Feast Portland 2016 is only NINE days away (can you believe it)? I missed out on Feast’s first year (believe me, the FOMO was so bad that I never let it happen again) so this will be my fourth year attending. Considering I’ve survived three prior Feasts, I feel confident in my credibility to provide you with the third edition of this guide to help you navigate the potential perils of unlimited world class food, libations, after parties and chef crushes that you will encounter. Begin abiding by this guide this coming Thursday, September 8th in order to give yourself a full week of preparation.
- Request Monday, September 19th off from work (if you haven’t already). Obviously, this isn’t necessarily feasible for just anyone but absolutely use this day as a vacation day if you happen to be #blessed enough to have both a healthy stack of vacation days left and no travel or emotional breakdowns planned for the next few months. Even if you plan on being responsible on the last day of Feast (the 18th), that either a) will not happen or b) it will and you’ll still need a day of introverting under your duvet with Gatorade and super un gourmet Postmates deliveries to get you back to your best self by Tuesday, the 20th.
- Avoid parties that go on past 11pm (or any friends who influence you to go to them) because every minute past 11pm spent at the club/bar/penthouse is a minute less spent sleeping (and thus a minute less spent improving your immune system and the likelihood of you being a competent member of society the following day)
- Clean your room/house/condo (or pay/bribe someone else to) because there is nothing worse than having to cope with a disheveled home once Monday, the 19th rolls around.
- Stock up at Costco because like having a disheveled home as mentioned above, the only thing that can make that much worse is having a disheveled and resource-less home so make sure you’re stocked with ample supplies of kitty litter, cat food, gatorades, toilet paper, toothpaste and Advil.
- Trade Happy Hour Dates for Pokemon Go Dates mainly because Pokemon makes you walk around and walking around is exercise and I’ve heard from multiple publications that exercise makes you feel good and helps your immune system.
- Eat often because if you go on some bizarre protein-less juice diet instead you’re going to end up feeling super weak and lame when you can’t eat more than two tastes at Smoked because you slowed down your metabolism so bad. Instead try to accustom yourself to eating 6-8 small meals per day that are each a combination of complex carbohydrates, fat and protein. Insert some fried foods here and there so you don’t get sick when someone offers you a foie gras tempura lollipop at one of the after parties next week.
- Prepare your outfits. Check the 10-day weather forecast; consult your Feast event schedule then launder/dry clean/get the zippers repaired on everything you plan on wearing. Also have backup options since it is Portland and the weather is only 12% predictable. My advice? Avoid stilettos, shoes with flat soles or anything ill-fitting. Also avoid sweatpants (unless they’re Lanvin) because then you’ll just look lazy. My advice on what TO wear…
- Purse: If you have a stylish little backpack (like this adorable one I’m lusting over) then wear it! It’ll make you look chic and hands free and still be small enough to not infringe on the space of your fellow Feasters. Otherwise, roomy and sturdy handled tote purses are great for daytime event hopping since you can fit all your essentials. For after parties or evening events, I advise going with a crossbody bag to keep yourself hands free and evening chic.
- Shoes: Be comfortable! There is a fair amount of walking during Feast and some of the venues have terrain which would make walking in high heels terribly challenging. For daytime events, I highly recommend copping yourself a pair of Tubulars from Adidas- I used to brave Feast in high heeled boots and sandals but really ever since Pokemon Go was released I’ve reached that point in my life where I live in my athletic shoes because they can be stylish and save you a whole lot of distress later. For nighttime events and after parties I also recommend sticking to stylish non-high heel shoes because you’ll probably have compromised balance by then and there is nothing more mortifying than slipping in front of your chef crushes (believe me…I did it once at Departure two years ago and I still cringe in embarrassment).
- Attire: Lightweight anoraks paired with slim fit denim are great for the days with unpredictable precipitation forecasts (and they have pockets)! Otherwise for warmer days, my go to would be shorts paired with body suits or oversize tees and a kimono. Also, avoid wearing white or anything that easily stains because you WILL come back with a stain even if you don’t think you will.
- Order a battery pack: As someone who is extremely skilled at locating functional power outlets in public places (due to my extreme anxiety of the “Battery Low” notification on my phone), my anxiety levels have decreased a whopping 27% ever since I was gifted a battery pack. The one I have is made by Anker and has two usb charging slots and can fully charge my iPhone 6 seven times before I need to recharge the battery pack. With the amount of event hopping that goes on during Feast (not to mention how much battery life your live social media posting is going to take) this will ease your “Battery Low” anxiety and turn you into a hero to when you offer to load up your battery pack-less chef/VIP/journalist crush’s phone. Believe me, it is worth it.
To my fellow FEAST veterans: If you have any other preparation tips you would like to share please provide them in the comments!