Dundee metal worker Merrill Denney has done it again. After receiving a
Best way back in '99 for the decorative bike racks, bent into eyeglasses and coffee mugs, that dot the east side of our city, he's now making his mark in the newly minted
. This time out, though, his work has a different look: Six of the
that went up this spring are
, complete with cars, pickups and semis--as well the dreaded SUV. "I reluctantly made these," he laughs, "but we are in the Northwest." Here's a trick: One car is different on each bridge. Can you figure out which? "I thought it would make a great contest," Denney says. Along with the bridges, Denney made eight racks in the shape of an eye, the Pearl District's Orwellian logo. With the River District work completed, he is now working with students on bike racks for Fernwood Middle School and Sylvan Elementary. "This is a project I've wanted to do for years, and it is finally coming to fruition," he says.
best urban exotic oasis
You might have a hard time believing that right off Northeast Fremont Street, a stone's throw from zooming coffee shops and bars, lives a Zen-like retreat filled with chairs, tables and structures made out of nothing but bamboo. The cultivated area that is the Bamboo Craftsman Company (3528 NE 50th Ave., 285-5339, open to the public on Saturdays from May to September) is the place to go for plants, poles and materials to make your home seductively tropical. The leafy grounds, which also house a woodshop where a collective of artists ply their trade, were laid out by a landscape designer who asked if he could use the space to show off his work. Lead craftsman and Pacific Northwest College of Art-trained artist, Troy D. Susan fell in love with bamboo as a sustainable medium, and he's the one you see out on Saturday afternoons lovingly discussing his favorite product. But is bamboo just some trendy gardening fad? Susan says no: "Bamboo is like the two-by-four; it won't go out of style."
best area for aerophobes
With Amtrak still waiting for a federal bailout, and many of its ancient rail stations looking more like "pit" stops everyday, it's encouraging that our own landmark Union Station has a soft spot for its passengers. Amtrak's only first-class parlor west of the Mississippi River, the Metropolitan Lounge (800 NW 6th Ave.) offers patrons services not normally associated with whistle stops: complimentary bevs, Internet access, television and loads of daily papers. But, beware! Portlanders had better be on their way out of River City in style to take advantage of this Metro stop, because only ticketed "sleeping class" and "frequent traveler" cardholders are welcome.
"Sometimes coach and regular business-class folks try to get in," says Jerry the Red Cap, a 24-year Amtrak veteran. "We can let them look, but it's really for folks going long-distance."
While "sleeping class" (the train equivalent of first class) can be pricey, for those tired souls who have ever ridden the rails a great distance, this is one waiting room that's almost worth missing your connection.
best perk-me-up for politicos
Former KXL radio host and political-insider Carolyn Myers-Lindberg (left) knows how to give bureaucrats a jolt. As the proprietor of the newly opened Bella Cafe (1876 SW 5th Ave.), the wife of ex-city commish Mike Lindberg and the daughter of Clay Myers (who served as both Oregon's secretary of state and treasurer), Myers-Lindberg doles out a unique blend of Torrefazione and political sass. Before she opened the Bella on New Year's Day, the unobtrusive shop was an erotic-goods outlet. Even though the only kind of fix you'll find now is of the caffeinated variety, she's planning on serving a little somethin' else to satisfy her customers' more cerebral cravings: Next year, get in on evening discussions of local and world issues with the dynamic duo.
best place to see the neighbors naked (without being called a peeping tom)
America is three things: Mom, apple pie and...amateur porn. If you have a desire for the third, you enjoy this display of patriotism by bringing your insatiable ass to BA Video (5222 SE 52nd Ave., 788-7669). Stocked with standard porn favorites, BA also features an extensive selection of Right Track videos, locally-produced skin-flicks boasting "real, first-time Portlanders," according to BA. Imagine the "added excitement" you might get when you see your favorite gas-station monkey all greased up, or that sexy 7-Eleven lady down on all fours? Although Right Track went out of business last year, BA owner Angelo Ardito says you can still purchase the videos (most cost around $10). But, be warned, there's also a no-return policy. So if you get stuck with a video of your swingingly sick neighbors, it's nobody's fault but your own.
