It may not be fun to stay cooped up indoors, but staying away from humans outside your quar pod is paramount right now. If you're fresh out of ideas for ways to stay entertained, rely on our weekend guide for socially distanced options across the board—from movie and takeout recs for a French-inspired night at home to Powell's Native American History Month picks, and from the Oregon Zoo's ZooLights drive-through to Shine Distillery's drag drive-through. For even more options, read our guides to the best online events this week, the best movies to watch this week, and the best things to do all month long.
FOOD & DRINK
Have a French night at home. If your wanderlust has reached an all-time high and you're daydreaming of absconding to France, try recreating some of the Gallic magic at home. The New York Times recently published a guide on how to pretend you're in Paris tonight, complete with suggestions for baking, performances, virtual museum tours, reading, and more, as well as a list of list of ten movies that can transport you there. We suggest renting a couple of their picks, like the French New Wave classic Breathless or the Agnes Varda gem Cleo from 5 to 7, from Movie Madness or streaming them online. If you're looking for an immersive experience, channel a Parisian bistro in your kitchen with meal kits for dishes like boeuf bourguignon from Petite Provence, or grab pastries from St. Honoré Bakery or Pix Patisserie.
Get ready for Thanksgiving with wine and cocktails. Whether you're opting for a solo Thanksgiving, communing virtually, or celebrating with your quarantine mates, don't forget that the right beverage pairings have the power to elevate your feast. If you're game to play amateur mixologist, check out cocktail kits, house-made demerara syrup, and sweet vermouth from Multnomah Whiskey Library. Alternately, grab some curated pairings from Stem Wine Bar or Hip Chicks Do Wine. Plus, don't forget to check out our guide to places to get Thanksgiving dinner for takeout.
Visit Shine Distillery's drag drive-thru. COVID-19 has forced many small businesses to get creative, but Shine Distillery's latest innovation might just take the cake: On Wednesday, the local distillery and restaurant unveiled its new "drag-thru," a drive-thru with drag performances from queens like Lulu Luscious and Bolivia Charmichaels to entertain customers while they wait for food (including cheesecake from Muse Cheesecake, which just moved into Shine) and drinks. Cocktail kits and liquor will be available for sale—because Shine is a distillery as well as a restaurant, it is allowed to sell to-go cocktails, unlike other establishments.
Celebrate National Bread Month. It turns out that November is National Bread Month—who knew? As The Stranger's Matt Baume writes, "Given that lockdown rules just got tightened up, we’re all going to have a lot of at-home time over the next few weeks — so, good God, what are you waiting for? Time to celebrate carbs!" You can observe the occasion by seeking out some superlative loaves from Tabor Bread, Ken's Artisan Bakery, or Grand Central Baking Company. And of course, it's a great time to reflect on one of bread's highest callings, the sandwich—try Break Bread Sandwich Shop, which just opened a new waterfront location, or check out two new suggestions from Portland Mercury contributor Suzette Smith in her column Takeout Club.
Try out the prime new takeout options that have come to town, like a solid sandwich shop, a pop-up with burritos stuffed with Cheetos and fries, and a Seattle sushi favorite. You'll find those and more options in our latest food news roundup. For even more options, peruse this week's Takeout Tuesday offerings from 13 local bars and restaurants, from East Side Deli to Hopworks Urban Brewery.
Get some board games for your Thanksgiving Zoom sesh. Even in pre-corona times when we could safely gather with our families, friends, and distant acquaintances under the same roof, Thanksgiving has always benefitted from tabletop games as means of a) mellowing whatever tension has accrued during dinnertime conversation and b) giving you something to do while you wait for your tryptophan-induced coma to kick in. This year, games can also serve as an antidote to the inherent blandness of Zoom, the platform many of us will be gathering on. Before your Turkey Day video call, head to a local store like Guardian Games (open for in-person shopping and curbside pickup), Red Castle Games (open for pickup at their window), or Mox Boarding House (open for in-person shopping and pickup) to pick up something you and your remote guests can play together. If you need ideas, Vulture has a great list of options that suit the platform.
