July 3rd, 2013 | by WW Culture Staff Arts & Books | Posted In: Books

Fugitives and Refugees 10 Years Later: An Omnibus

In which WW follows up on every single dang thing in Chuck Palahniuk's book.

lede_3935(santa)YOU BETTER WATCH OUT: These Santas are still sober. The situation will be remedied very, very soon. - IMAGE: Morgan Green-Hopkins
The last chapter of Chuck Palahniuk's 2003 Portland guide Fugitives and Refugees begins like this: “The trouble with the fringe is, it does tend to unravel. By the time you read this, small parts of it will already be obsolete. People don't live forever. Even places disappear.”

A decade later, we wanted to know which of Chuck Palahniuk’s favorite things have stayed and which have gone. So a team of WW writers attempted to track down every significant person or place mentioned in the book, starting with our evolving city slang.

[Note: The print cover feature is here. This post picks up all the pieces it left behind.]
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Talk the Talk: A Portland Vocabulary Lesson (page 19)

Then: Palahniuk catalogued Portland-specific slang, from “Big Pink” to Portland State University’s “Witch House.”
Now: “Witch House” is a genre of electronic music. Meanwhile, Portland’s slang has expanded alongside its cultural density.
  • Alphabet District: The area of Northwest Portland between Burnside and Yeon.
  • Be-Pop: Shorthand for “Between Popeyes," the area of North Portland between two Popeye's franchises.
  • Beavertron: A person from the suburban city of Beaverton. Mildly offensive.
  • The Bluffs: The Mock Crest Property in North Portland, where people in their early twenties go to drink beer, smoke pot and watch the sun set over the shipping yards.
  • Eat Street: What Portland Monthly calls restaurant-dense Division Street.
  • Clackistan: Conservative Clackamas County, southeast of Portland. Acceptable on first reference in all situations. Residents of Clackistan are known as Clackistanis.
  • Fo-Po: Foster-Powell, which was called “Felony Flats” a decade ago but is now mostly gentrified.
  • NoLo: What the editor of this paper calls OWLI.
  • OWLI: Outer Westside Light Industrial, the area of Northwest Portland north of Lovejoy.
  • PDX: Portland’s airport code, now ubiquitous as shorthand for the city’s name. 
  • Pod: A parking lot where several food carts operate. Note: in Portland generally "food carts" are stationary and "food trucks" move between locations.
  • RCTID: “Rose City Till I Die,” a proclamation popular with fans of the Portland Timbers soccer club.
  • Restaurant Row: What the Oregonian newspaper calls restaurant-dense Division Street.
  • The ‘Couv: Nickname for the Portland suburb of Vancouver, Washington.
  • The Numbers: The 100 blocks of Portland east of 82nd Street before the Gresham border. (The maps printed inside Fugitives stops at Southeast 9th Avenue.)
  • Vansterdam: The emerging nickname for “Portland’s Dispensary,” Vancouver, Washington, U.S.A, which will have legal marijuana by December. Borrowed from the Canadian city of the same name.
  • Vantucky: A nickname for Vancouver, Washington, U.S.A., calling attention to its affinities with the residents of the state of Kentucky.

Postcard from 1981 (page 26)
Then: Chuck watches a laser light show at OMSI and drops acid.
Now: “Pink Floyd: The Vision Bell” laser light show plays at OMSI every Friday and Saturday night at 9:30 pm until August 31. We won’t tell you what to do, and we won’t tell you what we did in high school.

Quests 

The Self-Cleaning House (page 29)
Then: A house that cleans itself, patented by its owner.
Now: Closed—probably for good. Go here for more.

House of Cunt (page 33)
Then: Chuck explains how this avant-garde theater group went from the streets to the Oregon Ballet, saying that they’re “pushing the envelope.”
Now: We know they once performed at the Coho Theater, but this group seems to have vanished into history sometime around 2004. In 2011, they were the subject of a documentary called The House of Cunt: Together and Alone. It seems that, for some reason, the film has been expunged from the Internet, leaving only comment pages behind. Oh, and there's also this, seemingly unrelated:
   

Volcano Basketball (page 33)
Then: Southeast Portland’s Mt. Tabor Park was described as having an asphalt basketball court over a dormant volcano crater.
Now: Mt. Tabor Park Supervisor Louie Guerrero claims the court is actually built over a caldera, not a crater. Other than that, very little has changed—aside from some new bike racks.

Adult Soapbox Derby (page  33)
Then: Chuck describes the Adult Soapbox Derby as a fun and dangerous race down Mt. Tabor sponsored by the Portland bar Beulahland.
Now: The derby still happens every August but, as of this year, Beulahland no longer sponsors the event. They refuse to say why.


Emily Dickinson Sing-Along (page 34)
Then: Once upon a time people gathered at Portland’s Cafe Lena on Emily Dickinson’s birthday to celebrate and collectively sing her works.
Now: Cafe Lena has long since closed. Today, its former location is occupied by the popular Southeast Hawthorne brunch spot Jam, which opened in 2002. No one sings at Jam.

Abandoned Timberline Highway (page 34)
Then: Chuck describes it as a hidden, obsolete scenic route you need to look hard for to find.
Now: The old Timberline Highway is now Oregon Route 173, and has been since 2002. No sign announces this. Incorporation as an official route means that today it’s maintained by the Oregon Department of Transportation. 

Fire Department Ride-Alongs (page 35)
Then:  Apparently, once upon a time you could call up any Portland fire station’s boss and make plans to ride with them to a fire.
Now: It isn’t so easy anymore. To qualify for a ride-along today you have to have an educational reason or be personally approved by the Deputy Chief. 

