Thursday, April 25, 2013

weddings galore

Here's another batch of small business blurbs written for Neighborhood Notes' The Localist. Most of these have a matrimonial angle, featuring specific products and services for brides- and grooms-to-be.

There are custom-made invitations for any occasion at both Paperjam Press and Ecru Modern Stationer (which also provides myriad convenient personalization options via Envelopments), plus flowers, bouquets, centerpieces and more at both Emerald Petals and Broadway Floral, and then a few little bits on beauty and gift registries.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

divine digging — it's record store day!

To celebrate some 400 limited edition titles available at thousands of indie record stores across the world today, I wrote up a few pieces on Portland happenings related to Record Store Day 2013.

In case you don't know, Record Store Day is when:

Record collectors rejoice! Your national (and fast-becoming international) holiday is upon us again: Record Store Day—the day when thousands of independent music retailers across the U.S. offer an incredible selection—literally hundreds—of exclusive limited edition releases that are only available at indie record stores. The focus skews heavily towards vinyl including special collaborations, colored and picture discs, reissues, rare boxed sets, and other one-time-only anomalies, which come in seven, 10 and 12-inch varieties. Each indie record shop often has a different assortment of musical goodies, as well as freebies and activities planned (like in-store performances, DJ sets by local musicians, and record signings), so check with your neighborhood digs to see what they have planned. There’s more than a dozen participating locales in Portland, so get started early before all the hottest commodities are gone!

Find out what's going down today at three indie staples—Music Millennium, Jackpot Records, Everyday Music—on Neighborhood Notes' Local Agenda.

And get even more info on all of the above at Oregon Music News, including a few special snoochie boochies specifically designed for four-twenty.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

how to trademark + protect your business name or ideas

You’ve officially decided to follow your dream.

Whether you’re ready to reveal the product you’ve been meticulously developing in your workshop or studio to the world, or you’re ambitiously opening your own restaurant, bar, bakery or boutique, you should step back a moment and consider the name of your product, business or service from a legal perspective—you’ll thank yourself later.

There is definitely a cost to choosing the wrong business name, which is exactly what two Portland bar owners have become acutely aware of since opening their northwest kitchen and lounge almost two years ago. The lesson Sepal Meacham and Josh Johnson (of the recently renamed Paymaster Lounge) would like you to take away from their experience is that you can easily save yourself undue stress, as well as wasted time, money and energy, if you take basic trademark law into consideration when selecting your business’ name.

Even if you’ve had the perfect name in mind for years, you’d be wise to pay attention to the following advice before you publicly brand yourself under that moniker. And if you don’t necessarily have that name picked out, pay attention so you can do it right the first time.

Determine If Your Product Is Eligible For a Trademark

But first, what is a trademark?

Subscribe to Neighborhood Notes' small business education center, Local U, to read the rest of this article as well as two more about frequently asked trademark questions on international registration and how long it takes to receive a trademark.

Thursday, April 11, 2013

get out! : there is no mountain

My contribution to this week's edition of Get Out!

Formerly The Ascetic Junkies, the husband-and-wife team of Matt Harmon and Kali Giaritta have pared down to a duo and are excited to make their live debut under a new moniker: There Is No Mountain. Kicking off a two-month national tour (their most extensive to date) as well as celebrating an album release, Kali and Matt have chosen an intimate house show, which will feature Q&A sessions between songs (you can submit your own questions!), to modestly introduce their reconfiguration to the world. Space is very limited but anyone who purchases an advance copy of the record is guaranteed entry. The self-titled album will officially release on April 16th—so check Bandcamp and iTunes then to download your own bundle of acoustic-turned-electric guitar, ever-present guy-girl harmonies, and bouncy, African-tinged Americana reminiscent of classic (Paul Simon) and contemporary (Vampire Weekend, Dirty Projectors) influences.

Saturday, April 13, Hippo Campus, 8:30pm, $10 advance (includes new record) / $5 (or more) suggested donation day of show, all ages

Listen to There Is No Mountian’s first single “Owl Hymn” (and right click to download):
Get the rest of OMN's Get Out! picks for April 11-17.