best way to beat a man at his own game
Take a tightknit posse of cue-wielding punk females, two parts life-skills training and one part gender warfare, and you've got the Women's Billiard Academy (1306 NW Hoyt St., B1, 450-0150). "This has been a man's sport for far too long," says Amanda Felt. A meat-eating vegan baker (she was featured in WW's "Vegan Like Me" story) and pool lover, Felt helped form the academy last summer, after she discovered her ultimate teacher, world-class pool champ Lance McGill, 52, who has toured the international cue-ball circuit since age 11. Now, with his help, Felt and her cohorts have the chops to run a rack on anybody--man, woman or champion--who happens to put down quarters. "It's not that I wanted to specifically help only women," confesses McGill. "It's just that the way I instruct, it doesn't mean anything whether you're a man, women, gay, lesbian, old or young--just shoot the ball." Felt explains that McGill's screening criteria for new students are simple but serious. "This is a school of exceptional women, and men," she says as she racks up another win. "They are the only people allowed here."
best bona fide big boy(s)
How many Northwest Portland residents, jaded from too many lattes, harbor a little nostalgia for drive-ins, milkshakes, necking, gum-chewing waitresses on skates and the original double-decker burger? Apparently tile empress Ann Sacks is among them, as the Bob's Big Boy statue on her lofty Northwest Glisan Street terrace will attest. It's a bit of an urban incongruity, all right, but it's just what Northwest Portland needs: a little reconnecting with its roots. While you can't see Bob's insipid grin from the street, you get a great glimpse of his round derrière if you pull your bike into the Plaid Pantry parking lot across the way. For another peek at Bob's Big Butt, there's another statue at The American Advertising Museum (211 NW 5th Ave., 226-0000) in Old Town, which describes the history of this famous burger chain in detail. And if you want to be the third in Portland, check out www.bobs.net, where for a mere $5K you can purchase a Big Boy of your own.
best place to whip it good
Horse folks are an unique breed. And now the tight-pants-and-whips crowd has a center devoted entirely to them. Horse Sport (21100 NW Coffey Lane, Hillsboro, 647-5478) is a hunter/jumper club with a lesson program designed to give busy adults full access to the benefits of the horse life (including the great set of buns you get from this intense and very athletic exercise). The club is located in unbelievably beautiful countryside just 20 minutes from downtown Portland, so the back-roads drive alone is worth the visit. But horse obsession doesn't come cheap: A wide variety of options are available, from $150 per month for one lesson per week to $300 for two lessons and full access to riding any time your little heart desires. The best part about being a grown-up rider is that you no longer have to beg your parents for your own pretty pony, but you might want to ask a sugar daddy.
best place to paint without numbers
Kids will draw on anything, and Kris Long wishes more adults would, too. A career art teacher, her resume is extensive, ranging from a private girls school in Los Angeles to work at the university-level in Honolulu. This February, she founded Sellwood Art Academy (7908 SE 13th Ave., 239-7647), a school for adults and kids alike. "I just love children's art," she says. "They'll make anything." She carries this approach into her adult classes. To look through the storefront window, you'd think it was a first-grade classroom--there are colorful clay figures everywhere, and all manner of furniture have been painted on--not an all-ages art academy. Housed in an old Sellwood building that dates back to 1909 and has spent time as a clothing boutique and an antique shop, the school is an idyllic place to learn handmade fashion design and do-it-yourself Pop Art.
best way to feel like an emperor with no clothes
Who knew that a hot tub fit for a Japanese emperor's bare tuchis could be found in a hiccup-and-you'll-miss-it town just outside of Portland? Located in rodeo-rough-and-ready Molalla, Oregon Hinoki Products (829-4524, www.molalla.net/ohp) is the only place in these parts that crafts soaking tubs from the hinoki tree (also known as Port Orford white cedar). According to aromatherapists, the hinoki tub is one of the best ways to bubble away your troubles. That's due in large part to the natural oils in this therapeutic wood being released by the bathtub's warm water, in turn relieving stress and soothing tired skin. While OHP's standard tubs have a price tag that can make your blood boil ($5,100), at least these days they're easier for peasants to procure: In the past these tubs were essentially priceless, available exclusively for soaking the emperor's sinking moon.
