BRINE TIME: Dill Pickle Club founders Lucy Rockwell, Marc Moscato and Kyle Von Hoetzendorff. IMAGE: vivianjohnson.com
When other people get laid off, they start a blog. Marc Moscato started a club for everybody in Portland. Or, at least, anybody who wants to know more about our city, its history and its future. In June, the filmmaker and former Museum of Contemporary Crafts PR dude and his cohorts Lucy Rockwell and Kyle Von Hoetzendorff debuted their Dill Pickle Club. It kicked off with a Depression-era art tour by bike of Works Progress Administration sites Moscato had researched around town—complete with an explanatory pamphlet and audio-tour CD. The club, named for a Jazz Age Chicago speakeasy that served as a hub for artists and political activists, followed up with a pair of sold-out "How Things Are Made" and "Where Food Come From" bus tours for 40 nosy locals to sites like the Port of Portland, Oregon Soap and Dave's Killer Bread. Think of 'em as grade-school field trips upgraded with public-policy talks from local experts, cool-looking histo-guidebooks, beer and even merit badges—the kind of geeky edutainment that makes East Coasters spontaneously orgasm and break leases to move here. Now the club is launching its latest and arguably most important project, a membership drive. After all, Moscato, 33, is still on unemployment. "I have the major gift of time, which is what holds you back," says the Buffalo native. "It's certainly nothing that should be glamorized but…unemployment grants you that gift and allows you to explore things." This Thursday, the club lures acolytes with the opening of its Work Progress benefit at the Eyeful Gallery, featuring everything from regional gifts and goodies from local vendors to a big, politically minded art show featuring everybody from Bwana Spoons to Matthew Stadler. On Sunday, Dec. 13, Portland Red Guide scribe Michael Munk leads a Pickler walking tour of sites related to the city's class struggles and activism, ending with drinks at Paddy's—the first gay bar in Portland closed down by the city. A comedy night devoted to jokes about the "new economy" follows on Friday, Dec. 18. So, why should you join up? "We're just trying to make sense of this place we call home," Moscato muses. "But when they join, everyone does gets a letterpress 'I'm a Dill Pickler' membership card, as a matter of fact…. [Also], I've been pickling, and come spring, we may unveil the Dill Pickle Club pickle. But only for members."
GO: Work Progress at Eyeful Gallery, 325 NW Everett St., No. 104. Opening event 6 pm Thursday, Dec. 3. Closes Jan. 3. Free. Work Progress events take place all through December. A $50 full-year Dill Pickle Club "subscription" membership nabs you two publications and perks like discounts on field trips. Six-month subscription, $30. Find a full schedule of events or join the club at dillpickleclub.com.
[MUSIC] The former leader of the Modern Lovers has lost a bit of angst but none of the cool that's made him one of the best performers of our generation.
Best way to get drunk, squared: HOLIDAY ALE FEST
[BEER] Drink your weight in winter ales in a heated tent smack dab in the middle of the city. Pioneer Courthouse Square, 701 SW 6th Ave. Daily Wednesday-Sunday, Dec. 2-6. Tickets available at holidayale.com. $30 for admission, mug and 10 tickets.
[SPORTS] This one football team plays this other football team. To celebrate, Grand Central Bowl throws a giant, free party with a gazillion TVs screening the game.
Best way to get an eyeful: DANIEL LÉVEILLÉ DANSE
[DANCE] Montreal's Daniel Léveillé pushes over the edge the notion that dance is all about the body by getting everybody naked. And not just good naked. Leftbank Annex, 101 N Weidler St., 245-1600. 8 pm Thursday-Saturday, Dec. 3-5. 2 pm and 8 pm Sunday, Dec. 6. $26, $16 students. Call 1-800-745-3000 or visit whitebird.org for tickets.
[JAZZ] The big band plays new arrangements of those wonderful Vince Guaraldi tunes from the old
Best place to flaunt your Xmas sweater: THE PORTLAND CELLO PROJECT'S HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR
[MUSIC] Only thing better than a white Christmas? An early holiday party featuring cellos and lots of ugly crocheted reindeers. Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave., 234-9694. 8 pm. $13 advance, $15 day of show. Minors accompanied by parents.
[SHOP] It's 13,000 square feet of locally made bike-centric crafts, arts, fashions, gifts and gewgaws.