ISN'T THAT SPATZLE: "I am very happy," said Christopher Israel (pictured above with Emily Crumpacker) at a little Thursday night party for friends and neighbors of his soon-to-be-open Grüner Restaurant at the corner of Southwest 12th Avenue and Alder Street.
And everyone who attended seemed just as happy to embrace Israel's latest venture (Chris has laid his magic touch on such legendary locales as Zefiro, Saucebox and 23Hoyt) in a space that was once was home to one of Portland's most notable and notorious gay bathhouses.
But instead of schvitzing in a steam room full of half naked men, patrons partook in another delight that comes from the land of the swishy saunas: Alpine cuisine. Last night guests had a chance to sample smoked fish, sliced meats and other treats from Israel's menu that feature the seasonal cuisines of Italy, Germany, Austria, France, Switzerland and Central Europe.
It's an intimate and gorgeous space.
And I can pretty much bet will be one of the most coveted reservations in town once it opens on December 28.
Wednesday, 09 December 2009 14:05 | Written by Byron
MEAT & GREET: Every December, Santa—aka Music Millennium's #1 Nice Guy Terry Currier pictured above—gathers Portland's music industry folks all together at the Melody Ballroom for a little holiday cheer. Actually, what everyone really wants is the raffle prizes. And, my lord, Santa does not disappoint. It seems like everyone goes away with a little something whether its one of the hundred or so raffle prizes, a collection of cds that nobody else seems to want (Bowling for Soup, anyone?), or just a napkin full of holiday meats and cookies. It's a holiday tradition. Here are a few photos from last night:
HOT HOLIDAYS:Willamette Weekhit the road last night and for good reason. That's because their annual holiday party was held a stone's throw from Northeast Killingsworth Street at the hot and happening Yakuza. That's where ChefMicah Camden laid out a spread of sushi, sliders and an assortment of beverages including a killer cocktail infused with what tasted like habanero peppers. And, yes, it was nice to see the old gang, too.
SPACE INVADERS: Salon Q held their monthly shindig for queer men at what seems to be the site of every party recently: Invasion.
Here are a few photos from that gift that keeps on giving.
Tuesday, 08 December 2009 13:21 | Written by Byron
SWIZZLE SHTICKS: We came. We partied. We nogged our asses off. That was pretty much
what happened at The Original for Poison Waters' Notorious Noel. A benefit for Basic Rights Oregon last night's swell soiree raised monies, as well as eyebrows, with its mix of hot boys, babes and Darcelle himself, out of drag. Other guests included Diane Bocci, Michael Kaplan, Sean Sasser, the two "Lisa's"—Lisa Schroeder and Lisa Watson—Tim Joyce, Ryan Ruelos, Deanna Haley, Karole Collymore, Brian Wilson, Stacey Wilson, Tristan McAllister, Pennie Trumbull/Lane, Renee Field and others.
It also attracted next door "neighbors" (i.e. guests of the Marriott Courtyard) including "Michael," a nice young gent from Austria, who we tried to get to strip down naked by stating it was a standard holiday tradition in the states.
We had better luck with the likes of Chef B.J. who made an amazing amount of meaty balls that were passed around to guests, and Bar-man Adam, who made not one, but two drinks, in honor of the night: a "Snow Job" and "Poison's Party Punch."
Poison herself packed a pretty wicked wallop in not one, but at least four different outfits, includi
ng one that made her look like a stewardess on Santa's sleigh. Poison also kept the night flowing with an interesting array of comments—in between DJ Scotty The Body spinning holiday songs—that gave the whole night a nostalgic "just another night at Judy Garland's house during the holidays" vibe.
That is until members of the local gay chorus sang a version of "Winter Wonderland" that includes mentions of ladies unmentionables.
That's when we knew we were smack dab in the middle of downtown Portland, enjoying the holidays as only this city can.
CHICK-A-DEES AND THE CITY: Made a quick visit to the extremely tiny set of James Westby's latest saucy "little" project: Hot In The Zipper. A short film, starring among others, Katie O'Grady and Jana Lee Hamblin, the premise of the project is a 1940's version of Sex and the City. And, oh...my...god..hearing the ladies talk about their "curly tangilies" in old-school foundation garments was nothing short of hilarious. Westby—who set the short in his very own apartment—shot the entire film in one 17-minute uninterrupted take. Way to go, Mr. Westby!
Here are photos from Byronbeck.com's EXCLUSIVE set visit:
GO NOTORIOUS or GO HOME: Tonight's the night for Poison Waters' Notorious Noel. It starts at 8 pm at The Original. Tickets are only ten bucks. The following are a few photos from our early morning set up.
BEST HOLIDAY TREE LOT...EVER! Pssst...let me share a little secret with you. Over off North Lombard Street, where it intersects with Drummond (and is in spitting distance of an Arby's), sits a very cool Christmas tree lot. Dick and Leonard, and it seems their entire family, offer up trees they cut each day from their own tree farm just across the Columbia River. And these aren't just any trees. These Noble and Douglas firs seem to come from some special spot in the forest that make them especially fragrant and, dare I say, nearly perfect. And, best of all, they are priced right too. Everybody I know in our neighborhood goes to this lot to make holiday wishes come true. You should too.
IRON GINGERBREAD: Last Friday I was lucky enough to join the crew from AM Northwest as they went on location at Providence Festival of Trees which took place over the weekend at the Oregon Convention Center. My job, as always, was to help "comment" on AM Northwest's version of "Iron Chef" which consisted of students creating "stunning" Gingerbread Houses in less than an hour. This year's "secret ingredient" was peppers. Notice how they were turned into holiday trees on the winning entry.
HIVE FOR THE HOLIDAYS: Made a late night stop at HIVE FX's annual Holiday shin-dig in their new Southeast digs. Festivities included the sharing of the sushi plate, sake, Beatles Rock Band and lots and lots of ping pong.
This just in from Jimmy Radosta, former columnist and editor for Oregon queer newsmagazine Just Out:
Talk about Your Method Actor: Mel Gibson apparently took his role in the 1997 thriller Conspiracy Theory rather seriously.
It was revealed last night in Portland that he's also a big fan of a conspiracy theorist who believes civilization will soon crumble because the planet is running out of oil.
The dish came directly from Michael Ruppert, an investigative journalist who is the subject of Collapse, a documentary from director Chris Smith (American Movie) now playing at Cinema 21. (See the alarming trailer here).
During a Q & A session after the film's Portland premiere, Ruppert revealed that Gibson approached him at a New York screening and asked, "What was left on the cutting-room floor?" Ruppert added that Gibson treated him to a steak dinner and even bought his dog a Kobe beef cheeseburger.
Incidentally, this isn't the only scoop coming from Radosta.
The longtime journalist has announced a big career move: After making several well-received appearances at Mortified in Portland and Hollywood (where Rob Reiner was among the audience), Radosta plans to test out a one-man show Jan. 27 as part of the 2010 Fertile Ground Festival. He describes Triskaidekaphilia (Just My Luck)as "memoir-aoke," a blend of personal monologues and karaoke performances exploring his rocky relationship with fortune. (The show's title derives from "triskaidekaphobia," the superstitious fear of the number 13.) For tickets, which are sure to sell fast, click here.
And as for Mel, can anyone confirm that Gibson has a home somewhere tucked away near Cape Horn in the Columbia Gorge?