Earlier in the year, Oregon Association for the Deaf announced on their website that Portland will be hosting the Portland Deaf Film Festival this year.  And then, a month ago, I got an email from a colleague to remind me that the Portland Deaf Film Festival was coming up. For the last two weeks, I wasn’t sure if I wanted to go and check it out since there were tons of things that needed to get accomplished this weekend (bills, home improvement, catching up on work emails and etc), then last night, my brother asked me if I was going to go?

I decided to sleep on it.

I woke up at 8am. Still got about an hour and half before the festival starts at nine.

I went back to sleep.

I woke up at 11am. Crap. My body must really needed the sleep and extra rest from a long week. I went back to sleep. I mean, “What’s the point? The film that I missed were short films and they always save the best films for last.”

I woke up at 12:30pm. Got showered. Put some blue jeans on with my #social worker black t-shirt and put on my favorite black Superman hat.

Pre-ordered via my Starbucks app my favorite coffee, Toffee Nut Latte with Sous Vide Egg Bites with Bacon and Gruyere from my apartment. I grabbed my backpack, my backup battery for my iPad and iPhone and started walking to Starbucks. As I walked, I recalled my conversation with my brother from last night and remembered how we both talked about how I wanted to try out one of the popular scooters that’s been viral in Portland, Oregon. With that on my mind, I grabbed my iPhone and opened the Bird app and checked to see if there were any Bird scooters available near Starbucks.

As I arrived to Starbucks, my Toffee Nut Latte and Sous Vide Egg Bites with Bacon and Gruyere were already ready for me. I grabbed both of them from the mobile pick up area and found an open table for two near the entrance of Starbucks. With my Bird app still opened, I noticed that there was still one Bird scooter available to use right outside of Starbucks.

For the next half an hour, I sipped my delicious Toffee Nut Latte and nibbled on my Sous Vide Egg Bites while I did some people-watching and multi-tasked by reading the news and checking last minute emails from where I worked. I took a look at my Fitbit watch and I noticed that it was close to 1:30pm. I got up and took my almost completed coffee and crumbs of my Sous Vide Eggs Bites and threw them away in the trash. I picked up my backpack and pulled my iPhone from my pocket and opened the Bird app.

It wouldn’t work. Someone had peeled off the QR code from the scooter. Why was this scooter out in the first place? It didn’t make any sense. With the Bird app still opened, it appeared that there was another Bird available four blocks away.  I walked four blocks. Got my steps for my Fitbit and when I arrived to the next Bird, I felt good.

This is the BIRD scooter that I rode.

Now, for those of you whom are new to Bird/Lime scooter apps, there are some things you need to know. First, you must have a Driver’s License. You also must have a debit/credit card on file. Secondly, you should have a helmet.  Yet, not everyone follows this rule. In fact, while I was walking to Starbucks, I saw two young men in tux riding Lime scooters without helmets. Yes, I wrote that correctly, tuxedos (tux).

Once activated, everything else is a breeze; green light will confirmed your scooter is activated and unlocked. Pull the pedal up, scoot three times with your leg and press the accelerator and you’re flying like a Bird.

People mingling around The Clinton Theater while waiting for the next show. Deaf Film Fest 2018. Photo credits: Thomsen Young

The Clinton Theater is quite illuminating; when you enter the doors on your right you immediately see the food concession area filled with various kinds of drinks and surprising they offer a variety of selection of beer. On your left, you see hundreds of classic movie posters on the wall, in which, every once in a while you’ll see some with personal autographs from the actors/actress themselves.

A landmark of Portland cinema history, The Clinton Street Theater is one of the oldest operating moviehouses in the United States.

Opening in 1915 as the Clinton, the theater became the 26th Avenue Theatre in 1945 and the Encore in 1969. In 1976 it reverted to its original name.

Although the theater has undergone many changes over the years, it remains an intimate single screen venue with the capacity for 222 patrons.


Once you pass the food concession, on the right is an all-gender restroom. This restroom confuses me. They only have one toilet, with no locks on the door (seriously, just drill a hole in the door) and they have two sinks.

Why in the world do you need two sinks if you only offer one toilet?

Oh, the best part, this one toilet has to be shared with 222 potential patrons.

Imagine that.

Once you past the restroom, you enter the theater. You would assume that this theater would be small, but it’s actually quite roomy for two hundred and twenty two seats. The theater has six lights on the side wall that glows red, but the best part is the three films that I watched in that theater:

“The Godfather Running”

“Halifax Explosion- The Deaf Experience”:

“The Pastman”

We tried to contact those whom hosted Portland Deaf Film Festival, but haven’t had any success in contacting them.

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Thomsen Young

Founder of SG