It's PRIDE week. And you know what that means? Parties, parties, and more parties. While I am sure you've already figured where you're going and what you're wearing to the umpteen events that will take place between now and Sunday, I would like to bring your attention to a couple of FREE events that you may not know about.
A BLING THING: As a child I hated the dentist. Some of that had to do with the fact some stranger was digging around in my mouth. But, really, I was more offended by all those bad wallpapered/faux fern interiors that made them look like leftover sets from some cheesy porno. Well, all my stylish, dental-office-phobic friends, have I got a chic place for you: Bling Dental is inspired by equal parts "vintage Las Vegas" and "Ugly Betty." Translated, it's the type of joint that "Hermey," the elf from "Rudolph The Red-Nosed Reindeer" would have opened if he had ever come out of the closet.
Bling is outfitted with the latest "massaging" dental chairs (in stunning shades of silver, of course), embedded flat-screens in the ceiling, and, as the name suggests, loads of "bling."
Dear Dr. Raymond Frye has outdone himself with his new dental office/arty clubhouse.
To celebrate the grand opening of this new Pearl District hot spot, Frye and his friends are throwing a little grand opening party. Tour the super-deluxe space while noshing, nibbling and imbibing and, if you're lucky, you might even win a mega-fancy toothbrush. Special guests include Tara Dublin (who will DJ) and the illustrious Poison Waters. Bling Dental Grand Opening, 926 NW 13th Ave., Suite 150 5:30 pm-8:30 pm, Friday, June 12. Free.
PRIDE PARADE DAY PRE-FUNC: Hey gang. Love a parade, but don't know where to kick off the morning? How about noshing on Voodoo Donuts and slurping down some Stumptown. The cool folks at the cool new downtown diner, The Original, have graciously offered up that swank space to the community for a little pre-func prior to the big Pride parade. On Sunday, stop by Southwest Sixth Avenue and Oak Street between 8 am and 10 am, and you'll get FREE donuts and coffee (beat that Starbucks). It's the perfect pick me up for a long day of marching. Poison Waters will be there. Will you? To read more about The Original go here or here.
The photo above is Martha Davis of The Motels and a Bear in Drag. More on that in a bit.
ART STORE: John Brodie has ideas. Big ideas. Maybe that's why he created his genius project, "Store For A Month." Located at the corner of Southeast 12 and Division Street (in the old Love Bio-Fuel locale) S4AM is not really an art gallery, although it features the works of some of the biggest names on the local art scene including Sean Healy and Storm Tharp. But it's not really a store either. Maybe I should just let John explain. Here is what Brodie (pictured above with his girlfriend Blair) says about it on his website which includes a killer blog: Loosely based on Claes Oldenburg’s “Store” from 1961, Store for a Month is a temporary art object and “product” store that includes a working studio for the Proprietor and Store artists to make works on-site...Store for a Month features art and products made specifically for the project by over 60 of the NW region’s best and brightest artists. While the emphasis is on 3D art objects and sculpture, some 2D work will be included. Artists have been encouraged to make works they might not usually make, explore new mediums outside their traditional process, and create works of an unusual or outrageous nature – all priced for the “Store” environment. Work will be added to The Store daily... And, oh yeah,a pie artist has been engaged to make pies on-site. YUM! I went to the grand opening on Friday night and nabbed some great art including three Sean Healy "vans" for only 20 bucks. Yes, you heard right.
SPANISH SMACKDOWN: Portland's Latino Gay Pride really let it's freak flag this year with it's winning and wacky "La Lucha" theme. The committee not only filled the courtyard of The Jupiter Hotel with the smells, sights and sounds of Latino culture, but also with a giant wrestling ring where man-on-man action had a bit of a different meaning, if you know what I mean. On Friday night a little salsa-flavored soiree took place at the RedCap Garage, including a dance party. The following pics are from both The Jupiter and RedCap.
KLUBBIN' WITH MARTHA DAVIS AND DA' BEARS: Okay, it's sort of hard to explain what happened on Saturday night, but I'll give it my best shot. A few weeks ago I was asked to participate in a pilot for a local television show, called "Klub Karaoke." So on Saturday night I arrived at Bossanova's, on lower East Burnside Street, prepared to sing a couple of songs for the "Celebrity Edition" of the show with the kids from the Karaoke From Hell band. But there was a problem. Most of the celebs scheduled to appear had cancelled at the last minute including City Commish Randy Leonard (word was he was sick as a dog). With only a few minutes to spare before the show was to begin taping I cajoled Portland Bride and Groom Editor, Jill Spitznass, and former 94.7 mid-day DJ, Tara Dublin, to be two of the "singing celebs." And, oh my god, they both were awesome! It was Jill's first time ever at karaoke (let along belting one out in front of a live audience with a live band) but you'd have never known it. She was awesome. Not only were those ladies smokin', so was my special "surprise" guest. Knowing full well how my "voice" would go over with the judges at this show, I asked a "friend" to join me on stage for the duet portion of the show. Thank god my friend knew the song. She should. She wrote it and has performed it for over twenty years. Yes, I sang "Only The Lonely" with The Motel's Martha Davis. Yes, that Martha Davis. Well, I actually didn't sing it. I just stood behind her, in awe of her magnificent voice. She rocked the house. She also rocked a nearby dance party which was full of nothing but bears. Yes, bears. After the taping of the tv show I escorted Martha and our karaoke crew to the courtyard of The Jupiter Hotel, which that night was the site for Beartown's (a weekend gathering of large, hairy and horny gay dudes) big dance party. She loved it. And Spitznass summed up the night best when she said "this is officially the weirdest night of my life."
