PHOTO BY VIVIAN JOHNSON
The posh Nines hotel on top of Macy's downtown was in the news twice last week: On March 25, developer Sage Hospitality got permission from the Portland Development Commission to hold off repaying $16.9 million in loans from the city until business improves, and on March 27, Departure, a 9,000-square-foot, 115-seat rooftop restaurant serving high-class pan-Asian food, opened to the public. Madness? Maybe not. If Sage needs to get Portlanders on board to keep the ship afloat, Departure, designed by Jeff Kovel and Skylab Architecture, might just be the key. Kovel, the man behind Doug Fir Lounge's loggernaut look, says the space was inspired by classic cruise ships, ultramodern yachts and the traveler's experience. This plays out in wooden decking; angular, white-paneled walls; huge windows; portholes and sailcloth partitions. Waitresses wear tailored uniforms designed by restaurant manager Ron Acierto and local designer Cyan Bott (Departure wouldn't tell us what they cost, but we imagine they didn't come cheap), which look like something you might have seen on a Japan Airlines flight around 1975. The women must supply their own knee-high boots. This may all sound tacky, but in concert, it works. Beautifully. And what does the space look like? Depending on where you stand, it looks like a near-death experience, an airliner from Dubai, a catamaran designed by Star Fleet, a Barcelona penthouse, the inside of an engine block, the Winchester Mystery House and a particularly nice bank office on the Death Star. And it is amazing.
WEDNESDAY APRIL 1
It's a Brazilian capoeira onslaught.
THURSDAY APRIL 2
Calgary, Alberta, isn't quite the next big thing, but Chad VanGaalen and Women—two artists who balance pop melodies with a healthy dose of noise—are close to making it the next Portland.
[MUSIC] LAURA GIBSON
Oh Laura, could you get any sweeter? Local folk maven celebrates the release of the excellent Beasts of Seasons with a show and potluck. The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th Ave., 222-2031. 7:30 pm. $10. All ages.
FRIDAY APRIL 3
If you hear "shadow puppets" and think, "I can make a rabbit," think again. Night Shade performs terrifying ghost stories with intricate cut-outs in the spirit of Addams, Gorey and Woodring. Leave the kids at home.
The flute, cello and bass trio, featuring the amazing beatbox flutist Greg Pattillo, more resembles a rock band than a jazz or classical trio. The Old Church, 1422 SW 11th Ave., 579-6987. 7:30 pm. $10-$15.
The Portland duo of Sam Coomes and Janet Weiss practically invented rocking out on the keyboard, and now it's added a third member, Jicks bass player Joanna Bolme. Backspace, 115 NW 5th Ave., 248-2900. 10 pm. $8. All ages.
SATURDAY APRIL 4
Is there ever such a thing as a
hunting trip? Director Jim Isaac's boys are beset by rednecks, cult sluts and the bloody squeal of a 3,000-pound hog from hell.
TUESDAY APRIL 7
Raise funds for the roller-derby sirens Wheels of Justice, PDX's all-star team, with your best disco skating moves.