Use The Mercury's 2020 gift guide for some early holiday shopping. From Sock Dreams' novelty socks to DIY genitalia clone kits for your long-distance partner, and from Tender Loving Empire's vintage beer glass to the new Laura Viers album at Music Millenium, this list provides plenty of eclectic options (plus discount codes) for those looking to shop local this year.
Other notable weekend events:
The Oregon Zoo's annual display of over half a million lights is a beloved activity for any and all who love exotic animals and holiday spirit, and this year they're continuing the tradition COVID-safe style with a drive-through pathway.
Oregon Zoo, Southwest (Sunday)
NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE MONTH
Check out Powell's Native American Heritage Month picks. The local bookstore chain has done the work for you of rounding up a comprehensive list of their favorite Native authors and storytellers, new book releases, and other must-read content to dig into this Native American Heritage Month, like Stephen Graham Jones's The Only Good Indians and Louise Erdrich's The Night Watchmen. They've also included some great online reads, like an interview with Tommy Orange (whose fantastic debut novel There There won the PEN/Hemingway Award, the John Leonard Prize, and the American Book Award) and an original essay by queer Kumeyaay poet (and hilarious co-host of the podcast Food for Thot) Tommy Pico (IRL, Native Poem, Junk).
Other notable weekend events:
Rick Bartow: Crow's Instructions
This look into the archive of the late Native artist Rick Bartow, a member of the Mad River Band of Wiyot Indians, highlights his love and attention to crows and ravens, whose behaviors he observed throughout his life. You can make an appointment to view the show in person.
Froelick Gallery, Northwest (Friday-Sunday)
Submit films to SPLIFF and HUMP! The Stranger’s annual short film festivals dedicated to stoner culture and amateur porn, respectively (which is not to say the two don't cross over), are hitting a computer screen near you in 2021. But they need films first! If you're interests lie in the latter, send in five minutes or less of original smutty footage by January 8 for a chance to be featured in the 16th annual online program, whose "extra credit" items this year are bubbles, a photo booth, and Carol Channing. For SPLIFF, you have until March 5 to send in on your cannabis-induced work of art whose "extra credit" items are cutoff jean shorts, polaroids or Instax, and a macrame plant hanger. Before you hit send, be sure to read all the stipulations and requirements for HUMP! here and SPLIFF here. If you need inspiration, HUMP!’s greatest hits are currently available to stream online, as are SPLIFF's 2019 and 2020 films.
Stock up on snail mail supplies from local shops. The internet is always there when you need to connect with people through a pixelated screen, but there's nothing like busting out your favorite writing supplies, putting the kettle on, and penning a letter to a loved one (or a stranger) to drop in the mail. If you're short on hard-copy materials, hit up local shops to pick up everything you need. Oblation Papers in the Pearl, whose items you can order online and pick up in-store, has everything from personal stationery to handmade paper-and-envelope sets to fountain pens. (They even have a dozen varieties of typewriters, if that's your thing.) Little Ostu on Division, open for curbside pickup (or delivery, if you don't live in town), has all manner of adorable pens and pencils and paper goods, like a '60s-inspired letter set by Midori and this beautiful Thanksgiving card from Lucky Horse Press (plus more holiday options). If you're lacking a pen pal, try out the free service Postcrossing—it allows you to send postcards to people all over the world (and receive them, too).
Let a local composer guide you through Mount Tabor. To support its musicians and significantly improve your nightly walks, the Portland classical music ensemble Third Angle Music offers "a roving exhibition of sound" in the form of remote musical tours through Portland led by composers Darrell Grant, Branic Howard, Crystal Quartez, Julie Hammond, Yuan-Chen Li, Amenta Abioto, Loren Chasse, Sarah Tiedemann, and Andy Akiho. A new "soundwalk" is made available for download on the 15th of every month, with the latest being Branic Howard's Overlay, a "collective memory soundwalk" through Mt. Tabor Park. "Overlay weaves together the individual memories of anonymous participants, collected and recorded by the artists, to create a shared experience of the park," reads press materials.
Give yourself a break with Jenni Moore's Refresh Playlist. The latest roundup of tunes from The Mercury's resident web-scouring music columnist includes some luscious, dopamine-inducing beats, rhymes, and music videos from artists like Wynne, Tierra Whack, Maluma, Thundercat, and others.