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

spiritualized lives up to its name

Spiritualized at the Wonder Ballroom. Photo by Autumn Andel.
Indulgence. Spiritualized has deftly mastered this craft.

And, they can show it off too—which they did on Tuesday night at Portland's Wonder Ballroom during an almost two and half hour set.

With a plethora of six-, seven- and eight-minute-long (or more) tracks, it's not that hard to fill all that time. Led by a seated, sunglassed J. Spaceman, the crew of experimental, symphonic rockers know where the beauty lies in their craft: their self-indulgence allows for the audience to indulge right alongside them.

Enablers. Spiritualized granted the 21-and-over crowd a few hours to blissfully rock out uninterrupted—enabled this experience through tempered moments of elegant, gentle grace (like the sleepy, bluesy tinge that opens "Shine A Light") that unhurriedly escalated to points of intense electricity, which finally burst into a violent mash of cacophony (like on the 2012 single "Hey Jane," an early moment of potency in the set) before calmly settling down and tucking you in at the close of each song.

Epic. How could any of the aforementioned not be?

Read the rest on OMN.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

beer me — it's national beer day!

I wrote up a few quick introductory hits for today's Local Agenda on Neighborhood Notes encouraging you to consume (or brew) a few on what looks to be a damp Sunday afternoon. Managed to slip in a mention of strip clubs and I know a certain storied inner southeast establishment that has an admirable happy hour pretty much all day long. So, while you're busy blowing your hard-earned cash on coveted curiosities, you'll be saving on beer!


Friday, April 5, 2013

portland business blurbs

Lately, I've been contributing content to Neighborhood Notes' The Localist, a business directory of locally owned businesses in Portland. Some of these blurbs are repurposed from past content I've written, some are basic write-ups to introduce a business, and others highlight specific products, events, services, or just things we like (because we think you should be in the know too). All of them show up in various places around the site (like on a business' directory page) and sometimes on the homepage as part of the curated Local Agenda, which changes daily.

Here are a few samples and links to more.

Artistic Taxidermy

Lions and tigers and bears, oh my! More like deer, elk, antelope, ducks, and “a lot of bears lately,” says Artistic Taxidermy’s Garret Heying of the fauna he regularly sees come through his shop. Although he does stuff some African game (including an impressive kudu on the wall behind the counter) and some exotics from New Zealand, add to that list aquatic creatures like bass, trout and salmon—including a 75 pounder once—and you have the bulk of Heying’s Northwest fare. Peering through the doorway into the “Employees Only” zone, the ceiling racks hold more than 100 antlers while the showroom—where you can stop in and browse—of the 71-year-old business, which has called Foster Road home for more than three decades, houses an ever-changing inventory, from finished orders awaiting pick up to examples of the professional mounts, scaled and feathered trophies, rugs, restorations, and antler lamps and chandeliers fashioned on-site.

Artistic Taxidermy, 5700 SE Foster Road, 503.771.DEER

Take A Trip But Don't Forget Your Passport

Laurie Lewis of Hip Chicks Do Wine was instrumental in organizing the PDX Urban Wineries association, which represents a range of winemakers making a variety of wines all right here within the city's limits. And now, the burgeoning number of urban wineries involved in the collaborative coalition has created the perfect way for you to tour their facilities and taste their wines. The PDX Urban Wineries Passport grants you a free tasting at wineries around town—including Hip Chicks, ENSO, Alchemy Wine Productions, and Seven Bridges as well as three different winemakers in the shared space of the Southeast Wine Collective (which features Helioterra Wines, Vincent Wine Company and Division Winemaking Company) and the appointment-only, garage-based operation of Jan-Marc Wine Cellars—plus discounts at local wine-oriented bars and restaurants. Want to get a group together and arrange your own tour? The passport also provides deals on transportation options like the Portland Short Bus and PDX Pedicab. So, buy your own passport ($20) and organize a tasting trip. Then, present your passport for complimentary sips and swirl, sniff and swallow—or spit, if you must. Like what you tried? Receive 10 percent off any bottle purchased that day. Then, repeat this process at your next urban winery stop.

