What Were the 7 Greatest Days for Portland Trail Blazers Fans in 2018?
1. July 24: CJ McCollum and Kevin Durant get into a seemingly good-natured spat on McCollum's podcast over the latter's decision to join the Golden State Warriors two years ago. Then the debate spills over to Twitter, where nothing is good-natured. McCollum declares Durant "soft," snake emojis are deployed, and Durant declares, "I just did your fuckin podcast"—the quote of the offseason, at least until CJ meets Jennifer.
2. June 25: Damian Lillard pulls up to Irving Park in a U-Haul—which he drove himself—and stands on the back bumper, signing autographs and tossing out shoes to a crowd of excited children, including a kid rocking Lillard's jersey over a full Spider-Man costume.
3. Sept. 22: Dame sets off the second greatest beef of the Blazers offseason by Tweeting "I'm done with bamboo sushi on 12th in Portland smh… no love." The restaurant—which he reportedly eats at four times a week—declined to seat him despite open tables, necessitating that he go to another Bamboo Sushi. He later offers a form of mea culpa: "I was just hungry."
4. Nov. 6: During an in-game segment meant to honor military veterans, a former Marine Corps security guard and member of the Portland chapter of the Democratic Socialists of America unzips his jacket, revealing a shirt reading "End This Sponsorship," referring to the Blazers' corporate partnership with sniper-scopes manufacturer Leupold & Stevens. It does not end the sponsorship but probably succeeds in making poor Blaze the Trail Cat feel very uncomfortable for a few seconds.
5. Feb. 8: The most disastrous game of tic-tac-toe in human history takes place during a game at Moda Center. The video goes viral, providing prohibitionists with a great argument for keeping weed illegal in the rest of the country.
6. Sept. 19: The Blazers spend a whole day teasing a big announcement, which turns out to be the team's sponsorship deal with Biofreeze, prompting the entire city to ask, "What the hell is Biofreeze?" (It's a pain-relieving spray.)
7. April 11: The Blazers improbably clinch the third seed in the Western Conference with a win over Utah. And it was all downhill from there. MATTHEW SINGER.
What Were the Eight Greatest Commemorative Beers Brewed in 2018?
1. Resilience Butte County Proud IPA. Brewers: More than 1,000, including dozens in Oregon. Dedicated to: victims of the Camp Fire in Northern California.
2. Movie Madness Cult Classic Pale. Brewer: Ex Novo. Dedicated to: the launch of beer and wine sales at Southeast Portland video store Movie Madness.
3. SheBrew Beer Festival Welcome Back to Oz, Bitches! Brewer: McMenamins. Dedicated to: a festival for LGBTQ causes and beers.
4. Crowne Plaza Honey Haze IPA. Brewer: PINTS (now Ascendent Beer). Dedicated to: the bee hives installed atop the titular Portland hotel.
5. The Last Blockbuster. Brewer: 10 Barrel. Dedicated to: the last Blockbuster Video still in existence, in Bend.
6. Rose IPA. Brewer: BridgePort. Dedicated to: the Rose City Rollers roller derby crew.
7. Caught in a Pickle Lager. Brewer: Coin Toss Brewing. Dedicated to: the Portland Pickles baseball team.
8. Royale Bride of Carlastein Porter. Brewer: Royale Brewing. Dedicated to: drag
performer Carla Rossi, hostess of Hollywood Theatre Queer Horror series. ANDI PREWITT.
What Were the Four Greatest Public Policy Reforms of 2018?
1. Lawmakers passed Senate Bill 1562, which expands Oregon's outdated definition of strangulation and elevated it to a felony. It's a substantial victory for victims of domestic abuse.
2. Cleaner Air Oregon, a concept for limiting toxic emissions produced by Oregon's largest polluters, also passed the Legislature after two years of prep work.
3. In the wake of the school shooting at Parkland High School in Florida, Oregon became the first state to pass new gun control measures, approving House Bill 4145, the so-called "boyfriend loophole" bill, which would strip guns away from stalkers and domestic abusers not married to their victims.
4. Voters in November took action against homelessness, approving a $653 million Metro bond measure, which is projected to house 12,000 people in the tri-county region. NIGEL JAQUISS.
What Were the 11 Greatest Civic Losses Portland Suffered in 2018?
1. Clinton Street Video, long-running Southeast Portland video rental store.
2. Velo Cult, bike shop, coffee shop, bar and performance venue.
3. Second-run movies at Laurelhurst.
4. Lompoc Tavern, the Lompoc brewery's original Northwest Portland brewpub.
5. Brody Theater, long-running Old Town comedy club
6. In Other Words, feminist bookstore made reluctantly famous by Portlandia.
7. Duke's, one of Portland's last remaining country bars.
8. The original Nong's Khao Man Ghai food cart
9. Eddie, Oregon Zoo's slam-dunking, self-pleasuring otter
10. Biwa, Portland's original Japanese izakaya
11. Overlook Restaurant, classic family-friendly diner.
What Were the Four Greatest Close Calls of 2018?
1. Kate Brown's governorship. In the end, Knute Buehler and his Etch-a-Sketch goatee got trounced, but it was pretty touch-and-go there for a minute.
2. Pink Taco. The L.A.-based "clubstaurant" chain was all set to open in the former Trader Vic's space, then suddenly pulled up stakes and left under the cover of night when it realized this might not be the best market for tacos scented with Axe Body Spray and shame.
3. Matt's BBQ. The city's best barbecue cart was forced to vacate its spot in a parking lot on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and landed somewhere even better—the patio at German beer bar Prost!
4. Laurelthirst Public House. Two years ago, a group of employees and patrons at the Southeast Portland roots music hub took over the lease to save the bar from closing. This year, they bought the building. MATTHEW SINGER.
What Were the Four Most Tragic Departures from Portland in 2018?
1. The Thermals. After 15 years as Portland's most beloved power-pop stalwarts, the Thermals called it quits in April. All three members still play prolifically and often with each other, just under different band names.
2. Chris Coleman. Over his almost two decades as the artistic director, Chris Coleman built Portland Center Stage into Portland's largest theater company. At the end of PCS's season last May, Coleman left Portland to helm a theater company in Denver.
3. JoAnn Schinderle. There comes a time in every Portland comedian's career when they move to either New York or LA. She chose, LA and took Portland's longest running standup showcase, Control Yourself, with her.
4. Ed Davis. The best Trail Blazer. Got paid in Brooklyn. Deserves every penny. We think of you every day. SHANNON GORMLEY.
What Were the Five Most Overdue Endings of 2018?
1. Purrington's. You always think you want a cat cafe, until you actually go to the cat cafe.
2. The Know. After getting priced off Alberta, the beloved punk bar revived on Sandy Boulevard but only lasted a year before it all fell apart in the most bummer way possible—a wage dispute—proving the lesson that sometimes it's best to just let the dead stay dead.
3. Sasquatch! Music Festival. When they booked Twenty-One Pilots as headliners we should've known the end was near.
4. Chapel Hill. We hardly knew ye, but frankly, this town probably didn't need two bars with ironic religious themes.
5. Portlandia. At long last, our civic nightmare is, as Fred and Carrie might say, over. And yet, people are still moving here, and our favorite bars have yet to reopen. What gives? MATTHEW SINGER.