best place to line up politicos against a wall
You couldn't say they've slept here, but Hotel Lucia (400 SW Broadway, 225-1717, www.hotellucia.com) hosts guests such as Richard Nixon, George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan--all at once. Photos of these and other politicians and celebrities, taken by Pulitzer Prize-winning photojournalist (and native Oregonian) David Hume Kennerly, adorn one wall of this high-concept hotel. Lucia's minimalist-chic interior and comfy cushioned chairs might inspire guests to linger a little longer in the lobby, but beware: Casting an unflinching gaze across the room, the world-weary subjects of these arresting images seem to have seen it all--including the Aveda hotel soaps you swiped.
best indie oasis
If Portland were consumed by a freaking tsunami, and all that was left was one city block, and that punky parcel just so happened to be the one that sits kitty-corner to Powell's Books, you'd be one happy castaway. That's because the block that's surrounded by Southwest Oak and Burnside streets and 9th and 10th avenues is a 100-percent-indie oasis. Chock-full of cool shops, including small-print zine megastore Reading Frenzy, porn-fiend-friendly Counter Media and punch-drunk Palookaville, as well as a delicious hangout known as Crowsenberg's Half & Half, is the only place in town where you're sure to impress your big-city friends with one-of-a-kind finds. And now, with the recent addition of rocker Isaac Slusarenko's Jackpot Records, this area's rep is surely cemented as the center of Portland's walk of indie fame.
best alternative to a drive-in
Treat yourself to a movie. Better yet, treat a tired trucker to a movie: Two get in for less than another cinema's price of one at Portlander Cinema, part of the Jubitz Travel Center empire (10310 N Vancouver Way, 283-1111 www.jubitztruckstop.com). The independently owned theater has been open for two years, and it may be the best deal in town. Not only are the films cheap ($3), but you can grab a bite at one of two delis, the quickie mart or the Ponderosa Lounge and take it in with you, which, as any Regal-goer knows, is strictly verboten. Jokes one Jubitz employee: "You can eat a turkey dinner in there if you want!" The air-conditioned theater seats 80, and there are usually two showings a day. If movies aren't up your alley, there's always the arcade, the chiropractor, the medical center--and live country music nightly in the Ponderosa Lounge.
best place to see man-eaters
While geese, paddling ducks and snapping turtles are standard at most city ponds, schools of fiercely voracious fish aren't. Toss a few crumbs of into the pond at Laurelhurst Park (between East Burnside and Southeast Stark streets at 39th Avenue), however, and you'll find that not only is this murky green oasis home to a thriving pack of catfish, but these suckers are hungry. Any disruption in the water (by a morsel of food or a kiddie's digit) signals the pond's population to clamber to the surface. Although park officials realize that the pond has been overrun, they claim there's not much they can do. "We don't have any official plan for getting rid of the catfish", says Portland Parks rep David Judd, "but we do let people fish them out--as long as they take them away after they catch them." But, as the adage goes, it's only fun and games until someone loses a finger.
best stage for budding American idols
On the corner of downtown's Southwest 6th Avenue and Yamhill Street sits a mini piazza of brick, shade trees and musical oddities. Here, in this small staging area, assemble some of the cities quirkiest street performers. Have you ever seen the woman with the amplified harp and sure voice? Or the one who Hula Hoops while playing the saxophone? Not only are these particular acts atypical of most of the other music you hear on the street, but the corner, tucked neatly between the bus mall and the MAX tracks, provides an unlikely acoustical amphitheater. If, during rush hour, you can slip out of the bustle long enough to hustle down, you'll enjoy an urban vortex of originality.
best place to expose art to yourself
At last, relief from the metal sculptures and aggregate-and-concrete fountains that once defined Portland's concept of "public art." PDX Contemporary Art tweaks the notion with its PDX Window Project (612 NW 12th Ave.). An installation of unusual work by artists who don't have gallery representation, this small 4-by-6-foot, 3-foot-deep window space, designed by architect and artist Corey Martin, sits next to PDX's storefront gallery. "The idea of the window is access and opportunity," says gallery owner Jane Beebe. While the revolving exhibit marries the best aspects of art's temporality with streetside accessibility, it can also be home to some of the city's most conceptual works: Artist Brandon Walker actually sat in the window and answered questions from passersby. Currently on show: Michael Paul Oman-Reagan's Datum Plane, which presents painted paper and wood shapes he describes as "visually frail and physically modest objects."
