We Found the Most Glam Catio in the City

This weekend, the Feral Cat Coalition of Oregon is creating a self-guided tour of the coolest catios in the city. And yet, we’re pretty certain it missed the best one. Behind a midcentury house off Southeast Stark Street in Buckman, you’ll see a remarkably stylish catio—an enclosure befitting Harambe himself, were he a cat.

An artist built this backyard fluff palace to accommodate up to 10 cats. It makes the standard enclosed outdoor cat area look like a wet playground during a Portland winter.

Related: Moshow Always Felt Like an Outcast—Until He Started Rapping About Cats

While others have dedicated sections of their yards to their feline friends, this man made his entire backyard a giant enclosure—the habitat is covered, with netting going up about 15 feet. When you walk through the maze of the catio, you hear felines flopping to the ground from one of the many cat walkways, pedestals and tiny houses.

Related: A Formal Application for the Amazing Acro-Cats Cat Circus

We wanted to know every detail of the build-out.


(WW Staff)
(WW Staff)

With rustic wooden planks and emerald-painted window panes, the timber cabin Guest Home is distinguished by its privacy. It’s north-facing for soft light and perfectly situated for cats to escape the rain or lick their parts.


(WW Staff)
(WW Staff)

Designed for mobility, the five-level Cat Tree structure is built with faded wood planks. The diagonal, stained slabs provide a small obstacle for cats to stretch their back legs and practice dexterity. Having five levels allows one level for every two cats, so they can be cozy but not cramped.


(WW Staff)
(WW Staff)

Appearing to be inspired by Le Corbusier’s later Latin aesthetic, the runway provides a calming air perch. Cats are natural tree-climbers, so establishing vertical territory was key to keeping the kitties happy.


(WW Staff)
(WW Staff)

Pre-domestication, many cats lived in lush rainforests and among tall palms. The palms here help the cats connect with their ancestors in the shadows of a tall, orange canna. It’s natural, organic and good for their sense of well-being.

The fourth annual Catio Tour is Saturday, Sept. 10. 10 am-2 pm. $10 suggested donation. Register at feralcats.com.

Are You Stoned Enough for the Snoop Dogg-Wiz Khalifa Tour?

Before reading any further, you must first get high.

Now, get way, way more high than that.

Are you able to read this sentence? Then you’re probably still not high enough to see Snoop Dogg perform with Wiz Khalifa at an amphitheater named after the country’s leading manufacturer of hydroponic supplies.

But if you feel like you are, indeed, stoned far enough out of your gourd to attend this summit meeting of hip-hop’s most blunted, take the following test.

Answer key at the bottom of the page. 







Answers: 1. E 2. B 3. C. 4. C, B, A, E, D 5. B. 6. If you started writing this, don’t even think about buying tickets.

If you answered most of these correctly, you are definitely not high enough. Please hit the dab a few more times and try again.

SEE IT: Snoop Dogg and Wiz Khalifa play Sunlight Supply Amphitheater, 17200 NE Delfel Road, Ridgefield, Wash., with Kevin Gates, Jhene Aiko, Casey Veggies and DJ Drama, on Thursday, Sept. 1. 7 pm. $15-$130. All ages.

One of Portland’s Best Standup Comedians is Leaving the City, So We Asked Him for a Tour of his Favorite Spots

I don’t get out much, and most of the places I used to hang around have closed down. So when Willamette Week asked me to write a farewell to my favorite Portland places before I move to Los Angeles, I wasn’t sure what to do. Sure, I have my everyday spots, coffee shops I frequent and liquor stores I drop by, and I wait in line at my local Safeway just like anybody else. But when it comes down to it, there are only a few places I have particularly strong memories of.

