When they first announced that Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein were going to be shooting a half hour sketch comedy show in and about Portland, I really didn't think many people would pay attention. I mean, who actually watches IFC? Apparently the answer is a lot of people. Here we are a year later and the show, in its second season, is extremely popular.
When I travel, one of the most frequently asked questions I get is, "Is Portland really like Portlandia?" Yes, yes it is. Portland is an odd little city; in fact, I don't see it as much a city as I do the biggest town in America. Portland is intimately connected with other parts of the country (we seem to have something of an affair going on with Brooklyn), and yet at the same time we're fairly isolated. People think we're close to Seattle, but those same people have never made the schlep up the I-5 – it isn't close. Read more…
One of the great things about living in Portland is the absolute abundance of fantastic pho restaurants. While Portland gets a lot of attention nationally for places like Pok Pok and Nong's Khao Man Gai (both of which are excellent), it's Portland’s pho that can quickly and easily become a weekly ritual.
Pho is the perfect choice for the long rainy days that accompany the end of winter. Pho also works just about as well as Grandma's chicken soup for squashing those change of season colds.
With so many pho restaurants in Portland, I thought I'd make my way through the major ones in a series of meals I could only call Pho-A-Palooza.
One of my first stops is Got Pho? on NE Sandy Blvd. It's one block up from where NE Sandy and NE Broadway intersect, and if you weren't looking for Got Pho? you'd easily miss it. It's located in a tiny strip mall right across from the I-84 freeway on-ramp. Read more…
File this under "Things that make Portland great." The Portland Cello Project has made a name for themselves by mixing classical cello music with cello compositions of modern and pop music. They've toured with groups you'd never associate with cellos, including Buckethead, Alexi Murdoch, and Thao with the Get Down Stay Down.
On February 27th, the Portland Cello Project became the Pantera Cello Project for a single night to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Pantera's iconic album, Vulgar Display of Power. The Cello Project arranged the entire Vulgar Display of Power album for cellos and then played it live in its entirety to a packed house at the Wonder Ballroom.
It's mind-blowing to think that a group of cellists could translate the power chords of Pantera to be played on cellos, but the Portland Cello Project did it amazingly. Perhaps the most difficult to translate are the solos from Darrell "Dimebag" Abbott, a task which was tackled by several different soloists throughout the night.
The evening moved between the project replicating the intensity of Pantera's better known songs from the album, including Walk, This Love, and F'ing Hostile and finding its own voice with some of Pantera’s more melodic songs like By Demons Be Driven, and Hollow, which was simply haunting. Read more…
One of the great things about Portland is the abundance of wellness options available. Portland has an incredibly high ratio of acupuncturists, massage therapists, and naturopaths per capita than almost any other city. It's in this wellness-rich enviroment that a business like Float On could not only exist, but thrive.
Float On provides flotation tanks that let you float weightlessly on a high concentration of epsom salt water (more than 3x the density of the Dead Sea) in an environment that is complete dark and silent. As you walk into the lobby of Float On, there are huge piles of epsom salt, stacked almost like sandbags at the edge of a river. Christopher Messer, one of the owners of Float On, points to a large pile and says, "It takes all this salt to fill one tank."
Flotation tanks aren't a new concept and there have been a number of them in Portland, but Float On is one of the few places that focus exclusively on these flotation tanks. Float On has been open in its SE Hawthorne location for over a year, and I had been aware of it for some time. But to be quite honest, dark, tight spaces scare the crap out of me, so even though I was curious to give it a try, I was reticent to actually take the plunge. Read more…
- After the massive success of Star Wars in Concert. Comes The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of The Rings in Concert!.
To celebrate this event, we've got a great giveaway, courtesy of The Rose Garden.