The Star Theater


As I make my plans for a festive Halloween celebration at the Star Theater, I am intrigued by the storied past of this, recently refurbished, venue that sits between West Burnside and Portland’s Chinatown.

May 19, 1911 The Princess Theater, renamed the Star Theater in 1939, was a silent film theater that could accommodate 300 “silent” movie viewers . In 1940 the movies were removed and so were the ladies gloves, stocking and brassieres! The theater became home to live burlesque shows with well known dancers such as, Tempest Storm, Betty Roth as Candy Renee, and Arabella Andre.

The late 60’s, brought another change and even less clothing. The Star Theater became an adult theater that showed erotic movies with live strip shows on the stage. The 70’s brought yet more change and experimenting. Everything from classic comedy to underground films, as well as, controversial “live sex shows” took place on the Star stage.

1979-1983 The Star went back to it’s less contentious form of adult entertainment and became just another run-of-the-mill Portland strip bar. However, this strip bar had a very well known,although not at the time, teenage stripper shaking her ta-tas, her name was Courtney Love.

[Read more…]

Portland’s Fashion Night Out 2012

For those of you that consider yourselves fashionistas, this is the event for you. This Thursday, September 6th, marks the 4th anniversary of Fashion’s Night Out.

What exactly is Fashion’s Night Out? It’s the kickoff to New York’s fashion week.

Trend setters, editors, models, fashionistas, and designers will be converging in stores and cities across the country and around the world for fashion’s most iconic extravaganza. Last year’s bash featured events in eighteen countries and more than 4,500 events here in the States.

Join the Portland Fashion crowd in Director Park this Thursday, September 6th, to view the latest styles with fashion shows on the half-hour from 5-7 p.m. Nibble on free treats, glow with mini-makeovers from Sephora, free pedicab rides and goodie bags for those who purchase $150  from participating stores. It also happens to be First Thursday so after the fashion extravaganza head over to some of our fabulously chic art galleries.

Look over the map of participating retailers and boutiques below. Snap a picture of your favorite trends and looks, share them with other FNO fans across the country with #FNO.



  1. Director Park: SW Yamhill & Park Avenue
  2. Banana Republic: 805 SW Broadway
  3. Ben Bridge Jeweler: 801 SW Fifth Ave.
  4. Brooks Brothers: 921 SW Morrison
  5. Columbia Sportswear: 911 SW Broadway
  6. Frances May: 1013 SW Washington
  7. House of Lolo: 1037 NW Couch
  8. Macy’s: 621 SW Fifth Ave.
  9. Mario’s: 833 SW Broadway
  10. Mercantile: 729 SW Alder
  11. Michael Allen’s Clothier: 811 SW Morrison
  12. Nordstrom: 701 SW Broadway
  13. Parallel: 1016 SW Washington
  14. Radish Underground: 414 SW Tenth Ave.
  15. Sephora: 413 SW Morrison
  16. UnderU4Men: 800 SW Washington
  17. Pioneer Place: 700 SW Fifth Ave.
    Ann Taylor • Aveda • BCBGMAXAZRIA • Bebe • Billabong • The Body Shop • Cache • The Gap • H&M • L’Occitane • J. Crew • Juicy Couture • Kate Spade • Tumi



George of the Jungle Meets Fear Factor in Gaston

Zipline into spider web at Tree to Tree


An obstacle course skillfully crafted amongst and between a forest of towering trees at dare-devil heights. Tree to Tree Adventure Park in Gaston, a short 40 minute drive from Portland, is like George of the Jungle meets Fear Factor.

Upon arrival you’ll be fitted with your gear.  Helmet, check. harness on low and tight, check. Utility gloves, check. Carabiners in working order, check. Fear of heights and unstable-homemade-looking platforms feebly attached to trees that tower above the hard forest floor – checked at the front desk! Next, your guide reviews the rules and an instructional demonstration of your safety gear. From this point on you should now consider this gear a valued extension of  your appendages.  This gear, after all,  will be the one thing that will save you from pulling a real George of the Jungle move and splatting face first into a tree, or worse yet, the hard forest floor.  Finally you head over to a practice obstacle to walk through the Tree to Tree safety protocol, and after receiving the thumbs up you are ready to head out and explore the course.

