Happy hour, the comeback!

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To keep with the penny-pinching theme, here is a short list of happy hours to keep you busy during the Memorial Day weekend.

Farm Café
10 SE 7th Ave
Notes: Offers fresh, local organic food and beers. $2 Hand-cut fries with house-made ketchup

Iron Horse
6034 SE Milwaukie
Notes: 3 mini tacos or 5 jalapeno poppers for $3

Moloko Plus
3967 N Mississippi
Notes: free Atari and $5 sandwich menu

Siam Society Soi Cowboy Lounge
2703 NE Alberta
Notes: Happy hour is all day. $1.95 deep fried Thai shrimp chips.

Concordia Ale House
3276 NE Killingsworth
Notes: All food items $3.75, including 2 mini burgers with chips or fries, mac & cheese, and chili cheese fries.

Cider Mill
6712 SW Capitol Hwy
Notes: $1 PBR pints. $2.95 food menu, including Leo’s homemade hot wings, fully loaded backed potato and sweet peppered onion rings.

413 NW 21st Ave
Notes: Food specials $1-5. $4 sake shot n’ a beer

Country Cat
7937 SE Stark
Notes: Food and drink combos $10-12. For example, on Tuesday, pork sandwich, bbq baked beans and a jigger of jack for $10.

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Fourth Annual Zoo Brew

There are a few “kid” places I enjoy going to sans kids. For example, OMSI After Dark offers adults (21 and over) the opportunity to parade the museum kids free. Personally, I enjoy thinking about the miracle of life in the Life Science Hall, without the miracle of life obnoxiously bumping into me and screaming at every turn.

By the way, I love kids. There are just times I prefer not to interact with children not related to me.

The fourth annual Zoo Brew is around the corner. One can enjoy booze from the brew gods, enjoy the wilds of the Oregon Zoo, and listen to the local ska-rock music of the Crazy 8s.

On Friday, June 4, from 5pm until 10pm, join the animals and partipating breweries: Alameda Brewhouse, Blue Mountain Cider, BridgePort Brewing Co., Cascade Brewing, Crater Lake Root Beer, Deschutes Brewery, Double Mountain Brewery, Fish Brewing Co., Full Sail Brewing, Hopworks Urban Brewing, Klamath Basin Brewing Co., Kona Brewing Co., Lompoc Brewing Co., Oakshire Brewing, Pale Horse Brewing Co., Redhook Ale Brewery, Seven Brides Brewing, Spire Mountain Cider, Trumer Pils, and Widmer Brothers Brewing Co.

If you really want to get sloshed, take the MAX, red or blue line. Get off at Washington Park and take the elevator up.

Tickets to Zoo Brew are $25 now or $30 at the door. Tickets include a commemorative tasting glass and 10 tokens. Proceeds this year will benefit the Zoo To You education program. Tickets can be purchased online. No kids allowed.

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Tips for Uncle Gus

I ride the MAX blue and red lines several times a day, from Pioneer Square to the SW ‘burbs. Even after years of riding with Trimet, I was incognizant to obvious tips that would make my daily trips more pleasant.

For example, I have caught the red line by accident and then been completely taken by surprise when I have had to switch trains (to blue line) to go further southwest. Whoops!.

My friend, Kim, offered these kind suggestions to me:

  • Take the red line to get out of the rain, heat, or cold.
  • Get off at Sunset because they have benches, and you are more likely to get a seat if you transfer because of all the people that get off.
  • If you get off at Washington Park, you are less likely to get a seat when getting back on the MAX, but it’s very cool underground when it’s hot outside.

For further reading, TriMet provides you the rules, how to, and winter weather ideas.

I found a cool site called TriMetiquette, run by local rider Christian Bullock. Some friendly, helpful observations from Mr. Amy Vanderbilt.

If you have an iPhone, be sure to download the free app for Portland bus and train times. It has helped (and amused me) a million times over.

Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival

Remember that the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival is in Woodburn until the end of the month. Fun for friends, families, or just couples. Probably not as fun by your lonesome… but what is?

All orders of $40 or more will receive 10 free Iris Reticulata, from now through June 1st.

I recommend taking a look at your garden now, so you know what flowers you may want for next year. Remember, you plant most bulbs right before it tends to get really cold. Also, great deals to be found right now. Typically, when I buy my bulbs at the festival, I get free entry the next year.

Pictured to the left are tulips from my own garden! I bought them at the festival last year.

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Food carts, we dine with thee

Times are tough. And when the wallet is tight, people search for cheap food. Food carts are rapidly filling Portlanders’ stomachs with cheap, delicious food. Even Frugal Traveler from the NY Times agrees!

I know the ambiance isn’t for everyone, but I love food carts. I love greedily devouring the food on the sidewalk or running indoors to enjoy my food in peace. I always feel like Gollum from Lord of the Rings, creepily screeching, “My precious…” whilst protecting my fresh, hot edibles from rain, wind, and sleet.

I wanted to share some of my favorites with you, hoping you would share some of your favorites with me. I can’t list them all, but with your help, maybe I can. You may argue that some of them are not food carts, but merely food served outdoors. To me, it’s potato, potahto.

My Quick Delicious Five

Built To Grill
SW 3rd and Washington
(no website) (twitter)

No Fish Go Fish
SW 5th and Yamhill
(website) (twitter)

Grilled Cheese Grill
NE Alberta & 11th
(website) (twitter)

SW 5th Ave & Stark
(website) (twitter)

Nong’s Khao Man Gai
SW 10th & Alder St.
(website) (twitter)

Great Sites Or Articles To Get Your Visual Fix

No April Fools at K & Z

One day special at Kenny and Zuke’s. It’s called the DDD reuben and it may cause a self induced cardiac arrest. This triple-decker is described by them:

In the middle is the standard reuben with 9-10 ozs of house-made pastrami, two slices of swiss, russian, and kraut. On top and bottom is another reuben, each with about 4 ozs of pastrami, and two slices of swiss cheese. That’s over a pound of pastrami, 1/4 lb of swiss cheese, and a whole bunch of creamy russian all grilled together into a delicious mess. And as if that wasn’t a cholesterol bomb waiting to explode in your heart, we went ahead and battered and deep-fried it.

Not sure if my little heart can handle it, but it’s only here for one day so maybe it should.

Rainy Days

If you’ve been present this week, you know that it’s been raining. Like, soak your sneakers and turn your umbrella inside out –if you actually carry one– kind of rain. Don’t be discouraged, my fair-weather friend. I will share with you a quick list of what I will be partaking in this week.

There is tons more to do. Feel free to add your suggestions in the comments. And remember: Keep your socks dry!

Art Shmart

Portland Art MuseumEnjoy free art today! The Portland Art Museum offers free admission on the fourth Friday of every month from 5-8 p.m.

You can enjoy portraits galore, along with other permanent exhibits.

Even if you think you’re not an appreciator of the arts, just go, because it may make you smarter… and did I mention that it’s free?

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Spring Break Zoo Madness

Since all the kiddies were out of school on spring break, I thought, why not visit the zoo? Oregon Zoo’s Spring Break Party runs through April 2nd. The zoo schedule brings you lions, penguins, polar bears, ocelots and elephants.

Tips You Should Know:

  1. Parking is atrocious (and costs $2). Yes, you can park further away and use the shuttle, but the MAX is so convenient; just take the Washington Park exit and elevator up.
  2. The parking shuttle (if you use it) and the zoo are not stroller or wheelchair friendly.
  3. Another benefit of riding the MAX: you get a $1.50 off admission at the gate.
  4. Children aged two and under are admitted free of charge.
  5. On the second Tuesday of every month you can visit the zoo for the discounted price of $2 per person; better than the usual $10.50 per adult and $7.50 per youth, right?
  6. Portland Perks has a 20% off admission coupon.
  7. Kids love ZooKeys. They cost $2.50 and you can use the same one each time you visit. Listen to zoo facts in English or Spanish.
  8. And, as always: wear good walking shoes, dress in layers, and bring water and snacks.

