Celebrating Halloween in Portland, Oregon: pirate party! Watch me on German TV, Pro Sieben Joko & Klaas.

portland oregon halloween 2013, goth parties

The dream of the 90s is alive… in Portland! That’s where I’ll be for Halloween 2013, with First Mate Naomi (left) and my fabulous film team.

The tourism board is shipping us to Portlandia to party and prance around in costumes (er, I mean, do travel journalism). Want to join us for Halloween festivities? Read on… and if you’re in Germany, I’ll be on your TV screens this Saturday. Full details at the end of this post.

j valentine costumes, sexy women's costume

All Hallow’s Eve is my favorite holiday, and I always try to celebrate in the biggest possible way. Last time, I nightcrawled in Los Angeles. The previous year involved Dia de los Muertos in Mexico. And before that: dark Tokyo festivities.

Can’t wait to show you my costumes for this year. I’ll be wearing something skimpy from J Valentine (remember their monster costume, which I modeled with Josie Stevens?).

corpse bride makeup, costume, tutorial

This is my first time in Oregon, even though it’s geographically close to Vancouver. When I was growing up, few people went out of their way to see small and sleepy PDX. That’s changed in the past 5-10 years, with Portland becoming a mecca for comic artists, hipsters, food trucks, pickling, putting birds on things, and generally “keeping it weird.”

I can’t think of a better place to celebrate Halloween! We invite you to join us, and be in the travel video.
– On Oct 31, my crew and I will be shooting the underground party at Steep and Thorny Way to Heaven (RSVP on their page).
– Nov 1st afternoon, we’ll be at the Day of the Dead parade (see previous link).
– Nov 1st evening, we’ll hit the HP Lovecraft bar for Brickbat Goth night.

PDX Yar, portland pirates

First Mate Naomi, who resides in the dark canals of PDX, has told me about the incredible alternative events here. She brings us a missive about some upcoming shanties:

Yoho! If ye dock ship in Portland, Oregon you’ll find that many a varied theme has a dedicated subculture here. Those with a seafaring spirit will be right at home with PDX Yar, Portland’s local pirate community.

portland oregon pirate festival

I first ran into PDX Yar at Dr. Sketchy’s Portland, where a fully rigged 5 person pirate crew appeared for a three hour life-drawing session.

portland alternative parties, goth clubs

In addition to participating in local art and pirate fests (yes there is more than one pirate festival) Captain Redgoat McHaggis and the crew of the Yar put together their own annual bash, the Swashbuckler’s Ball.

pirate captain costume, zombie pirates

This massive party is attended by all manner of properly dressed rapscallions. Even the dead and deep sea creatures turn out for the fun.

burlesque dancers portland

Folk fusion band Tempest rocked the main stage last year, while local troupe Critical Hit burlesque brought a lineup of themed performances (photo: Russell Bruner of SwingTime).

Shanty-aoke, pirate karaoke

The ball happens again this November and will be headlined by steampunk band Abney Park!

But once a year is certainly not enough. This week PDX Yar has announced a new monthly event, “Shanty-aoke.” The singalong is exactly what it sounds like: belt out Sea Shanties with a full Pirate crew at your back. So if ye be at port, RSVP and get all the info here. (Captain Carmina’s note: Naomi made the scurvy illustration above.)

Joko und Klaas, Duell um die Welt, german tv hosts

Finally, a head’s up for those of you in Germany: watch me Pro Sieben TV! This Saturday, Oct 19 at 8:15pm, I’m hosting a body modification segment on the hit program, Joko und Klaas “Duell um die Welt.”

Don’t worry, non-Deutsch readers, I’ll soon post a video clip and bloody insane photos from the filming.

scottish fold cat beret hat, funny kitty costume

Do you know what you’ll be wearing this Halloween? Got any outfit suggestions for Basil Farrow?

scottish fold cat tail, cat selfies

And if you have Portland, Oregon travel tips, please let me know in the comments. I’m already getting inspired by the IFC show Portlandia

Coming up next: Bangkok, Thailand posts, and announcements about my November travels to far-off lands!



  1. Posted October 18, 2013 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

    fun! Thanks for sharing- can’t wait to see ur Halloween pics this year :)

  2. Posted October 18, 2013 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    It feels like you’re never standing still! I hope you have an great time in Portland for Halloween. It’s a really fun city!

