If you get the chance to make it to Portland for just one day, make it a Last Thursday.
Once a month the cops shut down Northeast Alberta Street so all the young talented artists who toil in their ill-lit Hawthorne apartments can come out and peddle their wares on the sidewalk.
Old bike parts get welded together to make sculptures, painters put out their best pieces done on old doors and tabletops, girls duct tape cardboard boxes together and sell kisses while DJ's and glass blowers line their tables up in legions.
And everyone else comes out just to watch it all go down.
Short men in old fedoras and leather vests come to dance with girls in red underwear passed off as pants. Scruffy pirate vagabonds in borrowed hemp gear beg for tallboys of PBR, and girls who shop strictly at the Goodwill assume it's a safe bet to buy them one. People bump funk and do the Stankleg outside the barber shop, kids in wagons clamor for ice cream, and this time, people gathered in the middle of the road to do a collective Moonwalk for Michael, on the night of his death.
Crowds of friends of friends of friends gather at one small bar table, gleaned in the early hours before everyone got sick of art and opted for whiskey instead. Everyone makes eyes at everyone and entire crews stumble to house partys together to bump more Michael til the wee hours.
It's a mad collection of all that Portland has to offer, crammed on the same sidewalk for one night a month.
It's just too much fun to miss, so if you're in Portland for only one day, make it a Last Thursday.