Portland celebrates Bastille Day. We can't tell you why—there hasn't historically been any significant French presence here—but we do. Paris had a Portland festival recently, so it seems only fitting we should return the favor. Grab your Nicolas Batum jersey, a copy of Camus' Le Mythe de Sisyphe and a pack of Gauloises to surrender your July 14 to France.
6 am: Tour De France at Oblique
While Le Mans may be more interesting, the Tour de France is by far the most important race in France. Oblique Coffee Roasters (3039 SE Stark St.) will be showing every leg live.
9 am: Brunch at St. HonorÃ© Bakery
Portland has plenty of frou-frou French bakeries, but
(2335 NW Thurman St.) is owned by a real-life French person. Stop by for a croque monsieur or a chocolate brioche.
Because all French people wear berets.
(412 NW 11th Ave.) has a number of très
11 am: Monet at the Portland Art Museum
Five Monet paintings are on display at the
(1219 SW Park Ave.), including such classics as
Noon: Bastille en ville at Director Park
, self-proclaimed to be the largest on the West Coast (suck it, Seattle). Director Park (815 SW Park Ave.) will be filled with stands offering French-language books, imported products, food from local French restaurants and, of course, wine.
2 pm: Portland Waiters Race at Director Park
In a show of propriety, garçons race around the park without running or spilling their customers' drinks. First prize takes home $250 (about 200 Euros).
3:30 pm: Croissant at Little T American Baker
There are many fine croissants in this city, but
's (2600 SE Division St.) as the finest.
5 pm: Champagne at Ambonnay Bar
Shout yourself a glass of le vin du diable at Portlandâs only Champagne bar, Ambonnay (107 SE Washington St.).
7 pm: Dinner at Brasserie Montmartre
Yeah, you could go to Little Bird, but you're more likely to get a table at Pascal Chureau and Michael Hanaghan's reawakening of Portland's classic French eatery,
9:50 pm: Americano at Living Room Theaters
(341 SW 10th Ave.) is screening several French imports, but the choice here is
. What better bridge between French and American culture than knowing we can both make movies featuring Salma Hayek dancing in a sleazy nightclub?
[BOOKS] Exploring underground music through K Recordsâwhich helped launch Modest Mouse, Beck and Gossipâformer WW music editor Mark Baumgartenâs new book is full of interesting anecdotes and commentary. Youâll even learn why K passed on Nirvanaâs demo. Powellâs City of Books, 1005 W Burnside St., 228-4651. 7:30 pm. Free. [MUSIC] Some nearly forgotten hip-hop forefathersâPercee P and Coke La Rock among themâunite, cross the country and remind the masses it wasnât always about the Benjamins. Tedâs at Berbatiâs Pan, 231 SW Ankeny St. 9 pm. $15. 21+. [BEER] Belmont Stationâs celebration of âsour, wild and funkyâ beers is back. Thereâs a rotating lineup of 10 to 14 beers on tap through the festivalâs six days, plus meet-the-brewer events with Oakshire, Logsdon, Block 15, Upright, Double Mountain, the Commons and New Belgium. See puckerfest.com for the full lineup. Belmont Station Biercafe, 4500 SE Stark St. July 13-19.
ALPENROSE VELODROME CHALLENGE
[BIKES] Like an amusement parkâs rotor ride, a velodrome track uses centrifugal force to stick cyclists on its 43-degree banked walls. Drop below 12.5 mph, and theyâll fall. Racers from around the world compete on one of the nationâs most challenging tracks. Alpenrose Dairy, 6149 SW Shattuck Road, alpenrosechallenge.com. Friday-Sunday, July 13-15. [BLOCK PARTY] Kitschy crafts, fried foods and a sea of dads with sunglasses on their heads: Itâs getting harder to tell the Mississippi Street Fair from an average day on the block, but the music helps. This yearâs highlights include blues/gospel queen Linda Hornbuckle, autoharp-driven jam-rock act Old Light and catchy up-and-coming trio Fanno Creek. North Mississppi Avenue between Fremont and Skidmore streets, mississippiave.com. 10 am-9 pm. Free. [ROCK ICON] Proving again that our city is batshit crazyâand has impeccable tasteâPortland celebrates Ray Davies Day, which begins with a 3 pm reception for Davies at the Hollywood Theatre followed by a 4 pm screening of the Kinks frontmanâs 1984 film, Return to Waterloo; moves to the Aladdin Theater at 8 pm, where Davies will play a show; and wraps up at Holocene for British Invasion cover acts, including Kinks tribute band Young Eduardians. Various venues.