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A Scumbag’s Guide to Portland – Part 1

Updated: Aug 02, 2015 11:44
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A Portland postcard

Welcome to Never Never Land

Portland: the city of food carts, strippers, ex-junkies, current junkies, bike messengers, craft beer, babes, and bars. This fantastic little real-life version of Never Never Land is both beautiful and charming, though sometimes it’s not hard to see why the kids drinking 40s mid-afternoon in San Francisco’s Dolores Park are baffled by the lack of motivation (some) people tend to exhibit here. Portlanders, when in their natural habitat, tend to adopt a “jack of all trades” mentality, made easier due to the readily available amount of rooms for $250/month, so long as you’re willing to live with a feral cat, a modern artist who may or may not use parts of the feral cat to create their art, a 78 year old writer, and foodcart chef hopeful. Don’t think that this isn’t the best city in the world, because, to me, at least, it is. It just takes a couple tricks and tips to get by here. So first off, let’s start with a guide to Portland, for my kind of people, by my kind of people, from A to Z.

A Scumbag’s Guide to Portland, from A to Z.

Acropolis – Ahhhhhh Acropolis. The (well…one of the many) place in Portland where dreams go to die. Come for the steak and stay for the mediocre boob jobs. The dancers have rad names like “Toxic” and “Kara,” and it’s dark and the drinks are cheap so drink a lot of them you lush. I originally went for (the boobs) the steak because I heard they have their own cattle ranch. (Yes a strip club. With their own cattle ranch. Hell yes Portland, Oregon. Hell yes.) The ladies here have been working the pole for a while, it seems. Our favorite chick we nicknamed “GI Jane,” due to the fact that her muscle tone rivaled Arnold Schwarze-whats-his-face in his hay day, and we were sure she could/would mercilessly beat the shit out of any/all of us in like 2.7 seconds.

Burnside – Burnside is one of the great hangout streets in all of Portland. Evidenciary support that everyone is always drunk at 3pm on a Monday. Here you will find lovely local gems like Sizzle Pie – the best 2am pizza anyone could pass out face-down and dream of), B-Side Tavern (STFU they don’t have website, dude), and Rontoms.  Not only do all these places boast generous and cheap day or night libations, they all have fantastic, quaint back patios where you can sit, lurk, smoke and make plans you will surely regret the next day.

 Sizzle Pie on Burnside! Come for the pizza, stay for the cans of Sofia.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: The Bye and Bye, Beulahland and Bunk Bar– these are all bars. Look them up if you feel like it. Bunk has amazing sandwiches. Also, the Blue Guy, you know the one that hangs out in Pioneer Square? Yeah that guy rules.

Colonal Summers Park – It’s a park and probably half the reason they had to reformulate 4Loko. If you think the word “BIKE” is a lifestyle choice then you will probably meet/be ignored by potential mates and acquaintances here. Bring a picnic. Bring a 40. Bring a fucking frisbee. If you come alone past noon in the summer, sit down with whoever you find the most attractive because they will either be too drunk to notice or just be drunk enough to be accommodating to

Colonel Summers Park

Here are some friends and I, hanging out at Colonel Summers Park on a completely normal weekday.

HONORABLE MENTION: The Country Cat – You are probably so hungover right now, aren’t you? You probably need something fried to soak up every horrible mistake you made last night before your conscience kicks in (if it does at all. Are you a sociopath?). Well have no fear, The Country Cat is here. This is honestly the best soul food I’ve had in The Pacific Northwest. (Yeah. I’ve been to Screen Door and yeah I’d probably like it a lot better if you and your everyone-you-know would stop jerking off about their fried chicken) This place screams “yum” and their cocktails are stiff and tasty. Little pricey, for these parts, but well worth it. There generally isn’t too bad of a wait on weekdays, which is when you will be there, because who needs a job here, anyways?

Darcelle’s – Darcelle’s drag show is one of the best shows I’ve seen here, hands down. For $15 (only $15! That’s unheard of for an evening of entertainment) plus drinks you and all your dumb friends can sit down and be ready to laugh your asses off for like two and a half hours. Darcelle is like 80 something, but her wit will still make you feel like the stuttering fat kid in 7th grade if you say something stupid or if you’re sitting in the front row. I have no idea how this show happened outside of San Francisco.

