The following is a true story. It actually happened last night to Peter Zuckerman, above, the famed author and boyfriend to Mayor Sam Adams. It has to do with a Seder dinner being held at the West Hills home of Mother's Bistro chef, and fellow author, Lisa Schroeder and hubby Rob Samples, aka The Schramples. I've heard of people being lost in the West Hills, but this is ridiculous. Photos from the intended Passover dinner destination are at the end of Peter's "story."
Almost Passed Over
By Peter Zuckerman
To the directionally impaired, Portland's West Hills are a maze. Fortunately, I figured I'd made it to the home of Lisa Schroeder. A line of parked cars snaked down the road in front of a gorgeous home, and an open door and a sign that said "Shalom" announced I'd arrived at a Jewish household about to celebrate Passover. I went in.
"Welcome!" a man at the entrance said. "Come on in."
I smiled, shook hands with him and introduced myself.
"Peter!" the man exclaimed. "We're so glad you made it." He gave me a bear hug. I told him I'd brought some flowers for Lisa. He seemed pleased, and he introduced me to a guest.
The guest and I started chatting. "How do you know the hosts?" she eventually asked me.
"I don't, really, but I'm friends with Stephen and Lisa," I said. "Do you know where they are?"
"I'm sure they're around here somewhere. Have you met my daughter?"
I continued chatting with strangers for perhaps 10 more minutes. They asked about my family, and, a little surprised by the question, I told them my sister and brother-in-law had recently moved to Portland and that Sam and I were doing great. I asked them similar questions and nodded attentively, just as they had.
From the corner of my eye, I noticed someone setting another place at the table. Soon, we sat down to eat.
I scanned the seats but still didn't see anyone I knew. Where were my friends? Someone poured the wine, and I realized I had better not have anything to drink.
I stood up. "Um, I think I went to the wrong Passover," I whispered to the man sitting next to me.
I was hoping to sneak out the door before anyone noticed.
Too late. The man told the person sitting next to him, and laughs spread around the table until nobody could talk and everyone was staring at me.
Hiding my face under my hands, I didn't know what to say. The host, barely able to talk through his laughing, thanked me for coming, insisted I take the flowers back, tried to get me to finish the wine and invited me to return for dessert.
I scuttled to my car and eventually found the right Passover. At Lisa's, I drank a lot of wine and stayed for dessert.
CUCKOO FOR COCO: Okay, so this post went up on Twitter about an hour ago so take it with a grain of sea salt. Here is what it said: "is he really coming to Portland tomorrow night for a surprise tour stop?" He, of course, would be Conan O'Brien. And, yes, I find it very hard to believe if any of this gossip is actually true. That said, Team Coco will have to travel through PDX International at some time to get to his Eugene gig on April 12, correct? Perhaps he's pulling a Sade. It wasn't that long ago when the singer quitely booked the Memorial Coliseum for a couple of weeks prior to her American tour which launched in Portland. Maybe Conan's doing the same thing...without dancers...or backup band...oh...this just doesn't make sense, does it? But the whole Dave Chappelle thing didn't either. Hmmmm....
DITTO PAPER: Beth Ditto is the cover girl for Paper Magazine's "13th Annual Beautiful People Issue." Can't think of a better choice myself. Check out the new Gossip video of "Pop Goes The World." It's hot. Enough said. And, oh yeah, hat tip to Just Out.
BEAR-ING IT ALL: The "Mayor Bear," created by Mayor Sam Adams (both pictured above), were just two of the celebs at Wilf's on Monday night at the "Bear To Make A Difference" event to benefit the Matthew Shepard Foundation. Portland was the first time that this very beary silent auction and cocktail party has left its Denver, Co. base and hit the road, and from the looks of it, the party was a huge success. Even my bear, a leather dude (that I outfitted with, no lie, some baby chaps I found at Build-A-Bear and turned into a tribute to my own hog-loving dad), went for its full value. Other big bids were placed on bears by Carol Burnett (her sweet bear re-created her famous curtains and rod ensemble she donned for her show's "Gone With the Wind" parody), Katy Perry, Mackenzie Phillips, and a slew of local drag stars, including one of the evening's honorees, Darcelle XV. And what did for Meryl Streep's "Mama Mia" bear go for, you ask? Well, hard to say, since it was lost somewhere between here and New York City prior to the event. "It will definitely show up," says event organizer Andrew Tweedie, "someday." Those who did show up for the swell soiree included Mayor Adams, Governor Barbara Roberts, her "best friend" Terry Bean, and Matthew's amazing mother, Judy Shepard.
TELL US MOORE: The gorgeous and glamorous Julianne Moore was spotted at Nostrana last night enjoying dinner with hubby Bart Freundlich and their two kids. The actress and family are on a spring break road trip, and stopped into James Beard nominated Cathy Whims' restaurant for Sunday supper. No word if her friend and frequent director, the Portland-based Todd Haynes, joined the family for dinner.