Takayuki Suzuki (Portland Timbers)Meet the Timbers' new forward. The 32-year-old Japanese footballer played eight seasons in his home prefecture of Ibaraki (and all four games of the 2002 World Cup with the Japanese national team) before taking off for Belgrade and, two years later, Portland. It's still too early in his first season to tell whether he'll live up to the five goals he scored in 2004, but the fans have taken to him already.
Runner-up:Brandon Roy (Portland Trailblazers)
Steve NovickOdds are you hadn't heard of Portland's favorite environmental lawyer, policy wonk and former child prodigy before he kicked off his bid for Gordon Smith's U.S. Senate seat last year. After his innovative television ads, odds are you'll never forget him. Novick narrowly lost the primary, but he won your hearts: He hooked 51 percent of the vote in Multnomah County. What's next? "Battle against Professor Moriarty [a.k.a. Bill Sizemore] continues," Novick tells WW. "Considering requesting a meeting at top of Reichenbach (or Multnomah) Falls. Also rereading Brent Walth's Tom McCall biography. Notice McCall had messy desk and big mouth. Hmm...do I have anything better to do in 2010?"
Runner-up: Sam Adams
Original ElvisWe all know him from the singing and the jumpsuit and the record player outside the costume shop, Andy Kaufman style. But some additional facts, jumbled: Strip bars scare him, he plays a mean ukulele-toting Darth Vader vs. a crutch-sabered Luke, and he'll rip out some Tom Petty or NKOTB on cue if you're special. This is no ordinary Elvis.
Runner-up: Kirk Reeves (he of the Mickey Mouse ears and trumpet)
BEST ARTS ORGANIZATION
Portland Center Stage128 NW 11th Ave., 445-3700.Housed in the beautifully restored Armory building, the Gerding Theater is Portland's snazziest performance venue. And the combination of musicals, plays and new works that Portland Center Stage produces here sparkles as much as the constellations of lights adorning the lobby's vaulted ceiling.
Runner-up:Portland Institute for Contemporary Art
They don't spend cash on advertising, nor on corporate partnerships with Safeway (middle finger to you, Easter Seals). They're based solidly in the give-the-fisherman-a-fishing-pole-not-a-fish philosophy, and are pretty much the only people anywhere doing any good in Myanmar right now, where the top-downers all failed. Support your local MC, people.
Runner-up: Oregon Humane Society
BEST PLACE TO BUY SHOES
Imelda's & Louie's3426 SE Hawthorne Blvd., 595-4970.
Hands down the best shoe shopping on Portland's east side. A modest but well-chosen selection of men's shoes is dwarfed by drool-worthy towers of serious boots, flirty Mary Janes, sexy sandals and sensible walking shoes for women, plus jewelry and stockings.
Runner-up: Nordstrom Rack
BEST PLACE TO BUY CLOTHES
Buffalo Exchange1036 W Burnside St. 222-3418; 1420 SE 37th Ave., 234-1302.
Although it's a national chain best known to many as the Place Where You Can Take Your Red Light Rejects, the Buffalo Exchange is a genuinely lovely vintage store with some fantastic, original finds at prices even your average underemployed liberal-arts grad can afford.
BEST PLACE TO BUY SPORTING GOODS
REI1405 NW Johnson St., 221-1938.
There isn't an outdoor pursuit REI doesn't address. Depending on the season, you might see tents, ski poles, bike gear, maps, and mittens for your dog. Not to mention a huge energy bar selection if you ever get lost...in the store.
BEST PLACE TO BUY FURNITURE
IKEA10280 NE Cascades Parkway, 282-4532.
Portland author Chuck Palahniuk made IKEA the emblem of soulless consumerism in Fight Club 11 years before this colossal smorgasbord of Swedish simplicity came to town. Secretly, Portlanders love the aggressively priced, build-it-yourself furniture, the modern lines and the plethora of home goodies.
BEST PLACE TO BUY A GUITAR
Trade-up Music4701 SE Division St. 236-8800.
Unload everything from tube amps to synthesizers, electric guitars, band instruments and drum sets. The staff will gladly take old equipment off your hands and send you home with gear that's new to you. Inventory changes all the time—even more of a reason to stop back frequently.
Runner-up: Apple Music Row
BEST PLACE TO GET YOUR CAR FIXED
Tom Dwyer Automotive530 SE Tenino St., 230-2300.
