| Greg Oden and his mom at Bay 13 |
IMAGE: Paul Vu
There’s a line full of shivering, scantily clad VIPs standing on the steps outside the Pearl District’s Bay 13 (701 NW 13th Ave., 227-1133) sushi bar/dance club, and a big bouncer hollers once again for them to stay in single file. Fed up with waiting, the girl behind me calls her friend Rudy Fernandez, Spanish guard for the Portland Trail Blazers, and he quickly comes to the rescue. Inside at the bar, it’s a long wait for a $5.25 bottle of Corona, but the people-watching—catty girls glaring at one another and injured Blazers point guard Steve Blake making small talk while waiting patiently for a drink—is pretty unbeatable. Most of the team is here for Greg Oden’s invite-only birthday party, and by 11 pm they’re taking tentative steps out from the cozy VIP room and onto the club’s dance floor, bobbing heads to DJ O.G. One’s RB beats. Greg Oden himself—looking gangster in a black shirt, white tie and slacks—takes the microphone just after midnight to thank everyone for coming out for his “first drink of alcohol ever.” The best part of turning 21, he says, is that “I can finally tell my mom that I’m a grown-ass man!” The crowd cheers, Oden poses for photos with Mom, and the party rolls along deep into the night.