Archive for October, 2008

A Guide To Portland’s Food Carts

The Amazing Potato Champion

The Amazing Potato Champion

Despite our often wet weather, Portland has a phenomenal selection of food carts. Some of my more memorable Portland meals have been at carts.

Now there’s an online resource totally dedicated to the Portland Food Cart phenomenon:  Food Carts Portland.

The site breaks down cart reviews by cuisine and neighborhood, each with a handy map to help you find the sometimes elusive carts.

Some of my personal favorite carts: Sip Portland, Potato Champion, India Chaat House, Taqueria Los Gorditos (which Food Carts of Portland needs to review) and Flavour Spot!!

Food Carts Portland also enables comments and some of the best info comes from reader submissions and updates.

New PDX Coffee Shop Wiki on About US

Local Wiki company About Us continues to enhance it’s local relevance with a new section devoted entirely to Portland Cofffe Shops. (Created by Bram Pitoyo)

The list, which is constantly growing and updating is a fantastic resource to quickly get info on the coffee shops in an area.  Since all Coffee shops aren’t created equal, this new resource breaks each one down by:

  • Atmosphere
  • Amenities
  • Ideal For
  • Wifi Rating

As with any Wiki,  readers are encouraged to contribute their knowledge and help make this resource as comprehensive as possible.

Another great resource on the About Us site is the Portland Tech Twitter Page, an invaluable resource if you want to connect with Portland’s tech community.

Vote (With Your Dollars)

With the presidential election looming most people are myopically focused on voting for president, but the second most important vote you can make right now is with your dollars. Times are tough and not all businesses are going to survive this recession. Already this month several notable Portland restaurants have announced that they are shuttering their doors (Rocket, Mercado, Banh Cuon Tan Dinh and Kalga Kafe)  and more are soon to follow.

The dollar may be down on the world market, but it’s never been stronger here at home. With each dollar you spend you are making a vote, you’re voting for the business that you give your money to and perhaps voting against the places you aren’t. During tough economic times people often default to the lowest cost option out there. Companies like McDonald’s and Wal-Mart thrive because people think they get more for less there – something in tough times sounds appealing. If this current economic mess has taught us anything it’s there’s absolutely no such thing as a free lunch and today’s low low deal might have some unintended consequences tomorrow.

So I encourage you to think about the long haul. Want a beer? Skip Rock Bottom Brewery and pick your beer up at Belmont Station. Want a movie? Rather than Netflixing it ensure the future of independent cinema and local art houses and catch a movie at the Hollywood Theater or Cinema 21.  Want some food? Support local farmers at your local farmer’s market or visit the People’s Food Coop Farmer’s Market.  Chose Voodoo Doughnuts over Krispie Kreme,  Laughing Planet or Los Gorditos over Taco Bell, Pad Thai Kitchen over TGIFridays…. and yes Stumptown, Cellar Door and Z Beans over Starbucks.

There’s never been a time in your life where what you spend and where you spend has mattered more. So pick the places you love and give them your business, odds are they’ll be around to thank you when this whole economic mess is all over.

What local business are you rooting for to survive?

Robotics Competition at OMSI Saturday Oct. 25th

This Saturday, October 5th, from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm in the OMSI main auditorium there will be a FIRST Robotics Competition scrimmage. 15 teams from area high schools will be competing with 120 pound robots in a competition that involves racing, herding a swiss-style exercise ball around a track, and throwing the ball over a 6′ bar. FIRST Lego League teams from local middle schools will also be there demonstrating their robots. Team members from both levels will be happy to tell you more about the competition, the robots, and the FIRST programs.

David Perry, lead educator for the OMSI Technology Lab, said “This showcase by FIRST gives visitors a chance to get an up-close look at real world robotics and what the possibilities and limitations are in a really fun and dynamic way.”

The competition should be a lot of fun to watch. Admission to this event is free.

(Full disclosure: I’m a member team #1432, which is participating)

Spring Awakening – On Stage Tickets ON SALE NOW

Amazing opportunities don’t come around everyday, so this is one you shouldn’t miss:

Spring Awakening, the Tony Award winning musical, has just released a block of On Stage Tickets for its run at The Keller Auditorium (as part of the Broadway Across America Series).  These tickets sell for $26 + $5 service fee (if you purchase them via phone).

These seats are ON THE STAGE!!!

Call: 503.790.2787  RIGHT NOW!! You will absolutely thank me.  (They will sell out… So if you’ve waited too long…. Sorry)

Thanks to Byron Beck at WWeek for breaking this news.

New Kids on the Block Concert – CANCELED

I’m sure this will break many hearts (probably not as many as when they canceled the Kelly Clarkson Tour last summer) but…

Due to an unavoidable scheduling conflict the New Kids on the Block concert, originally scheduled for Rose Garden Arena on Sunday, November 23, 2008 has been canceled.

Refunds are available at point of purchase.

Sorry NKOTB fans.

Perhaps you can get your swooning fix by watching Twilight or going to the Twilight Prom.

Lost Dog… Door?

Someone with a lost dog wanted a big sign. And apparently had a door lying around.
I saw this at the corner of 52nd and Division and found it rather humorous. It’s a lost dog sign painted on a complete door, with knob and frame.

A lost dog sign on a door

A lost dog sign on a door

Henry Rollins – An Aging Punk Rocker Tells All

Henry Rollins is almost 50, and that’s both exciting and frightening. No longer an ‘angry young man’ Rollins performed a two hour and forty five minute set that was much more self confessional than angry, much more story telling then rant and a little bit more stand up than political commentary. Although the tour was billed as the “Recountdown” tour, Rollins spent less than a quarter of his show dealing with political topics, instead the focus fell squarely on Rollins’ own travels and attempts to keep busy when not touring. When talking politics Rollins pulled his punches and often repeated his wish for people not to be divided by the issues which often seem to divide us. Rather than shake his fists at the establishment, Rollins spoke about his work with the H for Hunger foundation and his efforts to document things like Aids in Africa and the aftermath of war in Ireland.

Rollins may have chilled a bit, but he’s still filled to brim with excitement, enthusiasm and energy. Rollins’ set had its high points and low points but his frenetic pace and screaming punctuation marks moved it right along. What struck me the most about his set was just how self confessional Rollins is, from processing existential statements from drivers in Laos to dealing with his personal space being compromised by airport security, the Recountdown show was much more the tales of a punk rocker hitting a mid life crisis than anything else.

Make Gloves Not War

I think I must be blind. I have driven past this intersection of SE 82nd and Stark countless times – aand I honestly don’t remember ever seeing this sign before. This huge grenade on a post declaring “.” Apparently this is the HQ for Grenade Gloves a sportswear company for snowboarders/skateboarders.
The sign doesn’t really look new – am I I indeed just blind?

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