“Hey Mac, wanna go to an open bar on Thursday?”
“Now you talkin’ Espi! What time?”
Fast forward to Thursday Dec 22nd and I’m at Couture Ultra Lounge on assignment with We Out Here… but I’m working alone. Coat check proper, bar seems like a cool place to start. Yéyo tequila’s on tap and C Burger delivers bottomless burgers and fries. Off top, this night is working for me. I always enjoy events where everything is extra nice and free and there’s no catch. Absolutely my kind of thing.
This function I was flexing my guest-list muscles at was Livin’ Life Locals’ “Best of 2011” celebration in which they honored The PDX 30 – a group of 30 Portland-area influencers under the age of 30 who influence Portland’s cultural landscapes. From models and entrepreneurs to bar owners and stylists, the list included some of Portland’s true young business talents. I got chance to speak to a few of them, and a few other guests as well:
Bobby Jones – PDX 30 Member
Bobby is the founder and operator of Hip Hop Junkies clothing line and Everyday People Entertainment. He’s also known for his work in the community and is the only grown man I’ve met that goes by Bobby. He spoke to me briefly about taking the right opportunities, humility and being appreciative to those that support him. He also gave me a hot quotable: “I’m honored any time somebody recognizes what I’m doing.”
Before I could hit Bobby with the cold interview questions though, we were pleasantly interrupted by the Portland Tralblazers’ Official DJ, OG One. We talked about his experience with the lockout, shady people, and Luck One’s music. Could’ve stayed in that conversation for hours, but had to keep it pushing…
Corey Weddington – PDX 30 Member
Corey is the brain behind upstart clothing brand RUDE Clothing and a real down to Earth kind of guy. We met by accident because I thought I got caught checking out his date and was trying to play it off. (This is life. Things happen.) In any case, he struck me right away as a super sharp guy. After bubbling off selling tee shirts with strikingly offensive phrases on them online for low prices, his brand is now expanding into ladies clothing and casual wear. Plus he offers free shipping. That’s the American Dream. We had a random tequila-fueled conversation about Twitter and its effectiveness in infiltrating markets anywhere in the world, the relevancy of blogging, and his new web-site (GetRudeMagazine.com) before I was on to the next interview.
Sam Adams – Guest
So I ran up on the Mayor of Portland because he was in the building and I wanted to know what had happened after the meeting about nightclubs racially profiling in downtown Portland a few months back. He let me know that they’ve been doing some secret shopping, have found a few inconsistencies and are addressing those. Good answer, Mayor. I then let him know how my boy J-Rome got denied from Barracuda on a night he was scheduled to perform there for wearing purple Vans… Because it was gang related. But I digress. We also productively talked Saint Johns, gang violence, Portland Public Schools, Twitter, Klout’s scoring system, and the comparison of the Gay Rights Movement to the Civil Rights Movement. Good convo, but there was still one person I really wanted to chat with…
Amy Roloff – Guest
Star of TLC’s Little People, Big World¸ Amy was eager to ask me questions about We Out Here Magazine and answered some questions about living life as a TV star with dwarfism. In the end, I came away feeling like she has the same problems and insecurities as the rest of us. It’s kind of silly that I would expect anything much different.
On agreeing to have her home life filmed she explained, “It was scary! My home was like my haven and now everyone is gonna see!” Amy went on to agree that she does feel like a pioneer, “It was the first show like that… that really showed little people – people with dwarfism – besides playing an elf or something.” Asked what kind of silly stereotypes she faces, she noted that people often assume that she has tiny sized furniture in her house. She added that it would make no sense to just have small stuff in your house but then have to use regular sized stuff when you leave the house. “People saw that the similarities outweighed the differences… I have real life issues. I have a husband and four kids.”
So what started as a free pass to go drinking ended up as an opportunity to mingle with the city’s most upwardly mobile. With the ratchetness in the club peaking, I grabbed my coat and laptop bag and shook the spot so I could meet up with one PDX 30 honoree that had to work during the celebration, Miss Annie Angell. I’ll save what we had to talk about for another time. Oh… and then I got drunk.