I don’t really need to go into much explanation, because the interview really says it all. I was recently contacted to do said interview, which is sort of amazing, given the fact that I am a minor action sports internet celebrity at best. But I had fun with it. Go Read.
Yesterday I took intern boating. Well, more specifically wakeskating behind Silas’s Nike-wrapped boat. We tried to convince him that Phil Knight owned the boat, but I don’t think he bought it. Anyway, since he’s interning for pretty much the only wakeskate specific publication out there, I figured it was probably appropriate that he actually try the sport. He drove the boat, and Silas’s truck and commented that it was a bit odd the unpaid intern was in control of such high ticket items. But I believe in trial by fire, and I must say he did quite well. He got up on a wakeskate first try, with no instruction, and he was pretty much better than me, immediately. Of course, I am terrible, so that’s not saying much. I still have a slight headache from taking in water to my brain, but I think I might make him go again tomorrow. Not to toot my own horn, but coolest internship ever.
Oh yeah and I spent several hours organizing, editing and posting this interview today. I don’t usually think to much about my managing editor skills, but I must say, I really pulled this one together.
I have really been slacking on this lunch blog thing, but what with my busy schedule, I just haven’t had time to seek out new, awesome spots, and no one really wants to read about Panera Bread. But today I ventured to an old favorite, Slo Bar. What I didn’t take into consideration was this:
Yeah, that’s my favorite meal in Portland on the cover of the magazine read by all the wealthy and obnoxious Lake Oswego-types. So I go in, order my burger, and sit back excited to dine in the company of a few hipsters. But then I notice the people walking in. Three old ladies who are very confused about the parking situation. Some douche bag in a suit and tie who works “three blocks away and didn’t even know this place was here.” I hear the bartender tell another patron that the previous record of 1000 burgers in one month had been shattered by the 11th of June. Suddenly I remember pointing at the cover on the newsstand and saying “Yum, Slo Burger” and it all makes sense.
I made sure to let the bartender know I liked Slo Bugers “before they were cool” and he said they’d been getting that a lot lately. But it made me feel a little better, I guess.
Part of me is stoked. No more will I have to hear, “I am not hip enough to go to Slo Bar.” But also no longer will I be able to saunter in in the evening, sit right down and get my burger. I will have to hear a million stupid questions about the burgers, and how people can customize them. I will have to share the bar with old ladies and men in suits. I will have to feel like I am a giant cliche. All in all it will suck. But the worst part will be when they raise the price to $15. Stupid Portland Monthly.
Today is officially the longest day of the year, go skateboarding day, and a host of other exciting things, but honestly, I am beat. I am sitting here watching Scrubs and it’s so fun. But never fear, I will skateboard in a bit. For now, here’s why I am so tired.
My intern started this week. Now cue the “you have an intern, what does he do?” Well, he does a lot actually, most of it centering around social networking, which as it turns out IS a great tool to grow traffic. I met Nick at Mt. Hood Meadows this season and he jumped over a kid for me to take a picture then asked if he could be my intern. So far he has assisted me in a photo shoot and written a funny video review, and I think I’ll keep him around.
Oh that photo shoot. We went winching in Milwaukee. The point was to get photos of Stu Shinn for his interview, and I did, but this is of Oregon Wakeskating welcome committee Zak Stone.
Afterwards we met up with Reed and Grant and I took them to Montage. Some political debate took place and then we got foil animals and it was fun.
The Dude Barn has turned into tent city. My ward Ben was evicted from his house and lives in a kid size tent, as well as some other Ohioans who have just moved here. As Ben’s life coach, I sort of feel like I have failed. Oh well.
Finally here are some pictures of dudes skating the ramp last night.
Oh yeah and a game of skate.
One more picture of Ben, eating the remnants of whatever was left of the grill.
I spent this weekend in the great state of Texas. Even though it is enormous, Texas was actually one of the last states I crossed off my list in the quest for all 50 (I only have a Hawaii to go). But in the past two years I’ve been back there something like four times. Funny how that works. Anyway, this weekend I was down for a little wakeskate contest at the Texas Ski Ranch, a.k.a. the Disneyland of extreme sports. It’s a cable park, skatepark, motocross park, dirt bike track, boat lake, skate shop, etc etc etc. There is also a bar and wireless internet, so in short, it rules. The contest was stop 2 of Byerly’s Toe Jam, but I won’t bore you with the details or pictures of that cause you can find them all on Alliance Wakeskate.
