As Hugo Kugiya of the Associate Press wrote, "To hire Alma Rubenstein is to hire someone to be your very honest, very proactive best friend for five weeks. She will groom you and dress you and compliment you, criticize you, and repair you." Alma, also known as Date Doctor Alma, is a relationship professional who works with her clients to help them find love. Among her services are speed-dating sessions that require a pre-screening (which doubles as a coaching session) and ensures that all the potential suitors at the event are good matches. Alma also coaches guests during Flirting 101 workshops meant to help guests gain confidence, learn effective conversation techniques, and finally stop the habit of batting eyelashes until eyelids quit cooperating.
With the Columbia and Willamette Rivers in its backyard and Mount Hood rising from behind a sweeping skyline, Portland boasts stunning views. Determined to give their customers front-row perches to these vistas is Portland Spirit, which launches a cache of brunch, lunch, dinner, and sightseeing cruises that put the city in the forefront.
With a quintet of vessels—Portland Spirit, Williamette Star, Crystal Dolphin, Explorer, and Columbia Gorge Sternwheeler—and myriad private events for guests, Portland Spirit Cruises also customize jaunts for any occasion. The company also operates a trio of terrestrial venues in Marine Park: the Terrace at Thunder Island, the Gorge Pavilion, and Locks Waterfront Grill.
When it was founded in 1987, Frame Central was a social hub for artists, and was even curiously named for facial hair. However, Beard Outlet has since morphed into a seven-location franchise, dedicated to simplifying the framing process. The shops’ onsite stock of matboard, frame moulding, and other key supplies ensures speedy DIY framing projects—which visitors can complete in an hour—and single-day professional framing. An array of pre-framed mirrors and artwork allows shoppers to enhance their blank walls without taping a napping friend to them. Shoppers can also stock up on framing supplies such as case glass and hanging hardware.
Seattle: The Game is an interactive tour that sets friends and family members loose on an exhilarating, knowledge-fueled undertaking guided by text-message clues, trivia, and riddles. Players may explore one or all of the game's three zones, sampling fresh fruit at stalls in Pike Place Market, admiring monuments in historic Pioneer Square, or frowning at all of the Mark Rothko paintings at the Seattle Art Museum. Clues point the way to culinary delights such as Seattle's first bar and flagship Starbucks, and indulge eyes and ears in a chamber filled with porcelain and a record shop frequented by Santana and Eric Clapton. At least one player on the team will need a US cell phone to receive clues, and none of the self-guided tours require previous knowledge of the city. Adventurers play at their own pace—most zones take two–three hours to finish—which allows them to spend more time learning about the city and photographing vibrant fire hydrants for aqua-centric scrapbooks. From the time of activation, Venti Packages give players a year to chase through all three tours.
In a sense, Portland State's Department of Theatre and Film is at the very center of the university. Its stately home, Lincoln Hall, was the first building erected on campus, in 1911. 475 plush seats curve around the stage of Lincoln Performance Hall inside, built with lots of leg room and a steep incline that insures excellent visibility even during plays cast with the tiniest of actors. The theater underwent a total renovation in 2010, and in addition to the visible facelift, backstage improvements now allow the department to mount even more elaborate productions.
Bollywood Dreams’ DJ and dance instructor Prashant expresses himself in the international language of dance with undeniable exuberance and contagious energy. Prashant teaches a variety of styles at local colleges and demonstrates his performance prowess with two Portland-area Bollywood bands. Prashant’s monthly dance parties at The Crystal Ballroom give students an opportunity to strut new choreographies while he spins Bollywood and Bhangra tunes.