A blog by Campbell Consulting Group, based in Bend, Oregon.

Friday, December 31, 2010

A No-Pressure NYE Guide

Here we are, another calendar year coming to a close. I always find myself scrambling at the last moment to figure out the very *best* way to say goodbye to the previous year and welcome in the new year. I hope my research saves you the trouble; this year I have determined the 3 best approaches to having the best New Years Eve in Portland.

New Year's Eve Ball, 1978 - Photo Credit: The New York Times

1. Stay home! 
Okay, I know, this sounds a little lame, but it could be amazing. With the temperature in the teens, venues packed with everyone who stays in 360 days a year (and have already had too much to drink) and the police are just looking for your car with one headlight out to pull over. do you really need to leave the comfort of your own home to ring in the new year? Grab your snuggle partner or a couple friends with a penchant for silly movies and board games and watch the ball drop from the comfort of your couch. This also frees to you get up early and enjoy New Years day; brunch, snow sports and hikes all come to mind for fun activities.

2. Roll out to your favorite bar or restaurant
Why try and make things complicated when you have guaranteed enjoyment at your local hang out? Many restaurants with special menus are booked up with reservations, but there are still options out there and many spots will be open with their regular menu. Portlanders are blessed with a neighborhood bar on every corner, many equipped with air hockey and shuffleboard tables as well as dirt cheap drinks. My local favorite has to be The Spare Room in NE PDX - classic 70s decor, fire place and exceptional service. So round up your friends, pick a destination and bring the party where ever you go!

3. Go big
Of course there are many options for those of us who feel the need to start of 2011 with a bang. Here are my picks for the Portland area:
Abstract Earth Project (A.E.P.) + Fresh give us NYE 2011 at Branx & Rotture with Lazor Sword, Eliot Lipp, Virtual Boy + many more. Tix available here for this dubstep / hip hop extravaganza. High energy, big crowd and a rowdy good time!

Shanghai Nights, presented by MAST at the Bossanova Ballroom with McTuff & Devin Phillips (funk soul jazz band with a New Orleans flavor), DJ Harry & Jans Ingber (doing a special String Cheese remix dj set) and a few other musical acts to keep the dance floor packed. Tickets still available online or at Ticket West outlets.

For something a little classier, head to the Secret Society Ballroom for their New Year's Eve Masquerade Ball where they are promising 1920s & 30s swing and hot jazz paired with amazingly delicious cocktails and beautiful masked attendees. Tickets are only available in limited quantities at the door - so arrive early.

However you choose to reflect on the old and embrace the new, Campbell Consulting wishes you a fulfilling, fruitful and joyous 2011! 

Friday, December 24, 2010

How PDX Will Save Your Xmas

I made a resolution this year to keep my holiday as stress free and simple as possible. Last night my bubble of calm and collectedness was broken and I found myself trapped in traffic jams, waiting in excessively long lines and running home as fast as I could to escape the last minute holiday crowds.

The holidays tend to be a time of stress for many of us trying to make the perfect meal or buy the perfect gifts, but where is the fun in being perfect!? While events this weekend are fewer than normal, there are still a couple that will bring a smile to your face, relieve you of the holiday stress and maybe even help you escape trying family events this Christmas.

Head up to the slopes to help burn off some of those holiday calories! Mt Hood Meadows Ski Resort is open both Christmas Eve (9am-4pm) and Christmas day (9am-9pm). Check the weather, grab your lift tickets and escape the crowds in the beautiful outdoors.

Take the Christmas spirit to the next level by visiting Peacock Lane. This Southeast Portland neighborhood has been decorating their homes since the 1920s. Make sure you dress appropriately for the weather as you will need to park and walk to see the lights. Soak in the lights and the holiday spirit for free through Christmas!

Looking to entertain the Martha Stewart of your family? Pittock Mansion has been decorated to the nines by professional interior designers and florists. More than 15 Christmas trees can be found throughout the mansion. It's as if this event was made for my mother! Entry is $9 for adults ($8 for seniors) and is open every day (but December 25) through January 2.