That’s No Lady (page 35)
For an update on drag queen Darcelle XV, go here.

Behind Closed Doors (page 39)
Then:  When Chuck wrote his book the owners of Portland’s historic houses were required by law to open their homes at least once a year to public visitors in order to qualify for special tax breaks.
Now: According to Deputy State History Preservation Officer Roger Roper, very few people took advantage of the open house requirement, and it was eliminated when the corresponding bill was reauthorized in 2009. Also, he notes, homeowners didn’t like showing strangers around their homes. “Lots of [homeowners] were worried about people coming through their house and seeing what they had,” Roper said.

Monk-for-a-Month (page 40)
Then: Ever wanted to spend a month away from your busy life, tending the forest and baking fruitcakes as a monk? Chuck profiled Our Lady of Guadalupe Trappist Abbey in Lafayette and their Monastic Life Retreat program.
Now: Brother Mark Filut says the monastery gets about one or two inquires about the program each week. They run the retreat every other month and accept up to three temporary monks each time. They accept applicants of any faith and marital status, but prefer you to be both mentally and chemically stable. They’re monks, so it’s bros only. 

Triceratops Cleaning (page 40)
Then: The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is allowing volunteers to help industriously clean a juvenile triceratops skull, with an estimated cleaning time of 15 to 20 years.
Now: Sue Wu, lead earth science educator at OMSI, says they’re still cleaning that baby triceratops, but that you have to sign up for a class to get a crack (or dental pick) at it—either “Fabulous Fossils” or “Tools of the Paleontologist.” The whole skull cluster is about 2.5 feet by 2.5 feet, and the side they’re working on doesn’t have much left to do. “We do need to flip it over,” Wu adds.

The De-Virginizing Dance (page 41)
Then: The Rocky Horror Picture Show has been playing as a Saturday midnight movie at the Clinton Street Theater for more than 20 years.
Now: The Rocky Horror Picture Show has been playing as a Saturday midnight movie at the Clinton Street Theater for more than 30 years.

Eviction Court (page 41)
Then: Chuck describes eviction court as a “must-see” spectacle of oral storytelling.
Now: To no one’s surprise, people still get evicted from Portland rental properties. Thanks to Occupy Portland and activists poised to reclaim vacant properties owned by banks, the court has gained a striking relevance. It’s still held in the Multnomah County Courthouse, 1021 SW 4th Avenue, Room 120, every weekday starting at 9 am. You’ll want to get there after 10, though—maybe we just went on a bad day, but before then nothing exciting happens at all (unless you’re into watching case after case get dismissed by the judge).

Postcard from 1985 (page 42)
Then: Palahniuk takes part in a music video by Cavalcade of Stars called “Butcher Boy,” outside of Corno’s Food Market.
Now: Corno’s was shut down in 1995 and demolished by the city, in favor of precisely nothing. Its site remains an empty lot on Southwest Martin Luther King Boulevard and Alder Street. The music video does not appear to be online, but WW did dredge up an old article from the Eugene Register-Guard that lists Palahniuk as a dedicated young journalism student. 


Eating Out

The Alibi (page 45)
4024 N Interstate Ave., 287-5335, alibiportland.com.
Then: It was Portland’s “only Tiki bar.”
Now: The Alibi remains blissfully constant in its hazy neon, dim interior and karaoke fetish. However, a Tiki revival has dwarfed it as a home of rum and umbrellas. Hale Pele (our 2012 bar of the year runner up) and the re-opening of Trader Vic’s (1203 NW Glisan St., 467-2277, tradervicspdx.com) have been part of a Tiki revival in town. On July 12-14, Portland plays host to the 11th year of Tiki-Kon, a tour of elaborate home Tiki bars.

Delta Cafe (page 46)
4607 SE Woodstock, 771-3101, deltacafepdx.com.
Then: Chuck claims there isn’t one bad thing on the entire menu at this restaurant owned by filmmaker Ryan Rothermel.
Now: The cafe changed hands in 2007. There’s been remodeling in the last 10 years, including the removal of vintage tabletops deemed too much of a pain to clean.

Fuller's Restaurant (page 47)
136 NW 9th Ave., 222-5608.
Then: Chuck recommends the house-made bread.
Now: The Old Town coffeeshop at 136 NW 9th Avenue confirms they've changed nothing in 10 years. Probably 20. But bring some cash: They also haven't bought a newfangled credit card machine.

Le Happy (page 48)
1011 NW 16th Ave, 226-1258, lehappy.com.
Then: Chuck describes this restaurant, owned by John Brodie (also manager of the band Pink Martini), as the most authentic creperie in Portland.
Now: Mostly unchanged, but Brodie stopped being manager of Pink Martini in 2007. “I’d done it for years and it was time to do something new,” he says. Brodie also co-owns an arts- and architecture-focused bookstore called Monograph Bookwerks.

Wild Abandon (page 51)
2411 SE Belmont St, 232-4458, wildabandonrestaurant.com.
Then: This former adult massage parlor is recommended by Chuck as a great place to get breakfast and dinner. The owner also said the actress Linda Blair ate there. 
Now: Serves up “comfort food.” While Linda Blair no longer graces this restaurant with her presence (she now runs a Los Angeles animal shelter), co-owner James Thompson says celebrities like Chuck and actor Fred Armisen are now occasional customers. 

Postcard from 1986 (page 53)
Then: As part of a charity in which Palahniuk acted as ferry to people whose relatives were dying, Palahniuk is witness to a patient’s death, and a mother’s cruelty to an ODing man who left her no peace while it happened.
Now: According to Chuck Palahniuk: “I would take them around to things they wanted to see from that time, ride in a ‘77 Mercury Bobcat with their bereaved, take them to the beach. It was the hospice that later became Our House (a support center for those with HIV/AIDS at 2727 SE Alder St.) It used to be over on Southeast Ankeny, just south of it on 21st Avenue. I go by the house every once in awhile, and I wonder if they have any idea what it was back in the mid-‘80s.”