best place to watch the next joey harrington
Lovers of football (and of sweaty menfolk), don't despair! While Portland's own pigskin-pitching sweetheart Joey Harrington has already departed for Detroit's NFL training camp, incarnations of the hometown honey can still be found at the Portland State University football field (724 SW Harrison Ave.). Sunny afternoons attract hordes of shirtless hunks--and their wanton admirers--to the turf for rough 'n' tumble games of touch-ball. No need to know the rules: Even if you can't articulate the difference between a first down and a home run, you'll still be able to appreciate these boys' ball-handling skills. Joey who?
best point of impact for cultural diversity
When the old Lovejoy overpass was demolished to make way for another expansion of Yuppieville, the late-night dope deals and backseat sexual liaisons over which the roadway reigned came to a sad end. But now, with the newly opened ramp off the Broadway Bridge replacing the old overpass, a new era beckons. The new ramp serves as more than a gateway into the Pearl District, it's the best man-made skate ramp in the city. And what better place than the epicenter of P-town's cultural elite to rub elbows with the city's sidewalk-surfing malcontents? For those who don't have any reason to visit the Pearl District, and those who don't skate, the Lovejoy ramp also represents a great opportunity to witness unfortunate traffic clashes between skaters and SUVs. Think of it as the best of urban theater.
best place to get lit
People know Kay Newell, proprietor of Sunlan (3901 N Mississippi Ave., 281-0453, www.sunlanlighting.com), as the "Light Bulb Lady." While Sunlan's bread-and-butter is commercial accounts, Newell also receives plenty of calls from people who can't find replacements for burned-out bulbs. A trip through her store is an illuminating adventure. Housed in a century-old building in the burgeoning North Mississippi district, Sunlan's packed with bulbs in a variety of shapes, wattages, colors and styles: stained-glass, alien-head black lights, and even a little string of lights you wear in your hair. Newell's primary focus is on long-life neodymium and full-spectrum light bulbs, which produce natural light and can combat winter doldrums. Sunlan's display windows (which feature an odd bulb collection, local art, the occasional out-of-season display and a fat cat) are a testament to Newell's bright-thinking goal to "light up your life."
best place to grab grub and a good read
Mom-and-pop diner the Red Coach Restaurant (615 SW Broadway, 227-4840) has catered to Portland's hungriest ragworms since 1959, boasting the most eclectic library of magazines outside of a barbershop. Like most baby-boomers, the Red Coach is not without a bit of midlife-crisis indecision--it's a traditional restaurant on the ground floor and a retro '50s burger joint upstairs. "Older people often don't like to climb stairs," explains Bob Durkheimer, who runs the restaurant with his wife, Jeanne. "We keep the magazines they don't want to see up there." The sex (e.g. Maxim), the violence (Guns & Ammo).... If you like what you read, send your compliments to the chefs, who bring in many of the more interesting magazines. One is into the downward-facing dog and another is into hunting--which explains the unlikely pairing of the Yoga Journal and Field & Stream. Perhaps this contrast in the library points to some fiery action in the kitchen.
best designed diner
Portland is short on classic diners, but one of its most renowned boasts a remarkable architectural pedigree. Pietro Belluschi, who designed the Portland Art Museum as well as countless other local landmarks (including the world's first modern office building) and would later collaborate on New York's Pan Am Building, is the man behind this circa-1945 Hayden Island greasy spoon. Drivers on Interstate-5 may know it best by the giant "Eat Now" sign above the structure--not exactly as architecturally elegant as a Roman column. "During the war, there was very little work," says architectural historian William Hawkins. "Architects were glad for any work at all at that time." No wonder Waddle's (11875 N Jantzen Drive, 289-5538) has endured to this day, with its elegant lattice wood interior, its curving shape--not to mention some tasty fixings and a proudly retro lounge. Rumors of Waddle's demise persist (a certain doughnut king is trying to reign over this land), but here's hoping that Belluschi's landmark is here to stay.
