If Mike Gutowski had said hello to the cute girl in the peacoat and Converse All-Star sneakers who boarded the No. 6 bus after him on a Friday evening, this would be a different story. He and the girl made eye contact and exchanged smiles as they traveled south along Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. But rather than start an across-aisle conversation that might make him late to his friend’s house, Gutowski got off the bus silently at his stop and posted this ad on Craigslist’s Missed Connections page the following day…

Catching Crabs (On Purpose)

Willamette Week | Nov. 17, 2011

On a sunny, T-shirt day in late October, I sit in the front of a tandem kayak on Siletz Bay just south of Lincoln City, a cage of raw chicken hearts, legs and livers on my lap. I’m on my first kayak crabbing expedition, and, other than a close proximity to discount chicken parts, I have no idea what to expect.

My partner in crime, Dave Hoffman, also a kayak crabbing newbie, pushes the boat away from the sandy shoreline and jumps in the back. “Let’s head out toward that seal head,” he says, indicating a glistening gray crown watching us from 50 yards away.

Off and Pedaling: Ten Lessons from a Cyclocross Newbie

Willamette Week blog | October 5, 2010

At 8:50 on Sunday morning, I stood with my bike at the starting line of the two-mile cyclocross course at Alpenrose Dairy with no idea what I was getting myself into. Curious about the sport’s appeal among local cycling enthusiasts, I’d borrowed a friend’s thick-tired single-speed and registered for a race, the first in the eight-week Cross Crusade series.

Satya Vayu and I are sitting across from each other on floor pillows in the sparse living room of the house where he’s staying in Southeast Portland. His legs are crossed and his feet are bare, the bottoms calloused and dirty from walking around shoeless outside. He’s telling me how he’s gotten by without working for an income or spending a substantial amount of money for almost two decades.

Sour Season: Cascade Brewing Barrel House

Willamette Week | October 27, 2010

When it comes to hops, Northwest brewers are all about one-upping each other. The guys atCascade Brewing Barrel House (939 SE Belmont St., cascadebrewingbarrelhouse.com) didn’t care to join that game—so they went sour. The tasting room serves over a dozen varieties of sour beer, produced with lactobacillus bacteria and aged for months in wooden barrels.

Sapphire Hotel

Willamette Week Drink Guide | January 2011

With the motto “eat drink kiss,” deep red walls and a vase of peacock feathers just inside the front door, the Sapphire Hotel pays homage to its sultry history as the lobby of a “turn-of-the-century seedy hotel” with rooms for rent by the hour. The Asian-themed decorations of this neighborhood cocktail bar are ornate and seductive: Oriental rugs, giant framed mirrors, a gold-toned mural and candles that glint off the liquor bottles along the back wall.