Lou’s Parents’ House

Northeast 35th Avenue and Knott Street

When I first moved to Portland, I stayed with my friend Lou’s parents. They’re a great family, but as generous as they were, they were all smaller people than me, and I was unreasonably embarrassed to eat in front of them. So when everyone had gone to sleep, I would sneak into the kitchen and make grilled cheese sandwiches. Lou has since moved across the country, and we don’t really talk anymore. He’s probably doing alright. All I know for sure is that he canceled our Netflix account, so he might as well be dead.

Brody Theater

16 NW Broadway

The Brody Theater is the first place I ever performed standup in Portland, and the venue’s greenish hue and cult-film decor will forever characterize the vibes by which I remember this city. I had to text-message a misanthropic Ukrainian gentleman early in the morning just to end up 30th on the list for the open mic. I showed up at 9 pm and waited until 1 am to perform in front of three other comics, the bartender and the aforementioned Ukrainian man. I wouldn’t trade the memory of those frustrating nights for anything.

Taco Corners

Northeast 7th Avenue and Broadway

There’s probably already a name for this place, but the corner of Northeast 7th and Broadway has a Muchas Gracias, a Chipotle, a Taco Bell and a Qdoba. This is probably where I’ve spent most of my time in Portland. My gym is about three blocks away from Taco Corners, and every so often I’ll buy a burrito and eat it across the street from my gym while wondering what my life would be like if I had abs.

Irving Park

Northeast 7th Avenue

I pulled an all-nighter with some friends once, and we wound up playing on the jungle gym at Irving Park at 6 am before getting tired by 6:30 am and finding a pancake spot to eat breakfast in by 7 am.

Velo Cult Bike Shop

1969 NE 42nd Ave.

This is where I go to get my bike fixed. It is also where I go to do comedy. It is also occasionally where I go to get drunk.

Portland International Airport

7000 NE Airport Way

I love being in Portland’s airport, because half the time I’m there it means I’m about to leave this city.

The Creepy Statue Outside the Vital Records Office

800 NE Oregon St., Room 205

Every Tuesday, I bike past a statue that looks like the Swamp Thing’s ghost, and I just want to know what it’s supposed to be a sculpture of.

My Living Room Before Phil Moved In

Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Fremont Street

There used to be a lot of parties in my living room. It was a cheap place to drink, there was no last call, anyone could show up. Some nights we’d expect to have a slew of friends stop by to sing impromptu karaoke until 4 am. But then I got a new roommate, and my new roommate hates to party. He only likes to read books about the Dust Bowl and cook fancy meals.

GO: Curtis Cook’s farewell Earthquake Hurricane show is at Helium Comedy Club, 1510 SE 9th Ave., on Wednesday, Aug. 17. 8 pm. $10 suggested donation. 21+.

The Six People You Will See at a Magic Tournament

Illustrations by Spencer Afonso.

This weekend, professional Magic: The Gathering returns to Portland for the first time since 2014. About 2,000 people will battle it out for a $10,000 grand prize, while hundreds more will visit to hang out, trade cards and party. Here are six people you can expect to see at the Oregon Convention Center this weekend.

Related: Does Being Cool Matter at a Competitive Magic Tournament with $3,000 on the Line?


The Cosplayer

Identify her by: Her extraordinarily elaborate costume, whether it be an archangel with blood-soaked wings or a snake-haired wizard.

Where to find her: Outside the event hall, swarmed by adoring onlookers asking for selfies.

Chance of winning: The hearts and minds of attendees? 100 percent.

The Grinder

The Grinder

Identify him by: Basketball shorts, small-market NBA team cap, wispy facial hair, calm and cool demeanor.

Where to find him: Near the top tables deep into the tournament with his teammates cheering him on.

Chance of winning: Way better than he thought.


The MTG Bro

Identify him by: Black hoodie, flat-brim hat, sleeve tattoos, vape pen.

Where to find him: Outside the event center complaining, between vape hits, to friends that his opponents “got so fuckin’ lucky” to beat him in several avoidable losses.

Chance of winning: In his mind: 90 percent. In reality: 0 percent.