Recent Zoo Photos:
Zoo Trip 2010 Zoo Trip 2010 Zoo Trip 2010
Zoo Trip 2010 Zoo Trip 2010 Zoo Trip 2010

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Free Cone Day!

Ben & Jerry'sAt noon, you can grab a free cone of Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream today. Four locations in the area to serve you.

Ben & Jerry’s Hawthorne
1428 S.E. 36th Avenue
Portland, OR 97214

Ben & Jerry’s Uptown Center
39 NW 23rd Place
Portland, OR 97210

Ben & Jerry’s Portland Pearl District
301 NW 10th Street
Portland, OR 97209

Ben & Jerry’s Yamhill
524 SW Yamhill
Portland, OR 97204

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Colophon: Stacy Austin

Stacy AustinI have an email as old as November 2004, from Sean Bonner, about updating this blog. Mama always told me to be fashionably late to the party, so here I am.

A brief introduction is due. I have lived in the Portland metro area since 1993, except during a brief foray in Corvallis while completing my bachelor’s degree. I took a daily picture of my life in 2007 and 2009. You will often find me roaming SW Portland, between my web internship at Portland Monthly Magazine (where I study gastronomy and content management systems) and Portland State University (where I write for The Vanguard and am working on my Master’s).  The views expressed on this blog do not reflect the views of anyone but myself.

Not to leave you uninformed, below are restaurants where I like to indulge in higher priced pizza when I have money to blow.

Apizza Scholls MargoritaLovely’s Fifty-Fifty
4039 N Mississippi Ave.

The owners previously sported seasonal drinks and food at Lovely Hula Hands. Once that closed shop, they opened up this new wood fired pizza restaurant next door. Obviously, save stomach space for homemade organic ice cream.

Apizza Scholls
4741 SE Hawthorne Blvd.

I love to hate this place, or more like, I hate that I love this place. Each time I go, I wait half an hour outside waiting for them to open, and then sometimes up to an hour inside waiting to sit down. Their pizza dough is all mixed by hand –you know that doesn’t happen anymore right?!– and when they run out of dough for the night, they close. That’s what I wait before they open. I’m not going to be the sucker that waits all night and leaves with an empty stomach. And, yes, that happens.

Ken’s Artisan Pizza
304 SE 28th Ave.

Pro tip: Who knew pizza needed a seasonal menu? Ken’s has a Spring, Winter and shared Summer/Fall menu. The dough is artisan perfection and expansive wine list has bottles ranging from $27 to $150.

Bella Gioia
1134 NW Everett St.

I have never been to Italy, but I think this is what Italian pizza should taste like. I would recommend not partaking in the mixed drinks, as they are not strong enough for the $9 price tag. Of course, wine is a great and fitting alternative. If you don’t prefer pizza, homemade pasta is available as well.

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Benjamin Franklin: Unplugged

Ben Franklin: Unplugged

Ben Franklin: Unplugged

Who exactly was Benjamin Franklin? Was he the randy old guy who jet set to Europe, flew kites and signed the declaration of Independence? Or was he an egotistical grump who feuded with his son and ultimately let him rot in jail? In his show now playing at Portland Center Stage, Benjamin Franklin: Unplugged, monologist Josh Kornbluth tries to discover the truth about one of America’s most recognizable historical figure.

Benjamin Franklin: Unplugged begins with the realization that Josh Kornbluth bears a striking resemblance to the guy on the $100, but unlike Hal Holbrook (and his Evening with Mark Twain) couldn’t imagine parading around stage in impersonation of the founding father. A curiosity to his likeness leads Josh on an adventure into the life Benjamin Franklin and those people who study him. Some surprising omissions from Franklin’s own autobiography set Josh Kornbluth on an adventure which leads him into the depth of Yale University, onto the streets of New York dressed in full Franklin garb and to an old storage facility that hold the keys to both Franklin’s life and Josh’s own relationships.