What I will bore you with is everything else I did on my trip.
Ok, one picture from the Toe Jam. It was taken by none other than Aaron Reed and I made my first appearance on Obscurawakekskates.com. I love this picture.
On Thursday night I had a video to edit and lots of work to do, but I was convinced to go to the Alamo instead. It was sort of awesome. I feel like a much better American now.
See, look how patriotic I am!
Dieter is from South Africa. He helped me out all weekend. Here he is also becoming a better American.
What trip to Texas would be complete without a fat cop in a cowboy hat?
Staker, Dieter and Josh, trying to get on Fueltv
Also in San Antonio is this crazy riverwalk thing. I think instead of building a sewer they just decided to expose it and put restaurants next to it. Staker decided that it was why Mexico lost Texas. They stopped to get margaritas before making it to the Alamo.
After the contest was over we headed up to Austin to ride with Oury Yarbrough. The best part about wake sports is the people who do them are usually loaded so you get to pretend you are too. Here is his house. You can’t see the adjacent guest house, but it was every bit as nice.
We were there to shoot photos for Stu Shinn’s interview, but we got distracted by the fingerboard skatepark Oury had built. I told Stu if he wanted his whole interview could just be fingerboard pics. He was into it.
We finally made it out on the water. “Lake Austin” is actually just the Colorado river and the water was basically melted snow. Stu wasn’t super stoked on cold water, being from Florida and all. But we made due and even got to see Michael Dell’s summer house.
This was amazing.
Oh yeah, and one of my fine employers, Future Snowboarding went kaput. Apparently the Denver Airport has not been informed. Anyway, definitely a bummer, it was in my opinion, the best snow mag out there. But my schedule has freed up a bit, so let me know if you have any jobs for me!
This spring is going no where fast. Everyday I wake up expecting it to be sunny and beautiful and find it is gray, cold and raining. This weekend started off the same way, but I was in the mood to skate, and it was sort of dry, so when Derek told me about the new QP Tracy had built it headed over to Northeast.
Brandon basically owned the QP
George had an incident with pivot fakies
Not gonna lie. I killed it. Then Brandon decided it would be funny to take pictures of 10 different rock fakies. Here we go:
At this point he was out of ideas.
Three hours later, Derek owed pretty much everyone a Sparks and we headed back to the dude barn.We drank Sparks, listened to the Get Up Kids and reminisced about being 19. This photo really sums it up.
Sunday was actually sunny, but I devoted it to eating amazing food and drinking amazing drinks. Tried to skate, but well, beer tasted too good.
Ben Graham is sort of like the child I never wanted. I helped him move to Portland (well, let him stay at my house) and showed him the ropes. Introduced him to the Dude Barn dudes (indirectly) and now he is a thriving member of Portland society. And last night was the momentus occasion of the little guy’s 21st birthday.
His big brother Ian came into town for it, and I took him skateboarding yesterday in lovely cold, rainy Portland. We check out the new Department street course– better, but still not my favorite — and then hit up Burnside. It was the typical scene when we got there, a few kids pushing mongo in the flat, and then some drunk dudes came and started yelling at them. Since they weren’t skating we had the place to ourselves. It was fun-ish. Yougi killed it.
I was going to go home and shower, but when I brought the guys back to Ben’s, he was like, lets go to the bar! So we ended up at Vendetta, which is a rad place, with a big patio, good food and cheap beer. Definitely backing it. From here I can tell the story in pictures…
The brothers Graham
This happened a few times.
See, here is it again.
Someone bought Yougi a shot. he was pumped. That is until…
He was a good sport about it though.
A few rounds of shuffleboard
A bitter defeat
And it was off to First Thursday with more drinking along with way. Yougi learned to say “drink and drive.”
I don’t think he really “got” the art though
He bought a shirt.
I know I’ve sort of deviated from Ben’s birthday at this point, but he was definitely too drunk to remember anyway. We found out Yougi leaves in 4 days, which is sad and Brandon tried to get me to marry his for citizenship. I thought about it, but then decided it might be weird. Then I went home.
Today we ventured into Northeast to dine at Pambiche, the somewhat offensively colored Cuban joint on 28th and Glisan. There’s definitely some drama surrounding this place, with the local hipsters mad that people park their cars on the side streets and that they can’t pass out drunk on that section of sidewalk or whatever, and today was no exception. Although the hipster in question was Jared, and he was concerned that Cuban cuisine is not very veggie friendly. True, but I had a serious hankering and I told him too damn bad.
