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March 13, 2014 01:00 AM

The Bloody Mary, that quintessential tomato and vodka drink, is no longer considered just a hangover corrective. When well garnished with vegetables and perhaps a shrimp (and even a hamburger, as I found at one Junction City spot), it’s a darn good approximation of a soup and salad — virtuous enough to provide some vitamins while smoothing out any roughness of the day.

March 13, 2014 01:00 AM

I survive mainly on kombucha, coffee and hard liquor. Mixing coffee with whiskey is kind of a no-brainer. I’m perky and buzzed — what could go wrong? Kombucha, in large doses, has a similar effect on me. Given my predilection for caffeine and adult beverages, kombucha cocktails strike me as pure genius. 

March 13, 2014 01:00 AM

Donie Smith started working at the Horsehead Bar about a year ago, but that was enough time to garner her a “sexiest bartender” win. A Cottage Grove native, Smith says she was a bit surprised to hear she had won. She shouldn’t be, because voters raved about her “perfect smile,” “great personality” and “sweet-ass tats.” 

March 13, 2014 01:00 AM

The people behind popular Eugene restaurant Party Downtown, located at 55 W. Broadway, apply a “make-it-in-house” ethic to everything they do, from curing meats to baking bread. Bartender James West is particularly passionate about house-made liqueurs — distilled spirits infused with the flavors of fruit, berries, herbs or even flowers. 

March 13, 2014 12:08 AM

Ben Lundberg, 33, was born and raised in Eugene and has been tending bar at the Starlight Lounge for more than four years. In his spare time, he’s a photographer, which adds to the list of admirable qualities that voters mentioned, including his “boyish charm” and “phenomenal personality.” One voter opined that Lundberg is “downright a good person.” What could be sexier?

March 12, 2014 11:51 PM

My dad approached parenting in his own way. When my older brother Taylor started wearing obscene clothing during his rebellious youth, my dad responded by wearing a brown bag over his head like a chef’s hat the next time the two of them went grocery shopping. He’s a maverick in just about every way except his fashion, so it makes sense he made me attend an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting after I was caught drinking during high school.

March 12, 2014 11:47 PM

From food cart to store front, Red Wagon Creamery has come a long way. The ice cream shop is well known for wonderfully eclectic, handmade ice cream flavors like carrot jalapeño, peach rosemary and Saturday Morning, meant to taste like the milk left over after a bowl of Fruit Loops. But stick around after 10 pm on Friday and Saturday, and the creamery transforms into Red Wagon After Dark, where bartender Amanda Hoffman throws booze into the mix of creamy deliciousness. 

January 23, 2014 01:00 AM

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival kicks off once again Feb. 14. Our internationally recognized theater down I-5 is entertaining with plays ranging from 400 years old to fresh off the press, dark dramas to Marx brothers comedies. I got in touch with a few notable theater artists from Eugene to see what’s on their list to see this season.

January 23, 2014 01:00 AM

Dark of night, light of day. These are the times we come out to play. No cars, no trains, no first-class flights, no neon signs or big bright lights. We creep and crawl from the highs of the treetops to the jungle floor … We are ferocious and in many ways distinct. Now come with us on our journey, make sure you bring your … ANIMAL INSTINCT! 

January 23, 2014 01:00 AM

The Hult Center stands as the Grand Dame of the Lane County performing arts scene — known more for highbrow ballet, opera and classical music than contemporary or avant-garde work. Brad Garner of the Eugene-based interdisciplinary arts organization Harmonic Laboratory hopes to change that … well, at least in the lobby.

January 23, 2014 01:00 AM

The Eugene Ballet Company is perhaps best known for its professional approach to traditional ballets, perfecting performances like The Nutcracker for the past 32 years. Yet occasionally, artistic director Toni Pimble likes to shake things up by exploring a new artistic vision or collaboration. Following collaborations with bands The Freudian Slips, Pink Martini and The Jazz Kings, the EBC will team up with local boys the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies for Zoot Suit Riot, a visual storytelling told through dance and set to the tune of the band’s extensive musical cache.