Hauntings

Northwest Paranormal Investigations (page 57)
Then: Bob and Renee Chamberlain were the founders of a Portland group of ghost hunters. They investigated cemeteries and rumors of hauntings in creepy places around town. [northwestparanormal.com]
Now: The group’s website has been inactive since 2009, and attempts to contact them through listed email addresses were returned as “undeliverable.” Bob and Renee seem to have vanished just like the ghosts they hunted.

The Portland Memorial (page 60)
For an update on Portland’s massive apartment building for the dead, go here.

Mount Gleall Castle (page 61)
Then: Piggot’s folly, a castle of a house in which no two rooms are alike, is rumored to still host its 19th century builder Charles Piggott’s ghost, and has passed through a long succession of owners.
Now: "I've heard all the stories," says John Grout, the current owner. "But I've got a wife and three kids and we've never sensed anything."  He and his wife moved into the house in 1981. The house's speaking tubes, sort of a steampunk version of an intercom system, had been mostly gutted when the family moved in; these had been the most likely explanation for the house's rumors of haunting. "Apparently when the wind would blow those would sort of hum," Grout says.

Hoodoo Antiques (page 62)
Then: Owner Mike Eadie claimed that when his mother-in-law found an 1860s portrait of a young woman in a dress, people began seeing her ghost at night when his store on Hoodoo Antiques was locked.
Now: Mike Eadie still runs his antique store, still has the portrait and still has his ghost. “She’s looking out for the store, I think,” he says.

Bagdad Theater (page 63)
Then: The McMenamins venue’s manager Jason McEllrath related tales of creepy basements, unexplainable cold spots and an old hanging suicide made famous by a prankster’s joke at the Southeast Hawthorne theater where Chuck stages a giant party in a scene from the end of the book.
Now: “Frankly, I wouldn't be surprised if the ghost story of the janitor who hung himself was derived at the time some joker strung up the inflatable man,” says McMenamins historian Tim Hill. Additionally, he claimed that the ghosts haunting the Bagdad seem to have found other places to lurk, as no staff have reported sightings in recent years. 

North Portland Library (page 64)
Then: When the North Portland library installed new security cameras, a creepy old man could be seen seated in the second-floor meeting hall on the rotating video monitor. Each time staff ran up to find him, he was gone.
Now: Powell’s spokesman Jeremy Graybill said the ghost hasn’t been sighted since the old chapel across the street was torn down and turned into a McMenamins.

Cathedral Park (page 65)
Then: Chuck says the ghost of a girl who was killed in the 1930s while waiting for a berry bus haunts this North Portland park on warm summer nights, screaming into the night for all nearby residents to hear.
Now: “I myself have never heard nor seen anything and I’ve lived here for 33 years,” says Portland resident Sharon Gray, who lives near the park. The legend surrounding the slain girl don’t seem to match up either: Many sources claim the murder occurred in the 1940s, not the 1930s.

Sauvie Island (page 65)
Then: Palahniuk says that cremated nudists have been spread on clothing-optional Collins Beach in such numbers that the tideline has the texture of crushed bone.
Now: Palahniuk’s friend, the novelist Chelsea Cain, used this same detail in her 2007 book, Heartsick. From page 89: “‘You know, there are actually tons of dead bodies on Sauvie Island,’ Susan said from the backseat. ‘A lot of gay guys who used to go to the nude beach died of AIDS and had their ashes scattered there. The upper beach? Above the tide line? All bone chips and charcoal.’”

Heathman Hotel’s Haunted Photograph (page 66)
Then: A photograph taken while this downtown hotel changed hands reportedly shows an unexplainable apparition in the background. Rumors of suicides from long ago spur hotel staff to believe rooms 703 and 803 are a bit more creepy than they appear. 
Now: Night Auditor Jay Lucas says they get people asking about the haunted photograph all the time, but nothing has ever been proven. “Anyone who has worked the graveyard has experienced something at one time or another,” he says. “The whole place is pretty lively.” People in the past have quit over creepy happenings in the allegedly haunted rooms, but he says he’s never personally experienced anything supernatural in them. 



Lydia at the Pied Cow (Page 68)
For an update about this very boring ghost, go here.

The Haunted Bathrooms (Page 69)
Then: The bathrooms and second floor of the Rose and Raindrop bar were said to be very, very haunted.
Now: The Rose and Raindrop lost its lease at the end of 2007, and the space’s classic innards and old-time signs were largely preserved when the new tenant, local financier Northwest Bank, moved in. Northwest Bank couldn’t make a go, however, and as of now, the presumably still-haunted space stands vacant and for lease. For a tour of the haunted bathrooms, call Joe Beehler at 223-3123 and tell him you’d like to rent.

Unmarked Graves (page 70)
Then: Chuck claims people used to report supernatural happenings at the former Michaels arts and crafts store and Kmart at NE 122nd and Sandy Blvd. They used to blame all the creepiness on a rumor that the nearby road and their parking lot were paved over graves from the nearby Pioneer cemetery.
Now: “People like to romanticize cemeteries,” says Portland Metro Cemetery Manager Rachel Fox. She claims that because all the Pioneer cemeteries in Portland have been protected since the 1960s, there’s very little chance either the road or parking lot cover any graves. The Kmart mentioned by Chuck still exists, and after some very strange looks both the managers and staff denied ever seeing anything supernatural happen in their store. 