The Harried Judge

Identify him by: Black button-up shirt with sweat-soaked armpits, black dress pants, ponytail.

Where to find him: Running across the event hall, trying to figure out which one of the 300 people screaming “JUDGE!!!” he should help.

Chance of winning: Those who cannot do, judge.


The Professional

Identify him by: Above-average physical fitness, T-shirt emblazoned with team logo.

Where to find him: In the event hall, either at a table surrounded by people wearing the same shirt or in the tournament semifinals.

Chance of winning: Actually 90 percent.


The Classic Gamer

Identify her by: Brightly colored hair, Doctor Who or zombie T-shirt, general level of excitement.

Where to find her: Having a good time playing Magic, having a good time with her friends, having a good time in general.

Chance of winning: Who cares? Magic is about having fun.

GO: Grand Prix Portland 2016 is at the Oregon Convention Center, gppdx.com, on Friday-Sunday, Aug. 12-14.

The Eight Essential Hot Sauces for Your Pantry

This weekend, the OMSI bridge parking lot will be taken over by a ring of fire sauces. The PDX Hot Sauce Expo will offer an overwhelming array of palate-destroying liquid capsaicin, and spicy-food eating contests that might include actual vomiting. It should be terrific. In honor of the event, we asked Mi Mero Mole owner and salsa scholar Nick Zukin to put together the ultimate hot sauce cabinet you should keep at home.

Related: The Best Low-Cost Mexican Spots in Town

Jalisco style: Valentina (Red Label)


The most popular Mexican hot sauces come from the state of Jalisco, which touches the Pacific. Valentina has an earthy, dried chili flavor balanced by vinegar and sugar. Salsa Huichol, named for an indigenous local tribe, is sweeter, tangier and less earthy. Tapatío, borrowing the nickname of a person from Guadalajara, the capital of Jalisco, is actually made in California, but mimics the style. In Mexico, Valentina is used on ceviche, potato chips, and even fruits. Cholula is also from Jalisco, though named for an ancient town in Puebla, and has a more complex flavor with a citrusy character, though it has no citrus.

Cajun style: Tabasco (Original)


Invented in the 1800s, the oldest and still one of the best Cajun hot sauces, Tabasco uses mashed fresh red chilies that are then salted, fermented, and aged three years in whiskey barrels before being strained and mixed with vinegar. It’s very tangy, with an underlying funkiness from the fermentation. Crystal, one of the several similar sauces from the region invented in the early 1900s, is less sweet, less tangy and less spicy, with almost no funkiness, but still a good all-purpose hot sauce.

Caribbean style: El Yucateco Habanero


The Yucatan Peninsula is where habaneros and this sauce come from. El Yucateco has several sauces made with Mexico’s hottest chili, but its Caribbean sauce best retains the floral character of the habanero. Matouk’s, a sauce from the Caribbean using Scotch bonnets, is harder to find, but also quite good. Locally, Aardvark is a good Caribbean hot sauce, though less floral.

Chipotle: Búfalo Chipotle

bufalo-chipotleModeled after the chipotle sauces of Puebla, Búfalo can be found in most grocery stores. Chipotles (smoked jalapeños) in the sauce are balanced by sugar and sweet spices. This sauce is the reason many of the national brand salsas now make a chipotle version.

Tomatillo: Embasa Salsa Verde


In Mexico, tomatillos are much more common in table sauces than tomatoes. It’s a shame more hot sauces don’t highlight the sour fruit. Embasa is a national brand, and like Herdez, its salsas are used in place of homemade ones at many taquerias and taco trucks. Many other taquerias would be better off using them. Embasa’s salsa verde has a fresh, bright tomatillo flavor with just enough chile. For a spicier green sauce, look for Los Roast’s hot New Mexico Green Chile.

