The Aalto Lounge is actually a great place for spy novels. The main room is narrow, there’s a back exit, and a large room that has stoner-turquoise lighting off to the side. The concentration of people in the main area, tables and a bar that barely let you by when they’re unoccupied lends itself to hiding in plain sight. Conversations are shrouded by the simple noise of the bar. Even now, with only six people here (including the bartender) I cannot understand the conversation of the couple ten feet from me. Conspiracy all but radiates from the dim light.
Come here after midnight, have a glass of Double Mountain IRA, set your companion up with a whiskey sour or a Merlot and start plotting.
It’s too cool for vampires and hipster although in that generally low-key Portland way. So that leaves spies. I could totally go for a resurgence of spy literature supplanting the shitty vampire novels. At least spies drink liquor.
Walking here in the early evening, I strolled down Hawthorne and saw so many faces looking grim without any discernible reason. The sun was out for the third time in a month and it was actually warm. In my darker moments, I want to become the Joker, forcing a rigor mortis smile upon them, screaming “It’s funny, don’t you get it?!”
I wonder if I have looked as grim as I made my way to these bars, unhappily grinding my way to my destination, no sense of the now, no pleasure in the future no—
Jebus. I know I didn’t look like that. I’m going to get a beer, damnit. Life ain’t so bad if you can afford the occasional beer.
PS: the bathrooms have a punk rock quality…you have been warned.