Need to get out of the house and dance your stress away? The Fez Ballroom is hosting a Nightmare Before Xmas 80s dance party on Friday night. Just a $5 cover, 9pm-2:30pm to release some of that holiday tension!

Whatever it is that you and your holiday crew end up doing this weekend we at Campbell Consulting wish you a happy and healthy holiday!

Friday, December 10, 2010

Portland Holiday Cheer - Not to Miss Events this Weekend

Another wet December weekend is upon us, but as usual, you have your pick of indoor and outdoor events to help you keep your mind off the rain!

Friday night local eco fashion designers and animal/environmental activists are teaming up to bring us the Wild Couture Fashion Show + Party to Benefit Elephant Ivory Project. Boothstar on Davis will be hosting the event complete with fashion show, raffle, costume contest and photo booth. With 10 percent of elephants being killed for their ivory every year the world is looking at total elephant extinction in just a couple of years. All proceeds from the event go to the Elephant Ivory Project; the mission Trip Jennings and Andy Maser of the Portland-based production company, EP Films, to travel to the remote jungles of of the Congo and complete their elephant DNA map of Africa. With the goal of sending resources to local poaching hot spots and saving as many elephants as possible. Friday December 10, 8pm (fashion show starts at 9:30pm).

The New Deal Distillery will be hosting the 2nd Annual Season's Eatings event, a local food, wine and spirits market that benefits the Oregon Food Bank. On Saturday from 12pm-6pm, come buy some of the Pacific Northwest's best cheese, chocolate, baked goods, cured meats as well as fine wine and spirits. Local favorites Random Order Coffeehouse, Briar Rose Creamery, Unbound Pickles and Clive Coffee among many others will be selling their delicious goods to you for your holiday celebrations. In a town that is so consumed by food, it's important to remember that there are some people who can't afford to eat. Come support local businesses as well as the Oregon Food Bank for your holiday shopping!

In its 56th year the Christmas Ship Parade has returned to the waters of the Willamette and Columbia. Boasting between 55 and 60 boats, the fleet of ships will be out every night from December 9 through the 21st. You can view the schedule for the Willamette and the Columbia on the site. The parade is made possible by donations from local restaurants, many of them allow you to dine and view the light parade simultaneously. Whether you choose to brave the elements or fine a nice cozy booth to relax in, the Christmas Ship Parade is so unique to Portland and not to be missed!

Thanks to PDXPipeline for finding and sharing this beautiful time lapse video of the event!

Christmas Ships from Andrew Curtis on Vimeo.

Other noteworthy events: Tuba Christmas in the Square Saturday 1:30pm-3:00pm; Baltimore Woods Planting in St. Johns Saturday 9am-12pm; The Peoples Yoga Fundraiser at the Someday Lounge - working towards community yoga, access for all! Sunday 8pm

Friday, December 3, 2010

Short & Sweet - PDX Picks for 1st Weekend of December

Have you emerged from your turkey comas yet? Survived the holiday opener? Gearing up for round 2?

While most people in Portland will be glued to their televisions sets Saturday for the OU/OSU "civil war" game, there will be a few options for those of us who aren't big football fans.

Confident that Pioneer Place is probably the most secure spot in Portland, check out the Holiday Ale Festival. There will be more than 50 deliciously festive winter ales to warm you right up! Don't miss the 4 special brews featured at the European-style brunch on Sunday from 11am-1pm - tickets going fast!

Want some help getting into the holiday spirit? Look no further than the Oregon Zoo Lights. Over 1 million twinkling lights along with a holiday train, music as well as costumed animals and elves. Cute and romantic date or family outing - guaranteed festive fun! And if you don't make it this weekend, you have through January 2nd to enjoy the winter wonderland.

And one of the more unique shopping opportunities that I have heard of in a long while - 14 tractor trailers of everything National Geographic has had for sale in the last 5 years are unloading into the Oregon State Convention Center. Free access Friday through Sunday to find some serious bargains.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Portland Events Worth Braving the Weather

If you live in Portland and have left your house in the last 48 hours it's likely that you were drenched! It's coming down in buckets with temperatures dropping day-to-day and even talk of *gasp* snow is sneaking into our conversations! But those of us who have a few Portland winters under our belts know that while the weather may make us want to put on our pj pants, curl up on the couch, watch movies and eat cookies for dinner, we can't succumb to the dark and rain. Portland is definitely delivering some fine events this weekend to help us motivate out of our warm homes and brave the storms.

