Destinations: When in Portland

America's stealth hot spot, Portland, Ore., has been transformed from a sleepy industrial city into a hub for musicians, artists and foodies seeking refuge from the stress of the East Coast and the high prices of California. Modest Mouse, the Dandy Warhols, the Decemberists and Pink Martini all call Portland home, as do filmmakers Todd Haynes and Gus Van Sant.

BY Advocate.com Editors

June 09 2008 12:00 AM ET

America's stealth
hot spot, Portland, Ore., has been transformed from a
sleepy industrial city into a hub for musicians, artists and
foodies seeking refuge from the stress of the East
Coast and the high prices of California. Modest Mouse,
the Dandy Warhols, the Decemberists and Pink Martini
all call Portland home, as do filmmakers Todd Haynes and Gus
Van Sant.

Though the town
is laid-back, the food scene is world-class and music
venues like the Doug Fir Lounge and the Crystal Ballroom
pack them in nightly. It's a town of readers, writers,
Green anarchists, bike fanatics, queers and devout
organic enthusiasts.

Gentrification
made a mini SoHo of Pearl District, and rising rents
pushed the gay bar stalwarts like Eagle and Silverado from
Stark Street into funky Old Town, but the bars are
still vital. Nature is omnipresent in Oregon. The city
is bursting with trees; 30 minutes in any direction
and you're in the woods.

STREET GUIDE

THE DRINK

The
Silverado 318 S.W. Third Ave.; (503) 224-4493
Silveradopdx.com
The move to Third Avenue did the place good; the
go-go boys came along for the ride and the patrons are
appreciative. Wee-hours good times and a friendly,
drunken crowd lead to a bustling sidewalk sale as the
after-parties get sorted out.

Red Cap Garage,
Boxxes and the Brig 1035 S.W. Stark St.; (503) 226-4171
Boxxes.com
Interconnected bars offer one-stop shopping:
twink go-go boys in Boxxes, dirty smokers in Red Cap,
and late-night clubbing at the Brig. Good-natured,
sauced-up fun reigns in this trampy labyrinth, especially
during Tuesday night drink specials.

THE GROOVE

Crush
1400 S.E. Morrison St.; (503) 235-8150
CrushBar.com
The Thursday Queer Bait party at this
bar-restaurant-club brings the lesbians and
alterna-gays together. Wild performances from drag queens,
kings and rappers and plenty of frisky fellas in the crowd
make this one fun night.

Eagle Pdx
Underground 27 N.W. 6th Ave.; (503) 241-0105
PortlandEagle.com
The monthly Blow Pony party adds a giddy shot in
the arm of gender-blurrers, glamazons and club folk to
the ass-grabbing lumberjack Eagle crowd. Sleazy and
friendly, this twink-free zone is where the daddies
are.

THE BED

Ace Hotel
1022 S.W. Stark St.; (503) 228-2277
AceHotel.com/Portland
The Ace's 1912 building had fallen into decay
before an inspired restoration. The wooden hallways
are pure 1920s, but the rooms and stairways are
decorated with murals or with collages of handbills from
local rock shows. Many rooms come with turntables (and
records!) and you can buy guitar strings at the front
desk.

Jupiter
Hotel 800 E. Burnside St.; (877) 800-0004
JupiterHotel.com
A dirty rock-and-roll '60s motel converted into
a clean rock-and-roll hotel, the Jupiter is the nerve
center of the late-night hard-rocking music scene.
Bands, music lovers, and male groupies stream through the
on-site restaurant, bar and music venue at all hours.

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