  3. Posted October 18, 2013 at 7:34 pm | Permalink


  4. Posted October 18, 2013 at 7:35 pm | Permalink

    Enjoy! xox

  5. Posted October 18, 2013 at 7:49 pm | Permalink

    Woo hoo! La Carmina takes over Portlandia!

    • Posted October 20, 2013 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

      Arrrr pirate takeover!

  6. Posted October 18, 2013 at 8:47 pm | Permalink

    very cool

  7. Posted October 18, 2013 at 9:48 pm | Permalink

    Portland is one of my all time favorite cities!!! *figures out plots to join the Spook Squad this Halloween*

  8. Posted October 18, 2013 at 11:48 pm | Permalink

    Super duper psyched for this one

  9. Posted October 18, 2013 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    While you are in PDX, check out the Steampunk Neo-Victorian shop :

    • Posted October 20, 2013 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

      it’s on the list!! so excited

  10. Posted October 19, 2013 at 12:19 am | Permalink

    I would love to see you at Wells & Verne, 3 Monkeys, Lovecraft, Shadowplay, Brickbat Mansion, Hive…there’s so much for you to check out. Let us know if you need a tour guide

    • Posted October 20, 2013 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

      Oohhhh… all sound great! We definitely have plans for those :)

  11. Posted October 20, 2013 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    happy Halloween and big hugs

  12. Posted October 20, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    the Swashbuckler’s Ball will be a grand ol’ time, and Abney Park are absolutely phenomenal. As for suggestions, depending on how long they’re in town (which doesn’t sound like long) I think decent ground is covered, but going with the flow and exploring as they go is best for the experience. Hawthorne boutique and Sellwood antique shopping can be great with proper funds. Good food everywhere.

  13. Posted October 20, 2013 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Powell’s downtown City of Books is a glorious place. the Avalon Theater nickle arcade, and Ground Kontrol for gamers. Doug Fir, or EastBurn for eats, drinks and atmosphere. the Barmuda Triangle (upper Hawthorne @ 49th) for drinks at the Space Room, or more hipster but great spot Tanker, or BoG (Bar of the Gods) or even Hawthorne Theatre for divey drinks.

    • Posted October 20, 2013 at 8:18 pm | Permalink

      Thanks for these great tips!

    • Posted October 20, 2013 at 8:19 pm | Permalink


  14. Posted October 20, 2013 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    Mississippi district is pretty trendy right now, lots of bars and foodie ground to cover. Also, I here Bossanova Ballroom is throwing a big Halloween event

  15. Posted October 20, 2013 at 8:28 pm | Permalink


  16. Posted October 20, 2013 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    love Basil Farrow!!!!!!!

  17. Posted October 20, 2013 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    omg you big fluffy bear of a cat, i could cuddle you all day!

  18. Posted October 20, 2013 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    very good

  19. Posted October 20, 2013 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

    cuddle hug

  20. Posted October 21, 2013 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    Dude, I am going.

  21. Posted October 21, 2013 at 5:36 am | Permalink

    Since it is halloween, check out Skyline Cemetary… it is HUUUUUUUGE.

  22. Posted October 21, 2013 at 5:37 am | Permalink

    You must look bad, reaaal baaad^^

  23. Posted October 21, 2013 at 5:21 pm | Permalink

    Glad to have you in our wonderful city! For Halloween night are you going to be hopping around the city or just covering one event? There’s a shadowplay event that’s going on, but the parties go on all through out October.

    • Posted October 23, 2013 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

      will try to make it!

    • Posted October 23, 2013 at 11:24 pm | Permalink

      will try to go!

  24. Posted October 22, 2013 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    What a cute nun!

  25. Posted October 23, 2013 at 8:36 pm | Permalink

    If you would like go to europe someday, visit Switzerland. if you’re interested just ask for some switzerland travel tips Cheers

    • Posted October 23, 2013 at 11:22 pm | Permalink

      I went years ago, love!!

  26. Posted October 29, 2013 at 6:53 pm | Permalink

    me encantaria que vengas a Lima, Perú en Southamerica <3

    • Posted October 30, 2013 at 2:55 am | Permalink

      I really hope to soon! xoxoxo

  27. Posted November 2, 2013 at 6:06 am | Permalink

    I can recognize that mustache anywhere. Isn’t Russell Bruner a riot? (I had the pleasure of seeing him perform at the Dallas Burlesque Festival.)

    • Posted November 4, 2013 at 10:55 pm | Permalink

      Ahh that’s so awesome! We just saw him do a live Nightmare before Xmas performance in Portland – video and pics to come, you would LOVE it!!

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