Archive for June, 2005

Author Faves: Beat that heat!

Today’s question is: What is your favorite way to beat the heat? I know we don’t get a whole lot, but when we do it can be brutal. Here are some tips from the MetroBloggers:

Senor Pieman stopped fanning long enough to say:

Beer and movie at the Mission.
In Portland, what’s better than a local microbrew? How about drinking the beer in an air-conditioned movie theater while watching an inexpensive film? And, if you’re hungry, you can order a burger or pizza or anything else on the menu. Truly one of Portland’s greatest hot-weather avoidance mechanisms.

Thien-Kim, was sporting a parka and cargo shorts and said:
My favorite way to beat the heat is to wait five minutes. What’s up with this weather?! And what’s this about recent snow on Hood?

Russ diverted his attention from his mint julep and told me:
If I have the time, I take one of two drives that are sure to get me into cooler climes.
*I-84 East, 35 up to Government Camp, then climb to Timberline Lodge, where I’ll cool off even more. Then down, picking up Highway 26 back into town.
*Sunset to 101, up thru Seaside to Astoria and over the bridge. Then back over Washington Hwy 4 until Cathalemet. Cross the Columbia by Ferry, picking up US 30 at Westport for the drive back in.
Betsy paused in her pursuit of the ice cream truck to clue me in:
My favorite ways to beat the heat: Running through a sprinkler. Dipping my feet in the splash pool at Grant (if I can elbow the kiddies out of the way, that is.) Then a homemade sno-cone from the cart outside the Grant Pool, if possible – or a large BombPop (yes, those red, white and blue popsicles) from an ice cream cart or nearby convenience store.

Josh had a mouthful of Nutty Buddy but managed to write me a note:
My best tip is for summer bicycle-commuters. As a bike commuter, I don’t want to be all hot and sweaty when I get to my destination. But when those 85 and 90-degree days hit, I can hardly bike three blocks without overheating.

My simple and effective tip is this: Loosely tie a wet bandana around your neck. I don’t know how it works, but it works. And it’s FREE.

The Recently Yet Only Temporarily Departed Benkay stopped slurping down blue Otter Pop long enough to weigh in with:

For beating the heat, nothing tops ice-skating at Lloyd. Nothing. I mean, you’re on ice. Literally. And skating. It’s pretty sweet. I also enjoy the theatre option from time to time.

And mine? Banana Lee Fishbones is no stranger to heat. That’s not to say I enjoy it, but I can survive it. For immediate gratification I am not above the ‘spritz water in the fan’ standby. Otherwise, movies or a drive with the A/C on to someplace shady. If there’s no shade to be had, it’s off to find a store that sells the recently reintroduced pudding pop.

New Wal-Mart?

Biking past a parked car this morning, I saw a sign posted in the window. It read:

“No New Wal-Mart at the corner of SE McLoughlin and Tacoma!”

Anybody know anything about this?

Best/Worst Portland-Area Movie Theaters

Quickly, now, I am here to throw up a post I’ve been thinking about since going to the new Century Theater (at Cedar Hills) to see Mr. and Mrs. Smith (great flick, by the way) last Friday night. My apologies that it’s taken so long for this bit of a$$-grabbery to come to fruition.

Rules: Only discussing first-run, major theaters. Portland-area, including Beaverton, Gresham, and Vancouver (where, fortunately, none of my bests are).

Can I get a PDX mentor, please?

Preferably, someone who’s studied at the Mazziotti school of mentorship, if I could?

I think I’d be able to dress appropriately enough to conduct lessons over fine meals in some of Portland’s swankiest restaurants.

And I only hope my, er, innate business ability would reward my mentor so much that he’d also be “pleased to have been able to help” tutor me. On his dime, no less.

Or someone else’s dime, anyway…

Bewitched? I’m bemused…

If you read all three reviews of Bewitched in Friday’s A&E, you just might end up befuddled.

From the review of the trailer (wha…when did we start reviewing trailers?):

In a just world, no career would’ve survived “Michael.” the catastrophic flop with John Travolta playing an angel (complete with wings.)

Capsule version: It’s gonna blooow (with a hat tip to Jon Stewart).

From the review of the movie itself:

“Bewitched,” a sort-of adaptation of the popular 1960s TV series, is a terrible, terrible movie. Its creators have a swell idea at the core, a wonderful leading lady, and several stalwart comic players in support, and they make of all of that a picture with the wit of an armpit fart, the verve of a boxwood shrub, and the appeal of a long night in an ER waiting room.

Capsule version: It really really blooows.

But what’s this, from the Movie Guide for Parents (a capsule review from the Washington Post writers group)?

Clever people have put a spell on this sparkly, refreshingly off-center re-imagining of the 1964-72 TV series.

Capsule version: It’s ‘beguiling’!

Me? I’m just bemoaning the beef-witted decision to run three reviews of the same movie in the same supplement – not to mention befuddled at the lack of continuity.

Your chance-finis
The strain that invades my brain-finis
Bewitched, bothered and bewildered no more.

