END OF AN ERA: This appears to be the last summer for Cartopia, the iconic late-night pod at Southeast 12th Avenue and Hawthorne Boulevard. The lot where beloved carts like Potato Champion, Whiffies Fried Pies and Pyro Pizza have sat since 2008 has been sold to a developer who intends to erect an apartment building with ground-level retail and no parking. The cart owners received no warning until last week, though they became suspicious last month after someone took soil samples. âOur success is now our downfall,â says Gregg Abbott of Whiffies. âA lot of what made that neighborhood so cool is having an awesome late-night place to eat at. It made it super-appealing. But with that appeal came the increase in property values. Now we canât afford to stayâI lived in that neighborhood since 1999. I canât afford to live in that neighborhood.â Other food-cart pods that have been swallowed in the construction wave include North Station, Green Castle and D-Street Noshery. One of Cartopiaâs cart owners is more sanguine about the news. âActually, Iâm excited,â writes Dustin Knox of Perierra Creperie. âIâve been living in this neighborhood for 13 years, right next door to Cartopiaâ¦and Iâm excited to see the neighborhood change. As for Perierra Creperie, I feel like we were at the forefront of a movement, but now the lot is sort of defunct, and personally Iâd love to see a more professional environment come out of this change.â
BEST NEW FORMER BAND: In the introduction to this yearâs Best New Band issue, we mentioned how quickly Portlandâs music scene turns over, with bands breaking up almost as soon as the city discovers them. Well, it happened again: Grammies, the instrumental breakbeat jazz duo that placed No. 6 in this yearâs poll, played its final show (for a while, at least) May 21. Donât try blaming any âcurseâ for this one, though. According to saxophonist Noah Bernstein, his bandmate, drummer Dan Sutherland, had been on the wait list for a physician assistant program at Pacific University, and was recently accepted. Sutherland, who is also a former member of 2013âs Best New Band, Shy Girls, is only moving to Hillsboro, but will be âbattening down the hatchesâ to focus on his education, which means no more funky drumming for the time being. The band isnât disappearing completely, though, as itâs releasing both a completed studio album and a live Banana Stand session soon. âSo weâve got some content to drop gearing up for a summer 2015 reunion tour,â Bernstein says.
VOODOO NOT SOLD: Because a joke will make its way around the world before truth can get its underwear on, we now have the solemn duty of correcting a book by Portland economist Joel Magnuson. In The Approaching Great Transformation, Magnuson bemoans the fact that Ben & Jerryâs ice cream was sold to Unilever and that Portlandâs Voodoo Doughnut was sold to Yum! Brands, which owns KFC and Taco Bell. Except it wasnât. Weâre a little ashamed to admit that piece of misinformation comes from a Scoop column on Dec. 28, 2011, which made satirical predictions about the biggest cultural stories of 2012, including a new boutique laserdisc label and more serious corn-dog coverage from The Oregonian. Voodoo Doughnut is still owned by that dude in a purple pimp hat and the other guy.