I drove down to the Vampire Masquerade Ball
in Portland right after work on Friday, after having done a slapdash job of packing that morning without a list. My Burning Man buddies ack_yeahright
, her hubby J, and quietsoul
were just finishing dinner at the Portland Grill, which is on the 30th floor of a building downtown. I have to say, places with a view like that usually slack on the food, but the Portland Grill doesn't.
In fact, we pretty much ate our way across Portland. After hitting Powell's briefly (Yeah, that's possible, to my surprise.) yesterday afternoon, we went to Podnah's Pit
in northeast Portland, not far from where the Siberian Siren & I stayed last year. Yes, it's a meatfest, which isn't usually my thing, but I must admit that the bean-free chili was exactly the right amount of spicy. And unlike nearly all establishments outside the South, they didn't screw up the cornbread. Recommended.
For dinner on Saturday, we went to the much-hyped Pok Pok
, Thai food in southeast Portland. This place had a short wait at 3:00 on a Saturday; that's how popular it is. Maybe it was because I was still full from the chili, but I thought the papaya pok pok with salted crab was good but not great. The waiter was remarkably careful to warn me about the spiciness and funkiness, but I thought both were perfectly acceptable. The menu is highly original, though, and the drinks and desserts - Yay durian custard! - are fantastic.
On to the ball! It's the Vampire Ball, so everyone pulls out all the stops (How's that for an appropriate metaphor?) and looks as good as they can look. I squeezed myself into what I've heard called the Goth Leprechaun dress: my 1880s bustle dress in green silk. I'm glad I picked a light fabric because it was once again warm in there.
Pics? I didn't take any but there may be some of me that I can post eventually.
Best drink line moment: the zaftig blond in the 1903 nurse's uniform she made exchanged some historical costumer love. Her nurse's outfit is simpler than mine, but better executed.
My tango training came in handy: an unknown man in a top hat danced with me - I don't know what dance it was, but I didn't embarrass myself too badly - and I had a midnight waltz with quietsoul
Speaking of queers, I went there thinking that this was going to be a pretty het party, but I was pleasantly surprised by two dapper butches, and a couple of femmes who were clearly a couple. And then there was this woman my height (Yay!) in black and a mask who was dancing with me toward the end of the evening.
You know those tacky women who make out with each other on the dance floor? You guessed it: we were those women. She has the name of a famous temptress from literature. We exchanged contact info, and I'll be using it shortly. I discovered shortly after all this that she's married to a man, they're poly, and they're well known to ack_yeahright
and J. It's nice to hear from a reliable source that neither the Temptress nor her hubby are psycho killers.
We didn't go to any after parties; the ball ended at 0200 and the four of us Burner buddies hung out at our hotel until 0415. Today was hangover mitigation, fish & chips at Sam's Billiards
, and a lovely if trafficky drive back in the sun.
Huge thanks to quietsoul
for being the best roommate ever, making the hotel reservations and letting me bum all of the stuff off of her that I left in Seattle due to my uncharacteristically disorganized packing.
ETA: Huge thanks also to cupcake_goth
for personally inviting me, or I probably wouldn't have gone. I hadn't been since '09, and that year was my first. I had a much
better time this year.