This respected 26-year-old body shop on the east end of the Sellwood Bridge is classic Portland: They offset all their carbon emissions, they'll drive you home when you drop off your car, Dwyer owns an impressive collection of leftist bumper stickers and tomdwyer.com features a video endorsement from none other than Randy Leonard.
Runner-up:Hawthorne Auto Clinic
BEST PLACE TO GET YOUR PET FIXED
DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital1945 NW Pettygrove St., 228-7281.
Although Portland's premier emergency and ICU animal hospital was voted best place to get your pet "fixed," you shouldn't go there to get your pet spayed or neutered. No, this is "fix" in the put-back-together-in-the-middle-of-the-night-and-make-better sense, which this miracle-working 24-hour pet hospital has been doing for 35 years.
Runner-up: North Portland Veterinary Hospital
BEST PLACE TO GET YOUR HAIR FIXED
Rudy's Barbershop on Division3015 SE Division St., 232-3850.
Want an old-school fade? A razor-sharp high-and-tight? A conspicuously lopsided fauxhawk? Vinnie Baglioli and his fellow barbers have got you covered at one of the friendliest chop shops in town. Feel free to walk in any time for a trim or a shave—they'll be happy to shoot the shit until a chair frees up.
Runner-up:Bishops Barbershop on Alberta
BEST PLACE TO GET YOUR HAIR WAXED
Wax On734 E Burnside St., 595-4974.
Waxing just your beaver is so 2004. This Lower Burnside outpost of waxing pioneer Anne Uhlir's Seattle depilation empire goes way beyond the standard Brazilian, offering hair-removal service for your toes, fingers and stomach, as well as—eeeeargh!—male Brazilians.
BEST BLOG THAT ISN'T A WASTE OF TIME
Geek in the Citygeekinthecity.com
How did a snappily written but shamelessly nerdy blog about movies, games and comics beat out previous poll winners like Jack Bog's Blog? Simple. Writer Aaron Duran—the guy best known for organizing an effort to change the name of Southeast 42nd Avenue to Douglas Adams Boulevard—leveraged his regular appearances as a guest on The Rick Emerson Show to get out the vote. You see what it takes, Jack?
Runner-up:An Exploration of Portland Food and Drink (portlandfoodanddrink.com)
BEST TV PERSONALITY WHO SEEMS LIKE A REAL HUMAN BEING
Carl Click (KATU)Ever wondered what 25 years in the same job can get you? A hell of a lot of respect, that's what. Vancouver native Carl Click started his television career in Portland just after graduating from Washington State University in 1983, climbing from sports to news to the anchor desk at KGW, finally moving to KATU's morning newscast. There's good reason for Click's success in this town: He's got an affable manner and, unlike too many in his profession, a fine sense of humor.
Runner-up:Matt Zaffino (KGW)
BEST RADIO HOST WHO ISN'T BATSHIT CRAZY
Rick Emerson (KCMD)Not so much a radio jock as a force of nature, 970 AM's Rick Emerson has Portland eating out of his excessively well-manicured little hands. Along with his sidekicks, executive producer Sarah X. Dylan and newscaster Tim Riley, this former resident of Kennewick, Wash., has a fierce and loyal audience that follows his every (bowel) movement.
Runner-up:Cort & Fatboy (KUFO)
BEST PUBLICATION WORTH THE PAPER IT'S PRINTED ON
Willamette WeekWhy, thank you! We actually wanted to hear about publications other than this one, but we'll take the compliment and move on to our first runner-up, The Portland Mercury. We have to admit the younger sibling of Seattle's The Stranger has come a long way since its first issue in June 2000. The paper's website continues to set an example for other local media outlets with the most frequently updated blog in town. Amy J. Ruiz has brought real dedication and integrity to the newsroom, especially in her coverage of the ongoing efforts of Oregon's homophobes to curtail the civil rights of sexual minorities. And the staff's almost-live reporting of public meetings around town makes the evening news redundant. Congratulations, ladies and gentlemen of The Merc. Next step: Bring down a public official!
BEST SCANDAL OF THE lAST YEAR THAT WASN'T TERRIBLY BORING
The Ongoing Travails of Mr. Bernie GiustoIn the last year before his retirement, Giusto ran afoul of the state ethics commission for going to Seattle in 2006 with his girlfriend in a county SUV. And with the state Department of Public Safety Standards and Training for lying about his affair in the late '80s with the wife of then-Gov. Neil Goldschmidt, for whom he was driver and bodyguard. The poor man—all his troubles start in cars. p>Runner-up: The Interstate Avenue/César Chávez Boulevard Renaming Debacle.