Chili Oil: Hot Mama Chili Oil


If you really want to set your nostrils on fire, there’s nothing better than chili oil. You’ll find it on tables in Mexico, Thailand, and even China. It’s just toasted, dried hot chili flakes and/or their seeds in oil, sometimes with flavorings. Local salsa maker Hot Mama makes one with peanut oil, sesame seeds and garlic that is similar to the “crisp chili oil” you’ll find at Asian grocers. They’re nutty and tooth-meltingly hot as a rule. Master Sauce crisp chili oil is a good Taiwanese brand that’s cheaper.

Sriracha: Shark Sriracha


Most people are familiar with the “rooster sauce” made by Huy Fong, the California company started by a Vietnamese immigrant. It’s bitter and tastes of garlic powder, but it’s cheap and popular. Shark brand sriracha, a favorite of Pok Pok’s Andy Ricker, is the style you’ll find in Thailand. It’s fragrant and delicious, with a brighter red chili flavor backed by sweet garlic and vinegar.

Malaysian sambal oeleks: Kokita Sambal Oelek


Malaysia and Indonesia have some of the world’s great hot sauces. Most can be hard to buy in the U.S. Sambal oelek, though, is available at most Asian grocers, even some national grocers, and is the base for many other sauces. Sambal oeleks are salty with an assertive fresh red chile flavor. Kokita’s has a little tomato for sweetness, but no vinegar. If you can’t find Kokita, look for a brand from Indonesia or Malaysia.

GO: PDX Hot Sauce Expo will be at the OMSI bridge parking lot, 1945 SE Water Ave., 503-797-4000. 10 am-6pm Saturday-Sunday, Aug. 6-7. $10 advance, $15 day of event. VIP passes $50-$100.

Oregon’s Biggest and Oldest Outdoor Beer Festival Starts in Portland Today—We Talked to a Hater

The Oregon Brewers Festival, which takes over Tom McCall Waterfront Park for five days starting July 27, is the biggest fest in Oregon—one of the oldest and probably the largest outdoor beer fest in the country, with 111 beers ranging from traditional Czech Pilsners and Leipziger goses to, like, mint julep beer and beer made with pesto. Which is to say, it’s a very big deal.

The many local breweries tend to pull out the stops and brew special beers, because 80,000 people from all over the world come to try them—along with craft brews from as far away as China, Japan and the Netherlands. There is no admission fee, and after you get a cup for $7, each taste is a mere buck. It’s a gigantic clusterfuck, and it’s terrific.

But like anything big, it has haters. We talked to one, local man Walker MacMurdo.

WW: What’s your beef?

Walker MacMurdo: When I visited on a Friday last year, the grounds were a swelteringly hot, overcrowded, overlarge, dust-choked clusterfuck of a beer festival. I’d recently enjoyed the Portland Craft Beer Festival in Fields Park, which was a fraction of the size, and the contrast stuck out immediately.

So your problem is…you’ll be drinking beer on what’s essentially the city’s hugest beer patio, in the summer, next to the river, in 80-degree weather?

Patio, my ass. It’s a fairground that takes 20 minutes to cross. And the river would be nice if not for the infernal dirt.

That, and the crowd isn’t exactly the normal beer fest crowd either. I saw at least five variations on cutoff T-shirts that said “STOMP MY FLAG, I’LL STOMP YOUR ASS.”

That’s awesome.

The people who go to the Oregon Brewers Festival believe people will stomp on flags in front of them. The whole thing was Donald Trump’s beer fest.

From the brewers’ perspective, it’s putting their beer in front of people who otherwise never see it. You just want to drink beers with 17 guys named Rodney?

I’m not attacking the concept of the beer festival. But is it worth digging the gems out of a hot, sprawling mess? If you put the world’s best beer festival inside a Tilt-a-Whirl, would it be worth it?

The OBF is a total state fair midway. But it sacrifices every nice thing about a beer fest, which is that it’s a way to drink a bunch of rare beers without being trapped in a sandstorm.

