- GOON SQUAD: The NBA calls it an All-Star âbreak,â but Damian Lillard must not have received the memo. This weekend in New Orleans, the Blazersâ reigning Rookie of the Year and upcoming Slam Magazine cover star is making historyâand, most likely, a whole bunch of money for himself and his marketing teamâby competing in five events, including both the All-Star and Rising Stars games, the dunk contest, the 3-point shootout and the skills challenge, which he won in 2013. And thatâs just what heâs doing on the court: On Friday night, Lillard, along with legendary Cash Money rapper-producer Mannie Fresh, will host the first live installment of his weekly Instagram-based virtual rap battle, 4 Bar Friday. The point guard has invited eight aspiring MCs from across the country to âthe Battle of New Orleans.â And naturally, thereâs a Portland representative: 24-year-old Gordon Peterson, aka Dr. Goon. Peterson, a âbig Blazers fan,â has never competed in an actual in-the-flesh rap battle, but he has placed in the top four of the 4 Bar several times. âIâm trying to keep it light and easy and not do anything too serious,â he says of his preparation. âThe harder I try, the less productive I become with the music. I let the lyrics write themselves.â Scoop could not confirm whether Lillard would also be participating in Pop-a-Shot tournaments and crawfish-eating contests to fill the rest of his time.
- MELTED: Nob Hillâs Melt Bistro, at 716 NW 21st Ave., will change owners and identities sometime in late February. Bristol Kelley, owner of the community-board website oregonbeerevents.com, has applied for a license with the Oregon Liquor Control Commission to start what she says will be a Belgian beer bar called the Abbey. An employee at Melt tells WW that the staff has been told it will work at the bar after ownership changes. >> St. Jack has forever shuttered its cozy Southeast Clinton Street digs. The Lyonnaise bouchon plans to open its Nob Hill locationâa much bigger space, with double the seatsâon Valentineâs Day.
- SNOWED OUT: Never a city to let a chance for irony go unheeded, Portland saw two events devoted to bad weather get canceled forâ¦bad weather. All events related to the Worst Day of the Year bicycle ride on Sunday, Feb. 9, were whited out, prompting even Minneapolis Public Radio to mock us. (Thatâs a public radio stationâin the friendliest of cities.) Meanwhile, the Polar Plunge was shut down due to polar conditions. Organizers rescheduled that event for March 1, barring bad weather. >> Also canceled by snow: Chinese New Year at Lan Su Garden, First Thursday and Sunday screenings at the Portland International Film Festival. Toad the Wet Sprocket, the Portland International Auto Show and the Pacific Northwest Sportsmenâs Show went on as planned.