Like little rays of sunshine, these Portland events will make you laugh, make you think and make you dance away the blues of this cold rainy week!

Banish the gloom away by laughing it up for Hal Sparks, of VH1's "I love the 70s, 80s and 90s" as well as "Queen as Folk," at Helium Comedy Club in Southeast. He'll be performing his routine November 18-20th for Portland audiences.

Check out Clarity Miller's awesomely cute stuffed creatures at the Folks: Plush Wonders and Oddities show opening at the Land Gallery on Mississippi starting Friday. Billed as the "future of taxidermy" it is sure to put a smile on your face and bring out your inner kid.

Saturday is just packed with amazing music all around town. 
Blonde Redhead will be playing at the Roseland Theater in support of their new album release "Penny Sparkle" - that will definitely be a treat! All ages, tickets for $22.

March Fourth Marching Band has returned from journeys far and wide and will bring their own special sound to Refuge. Early show/family tickets are $9 advance / $12 day of; 21+ late night performance is $10 advance / $13 day of.

The Abstract Earth Project will be doing it up bigger and better the second time around for Flux 2.0. Musical billing is pretty impressive with the likes of Vibesquad, Starkey and up-and-commer Shigeto from Brooklyn (most recent release out on Ghostly International) in addition to heavyweight local Emancipator (fresh off his dancefloor packing national tour with Bassnectar) as well as new to the ranks PDX artist Natasha Kmeto. Flux 2.0 will be taking over both Branx and Rotture for the unveiling of Branx's new remodel. Presales are $20, otherwise $25 at the door.

And what better way to round out your weekend than eating perfectly paired bites with local craft beers? On Sunday the Hotel Monaco hosts the first annual Monaco Cup to benefit the United Way. Six Portland chefs will be doing their best to win the audiences' votes as they work to create the best pairings. Tickets just $22 with a processing fee.

So don't batten down the hatches just yet. There's too much awesome to miss this weekend in Portland!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Holiday Preparation, Event Edition

All week long people have been asking me, "So, are you ready for Thanksgiving?" and my answer has been a no with a tinge of panic. This will be the first time since my husband and I moved to Portland that we will be hosting a holiday dinner gathering. We are not new to having large meals in our home - our house was a regular holiday destination for many of our friends in New York for many years - but this year feels a bit different. Between a plethora of dietary requirements (vegans, celiacs & lactose avoiders, oh my!), house guests from distant cities and my husband's 30th birthday celebration the night before, I am feeling some pressure - much like a turkey with a target on its chest!

There are some options this weekend to help you get on the path to a successful Thanksgiving holiday:

The Northwest Food and Wine Festival at Pure in the Pearl will have your  mind racing and your taste buds dancing with happiness. With over 600 different wines to sample and food from 50 area restaurants you will sure to walk out of there with plenty of holiday feast ideas, but also a happy buzz! Tickets are $75 a pop, or discounted tickets from the Bartenders Guild for $99 a pair or $65 each. Fun starts at 4pm on Saturday, November 13!

Are you in need of some new table linens? Or maybe a new gravy boat or some napkin holders that will have your mother-in-law ooh-ing and ah-ing about your new found love for decorating? Well, there is always Goodwill, but if you really want to wow them (and have some beautiful things to help turn your holiday meal into a more festive celebration) then look to some of our local amazing artisans in Portland to add some funky style to your home. The city of Portland has teamed up with Crafty Wonderland to take over and transform an abandoned store front into a shoppers paradise. On 10th & Yamhill (next to Finnegan's Toys) Crafty Wonderland will be set up through the holiday season with goods from 90 Portland area artists and crafters, you'll be sure to find something for you and everyone on your shopping list. The grand opening party is on Saturday, November 13 from 12pm-5pm. Check out their site for special events, trunk shows and sales through the end of December!

