This time of year Portland weather can be weird. In 2005, the temperature mysteriously hovered in the 70s for over a week. We've been known to get hit with weather ranging from friggin' cold to friggin' frigid to friggin' warm with a light breeze. The thermometer hit 62 in PDX on Saturday while Jet Blue's staff were still trying to trying claw their way out of an icy tundra at JFK
When warm weather hits in February, locals start acting like they've just escaped from a snowbound cabin. Clothing is shed, flowers immediately bloom the second the temperature rises above 50, the streets downtown are filled and weirdness typically ensues. Since the weather warmed up last week (albeit temporarily) this year has been no exception. Here are a few odd moments and signs of spring I've encountered around downtown Portland over the past week: A sure sign that spring has sprung or is at least trying to spring: on Friday night I caught the aftermath of a street fight near the Hotel Lucia. PPD had one guy handcuffed, while the other was being tended to in an ambulance blocking traffic.The crowd waiting for seats at Sushi Takahashi was no less than three hipsters deep on Friday night. 24 hours later, the line at the bar at Old Town Pizza was no less than six yuppies deep. I'm pretty sure I watched Ghost Rider with Joel Pryzbilla on Saturday night. Or maybe it was his 7-foot tall clone. The alleged Pryzbilla sat in the row in front of us but his height was no match for Pioneer Place Cinemas' stadium seating. His response to the Nicholas Cage/flaming skull biker/tour-de-force? He laughed his ass off during the first half and looked like he was going to fall asleep during the final hour. That was the general reaction around the theater. That's one way to kill an All-Star Weekend when you're not an All Star.People I talked to on the way to Powell's from Old Town on Friday: a crackhead (wanted change), a very-stoned hippie guy (wanted directions to the Roxy) and a guy from Montana (it was his first time in Portland, he was looking for the Crystal Ballroom and he described West Burnside as "a lot like Mars").Spotted on NE Sandy: the Gypsy Jokers. I've heard about this once-notorious motorcycle club and, supposedly, they were the local equivalent of the Hell's Angels during the late '60s and '70s. According to Willamette Week, they're still raising hell. A recent investigation turned up allegations of home invasions, gun hoarding and methamphetamine possession.I went out to eat with my parents at a Chinese restaurant last week. On the way into a parking garage, a disoriented female clubhopper tried to flag down their car and open a passenger-side door. Later, as we headed for a table, her and a friend were pushed outside by a flustered manager. One spun around and pulled off one final "WOOO!" before they headed outside to dance on the sidewalk. The two of them spent the next twenty minutes performing a sort of dinner theater for bemused diners. They kept everyone entertained by posing for each other's cell phone cameras, getting kicked out of a cab across the street and shouting at passers-by when they weren't busy trying to re-enter the restaurant to hug the manager. Before PPD could get around to hauling them to a drunk tank, they wandered off down 1st Avenue while pestering a bald gentleman in his 50s. Seeing that it was only 7:30, it was pretty early for that level of drunkeness. My guess: they were first time ecstasy users.
Now, a few days later, the temperature is back in the 40s. The wind is blowing and the rain is coming down. Come back, spring, come back.
Labels: Portland, spring, weather