best place to drop off/pick up junk
While many people know the Portland Recycling Team's North Portland Recycling Center (2005 N Portland Blvd., 228-5375) is one of the few places that accept items you can't leave on the curb, not many folks know it's also home to a glorified junk store. Open Tuesdays and Saturdays, this boutique for slightly banged-up merchandise is a chest of hidden treasures: turn-of-the-century Mason jars, vases, traffic lights, retro kitchenware. While finding a perfect vintage Italian coffeemaker can be exciting, for Barbara Johnston--special-projects coordinator, administrative assistant, and the shop's proprietor--it's the purpose of the store that is her passion. Proceeds from all purchases go toward supporting the recycling center, which is currently in the midst of financial difficulties. From a shopper's perspective, though, the best thing about the store might be haggling over the already below-bargain-basement prices. However, as Johnston is quick to remind patrons, your money goes to a good cause. Check out how some of this good stuff evolves into artist works at the upcoming show "Cracked Pots," Aug. 14-15 at McMenamins Edgefield.
best art beneath your feet
For those with an eye for composition, and perhaps with a penchant for "found art" or even the work of Jackson Pollock, one need look no further than the art of the Park Blocks between Southwest Stark and Washington streets for admirable "work." In what seems like a chalk-drawing migration, city workers have been diagramming on street surfaces a dizzying map of underground piping: natural gas, water and sewage, in splendid primary colors. The patterns change as they move from one block to another, and what one day might look like an early architectural sketch will the next week look like a skyline of some faraway city. According to city officials, some repair work and potential cabling for the nearby Qwest building are the inspirations for more chalk drawings than a game of three-dimensional hopscotch.
At first glance, there wasn't anything wrong with the Simon Benson House that a can of gasoline and a match couldn't fix. The historic Queen Anne on the corner of Southwest 11th Avenue and Clay Street, built by Simon "Little Carnegie" Benson in 1900, had gradually seen its rich interior and extensive wood paneling joined by squatters and bums. In 1991, the City of Portland condemned the site. Then came progress, chugging down the tracks of the Portland Streetcar with a wrecking ball for a cowcatcher. Enter the Friends of the Simon Benson House. Buoyed by the support of 1,000 individuals and businesses, and a prime location on the South Park Blocks at Portland State University's campus, the home was loaded up and trucked down the pike to its now-permanent location at Southwest Park Avenue and Montgomery Street in January 2000. Two years and $1.3 million later, the refurbished, recently finished home--including a dozen stolen leaded-glass windows recovered by a Portland Police detective--houses the PSU Alumni Association and a visitors' center--and looks not a day over 102.
best place to unearth your roots
Exactly what do veggies such as jicama and bok choy have to do with cultural relations? If you ask landscaper-cum-minister Jeanne Walker, the good green stuff is nothing short of an ethnic bridge. Walker started Our Garden (behind King Plaza at Northeast Failing Street and Garfield Avenue, 598-8814) six years ago as a way for inner-city youth to learn about different cultures and tolerance. Her philosophy is simple: By growing unusual plants such as epazote, an herb used in Latin American dishes, at-risk youths cultivate interest in different cultures. "It's a safe place for kids of all religions to learn the nature of life through nature," says Walker. Beyond its role as a open-air classroom, the garden serves the community in other ways, feeding more than 40 families each year (most of whom have participated in planting and maintaining the crops) and donating 100 pounds of garden food weekly to local emergency food agencies.
best salon for those who live under the stars
While most high-hat stylists would sniff at the idea of a walk-in salon for the homeless, coiffeur Ron Totkins has opened his barber-shop door to them. The owner of Scissor's Palace (1225 SW Alder St., 220-8642), Totkins has played benevolent barber for the past 17 years, giving around 100 free haircuts monthly to Portland's homeless and disadvantaged. "I figure for one in 10 of them, maybe, I can help them get a job," says Totkins, who gets his clients through agency voucher programs. "The rest at least feel better about themselves when they walk out the door." The former owner of Northwest's popular Ron's on 23rd, he has also donated haircuts to teens at homeless and runaway shelters. And he's never denied a customer without the cash to pay. "What's 10 minutes of my time if I can help someone?" he asks.
best backyard tiki bar
When Mark and Maggie Axton bought their St. Johns home two years ago, they saw something others didn't: potential.
Soon an authentic tiki bar, christened the Castaway Cove, had been fashioned, complete with bamboo mats, Polynesian masks, tiki torches, a rock fountain, even a sand pit outside.
"It's taken on a life of its own," says Mark, a TV commercial producer, "which is exactly what we wanted."
Although not visible from the street, the tiki temple attracts a stream of friends and neighbors, who drop by with conch shells and other artifacts while Mark, a self-taught mixologist, prepares a bevy of bevvies: mai tais, nui nuis, zombies.
