Portland's only mountain bike park is about to undergo a $5.75 million makeover. Gateway Green recently announced it will begin construction on major upgrades next month, improving trails on the 25-acre property and adding more pump tracks, restrooms and a new "gravity-oriented" trail. The park will close for construction in March and reopen when the upgrades are complete in November.
Cesspool on the Willamette
Former Simpsons writer and current Portland fast-food blogger Bill Oakley wants Republicans to stay the hell away from his old show. After Secretary of State Mike Pompeo tweeted an image of Lisa Simpson sobbing and tearing up sheets of paper—a reference to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi ripping up her copy of President Trump's State of the Union speech—Oakley tweeted, "Mr. Secretary of State please do not ever ever ever use Simpsons material in your twitter or watch the show or refer to it in any way." Yeardley Smith, the voice of the middle Simpson sibling, also chimed in: "I might just add f*ck you @mikepompeo for co-opting my character to troll @SpeakerPelosi."
Bulls on Tour
Rage Against the Machine is playing Portland for the first time in over 20 years. The '90s rap-rock titans have announced a reunion tour coinciding with their headlining appearance at Coachella, and it'll bring the band to Moda Center on April 25—an arena that was called the Rose Garden the last time they came to town in 1997.
Grand Opening, Grand Closing
Mexican-influenced deep-dish pizza spot Zapapizza has closed after only five months in business. Restaurateur Nick Zukin, who also owns Mi Mero Mole, opened the restaurant in Old Town last September, serving bready slices topped with taquitos, chilaquiles and chiles rellenos. "The idea just didn't interest enough people," Zukin tells WW.
Portland has lost yet another music festival. The multivenue Soul'd Out Festival has announced it will not take place this year. Over nine installments going back to 2010, the festival booked a mix of up-and-coming artists, hip-hop and R&B legends, and local musicians. Soul'd Out will continue as a year-round production company.
The fire that consumed beloved Sandy River diner Shirley's Tippy Canoe last month has been deemed "suspicious" by fire investigators. The restaurant, located along the Columbia River Highway in Troutdale, burned to the ground early in the morning Jan. 17. The cause of the fire has not been determined, but according to a press release from Corbett Fire District 14, "several unusual circumstances occurred in the days and hours leading up to the fire." Details are not being disclosed to the public.
An explosive investigation by National Geographic alleges Portland endurance athlete Colin O'Brady embellished aspects of his history-making solo trek across Antarctica. In 2018, the 34-year-old made headlines by becoming the first person to cross the continent alone and without any assistance beyond his own power. In the article, several polar explorers—including some of his mentors—claim O'Brady misrepresented the facts of his journey, including the difficulty of the route he took, his claim that it was "unassisted," and the notion that he was the first to accomplish the feat. On Instagram, O'Brady wrote that he plans to send the magazine a response, "providing them with the supporting materials they can use to correct the record."
Read more: National Geographic Alleges Portland Endurance Athlete Colin O'Brady Exaggerated His "Impossible" Journey Across Antarctica.