Nines ice carving, Fred and Somi Kleisner, World's largest Charcuterie Board, Laura VanDaal and guest, Dr. Doug and Selby Key, Bil Foster, Emily Crumpacker, Tango dancers, and guests enjoying wine at The Nines
DRESSED FOR THE NINES: From my vantage point, Portland changed when The Nines opened its door just five years ago, and my world has truly never been the same.
A party was held in honor of the luxury hotel's 5th Anniversary last week and I was very honored to join this illustrious group of people, much like I did when the hotel opened. Cocktails, canapes and special performances were the order of the day at this incredible party.
Here is a break down of how the night went: at 6 pm guests arrived sporting their "Nines" tattoos for entry and were whisked to the 8th floor for wine, whiskey, a tango-infused band and the world's largest charcuterie board....yes...The Nines put out an INCREDIBLE spread of sliced meats (I was told it was 500-plus pounds) that included all my favorites as well as..wait for it...bacon jam. At 7:30 the lights were dimmed, and high above, on the hotel walls an old-timey looking film encouraged party goers to venture down to the sixth floor for more music, food and...magic. The guy in charge of all things The Nines, Fred Kleisner, thanked everyone for supporting the hotel, and The Portland Cello Mash Up Dance Party provided the perfect set of dance music (on cellos) making sure that everyone stayed until the party wrapped up just a little bit after 9 pm.
Lucy and Rufus Wainwright, Rufus and a guy dressed like a taco, Juan Martinez and China Forbes, Tomi Douglas and some scary clowns
RUFUS GLASS RAISER: When someone said to Rufus Wainwright (and maybe it was me) "thanks for coming to Portland," the incredibly charming Rufus smiled and replied: "And why wouldn't I come to Portland...I love it here!"
Our little to and fro happened around midnight Saturday night at a little get-together at Thomas Lauderdale's loft following Rufus and his sister's Lucy show in southeast at The Aladdin Theater.
Thomas, Ben Nystrom & Peter Parisot hosted the cocktail party in Rufus's honor and a few people even showed up in costume...it's Halloween all week after all.
Wendy & Steve, Sasha Scarlett and her boys, Love Bomb A-Go-Go, and party goers at the 14th Erotic Ball
EROTIC CITY: Confession time. I am a virgin.
Well, at least when it has to do with going to Sasha Scarlett's notorious Portland Erotic Ball.
But somehow Miss Scarlett talked me into coming this year. And, damn...I am glad I did.
Held on Saturday night at the Crystal Ballroom it was a freaky night of nasty fun and a chance to see my neighbors (literally, my neighbor was there) in various states of undress and debauchery. For a night billing itself as "erotic" i would say it was more exotic and intoxicating than actually downright trashy. In fact, most of the costumes (which were up for a cash prize of $6,000) were incredibly funny. From the guys who came as dicks in a box (together they spelled "PENIS") to the slew of slutty nurses, cops, robbers, bunnies, chippendale dancers, cowboys, Indians...you name it...everyone there was had their naughty version of some fairytale or scary ass subject. In fact, I think Sasha, who has been doing this ball in Portland for years now, is on to something: Halloween is for sluts. And the Erotic Ball is likely the sluttiest of them all.Thank God...or Satan...or Sasha!
Quilt winner Cathy Abbruzzese, Linda Campbell, Brad Avakian, dancing lessons, Sister Krissy, Expo-goers and one of the sisters gets a touch up
EXPO FOR ALL: The creative North Portland venue known as "The Colony" was the site for The Gay and Grey Expo on Saturday.
It was the first time that the annual dynamic outreach event for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) older adults and allies was held in St. Johns and it was a rousing success. Geez, one of the attendees came all the way from Dallas, Texas just to be part of the days events.
Highlights included performances by The Portland Lesbian Choir and The Imperial Sovereign Rose Court. There were massages, and make up lessons, puppies from The Pixie Project, dance instruction and a rousing discussion of sex after sixty.
But perhaps the highlight of the day was given by the expo's keynote speaker, Linda Campbell, a retired air force lieutenant colonel, was the first in the nation to be granted permission for her same-sex partner to be buried with her in a military cemetery. It was also so nice to see so many young people at the event who truly seem to take an interest in lgbt elders and the issues that face them.
Congrats to Sage Metro Portland for putting on such a great event (and allowing me to help).
Tanner, Jack and Todd at Nautilus in Vancouver, Wash.
HALLOWEEN SCENES: Something altogether spooky happened last week at the world headquarters of Nautilus in Vancouver, Wash., aka these are the same people who gave the world Bowflex. Halloween is sort of a national holiday for this newly energized global company, and in honor of the big day, the ENTIRE company transforms each of their departments, which every other day of the year look like your standard office space, into elaborately themed dioramas with a somewhat spooky bent. It's all done for the staff members children who travel through at least ten different areas to get their scare on and grab a fistful of candy.
And the departments don't disappoint. I was one of the judges this year and was beyond amazed and what these creative types did with their spaces: there was a haunted carnival straight out of a Katy Perry video, the Nightmare Before Christmas that had a real live Jack Skellington and Sally, the underwater home of Spongebob Squarepants, and not one but two pirate ships. Speaking of pirate ships, I still could not believe they the new product development built an ENTIRE life-size sailing vessel, complete with a floating shark, working cannons and fighting scaliwags, in less than a day. VERY impressive.