Results for: open source bridge

Portland Seed Fund: Y Combinator, it’s not. (Unconstitutional, it may be.)

Portland Seed Fund claims to be loosely based on Y Combinator. I think they may be using the term “loosely” loosely. And it may be unconstitutional in Oregon.

[HTML1]There comes a time—not often mind you—but there comes a time when even I—admittedly often naively optimistic in my cheerleading of the Portland startup scene—have to admit that something just isn’t right. This is one of those times.

Over the weekend, Mike Rogoway at The Oregonian published an overview piece on the new Portland Seed Fund, a project designed to help provide funding for bootstrapping startups to get their legs under them. It’s not Mike’s piece with which I have trouble. I was happy to see it. That with which I have trouble is the Portland Seed Fund comparing its program to Y Combinator, an incubator and mentoring program for tech startups. Read More

JanRain Hosting Lunch 2.0 on July 14

Identity powerhouse, JanRain, will be opening their offices on July 14 to host a Lunch 2.0.

By July, the weather should be nice and balmy, and the plan is to have the lunch festivities on the roof-top deck of JanRain’s office building at 519 SW 3rd Avenue.

There’s a fantastic, panoramic view of the Willamette, all our bridges and points East, from up there, so keep your fingers crossed for weather cooperation on July 14.

In addition to a great view, good food and usual Lunch 2.0 crowd, the good people from JanRain will be happy to chat you up about their RPX and OPX products, OpenID and OAuth in general, industry trends in social media, all the above.

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Oregon Film, Beam Development, Hive-FX to Host Lunch 2.0

Mark your calendars now because this one will be interesting, assuming you like entertainment.

Oregon Film (a.k.a. The Governor’s Office of Film and Television), Beam Development and Hive-FX will be co-hosting Lunch 2.o at Hive’s offices on March 10, 2010 from 12 to 2 PM.

I’m excited for this because it promises to be an event where we should get an interesting mix of communities–tech, entertainment, creative–which always makes for a good time.

Wondering why would these organizations want to host a Lunch 2.0?

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Shredded Money and Freebies at Lunch 2.0

Yesterday, what looked like about 100 people tried to fill the enormous fifth floor of Jive Software‘s offices in the old Federal Reserve building.

Our hosts were Mark Friel and Kristin Hammond (@FzMcFadden) of Pacific Real Estate Partners, the brokerage that secured the space for Jive. The fifth floor is rough and unfinished inside, except for the bathrooms (more on that in a minute), and has its own elevator.

Apparently, the floor was added by previous tenants, but only one elevator goes all the way to the top. Sounds like mysterious, Men in Black, CONTROL stuff. It was a Federal building . . .

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Ignite Portland 5: Tips and tricks or what to know before you go

Ignite Portland

Sometimes this content is so easy, it practically writes itself. Especially when I’m just repeating stuff I’ve written before.

But it bears repeating.

So, if you’re one of the lucky ticket holders for Ignite Portland 5, tonight, here are some tips to make sure you get the most out of Ignite.

As always, I want your Ignite experience to be as fun and rewarding as possible. So whether this is your 23rd Ignite event or your first, here are some tips and tricks for getting the most out of Ignite Portland 5.

First, the venue info:

Bagdad Theater
3702 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd.
Portland, OR 97214
7:00 – 9:00 PM

Ticketholders get in at 5:30 PM
General Admission at 6:15 PM
Admission is always FREE

Here are some “Do”s and “Don’t”s that will help you get the most out of your first, second, third, or fourth Ignite Portland experience:

  • DO bring your camera, your phone, your sketchpad, or any other way of capturing the event.
  • DO tag anything and everything #ip5 and/or igniteportland. That way, we can find it.
  • DON’T forget your ticket or a device that will allow you to show your ticket electronically.
  • DO get there early. Really early. I’m serious. Early. Did I say “Early”?
  • DO be prepared to give everyone and anyone your Twitter name. (Don’t use Twitter? Get on it.)
  • Now that you’re on Twitter, DO try to tweet about the event and hashtag it #ip5. That way, we can see what you’re saying.
  • DO be nice to all the Legion of Tech folks and volunteers. (They’re all volunteers, actually. And they’re doing this in their free time.)
  • DO be especially nice to the Adam DuVander Chris Pitzer who has been the lead organizer on the event. (I think this was still true this time.) It wasn’t! But still be nice to Adam.
  • Still DON’T be the assholes who were heckling presenters that one time.
  • DON’T be a wallflower. Talk to people in line while you’re waiting to get into the venue. Talk to people while you’re waiting in the food line. The Bagdad is a great venue for presenting, but talking to folks at breaks will take some doing.
  • DO try to get in front of Aaron Hockley and his camera (after he presents). I swear, that guy even makes me look good. If not him, Kveton will make you look good too. And, of course, you’ll want to get yourself in a few snaps from Mark “kram” Colman, who is the official photographer this time around.
  • DO take the chance to introduce yourself to me and tell me about the cool side projects you’re pursuing.