Mark, who just so happens to be the son of late singer-actor Hoyt Axton (he wrote the Three Dog Night classic "Joy to the World"), says that, unfortunately, his famous dad never saw the Castaway Cove.
"It wasn't his style," Mark says, "but it would have blown him away."
best place to see a midnight cowboy
Who needs a ticket to a movie, when you've got all the "live theater" you want on the deck of the Red Cap Garage (1035 SW Stark St., 226-4171)? Part of the club complex that comprises Panorama, the Brigg, Boxxes and the Fish Grotto, the Red Cap Garage has a great wooden deck that literally throws you out onto Stark Street. Peering from cocktail-swabbed rails here, one can catch vamped-up drag queens walking heel-to-toe with straitlaced Mama's boys, scores of hustlers and even a few "lost" politicians. While it may never rival Hollywood for "star" appearances, this is one plank that is definitely worth a walk of fame.
best open-mic night for the multitalented
With the explosion of karaoke and competitive poetry slams, singer-songwriters and their first-person ballads are slowly being elbowed out of open-mic events. But no place is fighting harder to keep Dylan-wannabes in the mix than the LaurelThirst Public House (2958 NE Glisan St., 232-1504). On Tuesday nights, short films, small bands and impromptu jams have become standard--no winking renditions of "Sweet Caroline" here. Hosted by film buff and local musician Sean "Shag" Nowland of Funk Shui, the LaurelThirst has a cavalcade of superior amateur talent--and it shows in the pickup band plowing through a set, the animated film festivals and mockumentaries, and yes, even in the brooding acoustic musicians. Hear that, all you Jack Johnson wannabes?
best way to see yourself on the big screen
Home movies usually conjure images of your cousin Lonnie's bar mitzvah or slow-mos of your best friend's wife giving birth. Not exactly something you'd want to check out on the big screen, is it? But what if you actually have something worth watching? Maybe a short film you've produced with that old 8mm camera, or camcorder footage of your hunt for the Loch Ness Monster in Scotland. Now these highly personal films can be viewed on a real movie theater's big screen. Thanks to video-projection systems, you can watch your 4-year-old's birthday party at the Hollywood Theatre (4122 NE Sandy Blvd., 493-1128) or the Clinton Street Theater (2522 SE Clinton St., 238-5588), both of which can be rented for private screenings.
best place to spy on vera
Once you cross the fortresslike exterior of the Mark O. Hatfield Courthouse (1000 SW 3rd Ave.) and pass both the security check and the sight of Bush and Cheney's adorably vacant mugs, hop on an elevator and head 16 floors straight up: Here you'll find the most panoramic view of Portland. Although the angular architectural design forces you to move around to see it all, the breathtaking view of the West Hills is well worth it. Add in the fact that you can peer down on City Hall (and might just get a peek at our Mayor at work), and this viewpoint becomes a must-see. Just don't loiter--this is a hall of justice, after all.
best spot for quick pix on foreign flix
Video Chest (2310 N Lombard St., 289-8408, www.videochest.formovies.com) is an anachronism for which Portlanders should thank their lucky Hollywood stars. A relic from the glory days of mom-and-pop video stores, Video Chest somehow survived the Reagan years--and picked up a few movies along the way. A cramped yet sprawling oasis of standard titles (in VHS and DVD), as well as hundreds of foreign films and hard-to-find videos. Even better, the staffers--particularly tasty tastemaker Chris Carson (above), who gets his own shelf of picks--actually like movies. Check out Carson's mini-musings right on the boxes of his endorsements, which include Novocaine and Chuck and Buck, which he "couldn't take [his] eyes off." Who needs Roger Ebert, anyway?
best place to indulge your medical fetish
While City Liquidators surplus warehouse (830 SE 3rd Ave., Building 2, 232-7412) claims it doesn't sell hospital beds for home use--we know at least one dominatrix who got hers there. Wanna play naughty yourself? Dress up like a nurse and head down to the store looking all official-like (talking a good game will get you into the mood, anyway). Once you get it home, break out the gauze, strap your partner in (make sure to get the kind of hospital bed that comes with stirrups) and start the physical. Make sure to keep an ear open for the doorbell, though, 'cuz once you have your own equipment, your cute doctor friends are going to make a lot more house calls.