Let the fun begin! Soaring across your first zipline, creates such a high. Leaping from wobbly platforms nestled on branches, grasping

Zipline at Tree to Tree

platforms and suspended bridges on contact is both frightening and exhilarating. Aerial bridges with missing and unstable planks – Oh My!  Fast, fun, ziplines propel you into the center of a web of rope – Look Out!  A vertical climb up a ladder of tires, planks and rope – Challenging! Tightrope walking 50 feet above the ground – Hey, Look At Me!  Monkeybars that have you dangling midair by the sheer strength of your fingertips – Don’t Look Down!

The adventure park has 4 courses, each different and each challenging you to a higher level. Not only is this an adrenaline rush it’s a gratifying experience to face some terrifying obstacles and conquered them despite your fear. Adventure seekers must be capable of reaching 5’11” with their arms stretched overhead. Your admission price allows you 3 hours on the course so you can continue to dominate any or all of the courses at your will. There is a kid friendly version of the obstacles for those mini but mighty thrill seekers.

Vertical obstacle climb


50 square blocks in Portland’s Northwest Alphabet District has been historically referred to as Slabtown. Why? Well it’s not because it was the birthplace of ribs basted in bitchin’ BBQ sauce, I can tell you that much! For tasty, fall-off-the-bone ribs and a selection of  finger-licking-good barbecue  sauces head over to Smokehouse 21 on NW 21st Ave.  It’s only blocks away, go there for ribs, you can thank me later. Back to Slabtown. In the 1880’s, the working class and poor residents in this area used slabs of cheap wood from the local sawmills as fuel for their fireplaces. The term “Slabtown” was the semi-derogatory term developed by the rich, who could afford cordwood that was cut to size for their fireplaces.

The prominent Slabtown sign at the corner of Northwest Lovejoy Street and NW 15th Avenue, erected in the 70’s, is one of the remaining scraps of evidence of this neighborhood’s past. The sign was the inspiration for the bar/music venue of the same name, Slabtown, located at 1033 NW 16th Avenue and is famously known as the birthplace of the Portland band, The Dandy Warhols.

Slabtown, the bar, has quite a colorful history. During my months of researching and photographing Portland’s funky & fabulous bathrooms, which resulted in a book: The Porcelain Diaries, due out at the end of 2012; I became acquainted with Doug Rogers, Slabtown’s new owner. Doug shared some pretty wild stories about Slabtown’s past and what lives within its walls and at the core of this Eternal Dive Bar. Read on to hear what Doug shared with me. [Read more…]

Do you know where to find theTikitotomoniki?

Jamison Totem Poles

Trader Vic’s isn’t the only place you’ll spot totem poles in The Pearl. Jamison Square is one of the busiest blocks in The Pearl during these hot summer days. Walking past Jamison today, it wasn’t the red cheeked, mischievous, water bucket toting little rascals that caught my attention, it was the sky-reaching colorful totem poles.  How do totem poles fit into this urban water park? The inquisitive side of me decided to do some quick research. Why? The plain and simple answer, because I wanted to know! And it could come in hand someday if I signed up for one of those urban races; or as an conversation opener with any one of the cute men who walk their dogs in that area! So read on, absorb this information and hopefully one day it will serve you well. [Read more…]

Roadside Attraction

Roadside Attraction

Roadside Attraction is a local bar that has succeeded in living up to its name. As you drive by, you can’t help but gawk at all the odds and ends that overflow onto the sidewalk and bait you to explore beyond its wood fence. If your curiosity’s been peaked, and you manage to find parking, your inner adventurer will be pleased.  Not only will you find the large patio with fire pit, flowering vines and exotic flower arrangements meticulously well kept, most will find the massive collection of mismatched attractions curiously captivating.

Cozy little nooks can be found throughout this bar, which makes this roadside attraction a very attractive place to cozy up with a date. If you’ve come with buds instead of a beau, you’ll also find picnic tables large enough for the gang to gather around and personally share their “status updates” with one another, while the fire crackles and pops nearby.

After hosting many a party in their living room, Alf Evers and Peggy Barr decided to turn their house into a uniquely homey bar in SE Portland. Alf jubilantly explained that he had “the bar and booze installed way before they ever opened their doors as a business.” Clearly the essence of Roadside Attraction was embedded in this dwelling’s foundation long before its doors were open to the public.

An ornate Chinese archway frames the entrance to the pool room. The piece was specifically commissioned for the space and creates a bold, exotic statement when you walk up to the bar. The interior walls are painted a warm red and adorned with vibrant and intriguing art the owner has collected over the years. Although many styles, eras and cultures are represented within Roadside Attraction, it strangely flows seamlessly, giving the space a comfortably disheveled, homey feeling.