Need more tips? Right this way, my friend. The Legion of Tech has a list as well.

Luck, luck, break a leg, and luck

Best of luck to tonight’s presenters:

NEW! Tips for presenters

No no no. I’m not writing new content, silly. It’s all thanks to Jeff Hardison, who presented during Ignite Portland 4.

Jeff Hardison tips for Ignite Portland presenters

Last but not least: Party Party Afterparty

What’s a huge event without an afterparty? Well, it’s Ignite Portland 1 and 2, I think. But now, the afterparty is part of the fun.

This time around, the party is wiki-licious thanks to the folks from RecentChangesCamp, the premier wiki conference being held in Portland, this weekend.

Like the Ignite folks, I’ll encourage you to “head over to the Eagle Lodge (4905 SE Hawthorne, near 50th Ave) whether you came to Ignite or not, and party until the cows come home.”

http://blip.tv/scripts/pokkariPlayer.js?ver=2008010901 http://blip.tv/syndication/write_player?skin=js&posts_id=1787697&source=3&autoplay=true&file_type=flv&player_width=400&player_height=266

Video thumbnail. Click to play
Click to play

But wait, there’s more

A late breaking bonus here. O’Reilly has launched a new feature called “Ignite Show.” A lo and behold, none other than our own beloved Jason Grigsby and Cup Noodle are leading off the new feature:

Today are launching the first episode of the Ignite Show. The Ignite Show will feature a different speaker each week. This week’s speaker is Jason Grigsby doing a talk that was originally performed at Ignite Portland. Jason takes fun look at how Cup Noodle was created and how the team had to embrace constraints and new ideas to create this new food.

This also seemed like a good time to remind you that Brady “Mr. Ignite” Forrest will be on hand, tonight, to deliver the “What is Ignite” talk. Can’t wait to see what jacket he’s wearing this time.

Phew

That’s a lot of info to digest, I realize. But hopefully, you feel all prepped now.

Looking forward to seeing you there!

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Lunch 2.0 at Eclipse Foundation: Mission Accomplished

Yesterday afternoon, about 70 people came to the see the best kept secret in Portland Open Source, the Eclipse Foundation office.

3009107289_2c9cfda184.jpg

Turnout seemed a bit lighter than usual, probably due to the lovely Portland weather, but those who did swing by were treated to a casual networking session.

If you’ve attended a Lunch 2.0 in the past, you’ll know we typically do a very short introduction of the host and what they do. Not so this time.

Our hosts, Anne Jacko and Bjorn Freeman-Benson, just wanted to mill around and get to know people. As Bjorn says:

Our goal was to get over the “I didn’t know that Eclipse had an office in Portland” and we met out goal: people know that Eclipse is here in Portland and that we’re nice people and we’re here to help.

All-in-all, it was a successful lunch, and now you know where to find the Eclipse Foundation.

Lunch 2.0 continues to attract a diverse crowd of interesting Portlanders, which is exactly how we like it. Aaron took a bunch of photos, but hasn’t uploaded them to Flickr yet. Watch his Lunch 2.0 set if you’re interested. Update: They are posted now, excellent work as always by the unofficial Lunch 2.0 photographer.

Upcoming Portland Lunch 2.0s
It looks like we’ll be taking a break in December, which is just as well considering a) the weather and b) all the seasonal activity everyone no doubt has planned. We’re back at in January at the OTBC.

  • January 14 in the ‘burbs at the new OTBC offices in the Beaverton Round
  • February?
  • March?

Thanks to all the hosts and people who’ve made this a success. If you want details about hosting, let me know in comments or drop me a tweet. I’m @jkuramot.

And don’t forget that Seattle also has a Lunch 2.0 chapter, organized by Josh Maher. If you get up that way frequently, check them out and report back to me. Their next Lunch 2.0 is November 13 at RocketDog Communications from 4:30-6:00 PM. You can RSVP on Upcoming, natch.