Maryhill Museum (page 71)
Then: Chuck says there are tons of local legends relating to this museum in Goldendale, Wash.—things like the founder kidnapping the queen of Romania and keeping her locked in the basement to the place just being outright haunted.
Now: Museum Director Coleen Schafroth says the museum staff today is more worried about the local coyotes than ghosts or the supernatural. The reports of hauntings are mostly a joke amongst the staff, but local ghost hunters have called up before asking to investigate the place. All have been denied for security reasons.

Suicide Bridge (page 73) 
The bridge remains the site of many suicides. Go here for more.

Oscar (page 73)
Then: Visitors to Hood River’s Columbia Gorge Hotel reported creepy happenings all over the place. The third floor in particular was known for strange events: furniture moving and fires starting by themselves. The hotel staff have named the strange, unseen ghost Oscar.
Now: Oscar is still active. “Anytime something goes wrong in the hotel, people blame Oscar. He’s like the hotel joke,” says Hotel Event Coordinator Kyleigh Mayner. 

Powell’s Hauntings (page 75)
Then: Chuck writes that employees at Powell’s City of Books claim to see the ghost of the store’s founder, Walter Powell, walking the mezzanine near the water fountains, and that the ashes of a man who asked to be buried in the store are now interred in the book stack statue outside the northwest entrance.
Now: A spokesperson for the store said there have been no sightings of Walter by employees in recent years, but confirmed a man’s ashes are indeed still inside the statue.  

Shops

Grand & Benedicts Used Annex (page 79)
Then: The place to get a mannequin of your very own, if you so wish.
Now: According to Leonard Balk, a store clerk at Grand & Benedicts, the original downtown location described by Palahniuk closed 10 years ago. The new location is at 6140 SW Macadam. They still carry the same items (mannequins, clothing racks, hangers, showcases, etc.) but now only new instead of used. 

The “As-Is” Bins (page 79)
Then: Loot through unsorted and unwashed goods and pay by the pound at the Goodwill Outlet Store in far south Portland.
Now: This warehouse of giant bins filled of miscellaneous junk attracts all sorts of people from the Portland area, some that even make a living by digging for treasures in the heaps of what some consider trash. You never know what you’ll find: A painting donated to a Portland Goodwill in 2006 was authenticated by a local gallery as an original by famed Massachusetts painter Frank Weston Benson, and auctioned for $165,000.

Periodicals and Books Paradise (page 79)
Then: The world’s largest used magazine collection, from nudie mags to Sears catalogues.
Now: The store has moved locations twice in the last decade as House of Vintage, took its place on Hawthorne and is now at at 1924 NE 40th Avenue. They have downsized from the Hawthorne location, but co-owner, AJ Jones, says they have better curated their collection. “We used to have 10,000 or 15,000 Life magazine issues, now we’re down to about 400, with the rest in storage,” he says. Jones says that unless it’s really old or current, it probably won’t sell.

The Rebuilding Center (page 80)
Then: Salvaged pieces of Portland buildings selling for cheap, including doors, lights, plumbing fixtures and more on North Mississippi Avenue.
Now: The Rebuilding Center doubled in size after a massive expansion in 2005. “It’s grown to be the largest in volume of used building materials in North America,” executive director Shane Endicott of Our United Villages (which runs the Rebuilding Center) says. Last month, a woman in the parking lot ran into the rail at the warehouse, hitting an appliance that then hit a man. The store closed early for the day but both parties were fine despite some minor scrapes and bruises, Endicott says.. 

Red, White, and Blue Thrift Store (page 80)
Then: The local’s favorite used clothing and junk store on Southeast McLoughlin Boulevard.
Now: Has expanded to 20 locations nationwide. Manager Mike Gallagher says the only notable change in the Portland store is an expanded parking lot. 

Wacky Willy’s Surplus (page 80)
Then: Chuck described it as your next big art project waiting to happen. An ever-evolving supply of craft and medical supplies, electronics, toys, sporting goods and more.
Now: Closed in late 2006. There are rumors that the owner opened another warehouse in Hillsboro, but we couldn’t find any record of it. 

The SS Monterey (page 81)             
Then: Palahniuk goes aboard the mothballed cruise liner SS Monterey with a young marine architect named Mark, who is living aboard, rehabbing the ship by stripping it of asbestos as his own body dies. Mark has AIDS, and has nicknamed his last two white blood cells “Huey and Dewey.” Palahniuk’s “postcard” entry is dated 1989, but the ship was here in 1987.
Now: According to maritime historian Rooben Goossens, the Monterey did indeed see new life as a passenger liner. She was shipped first to Tacoma, then to Wartu, Finland, for repairs. As a cruise ship, she traveled the romantic route from Europe to New York to San Francisco to Hawaii. Her service lasted just one year, before a 22-year layup in Honolulu. The SS Monterey was bought by the Italians in 2006, and abandoned on the shores of India the next year, cut up and sold for scrap. The Monterey was, at the time, one of the last four American-built cruise liners left in the world. As for Mark, Palahniuk says he sailed off with the ship.




Museums

Kidd’s Toy Museum (page 84)
The museum is still open and well-stocked. For an update go here.

Stark’s Vacuum Cleaner Museum (page 86)

Then: Chuck reminds us that if we decide to go to this museum on Northeast Grand Avenue, we should "remember to wipe our feet.”
Now: “Yep, still a pile of old vacuum parts,” says one WW staffer.

Movie Madness (page 87)
The museum still has a singular collection of Hollywood memorabilia. Go here for more.