Are you in need of a breather after all of that planning (stressing?) make your way to the Central Library to watch the monks of the South Indian Drepung Loseling Monastery create a giant Tibetan Sand Mandala. The mandala is a beautiful and intricate piece of art created to invoke the Buddha of Compassion. While it will be on display through the end of the month (November 29), the live creation of the piece can only be viewed Wednesday through Saturday from 10:30am-5:30pm. A perfect escape for just a few moments to meditate on why we make ourselves so crazy during the holidays - and you thought decorating was tedious!

Reminder: If you cook a turkey and you don't want it to be a 22 lb iceberg on your path to Thanksgiving dinner conquest, I'd place an order at your local grocery for a happy free range/organic/heritage turkey. It makes life so much easier and you can tell them how many pounds you want, because throwing away any amount of turkey because you had turkey-godzilla for 5 people is just a travesty! New Seasons Markets across the Portland area are taking orders for pick up and delivery. And if you are in the NW you can order Mary's Turkeys or Diestel Turkeys for pick up from the Little Green Grocer.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Music, Art & Cocktails: The Art of a Low-Key Portland Weekend

Portland is taking a bit of a breather after a wild Halloween weekend and the excitement of local and national elections. But don't fret, there is still plenty to do in Bridgetown this weekend!

The 4th Annual Siren National Women's Music and Art Festival is taking place in our fair city this weekend. Siren Nation's mission is to inspire and empower women of all ages to create their own art and to highlight the many achievements of women in the arts. Siren Nation promotes and showcases the original work of women artists by creating year round performance, exhibition and educational opportunities. Female musicians are showcased on Friday and Saturday nights at the Someday Lounge. There will also be an art and craft fair at McMenimans Kennedy School on Sunday with a free crafty workshop from 11am-5pm for girls of all ages. Weekend passes for all art and music are $25.

The city is definitely moving towards craft fair season and local crafty artisans, Abby Powell Thompson, of abby try again, and Chelsea Fuss {frolic!} are debuting their craft fair at Ace Cleaners this Saturday and Sunday. Little Winter Market will have locally made art, jewelry, crafts and trinkets to 'ooooh' and 'aaaah' at as we gear up for the holidays. There will be a Little Winter Meet & Greet party tonight (Friday) at West Elm from 7pm-9pm in the Pearl. Go check out the goods at 403 SW 10th Ave (next to the Ace Hotel) Saturday 11am - 6pm & Sunday 11am-5pm. Free entry!

If you'd rather eat than shop, step out of your normal dining routine and head to Lincoln Saturday for their first in a series of "Bar Camps" where co-owner and tender of the bar, David, will help guide you through the basics of stocking a home bar, the history of the cocktail, how spirits are made as well as some classic drink recipes. After class, campers will sit down to a family-style meal complete with delicious cocktail pairings. Camp starts are 4:30pm, dinner at 5:30pm. Cost for both is $125. Can't make it this Saturday? They have another planned for November 20th - just in time to prepare for Thanksgiving!

Yes, it's true, Thanksgiving is only a few weeks away. Hosting a celebration at your house? In need of something to bring to a friend's gathering? Look no further than Random Order's amazing pie selection! Their Vanilla Salted Caramel Apple pie was just named one of the best in the country by Travel + Leisure magazine. Get your order in now for pick up before Thanksgiving. Or find a local market in your neighborhood, like the Pearl's Little Green Grocer, who will take your order and have your pie(s) waiting for you closer to home (and without the lines). 

Thursday, October 28, 2010

PDX Art Community's Last Hurrah Before Winter - Last Thursday

When a friend visits Portland for the first time there are a few things that immediately come to mind to show him/her a true Bridgetown experience. Lunch at one of the many gourmet foods carts (specifically Viking Soul Food's lefse), a visit to one of the many craft breweries in town (Amnesia is a favorite - they have such an amazing patio) and a trip up to Forest Park to explore the arboretum, smell the roses in the Rose Test Garden and absorb the beauty and stillness of the Japanese Gardens. But really, the event that really shows off Portland in all of her weird, awesome and wild glory is Last Thursday on Alberta.

