has been turning out desserts that are both super tasty and subvert tradition in a luxe space perfect for date nights. Savory and sweet are definitely at play on the plates: Think corn husk meringue, bone marrow ice cream and black sesame. “Libre means free in Spanish, and it’s basically freedom for Nan to create the bar she wanted, and for me to do a menu and desserts that I truly love,” Martinez says. “[I love] having that creative freedom entirely. [And] not having to mold to what a restaurant and their needs are, and [being able to] create whatever I want.” Martinez, 34, grew up in Southern California. After first planning to be a nurse before “I figured out I don’t like blood like that,” she went to Le Cordon Bleu in Pasadena. She set sail on cruise ships to cut her teeth, then returned and did stints at Wolfgang Puck (not to mention making chocolate gold Oscars).


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Eventually, Martinez took the helm at Alexander’s Steakhouse, a swank spot in Pasadena, where she crafted her first dessert menu and really started to hone the elements that make her tick. “I love using fish sauce in desserts, I love using bone marrow,” she says. “For me, I like things that are unexpected.” Already, there’s a unique signature at Libre: the Vale la Pena, a crème brûlée made with a sesame mole sourced from Mexico City, topped with a caramel bone marrow ice cream, a Valrhona chocolate tuile and citrus cream. The result is dessert’s answer to a pâté—creamy, savory, salty and, yes, sweet. Not gonna lie: It’s weird, but it’s also wonderful and compelling. You won’t stop eating until the end, and then you’ll still want more. In December, Martinez and Chaison are headed to Mexico City to source more mole, like the mole fruca, made with dried fruits and nuts, that goes in her apple cake topped with salted caramel and crème fraîche snow. They’re ingredients that just can’t be found in the U.S., she says. Martinez’s Mexican and Latina heritage combines with her SoCal upbringing through her creations, like

a corn husk meringue topped with nitro sweet corn dippin’ dots, an homage to her favorite theme park snack. And in a similar vein, there’s the divine La Llorona (“weeping woman”), a black velvet cake whose richness is tempered by black sesame, served tableside with blackberries that turn into little pearls when hit with nitrogen. “It looks like it’s smoking, like La Llorona would walk through the streets, like the tale I was told growing up,” Martinez says. For Chaison, who co-founded Mestizo, Norah and Kati, Libre is a chance to create an entirely mezcal cocktail-based bar menu of her dreams, which includes the Sangre de Dioses, a clarified milk punch made with mole negro syrup, mescal, rum, coconut, vanilla and lime. It’s on the sweeter end, which works with Martinez’s not-too-sweet desserts (there are also pours of lesser-seen liquors like Racilla, a moonshine from Jalisco). Martinez moved to Portland on Feb. 1, 2020, with her then partner, not knowing a soul. But after working at Republica, Dame and Janken, she said she’s found her community. She’s done tons of pop-ups and last worked with chef Luna Contreras at Chelo. “People have been family, a nonstop support system,” she says. “The love we’ve felt is something I never felt in L.A.” Driven by their desire to help the cooking community, Martinez and Chaison are offering the space for

pop-ups before they open and on days Libre is closed. And along with opening a new restaurant, Martinez is keeping up with her mini empire of Sweet Creature chamoy, the sticky, fruity, sour, sweet Mexican condiment (you can find it on sundaes at Sugarpine Drive-In and on cocktail rims around town). Martinez says being front and center at Libre makes her feel vulnerable but is an opportunity she’s thrilled to have. “This menu right now is definitely me,” she says. “It’s the first time I’m giving all of myself to Portland.…It’s like growing up.”

T H E V I S I O N A RY: G a b r i e l l a M a r t i n e z .

EAT: Libre, 2601 SE Clinton St., librepdx.com. 4-11 pm Tuesday-Thursday, 4 pm-midnight Friday-Saturday. Willamette Week NOVEMBER 15, 2023 wweek.com


coming friday november 24th music millennium presents:

Bananas Foster at El Gaucho 319 SW Broadway, 503-227-8794, elgaucho. com. 4:30-10 pm Tuesday-Thursday, 4:30-11 pm Friday-Saturday. $16 per person (minimum order of two). A portrait of Sherwood Dudley hangs near the bar at El Gaucho. He is depicted making bananas Foster tableside, his specialty over the many years he worked at Portland’s toniest steakhouse. Dudley was a charismatic service industry lifer, plying his trade at only the finest (and now, mostly long gone) Portland restaurants after his 1983 arrival in the Rose City: Couch Street Fish House, Atwater’s, Wilf’s. He died in 2018, but fortunately the tableside bananas Foster at El Gaucho lives on. It may lack the same panache as when Dudley

made and narrated it, but it remains an extravagant offering after the steak plates have been cleared away. True to the dessert’s 1950s New Orleans roots, a cart is wheeled up to the table with an on-board burner ready for ignition. First into an elongated copper-plated sauté pan go plenty of butter, brown sugar and a touch of cinnamon—and once that amalgam is warm and bubbling, in go the bananas, halved lengthwise, cut side down. The spectacle really begins with a quick stream of rum and resulting shot of foot-high orange flame: The sauce bubbles, the bananas cook, and the flame soon peters out. The warm, softened bananas are then dished onto plates with a couple waiting scoops of vanilla ice cream and the sweet, rich, mildly boozy pan sauce is spooned over the top for service. Voilà! Dessert and a show for the price of one. M I C H A E L C . Z U S M A N . COURTESY EL GAUCHO







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*special hours 8a m to 1 0 p m *ov e r 1 7 5 R S D releases *free coffee PROVIDED BY and muffins at 7AM


Boccone Dolce at Papa Haydn 5829 SE Milwaukie Ave., 503-2329440; 701 NW 23rd Ave., 503-228-7317; papahaydn.com. 11:30 am-10 pm Wednesday-Sunday. $12. This year marks the 45th anniversary of Papa Haydn, the bakery and restaurant founded by Heidi and Jeff Van Dyke in 1978. Portland has changed a lot since then, but this institution has continued to serve a head-spinning menu of desserts, along with the kind of simple-yet-fresh and high-quality food that exemplifies Northwest cuisine. If you are planning to dine at one of Papa Haydn’s two locations, your experience is not complete without a slice of Boccone Dolce. At first glance, this towering, almost cartoonish-looking dessert appears to be a dense and heavy cake, but to devour it is to discover layers of sweet and tingly meringue in what is a surprisingly light and fun dessert. Your best bet is to share a slice with some friends and allow yourself to experience a whole cross section of meringue, fluffy whipped cream, chocolate drizzle, and fresh strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, and bananas in each bite (don’t forget to have the dollop of whipped cream on the side that has the flavor and consistency of buttercream frosting). In terms of visual appeal and playfulness, the Boccone Dolce is a top-tier

dessert sure to impress even the pickiest sweet tooths. It’s also gluten-free, making it one of the most inclusive dessert options in town. There’s a host of reasons why Papa Haydn is legendary, but one of the biggest and best is the Boccone Dolce. N E I L F E R G U S O N .

Hot Chocolate and Ginger Cookies at Roste Chocolate House 475 NW 14th Ave., 971-339-9014, rostechocolate. com. 9 am-7 pm Monday-Sunday. $10.50.



To step into Roste’s womblike interior is to be instantly soothed. Pale, relaxing shades of white and turquoise cover the walls; the bar is all neat wooden slats, giving the impression of a world where everything is comfortably in order, down to the last tasteful detail. There are countless seductive choices on the menu (including sable cookies and pure melted chocolate), but your best bet is the old standby: a ginger cookie paired with a regular hot chocolate. Most cups of hot chocolate are alarmingly flavorless until you reach the dregs at the bottom; not this one. From the very first sip, dark velvety cacao seems to individually stroke each

of your taste buds (it’s so good that it tastes more like drinking chocolate than cocoa). It’s a perfect match for the ginger cookie, which is studded with diamondlike chunks of sugar, but is more spicy than sweet. Despite being smeared with melted chocolate, the cookie has that slightly bitter tang that makes it pair perfectly with cocoa, each seeming to enhance the flavor of the other. An air of ritual defines Roste: After you order, the cookie and hot chocolate are presented to you on a rectangular wooden tray. It’s irksome when people insist you gradually savor desserts, but the formality of Roste compels you to go slow, savoring each bite and sip. Roste does not deliver the hot chocolate and desserts of your childhood: It delivers the delicacies that make you want to be the cool adult you envision yourself as. B E N N E T T C A M P B E L L F E R G U S O N .


Kougin Amann From Lamina Location and hours vary, @lamina_pastry. $6-$7.50.


