I Live Here: Jack Cluth

Name & Age: Jack Cluth, 51

Hometown: Walker, MN

Current Neighborhood: Laurelhurst

How do you pay the rent and what is your slash? I’m a freelance writer/blogger working to land a book contract.

What do you create? Anything that will get people thinking about what’s happening outside of their own little world. Portland’s a very easy place to become isolated from the rest of the known universe.

How did you land in Portland? I moved here after college to get married. That didn’t last, and I’ve left and returned to Portland four times. I left twice to work overseas, spent a year in Minneapolis, and then spent 10 years in Hell…er, Houston (if you’ve been there, you know what I mean).

What is the last book you read? Last Call, by Daniel Okrent. It’s a history of the anti-alcohol movement and the Prohibition years. It really changed my view of alcohol…and man, I could really use a gin and tonic right about now….

Name your favorite tattoo. Don’t have one (yet)…but I’m contemplating the Chinese characters for “strength” and “serenity.”

What was the last thing you ate at a food cart? Maple with Bacon ice cream at Fifty Licks on SE Belmont. TOO. DIE. FOR. And I would.

Oregonian, Willamette Week, or Mercury? Willamette Week…but I’d like to see more local writing- like mine, f’rinstance.

What is your favorite bridge and why? I’ve always loved the Fremont Bridge for it’s sweeping vistas, especially on a warm summer evening. The Sellwood bridge is a close second, because there’s nothing like taking your life in your hands, wondering if it will collapse before you reach the other side.

Stumptown Coffee or _________? Seven Virtues at 60th & NE Glisan. It’s comfortable, cozy, the baristas are friendly and devoted to their craft, and the flourless chocolate cookies are amazing.

Coast or Mountains? Coast. One of my favorite places in the world is Oceanside, near Tillamook. You can’t just pass through, because the road literally ends at the parking lot on the beach. It’s a wonderful place to watch a sunset.

Only in Portland moment? Being in the middle of the Timbers Army, praying that no one lights a match. With all the ambient alcohol fumes escaping the pores of hundreds of Army members, it could have been tragic. I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many hangovers in one place.

A favorite local business? Pambiche. The best Cuban food outside of Miami and Tampa’s Ybor City. Three words, y’all: Pressed. Cuban. Sandwich.

Are you a car person or a bike person? I’ve been a car person all my life, but Laurelhurst is a very walk- and bike-friendly neighborhood, so I hope to be (almost) fully converted soon.

If you could change one thing about Portland, what would it be? The lack of leadership in city government. Can someone just make a freakin’ decision instead of talking every nuance to death? By the way, laissez faire is NOT a leadership style.

And finally, where can we find you on the web? On my blog, What Would Jack Do?, on Facebook, or on Twitter (@yuppieskum).

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