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

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).