[Editor's Note: Chris Onstad is the creator of the popular web-comic Achewood, winner of the Ignatz Award for Outstanding Online Comic two years running. Dark Horse Comics recently published the first collection of the strip, Achewood: The Great Outdoor Fight.
Hey, hey, HEY, people of Portland! Man, the timin' of this blog couldn't be any better, because I just got back from the PDX (home of my gracious host this week, Powell's Books), and I got to tell you that your city cold rocks a man. From all the rose gardens (just kidding) to the mad-crazy legislation you got which makes every block illegal if it ain't got a bar with dancers (Holla, Kimmy H at Nightstalkers! Way to compliment my hair, girl!), it is a little city where every night sprawls large. Let me love you one more time.
I kick it down in the San Francisco bay area most 'a what, so I got a different kind of slidin' scale. We ain't really got too much clubs with dancers; the tweakers at the bus stop are hella rude instead of tumblin' over themselves with that beardy Oregon politeness; the bus drivers clearly wish they could give you a Dutch Oven instead of helpin' you find 9th and Burnside. That's how it is in the bay down south. We roll unhappy and with a rudeness.
(As you can probably tell, and I'm going to admit this, I had to catch a bus from my friend No Cheese Steve H's place down to a club on Burnside where I had left my cap the night before.)
But Portland, girl, you cleaned me off and woke me up. You are insanely sensible on a small scale. In San Francisco, we want to walk ten blocks, we budget a half hour and Yelp a good shoe choice. Portland? I think Jesse Owens could jump ten Portland blocks without warmin' up, like if you had a joy buzzer in your hand and he leapt backwards in shock. (Jesse Owens died March 31, 1980, of lung cancer — you should get somethin' useful out of this read.)
I got to give a shout to your food scene too, baby. Can you have a bad meal in Portland? Yeah, you can, but you have to eat at places that clearly ain't restaurants (Holla back, Jade from Kevin Standifer's All-Night The Palace Room! Holla back, Dynasty Dry Clean on Sandy @ 25th!). In sensible parts of the day, I tucked into roast pigeon that had toes like Fritos, much proud beef, and barbecue platters that would draw a tear from the headstone of J. Cash. (Trent Reznor: video idea. Call me.)
My only regret is that I can't come and set up shop witcha, Four Quarters. All my peeps and bean counters are under a system and I ain't want to uproot. I am definitely gonna be back on the soon, though, 'cause goin' to even the best nightclubs in my Z-I-P is like chewin' a burger patty through a plastic bag which cannot be permeated.
Also, I forgot my cap at that club again. Shenanigans.