Portlandia Exhibit and Portland Visual Chronicle (page 87)
Then: A museum housed on the second floor of the Portland building has a rotating collection of local art about Portland, plus images of the construction of the massive Portlandia Statue. Also, people like to hang yo-yos off the statue’s huge finger.
Now: According to Keith Lachowicz, public art collections manager for the Regional Arts and Culture Council, not much has changed at the Portlandia exhibit. “We’ve been talking about how some of that needs to be freshened up,” he says.
     The Portland Visual Chronicle is very much ongoing, and the Council got together 23 pieces of Portland last year, which rotate through various city buildings. Highlights are a photograph by Melody Owen called Alexandria, an inkjet print showing the back of the ship in the Willamette River, and Shadows and Steel by Paul Gentry, showing the guts and graffiti of the steel bridge. A couple pieces also documented Occupy Portland.
     As for hanging yo-yos, Lachowicz says they haven’t done it in the six and half years he’s been there. “It’s a more involved process than you might think, getting permissions,” he says. “In my time we haven’t hung anything from her.” In the past, he says, there have been yo-yos and bike helmets. 

The Galleries (page 88)
Then: Chuck recommends not only that you visit the monthly multi-gallery event First Thursday, but also First Wednesday if you want a shot at meeting local artists.
Now: Gail Schaffer, who operates an art gallery bearing her name, says First Thursday has grown to include more and more art galleries over the years, and that today it’s a bit of a monthly full-blown arts festival, though First Wednesday is really more of an artists-only event. 

Count the Hippos (page 89)
Go here for more.

World’s Largest Hair Ball (page 92)
Then: Hidden away in a monastery in St. Benedict, Ore. is a museum filled with deformed stuffed animals and Civil War memorabilia, along the world’s largest hairball.
Now: Chuck was slightly misinformed: The hairball at St. Benedict is the world largest hairball from a pig. The real largest hairball came from the stomach of a cow, and can be found in Garden City, Kan.

Bob’s Red Mill Flour (page 92)
Then: Chuck describes a man who’s an expert in all things mill-related. He described how collected old grindstones from all over the world and actually got some of them running again while running a successful flour company founded in 1978.
Now: Bob, whom you’ve probably seen peering out at you from the cereal aisle, retired in 2010 at age 81, ignoring lucrative buyout offers and turning his entire company (making an estimated $24 million in yearly profits at the time) over to his employees. You can still get a tour—or a nutritious breakfast of eggs, fruit and whole-grain cereals—at his headquarters in a Milwaukie industrial park.

The American Advertising Museum (p. 94)
Then: Opened in 1986, this museum once housed the largest collection of vintage advertising in the world and was the only museum of its kind until 2000.
Now: The museum relocated to Chinatown in 2001, but eventually closed for good in 2004, selling its entire collection to a similar museum in Wisconsin in order to pay its outstanding debts. Today its former location lies vacant.

Postcard from 1991 (page 95)
Then: After an attack outside the Red Star Grill (currently the Red Star Tavern and Roast House), Palahniuk called a friend from a payphone shaped like a Chinese pagoda at Northwest 4th Avenue and Davis Street.
Now: A payphone in Old Town? That sounds like a very bad idea.


Getting Off

Teresa Dulce, p. 99: 
Then: Publisher of Danzine magazine—published twice a year for “Ladies in the Biz.” Dulce was also an exotic dancer, thrift shop owner and sex-positive harm-reduction activist. 
Now: The first thing Palahniuk asked, when WW talked to him about our project to follow up on Fugitives and Refugees, was what had happened to Teresa Dulce. Danzine, and Dulce’s charity providing needle exchange and outreach, was disbanded in 2005—in part because she was never able to get insurance. The “bad date line” Dulce began, in which prostitutes communicate about violent johns, continues in Portland under the auspices of the Sex Worker Outreach Coalition. Syringe exchange is now conducted by Multnomah County and by the nonprofit Outside In.
Dulce—now under her legal name, Joanna Berton Martinez—got a graduate degree in public health and has worked in harm reduction and needle exchange programs in the Boston area since 2009. She also produces public service announcements, including the recent “Please Do Not Pet My Service Animal.”  

Ace of Hearts (page 105)
Then: Listed as Portland’s “premier club for swingers,” this Southeast 39th Avenue was a dance club with a hot tub.
Now: After an acrimonious split, the Ace of Hearts was split in deuce in 2009. Ace became Angels at the same location, while co-owner Paul Marchetti teamed up with porn star Ron Jeremy to form Club Sesso downtown at 824 Southwest 1st Avenue.

Bear Hunting (page 106)
Go here for more.

Close Encounters p. 107: 
Then: Plus-sized social club that met at New Old Lompoc Restaurant, 1616 NW 23rd Ave 
Now: Lompoc renovated their old tavern. much to the chagrin of WW staff. The plus-sized group disbanded during the renovation and has not reconvened in the tony new space. There is, however, Portland Fat Mingle, a monthly group that meets at restaurants in Portland.

Club Portland (page 107
Not really the “last gay bathhouse.” Go here for more.

Rooster Rock (page 108)
Then: Phallic shaped rock east of Portland just off I-84. 
Now: The rock still stands, erect as ever, beckoning nude bathers to the shores of the Columbia. The Real World: Portland cast went fishing there.

Dance Halls (page 108) 
Then: Dance Halls are a frequented spot for "Gray Wolves," which are men who pursue single women with the intention of converting them into prostitutes. Chuck identifies three spots with “Gray Wolves,” listed below. 
  • The Viscount Ballroom: Now: This Sandy Boulevard has been renamed the Viscount Dance Studios. Employee Sarah Riddle hasn’t heard of any gray wolves. “If there are gray wolves here, they hide well.”
  • The Crystal Ballroom: Now: McMenamins Historian Tim Hills says that Gray Wolves are extinct at the Crystal Ballroom on West Burnside. “I would say the gray wolves may at times have been prowling around the Crystal in the early years. And [also] perhaps within more recent years.” 
  • Melody Ballroom: Now: The Melody Ballroom on Southeast Alder now holds private party events. “No. I’ve never heard of that,” says the attendant, who declined to give her name. 