The Jane from Tiffany Bean's 2013 Riviera collection
Plus, read about Muse Art and Design's month-long An Artist A Day event in April or Tiffany Bean's new spring 2013 collection at Mabel and Zora. Or, there's weekly Fiber Fanatic Fun on Thursdays at Pearl Fiber Arts and tons of canning supplies at Mirador. Physical Element has new shoes in stock while Milagros Boutique's event space is now available for rental. Then, catch a weekend show when the daytime workshop of Sellwood-Moreland's Modcott Pianos turns into a nighttime venue called The Piano Fort.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

get out! : spiritualized

My contribution to this week's edition of Get Out!

If you missed Spiritualized last May when they traveled through town, you can be excused if it was because you were at Sasquatch. You can also be excused if you missed that set because their performance time was bumped back an hour because Mogwai failed to show. Regardless, they played a glorious night- and festival-ending set—backed by two sexy, naturally colorful singers clad in white dresses—in the cool darkness of the final eve of the four-day extravaganza. Still supporting their most recent release and seventh studio album, 2012's Sweet Heart Sweet Light, Spiritualized is back in the Northwest and headlining the Wonder again. As always, expect dramatic, experimental, symphonic rock full of soaring highs and heart-wrenching lows from the English six-piece led by the troubled, soul-bearing J. Spaceman (aka Jason Pierce).

Tuesday, April 9, Wonder Ballroom, 8:30pm, $18 advance / $20 door, 21+

Watch Spiritualized’s NSFW video for “Hey Jane,” the lead single off last year's record:

Get the rest of OMN's Get Out! picks for April 4-10.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

lists : say cheese for family time

I've recently been updating, editing and modifying (where necessary) several lists on Neighborhood Notes. So, without further ado, here are a few activities and eats that are good for kids, both big and small—one'll make you hungry while the other might help you burn off some of those cheesy calories.

National Grilled Cheese Month

Apparently it's April. Here's a sample of one grilled cheese spot on our list. (There are currently eight more featured in the roundup.)

Clyde Common

Served only during specified hours, plan ahead to try Clyde Common’s grilled cheese and you’ll be rewarded with a delicious surprise. The seasonal offering frequently changes at the chef’s whim, but savory combinations can include mushroom and cheddar or tomato jam and feta. Grilled on the flattop, each selection is guaranteed to be vegetarian and sandwiched between two slices of a Pearl Bakery baguette. Available during happy hour (Monday to Friday from 3-6 p.m.) and late night (Monday to Saturday from 11 p.m. to close), fries or the ancho chili popcorn make a great side to go with your required $3 minimum beverage purchase. Follow up your afternoon (or midnight) snack with the daily cookie for dessert and you’ll complete the contemporary adult equivalent of a grade school lunch.

Clyde Common, 1014 SW Stark St., 503.228.3333

Fun Family Activities

Without fail, Portland is plentiful. Whether you want to crawl through the dirt and splash around at your local park, or ramble with the wildlife at the Oregon Zoo or the Audubon Society of Portland, there are a wealth of opportunities to get outdoors and explore. If the weather's less than fair, there's no lack of interactive and educational play available at a variety of museums. No matter the season, there are boundless fun family activities at your fingertips that will engage the kiddos, both mentally and physically.

Oaks Park

In action for more than 100 years, Sellwood-Moreland’s Oaks Park is among the oldest continuously operated amusement parks in the United States. Full of old-fashioned amusements, let your kids of all ages work out their restlessness darting from ride to ride, including thrill rides like roller coasters and classics like the Ferris wheel, bumper cars, go-carts, Tilt-A-Whirl, and the Big Pink slide. Take a tour of the grounds along the Willamette River on the train, which is almost as old as the park itself, or saddle up and ride a horse on the historic, hand-carved, wooden Herschell-Spillman Noah's Ark Carousel, which was built in 1912. And if the weather (or season) just isn’t right, head inside to the skating rink for an open skating session under the pipes of a timeless Wurlitzer organ.

Oaks Park Amusement Park and Roller Rink, 7805 SE Oaks Park Way, 503.233.5777

Find a whole list of family activities in Portland on Neighborhood Notes.