Before it mutated into a weaponized haze of reality shows, MTV aired a novelty known as the music video. These bite-sized works of art, which married pop songs to striking imagery, revolutionized the entertainment industry and ushered in an era of music known as “new wave.” For the task of curating and introducing these fresh sounds and flamboyant sights to audiences, MTV even created its own version of the disc jockey—the VJ.
Though MTV has sent its stable of video jockeys out to pasture, VJ Kittyrox carries the pastel, shoulder-padded torch of Adam Curry and Nina Blackwood as she masterminds the 80s Video Dance Attack. For the last seven years, this popular shindig has united generations of Portlandians with its five-hour feast of '80s-centric sensation. Across 10-foot screens, VJ Kittyrox projects classic videos from artists such as Duran Duran and Michael Jackson as audiences of Breakfast Clubbers and Pretty in Pinkers perfect their cabbage patch, running man, and Pat Benatar shimmies. A bombastic, thumping sound system and a dazzling light show accentuate the time warp as audiences deck themselves in '80s garb and shake away memories of unsolved rubik’s cubes.
Chef Bupar acquired her culinary prowess alongside her mother, who operated a street-side café in Bangkok for more than 20 years. Today, she draws on recipes she learned from her mother to conjure up the bustling, spice-tinged air of the city of her youth. The traditional Thai flavors of ginger, lemongrass, and garlic flood dishes and thick coconut milk helps lower the potency of red chilies in a range of curries to a pleasant warmth. Beneath the eatery’s saffron-hued walls and decorative greenery, bouquets of basil, cilantro, and fresh sprouts bestow portions of noodles and rice with textural variety.
Diners can sit outdoors if the weather and 80-foot sentient dragon statue permits, or enjoy after-dinner entertainment at the nearby Matthew Knight Arena. Downstairs in The Underground Lounge, diners can feast on the main restaurant’s full menu in a more casual atmosphere adorned with pool tables, HDTVs, and dartboards.
West Fest 2011, an outdoor music festival nestled in Wallace Marine Park, entertains concertgoers with a brimming lineup of classic and contemporary rock performers. Headlining musician Chuck Prophet—known for recording alongside Warren Zevon, sharing stage space with Lucinda Williams, and living up to his last name by predicting future events—takes the stage at 8 p.m. with his band The Mission Express. Session guitarist Jeff Pevar from David Crosby side-project CPR opens the night at 6:30 p.m. with a solo performance and three-handed ventriloquist-dummy quartet.
The chefs at Lucky Bistro cull fresh ingredients to form an extensive menu of Chinese meat, seafood, and vegetarian favorites, including 38 varieties of dim sum. Diners can juggle small baked barbecue pork dim sum ($2.75) into accompanying friends' mouths or relish the oceanic succulence of the large deep-fried lobster dim sum ($4.75). Fortify stomachs for an invasion of mongolian beef ($10.95) or further capsize hunger with a wave of vegetable-based flavor from the ma po tofu ($8.95). Diners can sink into cushy booths or circle around group tables while nibbling their entrees.
Named for the famed German soprano, Lotte Lehmann Concert Hall pays homage to a wealth of musicians during its slate of concerts. Throughout the year, the USBC music venue welcomes gospel choirs and symphonies to its stage, as well as wind ensembles that double as the venue’s air conditioning system.
Barkeeps dispense seven rotating drafts and pour out more than 800 microbrews and imported beers at Birra Deli, which derives its name from the Italian word for beer. Soups, salads, and hot and cold sandwiches concocted from local ingredients complement each hop- or malt-heavy libation. Amid a colorful interior of neon beer signs, arcade games, and a flat-screen television, the deli hosts regular beer tastings where customers can win unique prizes, such as cryogenic freezing chambers that keep beers chilled for up to 100 years. In addition to brews in the eatery, visitors can bring home sudsy treats in bottles, cases, or kegs in a variety of brands and sizes.