DID YOU READ

The Last-Minute Portlandia Holiday Gift Guide

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If we’ve learned anything from Portlandia, it’s that mainstream stuff sucks. And that capitalism is only acceptable if it’s used as a tool for supporting local artisans, fair-trade coffee mongers, and feminist bookstores. That said, it can be tricky to shop for a favorite Portlander—or aspiring Portlander—for the holidays, but fear not: we rounded up some Northwest essentials for your last-minute stocking stuffing. Ho ho ho…or whatever.

For Your Favorite Coffee Puritan

A Coava Coffee Kone. Once I went into Coava, a fantastic coffee shop in Portland’s inner southeast neighborhood, and idly inquired about the roast I was to purchase. Twenty minutes later, I was a pseudo-expert on the appropriate levels of boric acid in the coffee plant’s soil. These guys do not mess around with their beans; they’re so committed to the perfect cup that they even designed and manufactured their own filter, the Coava Kone, out of laser-cut stainless steel. Basically, if you’re not using one to make your brew, you’re doing it wrong.

Stumptown Coffee Grand Cru Collection. Stumptown is the original, the company that put Portland coffee on the map. I needn’t detail here their always-reliable blends, their innovative Direct Trade policy, or their indispensable iced coffee “stubbies,” without which no summer in the Northwest is worth living. No caffeine aficionado will turn up their nose at Stumptown’s “Grand Cru” collection, a sampler set of the company’s “most coveted” coffees that comes complete with a stylish holiday mug.

For The Bookish Type

Locally-Printed Books from Publication Studio. Everyone knows about Powell’s, the largest independent purveyor of books in the world. It’s the jewel in our crown, proving indubitably that we’re one of the great literary cities in America. But our legacy as book nerds of the highest order is only growing. Evidence: Publication Studio, a completely new model for a bookstore. Publication Studio is boutique publisher that literally prints books on demand from their tiny storefront downtown, on SW Ankeny street. You can walk up, order a book, or browse from their selection of curated tomes, which range from literary anthologies to a beautiful (and pocketable) edition of Walter Benjamin’s Berlin Chronicle.

Field Notes Notebooks. Designed by local design icon Aaron Draplin, who mines classic American mid-century design and reinvents it as an impeccably type-set, beautifully minimal aesthetic, Field Notes Notebooks are a staple of the Portlander’s back pocket. Show your state pride with special-edition Oregon notebooks, or go for the classic brown-cardboard version. Your favorite advocate of “real paper and pencils” will be stoked.

For The Advocate of Bicycle Rights

Hand-Sewn Leather Bicyle Track Drops. Ship your clean bicycle track drops to Draught Dry Goods, and they’ll hand-stitch fancy vegetable-tanned leather around them, upgrading your daily bicycle commuter’s look to downright classy. Like all fine things, the leather will age to rich golden brown with regular use.

PDX by Bike Zine. Designed to fit in your back pocket while you ride, this slim little zine is part tour-guide, part civic history book, and will bring you up to (ten) speed on Portland’s unstoppable bike culture. Perfect paired with a gray “I Bike PDX” t-shirt,” don’t you think?

For The Portland Patriot

Hand-Letterpresed Portland Holiday Cards. It seems you can’t throw a rock in PDX without hitting a letterpress shop. Pay homage to our fair city (and its hearty printing scene) with these beautiful, local-monument-heavy holiday cards handmade in a fancy old-timey manner by local printer by Beth Kerschen.

Portland Grocery Maptote. Ok, this guy isn’t made locally, but we promise it’s still handmade in the USA from organic cotton, so it’s honorary Portland. Maptote makes a whole line of Portland paraphernalia emblazoned with charming wood-hewn letters and simple maps of the Rose City. Great for toting famer’s market produce home on your bike—plus it doubles as emergency directions.

Bonus: For The Patchouli Victim in Your Life!

Olo Fragrances. Hand-blended in Portland by fragrance-mystic Heather Sielaff, Olo fragrances are unisex, woodsy, and ever-so-ethereal. Tell your hippie friend to ditch their Nag Champa for good and gift them a sampler kit of four of Olo’s most popular scents, which have moody, epic names like “Victory Wolf” and “Dark Wave.”

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New Nasty

Whips, Chains and Hand Sanitizer

Turn On The Full Season Of Neurotica At IFC's Comedy Crib

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Jenny Jaffe has a lot going on: She’s writing for Disney’s upcoming Big Hero 6: The Series, developing comedy projects with pals at Devastator Press, and she’s straddling the line between S&M and OCD as the creator and star of the sexyish new series Neurotica, which has just made its debut on IFC’s Comedy Crib. Jenny gave us some extremely intimate insight into what makes Neurotica (safely) sizzle…

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IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon.

IFC: How would you describe Neurotica to a drunk friend of a friend you met in a bar?