And now for something completely different:

Some of you may know that there’s an Open Source (Bridge) conference brewing for next July to help us all get over the loss of OSCON.

Both Rick and I are assisting with the organization, and the whole crew of organizers will be in Beaverton today at the new OTBC digs in the Beaverton Round hosting a townhall meeting. The meeting starts at 11:30 and should go until about 1.

The townhall is your chance to hear what the conference is all about, meet the organizers and add your two cents. Oh, and if you like, sign up to help us. This conference will be volunteer-driven, start to finish, so we’ll need loads of help.

See you there?

WordCamp Portland (#wordcampdx) 2008: Ironically, words escape me

WordCamp PortlandI’d love to prattle on and on about how great and amazing and inspiring WordCamp Portland 2008 was. But I can’t.

I’m simply at a loss for words.

Yes, it was that good.

And I remain ever so proud to have had the chance to sponsor and participate.

What was WordCamp Portland, you ask? Well, it was a very long day of love and learning focused on WordPress—a popular open source blogging platform and content management system. Throughout the day, more than 150 WordPress enthusiasts and soon-to-be enthusiasts shared their ideas, their problems, and their insights.

And, perhaps the most amazing thing? It was almost single-handedly willed into being by Aaron Hockley, following a conversation at Beer and Blog. And with the support of team of volunteers and sponsors, he and his team turned WordCamp Portland into a truly incredible event.

I’d love to tell you more, but honestly, I can’t really do it justice. So—as is my general wont after these types of things—I’m going to round up the stuff that other people are saying.

Let’s let them do the talking:

  • Twitter posts tagged with #wordcampdx (It was the #1 topic on Twitter throughout the day.)
  • Flickr photos tagged with wordcampdx
  • Thank YOU (WordCamp Portland)
    “We’re wrapping things up here at WordCamp Portland, but I wanted to post a quick thank you to everyone. Thanks to our sponsors for providing cash and services that helped make this possible. A big thank you to all of our speakers, some of whom traveled quite a distance, for sharing their expertise and helping to facilitate a ton of great discussion. Thanks to all of our attendees – hopefully you learned something, and we appreciate all of your knowledge that you’ve shared.”
  • Presentations Links Roundup (WordCamp Portland)
    “Many of the WordCamp Portland presenters referenced links, information, or slides which are shared online. Here’s a roundup of pointers to the presentation information, roughly in the order presented…”
  • Liveblogging WordCamp Portland (Critical Games)
    “8:33am: We’re all set up in the main conference room at CubeSpace, bagels and coffee in hand… slide on the project points out that if you want to search on twitter or flickr or anywhere, the hashtag to look for is #wordcampdx…. “
  • Liveblogging WordCamp PDX (Eric Stoller)
    ” The tag/hashtag for WordCamPDX (only 1 p) is wordcampdx. Aaron Hockley is kicking off the event promptly at 8:36. Very diverse group of attendees.”
  • WordCamp PDX (superfancy)
    “Anyway, the reason I attended was for information overload! And I was not disappointed in the least.”
  • WordCamp PDX! Resources and Morning Recap (Hazelnut Tech Talk)
    “Saturday morning cartoons and sleep were replaced with a hundred bloggers at CubeSpace. We woke up collectively to a series of speeches, tips, and new friends we didn’t expect.”
  • What I learned from WordCamp Portland (OurPDX)
    “Sitting in the sold out room for WordCamp Portland I was struck by just how dynamic and exciting the internet community in Portland has become. There’s a part of me that doesn’t want to write about it, doesn’t want the rest of the world to know about our little secret (but I think the secret is already out). Big things are happening here in Portland. When I say big things, I don’t mean some major Internet company is going to be opening its doors, and I don’t mean there will be some huge announcement of some grand Oregon based product. The magic of what’s happening here is that it’s a million little exciting things that all add up to a very significant and flourishing community.”
  • I survived WordCamp Portland (My Whim is Law)
    “Yesterday, I met other people who are in the business of changing lives – their own, or those of the audiences or organizations or causes they represent. I added several more people to my Twitter stream, or shared my knowledge with them (and vice versa.) My life is immeasurably richer because I blog. It’s immeasurably easier because I use WordPress.”
  • WordCamPDX Wrap-Up (Critical Games)
    “The short of it: it was a REALLY fantastic event, and I’m very glad I went (it would have been worth coming down from Seattle for were I still in Seattle, let me put it that way). As can be gathered from my previous post, there was a virtual wealth of information regarding blogging, and thats not even getting into the deluge of tweets on Twitter regarding it — at several points in the day, we were anywhere from the number one to the number three item in Twitter Trends, even beating out the political stuff the day after the debates. And the attendance was just 150 people(ish), so that should be saying something on just how much everyone was tweeting. I about doubled my Twitter Follows/Followers.”
  • #wordcampdx Changes Lives (TechnoEarthMama)
    “Today I attended the excellent conference/unconference WordCamp Portland, and was amazed.”
  • WordcamPDX (Vin Thomas)
    “If you don’t know by now, I use wordpress for this blog. I love it! It is really one of the great developments in open source web development.”
  • I learned a little something (Moody Meow)
    “Entering Wordcamp I was almost overwhelmed by the sheer number of people. They announced that they would let more people in, and I’m glad. I almost registered too late, intending on going, but trying to convince myself not to go because I wouldn’t know a soul there.”
  • chrysalis (Cami Kaos)
    “On Saturday I attended WordCamPDX which answered a lot of questions that needed answering and raised about 6,000 more that I’m looking in to. I’ll have an entire post on my experience at word camp later in the week but for now I leave you with this picture of Verso and I taken by Jane Wells.”
  • At WordCamp Portland 2008 (BoxedTofu)
    “Yes, I am a tech / blogging geek. That is why I’m spending the day in a sketchy part of Portland, listening to people talk about WordPress (an awesome blogging platform). If you’re looking to start a blog, it is what you should probably use (open source, plugins, community support, so good).”
  • Wordcamp PDX is over… time to go home (BoxedTofu)
    “Wordcamp PDX was a smash hit. I made some new friends, learned a few new blogging-related things, and saw a lot of people with iPhones. Although I dont’ have much else to say, I did want to show a couple of images.”
  • Josh’s Lifelog for 2008-09-21 (Josh Bancroft’s TinyScreenfuls)
  • Tying your tubes (Steel Bridge Rag)
    “Just joined FriendFeed. Now we’re onto LifeStream, which sends anything I do to one place. These geeks move FAST! Overload!!!!”
  • What is it about blogging platform conferences? (Develonizer)
    “I’ve been to many tech confrences, the only two that have really creep-eeed me out have been Drupalcamp and now wordcamp. I think that they evangelizm is all with good intent, and I’m not trying to be cynical, but think about it. Everyone who has payed $10, and showed up @ 840, so I think that we can assume that there is some level of love for the topic of the day, wordpress(wp).”
  • Unlucky in photo competitions, lucky in radishes (Gwyn’s Blog)
    “It was cheap, cheerful, informative & well-organised. I am proudly wearing my free T-Shirt today. More conferences should have kegs of beer available from lunch time onwards too. Talking of which, I learnt about a Portland institution called Beer and Blog with weekly Friday meetups in PDX, so I might investigate that too.”
  • At Wordcamp Portland Today (Viper007Bond)
    “13-14 hours later I’m home. What an awesome day. I’d write more, but I’m burned out and not big on word anyway. See me on Twitter as well as the #wordcampdx tag for a summary. So totally going next year.”
  • WordCamp Portland Wrapup (Thieves Like Us)
    “More than any nugget of information I got during a talk, I think the most valuable thing I took away was a general sense of what is possible to accomplish with the framework in general.”
  • Finding voice (Art Wells)
    “I went to Wordcamp Portland yesterday. Though I couldn’t stay for the whole event, and I’m far from a wordpress power user, it was still quite inspirational. I met good, positive people and saw some shining examples of people doing what they loved with good tools.”
  • WordPress Presentations from WordCamPDX (Webmonkey)
    “WordCamp wrapped up in Portland over the weekend and all signs point to it being a success. Apparently the #wordcampdx hash tag made the front page of Twitter, if that’s any indication. Perhaps a better measure is the huge list of presentation wrap-ups, including slides, notes, videos, and more.”
  • The Fairy BlogMother Lorelle (Liz Strauss)
    “On the Worldwide Day of Play, Lorelle VanFossen gave her Keynote at WordCamp Portland as the Fairy BlogMother. Amazing in every way!”

That’s what I’ve got, so far. Did I miss your post? Please, by all means, link it up below.