Bonus: I was just told that Martha Davis has been added to the line-up of performers who will strut their stuff on the stage at Pride this weekend. From what I understand Davis will perform on Saturday night prior to headliners Uh Huh Her. For now, here is the best Youtube version I could find of Martha and The Motels original video for "Only The Lonely". Enjoy.
Thursday was a wild night in Portland. And, yes, that is a picture of a smiling Mayor Sam Adams and Just Out Editor Marty Davis. More on that in a bit.
THUNDERDOME: Like I said Thursday was wild and I'm not just talking about "STORM-GASM '09" that literally blew into town over the course of rush hour. Although it was actually thrilling to be sitting inside an increasingly deserted radio station in an increasingly deserted downtown, screaming like a girl as Cort and Fatboy did their best to put their best to put a radio show out over the airwaves. That's a photo of Cort after the power went out for a third time. You can listen to the podcast here.
KILL YR TWEET STARS: After the big storm I trudged through some downed trees and a few drowned streets to the NEMO-sponsored event, "Who Killed Social Media? A Panel Discussion On Social Media Vs. The Social Web." I didn't actually get to stick around for the discussion but I did get a few pics of some really cool people including LiveWire's Courtenay Hameister and social media god/real rock star Dave Allen (pictured above). Here are some other cute soc-media-ists.
DRAG BAG: Oh. My. God. Guess who I was sitting between last night as I did my judging duties at Week 9 of RuPaul's Drag Race: Portland Edition? None other than the supposedly "warring" editor of Just Out, Marty Davis, and the leader of our fair city, Mayor Sam Adams. For two people who aren't supposed to be getting along (her paper asked for his resignation a few months ago) they were extremely cordial to each other. In fact, when I mentioned to our host, RedCap Garage, what was the plan if some heckler said something innappropriate in front of the Mayor, all Davis said was, "I promise to be good." That civility set the tone for a fairly crazy night which ended with my fellow full-time judge, Lisa Schroeder, and me feeling like we needed security to escort us out of the building. Let's just say the audience at this event is very "passionate." Thank god we had Poison Waters there to protect us. After the show we all headed down to C.C. Slaughter's where we ran into an attractive pack of sailors. Ahoy matey! What better way to end the evening than with a little Fleet Week naval gazing?
BEAR HUNTIN': I think I found the perfect hangover cure for a very late night out. An early morning with a bunch of bears, (aka hairy gay guys). I ran into a king-sized den of them this morning when I went over to the Jupiter Hotel to visit my friend, Stephen Cassell. The marketing dude for this swank sleeper Cassell told me that the Jupiter was jam-packed with nothing but "bears, bears and more bears." They've all descended on The Jupiter for Beartown 14. A celebration of chubby cubbies and Brawny Towel-looking men this year's theme is a "Carnival of Bears." I happened to find them at their early morning "meet and greet" (following what I heard was an awesome night at NoPo's Eagle Portland). So if you hear a lot of 'growlin" and "woofin" going on around town, at least you now know where you can do a little bear hunting. And, oh yeah, they have really cool T-shirts.
ROUX NEWS: As first reported herethe good folks at Roux are in for a very busy summer. Although, as with any new project-especially during trying economic times-it's not going, well, exactly to plan. First off, you know that swank foodie shack that Roux will operate in the brand new park that's scheduled to open later this summer on SW Taylor and Park Streets? Well, it's going through a name change. Instead of going by the name Viola (which sounds way to similar to the lunch spot near another downtown park), the new name of the Danny Meyer-ish space will be Violetta. Serving patrons of Directors Park from morning until late in the evening I've seen the menu and, let's just say, O.M.G. does it look tasty. Can't wait to get my mouth around some of Violetta's Smoked Ham and Grits. Yum. And as for Roux's big move to Old Town? Well, that's on hold for now. As is the plan to turn the current Roux space into a gastro-pub called the Paramount Pub. What I can tell is that Roux's owner Dwayne Beliakoff was spotted touring the brand new 22-story 12W Building at Southwest 12th and Washington Street. Seems he was meeting with the folks from Caffe Vita Coffee Roasting Co. (not to be confused with Alberta Street's Vita Cafe) to talk about opening a second Violetta outlet in the first floor of that incredibly tall building.