Trying to pin down this pop-up might have you running around, but the journey is worth the effort. Lamina

owner Luis Lujan has been baking in Portland since 2019. Before that, he learned the pastry craft in Southern California via a lineage that traces back to French pastry chef Dominique Ansel, inventor of the cronut. Lujan has learned his lessons well. He makes and sells jarred chocolate and praline products and has an impressive viennoiserie repertoire, including popular guava-and-cheese pastelitos. But the main draw at Lamina are the scarce Breton beauties called kougin amann. The words are Celtic for “butter cake,” which hardly does these precious pastries justice. The croissantlike dough, covered in a thick swath of butter, then folded and rolled out over and over to create its defining honeycomb-interior structure, also includes a layer of sugar within its midst. When the cinnamon roll-sized pastries are baked, the sugar caramelizes, resulting in a wondrous sticky, buttery bun. Lamina offers traditional kougin amann along with a variant that is inoculated with a vein of praline pastry cream. What could be better? Arguably Lujan’s new sweet and savory kougin amann, a creation that includes cubes of speck—a type of spiced, dried ham—and a barely discernible whisper of rosemary. Lamina most frequently pops up weekends at Kalesa Coffee (in the back of the Gotham Building), but follow it on Instagram for its latest location. MICHAEL C. ZUSMAN.

Willamette Week NOVEMBER 15, 2023 wweek.com



Everything at An Xuyên Bakery 5345 SE Foster Road, 503788-0866, mng890.wixsite. com/an-xuyen-bakery. 7 am-6 pm Tuesday-Saturday, 7 am-3 pm Sunday. Prices vary.




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Fruit Sorbettos at Pinolo 3707 SE Division St., 503-719-8686, pinologelato. com. Noon-9 pm Sunday and Wednesday-Thursday, noon-10 pm Friday-Saturday. $3.95-$6.50 (scoops), $7.95 (pints).

buttery puffs with flavors like apple, chocolate hazelnut, and guava. Everything tastes fresh and everything is worth trying, which is exactly what you should do at this budget-friendly institution. And don’t forget to wash it all down with a classic Vietnamese iced coffee or a lavender tea. N E I L F E R G U S O N . Pinolo gained the attention of local frozen confection fans soon after it opened in the summer of 2015. A few months later, I wrote that it “immediately took over as the best gelato in town—and the others are not even close.” This statement is no less true today than it was eight years ago. The biggest change from then to now is that you might have to wait in line for your Pinolo fix during peak summer hours (still, the lines down the street tend to be laughably longer for a certain inferior, though brilliantly marketed product). Best of all are Pinolo’s dairy-free fresh fruit sorbettos, which taste just like the fruits from which they are derived. It all starts with founder and proprietor Sandro Paolini, who hails from Pisa. Though there is surely more to his magic than meets the eye, two fundamentals tie together all his remarkable fruit flavors. First, Pinolo’s sorbettos go easy on the sugar, letting the complex natural sweetness and other characteristics of the fruits speak for themselves. Second, Paolini is fanatical about seasonality, meaning that the flavors you find are likely to come from the crops available at a local farmers market. The downside is that if you blink, you may find that your favorite variety has come and gone. A few to look out for as the seasons circle: strawberry with elderflower, sour cherry, champagne mango, peach, melon with mint and blood orange. If you don’t see what you want the first time, wait a few days. M I C H A E L AARON LEE

Five true stories, one night. Don’t miss The Moth Mainstage, where strangers become community, coming to Portland on December 12.

For nearly 25 years, An Xuyên Bakery has sat unassumingly on Foster Road. From this nofrills counter-service spot, the self-proclaimed “Authentic Artisan Pan Asian Pacific Bakery and Deli” has brought Portlanders an array of sweet and savory goods for almost absurdly affordable prices. Upon walking in, you better make up your mind fast, as there will usually be a line forming behind you immediately. Perhaps you want to start with a lunch item like a cilantro and jalapeño-filled bánh mi prepared on the same crusty yet fluffy baguettes that the bakery supplies to numerous restaurants around town. Once your main course is checked off, it’s time to take a walk on the sweet side with a bevy of baked goods both fresh and packaged. You can stock up on a rainbow’s worth of macaroons the size of a baby’s fist, 1,000-layer croissants flavored with ube and matcha, moist and crunchy Hawaiian donuts, guava cookies, meticulously decorated cupcakes, Japanese-style cheesecake, chocolate and raspberry tarts and much more. You can even indulge in baked flan, entire cakes, and a whole cast of flaky,



Willamette Week NOVEMBER 15, 2023 wweek.com





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Red Velvet Cake at Screen Door 2337 E Burnside St., 503-542-0880, screendoorrestaurant.com/east-side; 1131 NW Couch St., 503542-0882, screendoorrestaurant.com/pearl-district. 9 am-2:30 pm and 5-9 pm daily. $12.

C O U R T E S Y L A U R E T TA J E A N ’ S

Screen Door’s banner dessert is arguably its creole pecan pie, which tastes so intense (Steen’s cane syrup custard is serious business!) that a dollop of whipped cream is a necessity, not an option. Yet the famed Southern comfort food restaurant has more than proven its mettle as a purveyor of wondrous cakes, particularly the red velvet variety. The harsh reality is that 99% of all cakes are too sweet, a problem often exacerbated by bludgeoning them with ice cream and frosting. In that category, Screen Door’s red velvet cake, masterminded by pastry chef Erin Eberlein-Sage, achieves perfect equilibrium: The cream cheese frosting is more buttery than sugary, and the cake itself prizes texture over sweetness. During my last visit, I dined on sweet potato gnocchi, then experienced a culinary hallelujah moment when the cake arrived, dusted with powdered sugar and flakes of chocolate. Biting into a dense yet soft, three-layer slice is heavenly, but so is the side dish: a scoop of vanilla ice cream perched atop a pile of red velvet crumbles. The presentation is a matter of practicality: You get to mix ice cream and crumbs together without your cake getting soggy. It’s more than comforting. It’s revelatory. B E N N E T T CAMPBELL FERGUSON.

Salted Honey Pie at Lauretta Jean’s 3402 SE Division St., 503-235-3119, laurettajeans. com. 11 am-9 pm Monday, Wednesday and Thursday; 9 am-10 pm Friday-Saturday; 9 am-9 pm Sunday. $6.50. The quaint and warming space of Lauretta Jean’s—finally open after being closed off throughout the pandemic and beyond—feels like it could be the set of a Wes Anderson movie, at once whimsical and carefully decorated. If you’re dreaming of what a perfect bakery looks like, Lauretta Jean’s is likely what comes to mind, but it’s more than just a beautiful façade. Step inside and you’ll encounter perfection across a menu that includes stunning cakes, cookies, pastries and, of course, pies. The star of the show in that category is the Salted Honey Pie. Delicately forking your way into its pillowy, custardy interior is a blissful experience that sets your dopamine receptors aflame as you ingest what is very likely the best piece of pie you have ever had in your life. With a bright yellow color that practically glows with divine joy, the pure honey sweetness brings a level of infatuation that makes you feel like Winnie the Pooh as you revel in each precious bite (plus, the 18

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generous sprinkling of sea salt adorning the top of each slice makes the sweetness pop in a way that feels like dazzling technicolor for the senses). Pie crust is a critical yet often overlooked piece of the pie equation, and the part of the slice where the honey custard meets the crust may be the most rewarding bite of all, allowing sensual sweetness to interact with a flaky, buttery, and ever-so-crunchy crust. Eat a slice of salted honey pie and try not to walk around with a goofy smile the rest of the day…I dare you. N E I L F E R G U S O N .

Peanut Butter Cup Waffle Sandwich at Smaaken BG’s Food Cartel, 4250 SW Rose Biggi Ave., Beaverton, 971-2356578, smaaken.com. 8 am-8 pm Thursday and Sunday, 8 am-9 pm Friday-Saturday. Hawthorne Asylum, 1080 SE Madison St., 503-477-2794. 8 am-9 pm daily. The Heist, 4727 SE Woodstock Blvd., 503-688-8214. 8 am-8 pm Thursday and Sunday, 8 am-9 pm Friday-Saturday. $8.50. At Smaaken, you can get your waffle sandwich with a swipe of maple butter, a layer of jam or a generous dollop of whipped cream, but the most obvious flavor combination—chocolate and peanut butter—was surprisingly not on the original menu. Yet that didn’t stop customers from asking for the Reese’s treatment. “We kept getting requests. After about five or six years in business, it was like, ‘Oh, yes, that is so obvious. Why did we never think of that?’” explains general manager Tessa Cleveland. “So it kind of developed from there.” The resulting peanut butter cup waffle sandwich advertises exactly what you’ll get in its name: dessert loosely disguised as breakfast thanks to the foundation of golden Dutch-style waffles made from a 30-hour yeast-risen batter, which produces an airy center and delightfully crispy edges. Thinner than its Belgian counterpart, these 7-inch folded disks are more easily transportable and you don’t need to tackle them with a knife and fork, though do keep a supply of napkins handy. Thick, creamy Monarch peanut butter—which could easily pass for Jif (the finest nut spread on the market) in a blind taste test—and housemade ganache heated to 150 degrees become a slow-moving lava flow the moment you bite in. The push and pull of saltiness and delectable dark chocolate keep this from veering too sweet—a plus for any tongues that tend to skip the dessert course (or order the cheese plate post-meal). The peanut butter cup is also guaranteed to warm you from the inside out like any of the food cart’s waffles, which is why even in a downpour on a chilly November afternoon, every seat on the Beaverton location’s pint-sized patio was occupied by diners devouring soft yet chewy sandwiches without a care for the weather. A N D I P R E W I T T.

