Category Archives: Travel

Microbrews and Stripparaoke make Portland great

Portland has two main claims to fame. It has the most micro breweries of any city in the world and also lays claim to the dubious title of the most strip clubs per capita of any major city in the USA. Titty bars have never faced so much competition and as a result must look outside the box. Devil’s Point is one such place which manages to attract a crowd outside of lonely men in their 50’s and young drunken bros. This stripclub come hipster hangout is a Portland institution and aside from tattooed and pierced suicide girls getting their kit off to the Ghostbusters theme song, they also boast the wonder that is Stripparaoke. Yes that is right you can get up on stage and give your best rendition of ‘Old Man River’ while one of the lovely ladies sheds her particulars and swings round a pole. Miss Stripparaoke  and you still might be lucky enough to catch the fire show or perhaps one of their bad sweater parties. Oh and it’s free entry with cheap drinks.

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Ace Hotels, the only cool hotel chain in America

Ace Hotels has to be the coolest hotel chain ever. Where else do you find a mural in the lobby made from 4000 NYC graffiti stickers, a Gibson guitar in your room awaiting inspiration or perhaps some classic vinyl and a record player? Where might you discover your room  decorated with a one of a kind mural put together by local artist and alongside your bed, a bedside table that upon closer inspection turns out to be a stack of vintage suitcases?  Where else would you see staff dressed in Spiewak coats, custom made Chuck Taylors and custom fitted shirts from L. Gambert? The answer? Nowhere else except one of the four Ace Hotels in Seattle, Portland, Palm Springs and NYC. Each hotel has been created to reflect the city it services and no detail has been too small to have attention paid to it. This hotel chain is so cool it even visited SXSW this year to create a special VIP space for performers. You can even check out their very own blog here.


Venice Beach is LA’s real Disneyland

Why go to Disneyland and empty your wallet just to see run down attractions and ridiculous characters that were created by an anti Semite Nazi sympathizer. All you need to do is head down to the seething microcosm of modern America that is Venice Beach. In 1890 Abbot Kinney, a tobacco mogul and seasoned traveler, set out to transform the area into the ‘Venice of America’ complete with canals, gondolas, amusement parks and a mini railroad. Today some of the canals still remain and although the mini railroad has long gone it is now full of attractions of a different kind.

Venice Beach boasts everything from tanned 20-somethings in promo gear waving placards espousing the benefits of one or another medical marijuana clinic.  Skaters who are still living  and dressing like they are stuck in the ZBoy era and  various transients dancing to a beat no one is playing, and living in rundown RVs that look like they were decorated by bower bird. In the midst of all the eccentric locals, overweight sunburnt tourists sporting bum bags and ill fitting tshirts emblazoned with ‘Venice Beach’ alongside a few obligatory palm trees, waddle down the boardwalk, their heads turning like sideshow clowns in some sort of stunned wonderment that a place like this exists.

Venice beach feels like a neglected seaside amusement park where the sideshow alley employees never got the memo that it was shut down. It is hyper America, where nuts and bolts capitalism mixes seamlessly with manipulated democracy and whose residents still hold onto slightly anarchistic ideologies. So fuck Disneyland and head to Venice Beach.