I’ve only been to Pambiche one other time, and it was for Happy Hour (which lasts like 5 hours and has incredibly cheap food.) I wasn’t sure what to expect for lunch. Basically it’s the full menu, but I assume smaller portions since everything was about half the price of dinner. Not cheap (still $7-$10 per entree) but not too bad either. I got a chicken dish, Pollo Criollo, which came with rice, beans and little samples of both types of salad (beet and cabbage.) It was more than I could finish. The whiny vegetarian ordered a spinach and cheese empanada plate that came with tostones and salad. He ordered a side of rice, and didn’t finish everything. He made sure to whine that if he hadn’t ordered rice it wouldn’t have been sufficient but I told him to suck it up.
Perhaps the most interesting thing about lunch at Pambiche was the crowd. Most tables were drinking, even those with small children. I suppose that’s what the middle-upper class does at lunch. And of course it is Portland, so no one actually works anyway. But yeah, a few weird hippies, and some middle aged ladies (one of which who fell out of her chair in an especially amazing turn of events.) Strange over all.
But the food was good and prices were reasonable. Now if they only served tofu we’d be all set.
I had been to Fire on the Mountain once before. Ben made me go there and buy him dinner once for some reason. But I’d never been to the one on 17th and E Burnside, nor been there for lunch. Figured what the hell? They even have “veggie wings.”
So I got a BBQ Chicken sandwich. It came with tater tots and was basically a chicken breast with lettuce, tomato and BBQ sauce on ciabatta bread. It was pretty good, but same price all day, so it was still $7.50. A bit much for lunch. Poor Jared ordered the veggie wings, which are not wings at all but veggie chicken nuggets. They come out with a cup of sauce, not tossed in it like the real wings. It came with a couple pieces of celery and a cup of ranch and that’s it. Now this would be fine if 6 “wings” didn’t cost $5.95. It could have at least come with fries, but didn’t so i shared my tots. Anyway, it was yet another time I was glad I eat meat. Yay meat!
So everyday around 11:45 I realize I am starving and that can only mean one thing, it’s time for lunch. I try really hard not to get into a rut or going to the same few places everyday, since Portland is a veritable restaurant wonderland and I often finding myself googling where I should go. Sometimes I will type in “awesome lunch specials” or “best Portland lunch” and usually it recommends places on the other side of the bridge, which I really have to want to try to go to. Anyway, I end up at new places often, and it’s always interesting to see the difference in the lunch menu. Sometimes its just a few less thing than dinner, sometimes less expensive (sometimes not.) And of course since I share my office with a damn tree hugger, vegetarian options are always a concern. So in addition to writing about extreme things, I’ve now added a lunch category to my blog and I will proceed to post my reviews of everywhere we try.
To get started I am going to make a short list of pre approved places, which is really for my own personal benifit (sometimes it’s just too hard to think or be creative so I can always just check back here.) So my favorites are:
Thai Thai. Wins not only because of it’s close proximity (right up the street on 14th and SE Stark) but for its soup and $6.50 lunch special. I like the spicy noodles. The tofu is a little bit dry though, I usually opt for chicken.
Indian Chaat House. Even though this one is on the other side of the bridge (12th and SW Yamhill) the lunch special is worth it. More food than you can eat in one sitting, changes every day, and it’s only $5.50. Now I always complain that it justed to be $4.25, but that’s still cheap. Oh yeah, and it’s completely Jared-approved.
Pepinos. This is probably my favorite mexican joint, on 39th and Hawthorne. You can get a burrito or tacos with chips for under $6, they serve beer for those rough days, and it’s pretty quick. Veggiewise they have a lot of unique options, and there is a salsa bar.
Vegetarian House. So I like meat, like really, a lot. But the lunch buffet at Vegetarian House again makes it worth the trip across the bridge (it’s on 5th and W Burnside.) This one is $6.50, but for all you can eat and includes tea. They also play weird Chinese TV, so you sort of feel like you are getting cultured.
Mio Sushi. There are a bunch of these, but I usually go to the one on 42nd and Halsey. They have a pretty decent lunch special menue (ranges from $6-$9), though I often just splurge and get rolls. The crunch roll is pretty much the best thing ever and as it turns out, sushi isn’t that expensive if you don’t get booze.