SAVING SPACE: Our great local nightmare is over, and it didnât even take a dramatic last-minute twist. Last month, BackspaceâPortlandâs only all-ages music venueâappeared to be on the verge of eviction unless it could raise $10,000 to pay fees related to delinquent rent by Jan. 1. The club launched an Indiegogo campaign and, bolstered by donations from local bands like Typhoon, STRFKR, the Dandy Warhols and others, got the money together with time to spare. So what happens now? Aside from co-hosting the free, two-day Big Ass Boombox regional pop festival this week, owner Eric Robison hopes this recent scare will act as a âwake-up callâ to the music community. âThen we can promote properly and do all these things to strengthen what we do,â Robison told WW in December. âShort of that, we can always put in a couple stripper poles.â
STRAYED VS. STORM: The nominees for Literary Arts Oregon Book Awards are out and the most intriguing matchup is in creative nonfiction, where Dear Sugar advice columnist Cheryl Strayed faces reality-TV star Storm Large. Strayedâs book Wild, about the time she hiked part of the Pacific Crest Trail after a breakup, is an Oprah Book Club pick set to be a movie starring Reese Witherspoon. Largeâs book, Crazy Enough, discusses the craziness of her mother and the immense width of her vagina.
MEDIATHEQUE?: Coming in 2015, Portland theatergoers can expect a new black-box venue in the North Park Blocks. Slated to be part of Pacific Northwest College of Artâs expansion into the former post office building at 511 NW Broadway, the 200-seat facility will have fully flexible seating for a mixture of college and community programming. The venueâwhich PNCA cutely refers to as the âMediathequeââwill expand the collegeâs community partnerships. Though itâs too soon to say which local performing arts organizations might use the space, PNCAâs Lisa Radon predicts the venue will host experimental rather than traditional theater. âThe space will be really conducive to that,â she says.
FUTURE EATING: Cocktail haunt Central (220 SW Ankeny St.) might be closed, but it looks like the frontage wonât go fallow for long. Central owner Dustin Knox has told WW heâs planning to open a window-front eatery much better suited to the sodden neighborhood. The deeply refined and tasteful name? Uncle Dickâs Deep Fried Hot Dogs. Speaking of which, thereâs a familiar name on an OLCC application for a new Southern food joint called Church at 2600 NE Sandy Blvd. Listed as a minority investor is someone named Scott Thomason. However, majority owner Brian Block confirmed thatâs not the once-ubiquitous Scott Thomason who was pushed out as CEO of his own auto group in 2002, and who was recently involved in a failed bid to help former Blazers player Terry Porter buy his old team.