What began in 1997 as a low-key art walk on Alberta has exploded into a rocking street party every last Thursday of the month. Vendors set up along the sidewalks in every space possible, food carts park and street performers arrive on stilts, unicycles and in fantastical costumes. During the warm, summer months city officials estimate that over 10,000 people come out to walk Alberta and celebrate the essence of Portland.

Photo Thanks to BikePortland.org

The Last Thursday in October is always quite the celebration as it is usually the last Last Thursday of the year due to decreasing daylight and winter weather patterns. While there are always people in various levels of "costume" at every Last Thursday, the thursday before Halloween tends to entice people to done their Halloween garb a few days early. You can expect to see hula hoopers, fire dancers, stilt walkers, live musicians, djs, live painters, poetry readings, portraits and anything else reminiscent of a 3 ring circus!

The battle to keep Last Thursday a free, yet safe and community sponsored event is currently being waged. Recently my friends at Neighborhood Notes wrote up an extremely thorough and insightful article about the politics behind keeping this local treasure alive. With 10,000 people comes a lot of trash, noise and disruption in the blocks surrounding the event and not all neighbors are supportive. The city also has its hesitations about the event as they have been footing the bill for extra officers to manage barricades (to block the street from 6pm-10pm), illegally parked cars and drunken attendees. A committee is in place now FoLT (Friends of Last Thursday) to help make the event happen with less involvement from the city and give more voice to the community.

Take a trip to Alberta tomorrow anytime after 4pm. Most vendors are set up by 4pm and the crowds tend to show up around 7pm. Come in costume or in your street clothes, come ready to dance or just observe and watch all the festivities. Whatever you do, come with an open mind and heart!

Thursday, October 21, 2010

How to Get Ready for Halloween, Portland Style

Portlanders love to celebrate anything and everything Halloween and this weekend marks the start of the madness. I thought about reviewing all of the haunted houses and corn mazes in the Portland Metro area, but realized that while everyone loves Halloween, not everyone likes to be scared. Instead I am going to help you get your costume together and recommend 2 events where you can unveil your costume creations.

Photo Thx to Jim Mulhearn
The fun and funky sewing school and workshop, PDX Seamsters, is offering a "Halloween Intensive" Costuming Fundamentals Workshop this weekend. Here is your chance to make your dream Halloween ensemble while learning costuming fundamentals. The course will kick off with a group trip to the fabric store Thursday night with instruction from 6pm-9pm Friday, Saturday and Sunday nights. In addition to instruction and guidance, you'll also get a full month of unlimited sewing studio access where a professional is always there to help answer your questions. Not down for the whole workshop? They are now offering a $99 one day pass which includes open studio access up until Halloween so you can complete your costume!

Looking for a chance to cover yourself in fake blood and teeter-totter around town moaning "brains?" Look no further! It's Portland's 6th Annual Zombie Walk this Saturday starting at Pioneer Square at 3pm. Not only is this a chance to pose with fellow zombies and wander the streets, you can also participate in the 4th Annual Thrill the World Dance performance. Portland zombies, along with groups of zombies around the world, will perform Michael Jackson's Thriller dance simultaneously. Make sure you're there by 4pm to be a part of the record breaking worldwide phenomena! Upon the completion of the dance the walk will begin.

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So you're not a fan of dressing up yourself, but love to dress up others? Well the 4th Annual Doggie Palooza Halloween Fashion show might be perfect for you. Put all of that sewing skill to work to turn your furry friend into a dinosaur, pirate or banana with legs! This is the one time a year that the World Forestry Center opens its doors to canine friends. Come and check out new treats and food, get training tips and watch a fashion show with the latest doggie clothing trends. Tickets are $8 for adults, $5 for kids and free for well behaved pooches. And if your pup is a handsome star, he/she may even be chosen as the next cover-dog for Spot Magazine.

Have a safe one friends!