Josh Kornbluth has made a career out of autobiographical monologues, but in Benjamin Franklin: Unplugged he puts his focus clearly on Franklin. Throughout the ninety minute show (with one intermission) we learn a tremendous amount about the life of Benjamin Franklin, especially his complex and ultimately troubled relationship with his son William. Although it’s packed with history Benjamin Franklin: Unplugged is not just a history lesson, it’s a theatrical journey which humanizes one of the nations most iconic figures. Watching Benjamin Franklin: Unplugged I was reminded of Robert Wuhl’s HBO special “Assume The Position” where common perceptions of history are unspun and often debunked. Instead of Robert Wuhl’s blitzkrieg of historical facts and musings we get a very real story of a man’s search for the person behind history.

Many monologues are delivered from behind a desk or on a stool, but Benjamin Franklin: Unplugged breaks this mold with a full set, lighting props and costumes. Josh Kornbluth moves around the stage dramatically building the world of his story, often playing characters he encounters. Kornbluth’s energy fills the stage and it’s often easy to forget that it’s only a one man show.

My favorite part of Benjamin Franklin: Unplugged comes from the interaction between Josh Kornbluth and Benjamin Franklin scholar Claude-Anne Lopez. Lopez plays Yoda to Kornbluth’s Luke Skywalker and the interchange manages to be insightful, funny and highly entertaining. Something magical also happens in the second act of the show when Kornbluth dons full Ben Franklin regalia, it energizes and transforms the piece as if he were Clark Kent putting on the Superman cape.

Benjamin Franklin: Unplugged was given a full seven week run at Portland Center Stage a bold statement of support from that organization for the talent of Josh Kornbluth and extraordinary thing for a monologist. Josh Kornbluth is immensely talented and Benjamin Franklin: Unplugged is extremely entertaining absolutely worth seeing.

Portland Musicians Launch “Fair Trade Music” Campaign


Project Seeks to Establish Minimum Pay Guarantees for All Working Musicians

Portland, OR – September 8, 2009 – A coalition of Portland musicians has launched the “Fair Trade Music” campaign, which is seeking to establish minimum pay guarantees for all performing musicians in the Portland area.  Co-sponsored by Local 99 of the American Federation of Musicians and the Labor Education and Research Center, the coalition includes union and non-union musicians.

Most music fans assume that 100% of the cover charge goes to the artist but in fact, through extensive deductions for venue expenses like sound staff, door staff, promotional fees, and ‘house fees,’ musicians routinely see their compensation reduced to a tiny fraction of what was brought in.  “This is simple,” stated Bruce Fife, President of the Musicians Union, “we think there ought to be a reasonable, minimum compensation for musicians when they work for a business enterprise.  And when you, the consumer, pay your $5 or $10 at the door, we want you to know that your money actually makes it to the artists.”

In response to this ongoing problem, the Fair Trade Music coalition has developed a tiered pay scale based on venue type and capacity that adequately compensates musicians while still allowing the house to make a fair profit and eliminates questionable deductions for venue overhead.  Fair Trade Music asks the general public to only patronize venues displaying Fair Trade Music window stickers indicating their support and commitment to fairness.

Ryan Biornstad of the band Starf*cker said, “I fully support the Fair Trade Music campaign.  It reimburses musicians fairly for their time, both onstage and off – where most of the real work happens.  Musicians need to realize that their time and energy is worth something and clubs need to properly appreciate that.  You spend a lot of money on equipment and a lot of time writing and recording and then you have to haul your gear to the club and that’s just to get paid nothing.  That’s just the norm right now, but we can change it.  I hope all Portland musicians will join the campaign.”

Fair Trade Music is endorsed by over 200 Portland-area bands including such well-known acts as March Fourth, 3 Leg Torso, and Keegan Smith.  It is also supported by the Cascade Blues Association, the Portland Songwriters Association and the International Alliance of Theater Stage Employees (Local 28).

