Vancouver is actively disinterested in joining Portland’s transportation grid. Twice in recent years, voters there have been asked to approve a tiny sales-tax increase to pay for a light-rail bridge that would connect them to our vast system, and twice they’ve loudly declined—apparently reasoning that the Blazers suck, they can catch a cab to the airport for their annual cruise and Hayden Island has all the tax-free shopping they need, thank you very much.
So how are we
supposed to get to the land of Afghani Milk and Honey B until Clark
County’s elected leadership circumvents the will of its people and crams
a 12-lane, rail-equipped bridge down their throats? Unless you want to
go native—and, um, drive—here are your limited options.
Both the glamorous and totally sufficient Interstate Bridge on I-5—it’s on the National Register of Historic Places—and I-205’s Glenn L. Jackson Memorial Bridge, which leads to the ’Couve’s eastern hinterlands, are walkable and bikeable. The sidewalk lane on the Interstate is narrow, and you first have to navigate some sketchy areas of Hayden Island, but once you get across, it’s easy to get around.
Getting to Vancouver by bus isn’t easy—unless you’re going during a typical workweek, when Clark County operates I-5 Express to service tax scofflaws. Other times, it will take you about an hour to make your way from downtown Portland to Jantzen Beach on the TriMet 6 Line, which goes north on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. Or take the MAX’s Yellow Line to the Delta Park/Vanport MAX Station and transfer to C-Tran to cross the bridge. To get any farther than downtown Vancouver, you’ll need to consult C-Tran’s website with a pad of wood pulp and a quill, as C-Tran isn’t integrated with Google Maps. TriMet fares cover some C-Tran routes.
A taxi from the Hawthorne District to the ’Couve will set you back about $30 each way—if traffic is light.
From the Interstate Bridge, the Columbia River looks a little intimidating. Closer to the water, the whitecaps will chill your bones. If the .76-mile-wide Columbia is flowing at a rate of 8 knots, and the tide is coming in at .25 mph, at what angle should you aim your kayak and how fast should you paddle? Also, where the hell can you haul a kayak out of the water? Hmm. Better take the bus.
WEDNESDAY DEC. 5CHARLES BRADLEY & THE MENAHAN STREET BAND
[MUSIC] More than any of the other vintage R&B crooners who’ve popped up in recent years, the 64-year-old Bradley legitimately sounds like an artist who was frozen in the 1960s and thawed out just in time for the throwback soul boom. Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave., 234-9694. 8 pm. $20-$23. 21+.
CAMILLE A. BROWN AND DANCERS
THURSDAY DEC. 6
[DANCE] Brown and her six dancers draw from Bamboozled, Spike Lee’s controversial satire of modern minstrelsy. Titled MR. TOL E. RAncE, this West Coast premiere digs into stereotypes of African-American performers, with a healthy injection of humor. Lincoln Hall, Portland State University, 1620 SW Park Ave., 725-3307. 8 pm. $20-$30.
THE SURFJOHN STEVENS CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY SING-A-LONG SEASONAL AFFECTIVE DISORDER YULETIDE DISASTER PAGEANT ON ICE
[MUSIC] The pop genius behind Illinois plays nothing but Christmas songs. Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave., 234-9694. 8 pm. $20. 21+.
FOUND FOOTAGE FESTIVAL
FRIDAY DEC. 7
[MOVIES] This is way better than YouTube: Talented dudes Joe Pickett (of The Onion) and Nick Prueher (Late Show with David Letterman) salvage videos from thrift stores across the country and patch together the most absurd and hilarious clips. Laurelhurst Theater, 2735 E Burnside St., 232-5511. 7:30 and 9:30 pm. $10.
TUBA CHRISTMAS CONCERT
SATURDAY DEC. 8
[MUSIC] Pretty much every time we clip on our bowties to see the symphony, we think what everybody thinks: not enough tuba. That will not be a problem here. A solid 225 of the brass band’s fattest horns will bellow their dulcet bass belches alongside euphoniums and baritone horns at this free Christmas concert. It’s like dubstep for the big-band set. Pioneer Courthouse Square, 701 SW 6th Ave., 223-1613, tubachristmas.com. 1:30 pm. Free.
LOST BAYOU RAMBLERS
TUESDAY DEC. 11
[MUSIC] The Louisiana band is to zydeco what the Pogues are to Celtic music, sharpening traditional Cajun forms with a punk edge. At this year’s Pickathon, the group’s swinging, deep-fried rave-ups turned a barn into a muggy swamp shack. Mississippi Studios, 3939 N Mississippi Ave., 288-3895. 8 pm. $13-$15. 21+.