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Basic: Chocolate Sheet Cake Slice

Cake Quest A search for Portland’s perfect grocery store birthday cake yields surprising results. By Brianna Wheeler

Portland loves a boutique bakery. In fact, the craft of baking in Portland is as respected and exalted as the crafts of beer brewing, chocolate making, and cannabis growing. Patisseries and cake shops pepper nearly every neighborhood in this city, so many of them with exemplary ratings from their communities. And yet, as my birthday approached this year, I was compelled to eschew the boutique cake for something a bit more down to earth: a readymade chocolate cake slice from a grocery store bakery. Why a grocery store bakery? Well, as much as I appreciate boutique vibes, it’s the simple sheet

This is a super-simple, single-layer, dense fudge cake with a gooey fudge icing. It’s hypersweet, mega-moist, and intensely chocolaty. These cuts are a frequent indulgence of mine, and typically a slice takes me three days to consume, which says a lot (I ain’t no slouch when it comes to cake munching). For a birthday fantasy, however, this cake was just a tad too basic. This is everyday cake—delicious but lacking the necessary fireworks to make it celebratory. Extra: Triple Layer Fudge Cake Slice

Not unlike its basic sheet slices, Safeway’s triple-layer cake slices are borderline scary-sweet, but the texture of these slices differs quite a bit. The icing is a firmer buttercream, the cake crumb is tighter in structure and a bit more crumbly, and the overall mouthfeel is lighter and airier than the sheet slices. This is an acceptable birthday slice, especially with a hearty helping of whipped cream or vanilla ice cream to moisten up those cake layers.

choose chocolate, and for white cake aficionados, it’s top tier: buttery and silky up top with loose, moist, vanilla-flecked crumb, plus glazed berries as a garnish. Put a candle in her and you’d have something on par with a personal boutique b-day cake. Bottom Line: Freddy’s really is that bitch when it comes to grocery store baked goods. Don’t sleep on her.


New Seasons

Basic: Triple Chocolate Cake Slice

What at first blush seemed like another straightforward layer cake was easily the fluffiest, most luscious, and easiest-to-inhale cake of the bunch. This was the cake that melted in my mouth, a glorious cacophony of dark chocolate notes with bitter lows, nutty mids and euphorically sweet highs. Plus, there was a clear textural complement between the frosting and cake, both of which had a complexity that made me feel pretentious for noticing (a very cute way to feel on a birthday). Extra: Mini Two-Tier Chocolate Cake

Bottom Line: You could do worse. I mean, you could do better, but you could also do worse.

Fred Meyer

Basic: Iced Fudge Layer Cake Slice

The Freddy’s bakery experience was the most robust, with no less than a half-dozen layer cake slices to choose from, as

On a banner birthday, this would be my top choice: an adorably decorated mini chocolate cake, blanketed in dark chocolate ganache, accentuated by vanilla creme flourishes. Swoon. This cake was super dense, with zero crumb. It’s an enticing black hole of fudge that made me feel undeserving—I wanted to feel like I’d earned such an undeniably outrageous indulgence. It felt like I needed a bigger, better birthday to celebrate with, so I don’t think I’ll get another until I turn 50. Bottom Line: Chocolate cake snobs, rejoice. Both of these were relatively affordable and celebratory.

Whole Foods

Basic: Tres Leches Cake Slice

cakes or ready-made round cakes that my inner child consistently desires come b-day season. When I was growing up, my grandmother worked in a grocery store, so every birthday of my youth was marked by a cake directly from her store’s bakery. This year, I was inspired by that “Grandma Energy™” and, rather than giving in to extravagant Instagram cake trends, I opted to indulge my very specific childhood memories with a genuine grocery store bakery cake (or six). The criteria were simple: I wanted cake for myself, a single slice if possible. I wanted it to have been baked in-house, or at least packaged in a way that was convincingly in-house. I wanted to spend less than five bucks per cake slice or 10 bucks for something fancier. I wanted chocolate, and I wanted to buy it from the grocery store. While not every grocery I visited could meet my cake needs, each bakery counter delivered in its own unique, grocery store way, and I ended up with something simple, and something a bit extra, from each bakery counter. Here’s how my grocery store cake quest of 2023 shook out. 20

Willamette Week NOVEMBER 15, 2023 wweek.com

well as all manner of novelty grab-and -go celebration cakes (my favorite being the one with a burger-and-fries motif ). The simple chocolate cake slices, however, had a bargain sale-day energy that was a little less appealing. These slices were fudgy and rich, with a slight dark chocolate undertone that resulted in a slice that was less maniacally sweet than other fudge slices I auditioned, but they were also wobbly, with layers as moist as cake pops. A candle in this cake slice would look sad. Extra: Chantilly Cupcake

The bakery case at the Northeast Broadway Freddy’s is a magical roundabout serving most, if not all, of a customer’s basic patisserie needs. For a more extravagant birthday treat that is more devour-immediately and less savor-overa-three-day-period, the best option is the oversized cupcakes. The white chantilly variety matched my outfit too well to

Sometimes the grocery bakery counter doesn’t have chocolate cake slices, even on your birthday. Or the day after. But the WF grab-and-go pastry case at least was stocked with a couple of varieties of slices, including tiramisu and tres leches. These slices were clearly more lunch-break dessert than solo dolo birthday mini-extravaganza, but also, cake is cake. The tres leches was milky and sublime, spongy and delicate, and frankly a welcome reprieve from chocolate. A wishy-washy HBD, but an HBD nonetheless. Extra: Chocolate Eruption Cupcake

The absence of chocolate cake slices made it clear that a WF cupcake was my destiny. Unlike the grab-and-go desserts, which were not without their charm, the cupcakes were here to celebrate with me. Particularly the Chocolate Eruption Cupcake. This b-day-ready beauty resembled a DQ ice cream cone dipped in chocolate, with whipped frosting piled high and enrobed in dark chocolate atop a moist, spongy dark chocolate cake. It’s certainly more of an undertaking than a cake slice would have been, but that’s what birthday cakes are about, right? Especially if you’re buying them for yourself. Bottom Line: A slim setup does not negate a b-day-worthy payoff.

Willamette Week NOVEMBER 15, 2023 wweek.com



Indulge your taste buds in a culinary journey from these great local companies. Embark on a mouthwatering exploration of tastes, textures, and traditions that will leave you craving for more!


ARTEMIS FOODS CATERING & EVENTS 1610 SE 3rd Ave • 503-233-8539 • artemisfoods.com

Doug Fir Manhattan

A cozy winter libation, Burnside Bourbon with Clear Creek Eau de Vie of Douglas Fir


8 locations in Portland & Vancouver • laughingplanet.com

1109 SE Madison 503-235-5123 NicholasRestaurant.com

Holiday Bowl

All natural turkey breast or organic baked tempeh, local curry roasted delicata squash, Yukon gold mashed potatoes, garlic green beans, celery & onions, mushroom gravy, and cranberry sauce. Available at all Laughing Planet locations from 11/14 - 11/27.

Delectably rich desserts, like the Knafa Be Jibany, a sweet Lebanese-style cheesecake, Chocolate PB Baklava, and Riz De Haleeb, a Lebanese-style rice pudding!

EB & BEAN ebandbean.com 1425 NE Broadway (503) 281 6081

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Stop by for a waffle cone of Chocolate Hazelnut Pudding with chocolate magic shell, hazelnuts, and coconut whipped cream (all non-dairy!). Check out our other seasonal flavors of Vermont Maple, Cinnamon Roll, and Apple Pie!


4525 SE Woodstock Blvd • cloudcityicecream.com

Marionberry Crisp ice cream A mascarpone ice cream with locally grown marionberries and our own homemade gluten-free oat crisp. 22

Willamette Week NOVEMBER 15, 2023 wweek.com

2216 SE 50th Ave • hunkerdownpdx.com

Apple Pie Sundae Fresh homemade apple pie, caramel sauce, vanilla soft serve


Most locations • mcmenamins.com

Black & Tan Brownie Sundae Hammerhead Caram-ale & chocolate sauces, vanilla bean ice cream, whipped cream & an Amarena cherry.




surrounding the Cultural Center looked as though it had been the scene of a monster truck rally. We’re happy to report that the mud pit is now mostly gone; in its place is a new plaza, which features pathways and art installations. Take a day trip to the coast for the ribbon cutting, live music and complimentary lunch. Set your kids loose on the plaza for a scavenger hunt—yes, there is a prize upon completion. Lincoln City Cultural Center, 540 NE Highway 101, Lincoln City, 541-994-9994, lincolncity-culturalcenter.org. 11 am-3 pm Saturday, Nov. 18. Free.

GO: Steelport Holiday Market

Whether you’re in the market for some knives to carve your Thanksgiving Day bird or you’re getting a jump on Christmas shopping, local cutlery maker Steelport should have something that meets your needs at this annual Holiday Market. And carbon-forged steel isn’t the only thing for sale; the pop-up will feature signed cookbooks by Portland chefs, cast-iron cookware, Kachka Lavka dumplings, Marshall’s Haute Sauce (of Hot Ones fame), Argyle wine and more. If you do end up buying some knives, be sure to take advantage of the free on-site sheath engraving service. Steelport Knife Co., 3602 NE Sandy Blvd., Suite B, 503-498-8132, steelportknife.com. Noon-4 pm Saturday, Nov. 18. Free.

