Yes, Bill Waddams has got the old gang back together. And tonight is the night Animotion will perform at the Mississippi Studios. Wanna have an 80's flashback? Well this is the place to be.
BITE ON THIS: Today is the day for Bites for Rights. Several restaurants in the Portland area (and a few statewide, including the Astoria Coffeehouse) will be giving up some of the hard earned cash in support of Basic Rights Oregon. For a list of participating establishments go here.
PARADE DAZED: Governor Barbara Roberts had it right, when commenting on the incredibly large crowd of people who lined the streets at this year's Pride Parade she said, "gay people have been accepted into the mainstream of society. I'm not surprised to see that more and more people are coming out in support of gay rights." And, the guv wasn't kidding. I've never, in all my 25-plus years of living in Portland, seen so many people marching/watching/participating in our annual gay pride parade. Maybe, it did have something to do with FINALLY moving it a week earlier so it would no longer conflict with Father's Day. Or maybe, like the good guv said, we have finally "arrived." Whatever the case it was an incredible day from the get-go. About 50 of us gathered at The Original for free Stumptown and Voodoo Donuts before making our way to the stepping off area of the parade in the North Park Blocks. That's where I ran into our bike-helmet wearing Mayor, Sam Adams, several state Senators and Representatives (and at least one elected official who was pulled out of the nearby Whole Foods and thrown into the parade).
BLOCK IT TO ME! The boys (and girls) at this year's 5th Annual Stark Street Block Party really outdid themselves. Not only were there more porn stars than you could shake a you-know-what at, there were some real, live legends including dance diva Lonnie Gordon as well as the mouth from the south, the incredibly obscene Lady Bunny. A drag icon of the highest order (she's one of the stars of Wigstock) Bunny nearly got her ass arrested in Atlanta recently, plus, for her Portland show she was hobbling around on a broken ankle. But, from the get-go you'd never know that Bunny was having any trouble. A huge talent across the globe, like she said from the stage, it was about time her ass finally made an appearance in Portland. Speaking of "finally," the Block Party was where we finally picked a winner for RuPaul's Drag Race: Portland Edition. For those of you who are still dying to know, it was super close, but in the end, the big winner was Miss Sabel Scities. Congrats to all the girls. You may not believe this, but I thought you all deserved to win.
INVASION PERSUASION: It doesn't take a rocket scientist to tell you that Portland, and particularly its downtown eating and drinking scene, is going through a major transformation. In just the last year we've seen the ever-so-stylish Urban Farmer, Departure, The Original and Nel Centro. And now (drum roll please) we have: Invasion, Atomic Cafe and Lounge. Located in what used to be a vegan deli, this split-level joint has gone through a major overhaul and now looks like a cross between Hef's rec room and something that you might see in the West Village of NYC (it comes complete with private rooms). Very queer friendly (there grand opening was smack dab in the middle of the gay pride festival) this coffeehouse-by-day/swinging-cocktail-lounge-by-night has all the ingredients to be one of the most happening clubs in the city, plus one very important ingredient-Charlie Hodge (he's the dude in the photo above). A killer cocktail maker, and one of the best hosts this city has ever seen, Hodge has helped open seem pretty amazing places in Portland (and beyond) including Holocene, Clyde Commons, and the new bar at the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs, Calif. just to name a few. For opening night Hodge and the good folks who own and operate Invasion invited the good folks from House Spirits to join them in handing out hand-crafted, tasty cocktails. The crowd was a mix of incredibly attractive mannequins (no lie), models, nearly naked dudes and dudettes, and, well, you just had to be there. I can't wait to invade this place again.
BLING ME, DADDY! How cool was the opening of Bling Dental? Well, let's see. At the Friday night opening there was local drag queen icon Poison Waters, local radio goddess Tara Dublin, Multnomah County Chair Ted Wheeler (and his better half Katrina) scores of local somebodies and plenty of pretty people sporting killer smiles. And, oh yeah, there was this guy.
Some of you might recognize Chris Rockway for his work in film. But on this particular night our dear Mr. Rockway was just another guy serving the canapes and cupcakes. Seems the RandyBlue gay porn star (who is actually straight and from some corn-fed state in the Midwest) was working off a little dental bill with his dentist who just so happened to need a server for his grand opening. It was a very "win-win" situation for everyone involved-including those who just stopped for the free champagne and Cupcake Jones cupcakes. You've got to hand it to Dr. Raymond Frye, who is the owner and operator of Bling. This is one doctor who knows how to throw a swinging soiree. Wow.
DRAG IT UP: It was such an exciting night at the next to last RuPaul Drag Race: Portland Edition (the winner will be announced at 3 pm Sunday at RedCap's Pride Street Party) it was a wonder I wasn't sitting in a puddle of my own piss. Not only was it pee-your-pants fun, it included a stellar performance by the actual winner of Logo TV's "RuPaul Drag Race," BeBe Zahara Benet (the nicest drag "artist" you will ever meet in your life, she definitely deserves her title and a was treat to visit with backstage) some tasty cocktail concoctions created by the contestants themeselves and some pretty nifty celebrity sightings in the audience, including the drummer for Gossip, Hannah Billie, and a guy I swear looked just like Gisele's quarterback hubby, Tom Brady. All in all, it's been an amazing couple of months as a judge for what has been one of the wildest and most out-there events Portland has ever seen. Hat's off to RedCap, Absolut, and our hostess, Poison Waters, who literally stole the show and turned it into something, dare I say, "magical." Can't wait to join the girls onstage on Sunday at the massive block party RedCap/Boxxes is hosting (with an appearance by living drag legend Lady Bunny!). That's when the big winner will be announced. Frankly, I have no idea who it will be. Do you?