Hiring A Blogger - Worst Practices

Back in May of this year, the global PR firm, Mission, engaged a British life-style blogger, Muireann Carey-Campbell, to participate in a half marathon to bring some buzz to their client Nokia's Outdoor Series. Muireann was to blog about her journey preparing for the marathon and was told she would be training with and interviewing Olympic athletes. She was also to receive sports kits, a Nokia camera/video phone (to document her training) and her blog was to be linked on Nokia's Outdoor Series main page. Her travel and accommodations to London to train with the Olympic athlete as well as participate in the race would also be paid in full by Mission.

My first thought was, "That's all she gets!?" and after further research I found it very common that companies and PR firms tend to have the perception that it's okay to "pay" bloggers in freebies and samples. Unfortunately, many bloggers allow that form of payment to be sufficient. For the commitment and the amount of work that Muireann was doing, she really deserved much more than Mission offered her. Unfortunately, they failed to follow through with any of their promises, save a loaner phone! 

When Muireann's race pack still hadn't arrived 2 weeks prior to the marathon she really started to worry. Mission proceeded to give her the runaround, blaming lack of communication/confirmation with Nokia for the delay. In the end she contacted the race administration directly and was able to get a spot and used her own funds to travel to London. 

The blog post, The Tale of PR and a Blogger, includes her letter to Mission regarding their lack of professionalism, communication and follow through. This post has caused quite a fuss, or a "twitterstorm" as one commenter called it. The blog entry has jump-started dialogue around the relationship between PR and Social Media Outlets, as well as provided a reminder of why the blogger was hired in the first place - her influence and impact in the world! Mission's lack of professionalism in response to Ms. Carey-Campbell has not only hurt their image, but also the image of Nokia and anyone else that they represent. And while both Nokia and Mission immediately responded in Muireann's comments of her blog entry, the piece has been spread far and wide as an example of what not to do when using Social Media for PR.

What is the lesson here? Whether or not you believe in the power of Social Media, there is no question that it exists and its influence can just as easily harm your image as boost it. Companies looking to utilize various forms of Social Media need to understand the strength and impact a blogger has with his/her readers and give appropriate respect and compensation.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Just Another Weekend in Bridgetown

As usual, Portland has plenty in store for those of us looking to eat, drink and be merry. Here is my equation for the perfect mid-October Portland weekend.

Portland's Freak Bike Fall returns for its 3rd year celebrating all things bizarre in the biking world. Start off Friday night at Irving Park for celebration's main event, the Alley Cat Race. Freak bikes of all shapes and sizes will race around town to unique and strange checkpoints. The race begins at NE 7th & Fargo on Friday at 8pm. Additional bike events throughout the weekend include the Share the Park ride in Forest Park on Saturday @ 9am as well as a ZOObomb race on Sunday night at 9pm.

Looking for a place to grab a tasty morsel after all the crazy bike shenanigans? Sip a fine cocktail? Go no further than inner southeast restaurant Beaker & Flask. Chef Ben Bettinger is fresh off of his win from the 10-10-10 Portland Chef Face-Off; a pork belly with squash and slaw was his winning dish. Beaker & Flask has never disappointed my palate and has always dished up the best service and ambiance. Lots of little plates with the freshest of ingredients and flavor combinations await you. Friday & Saturday they are open till 1am; perfect hours to get your late night snack on!

While everyone and their mother is out on Sauvie Island this weekend fighting over pumpkins, take a nice drive out to Hood River and check out the 28th Annual Hood River Valley Harvest Festival. Enjoy over 100 craft and artisian booths, entertainment and the freshest Hood River produce all while overlooking the Columbia River. Plenty of family-friendly activities as well as an entertainment tent with wine, beer and Zenner's sausages. If the weather turns out like they say it will, it should be a glorious weekend to be outside and take a little break from the metro area. Oh, and you can still get your pumpkin, just head over to Rasmussen Farms and check out their gourds!

Live it up friends - the daylight hours grow shorter, soak in that sunshine!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Great hit for North Rim in Luxury Homes Quarterly!

With the Cascade Mountains on the horizon and the Deschutes River Canyon below, North Rim is situated among some of the most sublime scenery in the Northwest.

