When I first moved to Portland in 2006, I couch surfed for a few months and then finally settled into the house I still live in now. Initially my bedroom was in the basement, which was creepy, dark, and dirty. There were busted window screens covered in cat piss strewn around the bare cement floor and piles of garbage stacked against the faux wood panel walls. It took a lot of hard work getting everything cleaned up to the point where it was at least livable, but one thing I've always left untouched is the 1990's celebrity collage pasted directly onto the bare drywall next to the entrance of the laundry room. Kimbot has begged me to let her paint over it (she did a mural on the adjacent wall), but something in the back of my mind keeps telling me that this odd little piece of history needs to be preserved.
UPDATE March 2013: A few months after this article was written, Carnaval converted back to a female strip club. Then in May of 2011 they once again reopened as a male strip club but just for females. In March of 2013 they reopened as an adult store named Flesh Exotic Wear with stripper shoes and dancewear.
I was taking pictures of businesses downtown one Friday night and I noticed a fairly large crowd of people on the 3rd Street block between Silverado and Cameron's Books. I wandered over and started taking pictures of Carnaval, which has long been an 18-and-over juice bar with female strippers, when a group of scantily-clad, effeminate young men walked out of the front door and lit up cigarettes.
I was wandering around downtown last Friday, and I came across two badass bucket drummers surrounded by sexy drunk people dancing in the street at the corner of 2nd and Ankeny. One of the women next to me said, "This is like New Orleans!"
One of the things that shapes the psyche of those of us who grow up male is the ability to pee standing up and use public urinals. There's a whole subculture going on in men's public restrooms with its own rules of etiquette. This is an ugly, private world that most women are completely oblivious to, since you have the luxury (and curse) of your own private stalls to piss in. Some of the cramped restrooms in the old buildings around Portland make for some bizarre social situations. Any guy who's taken a whiz at Mary's Club knows what I'm talking about.
The economy is finally starting to pick up, people are starting to find jobs again, and that means it's time to figure out how you're going to pass that pre-hire drug screen. Pot may be practically legal in Oregon, but many businesses here still require you to pee clean before they put you to work. Even medical marijuana patients have to participate in this questionable practice. But don't put that bong away just yet! With a little bit of ingenuity, you can give them a cup of urine your mother would be proud of.
You may have noticed a banner on Portland Erotisphere linking to a photoblog named Darren Died Tonight, which is also hosted as a subdomain of erotisphere.com. A few people have asked me what the hell the connection is between that photoblog and Portland Erotisphere. Honestly, the only real connection is that I've been good friends with Brandon L. Keene, the creator of Darren Died Tonight, since we were in sixth grade. When he told me about his idea for a webcomic disguised as a photoblog, I thought it sounded brilliant, so I offered to host it for him.
I sat down with Brandon for coffee and beer earlier today to discuss some of what's going on behind the scenes of his enigmatic bi-weekly comic.
Last Thursday I wrote a blog about what makes a good strip club. I mentioned a lot of my favorite Portland clubs and ended with a list of the five that I think are the most unique. Almost immediately after posting the article, I got a message on Twitter from Emily Gibson, who does The Meat Show podcast, admonishing me for excluding Sassy's. I shamefully admitted to her that I hadn't been there yet, to which she replied, “dude you need to have gone yesterday.”
So far things have been looking up in 2010. I've left my apartment once or twice in the new year, and on those occasions I've noticed that the cat piss on my front porch has unusually delicate overtones in its scent, almost like a fine red wine, but with a hint of Tobasco. Even more surprisingly, the dog shit in my front yard seems to have a sparkly sheen, and the little piles are all shaped like crusty brown smiley faces. While standing at the bus stop near my house the other day I saw that Tommy's, the little old run-down strip club sandwiched between another strip club and a fish market on Powell Boulevard, had a new paint job, and the sign out front now said “Glimmer's.” Everything just keeps getting better and better!
WARNING: This week's blog is a truly horrific tale. If you are easily scared or offended, we recommend you read no further.
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After ordering his third beer, Vinnie decided that meeting a blind date from craigslist at the Yamhill Pub on Valentine's Day had probably been a poor decision. Showing up twenty minutes early hadn't been a great idea either. Still, it had been her idea to meet at this dive, and he'd been grateful for the cheap meeting point since he was technically unemployed. Now that he was here he figured he should at least stick around long enough to meet her.