Portland Trip: May 2016


This last weekend Eli and I went to Portland to celebrate his 21st birthday and see Hippocampus at Mississippi Studios.


Eric, Eli's stepdad drove us from Corvallis to Portland Friday afternoon at great expense of his time. After ~3 hours in the car we went straight to the Baghdad Theater on Hawthorne to grab dinner and see the new Jungle Book. It was a solidly C+ movie: visually beautiful, conceptually just like the original, as an adult not especially satisfying. But also a good time with good people, and excellent food (hunger is the best sauce). After that we went back to the house to have cake + presents, and DRINK BEER (like one beer each). Because Eli and I are actually 80 year olds we went to our fancy-schmancy HOTEL at ~10 and immediately fell asleep. Typical friday night.


Saturday we woke up late, found breakfast at a non-descript chain (don't judge us, food in Portland is mad expensive), then wandered over to Powell's. I bought a huge bag of cashews and two donuts at Whole Foods which was hands-down the best purchase I made in all of April, Eli tooled around the book store and bought a book of Dilbert comics, then we decided to go to Ground Kontrol. After $10 of pinball and one totally bullshit round of Tetris, we ran out of cash money so headed out. With nothing else to do, we decided to take an urban hike to Eli's parents house, hoping we would arrive around 5pm when we had agreed to meet them. This ended up being about 8 miles, which sounds like a lot but really wasn't that bad. It was also a beautiful day, and we got to see some cool parts of Portland we don't typically frequent such as the Tillikum pedestrian bridge and Waterfront. It also timed out well, as we got to the house around 16:30 and got to eat + hang out for a bit before heading out.

Eli's mom and stepdad are both artists who work from home, and as such are really cool and get to rub elbows with a lot of really cool people. Like, it's actually a little intimidatingly cool. They have a friend who recently travelled to Paris + Tokyo and spent a few months meeting little-known artists in those areas through word-of-mouth. He then compiled his experiences and interviews with these artists into a series and sold it. For money. That's how cool these people are. We talked to him about places we should visit while in Paris this summer, then got a back-stage tour of Gigantic brewery. It was very exciting. They print unique art from local artists on each beer they brew, and we got to see the wall of labels, hear about how they choose the artist, learn a little about how the brewery started, and see their super high-tech bottling process.

After grabing some brews and buying some souvenirs (a copy of the book and a v cute hoodie), we headed up to Mississippi st. to have dinner and go to the concert. Most of the super cute shops Mississippi is know for had closed for the night by the time we got there, but we were able to dart into a few just before 7, then found a thai place accross the street from the venue. Unfortunately the food there was super spicy and ended up making everyone but me either cry, or get a little sick. Keep in mind this is not because I am impervious to spiciness but because I know I'm weak and ordered the most mild dish. After dinner we went to the venue, got our tickets, and played Heads up for half an hour.

The Show

The show was excellent! Mississippi is a super cute, cozy, and friendly venue, and we got a little booze before the show started. The opener, Riot Lion Something was surprisingly good -- not only was their music great, but her voice is amazing live, and they were great performers. It was a totally unexpected and awesome way to start the evening. Then Hippocampus came on around 10, and having already done a show earlier that day (like, 3 hours earlier) they were understandably a little tired. The band itself is composed of 4 very attractive young men, who despite being under 21 had poise, style, and great stage presence. Call me biased or shallow, but they were super fun to watch. They also interacted with the crowd quite a bit, which I think adds a lot to a good show, and they played some of their newer stuff as well. The show was super short (they only have 2 EPs out, and honestly played everything I knew of theirs as well as a few new songs, so this wasn't unexpected), and we caught an 11 pm bus back to downtown Portland.

Eli was pretty beat by this point, but I was craving something chocolatey so we decided to hit Departure before going to bed. Departures is a fancy restaurant on the top floor of the Nines hotel, and in the elevator we noticed a couple that had on shirts that were just Bob Saget's face. Like, not just a square of his face, like the whole shirt was Bob Saget's face. It was a little unsettling. Apparently he had been performing downtown earlier that evening, and there were just tons of people from the show going to Departures afterwards. "So this is what people do after 10pm" we thought simultaneously. It's also worth mentioning here that I had never seen Full House and didn't know who Bob Saget was, let alone recognize him. We got to our table in the restaurant, and after ordering Eli told me to look behind me. I did and was like "Wow, yeah, that is a lot of cleavage" and Eli was like "What? No, Bob Saget is behind you". He took a fuzzy, Sasquatch-esque picture, we ate our brownie + ice cream (the bomb dot com), and headed home to pass out around 1 am.


Sunday morning we woke up late (like, 9am. #students), and went to Fancy Brunch at The Original. Then we wandered down the waterfront, listened to a few episodes of The Myths and Legends Podcast, then headed to the bus stop. It was one of those beautiful days where you just do nothing, enjoy the sunshine and the passers by and good company, the kind of day Sundays are perfect for. And then, all too soon we were home.

Overall it was a very fun and relaxing trip. It's always nice to get outside The Cultural Bubble that is University, remember that life isn't all deadlines and exams, and experience a little art and outdoors. 10/10 would recommend.