(With profuse apologies to Rodgers & Hart for the bastardization…)

Out and about

Hmm. My niche as best/worst guy is eroding due to neglect. I’ll remedy that later.

Today I ended up working, relying on the weather-people and my keen understanding of Oregon’s typically-sucky weekend weather.

Luckily, I’m so in love with my new camera that I took it with me, because once I was free to look around, it was a nice day to snap a couple of random shots around downtown…

Vista House, we hardly knew ye

I have been waiting.

I have been patiently biding my time and hoping for the day when Vista House would be restored to it’s former glory.

And they were close, too. Now (as of a week ago anyway), it would seem to be not so much.

And while I respect the ADA and everything they stand for and what they’re trying to do, I don’t know why it can’t be open at least for now, especially considering they *are* complying and doing what they can to accomodate the ADA’s requests.

I can see both sides of this, but only to a point. Open it for everyone if you have proof that the modifications are happening. At the very least it would mean that people following the Lewis & Clark trail would still get a look at a beautiful building in a beautiful place, and maybe while they’re there pick up a postcard and a mocha so there is still a Vista House for their kids to enjoy.

I’m off to donate some money to them now. I hope if you have been there and enjoyed it you can kick ten bucks* their way as well.

*ten bucks is an arbitrary amount, generally enough to feel good about but not enough to bankrupt you. It’s a nice balance.

Buckman Pool open house

From a mailing list I’m on:

The inner east side and Buckman Elementary Community have been invited to a Public Walk-through scheduled for Buckman Pool this Friday, June 24th at 6:30PM. Portland Public Schools is facilitating the meeting. This is a chance to tour the empty pool and find out what the possible options are regarding repair costs.

As you may know, this pool is the community’s only public recreational resource in a three mile area. Although we have been promised a Community Center in the future, the fact remains that Buckman Pool should be repaired, reopened and remain open until the completion of the Eastside Community Center.

The pool is located on the south side of Buckman Elementary facing the playground which runs parallel to Stark Street. Buckman school is at SE 16th & Pine Strs. Please wear comfortable shoes that are not open-toed or sandaltype as we will walking around down in the pool. PPS has also advised that this is not a child-friendly event as there are many trip hazards.

Read about efforts to save Buckman pool, or weigh in on the issue over at Commissioner Adams’ new blog.

Count ’em.

My friend’s mother is visiting from out-of-town. She’s from Maine. Inevitably, the question came up: Just how bike-friendly is Portland? Off the top of my head and on the spur of the moment, I named 21 bike shops. 21! That’s a lot of bike shops. It was pretty cool to think how many sweet bikes must be tooling around on the road these days, thanks to all these shops…

…but then today? Someone asked me to set a value on a bike that they were trying to sell. It was a department store special, and it was hard to break the bad news that it wasn’t worth much.

Folks, please stop and think before you go to a big box store to buy a bike. If you want a bike to ride and trash, then fine. But if you think you might like to integrate a bicycle into your lifestyle, you owe it to yourself to check out a reputable shop. You’ll find a bike within your budget that’s been built by skilled wrenches, and the whole experience will be so much more enjoyable. Then, everybody will ride, and Portland will be an even nicer city in which to bike. It will begin a beautiful circle.

Such is my request, and also an offer: don’t hesitate to hit up the comments with your bike questions. I will do my best to answer in a timely fashion. I’ve been in three shops in two years, and if I don’t know the answer, I know how to find it. Bring on your shocks, pegs, and sweet jumps.

CafÈ Wax/The Dawg House

Despite the name of the place where I sit RIGHT THIS INSTANT, I opted to get a burger instead of a hot dog. So sue me. Right now I’m sitting in CafÈ Wax, aka The Dawg House. These two establishments have an interesting disctinction: time. From AM to Afternoon (I’m too lazy to get up and actually find the hours) the Dawg House rocks crazy hot dogs and after 7p (or something like that, see my point on being lazy) CafÈ Wax does milkshakes and hip-hop events.

I’m sitting in quite possible the most PLUSH booth EVAR to grace my bum. It’s more comfy than those at Ruths Chris, and the atmo is 10000x better. Why is it better? Because I have free wifi with my burger. You know what I’m getting after my burger? A slice of cherry pie. And a scoop of ice cream. Not to mention that there’s some really sweet caribbean jazz playing in the background. I know, “Carribean Jazz,” right? This place is wild. I have a BOWL OF PRETZELS. And a cup of water. There are these sheer, silky curtains separating the eating space and the dancing space, and big bay windows letting in eye-watering amounts of life.

One of the things that’s always puzzled me about Interstate is the predominance of the motel. There are oh, five or ten in the same number of blocks. It’s crazy. Also, the economics of it defeat me.

More on the meal itself. The burger was mediocre (which is what happens when you use preformed patties) but OMGWTFBBQ THIS CHERRY PIE IS AMAZING.

So, in summary. Awesome atmosphere, mediocre burger, AMAZING FUCKING PIE, good music (which I think is actually the local jazz station) and low prices. I’ll have to come back and check out the late night entertainment some time.

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