The six-year-old development features a series of winding pathways, integrated parks and recreation area, towering mature trees, ensuring its residences take full advantage of the surrounding natural beauty. Just minutes from Bend, residents can tee off at Awbrey Glen or Broken Top, shop in the Old Mill District, dine downtown, or enjoy a concert in Drake Park.

Friday, October 8, 2010

PDX Wordstock 2010

When I lived in New York City I spent many an evening on the top floor of the Union Square Barnes & Noble waiting patiently to hear a favorite author speak with a pile of his or her books under my seat crying out to be signed. There was something really special about meeting the writer behind my new favorite novel or hearing the inspiration behind a story that had a lasting impression on me. 

Wordstock began in 2005 and since then has hosted over 1,000 writers, who have read and performed for close to 80,000 people over the years. The annual festival is a celebration of books, writers and storytelling in Portland and  features 9 author stages, a book fair, writer and teacher workshops, plus a variety of special events for adults and kids alike. It is the largest celebration of literature and literacy in the Pacific Northwest and is one of the largest festivals of its kind in the nation!

My friend Kate works for the Lyceum Agency here in Portland and has been telling me about Wordstock for the last month. She is quite busy this weekend supporting Stephen Eilliott and Jonathan Lethem for their Wordstock engagements. She has introduced me to the active literary community in Portland and I have even been lucky enough to snag an extra ticket from Kate for author talks at the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. Portlanders are passionate about writing and reading; making Wordstock a fabulous series of events to attend!

Click here for a schedule of events - there is no shortage of happenings!

Friday, October 1, 2010

PDX Weekend Events

Is this going to be the last weekend of warm summer weather that we are going to see in Portland? I'm going to assume it is and make sure to take full advantage of it!

The city is hopping with all kinds of things to do, but here are my best picks for the weekend:

My husband & friends finishing the Corn Maize
Sauvie Island is always beautiful, but there is something about the beginning of fall weather that really makes it special. The Pumpkin Patch starts their free hayrides on Friday along with pumpkin picking and awesome corn maize on Friday and Saturday nights. They also have a really sweet u-cut flower patch so that you can bring home the last remnants of summer in a bouquet. Kruger Farms also has their hay rides, corn maze and pumpkin patch. Additionally on weekends and school holidays they have face painting, farm animals and a variety of awesome family friend activities as well as delicious food from Voodoo Donuts to wood fired pizza. 

If the crowds are a bit much for you, head out to one of the beautiful nature preserves and take a long walk keeping a close eye out for the many varieties of birds that live and migrate through Sauvie.

Photo thanks to ugotso

Celebrate Greek culture Friday, Saturday & Sunday at the 59th Annual Portland Greek Festival! Growing up, I always went to the Columbus Ohio Greek Festival with my friends. One girlfriend was Greek Orthodox and it was always so fun to see her face light up as she explained the dances and the food and introduced us to her church friends. I have very found memories of dancing in huge circles and singing at the top of my lungs as well as eating lots of lamb and baklava. And it sounds like the Portland Greek Festival has everything I loved at the festival I went to as a child and more! Music, dancing, crafts, jewelry, cooking demos and lots of amazing Greek food. You might even get to break a plate!

And for those of you who want to head in doors for a little while and catch some amazing cinematic entertainment there is the Portland Lesbian & Gay Film Festival going on all weekend long. Kicking off the festival will be James Franco's new film, HOWL, showing at Cinema 21 on Friday at 7:30pm. The film focuses on the young Allen Ginsberg - specifically how he came to write his famous poem "Howl." Franco's performance looks phenomenal in previews and is getting good reviews from critics. Has me wondering if his stint in soap operas really did give him perspective! There are twenty other films are showing at the festival in various locations around Portland - many which you won't have another opportunity to view in the theaters! Tickets and passes can be purchased here - there are single showings tickets ($9) as well as Platinum ($140), General ($85) and Voucher Passes ($65).

