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.] .
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
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
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
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
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.
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.”
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
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.
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 2011and 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 ownsart 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.
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
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.
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.
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
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.