(Psst! If you’re among those who just couldn’t get enough WordCamp, I’ve got a little secret for you. Don’t tell anyone. Let’s just keep this between you and me. But, word around the campfire is that there may be a Portland contingent making the trip down to WordCamp Las Vegas in January, where Matt Mullenweg and Lorelle are already on the agenda. There might be a Portland-type speaking there, as well. Stay tuned!)

REMINDER: From Side Project to Startup starts up tonight

Whew! We’re drawing near to the finish on an event-filled week. And now, From Side Project to Startup will be leading us into the weekend.

What’s the focus? Selena Deckelmann gives us the lowdown:

If you were at Barcamp Portland, you may have stopped by for the My Other Thing session. (if you weren’t there you can listen to this recording of a great, freewheeling discussion) The session led by Rick Turoczy and Banana Lee Fishbones. After the group separated, people talked about wanting more – more discussions, more connections… maybe even – a conference! Inspired by that session, From Side Project to Startup was born.

Things kick off around 5:30 PM at CubeSpace, with a welcome reception.

Here’s the full agenda:

Friday Evening – September 12, 2008
5:30-6:30 – Reception/Networking
6:30-7:00 – Welcome and setting the stage
7:00-9:00 – Creative Entrepreneurship: Conception to Actualization – Bridget Benton of Eyes Aflame
7:00-9:00 – Unconference Sessions

Saturday – September 13, 2008
9:00-10:00 – Coffee, Bagels and Schmoozing
10:00-10:15 – Welcome
10:30-12:00 – What to Do Before You Quit Your Day Job – Mark Paul
10:30-12:00 – Unconference Sessions
12:00-1:30 – Lunch
1:30-3:00 – One Page Startup Marketing Plan – Peter Korchnak of Semiosis Communications
1:30-3:00 – Unconference Sessions
3:00-3:30 – Snack Break
3:30-5:00 – What Kind of Funding are You Eligible For? – Carolynn Duncan
5:00-5:15 – Wrap Up
5:15-??? – After Party

As you can see, the format is fairly open. With lots of time to jump in and out. So, even if you can’t make it to the whole thing, I’m hoping you’ll take the chance to swing by and participate. That is, if the subject matter interests you.

And something tells me that it does.

The event is brought to you by Legion of Tech, an Oregon nonprofit dedicated to helping grow and nurture the local Portland technology community through educational, not-for-profit, community-run events.

For more information on the event, visit From Side Project to Startup. To RSVP, visit Upcoming.

Looking forward to seeing you there.

Silicon Florist’s links arrangement for July 24

Vidoop supports the Open Web

Via the Vidoop blog “Over the coming months, Vidoop will be delivering new services that not only take advantage of these new specifications but also make them easy for users and companies to use. The reality is users shouldn’t need to know about these technologies but they will be the underpinnings of the Open Web.”

Cre8Camp Is For People Who Do It Because They Love It

Bram Pitoyo writes “I always thought that ‘Creative’ and ‘Tech’ were two different worlds: two landmasses that somehow needs to be bridged. I wrote about it. I talked about it to friends and people I met at various events: about how I wanted to ‘make creatives more open by introducing them to the vibrant, local tech community.’ It’s all good. But I was completely wrong.”

Open Source City

OPB Think Out Loud will be broadcasting live from OSCON. The premise? “Portland isn’t necessarily the capital of this revolution — one of the hallmarks of such a decentralized system is that the whole concept of a capital is anathema — but it’s certainly one of the most prominent nodes of community. Some people have argued that the aspects of Portland’s culture that make it such an ideal location for open source activity (i.e. a creative, collaborative, non-commercial mindset, speaking in broad generalizations) have also meant that fewer local OSS (Open Source Software) projects become commercially viable.”

IPhone DevCamp2 PDX: Being Held at JIVE

Doug Coleman writes “I am excited to announce that iPhone DevCamp 2 PDX has an new venue! Thanks to Jim Goings and the wonderful people at Jive Software, iPhone DevCamp 2 PDX will be held August 2nd and 3rd at Jive’s Stark St. offices in Downtown Portland.”

The Open Web Foundation

Chris Messina writes “During this morning’s keynote at OSCON, David Recordon announced the formation of the Open Web Foundation (his slides), an initiative with which I am involved, aimed at becoming something akin to a ‘Creative Commons for patents’, with the intention of lowering the costs and barriers to the development and adoption of open and free specifications like OpenID and OAuth.”

