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24 hours in portland

travel
photo by kathy lo

restaurant, shopping, and drinking recs from the coolest kids around.

Baton Rouge has its vampires, suburban Atlanta its zombies, and various American metropolises our most repellant housewives. Portland, though, may be stuck with worst of them: the twee, brunch-obsessed denizens of Portlandia, the show that made a middle-aged couple's obsession with a particular kind of pancake (see: marionberry) into “Brunch Village,” a slow-rolling docudrama that may be the most trenchant critique of hipster culture any of us will ever see.

The real Portland—the actual, generally non-televised capital of Pacific Northwest design, art, and aggressively local cuisine—long outgrew its rep as the craft-glued HQ of the bird-on-it aesthetic, thanks to its affordability (offering residents the opportunity to make their own stuff—rather work 16 hours a day to cover their rent) and covetable location (offering peace, quiet, and some of the loveliest, rainiest green spaces in the country). We asked a few of our favorite Portlanders to help us come up with a plan for 24 hours of non-stop diversions—proving their home truly is the best of both worlds: the everybody’s-welcome, gluten-free paradise of Portlandia and a sleek, chic, manageable city.

10 a.m. Drop your bags at The Sentinel, downtown’s newest hotel. Notable benefit: Salt & Straw ice cream is available on room service. This may be the only way of getting it without standing in a long (but probably quite friendly) line. 

11 a.m. Three of Portland’s best design stores are within a couple blocks’ walk of the hotel: Alder & Co., Canoe, and Woonwinkel. They’re all great, but if there’s only time for one, Canoe has the best assortment of locally produced—classy!—souvenirs, like Lynn Read’s glass salt bowls and (appropriately) sliders of Ben Jacobsen’s hand-harvested sea salt to fill it.

11:30 a.m. Lunchtime: “Eat soup at Ha VL,” says Jessica Kelso of Loyly, the city’s most wonderful spa. “They run out early!”

1 p.m. Time to head into one of Portland’s many green spaces. “A short hike through Forest Park,” suggests Brianne Mees of Tender Loving Empire, which is equal parts record label, screenprinting studio, and emporium of very neat things. “Right at the edge of downtown is over 5,000 acres of lush, mossy, urban forest. You don't feel like you could possibly be in the middle of a city.

5 p.m. Repair following an active afternoon at Loyly, the best European sauna that’s actually in the United States. Book a massage with Kerrie and then spend the next hour zoning out in the steam room.

7 p.m. Nicole Funke owns Victory, one of our favorite clothing shops in town. For the evening’s entertainment, she suggests: “A Portland Timbers [soccer] game. It’s better than the craziest rave you've ever been to.” Once the novelty wears off, we have her second choice: “If low on time, I would go to the Whiskey Library for some fancy whiskey. It's literally a library of whiskey.”

 9 p.m. Jewelry designer Betsy Cross of Betsy and Iya suggests Tasty n Sons for drinks and snacks: “Start with the bartender's cocktail, the griddled bacon wrapped dates, and a radicchio salad while you pick out the other bites you'll share with your friends.” Or, you know, “the other bites you’ll eat all of, yourself.” Either way. 

11 p.m. Back to The Sentinel for a few drinks at the gorgeous new Jackknife bar—one of the most beautiful and aesthetically distinct hotel bars in the country, with a 65-foot marble bar and copious amounts of PDX-appropriate wood. Your favorite celiacs and vegans will be happy here, too: Co-owner John Janulis is well known locally for his two vegan bars, Bye & Bye and Sweet Hereafter, and though hamburgers and a ham-and-cheese sandwich are on the menu, so are beets, Brussels sprouts, and gluten-free waffle fries. Oh, and “classic hotel cocktails” like the Jack Rose, with Laird’s applejack, Commissary grenadine, and lemon.

2 a.m. Archie Archambault was a philosophy major before he moved to Portland and took up letterpress printing. Now, he makes very cool maps (ranging from Portland itself to the Solar System) and suggests a late-night dining option: “The taco cart at 3rd and Stark downtown. Chances are you need something to eat. 

4 a.m. The line at the main Voodoo Doughnuts (where the “little guy” on Portlandia found a scavenger-hunt clue baked into a doughnut) might be under 45 minutes at this point—but there’s seating, and a guaranteed shorter wait, at “Location 2”, at 1501 NE Davis St., which is also open 24 hours.

5:30 a.m. Return to the Sentinel for a brief nap.

