After finally touching down in Portland, it was time to go dancing! Besides the Tao of Tea, The Lovecraft Bar may be my favorite Portland establishment. With so many amazing places it’s hard to tell.
The First Hurdle was a Footwear Crisis, as none of my more military boots had made it on the trip, unless they’re buried somewhere under the cargo bed, which is effectively the same thing.
There was, of course, only one solution to this problem. My *other* favorite place in Portland, House of Vintage!!! This place is an aircraft-hangar-sized, owner-run resale business full of every imaginable nostalgia object of the past 150 years. It is absolutely impossible to escape without buying many, many things. Since I only needed one pair of boots, I deliberately took only my folding bike, my mostly-full Wilson satchel (previously purchased at House of Vintage) and my black leather Tumi world traveller backpack (also purchased at House of Vintage). The capacious interior of Junior had already been flooded with a dangerous level of thrift store flotsam, one can only *imagine* what catastrophe might ensue with that level of storage available!
There’s a certain gibbering insanity in trying to photographically capture House of Vintage, but this comes pretty close:
Once I got over my all-too-common girly moment of being excluded from Fabulousness due to the failure of my body to conform to impossible physical standards, I continued digging like an rabid wolverine through Atari 2600s, pimp hats, Polaroid cameras, and so, *SO* many boots! My first hit was a fly set of green original British-made Doc Martin steeltoes in excellent condition for a mere $26. However, I realized I would *never* wear them again after returning home to Austin, so I left them for someone else. Instead, I found these!
They’re Bates riding boots, they fit perfectly, especially with the insoles I swiped from the Doc Martins. 🙂 They’re useful, look amazing, are actually *much* better dancing boots than the officers boots I usually wear, and I scored them for a mere $33!
I strapped them on along with the of my Gothic/Industrial/BDSM dark-black goodness, hopped on the Brompton, and pedaled forth!
…immediately to be stopped by a very, *very* long train. 😦
Having learned from previous painful mistakes, I remembered to be careful to hit the train grooves only at 90 degree angles, keeping my Gothy ass off the pavement.
I was mildly disappointed to see real bike racks in front of my destination, denying the requirement to chain my Mobile Embarrassment to the existing metal artwork outside the door. Like everywhere else in Portland, many people seemed to be living in vans, most of which aren’t as nice as mine.
After digging out my Texas driver’s license, I pushed through the clove smoke and headed inside!
I was both relieved and disappointed to not see the super hot bartender I got in a small degree of trouble for hitting on shortly before leaving on my last visit two years ago. It was hard to tell if the bouncer was the same or not. The club, however, was 100% Lovecraft!
I promptly ordered a local cherry cider from the bar and sipped my way through it for over 20 minutes between dance floor gyrations. The front DJ was spinning up a storm, and I was ecstatic to be back on the dance floor again! I’ve been in this scene since the mid-90s, almost since its inception, and I’m thrilled that it’s lasted this long, and has outposts in most major cities.
I guess as long as they’re still making Batman movies I’m safe.
During a lull, I realized what I previously thought was a mirror behind the bar seemed to be a whole other room behind it! At the Lovecraft, it’s hard to tell! Schlepping rearward around the bathrooms, I discovered an entirely new dancefloor I’d never seem on previous visits! I’m not sure if I’d forgotten, it was new in the past two years, or I’d been so distracted by my genetic predisposition to hit on waitstaff that I merely missed it on frequent previous visits.
I can say from first-hand (and other parts) experience that the only thing better than dating a bartender from a Goth bar is dating a DJ from one! Miss you, Warhammer!
Despite generally being a massive lightweight, I was feeling so little from my 16 oz cider that I wondered if maybe it was non-alcoholic? Just to sure, I ordered the *other* cider, and was soon pleasantly tipsy.
Emerging back into the front room from the Sekret Only to Skott back bar, I encountered The Unexpected! A teapot on the bench!
It turns out The Lovecraft Bar has a full selection of freshly brewed teas! Who knew?
The Elders must have been with me that evening, because I was able to get into the restrooms without waiting not once, but *twice*! Hail Cthulhu!
Even the bathrooms at the Lovecraft are amazing!
I was open to meeting old friends and new, but, as usual, was mainly there to dance. I enjoyed some chemistry and people-watching, but, at a certain point, The Moment Had Arrived to Depart! I bowed my way out, removed a disrespectful bit of toilet paper clinging to my new boots pointed out to me by the bouncer, and wobbled into the darkness and home.