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.