WATCH: The Art of Burning Man

HAUTE COUTURE: More than 50 outfits by some 40 designers, including this piece by Imane Ayissi, are on display at the Portland Art Museum.

SEE: Africa Fashion

It’s about time we look beyond the runways of Paris, Milan and Manhattan for style inspiration; Africa Fashion puts the spotlight on designers from Nigeria, Ghana, Morocco, Mali and more. Coming off acclaimed runs at London’s Victoria and Albert Museum and the Brooklyn Museum of Art, this new exhibit is now at the Portland Art Museum—the only West Coast stop on its global tour. More than 50 outfits by some 40 labels will be on display in town for the next three months, taking observers through African history as it could only be told through silk, raffia and beadwork. Portland Art Museum, 1219 SW Park Ave., 503-226-2811, portlandartmuseum.org. 10 am-5 pm Wednesday-Sunday, Nov. 18-Feb. 18. $22 students, seniors, group rate; $25 adult, members.

EAT: The Celebration of First Foods Dinner at The Allison

Before you travel home for Thanksgiving, take a seat at this feast and give thanks to the land’s original inhabitants and the foods they cultivated. Jory executive chef Jack Strong, a member of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians, is using this

dinner to focus on the seven foods that originated in America: corn, squash, chiles, beans, tomatoes, potatoes and cacao. Seasonal fish and game like sturgeon, salmon and elk are also on the menu. Expect wine pairings from Hope Well Wine, located in the Eola-Amity Hills American Viticultural Area, and Greywing Cellars, which is co-operated by the state’s first Native American winemaker. Jory at The Allison Inn & Spa, 2525 Allison Lane, Newberg, 503-554-2526, 6-9 pm Thursday, Nov. 16. $195 per person. Gratuity included.

WATCH: In the Grey Wild: Outside the Frame’s 2023 Annual Gala Screening

Homeless youth get to unleash their creativity through the art of film thanks to Outside the Frame, a nonprofit that teaches marginalized adolescents how to become directors—both behind the camera and in their own lives. This annual gala screens a collection of the latest participants’ works—the theme “Grey Wild” refers to the environments that were explored, from prisons to refugee camps to the streets. Hollywood Theatre, 4122

NE Sandy Blvd., 503-477-8357, outsidetheframe.org/films. 7 pm Thursday, Nov. 16. $9.

WATCH: push/FOLD Celebrates Fifth Anniversary of Union PDX If you shame-watch Dancing With the Stars because you simply enjoy the moves, not the D-list celebs trying to jump-start their careers, then get off the couch and head to Union PDX, push/FOLD’s annual festival devoted to contemporary choreography. There will be two world premiere performances as well as two Portland premieres and all sorts of artists from around the globe demonstrating street, Bharatanatyam, breaking and more. Stick around after the shows Nov. 17 and 18 for Q&A sessions, or mingle with the dancers at a closing soiree Nov. 19. The Hampton Opera Center, 211 SE Caruthers St., 503946-6474, pushfold.org. 8 pm Thursday, 7:30 pm Friday-Saturday, 4 pm Sunday, Nov. 16-19. $5-$45.

GO: Lincoln City Cultural Center Activation

If you’ve been through Lincoln City in the past year, you may have noticed the lawn

Most people who attended this year’s Burning Man want to forget they were ever there. Torrential rains turned the annual northern Nevada festival into a mud pit stranding thousands who were told to conserve their food and water supplies. Fortunately, this screening revisits the event during more successful years. Award-winning Portland director Joanna Priestley’s new work examines the quirky art installations made for Burning Man from 2002 to 2022. The event doubles as the local premiere of her animated short Jung & Restless. Empirical Theatre, 1945 SE Water Ave., 503-797-4000, omsi.edu. 7-9 pm Saturday, Nov. 18. $5-$15.

WATCH: The Nutcracker

It’s not the holiday season without dolls that come to life, dancing rodents and a semi-creepy uncle. The Nutcracker really is kind of a bizarre ballet when you think about it, but it’s become a time-honored tradition leading up to Christmas—one that the Oregon International Ballet Academy is participating in this year. The production features both local students and guest artists from Japan’s Casa d’arte. Bonus: If you’ve grown bored of the aging interior of Keller Auditorium, where the Oregon Ballet Theatre traditionally performs its rendition of the Balanchine classic, this show takes place inside the gorgeous new Reser Center just off the MAX line in Beaverton. Patricia Reser Center for the Arts, 12625 SW Crescent St., Beaverton, 971-501-7722, thresher.org. 7 pm Saturday, 2 pm Sunday, Nov. 18-19. $43.




Editor: Andi Prewitt Contact: aprewitt@wweek.com

Top 5

Top 5

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Hot Plates






4343 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 503-889-0190, giganticbrewing.com. 3-9 pm Monday-Friday, noon-9 pm Saturday-Sunday. Nearly one year after opening its third location—the first one with a full food menu—Gigantic has finished the pub’s intimate Portrait Room (though those portraits are still in the works). The clubby space, which is now open to the public, is lined with inviting ruby-hued banquettes and rare English brown oak paneling as well as tchotchkes that founders Ben Love and Van Havig mined from estate sales. Moodier and cozier than the bright blue and white restaurant, the venue is pretty much the perfect place to hunker down with a beer when the rain is coming down in sheets this fall. We recommend the fresh hop Pilsner while it’s still on or the very drinkable Pay Czech dark lager once the final keg kicks.


12055 SW 1st St., Beaverton, 971-249-3763, oldasia.co. 4-9 pm Thursday-Friday, noon-9 pm Saturday-Sunday. Top Burmese, the miniature empire known for its curries and cute robot servers, has opened a new property—the first not bearing its name. In late October, the company launched Old Asia, dubbed “The Biggest Little Restaurant,” because the dining area is about as big as a generously sized walk-in closet—though one that is ornately decorated. Shelves behind the counter are filled with jars containing tea leaves (green, black, oolong and pu-erh), but if it’s booze you’re after, we recommend the Koji Afternoon Coffee, which has deeper, more satisfying flavors than an espresso martini thanks to the combination of Vietnamese milk coffee and Jameson whiskey. Though if you’ve already had your daily allowance of caffeine, opt for First Love: an effervescent blend of passion fruit, ginger beer and rose vodka.


10350 N Vancouver Way, 503-345-0300, jubitz.com/ponderosa-lounge-country-bar. 9 am-midnight Monday-Wednesday, 9 am-2 am Thursday-Friday, 8 am-2 am Saturday, 8 am-midnight Sunday. In WW’s 2018 Bar Guide, we called the Ponderosa the “crown jewel” of Jubitz, which is more of a miniature city than a truck stop in far North Portland. The lineup of country music performers is as solid as it was back then, and now the rowdy lounge is hosting a six-week Battle of the Bartenders, in which teams of two will go head to head March Madness style every Wednesday through Nov. 29 (7-9 pm). Judges will score competitors based on their signature drinks and knowledge, but audience support is also factored in. Sounds like the makings of a scene from Cocktail, so consider us in.


815 SE Oak St., Suite B, birdcreekwhiskey.com. Noon-5 pm Tuesday-Saturday or by appointment. Oregon may be best known for craft beer and wine, but it turns out we also work wonders with whiskey. Bird Creek is the latest brand to join established names in Portland like Westward, Bull Run and Aimsir. Its pint-sized tasting room is located in the same building as Portland Coffee Roasters (Mark Stell founded both), and all of the barley used to make the whiskeys is sourced from Oregon and Washington. Now’s the time to try a flight; the business’s Baronesse variety just nabbed the title of Best American Single Malt Whiskey 2023 at the ASCOT Awards, and Full Pint, named after the barley developed at Oregon State University, won a platinum in the same competition.


Willamette Week NOVEMBER 15, 2023 wweek.com



2075 NW Wilson St., 503-946-1539, aviationgin.com. Noon-7 pm Thursday-Sunday. Aviation American Gin’s shiny, sprawling production facility and tasting room has been open for just over a year now, and it offers a distillery experience unlike any other in the city. The nearly 33,000-square-foot building has six cocktails on tap, a gift shop, beautiful copper stills, and an escape room with a Ryan Reynolds theme (the Deadpool star acquired a stake in the company, in case you hadn’t heard by now). Before you eat Thanksgiving dinner, drink it here—Aviation has rolled out five holiday feast-themed cocktails, from a pumpkin pie martini to a stuffing Negroni. We’re most excited to try the turkey and gravy martini made with chicken stock and tabasco just to see if it works.

12406 SW Broadway, Beaverton, 971-268-5990, magnakubo.com. Noon-9 pm (or until sold out) Thursday-Sunday. Magna Kubo, the Beaverton spinoff of much-acclaimed Portland restaurant Magna Kusina, also serves food from the Philippines, but emphasizes the simpler, more casual approach of a lechonería, with roasted meat and accompaniments as the focus. The closest item on the menu to traditional lechon (strictly speaking, spit-roasted suckling pig) is liempo or crispy pork. It is a pound of pure porcine pleasure: tender pale meat interspersed with layers of delectable, jiggly fat and a crunchy, golden-skin crust. For a leaner red meat treat, try the bistek, beef shoulder marinated in a bath of soy sauce and cola flavored with star anise and garlic. Need some veg with all that protein? We were enchanted with laing, coconut milk-braised greens and onion pepped up with fried shallots and chiles.


