February 2008
Table of Contents
Cover Story
To our great surprise, in spite of Portland’s rep as a city given to monetary modesty, people talked. From lottery millionaires to a drag queen with a penchant for vodka martinis and a family who made a pact to buy nothing new for an entire year (not even
Features
Thumbnail for - The $150,000 Question
When Oregonian Pete Seda met Saudi Soliman al Buthe in 1997, the two Muslims became fast friends. Over coffee, they founded the only U.S. chapter of al Haramain, one of Saudi Arabia's largest Islamic charities. Now Seda's under house arrest and al...
Thumbnail for - Perfect Pitch
When Gregg Takashima and Laura Hollister-Takashima began plans to remodel their house, their ideas were about as far apart as a sumi ink drawing and a Corot landscape. Happily, they found a third path.
I’M NOT QUITE SURE when it happened. Maybe it was while I was standing atop a dune in the Mars-like Saudi Arabian desert, wearing a ghutra (the customary Saudi headdress) on loan from Soliman al Buthe, a Saudi civil servant whom our government...
BUD CLARK planned his long-shot 1984 mayoral campaign over beers in booth 12. Mercedes Deiz, who became Oregon’s first female African-American judge in 1969, sometimes ducked in for lunch. Gus van Sant occasionally drops by, and celebrity chef...
IN A TOWN where debating the merits of arugula versus mâche seems to trump discussions about Sam Adams’s chances of winning the mayoral election, we have a hunch there’s a plethora of home cooks who dream of going pro. But if you’re not quite...
FOR THE PAST DECADE, Valentine’s Day has meant curling up with my husband and a chocolate cake, which I always bake. If my cakes have occasionally been dry, well, that’s what whipped cream is for. Two years ago, perhaps on the heels of one of...
HOW DID IT ever come to pass that a working-class, Northwest river town abandoned the delight-fully utilitarian fog-cutter known as the Irish coffee for some flaming rum-and-Kahlua number? It began 32 years ago, when James Louie, then a...
LET’S GET ONE THING straight: A restaurant with a French name that includes the word “salt” should know how to salt its food—all of it. When it doesn’t, you begin to worry that your tastebuds have taken to playing tricks with your head,...
A FEW WEEKS AGO, after being seated in the rustic dining room at A Cena, a new ristorante on Sellwood’s main strip, I watched as car after car pulled up out front. Out of each stepped dapper, bow-tied old chaps followed by several genteel...
THERE ARE THOSE who scoff at the idea of dipping their bacon into the maple syrup that graces their waffles at breakfast—other unorthodox combinations, like, say, foie gras ice cream probably don’t appeal to them either. And then there are those...
IT’S A TYPICALLY inauspicious evening at the intersection of NE 82nd Avenue and Oregon Street: The aroma of frying fat wafts from Pappy’s Drive-In, and a sign on Hawker’s Locker exhorts passersby to “Buy, sell, trade!” Yet the mood is slightly...
You spent much of the past seven years overseas, where you helped NPR win a Peabody award for your reporting on the war in Iraq. Were you ever in danger? I probably felt in danger more than I was actually in danger. One of my most vivid memories...
ON THE SECOND episode of last summer’s hit reality cooking contest, Top Chef: Miami, a dozen or so culinary wunderkinder must each prepare an entrée for a high-end feast. By the show’s end, predictably, one will be eliminated. For the most part,...
THE SPARE BEDROOM of my house looks like an REI store during one of its used-gear sales, only not as organized. Where a bed and a nightstand were once visible, there is now a pile of dinged-up skis, scuffed helmets and climbing ropes snaking...
ON A RAINY WINTER afternoon, the Miracle Theatre Group’s basement studio bears scant resemblance to the sun-baked village in southern Spain where Bodas de Sangre, the play currently being rehearsed there, takes place. There’s no sun, for one...
TRADING IN her trademark samba for more conventional sounds, Pink Martini diva China Forbes steers straight for the middle of the road on ’78, her first solo album in more than a dozen years (Heinz Records). In the interests of stylistic...
SURE, THERE ARE PLENTY of home décor stores that sell the couch, vase, or color di moda. Cielo Home is just not one of them. In fact, owners Matthew Boyes and Frederic Koeleman make a point of offering what the chain stores (and their catalogs)...
MANY ARE THE Oregonians who travel this month as a means of escaping the season. And while there’s nothing wrong with hopping a flight to Mexico and plopping your lily-white buns on la playa for a week, sometimes the best way to beat the cold...
STATEHOOD DAY, Oregon’s own pat on the back for becoming the 33rd state. Never heard of it? No wonder. It shares February 14 with that other trumped-up “holiday” that’s adhered to by Hallmark and grade-schoolers with too much construction paper...
TODD POZYCKI is hoping Oscar Wilde got it dead wrong. Because if life imitates art, the local thespian might consider upping his life insurance policy. On the morning of his audition for the part of Shawn Eckardt, Pozycki learned that Tonya...
THE TRAIN ARRIVES like an angel—an almost empty Blue Line, its warmth a mercy after I’ve been shivering in the November night at Pioneer Courthouse Square. I snuggle into a seat, turn on my iPod and pull out the latest New Yorker—my preferred...
IF YOU HEAR ABOUT A SPEECH titled “Cosmology at the Frontier” and your mind wanders to space-age lip liner, don’t be ashamed. (We had the same thought.) But Brian Greene is no Mary Kay. This physicist, sometime film actor and author of the...
To our great surprise, in spite of Portland’s rep as a city given to monetary modesty, people talked. From lottery millionaires to a drag queen with a penchant for vodka martinis and a family who made a pact to buy nothing new for an entire year...
When Oregonian Pete Seda met Saudi Soliman al Buthe in 1997, the two Muslims became fast friends. Over coffee, they founded the only U.S. chapter of al Haramain, one of Saudi Arabia's largest Islamic charities. Now Seda's under house arrest and al...
When Gregg Takashima and Laura Hollister-Takashima began plans to remodel their house, their ideas were about as far apart as a sumi ink drawing and a Corot landscape. Happily, they found a third path.
WE OREGONIANS like to fancy ourselves a particularly healthy bunch. For example, Portland claims some of the country’s cleanest drinking water (Bull Run Watershed) and best air quality (No. 2 out of the 50 biggest cities). But a recent Oregon...
IN PRE-EISENHOWER YEARS, Southwest Portland’s Goose Hollow hummed with activity as residents of the enclave’s 5,000 households hustled between bookstores, milliners and theaters. But as midcentury car culture emptied the urban core, bulldozers...