OSCON 2008 – Power to the users

Jay Lyman writes “Now OSCON is at the Portland Convention Center, and while the conference has a different feel, it is still the most unique tech conference with its developer focus, sandals and lack of ties. So while I still enjoy being able to wear shorts to a show and briefings, there have been some significant changes to OSCON in addition to the location move.”

Beer and Blog: Welcome people of OSCON!

Justin Kistner writes “Welcome OSCON attendees to the land of beer and honey known around the world as Portland. We’d like to invite all of you to enjoy a pint of delicious beer with us on Friday from 4-6 pm. Beer and Blog is Portland’s tech scene happy hour of choice and we usually help each other with our blogs. At least that’s what I keep repeating.”

Why Portland? Amy Winkelman says “Hi Vidoop, welcome to Portland!”

[Editor: This is Portland. And this is why I love Portland. New Vidoop transplants ask a few questions, and Portland responds. And, as I read through this response, it struck me as a perfect “Why Portland?” entry. So, Portvangelist Amy Winkelman, take it away.]

I’m a friend of Rick Turoczy’s who pointed me to his Silicon Florist post about you all moving to Portland. Since I’m currently on a client work project in China, I’ll miss meeting you at Beer and Blog. However, I’m currently riding in a bus for the next three hours from Huizhou to Hong Kong and it’s a perfect opportunity to try and answer the questions you posed.

Like Rick, I’m thrilled to have another way-cool tech company come to Portland and as a native Oregonian and fanatic Portlander, I love recommending things to new folks visiting the city.

So, here goes…

Portland geographic primer

Oh, just one thing first – a quick guide to directions in town. The city is basically divided up into four quadrants (NE, SE, NW, SW) + North Portland which is sometimes referred to as NoPo. The Willamette (oh yeah, it’s pronounced “Wil-lam-it”) river is the divider between East and West, and Burnside Street is the divider between North and South. A couple of notable neighborhoods fall into the following sections:

Oh yeah, and in NW Portland the streets are alphabetical in one direction (Burnside, Couch, Davis, Everett, etc.) and numbered in the other direction so it’s super easy to get around. Since Portland is home to a couple of mapping start-ups, I’m sure you’ll figure it out. 🙂

Now, to get to the questions…

Koesmanto Bong

Is there any local friendly pick up soccer and volleyball games in Portland?

For volleyball, the schedules and availability of courts change a lot depending on time of year, so check out: http://volyplyr.brinkster.net/pv.asp and http://www.portlandvolleyball.org/

I’m not a soccer player, so I don’t know about that, sorry!

Where can I find authentic Chinese food in Portland?

In the city, you can try Fong Chong in Chinatown/Old Town. [Editor: And within walking distance of the Vidoop office, to boot!] The area is a little dicey at night, so I’d recommend going in the day. But really, most of the Chinese immigrants and families have moved out to SE 82nd (around Division St.) where it’s less expensive, so the most authentic places are up there. The biggest place and possibly the most authentic for dim sum is called Legin. It’s huge and popular (big wedding banquet spot and really busy on Sundays).

My favorite Chinese restaurant isn’t necessarily authentic, but it’s very tasty (kind of expensive though)—it’s called Sungari Pearl on NW 11th & Lovejoy in the Pearl District. [Editor: A little bit of a hike from the Vidoop offices, or a streetcar ride away.]

Is bacon the official choice of food of the city?

It is according to @verso, but I would honestly say anything that is locally farm grown, organic and/or “artisan” is generally pretty popular. Portland is also known for coffee, microbrew, and micro-distillers, wine, berries, hazelnuts and anything you can find at the farmer’s market. Oh, and you’ll see many McMenamins restaurants of different types around town, all owned by a pair of hippie brothers who renovate old spaces and put in restaurants, theaters, etc. each with its own sort of theme. They hire local artists to decorate them, McMenamins microbrew on tap and decent pub food, and the atmosphere is very Portland.

Joel Curran

Where can I find some info on some sports leagues?

Online is the best way to go here. There are tons of leagues, and most should have Web-based info, registration, etc. available. There seems to be a league or group of people who get together to play just about every sport there is (I even see croquet players and bocci ball players in my neighborhood).

Who are some of the top local bands?

[Editor: Look out. You’ve struck a chord here. Oh my. Bad pun.] Indie-rock is the most popular kind of music here. The Shins, Modest Mouse, Spoon, The Decemberists, Stephen Malkmus & the Jicks, Quasi, The Gossip, The Dandy Warhols, Helio Sequence, Stars of Track and Field, Menomena, The Thermals and many more call Portland home. It’s a great music town.

