Local Talk Show Host Gives Up Portland’s Best Kept Insider Secrets
Boaz Frankel is a man-about-Portland and a host of the popular Pedal Powered Talk Show. In his spare time, he edited Travel Portland’s Zine, The Twelve Most Interesting People In Portland, which features both 85-year-old female impersonator Walter Cole (aka Darcelle) to Brian Kidd (aka The Unipiper).
Boaz agreed to talk about his favorite places to see and be seen in Portland on the condition that he reveal the city’s best kept insider secrets. (Check out Travel Portland’s excellent guide to LGBT life in the city for even more.)
Tell us a bit about your show, the Pedal Powered Talk Show
About five years ago, my friend Phil and I built a talk show desk into a cargo bike and now we ride it all over the state visiting interesting places and interviewing unique individuals there. One day we might be filming and interview with a rodeo clown on a ranch, the next day we might be talking with a Lincoln impersonator in the middle of a roller skating rink.
Where do you unwind after a show?
It depends if it’s an early shoot or a late shoot. If it’s early, the crew will hit up the closest Barista for cappuccinos and lattes. Otherwise, we’ll grab beers at River Pig Saloon or Green Dragon Pub. Friends bartend at CC Slaughter’s, a fun gay club in Old Town.
Where do you get the best cocktail in the city? What’s your fave hotel bar?
The grasshopper at Pepe Le Moko is amazing. It’s the most delicious minty milkshake you’ve ever had in your life. On a hot summer day, I’m a big fan of the namesake drink at Sweet Hereafter. I also love bringing friends to The Driftwood Room at Hotel Deluxe.
Portland is lush. What are your fave outdoor activities?
I love heading into the Gorge and hiking up Angel’s Rest, watching salmon jump the fish ladders at Bonneville Dam and checking out the massive sturgeon at the nearby fish hatchery.
What kind of insider info would you be willing to share with visitors about how to get the most out of a trip?
Don’t eat large meals here. There are too many restaurants and food carts and ice cream shops and doughnuts places and cafes and you’ll end up getting full too fast. Instead, eat snacks and split dishes at as many places as you can. Also, try to devote a day to each neighborhood and just wander around and discover the random shops and waffle stands and quirky people that make up each little commercial district unique.
Is there a Portland style?
I think being comfortable and casual is the style here. I lived in New York for a few years and when I first moved east, I was shocked that everyone was dressing up all time. I don’t think I owned any sweaters or slacks before that – I just lived in jeans and flannel shirts.
Where do you find the best live music?
The Doug Fir‘s always a fun venue but I also love stopping by Landmark Saloon and listening to whatever western or honky tonk band happens to be playing.
What are the best worst stereotypes about the city?
There are a lot of strange and unique people in Portland and I think many people assume that they’re being that way to attract attention. But I think the truth is that people just feel very comfortable here so if they feel like wearing a crocheted penguin costume and carrying a cat on their shoulder then they’re going to do just that.
Name one shop no visitor should miss
I love Collage. It’s a strange hybrid of an art supply store and a knick knack emporium. There are cool pens, tiny gnomes, glass vials, disembodied doll parts, shrink-a-dinks. This place has it all.