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A Scumbag’s Guide to Portland – Part 2

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Hey guys! It’s Monday, and that totally sucks, but guess what? That also means it’s time for the next segment of the Scumbag’s Guide to Portland, which, depending on how you feel about it, might not totally suck that much. This week covers the letters G through L, so tune in, turn on, and drop out.

The Goodwill Bins – Sift through pure vintage, straight from the source. They’ll charge you by the pound. This is a great place to help keep your Etsy shop stocked, you know, the one you keep telling yourself you’ll open when you’re sober, because when people ask what you’re doing with your life, saying, “I am working on opening my online boutique!” is a totally acceptable answer? There’s rad stuff here if you take the time, so be prepared to find shit like original DEVO tour shirts, and board games like Mouse Trap that have all the pieces, but then also be prepared to find your friend’s dead grandmother’s dentures. And take a Xanax or something beforehand because the crowd is cut throat.

HONORABLE MENTION: Ground Kontrol –  A bar? In a classic arcade? When I heard about this I was like ‘Well that’s it for me, jerks, I’ll be hanging around here from now on until forever,’ because I couldn’t imagine a better place to decay. Me and booze, and my homies Pacman, Zelda, and Tetris. Just kickin’ it. And losing. Over and over and over. SIGH.

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House of Vintage –  This was one of the first places in Portland that I had the privilege of getting lost in, and I have been madly in love with it ever since. Lots of my home furnishing came from their reasonably priced, adorably over-stacked rooms that are just bulging with weird kitschy knick-knacks that will (finally, this time, totally, I promise) complete you as a person and repair your damaged childhood.

HONORABLE MENTIONS: Holman’s Restaurant  – the first time I came here I was with my shitty ex-boyfriend and some chick had a seizure. It got better, though. The food consists of really great fried things, and they have an awesome patio where we like to giggle and cause trouble.

Me and Stephanie, totally enjoying the totally enjoyable atmostphere at Holman’s

Heart –  Favorite coffee in Portland (seriously STFU about Stumptown. It’s fine, and then that’s about it.) and it will relieve your hangover so fast that you will drop your keys in disbelief. Plus it’s on Burnside (refer to the B’s) plus it’s by Screen Door, which is important if you are one of those people that decides to waste four hours of your Saturday waiting in line for something you could get just as good somewhere else, because of some really sparkling Yelp reviews. Also, definitely take a stroll over to Hungry Tiger Too, especially in the summer – day drink and brunch your life away.

Imperial Tattoo –  Real scumbags know to mark themselves up so that everyone knows to just back-off. I love Imperial. Everyone that works here is great. My favorite is Manee Friday because he is nice and professional and has a light hand and he hasn’t even beat me up once for being annoying and not knowing what I want. They do specials sometimes, like for Friday the 13th or Halloween or whatever but you have to check with the website, or Manee’s Facebook page.

This is Robert the Robot. Manee Friday made him.

The Jupiter Hotel –  If you’re a foxy Portland scumbag you have probably blacked out here and woken up next to a popular band member who’s name probably escapes you. It is where lots of good bands stay and play. It is also home to the Doug Fir Lounge where you can take your one-night stand and stiff em for the brunch check, cuz who cares? Don’t their managers or whatever pay anyway?

The Know – Originally I forgot about this and didn’t have anything for K because the K is silent and I’m not that sharp on Mondays. The Know is an epicenter of PDX metal and fun and failures. It’s where I spent last summer, for the most part. And it’s on Alberta. And it’s right across the street from The Alleyway. And there are PINBALL MACHINES. And it’s great, so just go and drink the pain of existence away, ok?

Langano Lounge –  Whether you’re on day three of a bender, dodging your ex-girlfriend’s new girlfriend, or you ‘just want to find a dark place to get drunk by yourself at 2 pm for no reason, goddamnit,’ Langano is the place for you. This basement dive will shove strong, cheap drinks in your face, and boasts one of the loneliest atmospheres in Portland. BYOFriends, man. If you aren’t a regular, the look you’ll get from everyone will be similar to the look you got from your 8th grade math teacher when you forgot your homework for like the fifth day in a row.  And there’s always some dude in the corner playing an acoustic guitar. He won’t like you either, though. Even if you buy his mixtape or whatever. If you’re a normal person (HEY! Why are you reading this guide? Go pick up a copy of Fromer’s or something) you won’t understand the appeal of this place. If you’ve ever knowingly chosen several Tom Wait’s songs on a jukebox in one evening, however, then welcome home.

Lurking into the darkness of Langano.

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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. Taylor
    May 14, 2012 at 4:09 pm

    K is for Kitties!!!! There are so many at the Humane Society that usually they are on a BOGO special! Now I never get to sleep anymore but they sure are adorable!

  2. Chloe Newsom - Dive Bar Desperado
    May 14, 2012 at 4:37 pm

    Aww Taylor! I’ll definitely tweet about that this week. I LOVE KITTIES.

  3. Nicole
    May 14, 2012 at 7:47 pm

    hilarious. I am hoping you cover the space room. I waitressed there a decade ago and cannot hear “Bad, Bad Leroy Brown” without thinking about it. I wonder if it’s still on the jukebox.

  4. June 4, 2012 at 3:22 pm

    When will people realize a lot of the stuff sold on etsy is “curated shit from Goodwill” simply renamed, “vintage” straight from the Goodwill bins…

    Love that you call this out and say it the way it is!

  5. Erik
    June 7, 2012 at 11:23 am

    “K” should be for Kelly’s Olympian on 4th and Washington. That place has gotten me so drunk on black and blues that me and my friends started punching each other in the face for fun. What’s a black and blue? It’s an oversized shot of warm (maybe microwaved?) Jack Daniel’s whiskey and a tall boy PBR for only $5! It’s probably the only bar in Portland where I have never been kicked out of. There are always a handfull of dirtbags smoking right by the entrance. Sometimes crappy metal bands play there too.