8 a.m. Shannon Guirl ditched her NYC TV job to start over as a designer in Portland—and now she makes classic lighting pieces for her Caravan Pacific brand. (One lamp is called the Vanderbilt—named for her old street in Brooklyn.) She offered two ways to get going: “The healthy version: Grab some kombucha at Townshend's Tea and head out to Sauvie's Island Farms for some freshly picked blueberries. Or the slightly less healthy version: Get a blueberry bourbon basil donut at Blue Star Donuts on Hawthorne and head to the top of Mt. Tabor, an extinct volcano, to get the best view of Portland rising and shining.

 

Photo by Rachel Dennis

Finally

"What do girls even do together?" This question, or some iteration of it, is frequently posed to me once someone finds out I'm bisexual or hears me mention my girlfriend, or if I make any reference to being interested in girls. I would be annoyed by it, but I have empathy because I know how hard this kind of information can be to find. In fact, the details of how two people with vaginas have sex isn't very widespread information. And, I know that I didn't really have all that much information about girl-on-girl sex before, well, actually having it myself. It's precisely this kind of situation that queer sex educator Stevie Boebi is trying to fix.

Boebi has gained a big following for her informational YouTube videos about how to use a strap-on, how to scissor, how to fist someone, how to choose a vibrator for yourself; any question you could have, she will get you an answer. She doesn't shy away from topics that people wouldn't be quick to ask someone about IRL, either, like BDSM. And she covers the kind of things that are definitely not what we're taught in sex education classes—likely not even in the most progressive curriculums. A study from GLSEN notes that only 4 percent of teens reported learning anything positive about queer sex in their sex ed classes, and points out that in some states, it's actually prohibited to mention queerness at all.

Particularly when it comes to sex with two vaginas, the lack of available public education leads to a general lack of understanding of how we have sex, which then leads to a lack of understanding in the queer community, too. "I just think that lesbian sex is so oversexualized, and we're the least educated," said Boebi when I asked her recently why it's so important for her to spread knowledge about queer sex in particular.

Boebi said that she started out on YouTube making videos about technology, but after she came out as a lesbian, her audience flipped from mostly male to mostly female, though she would prefer a less rudimentary gender breakdown ("the algorithm only deals in binaries, sorry," she quipped).

Ultimately, her sexuality led her to change her content entirely, because she wanted to educate people who couldn't find answers to their questions anywhere else—even on the internet.

"I started getting a lot of what I called 'stupid questions' from very confused teenage girls saying, like, 'How do I do it? Can I get AIDs from fingering someone?'" Boebi told me. They were questions that probably should have had easily Google-able answers, but, when Boebi looked for lesbian sex education content to send to fans who were asking her, she came up empty-handed. "I couldn't find anything. I think I found, like, two articles on Autostraddle, and that was it," she said. "And then I was like, Well, shit! If no one else is going to do it, then I guess I will."

Boebi's audience is mainly comprised of 13- to 24-year-olds, so she keeps in mind that she's helping people who may not be experienced, or even out yet. She uses her own experiences to inform her work sometimes, but also researches extensively and talks to people she knows who "have fancy Ph.Ds in sexology and shit," who can answer her questions or point her to resources she should be referencing.

Boebi's charm is in her relatability; even if she's talking about things we've been conditioned to feel shame around, she does it in such an open and honest way that all that shame disappears—as it should. She does this by perfectly meshing professional talk with jokes and sarcasm, and even uses characters based on star signs. She knows the importance of taking on taboo topics, because there are so many people who won't otherwise find answers to their questions. "I don't actually struggle in my everyday life asking people if they've ever been anally fisted before," Boebi joked with me. "I'll take that burden."

And keeping her tone light and humorous is of the utmost importance to her. "When people are laughing, they're comfortable, and I want people to feel comfortable," Boebi said. "And I want people to know that I'm comfortable talking about sex, and they can be, too." It helps also, Boebi told me, that her audience is separated by a screen, and she's not "in a room with a 12-year-old talking about my labia."

Beyond instructional sex videos, Boebi also deals with other rarely discussed facets of sexuality and physicality. Boebi is polyamorous, and talks openly about it, confronting the stereotypes and the misinformation about the identity head-on. And, she was also recently diagnosed with Ehler's Danlos Syndrome after going years without a diagnosis, and she aims to start working more with disabled queer sex educators to make her work more inclusive of people with disabilities. Though she pointed out to me that her work was already encompassing of disabilities, she "hasn't been a part of the disability activist community for very long," and so she has a lot to learn.

And, though Boebi's happy that she has the platform she does, she wants a more inclusive array of sex educators to join the scene. "My voice is my voice, and it's unique to me, but I think there should be way more," she noted. "Especially people [with intersectional identities]. That would make me so happy if we could diversify sex educators."

And, though Boebi says there's no "ideal way" to educate people about sex, she's definitely on a better track than the public education system, and she makes clear that there's nothing shameful about sexuality—in fact, it's just a part of being human, and a really fun one, at that.