Exotic Wednesday/Jefferson Theater (page 109)
Go here for more.

I-Tit-A-Rod Race (page 112)
Then: A race to as many nude clubs as possible in the Portland Area, held by the Portland Cacophony Society.
Now: Cacophony organizer Rich Mackin hadn’t heard of it—he volunteered that the Cacophony Society had also lost track of the Portland Urban Iditarod, an costumed shopping cart race.

Kinkfest (page 112)
Then: Portland Leather Alliance’s annual weekend festival of workshops and play parties. 
Now: Still active. The annual festival is set for March 21-23, 2014 at “Oregon’s best event space, the top-notch Oregon Convention Center,” and will feature the fest’s third annual formal leather dinner and a workshop called “Cocksucking and Face Fucking: Getting the Most out of Your Member” as well as one called “Yoga for Body, Mind and Soul.” 

Lulu’s Pervy Playhouse (page 113) 
Then: Invitation-only “Play Party” for women hosted on the second Saturday of each month. 
Now: The website, luluspervyplayhouse.org, is now in Japanese. Don’t worry. You probably weren’t invited anyway.

M&M dances (page 113)
Then: Monthly Swinger dances.
Now:
 

Stripper Bingo
Then: A Portland Cacophony bingo game played at strip clubs (see our Portland Pride Bingo to get the idea.)
Now: Quoth Cacophony’s Rich Mackin: “Stripper Bingo is alive and well. We do it on Valentine’s day. A lot of people who are couples really like it. We’re doing something that’s on Valentine’s Day, but is not a regular thing. It’s one of the things where everybody dresses up to the nines. This year, we actually brought tablecloths and candles. We looked like we were in a very high-class restaurant, on the two tables that we had.”

XES (page 114)
Then: Private strip club for men in the eastside industrial district.
Now: Closed. Club Glory opened in its place and closed 10 months after. It has been argued that the onset of Craigslist ended many Portland sex clubs.

Club Zippers (page 114)
Go here for more.

Postcard from 1992: Death of the Rose Festival Floats (page 115)
Go here for more.

Gardens

City Parks, The Largest and Smallest (Page 116)
Go here for more.

Classical Chinese Gardens (page 116): 
Then: A garden that recalls landscapes from the Ming Dynasty on the border of China Town.
Now: “The garden has grown into itself,” says spokesman Van Machado. 

Columbia Gorge Gardens (page 116): 
Then: A garden in Goldendale, Wash.—with peacocks.
Now: “The peacocks have been relocated” says Rachel Bucci, Maryhill Museum spokesperson. Bucci says that a neighbor adopted the peacocks and that they promised not to kill them. Additionally, the Maryhill Museum has added a sculpture installation. 

Berry Botanical Gardens (page 121):
Then: A garden with rare plants on Summerville Road in the West Hills. The former owner, Rae Selling Berry, favored primroses and rhododendrons. 
Now: The garden was closed in 2011. PSU bought the land. It’s now called Rae Selling Berry Seed Bank & Plant Conservation Program.

Bishop’s Close At Elk Rock (page 118):
Then: A mansion designed by the son of Frederick Law Olmsted on ultra-swanky Southwest Military Lane. Chuck says it’s property of Episcopal diocese.
Now: Still there and still owned by the Episcopal Church-–and still one of the least visited, best maintained gardens in Portland, supported by generations of the families who founded it almost a century ago.

Elk Rock Island (page 118)
Then: Chuck calls this island on the Willamette “possibly the most beautiful place in Portland.”
Now: It’s still pretty, though it’s technically in Milwaukie.

The Grotto (page 122)
Then: An outdoor Catholic church with a garden on Northeast Skidmore.
Now: Nothing much has changed at the Grotto since 2003, something a receptionist had a strong aversion to admitting. 

Japanese Gardens (page 123) 
Then: One of the oldest Japanese Style Gardens in the US, near the zoo and International Rose Test Garden in the West Hills.
Now: Even older. This year is the 50th anniversary. Spokesperson Ingrid Arenett says, “Attendance has increased. We have more lectures.”

Joy Creek Gardens (page 123) 
Then: Free Chocolate Chip Cookies and garden in Scappoose. Chuck also mentions that they have a school for landscaping and gardening.
Now: They still put on classes and “still offer free chocolate chip cookies for energy,” says co-owner Mike Smith. 

The Maize (page 124)
Then: Corn maze on Sauvie Island. Chuck advises you to wait until dark. 
Now: Has a haunted maize that opens in October.  It’ll cost $10 and is open until 10pm. 

Recycled Gardens (page 124)
Then: Hillsboro’s Recycled Gardens is “a humane society for plants.” 
Now: Closed in 2008. Many Portland plants have now gone feral.

Getting Around

Apocalypse Cafe (page 130)
Then: In 1995, Chuck attends climbs inside a dark shipping truck under the east side of the Morrison Bridge and is whisked away to a bizarre apocalypse-themed dinner party in a mysterious warehouse-like space that may be an abandoned Greyhound bus garage area under the Marquam Bridge.
Now: Remarkably, the Greyhound Garage at  2521 Southwest Water Avenue was still standing in 2011 and we can find no record of it having been demolished since. Supper clubs remain very popular in Portland.


