Love the bounty of good eating that is Portland. Roe, Catagna, Ava Gene's are all vying for most buzz in the city these days (case in point, I have photographed all of them at least twice). But there are a plethora of others out there for those of us that hate waiting in line. So many choices in fact that it is nice that Willamette Week's Restaurant Guide helps narrow things down (or maybe simply make you aware of all the possibilities). Now go forth and chew.
Ah The Finder. Willamette Week's annual guide to all that is irreverent in Portland. Free in the warmer months, you can now get them for 5 bucks at Powell's. In it you can find tourist-worthy things like, best drinkable dirt, best gypsy cemetery, best survival kit, and best Tarantino set. I love assignments where my shot list includes things like tire swings, and urban goats. If you look really closely you can see my better half, Christopher Onstott, making a cameo in two of the images. It's like a post-modern Where's Waldo.
You never exactly know how it is going to go with celebrities. Perhaps spending your life with people that never tell you no can have a warping effect. Thankfully this diva mentality was delightfully absent from Fred Armisen, of Portlandia fame. I can never decide if that show is funny or not and if audiences from Mid-Western states would want to hug me or shoot if we were ever to meet. Fred showed up as his alter ego, 70s-era punk rocker Ian Rubbish, for the shoot. At first I was afraid that he was going to talk in a British accent for the duration. In which case I'm afraid I would have had a hard time keeping it together, persistent giggles making it difficult to push the shutter. But no, though dressed as Ian, Fred played himself, a very sweet, laid back guy, who was game for whatever wacky things I could think of.
Willamette Week asked me to shoot not one, but two covers for their 2013 Bar Guide issue, and several billion bars around town (ok, I exaggerate...). Needless to say, it was a blurry week. Victory Bar was the place to beat this year, christened Bar of the Year. I dig Victory, and their laid back, easy drinking feel, but runner up, Hale Pele has a special place in my heart (and the cover). Maybe it is the thunder, rain and smoke that randoms emits from the walls, or that fact that it is located in a strip mall next to a nail salon. However, if you are looking for a place to take your Dad (if your Dad had his Kerouac phase) then I recommend runner up #2, the Blue Diamond, where folks from age 22 to 72 can be found shaking what their momma gave 'em.
Other bars to add to your list of places to get tastefully drunk at are: Barwares, Moonshine, Bar Dobre (booze and kielbasa!), Free House, The Tannery, The Rookery, Sauvage and Velo (get your bike fixed while drinking beer, brilliant). It is an amazing thing, this town's propensity to birth bars like Kate Gosselin.