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Volume 34
Issue 23
 
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PORTLAND PRIDE - A guide to eating, cocktailing, shopping and sleeping well for Portland Gay Pride
PORTLAND PRIDE - A guide to eating, cocktailing, shopping and sleeping well for Portland Gay Pride
by Richard Kennedy SGN A&E Writer

Portland Gay Pride 2006

Saturday-Sunday, June 17-18

There was a time when locals here referred to Portland as a mini-Seattle. Well, Portland has more than come into its own. It has certainly created its own charm and distinction with a thriving music and art scene, tons of recreation, charming neighborhoods and enough shopping to wear down the biggest retail queen. Anywhere you look, you will see t-shirts and bumper stickers proudly proclaiming "Keep Portland Weird." With Portland's Gay Pride coming up, you might find this the perfect opportunity to head just three hours south for a fabulous weekend.

The Pride festival will be held on Saturday and Sunday, June 17-18, at Tom McCall Waterfront Park in downtown Portland. Festival hours of operation will be from noon-11:00 PM on Saturday and noon-6:00pm on Sunday. A diverse and entertaining lineup of performers has been assembled this year. The stage presents nonstop entertainment from 1:00-11:00 PM on Saturday and 1:00-6:00 PM on Sunday. The Pride Parade kicks off at 11:15 AM on Sunday, June 18.

Previous to the weekend festivities, Pride Northwest has set up a weeks worth of Pride festivities, including a Zoo Picnic, Festival Cruise, Fun Run and even a Skate Night. Check out all the information at www.Pridenw.org.

Portland has a wide variety of hotels that offer accommodations for every taste and budget. Downtown offers the ultra chic and modern Hotel Lucia (400 SW Broadway, www.hotellucia.com). If you don't mind spending a little more, you will find this boutique style and minimally designed offering for you. Pillow menus, modern art and contemporary color schemes set the mood for one of the finest downtown hotels. The location can't be beat since this very Gay friendly property is walking distance to most bars, clubs and shopping. The Jupiter Hotel (800 E. Burnside, www.jupiterhotel.com) is one of the most popular with the urban hipster set. With its attached Doug Fir Lounge for the indie music fan and budget accommodations, it's no wonder that this is THE hangout for touring indie musicians. The Jupiter Hotel is also hosting several Pride parties this week, including Dixie's Tupperware Party and Latino Gay Pride. For more traditional lodging, you can find great rooms at Hotel Vintage Plaza (422 SW Broadway, www.vintageplaza.com). From doubles to deluxe suites with every amenity imaginable, this hotel will place you downtown near the parade route and nightlife. Hotel Vintage Plaza is the official hotel of Portland Gay Pride.

It's impossible to say which neighborhood in Portland has the best restaurants. They are scattered throughout the city and there is something good to fit every budget. If you are looking for an amazing breakfast or brunch near your downtown hotel, then stop by the Red Star Tavern and Roast House (503 SW Alder, www.redstartavern.com). Just don't leave there without trying their incredible and authentic Southern beignets. If you are wandering around the Pearl District, step into the Gay-owned Everett St. Bistro (1140 NW Everett St., www.everettstreetbistro.com) for a charming and more intimate brunch experience. I personally recommend the Dutch Baby, which is a German style pancake with caramelized apples. For sweet treats or dessert, be sure to hit Mio Gelato (25 NW 11th Ave) for some "real deal" Italian gelato and panini.

For dinner, you will find an incredibly unique dining experience at Andina (1314 NW Glisan, www.andinarestaurant.com). They specialize in Peruvian food and were voted Best Restaurant of 2005 by The Oregonian. It's easy to fill yourself up on their amazing tapas (appetizers) before you even get to the fantastic main course. As soon as you sit down, you get three different kinds of salsa for bread and tapas, which include various kebobs, potatoes, stuffed peppers, mussels and many other items, not to mention delicious soups and salads for starters. For the main course you choose between a variety of meat, fish and veggie dishes, all with a unique Spanish and Mexican flair. One traditional main course is wok-fried beef with onion, tomatoes, soy sauce, garlic and aji, served with rice and fried yuca. One of Portland's most hip and chic restaurants is the delectable Saucebox (214 SW Broadway, www.saucebox.com). Combining Pan-Asian and Pacific Island courses, you will find everything from duck green curry to a variety of delicious sushi, like ahi tuna tataki. I recommend dinner, but if you can only make it for drinks you will be more than satisfied with their huge menu of fruit infused cocktails and house-made elixirs, making this a pioneer in Portland's cocktail/bar scene.

A Pride weekend is not complete without Gay nightlife. Whether you plan on dancing the night away or just bar hopping the entire weekend, you'll find every Gay scene imaginable. A Portland staple is the fabulous drag bar Darcelle's (208 NW 3rd, www.darcellexv.com), with good ole fashioned drag and raunchy humor. Keep wandering around Old Town/Chinatown and you'll find Hobo's (120 NW 3rd) for a quiet drink, or down to CC Slaughters (219 NW Davis St.) for a hot and cruisey dance spot. The famous and huge dance bar Boxxes (1035 SW Stark, www.boxxes.com) will be hosting a huge Pride Party for the weekend, including an underwear party, a warehouse party featuring Crystal Waters and a street party featuring Ultra Nate. Check out their website for details. For the girls, The Egyptian Club (3701 SE Division St. www.theegyptianclub.com) offers a lounge and dancing.

Art? Nature? Shopping? The possibilities for daytime activities are endless. Rent a bike and travel down the waterfront all the way to the famous Portland Saturday Market (www.portlandsaturdaymarket.com), where local artisans, music artists and international food booths abound. Shop at Powell's City of Books (1005 W. Burnside, www.powells.com), one of the country's largest bookstores selling used and new items. There are a vast number of music stores, including Millenium Music (801 NW 23rd , www.musicmillenium.com) in the charming Nob Hill neighborhood. Or, take the fabulous Public Art Walking Tour through the various neighborhoods, information at www.racc.org.

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