Jiffy-Marr (page 130)
Then: Reverend Reverend C.E. Linville Jiffy-Marr offered weddings in 10 minutes or less. He’s also the owner of two art cars, a 1973 Ford Torino “Covered in a Zillion Things” and “Jesus Chrysler.”
Now: Reverend C.E. Linville still owns art cars—the Torino died, sadly—and still does marriages. ”I now offer punch cards,” he says. Call 232-3504 for an appointment.


Petroliana (page 135)
Then: The “Historical Museum of Early Oil Days” at 2929 Northwest 29th Avenue was filled with old gas and fuel pumps and advertising relics. 
Now: Glenn Zirkle is still adding to his collection at WSCO Petroleum. It’s open to the public. Call 243-2929.

The Spruce Goose (page 137)
Then: Howard Hughes’ aircraft at the Evergreen Air and Space Museum in McMinnville.
Now: Same ol’ “Flying Lumberyard.” They’ve added a water park, says Stu Bailey, the curator at Evergreen Space Museum, and “a cabin-style chapel will be completed soon.”

Street-Legal Drag Racing (page 137)
Then: Any old schmuck could show up at Portland International Raceway and run their street-legal cars on the track.
Now: The races still happen at the North Portland track on Friday and Saturday nights. They call the series ”late night” but it’s usually over just after 10 pm. The car count has gone down in recent years, says the Raceway, partly due to the economy. “We called it ‘Late Nights’ because they used to run until midnight or so. But now it’s done by 10 or 10:15—all the cars have had 10 or 15 passes and they’re done... It’s still a great venue to get the kids off the streets, doing the street-racing.” Gates open at 5:30 pm. It’s $28 to race.

The Train Yards (page 138)
Then: Chuck discussed the many trains rolling through Portland over the years and visited the train yard at Southeast 17th Avenue and Holgate Boulevard.
Now: There’s a better display at the Pacific Railroad Preservation Association on Southeast Water Avenue, not far from OMSI.

Western Antique Powerland (page 139)
Then: A museum for steam-powered equipment including a steam-powered sawmill and steam-powered tractors in the town of Brooks. The biggest event of the year is called the “Great Oregon Steam Up” and draws up to 25,000 people.
Now: This Great Oregon Steam Up, at the end of July, will also include a tribute to the gasoline-powered John Deere two-cycle engine.

Willamette Shore Trolley (page 142)
Then: A double-decker trolley from Portland to Lake Oswego.
Now: Because of the work on the Sellwood Bridge, the trolley no longer runs six miles to Portland but instead stops at Riverwood, only about a mile from where it starts. Adult tickets are $5. [http://www.oerhs.org/wst/]

U.S.S. Blueback (page 143)
Then: The U.S. Navy’s last non-nuclear submarine, this 219-foot submarine was docked at OMSI on the east bank of the Willamette. The sub once went from Japan to San Diego without surfacing and provided a place for Sean Connery to screw over Russians in The Hunt For Red October.
Now: The sub still sits at OMSI. In 2008, it was added to the National Register of Historic places, which includes about 500 other Portland landmarks.


Animals


The Elephant Men (page 143)
Then: Chuck interviews former Oregon Zoo elephant keeper Jeb Barsh, who describes the habitat crisis that elephants are facing. “This isn’t utopia, but for them, there is no utopia left,” Barsh said.
Now:  After voters approved the plan in a bond measure in 2008, the zoo has broken ground on a $53 million, 6.25 acreconstruction of an “Elephant Lands Habitat” to open in 2015. Jeb Barsh has left the elephant exhibit for the African Savannah. Bob Lee heads up the elephants now. Go here for more.

At the Zoo (page 148)
Then: Chuck recommended zoo-going on a cool spring or fall morning when the animals are most likely to be active and awake. Some animals he suggested seeing were Mochica the penguin, Thelma and Eddie the sea otters, J.P. the howler monkey, and Charlie the chimp, to name a few. [http://www.oregonzoo.org/]
Now: Zoo spokesperson Krista Swan relayed the same advice for best times to go to the zoo. Many of the animals mentioned in the book have passed. Go here for more.

 A few other notes and newer animals at the zoo:
  • Corpuscular: “I’ve been embarrassed about that word for 10 years,” says zoo spokesperson Krista Swan. “People think I got it wrong.” She had told Palahniuk that the zoo animals were “crespuscular,” meaning most active at twilight or morning, and the book has carried the wrong word for all 14 printings. “I watched him write it down correctly,” she says. “It must have happened in editing.”
  • Baby-eating lion: One of the Zoo’s lionesses, Kya, was filmed with her mouth against the glass, attempting to eat a completely unaware baby dressed in zebra stripes. The stripes didn’t matter: Kya wants to eat everyone’s baby. “When we first opened that exhibit,” says Swan, “my son was a year and a half old. And Kya was going after the glass. Even though I knew there was no way she was getting through the glass, it freaked me out.”


  • River otters: Tillamook—a mother otter rescued from Johnson Creek—recently taught her baby Mollala how to swim. She did it the old-fashioned way. “She grabbed him by the scruff of the neck,” says Swan, “and dragged him underwater.” He now swims fine.

Doggy Dancing (page 155)
Then: Chuck spoke with doggie dance teacher Kristine Grunter about “Canine Musical Freestyling,” which came to Portland in 2001.
Now: The World Canine Freestyle Organization will be hosting its North American National competition in Portland this year at the Holiday Inn by the airport on October 23-27. “Canine freestyle is basically dancing with dogs,” says Patie Ventre, the WCFO founder. Contestants are judged “very much like ice skating, pairs skating, and ice dancing. The judges give two marks, one for technical merit up to a 10.0, and one for artistic impression.” Classes are available near Portland through instructor Carrol Haines at Pet Utopia (8670 SW Scholls Ferry Rd., 646-5937) and Pup-a-Razzi in Beaverton.