Enjoy your weekend friends!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Netflix Off to a Rough Start in Canada

Netflix traveled to Toronto last Wednesday to announce their launch of video streaming services to the Canadian public. Problem was they also paid "extras"  to speak to media as if they were random people from the street - mothers, tech-geeks, students, etc. News of the ploy leaked through Twitter and now Netflix has some serious mending to do on their image. 

The VP of Corporate Communications for Netflix has denied knowledge of the ploy, but recovered flyers from the event clearly state “Extras are to look really excited, particularly if asked by media to do any interviews about the prospect of Netflix in Canada.”

Netflix already had its work cut out entering the market up against Canada's established mail order/stream video service, Zip.Ca. Hype fabrication at the Canadian Netflix launch event will have landed a negative blow to consumer trust and brand image. The Canadian version of the service will not include physical DVD rental, but will focus on streaming content. The current titles available for Netflix streaming tend to be older releases, adding one more challenge selling their service to our neighbors in the north.

Friday, September 17, 2010

5th Annual PDX Pirate Fest - Not for the Lily-Livered!

2007 Photo by Hova Najarian
Grab your eye patch, peg leg and your mateys and make your way to Cathedral Park in St. Johns this Saturday and Sunday for the 5th Annual Portland Pirate Festival

Music, dancing, performance, markets and food stalls will take over Cathedral Park and turn it into a bustling dock-side village. The festival is filled with family activities including games, contests and interactions with live entertainers. Look out for jugglers, fire performers, dancers and the occasional duel. It's also the perfect excuse for you to dress up in the high seas finest, drink some beer and talk like a pirate for the weekend!

2007 photo by Byron Dazey

The Pirate Festival last year broke the Guiness World record for most pirates gathered at 1,670 people! Over the course of the year the record was lost 4 times over, but Portland wants it back. Be a part of history and pre-register on the world record page.

Click HERE for a map and schedule for the weekend. Gates are open from 10am-10pm on Saturday and 10am-6pm on Sunday. Tickets are $12 advance, $15 at the door. 

Aye, me hearties, let us meet under the St. Johns Bridge to celebrate the sweet trade with a mug of grog!

YouTube's Booming Business: Display Ads

You never know what you're going to get when you click on a link to YouTube. It could be a cat spinning around on a ceiling fan, last night's big reality TV moment or a brilliant ad campaign. Recently my friend, and fellow Campbell Consulting colleague, Adrianne, shared the following link to a hilariously clever ad that uses YouTube brilliantly:

Anthony Ha from MediaBeat points out that this isn't the first ad to use interactive humor, but YouTube hasn't partnered on many big/memorable ad campaigns. The beauty of the Tipp-Ex ad shows how YouTube can be utilized in unique and interestingly interactive ways - something necessary for our fast-paced, video saturated culture. Although online advertising revenue is still catching up to print, readership on sights like NYTimes.com is 10 times that of its print predecessor, a guarantee that more time and money will pour into online advert development in the coming years.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Celebrate your Labor Day with Little Woody!

There have been many beer festivals in Oregon this summer, but if you only go to one - or just one more - make it The Little Woody in Bend, Oregon this Labor Day weekend. 

The Little Woody is a celebration of Pacific Northwest craft beers and their brewers. The beers showcased in The Little Woody embrace ancient beer brewing techniques that have been adapted by American craft brewers; featuring beers aged in wine barrels, whiskey barrels and oak barrels, which uniquely flavors and intensifies the beers. The festival is for beer lovers and connoisseurs alike. You’ll have the opportunity to meet the brewmasters, sample all of the excellent barrel-aged beers from local breweries, and connect with fellow brew fanatics. In addition to beer, this year’s Little Woody will also include a special selection of bourbons to sample.

The Little Woody will take place Labor Day Weekend, September 3 from 5pm-10pm and September 4 from 12pm-10pm on the lawn of the Des Chutes Historical Museum in Downtown Bend. Tickets are available on BendTicket.com with portion of the proceeds being donated to the Des Chutes Historical Society. Basic admission to the event is $6. A tasting package will also be available, which includes a commemorative glass and tasting tickets.
For more information please contact info@layitoutevents.com