The Death of Division St.



Saturday, March 24th 2012 - The original plot for this bookmaking adventure was to meet up with Literary Agent Joe to make a book at his house, or "The Cowboy Bar" down Division St. Emily and I had just did a burly run and then watched a movie "Jiro Dreams of Sushi" at the Hollywood Theater. We were hungry, so we elected to wait for Joe to be done "helping Matt" at North Bar a few blocks from his house. I've never liked the North Bar. It was one of the first businesses on Division street to open its doors to the infestation of hipsters and Californians that started flooding into Portland not so long ago. I remember when it first opened. We would pop our heads in, on our way down to The Scoreboard. The place would have a crowd of hipsters drinking cheap beer they ordered off a mulit-colored chalkboard. Everyone always seemed very, composed like a group of strangely dressed dentists on holiday. It was eerie compared to the playful, out-spoken, often argumentative crowd that used to gather at The Scoreboard, a crowd that used to have a diversity to it: winos, pool sharks, dope addicts, young people, old people, blue collar workers, and a strong showing of young Asian folks. Businesses like the North Bar have scared all the interesting neighborhood characters away with their calm dentist conventions, sidewalk chalk, and overpriced hummus plates.

But, I was in the mood to make a book, so Emily and I found a table in the almost empty back room, where a lone hipster was playing pinball in the corner, and I started this book. I was very pleased when I asked Bartender Taylor if she would find some trash in the back to make your cover from. She was almost done for the day, but she was game anyway. She returned with a Dole can food box and a table candle box, which I thanked her for as she hurried away on her bike. 


Everything, other than Joe not showing up, was going fine until I loaded my battery into my drill...and pulled the trigger. Almost immediately the new bartender poked her head in, and said, "You can't do that in there." To which I replied, "Can I go outside on the sidewalk?" And she replied, "You can do it at home." I wasn't so much what she said, but the forceful reaction she had to some guy making a book in a bar where, apparently, I was supposed to be conducting myself like a strangely dressed dentist. I'd be lying if I said she didn't raise my alarms. She was exactly the kind of person who'd call the cops on some poor, soon-to-be wino who'd had too much to drink and was shooting his mouth off about some unseen, unresolved issue he needed to shout about for a few minutes before he went back to being kicked around by the world. So, I asked her if I could drill across the street. She said she didn't have any jurisdiction over there, so I took my drill and my book pressed between two meat defroster plates, and walked across the street to the bus stop in front of Plaid Pantry. 


Five minutes later, after I ordered another round of drinks, she walked over to our table pretending to be interested in my book production scene. When I started to explain (nicely, with my best sweet apple pie tone of voice), she cut in and said, "I just wanted to know if you're going to be any trouble." As my Literary Agent would say, "What the fuck, over?" 

Yeah, that's the story - North Bar: The Death of Division St.

I finished the book there, still waiting for Joe. Then we paid our bill, walked out, and took the following signature shot: 


That's "Fuck the North Bar!" in any language you like.

PROP COSTS: $11.85 + (STORYTIME WORKED: 3hrs 38min x OUR EXCHANGE RATE (based on fed minimum wage): $7.25) = $38.19