Bardy Trophy Company
2500 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 282-7787, bardytrophy.com.
Everyone loves a winner, but not everyone can be a winner—not without the proper symbol of victory, anyway. Thanks to Bardy Trophy Company, even lifetime losers can savor the sweet taste of triumph. Choose any of their gorgeous statuettes, plaques and medals or desktop gifts ranging from pens to gavels and personalize the superlative. It’ll certainly look more official than a “World’s Greatest Grandpa” mug.
Buy this: Bronze eagle head award statue ($30.95).
2432 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 284-9244, theleotard.com.
Don’t let the name fool you: Although the Leotard does indeed specialize in all things tight and stretchy, it carries a variety of other dance wear as well, including ballet, jazz and tap shoes, tutus and leg warmers. Oh, and there’s stuff for guys, too. But you don’t have to be shopping for Baryshnikov—maybe just your buddy who enjoys dressing like Freddie Mercury occasionally.
Buy this: Eurotard Flamenco Skirt ($47.20).
The Pixie Project
510 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 542-3432, pixieproject.org.
In Portland, pets are people too. That doesn’t make it acceptable to dress them up in Ducks or Beavers gear, but if that’s something you’re inclined to do, the miniature jerseys are available here. All less-annoying dog and cat owners can visit the Pixie Project to pick up high-quality natural food products, leashes, scratching posts and Copa Judaica’s Chewish Dog Toys for Jewish Dogs. Yes, they exist.
Buy this: Cat Racket Tunnel—“it sounds just like a paper sack!” ($17.75).
3904 NE Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd., 288-6950, rhythmtraders.com.
An utter paradise for drummers that’s far removed from the band-dork atmosphere of most music retailers, Rhythm Traders is packed not only with a serious selection of kits and cymbals but an array of African and Latin percussion instruments that’ll make any skinbeater’s hands tremble. Even the tambourine supply is extensive. Bang a gong—or a dumbek or a djembe or a Guinean balaphone—and get it on.
Buy this: A bougarabou ($380).
Andy and Bax
324 SE Grand Ave., 234-7538, andyandbax.com.
A military surplus store on mushrooms, Andy and Bax is the only retailer in the city to combine the Pacific Northwestern love of the outdoors with Portland’s desire to keep shit weird. How else to explain a place that stocks both government-issued extreme-cold sleeping bags and Mexican wrestling masks? Half of the store looks like a costume shop specifically designed for World War II battle reenactors, with country-specific combat helmets, uniforms, boots and a mannequin posed in a flight suit purportedly worn by someone in an observer plane during the nuking of Nagasaki. For the Outward Bound set, the store acts as a bargain alternative to mega-outlets like REI, offering all sorts of affordable camping gear: propane stoves and lanterns, instant hot-shower kits, Dutch ovens and skillets big enough to fry a baby bear in. The upper level has racks of wool sweaters, ponchos and, of course, various camo gear, while the downstairs boat department sells inflatable rafts and kayaks. And then there are the items that would make people suspicious if they saw them in your closet—stuff like gas masks, throwing stars and, uh, pink bedazzled cowboy hats. Why the hell would anyone need these things? Answer: Because they’ll look awesome sitting next to your ammo cases, Swedish field telephones and nunchucks.
Buy this: Vintage World War II Navy officer’s uniform ($150).