An avid collector of all things, especially paintings from newly discovered artists, Alf is constantly adding, adjusting and affixing something new to the walls, after receiving final approval from Peggy.

The crowd is local and low-key, and the service is friendly. It’s a place the regulars consider their living room. It’s cash only and the cuisine leans towards comfort food with menu items like meatloaf and mac-n-cheese (think chili-mac) and a variety of grilled meats and veggies. The jukebox is free and loaded with classic rock, vintage tunes and smooth grooves. With summer having just arrived for us Oregonians, this urban oasis will absolutely be at the top of my list.

Roadside Attraction
1000 SE 12th Ave
Portland, OR 97214
Open daily at 3pm

80’s Video Dance Party At The Crystal Ballroom

The Crystal Ballroom

Even if you didn’t grow up in the 80’s most can appreciate the music of the 80’s. The new wave/pop-rock songs that filled the charts and made everyone want to dance, wear headbands and go to great lengths to achieve hair that was 4 x’s the size of our heads. The guitar, punk-pop sounds of Chrissie Hynde and The Pretenders; Duran Duran- the boy band that was as much a fashion trendsetter as a chart topper; Culture Club – Boy George the androgynous cross-dresser who’s love of  hats and dredge locks first caught our attention then won us over with his smooth and easily likable voice; Billy Idol -a leader in the British punk-pop phenomenon; The Go-Go’s- one of the first all female successful groups. Such a iconic era in music and also pushed the envelope in regards to social norms. Last Friday night, at The Crystal Ballroom, I was reminded how fun and transcendent this musical era was. People of all ages, beginning at age 21, were singing along, wearing leotards, leg warmers, shirts that loosely hung off one shoulder, MC Hammer pants! dancing and bouncing on the “floating” dance floor and having a sweaty good time till 2am!

I happened to capture a picture from the balcony that night when the lighting was just right. As I looked at it the next day I was in awe at seeing the massive crowd that was gathered on the main floor of The Crystal Ballroom. When I look at this picture I can feel the energy of that crowd, it is an energy of lightheartedness and happiness, easiness and relaxation.

The Crystal Ballroom hosts 80’s video dance nights every Friday night. If you’ve never gone before, gather a group of friends or just your bestie and go! It’s a great way to dance away the stress of your week and to kick-off your weekend with a flash from this fun past! Another great reason to head down to The Crystal Ballroom is to experience the dance floor that is floating atop ball-bearings, giving you the feeling of  “dancing on the clouds.”

The Crystal Ballroom has a past that is rich with historical significance. It’s listed on The National Register of Historical Places. To learn more about it’s history, read this article from McMenamins website.

Still Grooving After All These Years

The Crystal Ballroom enjoys national recognition for a reason. No local venue, and indeed few in the nation, can challenge this elegant ballroom’s 90 years as a premier place to hear live music, dance and have memorable experiences. The hall has seen countless first loves unfold, police raids, visits by silent screen idols and Beat poets, psychedelic light shows, narrow escapes from fire, demolition, and neglect, and a listing in the National Register of Historic Places. Today, it is a vital, thriving McMenamins owned and operated live music palace that hosts everything from rock ‘n’ roll and country, to hip-hop and big band swing. [Read more…]

A Night At The Heathman Hotel a la Fifty Shades of Grey

50 Shades of Grey, the hottest thing out in mommy-world since the magic eraser hit the shelves at Target! Even my mother texted me to ask if  I had heard about these books. I reluctantly asked if she knew what they were about and when she replied with an enthusiastic Yes!, I ended the conversation.  Then she asked if she could borrow my books!  Yes I have them, and yes I read them- all three. I read the first book in Cabo. I kept rereading the pages not because of the crazy, pretzel twisting, eye-rolling, lip-biting, tie-her-up like he’s a rodeo cowboy and she’s the calf he’s roping —The resort happened to be an all inclusive resort and the constant flow of drinks had me constantly forgetting to dog-ear my page! I did read the two sequels and I have to say I was bored. Anastasia didn’t become anymore mature, she actually became more juvenile and by the end I wanted to gag her myself and take a spin at Christian and see what he’d do with a real women. So I went to the Heathman Hotel and waited….. Charlie Tango never touched down.

