Didn’t get to celebrate “The King’s” passing like we normally do yesterday, but that doesn’t mean that Mr. Elvis Presley was not in our thoughts. And then, we saw this super cool billboard in Times Square and we knew that it was a sign, um, you know, like a spiritual sign…from beyond and everything.
Monthly Archives: August 2011
There are two reasons I’ve put off blogging about the now-legendary Voodoo Doughnut in Portland for so long. One is because, well, they are kind of legendary now and it seems like everyone blogs about them. And two is because I knew the minute I started writing about them, I’d want to eat donuts (or doughnuts, whatever!). And guess what I’m craving right now…Voodoo’s finest, the Maple Bacon bar. Mmm…
I know it’s been covered on TV and everything, but, trust me, there is a reason this delicious maple bar topped with two thick-ass strips of crispy bacon is famous. And that’s because it is seriously, out-of-this-world amazing. You never had such yumminess in your mouth at the same time…wow!
Another favorite were the various cereal-covered donuts. We sampled the Captain Crunch, which was a bit odd. The cereal itself was kinda moist, from being exposed to the air I suppose, but the thing that really made the donut work for me was the fact that the white icing tasted exactly like milk. Yep, you got it, milk and cereal on a donut. I don’t know how they did it, but it worked.
Also very good was the devil’s food cake donut with the pentagram frosting, but for sheer drama, I think my favorite donut of the day was the one shaped like a tiny Voodoo doll. Covered in chocolate frosting, each little Voodoo man has a tiny pretzel stake jammed into his heart and actually bleeds red berry filling when you remove the stake. So weird and awesome!!
The decor is also totally rad, with all sorts of funky Voodoo, pop-culture and movie references everywhere you look. I don’t know the significance of the giant velvet Kenny Roger’s portrait over the register area, but, it seemed to be important. And, hey, who doesn’t love, Kenny?
Oh, speaking of old-ass Kenny Rogers, they even had a shrine to recently departed celebrities by the rear side door, complete with Voodoo donuts prayer candles. As you can see from the pic, Peter Falk had just died when we were there. R.I.P. Detective Columbo.
Oh, and if you’re really hungry, an order of three dozen donuts and $100 will buy you a tiny wooden casket donut delivery box. I didn’t get one, but, man alive, if I lived in Portland, that would be the first thing I’d order for my next big birthday party gathering. Donuts in a coffin for everyone…so cool!
OK, since we’re on the subject of great, old-school video stores, I gotta tell ya about one more of them. Video Mart is located literally on the wrong side of the tracks in my wife’s hometown of Grants Pass, Oregon, but, don’t let that stop you, because this store seriously rocks!
Although it’s been in Grants Pass for years, I just discovered Video Mart this past July with my nephews. They were drawn in by the store’s amazing Sunday deal on video games — all games are a dollar and you get them for five days! — but what really thrilled me was the store’s vast selection of truly unique movies.
Sure, they have all the top-40 shit up front and yes, they rent Blu-Ray too, which is awesome, but, the thing that kept us coming back was their rocking selection of older titles. The pricing didn’t hurt either, every older title is available to rent for $1.00 for three nights. And if you rent more than five, you get to keep them for five glorious nights! Awesome!
Needless to say, I got myself a membership (yep, they let me get one even though I live out of state!) and we got down to some serious movie renting. All totaled, I think we rented somewhere between 10-15 movies during our visit and at least 4 video games. Best. Vacation. Ever!
And kudos to the fine folks at Video Mart for knowing their shit too. The dudes at Odd Obsession would probably still take the gold in a movie trivia head-to-head, but, trust me, there are some truly knowledgeable film and game geeks working here too.
In case you hadn’t noticed, I started up another blog recently, but that doesn’t mean I love this one any less. On the contrary, I have been itching to share some of our recent adventures in Chicago (where we were in May) and Portland, OR (where we were in July) before launching into a whole other round of adventures we’re bound to experience in NYC, where we will be next week.
Trust me, it sounds a lot more glamorous than it really is. Hell, anyone who has traveled with a two-year-old can tell you that the going can get pretty damn rough sometimes. And that’s why you need the mellow, “let’s casually explore the city” kind of days in between the sightseeing.
It was on one of those days this past May, when we encountered the staggeringly-well-stocked, totally old-school video store known as Odd Obsession Movie Rentals in Chicago.
Located in the gritty heart of the suddenly-trendy Bucktown/Wicker Park area, Odd Obsession is the kind of classic, deep-catalog video store every great city should have. You know, the type of place you can call up with just a vague notion of the obscure DVD title you’re looking for, and not only do they know the movie, but they carry it too! So cool…
And I swear to God, walking inside that joint was like stepping into a time machine. They don’t carry many actual VHS titles anymore, but, the whole place smelled, looked like, and even felt like your favorite, musty childhood video store. I say felt because those shelves were so packed with super cool titles that you could hardly turn around without bumping into something amazing. Literally. Next time I go, I’m leaving the stroller outside.
We didn’t rent anything, of course, but, just being there and sensing the true love of movies inside every nook and cranny of that place really filled my heart with glee. I’m not kidding, it was like church for film geeks, and best of all, they even had a store cat. You know, the big old, fat kind that sits on the register when you’re trying to pay. I didn’t ask, but, I’ll bet he’s named “Rosebud”.
Anyway, someday very soon (like, next week) video stores will be a thing of the past, something we joke about: “OMG, remember when you used to have to leave your house to rent movies?” and when that day comes, I’ll be glad to know I visited one of the greatest video stores ever…and took lots of cool pictures.
Rock on, Odd Obsession Movie Rentals, rock on!