Various locations, instagram.com/veganizerpdx. Through Nov. 30; check participating restaurant websites for specific days and hours of operation. Portland Dining Month may never be resurrected (another casualty of the pandemic), but now we do have a World Vegan Month dining program. The inaugural Veganizer PDX-organized event involves more than 20 restaurants—from Fermenter to Gnarlys to Obon Shokudo—offering specials starting as low as five bucks each. A portion of the sales of those items will go to selected nonprofits, while customers have the chance to earn gift cards by completing a World Vegan Month passport. It’s a win-win!


740 NW 23rd Ave., 503-406-8438, sibeiho.com, theminnowpdx.com. 11 am-5:30 pm Wednesday-Sunday. Supper club-turned-sambal sauce-maker Sibeiho and food delivery business The Minnow teamed up in August to launch this outlet, which features pantry items, including jars of that chile paste, as well as meal kits. More recently, the deli began offering ready-to-eat and -drink items like coffee made from Portland Cà Phê beans, malted chocolate topped with whipped cream and sprinkles, and snacks that will satisfy fans of both sweet and savory foods. The former should order buns smeared with coconut milk jam, while the Spam-and-mayo-stuffed version was made specifically for salt lovers.


1613 SE Bybee Blvd., 503-719-5650, montelupo.co/sellwood. 11 am-7 pm daily. Forget pumpkin spice. We’re all about cacio e pepe season. Sure, you could eat the simple yet stunning dish any time of year, but something about it says “peak fall.” And now Sellwood-Moreland residents have another source for adult mac and cheese: Montelupo, which boldly opened in Northeast Portland the summer of 2020, has spun off an eastside location. The intimate space offers take-home pasta that’s handmade daily as well as sauces, sandwiches and half-a-dozen focaccias—with toppings like Italian sausage, potato and guanciale, and goat cheese, you might just make a meal out of the bread and call it a night.


4680 SW Watson Ave., B, Beaverton, 503-747-0509, laflocafe.com. 7:30 am-3 pm Wednesday-Saturday, 8 am-3 pm Sunday.

The latest Beaverton Farmers Market pop-up to graduate to brick-and-mortar is this Latin bakery. For the past two years, La Floridita has been the suburb’s go-to for croquetas and pastelitos—Cuban puff pastries with a variety of sweet or savory fillings. To prepare for growth, the business expanded its menu over the summer, so be sure to check out the papa rellenas (potato orbs stuffed with ground beef or chicken), pandebono (a cheese bread common in Colombia), tequeños (picture T.G.I. Friday’s mozzarella sticks, only made with queso blanco and dough), and paletas. The cafe also serves coffee made with beans from Tourist Coffee, a woman-owned roaster in Bogotá.



Editor: Bennett Campbell Ferguson | Contact: bennett@wweek.com


W H AT TO S E E A N D W H AT TO H E A R BY DA N I E L B R O M F I E L D @ b r o m f 3

Awakebutstillinbed’s chaos takes the wheel and I am a passenger is one of the best recent road albums in rock, capturing the introspective weariness of the touring life (imagine Bob Seger’s “Turn the Page” with screaming instead of saxophones). The San Jose, Calif., emo band’s endless road journey is taking them to Portland’s Black Water, with support from two of the city’s most vital young bands: brutal prog combo Rhododendron and rising local emo-shoegazewhat-have-you favorites Growing Pains. Black Water, 835 NE Broadway. 7 pm. $15, door tickets only. All ages.





Turkey’s psychedelic rock tradition flourished in the late ’60s and throughout the ’70s, influenced as much by American and English imports as the Anatolian folk music its practitioners grew up hearing in their homes and on the radio. Outside of Turkey, this music is mostly beloved by hardcore psych geeks and record collectors—like the Amsterdam members of Altın Gün, who recruited singers Merve Daşdemir and Erdinç Ecevit Yıldız in 2016 to help spread the gospel of Turkish rock across the world. Crystal Ballroom, 1332 W Burnside St. 8 pm. $28. All ages.

San Francisco’s Mission District can be overwhelming to first-time visitors (it’s painted with eye-popping murals and filled with the smell of bacon-wrapped hot dogs and the sound of dozens of languages). The music of the San Francisco “femmeton” artist La Doña, which merges Latin American musical forms like reggaeton and corridos with the low-slung sound of Bay Area hip-hop, captures the polyglottal and art-friendly vibe of the Mission—and of the “old S.F.” that’s increasingly in danger of being bled out by tech culture. McMenamins Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan St. 8 pm. $18. All ages.

The late King Louie Bankston’s power pop comes to life on his posthumous album Harahan Fats. BY DA N I E L B R O M F I E L D @ b r o m f 3



Last Tracks Harahan Fats (Goner Records) sounds like a ’50s swamp-pop record for about five seconds until the voice of King Louie Bankston enters to let you know it’s not; the late garage-rocker, who died last year at age 49, sounds like the goofy and immensely likable Gen X kid he still essentially was (the cause of death was never revealed by his family). The cover of his posthumously released album shows the Harahan, La., native dressed as some sort of cut-rate Dr. John, a parody of the grand personalities that spring up in the Southern swamps. And while Louie had the Louisiana bona fides to play such a character convincingly—note how he refers to America’s most beloved rodent as a “nutria rat,” as is done only in his home state—he must have agreed with the Northwest’s own Calvin Johnson that “rock ’n’ roll is a sport for teenagers of all ages.” Louie lived in Portland for only a few years, when he was intimately involved in the production of the legendary local power pop band the Exploding Hearts’ sole record, Guitar Romantic. Louie co-wrote nearly every song on the album (notably “I’m a Pretender,” one of the best modern-day pastiches of ’70s pub rock ever recorded), and at the end of the band’s existence, he was in talks to become that rarest and most archaic of things: a nonperforming songwriter, like the Grateful Dead’s Robert Hunter and houseboat-era Pink Floyd’s Polly Samson. Louie might’ve gotten a kick out of this arrangement, but his writing partner Adam Cox and two other members of the Exploding Hearts fatally crashed their tour van near Eugene in 2003, ending the band and any chance of future collaboration. Local singer-songwriter (and sometime WW contributor) Mo Troper defines power pop as “wimps with deafening guitars.” This music doesn’t sound like power pop, but it feels like it at times. The guitars on Harahan Fats are often acoustic and generally more grating than deafening, strummed with primitive skill, but Louie certainly had a crucial quality in his voice, not so much that of a “wimp” as a sincere desire to be loved and to be hugged. His harmonies are simple and consonant, descended from the Beatles and their imitators. The songs aren’t all about girls, but when they are, they’re en-

dearingly sweet; “Places Like This” is about how he thinks of his girl every time he walks by a crab shack. (A listen through Harahan Fats will inspire you to find the nearest Cajun restaurant.) Louie struggled with substance abuse for much of his life, and his uncompromising exploration of that theme cuts sharply through the goofy hoodoo cosplay. “Rehab Legend” is a cover of an unsparing and painful song by obscure Los Angeles MC Cadalack Ron, known mostly for shooting up in the middle of a rap battle. “Trinkets” is a cover of late garage-rock dynamo Jay Reatard, a pillar of American garage rock before his fatal OD in 2010, with whom Louie performed in the supergroup Bad Times. Louie writes about drugs in a did-he-really-say-that kind of way devoid of self-pity; he craves not the distant empathy of non-addicts but the sympathy of anyone who truly understands what he’s talking about. It’s a tone you often see in folk punk, or in Neil Young’s most dissolute work from the mid-’70s. It is generally not accompanied by virtuosic playing or singing. Harahan Fats is crude, first-idea-best-idea music, apparently cut by Louie in one or two takes, much of it seemingly improvised off the cuff. (On “Trinkets,” the bass note causes the snare to buzz.) Several tracks are a capella, including the aforementioned “Places Like This” and “Down and Out,” the latter with goblin harmonies that bring to mind the music of fellow Louisiana legends the Residents. “Gentilly Woman” tortures a banjo in a way more suggestive of confrontational ’60s German proto-punks the Monks than anything from the American roots tradition. This is all par for the course in garage rock, especially when it’s released by Goner Records, whose flagship acts like Reatard and the Oblivians dialed down the sophistication knob until “Surfin’ Bird” sounded like Beethoven in comparison. And yet there’s the sneaking sense that Louie hoped this would be a masterpiece—maybe not his final one, but at least an opportunity to spread all sides of his personality across one physical package. Across the album’s 15 tracks, we see the tortured soul and the beloved community pillar, the power-pop schlimazel and the gutbucket swamp-blues rapscallion—the grandiose persona and the wild-eyed kid behind it all. Willamette Week NOVEMBER 15, 2023 wweek.com





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Fever Ray at the Roseland Theater BY R O B E R T H A M