There are six things like that every week. This is pretty much the biggest outdoor beer fest in the country. You don’t complain when Oktoberfest is a drunken carnival. You go because it’s a drunken carnival. Also, sandstorms? Seriously?

When I went to get the beer, the lines were invariably extremely long, especially if you want anything halfway across the country or the world. And it’s an endless expanse of countless stalls.

On the bright side, it’s an endless expanse of countless stalls. And each one has a beer you’ll never see again. There’s craft beer from Japan. Brewers who flew in from the Netherlands. Craft beer from China. China! Just go at 2 pm Thursday, when it’s less crowded.

I went when I could. That’s when normal people get to go to these things. Not everyone is a highfalutin alternative journalist who gets to go whenever he wants.

Take a damn day and drink. The nerds are there early, and there’s so much beer.

Beerfests should be generally enjoyable whenever—but, oh, I guess it’s fine if there’s nerds there.

GO: The Oregon Brewers Festival is at Tom McCall Waterfront Park on Wednesday-Sunday, July 27-31. $7 for a cup, $1 for each 4-ounce taste. Cash only.

How Well Do You Know Oregon’s Grateful Dead History?

The relationship between the Grateful Dead and Oregon has been a long, strange trip, which you may be vaguely aware of if you’ve ever walked into Fire on the Mountain—named, of course, after a song by the Dead—or stared into the eyes of a dancing bear painting while taking a bong rip at the Oregon Country Fair. Unsurprisingly, this connection is largely due to the Merry Pranksters and One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest author Ken Kesey. The Grateful Dead played the Oregon native’s San Francisco Bay Area Acid Tests, and when Kesey moved to a Pleasant Hill, Ore., farm, many people from the scene followed, giving the Grateful Dead a spiritual home near Eugene. As Dead and Company rolls into Moda Center this Friday—a band consisting of the non-Garcia Dead (minus Phil Lesh) and John Mayer—we’d figure we’d test your knowledge of Oregon Deadhead trivia.

There is an annotated answer key at the bottom of this page.



1. C. The ban was lifted in 1993, after fans protested in downtown Eugene’s Wayne Morse Free Speech plaza.

2. B. The chorus goes like this: “Shall we go, you and I, while we can, through the transitive nightfall of diamonds?”

3. D. The Springfield Creamery later created Nancy’s Yogurt, named after Nancy Hamren, the Kesey family’s longtime bookkeeper and recipe supplier.

4. D. Other Oregon tribute band names include: Garcia Birthday Band, Hardly Deadly and Cap’n Trips.

5. A. The author of this quiz attended the show as a 2-year-old and ate a Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia Peace Pop.

6. B. Beaver Hall was a small venue on NW 5th and Glisan St. This is also reportedly also the location of the Portland Acid Test.

7. C. Her mother was Carolyn Garcia, also known as “Mountain Girl.”

8. C “There’s a dragon with matches that’s loose on the town/ Takes a whole pail of water just to cool him down.”

9. A. His slogan? “I Fed The Dead.”

What You Should Bring to This Weekend’s Pagan Potluck

On Sunday, the Nine Houses of Gaia hosts an energy-raising pagan potluck picnic to build up energy for next year’s Northwest Fall Equinox Festival. We know you’re already on top of memorizing your part in the Goddess-appreciation ritual, and you always have your djembe on hand for drum circles. But you may be wondering what food to contribute to the potluck and how to make your dish stand out. Here are some of my favorite dishes for pagan gatherings.

Pagan Rye Bread

This one is easy, since we are all accustomed to making our own rye bread. The only difference in pagan rye bread is inoculating your rye with ergot fungi before you go through the bread-making process. This recipe has been bringing communities together since the Middle Ages.

Mannish Drank

Goat meat can be a hearty and symbolic ingredient to throw into your pagan dishes. Mannish Drank is a variation on the Jamaican aphrodisiac, Mannish Water, which is made by seasoning goat parts in a stew of spices, yams and bananas. To make your own aphrodisiac potion, just throw goat parts, bananas, spices and yams in a blender, then add a little Everclear. After downing that chunky concoction, something magic will happen to you.

