The Krass family knows how to pack in some good times. My in-laws, Bob and Chris Krass, swung through Portland last weekend, and I think I’m still recovering from all the action. From wine-tastings to a bizarre fashion event, it was a weekend to remember.
Bob and Chris arrived Friday evening, and we immediately kicked off a pub crawl after the Tigers’ game was rained out. We took advantage of Brix Tavern’s $3 surprise beers in a bag (Jeff pulled the worst: Natural Ice), we had fancy cocktails at Blue Hour, we listened to the amazing acoustic stylings of the David Gray-sounding Paul Basile in Al’s Den, and capped off the night with beer tastings at Rogue Ales. Whew!
Saturday morning, our neighbors Lindsay and Daniel joined us for some pastry goodness at Ken’s Artisan Bakery and then the Portland Farmers Market. Although it was downcast, the market was still hopping as always, with samples galore (I think Bob tried them all) and a jazzy band of senior citizens. We dropped off Lindsay and Daniel and headed to the retro sports bar Spirit of 77 to catch the Michigan State/Ohio State game. (MSU won!) After snagging some PBJs from the food cart around the corner from home, we had a quick rest before the crazy night ahead: Content 11, a live fashion installation in the second-floor rooms of the downtown Ace Hotel. Daniel had read about it in the New York Times, but since he and Lindsay had a wedding that evening we Krasses ventured there on our own. And what an experience it was.
The event felt like a hot, wild party in the hall of a college dorm. Local fashion designers overhauled each hotel room – some a little tamer, with obvious displays of their clothing or jewelry, and then some were totally whacked out. Performance art: keyboards droning as a girl lay passed out on a bed, puppeteers in strobe-light rooms with bongo-players, strange clowns roaming the hallways. It was pretty trippy (but cool). I even had some Project Runways sightings, with Season 8 winner Gretchen Jones organizing the event and recent Season 9 castoff Bryce Black checking out the scene. We finished the night with an excellent meal at the nearby Little Bird and laughed about our adventures.
The whirlwind of activities continued on Sunday, with a bloody mary at Kelly’s Olympian as we waited for a table at Mother’s. (LOVE their Belgian waffles.) Then it was off to wine country, with Daniel and Lindsay along for the ride. Pinot noir reigns supreme in the Willamette Valley, so we tasted lots of great ones (plus others) at Patton Valley Vineyard, Carlton Winemakers Studio and Tyrus Evan/Ken Wright Winery. Chris and Bob were in heaven, and they snatched up some cases to send back to Michigan.
After some great pasta at Piazza Italia, we closed the weekend with a little downtime watching Date Night. Ahh…