Karin Dreijer knows that, in the right setting, a suit isn’t just a suit. They’ve spent much of their career, either as one half of The Knife or as a solo artist using the name Fever Ray, using costumes to great effect in photos and their stage performances. They understand the symbolic weight that a piece of clothing can represent. In the case of the loose white suit Dreijer was sporting at the Roseland Theater on Sunday as part of their There’s No Place I’d Rather Be tour, it called to mind moments of pop culture’s past: Bryan Ferry’s louche look during his first post-Roxy period, Tony Manero from Saturday Night Fever. Dreijer played up the perception of the suit beautifully, turning on their inner lothario as they, at one point, took position at stage right, leaning back, rubbing their splayed legs and tossing long-stemmed roses to the audience. Dreijer’s stage presence can have a sinister edge. They wore white face paint with a shade of red around their eyes and mouth, smiled with a maniacal glee, and stalked the stage and their backup singers with a visible hunger. Even when they sang about being touched by someone who loves them and running their fingers up a lover’s pussy, you couldn’t help wondering if the character they embody onstage wouldn’t plunge a knife in that same person’s side. The whole 90-minute set ran a similar course. Dreijer paced it so the music and movement tantalized, staying just out of reach for much of the night, then letting the last batch of club-centric songs take everyone blissfully, mercifully right over the edge. 26

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Editor: Bennett Campbell Ferguson | Contact: bennett@wweek.com


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• • • • •• 2460 nw @magic • 7am tportland • avern • 24th ave mon -sat • Friendly•girls 4 p m s u n casual•scene • • •

No Place Like Home Profile Theatre’s awe/struck chronicles a woman’s descent into an American nightmare.


There’s a lovely moment in Christopher Oscar Peña’s play awe/struck when a young woman, Denia, marvels at the sight of falling snow. The moment, though, is brief and happens just before she’s ruthlessly beaten into a coma, creating a scene that literally combines the two words of the play’s title. Making its world premiere at Profile Theatre, directed by Josh Hecht, awe/struck portrays brutal societal wounds that are bound to make all but the most callous souls flinch. As they enter the theater, audiences are greeted by a grim set of gray walls, while looping atonal music sounds as if it’s being pulled through the darkness of a long narrow tunnel. After a lengthy prologue that includes an ironic recitation of racist “jokes,” the play then opens with Julio (Jimmy Garcia) forcing his rebellious daughter, Denia (Crystal Ann Muñoz), to leave what the script describes as their “unnamed Latin American country” and start a new life in Chicago. To persuade her to go, he describes two recent hate crimes that seem to prove she’d be safer in the U.S. Both of the stories, which Julio tells in vivid detail, are truly horrifying. One involves the maiming of a woman who, like Denia, is a lesbian. Denia, though, only agrees to flee after Julio also tells her that her lover, Rosa, has been murdered, a revelation that the play doesn’t linger on as long as it could.

In Chicago, Denia is isolated not only by her grief at losing both her home and Rosa, but also by language. Among whites, she now speaks in accented English that Muñoz hadn’t used in previous scenes, emphasizing Denia’s feeling of otherness. It isn’t until she becomes friends with Drew (Skyler Verity), a gay man who accepts and understands her, that she can acknowledge the beauty of Chicago and let go of her anger toward Julio. However, just as we finally see Denia smiling and talking on the phone with her father (she tells him she’s struck by the “sheer awe of it all…it IS a beautiful country”), Monique (Lea Zawada) approaches her. A white houseless teen mother bursting with racist vitriol (“you take and you take and you take like parasites!” she bellows), Monique picks up a rock and strikes Denia again and again, seeming to release a lifetime of pent-up rage over being unseen and denigrated. The shockingly violent act, which Peña says is based on a true event, turns Monique into a monster. Yet Peña doesn’t portray Denia as a saint, choosing to include an earlier scene in which she insults Monique, who is already at the end of her rope. Hecht, in his program notes, says that the play offers a “vision for a community of care.” We see a hint of this in a tense scene where Julio visits Monique in jail, trying to force her to reveal some sign of remorse for destroying his daughter. The two actors deftly build the tension here. Zawada sits with a

jutting chin and shoulders that are stubbornly hunched, while Garcia leans forward on the edge of a metal stool and strikes the table with his fist, only to gradually soften as he comes to realize that Monique, like him, has lost a daughter. The fact that Zawada recites the play’s prologue, which we’re told is a statement by Peña himself, further complicates our perception of who all the characters are and whether we’re justified in defining and judging them at all. Rife with questions (including what it means for a work to be “Latino”), the opening seems to anticipate a divided audience reaction to the story, which sometimes awkwardly mixes harsh realism with artful coincidences (especially as the lives of major characters intersect in the final scenes). As awe/struck moves toward its ambivalent conclusion, still more questions arise. Does Peña intend to offer us hope? Is he advocating forgiveness? Whether we can face such questions depends on how traumatized we are about what we’ve seen on the stage, in the news, and in our lives…and whether we can, as the play tries to, believe that Monique is as human as we are. SEE IT: Awe/struck plays at Imago Theatre, 17 SE 8th Ave., 503- 242-0080, profiletheatre.com. 7:30 pm Thursday-Saturday and 2 and 7:30 pm Sunday, through Nov. 19. $45.

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Editor: Bennett Campbell Ferguson Contact: bennett@wweek.com


It’s as witty as the Cary Grant-Rosalind Russell screwball comedies it reveres and more technically accomplished than its decades of imitators; the film has a truer sense of how time and friendship transform would-be lovers than the more premise-driven films even Ephron herself would later direct (Sleepless in Seattle, You’ve Got Mail). Perhaps the movie’s most enjoyable quality on rewatch is how every scene operates based on idiosyncratic sketch comedy logic wherein the scene itself must entertain through detail (while moving Harry and Sally closer to their happily ever after). That’s how you get Carrie Fisher and Bruno Kirby arguing about wagon-wheel coffee tables, Sally being hopeless at Pictionary, and Harry recalling the “Don’t Fuck With Mr. Zero” T-shirt worn by a mover his ex-wife once hired. That quality is mirrored in the interviews with elderly couples that dot the film. Lasting love is only broad when summarized. In practice, it’s an accumulation of details. Academy, Nov. 15-17.

ALSO PLAYING: 5th Avenue: Nowhere (1997), Nov. 17-19. Academy: Touch of Evil (1958), Nov. 15 and 16. Chicken Run (2000), Nov. 17-22. Hardcore (1979), Nov. 18-22. Cinema 21: Baby Face (1933), Nov. 18. Cinemagic: Face/Off (1997), Nov. 16. The Fly (1986), Nov. 17, 18 and 22. Possessor (2020), Nov. 17 and 18. A History of Violence (2005), Nov. 19 and 21. Infinity Pool (2023, uncut), Nov. 18-20. Clinton: The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn Part 2 (2012), Nov. 20. Hollywood: Night of the Living Dead (1968), Nov. 17-19. ParaNorman (2012), Nov. 19. The Talented Mr. Ripley (1999), Nov. 20. Death Race 2000 (1975), Nov. 21. 28

Willamette Week NOVEMBER 15, 2023 wweek.com

NEXT GOAL WINS The premise of “a soccer coach and his club of misfits learn the value of friendship and positive thinking” might sound a little less played out if audiences weren’t familiar with Ted Lasso (or indeed any other sports comedy). Fortunately, director Taika Waititi (Jojo Rabbit, Thor: Ragnarok) has both the charm and insight to make Next Goal Wins an enjoyable, if slight, trip to the pitch. Based on the 2014 documentary of the same name, the story follows rage-aholic coach Thomas Rongen (Michael Fassbender), who is assigned to lead the American Samoa national team, the laughingstock of international football since a humiliating 31-0 loss in a qualifying match for the 2001 World Cup. In theory, Fassbender’s casting is part of the joke—an actor known for his dramatic intensity (see 12 Years a Slave) transplanted into a formula comedy—but his Rongen is more despondent than fierce, and he ends up the weak link in the cast. Fortunately, the rest of our players make up for it with humor and humanity to spare, particularly Oscar Kightley as the ever-optimistic club president and Kaimana as Jaiyah Saelua, the trail-blazing transgender player who is the heart of the team. Next Goal Wins works best as a loving tribute to sports movies of the past that, at a breezy 103 minutes, moves quickly and doesn’t overstay its welcome. It may not be a blowout, but it’s still a win in my book. PG-13. MORGAN SHAUNETTE. Bridgeport, Cascade, Cedar Hills, Cinema 99, City Center, Clackamas, Division Street, Eastport, Evergreen Parkway, Fox Tower, Living Room, Progress Ridge, Stark Street, Vancouver Mall, Vancouver Plaza.


Fans of the ’90s and ’00s rom-com boom are often quick to cite When Harry Met Sally… as the genre’s first modern touchstone. But with nearly 35 years of hindsight, the Nora Ephron-penned, Rob Reiner-directed classic pairing Meg Ryan and Billy Crystal increasingly seems like a singular achievement.