While I waited I learned that  The Heathman Hotel is now offering 50 Shades of Grey packages to their hotel guests!  I love this story from the Willamette Week that gives us play by naughty play what exactly happened at the Heathman Hotel. I laugh and then cringe thinking this is Portland’s next tourism hook!

**Red Room of Pain colored texted**  

What Exactly Happens In Portland’s Heathman Hotel In 50 Shades of Grey?

article originally posted in Willamette Week May 25, 2012

 heathman_hotel_portland [Read more…]

Car2Go, BoltBus – Let’s Roll!

What has 12 wheels, 52 seats, wi-fi, AC  and is the newest and most economical way to travel?

Car2Go and Bolt Bus

Car2Go launched it’s 250 two-seater fleet of car-sharing vehicles in Portland this  April. How is Car2Go different than a Zipcar or Getaround? Car2Go charges by the minute not the mile and you do not have to return the Car2Go to a home base, it can be left anywhere within the 32 square mile home area, even in paid parking spaces(without paying).

How it works: you register on-line and pay a one time only $35 membership fee.  Once you receive your membership card in the mail you are ready to GO!  When you are in need of a car you easily pull up the Car2Go app on your smartphone or from your computer. A map will show you where all the Car2Go’s are parked throughout the city. Walk to that location and hold your membership card on top of the sensor that is flashing green on the windshield and the doors unlock! Climb in and login on their touchscreen dashboard. Do a quick assessment of the interior and exterior of the car for any noticeable damage, click “no damage” then the car can be started with the key that remains in the car. You’re free to use the vehicle for as long or little as you like without committing to a specific return time or specific drop off location. When you are done with the car you may park it anywhere within the designated home area, even in paid parking spaces and lots without paying.  Log out on the dashboard, close the door and walk away.  You are only charged for the time you drove the car, not the mileage.  The cute little pocket-sized car sits there and waits for the next person to hop in and take it for a spin! Very easy, very convenient, very economical for scooting around the city.

When driving the cars outside of the home area you’re rental time does not stop until it is back within the home area.  A 24 hr maximum rate of $64.99 applies and a maximum hourly rate of $12.99 applies.

Here’s a great example of how Car2Go worked perfectly and economically for my friend and I last Saturday night.  I needed to get back to my neighborhood in NW and my friend was travelling to his neighborhood in SE.  After we exhausted ourselves dancing downtown, instead of a cab that would of cost us easily $18 to take both of us home, we used the app. and located a car within 2 blocks of our location. We walked 2 blocks, jumped in and after dropping me off in NW my friend went his way over the bridge and parked the car 1o feet from his front door.  The cost, less than $5. My friend said the car was still there in the morning but sadly had been shiested before he needed it to get to work.

Want to explore beyond the city limits of Portland, like Seattle you say.  BoltBus is the newest, swiftest and most economical way to get there. BoltBus, a discount bus line started by Greyhound and has operated a similar service on the East Coast between Boston, New York, Philadelphia, and Washington, D.C., for about four years. Portland to Seattle is one of their first ventures into the Pacific Northwest.

With non-stop Portland to Seattle service that started May 17th,  Bolt Bus is making it easier and more affordable than ever to get to Seattle. Fares range from $1-$15 one way. The trip takes 3 hours and 15 minutes. 15 minutes faster than Greyhound and 30 minutes faster than Amtrak. Board the bus in Pioneer Square on SW Salmon St. in Portland and disembark at 5th Avenue South and King St. near International District/Chinatown Station in Seattle.

Do not be fooled by the term “bus” because BoltBus is no typical, smelly, stuffy, loud bus- it’s a luxury motor coach. Outfitted with free wi-fi, plug ins, leather seats, lots of leg room, AC, a bathroom and a smooth ride. You’re allowed 1 bag to be stored under the coach and 2 smaller carry-on bags that should fit in the over head storage if not in use. No pets are allowed and if you can pack light enough, a bike can be substituted  in place of your “checked” bag. If frequent trips to Seattle are in your future, register for the rewards program where 8 one-way trips earns you a free one! With the inexpensive fares and the comfortable amenities, it makes hitting up the nightlife and shopping in Seattle that much easier!

To find more answers about either of these newest modes of transportation click on the links below. And if you happen to drive a Car2Go to catch the Boltbus in Pioneer Square, take a picture and post it for me here or on Girl On The Go PDX  facebook page. I might have a local gift card to send out your way!  Happy trails!

To find more answers to your questions, details and important stuff, click on a link:  Car2go or  Boltbus