January 23, 2014 01:00 AM

Divas and prima donnas rule the opera stage. But in real life, not so much, no matter what happens with Hillary in 2016. On Feb. 8 and 9, the University of Oregon Opera Ensemble presents “A Tale of Two Women: The Old Maid and the Thief and Trouble in Tahiti,” a pair of delightful American one-act operas that explore — sometimes hilariously, ultimately poignantly — the psychology of mid-20th-century women and their roles in a changing America.

January 16, 2014 01:00 AM

“Jonathan? Melissa? Meet us on the lawn and close your eyes.”

Grinning staff members at the Cascades Raptor Center led us past our lopsided wedding cake to the grass outside the visitors’ center. “We have a gift for you … don’t peek.”

For years, we’d volunteered to clean mews, feed orphaned owls and medicate injured hawks at the nature center and wildlife hospital in Eugene. After Jonathan proposed, we asked to marry at the center. 

January 16, 2014 01:00 AM

“Everywhere we travel we tell people there’s no better place to get married than Oregon,” says Ryan Welch, co-founder of Moetic Wedding Films, a high-end wedding film production company with offices in Eugene and McMinnville, Ore. “The problem is,” Welch continues, to take advantage of Oregon’s natural beauty “you’ve only got three months. We’re not going to film a wedding here in the Northwest until June.”

January 16, 2014 01:00 AM

Renne Phillips sits perched on a stool in the Redoux Parlour’s workspace surrounded by scissors, paper patterns and sketches. Behind her, a dress form is mocked up with lace — the beginning of a gown she’ll complete for a summer wedding. She pulls out the garment’s sketch; sweeping lines resembling rose petals flow together creating a voluminous skirt, which is sprinkled with dots representing intricate beadwork.

January 16, 2014 01:00 AM

At Dawn Baby Salon in Eugene, the past comes back to glamorous life for brides and grooms seeking vintage style. Stylist Dawn Baby specializes in vintage hair; more couples are turning to hairstyles from the 1920s through the 1960s. 

January 16, 2014 01:00 AM

You think you know a state — and Oregon, with its crunchy granola public-access beaches and the fewest abortion restrictions in the nation, should be known for protecting its gay and lesbian residents as well, right? Not so much. According to Sasha Buchert, formerly of Basic Rights Oregon and now a staff attorney at the Transgender Law Center, Oregon holds the record as the state with the most anti-gay ballot measures in its history. The Gay and Lesbian Archives of the Pacific Northwest put that number at 35. And Springfield, that sweet little city to Eugene’s east, was the first place in the U.S. to put anti-gay language in its city charter back in May 1992.

January 16, 2014 01:00 AM

Despite the cold and rain that enrobes Eugene for many months of the year, outdoor weddings are growing in popularity here. And there’s one venue that is more popular than nearly all others — Mount Pisgah Arboretum. Peg Douthit-Jackson, the arboretum’s education and special events coordinator, says they have been “swamped” with interest in recent years and that it consistently fills its wedding schedule. Part of that growing interest is the arboretum’s response to the desire for more sustainable weddings. 

December 19, 2013 01:00 AM

Movies are one way to stay entertained on cold winter nights

December 19, 2013 01:00 AM

Head to your favorite CD and record store for a quick musical gift

December 19, 2013 01:00 AM

Winter would be lost without a new stack of books to enjoy while wrapped up in a blanket, and you can always feel good about sending one more book into the world. This year we bring a little less fiction and a little more of the rest of the written word. So bring on the frightful weather, and help your giftees enjoy it.

November 27, 2013 01:00 AM

It’s that time of the year again — the holidays. And many companies are sending out one message: Buy! Consume! Waste! But Master Recycler Coordinator Kelly Bell wants you to hear a different message: Pause.

November 27, 2013 01:00 AM

Giving something that will end up stuck in a junk drawer or regifted is no fun for the giver or the giftee. And for the people who seem to have it all, it can be hard to pick something they might actually want. To avoid these hassles, try giving a gift of experiences that return your sentiment all year long. Many local establishments offer clubs and memberships that provide ongoing benefits for a one-time purchase.