When Harry Met Sally… (1989)



KILLERS OF THE FLOWER MOON Martin Scorsese’s final act is that of an American tragedian, and in Killers of the Flower Moon, the 80-year-old film icon unflinchingly dramatizes the history of white, 1920s Oklahomans wreaking intrafamily genocide on the Osage people after oil is discovered beneath the tribe’s lands. The murders are underway when Ernest Burkhart (Leonardo DiCaprio) returns from World War I to work for his uncle (Robert De Niro), a cattle baron whose actual business is infiltrating the Osage community and plotting to steal their fortunes. Thus, Ernest’s personal sins will become inextricable from his work, even if DiCaprio wears a perfectly dumb underbite to suggest the character is straining not to comprehend his deeds. There’s no such underplaying of intelligence by Lily Gladstone (Certain Women), whose acting superpower is gentle directness. She plays Mollie, an Osage woman who loses family members fast when she marries Ernest. In the film’s only glaring flaw, the script leaves Mollie, its most important Osage character, wanting for moments of dynamism amid her suffering. That said, Killers of the Flower Moon isn’t about dynamism or change; like The Irishman, it commits over three hours to study crushing inevitability. The film is at once a crime epic, a spiritual exorcism, a portrait of a ne’erdo-well, a black comedy about the FBI’s birth, and a ballad for those who didn’t see modernity coming. It is also about movies, as Scorsese reminds us with a brilliant closing comment on the nature of true crime and mass media. If this is one of Scorsese’s

THE MARVELS AGE: Teyonah Parris, Brie Larson and Iman Vellani. last films, behold the bracing reflection of a murderer, a nation, and a legendary artist all asking: “What have I done?” R. CHANCE SOLEM-PFEIFER. Cedar Hills, City Center, Clackamas, Division Street, Eastport, Empirical, Fox Tower, Joy Cinema, Lake Theater, Laurelhurst, Living Room, Lloyd Center, Oak Grove, Pioneer Place, Studio One.

FIVE NIGHTS AT FREDDY’S Five Nights at Freddy’s, based on the popular video game franchise, is the latest animatronics-run-amok horror film following The Banana Splits Movie (2019) and Willy’s Wonderland (2021). The always likable Josh Hutcherson plays Mike Schmidt, who accepts a nightly security position at an abandoned family entertainment center called Freddy Fazbear’s Pizza. He soon finds that the place’s colorful mascots are actually deadly and have an interest in his little sister Abby (Piper Rubio). Director Emma Tammi’s adaptation of the games remains faithful in many ways, which isn’t too surprising given that Freddy’s creator Scott Cawthon is a co-writer on the project. The animatronics are impressively designed by the folks at Jim Henson’s Creature Shop, while Tammi’s production designer, Marc Fisichella, has gone to great lengths to bring the pizzeria setting alive. Lulls settle in when Mike’s backstory is belabored or when a cop shows up repeatedly just to drop exposition, but the film should serve as a macabre-cute gateway horror picture for younger audiences and fans of the franchise. PG-13. DANIEL RESTER. Bridgeport, Cedar Hills, City Center, Clackamas, Division Street, Eastport, Fox Tower, Lloyd Center, Mill Plain, Oak Grove, Pioneer Place, Progress Ridge, St. Johns Twin, Studio One, Wunderland Beaverton.


Although director Alexander Payne (The Descendants) can be a cheeky SOB, he’s at his best when he’s observing the quieter, bittersweet moments that are part of growing up or growing old. So it goes with The Holdovers, which follows brilliant but inflexible history teacher Paul Hunham (Paul Giamatti) as he’s tasked with looking after students stuck at a New England prep school over the 1970 winter break—including the smart but troubled Angus Tully (Dominic Sessa). Grief becomes a unifying theme for our heroes: Angus is mourning his lost father, head cook Mary (Da’Vine Joy Randolph) is facing Christmas for the first time since her son’s death, and Hunham is despairing over the state of the world (and his own stalled academic career) in general. Yet Payne and writer David Hemingson find humor, heart and humanity buried beneath the snowy landscape. Giamatti manages to make Hunham compelling despite his snobbery, and Sessa makes a fantastic debut as someone too witty for his own good—the pair have a crackling, acerbic chemistry that makes the movie sing. The Holdovers is perhaps a touch on the schmaltzy side, but it earns that schmaltz through great performances, a sharp script, and a director with an eye for finding beauty and meaning in the ordinary. R. MORGAN SHAUNETTE. Bridgeport, Cedar Hills, Cinema 21, Clackamas, Eastport, Evergreen Parkway, Fox Tower, Hollywood, Living Room.

which is less a sequel to 2019’s Captain Marvel than a multigenerational, quasi-musical buddy movie. Wearing a crimson bodysuit and wrangling glowing CGI effects, Brie Larson returns as Carol Danvers, the cosmic warrior known as Captain Marvel. She’s ditched her battle-ready pixie cut from Avengers: Endgame, but gained some new friends: astronaut Monica Rambeau (Teyonah Parris) and Captain Marvel fangirl Kamala Khan (Iman Vellani), both of whom prove invaluable allies in Carol’s war with a planet-hopping despot (Zawe Ashton). After a baffling first act suffocated by references to previous films and streaming series, The Marvels allows its heroic trio to bond and bumble with ease, whether they’re jumping rope on a spaceship or navigating a song-and-dance routine on an aquatic planet. In that scene, Larson wears a sumptuous red ball gown, which reminds us that Carol is never one thing—she’s casual and committed, gritty and glamorous. The greatest superhero Larson ever played was Grace Howard, the ferociously compassionate group home supervisor in Short Term 12 (2013), but as long as she’s willing to lend Marvel her unpredictable light, the franchise would be wise to let it shine. PG-13. BENNETT CAMPBELL FERGUSON. Academy, Bridgeport, Cedar Hills, City Center, Clackamas, Division Street, Eastport, Fox Tower, Lloyd Center, Mill Plain, Oak Grove, Pioneer Place, St. Johns Twin, Studio One, Wunderland Milwaukie.

THE PIGEON TUNNEL Through decades of incisive interview-centric documentaries (The Thin Blue Line, The Fog of War), Errol Morris chose his subjects brilliantly and interrogated them doggedly. Lately, the subjects seem

to choose him. The late spy novelist John le Carré (né David Cornwell) suggests as much in Morris’ latest film. Luckily, it’s not as dangerous to let Cornwell wax poetic as it is Steve Bannon (the subject of Morris’ 2018 film American Dharma). But you still feel in The Pigeon Tunnel—the film borrows the working title for almost all John le Carré novels—that Cornwell runs the show. He speaks in perfect paragraphs about the self-deceptions and contradictions of spies, writers and his own con artist father: “Whether he believed in God was mysterious, but he was certain God believed in him.” Elegiac to a fault, the film offers a chance to return one last time to the mind of a genius who died in 2020 and left behind 30 novels that seek, twist and elide the truth with every page. Does that make The Pigeon Tunnel an exercise in futility? More like a pleasant evening constitutional with futility. Tell us one last time—in a pretty way—how we’ll never know you, John. NR. CHANCE SOLEM-PFEIFER. Apple TV+.

PRISCILLA Sofia Coppola didn’t just make a masterpiece called Lost in Translation—she’s become contemporary cinema’s reigning expert on lostness. She shows us what it is to be adrift, alone, yearning—the way Priscilla Presley (Cailee Spaeny) is when she wanders through the luxuriant chambers of Graceland in Coppola’s flawed and entrancing biographical film. Elvis (a superb Jacob Elordi) spends most of the movie preoccupied with his celebrity and his infidelity, though he’s slightly more attentive to Priscilla when they meet in Germany in 1959 (when she’s 14 and he’s 24). In these scenes, the film’s best, Elvis bewitches his future bride with his manly brooding over whether he’ll have a musical career when he completes his military service. “Sure you will!” Priscilla insists, her face radiating belief. Yes, Elvis will have a career, but she won’t be a part of it. Instead, she’ll be reduced to a virginal plaything for him to gaslight, neglect and abuse (in one scene, he hurls a chair at her head). Rapturously alive with desire but unflinching in its portrait of Elvis as a predator, Priscilla shreds the mythmaking of Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis. It is a superior film in every respect, but once it gets to Graceland, the beautifully measured pace of the Germany prologue evaporates. Rushing through years of betrayal and bliss, the film starts to feel as if it’s checking boxes on a timeline rather than evoking Priscilla’s experience. As always, she’s lost in her own story. R. BENNETT CAMPBELL FERGUSON. Academy, Bagdad, Bridgeport, Cedar Hills, Cinema 21, City Center, Clackamas, Division Street, Eastport, Fox Tower, Laurelhurst, Living Room, Lloyd Center, Oak Grove. Studio One.

THE MARVELS Shitting on the Marvel Cinematic Universe is hip right now, but it shouldn’t be. Amid its putative decline, the franchise has unleashed some of its livelist and strangest films, from the oedipal Shang-Chi to the operatic Eternals. The trend toward general wackiness continues with The Marvels,




TRUE SCENES FROM THE STREETS! @sketchypeoplepdx by Jack Kent

Willamette Week NOVEMBER 15, 2023 wweek.com





"To Bead Determined"--wanna swap?