Pug Crawl (page 157)
Then: Towards the end of May, costume-wearing pugs and their owners would gather for the annual Pug Crawl at Rogue Ales Public House.
Now: This May was the 13th annual Pug Crawl, which now takes place at the Portland Brewing Company’s taproom and is administered by the Oregon Humane Society as a fundraiser, pulling in $12,000 this year. It attracted an estimate 1,500 people and 600 pugs.



Pug Play Day (page 157)
Then: Irving Park was the monthly meeting spot for pug play-dates, where several hundred pugs and small breed dogs would gather and frolick. 
Now: The big pug play-dates take place on the first Saturday of each month at the appropriately named Potso Park in Tigard at 10 am and at Normandale Park at 1 pm. But don’t look for writer Jim Goad there. He now lives in Stone Mountain, Ga.


Shanghai Tunnels
Then: Palahniuk tells of crimps taking sailors away to sea from the tunnels, and takes two tours, one a burlesque piece of theater and the other a more historically accurate one by tunnel expert Michael Jones.
Now: Says Palahniuk, "Michael Jones who runs the Shanghai Tunnels—all of that came through one phone call. He said he was writing his own book and didn’t want to impart the story to me because he wanted to save it for the book. But then he would tell me the story anyway. I kept looking for the book; I'm kind of glad I wrote those stories down." Michael Jones still curates tunnel tours through the Cascade Geographic Society. A recent book by local Portlander Barney Blalock documents turn-of-the-century crimping, and says there's no evidence that the tunnels were involved. 


Photo Ops

The Bomber (page 170)
Then: A WWII B-17 bomber atop a greasy spoon in Milwaukie.
Now: The restaurant remains, as does the plane—minus its most important part. “The plane is still there and the engine and nose are taken off to be restored and will be reattached,” said an employee from the restaurant.

The Castle (page 170)
Then: On the Corner of Glen Echo Avenue and Southeast River Road was Gladstone’s medieval nightclub made from ruins of a castle. 
Now: The Castle has since been demolished to make room for a small, still-incomplete  subdivision called “Castle Park.”

Giant Candle (page 170)
Then: On the north side of Highway 30 at the east end of Scappoose is the world’s largest candle. 
Now: The neon “flame” of the “Peace Candle of the World” burns on. The candle was originally made with an actual wick, but has since been replaced with the neon late for the sake of environment. The eternal flame of this 50-foot structure was intended to represent a symbol for world peace. Darrel Brock, owner of Brock Candles Inc., built the candle to advertise the factory, which burnt down in 1990.

Harvey the Giant Rabbit (page 171)
Then: The giant rabbit on the Tualatin Valley Highway blew over in a 1962 storm and Ed Harvey was able to use his fiberglass boat building skills to bring him back to life. 
Now: “He is still here, hasn’t moved one inch. He’s had kind of a dull life,” says Victoria Mccurry, Harvey Marine clerk of 33 years.

The Naked Bike Ride (page 171)
Then: A local tradition at the Portland International Raceway. Competitors don only helmets and shoes.
Now: Naked participation varies. “Totally, that happens,” says William Laubernds, the organizer of the Monday and Tuesday night bike races at PIR. “Last year I think maybe a couple people took their tops off, but the year before that there were definitely some people taking their clothes off on the final stretch. Depends on who the showers and who the growers are. We don't particularly advocate it, but it's not like there's any regulation against it.”
Beginning in 2004, Portland has also been home to the World Naked Bike Ride, currently part of the Pedalpalooza bike fest in June. You can see pictures of the cyclists at this year’s event at the ride’s official site or at BikePortland.org. A sign of its status as city institution: The most recent naked ride began at the Portland Art Museum.

Paul Bunyan (page 171)
Then: A giant 35-foot statue of Paul Bunyan at the corner of North Denver and North Interstate Avenues.
Now: The six-ton lumberjack has been recognized for its craftsmanship and was officially added to the National Register of Historic Places in 2009—not exactly for its ungainly appearance, but for its representation of Oregon life and the timber industry. The same year, the statue got a $12,000 restoration job.

Stonehenge (page 171)
Then: A WW I monument turned gathering place for pagans in Hillsdale.
Now: World War I tribute or no—it was founded as a memorial to fallen soldiers—gatherers still mark the solstice at the fake Stonehenge of Klickitat County, Wash., part of the Maryhill Museum of Art. A brush fire threatened the monument last year, but the fire was contained about 1,000 feet away.




Windmill House (page 171)
Then: It’s exactly what it sounds like: a windmill built onto a house. 
Now: A tour of the neighborhood showed the tallest structure within one block of Southeast 92nd Avenue and Mill Street to be a flagpole. The windmill appears to be lost to time. 

World’s Largest 10 Commandments (page 171)
Then: No information offered beyond location.
Now: Still off the Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway, forming part of the wall of Neveh Shalom. But the 33-foot high monument is overshadowed by a 50-year-old version of the same thing in North Carolina—a 300-foot tall representation of the 10 commandments scripted onto stone.


Peacock in the Park (page 178)
Then: The annual Peacock in the Park drag show was held in honor of the late Elwood Johnson, who died of AIDS in 1993. It was held annually in Washington Park on the last Sunday in June and started at 3:30 pm.
Now: The main Peacock event is now indoors, and called Peacock After Dark. It will be held on Sunday, September 8 at the the Portland Center for Performing Arts’ Newmark Theater. Tickets are $30. The show starts at 7 pm.

Reported and written by Richard Grunert, Haley Martin, Joe Donovan, Martin Cizmar and Matthew Korfhage.
 
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