Pink Martini is also hugely popular, but they are a totally different kind of thing… just check them out. They’re fun. Floater is also a long-time favorite local band of many.

Oh, and the jazz/blues scene is strong—Jimmy Mak’s in the Pearl District is a great place to see jazz/blues players. Curtis Salgado is sort of the king of that scene, as is Mel Brown.

What is the one place you would say is a “must-go” for my trip to Portland this weekend?

That’s a really hard question since I don’t know what you’re into. Best thing to do is to pick up a Willamette Week (best alternative paper in Portland) and check out what’s going on this weekend. Here are some other ideas:

  • If you like books (no, if you enjoy life!), you must go to Powell’s. Best bookstore on the planet. NW 10th & Burnside.
  • Saturday morning, check out the Saturday Portland Farmers’ Market in the South Park blocks (downtown by Portland State University) as that’s a good slice of Portland life, and has great food.
  • Go down to the Willamette River waterfront (Tom McCall waterfront park) and walk along the promenade.
  • Take a ride on the Portland Streetcar to the South Waterfront area and take the Portland Aerial Tram up to OHSU (hospital at the top of the hill) for a great view of the city.
  • Check out who’s playing at the Crystal Ballroom, the Doug Fir Lounge, Roseland, Wonder Ballroom, Berbati’s Pan or Jimmy Mak’s and go there for some live music and a drink. [Editor: More of Amy’s insights on venues below.]
  • Try Stumptown Coffee (various spots around the city) for amazing coffee and hipster viewing.
  • If you like to hike or just want a walk in the woods, go to Forest Park—the largest city park in the US. It’s not really a park, but a forest that has amazing trails for short, long or really long hikes. You will totally forget you’re still in the city. A good way to access it is from Washington Park and the Hoyt Arboretum which is also by the Oregon Zoo (accessible by MAX light rail).
  • If you’re a movie buff, there are tons of great theaters, from high-end fancy to down-to-earth funky. I like the pub theaters where you can order food and a beer while watching a second-run flick for only a couple of bucks—try the Mission (in NW), Laurelhurst Theater (NE) or the Bagdad (SE) [Editor: Home of Ignite Portland 3]. On the nicer side, try Fox Tower theaters (downtown) or for strictly independent or foreign flicks, check out the Living Room Theaters (downtown/NW) and Cinema 21 (NW).
  • I’d also recommend checking out Jackpot Records (downtown & SE) and Music Millennium (NE), two of the best independent music stores.
  • For art galleries, restaurants and window shopping, go to the Pearl District (if the weather is good, Jamison Square on NW 10th/11th & Johnson is filled with kids and families playing in the fountain which is fun to watch). I love walking around Northwest Portland along NW 21st & NW 23rd which has some great stores, restaurants and people watching opportunities—both neighborhoods are accessible using the Streetcar.
  • Oh, and it’s definitely a good idea to grab a donut at Voodoo Doughnut at some point—a true Portland experience (downtown, just off Burnside on SW 3rd).

And most importantly, what is the best place for some Mexican food?

Portland is not really known for its Mexican food (sad, but true), but I really really like Nuestra Cocina (SE Division St). Also try Por Que No (NoPo on Mississippi), Cha Cha Cha (NE), or for funky Tex-Mex you can go to Esparza’s just off E Burnside and 28th.

Jason Grlicky

Where is the best local place to get music gear?

Portland Music Co. is the most well-known (several stores around town).

What are your favorite venues?

My favorite is a little (smoke-free) spot called the Doug Fir Lounge that mostly features indie-rock bands (it’s on East Burnside, just over the Burnside bridge from downtown). It has a great bar and restaurant with a cool design, and is located in an up-and-coming area of town with some hip restaurants and shops.

I also really like the Crystal Ballroom, also on Burnside, but in NW/downtown Portland. It’s a lot bigger, brings in all sorts of musical acts and since it’s a McMenamins, the art/design is very Portland. It also has this awesome old-time dancefloor with springs underneath it so you bounce when you dance or pogo or sway, whatever you do. The Wonder Ballroom is another good spot for music (in North/NE).

Who wants to get together and play some board games?

I’ve seen people get together the Lucky Lab pub in SE Portland (on Hawthorne just over the Hawthorne Bridge) for board games. I’m not positive about which night—like Wednesdays maybe?—so check online. It’s a great pub, and I’ve seen all kinds of board games set up that I think you can just join in and play if there’s a seat open.