(March 21-April 19): In accordance with astrological omens, I would love you to experiment with blending the sacred and mundane. Bring your deep self into the daily routine and imbue ordinary rhythms with tender care. Here are a few fun rituals to get you in the groove: 1. Say prayers or chant ecstatic poems while you’re shopping. 2. Build a shrine in a parking lot. 3. Stir up an inspired epiphany while doing housework. 4. If you find yourself in a confusing or awkward situation, dance like a holy person to conjure a blessing. 5. Commune with the Divine Creator during crazy-good sex.


(April 20-May 20): I’ve met many people who feel their love lives are jinxed. Often, they believe this nonsense because a creepy fortuneteller declared they will forever be denied a satisfying intimate relationship. I hate that! Any astrologer who delivers such crippling bewitchments should be outed as a charlatan. The good news for you, Taurus, is that you are in a grace period for all matters regarding romance, intimacy, and togetherness. If you have ever worried there is a curse, obstruction, or bad habit inhibiting your love life, the coming weeks will be a favorable time to free yourself from it.

GEMINI (May 21-June 20): Gemini comedian Drew


54. Pitcher handle

and roasted pork

1. Greek Z

56. Dish with dressing

5. Landfill emanations

61. Tablets that run Safari

28. With 16-Across, 2014 Olympics skating analyst

10. It's almost not a pencil

65. Accessory where you'd see the three circled words (designed to look like one of these, sorta)

14. State, to Pierre 15. Character voiced by Charles Martinet until 2023 16. See 28-Down

68. Look after

29. Long Island iced tea, for one 30. "Cheers!", in Scandinavia 31. Crude abode 32. 3M sponge brand

17. What yoga and deep breathing help with

69. Crossword theme type (but not in Jonesin'--I'm not that mean)

20. Rapper Shakur

70. Almond _ _ _

36. "Arrivederci" relative

21. Wombat relative

71. Queries

42. Having great views

22. 157.5 deg. from N

72. "Forever" mail attachment

45. Gil Grissom's TV group

23. "Blueberries for _ _ _" (Robert McCloskey children's book) 25. "And She _ _ _" (Talking Heads song) 27. Filmmaker's framing 34. Cat on a sportswear logo 37. A.P. competitor 38. 1980s Big Apple mayor 39. Oklahoma city near Oklahoma City

73. County hub

33. Prosper 35. Economics opener?

50. "Three's Company" spinoff, with "The" 52. It's happening right now in Portland, for short

DOWN 1. Lemon peel part 2. "And you?", to Caesar 3. Ball field coverer 4. Far from nervous 5. Mantra syllables 6. Nighttime

54. "Donde _ _ _ la biblioteca?" 55. Astounds 57. Goes on linear television 58. Online writing system that coined "n00b" 59. "Dancing Queen" group 60. Tom, for one

40. Part of HBO

7. Shake flavor

41. Generous chances at starting fresh

8. "Low" rapper Flo _ _ _

62. Ingredient in some lip balms

9. James Brown's genre

43. 601, in Rome

63. Five times duo-

10. "The _ _ _-Weed Factor" (1960 John Barth novel)

64. Turnovers, e.g.

11. Time announced (and repeated) in monster truck ads

67. Cleopatra's downfall

44. Guinness of stage and screen 46. Celtic language 47. "Where _ _ _ we headed today?" 48. Signals "yes" 49. 1994 song by Live that reached No. 2 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Tracks chart 51. Bowl during a bowl game broadcast, maybe 53. "Achtung Baby" producer Brian

12. Chicago-style pizza chain, informally 13. Radius, for one 18. One way to run 19. Cornfield noise 24. Largest lake in Europe

66. Hook-and-ladder cos.

last week’s answers

Carey says, "If I didn’t run from my fears, I wouldn’t get any exercise at all." Let's discuss his approach in relation to you. After analyzing the astrological omens, I believe that as 2023 draws to a close and 2024 unfolds, you will feel less and less motivated to run from your fears. In part, that's because you will face them with more courage and poise; they won't have the same power over you. In addition, I suspect your fears will become objectively less scary. They will be less likely to come to pass. More and more, your fine mind will see how they trick you into imagining they're more threatening than they truly are. Congratulations in advance, Gemini!



a polite question that engenders harmony or a provocative question that pries loose agendas that have been half hidden, opt for the latter. If you feel nostalgic about an old tradition that stirs up little passion or fresh insight, let it go. Instead, dream up a new tradition that moves you emotionally and excites your mind.

SCORPIO (Oct. 23-Nov. 21): Icelandic singer Bjork

is a triple Scorpio, with sun, moon, and ascendant in your sign. Neptune is there, too, giving her even more Scorpionic intensity. It’s not surprising that she describes her daily practice like this: "I have to re-create the universe every morning when I wake up and kill it in the evening." In another quote, she places greater emphasis on the rebirth: "To wake up in the morning and actually find the day exciting is the biggest victory you can have." In accordance with current astrological omens, I invite you to exalt and celebrate the post-resurrection aspects of your life's work. It's time for you to shine and sparkle and shimmer and bedazzle.

SAGITTARIUS (Nov. 22-Dec. 21): At the risk of

sounding melodramatic, I prophesy that what has been lost will be found. What was last may not catapult all the way into the first spot, but it might—and will at least be close to the first. Here are more zingers for you as you move into the climactic stages of the Season of Turnarounds and Switcheroos: A difficult test will boost your intelligence; a rut will be disrupted, freeing you to find a smooth new groove; an unsettling twist will ultimately bring you delightful support. To get the best out of the upcoming challenges, Sagittarius, welcome them as opportunities to expand your understanding of how the world works.

CAPRICORN (Dec. 22-Jan. 19): Many cultures

(June 21-July 22): I would love to see you intensify your devotion to your masterpiece— however you understand “masterpiece.” It could be a work of art or an innovation in your job or business. It could be a new baby, an adopted pet, a redefinition of what family means, or an invigorated community. Might even be a beautiful alliance or enhanced connection with the divine or a refinement of the best gift you give the world. Life will conspire to help you in unexpected ways during the coming months if you rededicate yourself to this treasure.

throughout history have staged rites of passage to mark the transformation from childhood to puberty. In ancient Greece, for example, kids formally relinquished their toys, symbolizing the intention to move into a new phase of their destinies. In accordance with astrological omens, I want to tweak this custom for your use, Capricorn. I propose that you embrace your second childhood. Fantasize about how you might refurbish your innocence, curiosity, playfulness, and spontaneous joy. Then select an object that embodies a burdensome or unpleasant aspect of adulthood. Discard it. Find an object that signifies the fresh young spirit you’d like to awaken within you. Kiss it, sing to it, and keep it in a prominent place.


AQUARIUS (Jan. 20-Feb. 18): For advice about


(July 23-Aug. 22): Dear Sun, our one and only star: We love you and appreciate you! It’s amazing that you consume five million tons of yourself every second to generate the colossal energy you send in our direction. Thank you, beloved Sun! Is it OK with you if we think of you as a god? You are a superpowered genius of nourishment! And by the way, do you know who adores you the best? I’ll tell you: the Leo people here on Earth. They comprehend your grandeur and majesty better than anyone else. Would you consider giving them extra rewards in the coming weeks? They need and deserve a massive delivery of your bounty. Please fill them up with even more charisma, personal magnetism, vitality, and generosity of spirit than usual. I promise they will use it wisely.

VIRGO (Aug. 23-Sept. 22): Virgo musician and

actor Shirley Manson has a message for you. She testifies, "I say embrace the total geek in yourself and just enjoy it. Life is too short to be cool." This will be especially helpful and inspirational counsel for you in the coming months, dear Virgo. The wish to appear chic or trendy or hip should be so far down on your list of priorities that it drops off the list entirely. Your assignment is to be passionately devoted to your deepest truths, unique desires, and imaginative experiments.


(Sept. 23-Oct. 22): If you’re given a choice to advocate for either a dull, mediocre truth or a beautiful, invigorating truth, give your love to the latter. If you wonder whether you should ask

money, I talk with a banker who sometimes analyzes financial trends using Tarot cards. To keep abreast of politics on the ground level, I consult with a courtesan who has a Ph.D. in political science and cultivates intimate relations with governmental leaders. For guidance about rowdy ethics and etiquette, I seek input from an activist singer in an all-women punk band. How about you, Aquarius? Now is a favorable time to take an inventory of your posse of teachers, helpers, and counselors. Make sure it’s serving you well and providing maximum inspiration and support. Hot tip: It may be time to add a new facilitator or two to your entourage.

PISCES (Feb. 19-March 20): Now and then, you glide

through a phase I describe as Freedom from Cosmic Compulsion. During these grace periods, fate has a reduced role in shaping your destiny. Your past doesn’t have its typical power to limit you or entrance you. According to my astrological analysis, you are now enjoying such a chapter. That’s why I predict that an infertile status quo will soon crumble. A boring, inflexible rule will become irrelevant. These and other breakthrough developments will give you extra leeway to innovate and invent. You will have a big, bright emptiness to work and play around in.

Homework: My new book Astrology Is Real is available: https://bit.ly/AstrologyReal

26. "George of the Jungle" creature 27. Sandwich type with ham

©2023 Jonesin’ Crosswords (editor@jonesincrosswords.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.



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