Think Oregon

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Pinot Noir

Pinot Noir The Claim Oregon is the pinnacle of Pinot noir. The Reality The state is trumped in acreage by California and in reputation by France, yet still claims some of the highest-rated Pinot noirs in the world. Ever since David Lett’s Oregon Pinot noir placed third in a tasting in Paris in 1979, the world has thirsted for New World wines made from the hard-to-grow, cool-climate grape. Lett and other early Oregon Pinot pioneers produced wines with delicate perfumed profiles and characteristics other domestic producers weren’t replicating. “At the time, Oregon emerged as a leader because California wasn’t very good at making Pinot noirs,” says Harvey Steiman, editor at large for Wine Spectator. “Ever since then, Pinot noir has been Oregon’s defining grape.” Tastes shifted after the 1970s, and many of the burgeoning Oregon Pinot producers opted to make fuller-bodied, riper wines, especially during the 1990s. Steiman observes that…

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Beer

Beer The Claim Oregon is beer central. The Reality Only if you’re talking about craft beer. Oregon can’t claim the greatest volume of beer production in the country. Those distinctions go to states with behemoth Anheuser-Busch InBev and MillerCoors Brewing operations. Oregonians, however, seem to prefer quality to quantity when it comes to the brewed beverage. “Oregon is the craft beer capital of the United States,” explains Brian Butenschoen, executive director of the Oregon Brewers Guild. “We have the highest percentage of dollars spent on craft beer. We’re the second largest producer, and Portland has fifty-one breweries—more than any other city in the world.” Last year a tracking group reported that 40 percent of money spent on beer in Oregon supermarkets went to craft beer, the highest percentage ever recorded in the country. And while Portland is Beervana—the hub of the state’s craft brewing movement—fifty-eight other towns in the state…

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U.S. 30: The River’s Road

Highway 30 runs from the industrial parks of west Portland to the beautiful coastal community of Astoria.

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Where Are They Now?

Where Are They Now? Pregnant man Thomas Beatie, the transgendered man who made headlines for birthing a child in 2007, now lives in Arizona where he filed for divorce from his wife this year. He has a total of three kids, but he recently told tabloids he’d like to have more kids with his new girlfriend. Balloon man This past July, Kent Couch and co-pilot, Fareed Lafta, flew thirty miles of the 500 they hoped to cover while sitting in lawn chairs propelled by helium-filled balloons. The daring duo landed safely, and Couch still runs a Shell gas station in Bend—with 30 microbrews on tap. He hopes to return to the air. Portlandia The sketch comedy series starring Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein has produced two seasons with at least one more in the bag. Season three includes appearances from actor Chloë Sevigny as Fred and Carrie’s roommate. Bhagwan Shree…

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Top 5: Casting director Lana Veenker

Lana Veenker’s Top 5 Things She Looks for in an Auditioning Actor Lana Veenker trod upon a more global stage before she returned home to Oregon as a casting director. She worked as an actress and in casting in France, England, India, and Venezuela. In 1999, she founded Cast Iron Studios, a casting and talent development agency in Portland. Notably, her company currently casts for TNT’s “Leverage” and NBC’s “Grimm,” among other shows and films. She took time from her busy schedule to chat with 1859 and tell us what a good audition looks and sounds like. 1 – LISTENING AND CONNECTING Are you in the moment, really listening and interacting with the other character(s), or do you have a glazed look in your eyes, like you’re trying to remember your next line? 2 – SOLID TRAINING You might get lucky and give a good audition in the casting room,…

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Clear-cutting

Clear-cutting is a form of logging in which the targeted acres are razed, leaving no standing vegetation. Environmentalists oppose this method as having long-term disruptive effects to forest populations. 

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What I’m Working On

When Roland Smith was an aspiring writer attending Portland State University, he took a part-time job working with animals at a zoo.

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Empty Bowls

Potters come together to create and fill bowls for those in need.

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Ray Atkeson’s Winter

Oregon photographer Ray Atkeson chronicled the rise of winter sports culture in Oregon.