The coalition is offering all musicians Fair Trade Music buttons and stickers to display at their gigs in silent solidarity with the campaign.  Musicians are encouraged to visit the Fair Trade Music website (www.FairTradeMusicPDX.org) for more info and to register their endorsements. Additionally, the campaign will be hosting regular gatherings to raise awareness and answer questions about the program.

Simply put, “When a band performs for exposure,” said local blues great Norman Sylvester, “they expose themselves to poverty.”

** FAIR TRADE MUSIC – Because Music is a Day Job!  **

Brief Updates from MBHQ

You’ve no doubt by now noticed that the sites got a bit of a re-design and some things got changed around last week. We wanted to highlight two changes to make sure everyone knows what changed.

The first and biggest is COMMENTS! Registration is no longer required to post a comment on any post. Of course if you already have an account you can still login to ensure your comments are attributed to you, but those who don’t can now post a comment without any long term commitment. Also, on the right you can see some of the recent comments so you’ll always know what the active discussions are. This was the most requested thing we’ve heard from people since our last redesign and we’re excited to see where it leads.

The next change is also something that was heavily requested, and that is a change to the ADS on the sites. You’ll immediately notice fewer of them, but what might not be as obvious is those smaller square ones to the right are specific to this city only and are being sold for a flat rate for a period of time rather than a confusing CPM/traffic/network model. Depending on the city, these range from $7-$175 for a full week. If you purchase one, during that time your ad will be the only one in that spot and will show on every page. We set these up both to make it easier for smaller local businesses to get their ads on our site, and also to help us bring in ads that relate better to our local audiences. Also, keeping these sites online is expensive and every little bit helps.

There are a bunch of other things we changed but we’ll leave those to you to investigate and take advantage of. Hope you like it, and we look forward to seeing you in the comments!!

The folks at MBHQ

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Burgerville Announces Latest Sustainability Innovation: Makes its Drive-Thru Open to Bicyclists

Burgerville, the Pacific Northwest’s environmentally-conscious quick serve restaurant company, today announced it will allow bicyclists to order and pick up food through its 39 drive-thru lanes, making it the company’s latest sustainability innovation.  The company will announce a formal bicycle drive-thru program within the next two weeks.

Burgerville is creating a chain-wide formalized bike-friendly policy, which was galvanized yesterday in part due to an experience chronicled by Sarah Gilbert, an avid Portland cyclist. Ms. Gilbert attempted to order cheeseburgers at Burgerville’s Southeast 25th Avenue and Powell Boulevard drive-thru and was rebuffed.  The company previously had an ad hoc approach to serving bicyclists at drive-thru windows, leaving the decision up to its individual general managers. Due to the Company’s ad hoc approach to serving cyclists, the Burgerville team member staffing the drive-thru window was uninformed about that location’s willingness to serve two-wheeled vehicles.  Burgerville has since issued an apology to Ms. Gilbert for the inconvenience.

“We’ve been handling bikes in the drive-thrus on an ad hoc basis and Ms. Gilbert’s experience helped accelerate our decision to develop a formal bike-friendly program. Her experience highlighted inconsistencies in our bike policy,” said Jack Graves, Burgerville’s chief cultural officer.  “Opening up our drive-thrus to the large cycling community in our area is a natural for us and is very much in line with our overall values. While we are sorry that Ms. Gilbert was inconvenienced, we appreciate the passion she brought to the issue and her commitment to the environment and our food.  We are excited about the positive impact we will be able to make through our new bike policy.”

The formalized bike-friendly drive-thru lanes are the latest sustainability innovation by the company which has previously instituted wind power for every location and is recycling its vegetable oil for biodiesel fuel production.  Burgerville also sources its many fresh ingredients from local providers.

Burgerville expects that all 39 of its locations will be able to accommodate cycle-thru orders within the next two weeks as the company finalizes operational and safety aspects of the program.

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