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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

By no stretch of the word

Here's an interesting way to host a dinner party: Hire a servant to do the work and get your neighbors to pay. But to call that a "potluck"? Only in the O.

Comments (19)

I have to admit the notion of charging your neighbors to come over and eat dinner is an interesting one. Really, it never would've occurred to me. But now I can see the possibilities -- invite friends over for a drink and charge them per glass. The possibilities are endless.

But, Jack, this is how else you know it's the Oregonian: phrases like these repeated with a straight face...

"Like an indie Portland fairy godmother..."

"It's crazy and it's fun," says Nicole Cordan, 41, who works full time on salmon-restoration issues in Portland..."

"The Block Dinners started in June, when Gates and her husband, Eric Loebel, were looking for a way to offer more hours to Entrekin, the private chef they hired last year..."

This is the same food writer whose ridiculous story two months ago about stretching the family food budget included the suggestion that one hire a personal shopper, got a lot of flak from readers, and then replied to her critics:

"Plenty of you wondered why we didn't mention shopping at WinCo or Food-4-Less, stores with rock-bottom prices, as a savings strategy. Maybe because it seemed too obvious, but it's a good suggestion nonetheless."

I read that this morning (yes, I still get the dead-tree version). Seemed like nothing more than an advertising for the chef.

Call it a dinner club; it's not a potluck.

Only in the O.

Only in Portland.

What are these folks going to do when thier trust fund runs out?

I'm still chortling over Leslie Cole's attempt to spin hiring a personal chef as a "postmodern potluck."

Seriously, what makes it a "potluck," much less "postmodern"?

The fact that the chef has tattoos?

That the food is vegan?

That the guests work in creative-class fields like "salmon restoration issues"?

That the hosts charge their guests for feeding them?

oh, this one really got me hot! I always thought the "fun of a potluck" was showing off something you'd made, sharing the love of preparing it with people around you. not spreading the cost of your personal chef (!!) around. and people call ME elitist.

and $25 per family PLUS the cost of ingredients is cheaper than eating in a restaurant, yes I guess, if you are taking your three-year-old to bluehour.

first time i ever heard of a fairy godmother who charged for her services.

Kevin, it could be that the whole gathering is a piece of performance art meant to make a statement about modern society's commodification of community. That's why it's a "postmodern potluck".

Or it could be that the author of that article wanted to use a $10 word without thinking about whether it was appropriate.

My idea of a postmodern potluck would be sitting down to KFC, Pizza Hut and McDonald's on a picnic table at a local park with friends...

Never trust a skinny chef.

And run away from a skinny chef with tattoos:

Generalized signs and symptoms associated with chronic hepatitis C include fatigue, marked weight loss, flu-like symptoms, muscle pain, joint pain, intermittent low-grade fevers, itching, sleep disturbances, abdominal pain (especially in the right upper quadrant), appetite changes, nausea, diarrhea, dyspepsia, cognitive changes, depression, headaches, and mood swings.

I believe that type of article is called "preening". An writer wants to show off his/her lifestyle choices so they write an article about what they think is important. Rather than being honest in the article and showcase themselves, they feature someone else who has the same values.

I was surprised that the writer didn't mention that the guests rode bikes/streetcar/solar powered vehicles to the potluck.

It is nothing more than a shill piece written by someone wanting to pimp their own lifestyle. No surprise that a write would want to do that, the surprise is that the editors at the big O must be brain dead to allow such obvious pimping and preening on their pages. Surely there is real news in the world that could be covered.

"the surprise is that the editors at the big O must be brain dead to allow such obvious pimping and preening on their pages"


Let's not be too demanding -- it's only the Food Day section.

“Surely there is real news in the world that could be covered.”

I got a kick out of the derogatory comments as the lifestyle of the people highlighted in the article is so irrelevant but seems to be what has the ear of our current city leadership. Does the O need to get slammed for printing this? I mean, it was in the Food Day supplement, not in the general news paper. Do we also slam them for printing Dear Abby, or Margie Boulé’s prattle?

I'm just happy to know that someone who waits tables at the Vita appears to bathe.

What are these folks going to do when thier trust fund runs out?

If you're lucky, they'll offer tutoring in spelling.


Way to jump down someone's throat for a typo! Bravo my friend! You have proved your point so well. You are a master of debate. You have convinced me that being rich tattooed yuppie vegan hipster is the only way to live. We now realize you have superior intelligence.

I gotta go get inked.

I just despise the term "empty-nesters."

It's easy to roll your eyes at people who don't live like you (and this piece tends to elicit that numerous times), but the only real crime here is that The Oregonian employs writers who are too-self aware. They write about 'us' as Portland, but in an awkwardly voyeuristic way. Sometimes it just sounds like self-affirmative tourist pitches.

But mostly, it just sounds amateurish and detached. They resort to using the most cartoon-ish representations of Portland in an effort to define it for the readers in the burbs. Or themselves. I think most people who love Portland do so because it's still hard to pin down...

They write about 'us' as Portland, but in an awkwardly voyeuristic way.

That is why the Oregonian changed "Living" to "How We Live."

I'm trying to figure out of the O means it as observation or a royal-we sort of command.

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