Jenny: Neurotica is about a plucky Dominatrix with OCD trying to save her small-town dungeon. You’re great. We should get coffee sometime. I’m not just saying that. I know other people just say that sometimes but I really feel like we’re going to be friends, you know? Here, what’s your number, I’ll call you so you can have my number!

IFC: What’s your comedy origin story?

Jenny: Since I was a kid I’ve dealt with severe OCD and anxiety. Comedy has always been one of the ways I’ve dealt with that. I honestly just want to help make people feel happy for a few minutes at a time.

IFC: What was the genesis of Neurotica?

Jenny: I’m pretty sure it was a title-first situation. I was coming up with ideas to pitch to a production company a million years ago (this isn’t hyperbole; I am VERY old) and just wrote down “Neurotica”; then it just sort of appeared fully formed. “Neurotica? Oh it’s an over-the-top romantic comedy about a Dominatrix with OCD, of course.” And that just happened to hit the buttons of everything I’m fascinated by.

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IFC: How would you describe Ivy?

Jenny: Ivy is everything I love in a comedy character – she’s tenacious, she’s confident, she’s sweet, she’s a big wonderful weirdo.

IFC: How would Ivy’s clientele describe her?

Jenny:  Open-minded, caring, excellent aim.

IFC: Why don’t more small towns have local dungeons?

Jenny: How do you know they don’t?

IFC: What are the pros and cons of joining a chain mega dungeon?

Jenny: You can use any of their locations but you’ll always forget you have a membership and in a year you’ll be like “jeez why won’t they let me just cancel?”

IFC: Mouths are gross! Why is that?

Jenny: If you had never seen a mouth before and I was like “it’s a wet flesh cave with sharp parts that lives in your face”, it would sound like Cronenberg-ian body horror. All body parts are horrifying. I’m kind of rooting for the singularity, I’d feel way better if I was just a consciousness in a cloud.

See the whole season of Neurotica right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

The-Craft

The ’90s Are Back

The '90s live again during IFC's weekend marathon.

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Photo Credit: Everett Digital, Columbia Pictures

We know what you’re thinking: “Why on Earth would anyone want to reanimate the decade that gave us Haddaway, Los Del Rio, and Smash Mouth, not to mention Crystal Pepsi?”

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Thoughts like those are normal. After all, we tend to remember lasting psychological trauma more vividly than fleeting joy. But if you dig deep, you’ll rediscover that the ’90s gave us so much to fondly revisit. Consider the four pillars of true ’90s culture.

Boy Bands

We all pretended to hate them, but watch us come alive at a karaoke bar when “I Want It That Way” comes on. Arguably more influential than Brit Pop and Grunge put together, because hello – Justin Timberlake. He’s a legitimate cultural gem.

Man-Child Movies

Adam Sandler is just behind The Simpsons in terms of his influence on humor. Somehow his man-child schtick didn’t get old until the aughts, and his success in that arena ushered in a wave of other man-child movies from fellow ’90s comedians. RIP Chris Farley (and WTF Rob Schneider).

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Teen Angst

In horror, dramas, comedies, and everything in between: Troubled teens! Getting into trouble! Who couldn’t relate to their First World problems, plaid flannels, and lose grasp of the internet?

Mainstream Nihilism

From the Coen Bros to Fincher to Tarantino, filmmakers on the verge of explosive popularity seemed interested in one thing: mind f*cking their audiences by putting characters in situations (and plot lines) beyond anyone’s control.

Feeling better about that walk down memory lane? Good. Enjoy the revival.

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And revisit some important ’90s classics all this weekend during IFC’s ’90s Marathon. Check out the full schedule here.

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Get Physical

DVDs are the new Vinyl

Portlandia Season 7 Now Available On Disc.

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In this crazy digital age, sometimes all we really want is to reach out and touch something. Maybe that’s why so many of us are still gung-ho about owning stuff on DVD. It’s tangible. It’s real. It’s tech from a bygone era that still feels relevant, yet also kitschy and retro. It’s basically vinyl for people born after 1990.

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Inevitably we all have that friend whose love of the disc is so absolutely repellent that he makes the technology less appealing. “The resolution, man. The colors. You can’t get latitude like that on a download.” Go to hell, Tim.

Yes, Tim sucks, and you don’t want to be like Tim, but maybe he’s onto something and DVD is still the future. Here are some benefits that go beyond touch.

It’s Decor and Decorum

With DVDs and a handsome bookshelf you can show off your great taste in film and television without showing off your search history. Good for first dates, dinner parties, family reunions, etc.

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Forget Public Wifi

Warm up that optical drive. No more awkwardly streaming episodes on shady free wifi!

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Inter-not

Internet service goes down. It happens all the time. It could happen right now. Then what? Without a DVD on hand you’ll be forced to make eye contact with your friends and family. Or worse – conversation.

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Self Defense

You can’t throw a download like a ninja star. Think about it.

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If you’d like to experience the benefits DVD ownership yourself, Portlandia Season 7 is now available on DVD and Blue-Ray.