Portland Artists on Their Favorite Places

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We asked all the artists in our issue to tell us their favorite places to hang out in Portland, and here they are...

Our house, Grass Hut (the gallery our friends own and operate), and, of course, Forest Park. – APAK

I like my backyard underneath my gigantic fig tree. – Bwana Spoons

Forest Park, a 5,000-acre-plus expanse of Oregon woods on the Northwest end of town. [My husband] Colin [Meloy of The Decemberists] and I just bought a house there. We're moving to the lonely northern reaches of the park where you can walk all day and not see another soul. – Carson Ellis

This bar at Albina and Alberta in North Portland called the Paragon. The neighborhood is kinda the cuts, and the front door opens into a steel cage, which the bartender will buzz open if they like the look of you, and/or don't think you're dangerous. It's kinda low-end inside. The clientele tends to be a mixture of that inner city G type and gutter punks, which somehow co-mingles without much of an issue. They all sing bad karaoke tunes in the side room (I think the discs they own are limited to stuff in the vein of the Grease soundtrack), and they sometimes books shows in there as well. I saw S.T.R.E.E.T.S. there (Skating’s Totally Rad, Everything Else Totally Sucks), who are kind of a thrash band in the vein of the Accused). My only bad experiences there were having this girl I was with once tell me I had to pay some dealer money or his girlfriend would beat her up, and the time I forgot to lock the door to my beater car,and someone actually stole one of those shower CD players out of it, which I had bungie-corded to the dash, and a bunch of beat up CDs in a greasy, crumpled box. I am a bit curious who the junkie manged to sell a bunch of Darkthrone and Brainbombs CDs to though… – Jon A.D. (Anthem Records/Lodubs)

The Skidmore Bluffs. – Johnnie Monroe (Fist Fite)

Pirate Town, which is this burned-out factory place down by the river, and these kids built a skatepark. It's covered in graffiti. – Justin Wheeler (Fist Fite)

The Skidmore Bluffs. You can ride your bike out there. From my house it's a three-minute ride. It overlooks the stockyards, [which are] super industrial and post-apocalpytic. You can go there by yourself and you'll know half the people that are there [and] share a few joints. Bands will play out there, quietly. – Charlie Salas-Humara, Panther

We like this bar called Tiga. I like to ride my bike on the Esplanade next to the river. They have awesome bike trails, they get you everywhere you need to go. – Joe Kelly, Panther

There are lots of little hidden hangout spots along the Willamette River from Sellwood up to St. Johns. This time of year those are invaluable, and we (my broke friends and I) keep finding more. – Benoît Pioulard

Cinema 21 is the best indie cinema in the world. They have $4 matinees, cheap candy, and a balcony with a cry room! – Manny Reyes (Atolé)

My store, Liza RietzLiza Rietz (Swords, Tu Fawning)

The docks of the Oak Street building, The Artistery, and Marriage Records. – Erik Gage & Kyle Handley (White Fang)

My favorite place to eat right now is Papa G’s on Division–some of the best vegan food I've ever eaten. My favorite bar is Holocene or Dot’s, but I never get to go out so I haven't been to either in so long. I love just walking or skating around SE… Everything is so beautiful around here. – Harvey Tumbleson (The Builders & The Butchers)

Witch's Castle. It’s a ruin in Forest Park–it's these old bathrooms from the ’40s. – Daniel Menche

Scapegoat Tattoo, and the river (any of them I can swim in). – Jordan Hufnagel (Hufnagel Cycles)

Any street on my bike in the summertime. – Corrina Repp

Valentine’s [coffeehouse /bar]. – Grouper

Northwest Portland Hills, with a view to the dry docks. – Jarkko Cain (Holocene)

Laurelhurst park with my dog. – Scott McLean (Holocene)

I love Portland, but that’s kind of private. it’s personal. It shouldn’t be what “John Jewel thinks is cool…” – Johnny Jewel (Glass Candy)

Southeast Portland. There’s a lot of dope stuff around me. There’s a couple record shops that I go to, restaurants–everything. - Ohmega Watts

I really like Northwest Portland, west of I-405 and east of Forest Park. It's dense but full of trees, weird people. It’s a big jumble of eras, styles, people, and things to do. - Strategy

The Clinton Street Pub, right around the corner from my house. They have pinball, punk rock, and cheap beer. – Duane Sorenson (Stumptown Coffee)

Knee-deep in my vegetable garden. – Lisa Molinaro (Talkdemonic)

The whole downtown Oregon City and that mill. Sometimes if I'm wigging out or need to get away, I'll just drive down I-99 until I hit Oregon City and just traipse around for a while. – Honey Owens (Valet)

Oak Street Studios. – Adam Forkner (White Rainbow)

The Fresh Pot. It’s the coffee shop across the street from my apartment. Portland has the best coffee in the world as far as I know, so far. – Jona Bechtolt (Yacht)