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FROM THE WORLD WIDE WEB
Photo by Nicholas Hunt / Gareth Cattermole / Getty Images.

This photo makes me so happy

It can't be understated how big of a phenomenon the Spice Girls were during the late '90s. Their impact was felt from the bustling streets of London to the dry desert land of Scottsdale, Arizona. The latter place is where a young Emily Jean Stone was so immersed in fandom that she asked her second-grade teacher to call her Emma, after Emma "Baby Spice" Bunton. Fast-forward a couple of decades, and Emily is the Academy Award-winning actress Emma Stone. What's even better, she's still a huge Spice Girls fan.

Stone went to the Spice Girls reunion tour at the Wembley Stadium in London and finally met the woman who inspired the name the actress is now known by. Bunton shared a photo of the two of them outside of the venue on her Instagram. She captioned the photo: "When Emma met Emma."And even added the hashtag #2become1. I can't figure out if I want to cry from sentimentality or serious envy.

As for Stone, she once cried when Mel "Scary Spice" B. sent her a video message so I can only imagine what this moment felt like for her. Let this be a reminder that even Oscar winners can be stans.

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Screenshot via YouTube

The band shared details about their new St. Vincent-produced album that will drop "you into the world of catastrophe"

Sleater-Kinney just shared more information about their St. Vincent-produced album and dropped a new single.

Per Billboard, Sleater-Kinney revealed that their new album, which they've been teasing since early this year and will be their first since No Cities To Love from 2015, will be called The Center Won't Hold. It's due out on August 16 via Mom + Pop Records. "We're always mixing the personal and the political but on this record, despite obviously thinking so much about politics, we were really thinking about the person—ourselves or versions of ourselves or iterations of depression or loneliness—in the middle of the chaos," Carrie Brownstein said in a statement. Corin Tucker further noted that the new album will "[drop] you into the world of catastrophe that touches on the election."

Janet Weiss noted that the band will "explore a different sound palette" with this album, and pointed to St. Vincent as the reason behind it. She said that St. Vincent "has a lot of experience building her own music with keyboards and synthesizers so she could be our guide to help us make sense of this new landscape and still sound like us."

To satiate us until then, the band released a lyric video for new single, "The Future Is Here," which is very grungy. Bump it, below.

Sleater-Kinney - The Future Is Here (Official Lyric Video) www.youtube.com

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This is so satisfying!

Even Jon Snow knows just how unsatisfying the final season of Game of Thrones was, and he's ready to apologize. Well, a deepfake of him is at least. A heavily-edited version of Snow's speech from the fourth episode—just before the bodies of those lost in the Battle of Winterfell get burned—now features Snow apologizing for the conclusion of the show and lighting the script on fire.

"It's time for some apologies. I'm sorry we wasted your time," Snow begins. "And I know nothing made sense at the end. When the Starbucks cup is the smallest mistake, you know you fucked up! We take the blame. I'm sorry we wrote this in like six days or something," he adds, before signaling to his peers to light the script with torches and "just forget it forever." "Fuck Season 8," he says before the pages begin to crackle and burn.

If there were more lines left to alter, we would have loved to see Snow also tackle how messy Brienne of Tarth and Jaime Lannister's story line ended up, as well as Bran's kingship, Cersei's boring demise, and the water bottle appearance.

Watch the entire deepfake and try to heal the wounds left by HBO below.

BREAKING: JON SNOW FINALLY APOLOGIZED FOR SEASON 8 youtu.be

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Photo by Darren Craig

It premieres today, exclusively via NYLON

In LP's song "Shaken," the most recent single from her 2018 record Heart To Mouth, she tells the story of seeing her lover out with someone else—ouch. Today, exclusively on NYLON, she releases a cheeky animated music video that pokes fun at the song's heightened drama and perfectly demonstrates all the angst that comes with falling hard for someone.

"She looks at you like I used to/ And I'm just sitting in the corner sh-sh-shaken," LP sings, as the visual—with art by Maayan Priva—depicts the singer hanging out in a bar, watching the girl she likes meet up with another girl. Despite the situation's inherent drama, "Shaken" is less of a ballad and more of an upbeat bop. LP told us she loves the way "this little video captures some of the fun of the song, and its inherent comical anxiety." Sure, heartbreak isn't that funny, but our (sometimes) overly dramatic reaction to it kind of is.

"'Shaken' feels like a bit of a wild card on this record," LP says. "It's the closest I've come to writing a musical, which I hope to do one day." We heartily endorse this idea: Please, LP, give us the queer jukebox musical we crave.

Until that day comes, though, you can watch the music video for "Shaken," below.

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