Robert Nelson aka Rob

Where should I live?

Well, are you single? Have kids? Want to buy a house or rent an apartment? Do you want to bike/walk to work? Want to spend a lot of money on rent/mortgage or only a little? All those things are pretty key (you know that, duh), but let me know what you’re looking for and I can recommend some neighborhoods for you to check out.

I’ve lived in several different kinds of places in NE, SE and NW Portland and each area has its own distinct neighborhoods with their own individual personality. I don’t know where Vidoop’s offices are going to be, but that’s definitely something to consider as well since Portland has excellent public transportation and bike routes so you may want to factor that into where you decide to live.

Where are some great places close to down/mid town to hike?

Forest Park! You will grow to love and adore it—it’s right in town, huge, gorgeous and has great, well-maintained trails. And of course right outside of the city, there are many amazing hiking, mountain biking and walking trails through forests, up/down mountains, along rivers, etc.

Sushi?

Oh, are you going to love Portland! My favorite (traditional) sushi place is in the Pearl District and called Hiroshi (after the chef). It’s a little expensive, but has the best quality fish I think. Other hot spots are Saburos (in SE/Sellwood – go early, it’s crowded), Yakuza (NE), and Masu (downtown & SE). For cheaper but still decent sushi, there are many Mio Sushi’s around town also.

Live music?

Depends on what kind of music you like, but check out who’s playing at the Crystal Ballroom, the Doug Fir Lounge, Roseland, Wonder Ballroom, Berbati’s Pan or Jimmy Mak’s which are the places I’ve gone to most often.

Places to train MMA (jiu jitsu and kickboxing)?

Sorry, no idea… [Editor: I’m hoping that Jake Kuramoto will jump in here. He may even offer to beat you up!]

Joel D. Siedenburg

Looking for a good gym…?

24 Hour Fitness is in just about every neighborhood (downtown, Pearl District, NE, etc.) which is where I go (well, sometimes…). I have some friends who really like the YMCA downtown by Portland State University. There is a Nautilus gym downtown, and some boutique gyms in NW Portland. Oh, and there are tons of yoga and Pilates studios if you’re into that sort of thing (located all over the city).

Where are some close fly-fishing spots?

Not sure, sorry about that. I know people who head down to the McKenzie River near Eugene (about 2 hours away) and I know there is awesome fly fishing on the Rogue River in southern Oregon (about 5 hours away), but I’m sure there are places closer by. A friend of mine is a fly-fishing fanatic (and local software engineering guy) so I’d be happy to do an email invitation for you and he could fill you in.

And definitely need to start looking more into housing… recommendations?

I don’t know what price range you’re looking for, but Portland’s housing prices may be a bit high in comparison to what you’re used to. Every neighborhood in Portland has its own personality and price range, and the closer-in you go toward downtown, the more expensive it is generally. Let me know what you’re looking for and I can do my best to recommend some cool neighborhoods. I also have a really good realtor I’ve used a couple of times if you need that.

Benjamin Stover

What kind of bike should I buy? A hybrid? Where’s the best place to buy one?

Since I bike around on an old busted up mountain bike on the occasions when I do bike, I’m the worst person to ask. But, there are amazing bike resources in town, including some excellent bike shops (Bike Gallery, River City Bicycles, even REI) that have super nice people who can help you. The Bicycle Transportation Alliance is a non-profit to check out—they should be a good jumping off point for bike-related questions. They’re actually a really strong force in the city to promote better bike lanes, bike safety and to make Portland even more bike-friendly.

Is there a good capoeira group in Portland? Muay thai?

I so had to look up capoeira on wikipedia. But that doesn’t mean there aren’t practitioners in Portland… [Editor: Again, recommending Jake Kuramoto—who should be at Beer and Blog—to help in this regard.]

What are the geeky niches in Portland? e.g., retro video game hobbyists? Chiptunes scene?

Portland has lots of geeky subcultures, including retro video game hobbyists (check out Ground Kontrol in Old Town [Editor: Conveniently located just below the current Vidoop office])… The city’s unofficial motto is “Keep Portland Weird” so I guarantee you that you’ll find “your people” whoever they may be.

Again, the Web is your best friend when it comes to finding them.

More questions?

I hope this helps, that you have great weather during your stay and that you enjoy Portland as much as we do. 🙂

Please feel free to drop me a note over email amywinkelman at gmail dot com or Twitter if you have any questions.

Have fun!

Amy Winkelman