The show at Darcelle's

Best drag show in PDX, or possibly, anywhere.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Dante’s – I’m not the biggest fan, but The Murder City Devils just played there. Try Dot’s  for cheap drinks, edible food and a spacious interior. (Doug Fir will be under the J section)

The Eagle – This is where all my most favorite gay scumbag dudes say it’s easy to get laid and the drinks are cheap. I’ve never been, but I trust them. They’re as creepy as me.

Fred Meyer on Hawthorne – My friends and I all call this the rock’n’roll Freddy’s and it is just so great, man. Do you have a Fred Meyer in your state? No? Well then you should probably punch yourself because they have EVERYTHING here, dudes. Want some organic berries for your two-day health kick? Check! Want some…fuckin…Crocs? Or some shit? They probably have that! While you’re there, grab me a six pack or some wine or something because this place rules and it’s super cheap. Cheaper than Trader Joe’s, even. Definitely one of my favorite things about life in Oregon so far.

Tune in next time, for G-L…



Also check out parts 2, 3 & 4!

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Chloe Newsom - Dive Bar Desperado

Chloe Newsom - Dive Bar Desperado

I like kittens, 40s, cupcakes, pizza, metal, thigh-highs, weekends, travelling, and parks. Lemmy is god. That's...that about covers it.


  1. champ
    May 7, 2012 at 4:29 pm


  2. Taylor
    May 7, 2012 at 4:42 pm

    Well, you’ve definitely convinced me that it’s time for a visit to see you, and now I’ll stop giving Bangles shit for leaving the Bay as well. Who knew that your park scene (the fact that you have one is shocking enough) is actually legit?

    Fine, Chloe! I believe you. I’ll look at renting a car and bringing your Bay Area crew up sometime this summer for park days, dive bar evenings and burlesque nights. Sounds like a blast.

    P.S.- It was really well written, or like, whatever.


  3. Will
    May 7, 2012 at 4:44 pm

    Can’t wait to visit and check these out. Love the writing.

  4. Broke-Ass Stuart - Editor In Cheap
    May 7, 2012 at 5:19 pm

    Good shit Chloe!

  5. funny fun funners ok cool man
    May 7, 2012 at 6:51 pm

    Does the health department know people are masturbating into the fried chicken? Does Portland even have a health department?

  6. Ed L.
    May 7, 2012 at 6:52 pm

    Great Stuff, Chloe!

  7. overcol69
    May 8, 2012 at 4:03 am

    Very nicely done. Lets party

  8. Hannah
    May 8, 2012 at 9:43 am

    Want some…fuckin’…Crocs? Haha(: I loveee Freddy’s!

  9. Idiot Circus Boy
    May 8, 2012 at 10:59 am

    Good shit on the B-side shout-out.

  10. Brenda Olmos
    May 9, 2012 at 11:19 am

    Genius! This Colonel Summers Park sh*t sounds legit! When all my friends with real jobs are, you know, working… showing up to the park alone is a not-so-rare event. Hitting on tipsy hotties is so the BONUS!

  11. […] and international photographers to take part in reviews and Critical Mass, just another of the many things that makes Portland […]

  12. mj
    May 14, 2012 at 4:19 pm

    took your advice on col. summers park last week and despite our discretion (brown bags and all) my buddies and i ended up with drinking citations and park warnings. apparently, folks blew up the spot and its not as chill as it once was. so if you want to avoid a warning you need an individual pdx parks issued drinking permit

  13. Chloe Newsom - Dive Bar Desperado
    May 14, 2012 at 6:48 pm

    Awww I’m so sorry about that, mj! We were there yesterday, brown-bagging it, and heard rumors…didn’t see any enforcers or anything though. I guess we should stick to the water bottles filled with vodka thing that I was hoping ended when high school did.

  14. […] I moved to Portland last summer from San Francisco and, as you can tell from my previous posts, (A Scumbag’s Guide to Portland) I’m madly in love with it. All disputes people have with this city are […]

  15. […] I moved to Portland last summer from San Francisco and, as you can tell from my previous posts, (A Scumbag’s Guide to Portland) I’m madly in love with it. All disputes people have with this city are […]

  16. […] I moved to Portland last summer from San Francisco and, as you can tell from my previous posts, (A Scumbag’s Guide to Portland) I’m madly in love with it. All disputes people have with this city are […]