By Caryn Brooks
Last week Miss D. was cold chillin' with John Brodie, the lovely gent who owns that lil' crêperie Le Happy in Northwest Portland, when Brodie let loose with some civil disobedience.
See, Le Happy may be in Northwest Portland, but it ain't exactly kissing cousins with that homecoming queen Northwest 23rd Avenue, nor is it what you'd consider part of the Most Popular Pearl. No, where Le Happy resides at Northwest 16th and Marshall is its very own outpost with its very own sensibility (Most Likely Not to Succeed?) but without its very own neighborhood nickname. That's why Brodie and his fellow crêpe drapers came up with their own nickname for the region from Northwest 14th to 18th Avenues, from Glisan to Northrup Streets -- basically everything under the long shadow of I-405. As Brodie says, "That highway is always gonna be there, we might as well get used to it," so the concrete tangle became the muse of slang. There's no real reason they came up with the name they did, except that it sounds and feels oui. Now, when people ask where Le Happy lives, Brodie & Co. will say, "We're in The Bucket." He explains: "It just seemed right for being under the highway. Plus we just like saying 'In the heart of The Bucket.'" Others in The Bucket Brotherhood (although they don't exactly know it yet) are Radio Cab, Yur's, Cal Sport, Oddball Shoe Co., Bridgetown Coffee, Boxcar Bertha's, the City's maintenance facility for the new streetcar, and Plazm Media's new offices. "We're kind of the misfits," says Brodie.
Vera, if you're reading this, Brodie and the Le Happyites want your help. They are unofficially using this name to bolster their Portland pride. Help make it official. Brodie promises that if you come through and put your stamp of approval on the name "The Bucket" for that sector, he will hold an outdoor Nutella Festival for all to enjoy.