If you've ever walked down Southeast Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. at 6:30 pm on a Sunday evening, you may have heard what sounds like an earthquake emanating from somewhere deep within the bowels of the warehouse district. Walk west and you'll descend into the cacophony of hundreds of bass-heavy stereos blasting rap and EDM tracks, mixed in with the exhaust of hundreds of cars.
This is Red Door Meet, a weekly gathering of Portland's automotive enthusiasts that stretches for blocks through the Water District, from Wayfinder to Bunk Bar. On a 90-degree day this June, about a thousand people of all ages ambled up and down Southeast 2nd Avenue. As vaping youths and their booty-shorted girlfriends walked along a crawling procession of top-dropped and candy-painted '70s Impalas, they ogled $100,000-plus Nissan racecars, ancient Volkswagen Beetles with hoods deliberately oxidized into swirling patinas, and beat-up drift cars that look like something out of Mad Max. And that leaves out the surly cadre of bikers, Washington-plated lifted trucks, dudes in Civics, and dozens of other subtypes of street-car enthusiast.
If this sounds like a recipe for chaos, no worries. The organizers monitor behavior, with a clear statement of the rules on the 15,000-member-strong Facebook page: "No burn outs. No revving. No drugs. No alcohol. No disrespect. Keep it clean this is a family event."