(Andrew Moir)
(Andrew Moir)

Fairy’s Whisper Cookies

Here’s a cute dessert that is always a hit with the kids—human ones, not the baby goats you’ll be slaughtering at the picnic. These delicious sugar cookies are a simple mixture of flour, baking soda and baking powder beaten together with premixed butter, sugar, eggs, vanilla and ground-up bits of our tiny friends from the forest, fairies. Their green blood and guts add some interesting color to the cookies, as well as a pleasant hint of ginger.

The Enlightened Portobello Burger

This burger is beyond divine—at least that’s how it made me feel any time I’ve eaten one. First you’ll mix together cream cheese, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, basil, grated garlic and salt, using the mixture to fill about three-quarters of a portobello mushroom cap. Bake it at 350 degrees for about 15 minutes, then remove it and fill the last quarter of the cap with about an eighth of an ounce of dried psilocybin mushrooms. Drizzle some lemon juice to really activate the ingredients.

A Live Pig

Just show up with a pig between the age of 4 months and 1 year, and there should be plenty of onsite slaughter and sacrifice stations. You know what that means? Fresh pork chops!

GO: The Pagan Picnic is at Creston Park (Site B), 4476 SE Powell Blvd., on Sunday July 17. Noon-5 pm. 

Wizard of Oz Adaptations, Ranked

For over a century, L. Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz has proven to be one of the most strangely malleable stories in all of American literature. Singer Todrick Hall is the latest to find pieces of his own autobiography in the tale of a murderous farm girl and her imaginary friends. It’s too early to say if the American Idol semifinalist’s traveling musical Straight Outta Oz will enter the pantheon of other notable interpretations we’ve ranked below.

1. Return to Oz (1985)

More likely to sync up with a Siouxsie and the Banshees album than Dark Side of the Moon, Disney’s nominal sequel to the 1939 classic—from that period in the ’80s when Hollywood released a rash of live-action fantasy adventure flicks intended to scar the childhoods of its target audience—recasts the Technicolor dream world of the MGM original as a post-apocalyptic nightmare populated by creatures out of Sid and Marty Krofft’s worst acid trips. Dystopian fun for the whole family!

2. The Wiz Live! (2015)

Sure, Sidney Lumet’s 1978 post-disco retelling had Michael Jackson and Diana Ross, but NBC’s live production from last year had Mary J. Blige throwing shade, and enough gay innuendo to power a Miami Pride parade.

3. Aysecik ve Sihirli Cüceler Rüyalar Ülkesinde (1971)

No-budget Turkish knockoffs of American cinematic classics always find ways to improve the source material—like, say, having the Lollipop Guild massacre a tribe of hammer-wielding cavemen with a cannon. It’s lit, as the kids say.

4. Not the Wizard of Oz (2013)

And then there’s the porn parody, which features almost as much singing as boning. (I’m told.) So it gets points for ambition. A million points off for the uninspired title, though, especially since The Jizzer of Oz was right there for the taking.

5. Oz (est. 1901)

As in Australia, a country that might as well have been founded as a giant Wizard of Oz theme park. They’ve got flying monkeys there, right?

6. The Wizard of Oz (1939)

It’s aight.

7. Oz the Great and Powerful (2013)

A prequel no one asked for, starring James Franco, the wizard of projects no one asked for.

8. Oz (1997-2003)

HBO’s gritty remake replaces Emerald City with a maximum security prison, “Dorothy” with a timid lawyer doing time for manslaughter… and, well, that’s sort of where the comparisons stop. Anyway, have you tried watching Oz lately? It hasn’t aged well.

GO: Todrick Hall’s Straight Outta Oz is at Aladdin Theater, 3017 SE Milwaukie Ave., on Saturday, July 9. 7:30 pm. $27.50-$100. All ages.