A Gothic Fairy Halloween! The Lovecraft Bar Brickbat club, Lincoln Restaurant Portland, Argus Car Hire.

lovecraft bar, portland goth club

The Old Ones have woken in Oregon… and I’m about to have my spookiest Halloween yet!

Thanks to Travel Portland, my film team and I got to dance with monsters at Lovecraft Bar, and dine at Andrew Zimmern’s beloved Lincoln Restaurant. Plus, I got to debut my new blue-green hair. Perhaps you’ve already glimpsed it on my social networks, linked on the sidebar –>

art nouveau hair accessories, flower crown

I had navy hair in my mid-late teens, but products were weak back then and it faded quickly to a murky green. But now, it’s possible to get salon-quality dyes in rainbow colors.

My amazing stylist Stephanie Hoy at Avant Garde Hair Vancouver bleached my hair, and layered on turquoise, blue and dark purple. She stayed away from yellow-green tones, in order to complement my skin. What do you think of this big change?

The romantic hair flower clips were custom-made for me by Angelica Brigade. I love her detailed work and delicate fabrics. She takes requests through her site, so you can have her create accessories to perfectly match your outfits.

lip service goth fairy costume

I had three Halloween costumes this year; here’s Look #1. The Goth Fairy dress, wings and star tights are from my friends at Lip Service, the popular Gothic brand that also makes Victorian and Steampunk garments. My cut-out boots are Yosuke, bought in Shinjuku Marui One in Tokyo.

dark angel, gothic fairy halloween wings

Although I look ready to party, I’m really here to make travel videos and articles with my hard-working film team. On these shoots, timing is key: we need to get around to a lot of locations during our short stay.

If you’re travelling to Portland, I highly recommend renting a car. Having this rental from Argus Car Hire helped us enormously — each day, we shot at up to six locations all over the city!

I’m notorious for complaining about my vehicles (“There’s no suspension! The wheel is jerky!”) but with Argus, the experience was 100% smooth, no pun intended. We got a spotless Subaru Legacy with less than 2000 miles on it. Enough legroom for our 4-person pirate team, and the color even matched my outfit.

goth dress, wings, halloween costume

Since I travel so much, I’m going to make Argus Car Rentals my go-to. They work with multiple companies, so they have a much larger selection of vehicles and options — 30,000 locations worldwide including USA, Canada, Europe.

argus car hire, rental cars portland

Now, time to fly away and eat! We drove about 15 minutes to North Portland, to try one of the most talked-about restaurants in the Pacific Northwest.

jenn louis, lincoln restaurant portland oregon

When I had dinner with Andrew Zimmern in Vancouver, he told me I had to meet his talented friend, chef Jenn Louis. She kindly invited us to her flagship Lincoln Restaurant (3808 N Williams Ave, Portland OR).

food tv filmmaker, film crew

Filmmaker Melissa shoots a collection of Jenn’s accolades, including Best New Chef by Food & Wine Magazine. Jenn built up her resume in kitchens around the US, but fell in love with PDX’s foodie culture and local ingredients. She opened Lincoln and then Sunshine Tavern, and recently appeared on Top Chef Masters.

lincoln restaurant cocktails

After filming an interview with Jenn, we sat down to beautiful cocktails: “The Stone Fence” with Bourbon and apple cider, “Double Agent” with bourbon, Aperol and peach bitters. Perhaps our favorite is the one not pictured: a mix of mint-citrus syrup and Prosecco.

portland best restaurants, dessert

We started with appetizers: two hen eggs, pure local flavor. Then apple fritters with pickled chili aioli, and grilled octopus with olives. These seemingly incongruous ingredients are magic together; the flavors are surprising, thoughtful, balanced.

Same goes for the panna cotta with caramelized popcorn sauce (top right image). Imagine the taste of the movie theater without the crunch, paired with silky cream.

sea urchin gnocchi, jenn louis pasta

And here’s the money shot: sea urchin gnocchi. The bokeh really expresses the “choir of angels” feeling I had on my first taste. I usually find this type of pasta too chewy and starchy, and “uni” too rich and briney. But this is a completely different experience: melt-in-your-mouth bites of potato and ricotta, with a brush of sea urchin, Italian cayenne, mint and bottarga (cured fish roe).

blue hair, turquoise hair color

I’m still reflecting on this meal; it’s honestly one of my favorites from this entire year. Thank you Andrew Zimmern for introducing us to your talented friends at Lincoln Restaurant. Can’t wait to show you the video footage we took with Jenn Louis.

hp lovecraft bar, sci fi weird bars

Later, we went nightcrawling at The Lovecraft Bar (421 SE Grand Ave, Portland OR). It’s named after horror author HP Lovecraft, best known for his Cthulhu Mythos. I’m a fan of his writings, and have wanted to cross this venue off my “Goth bucket list” for some time.

lovecraft posters, club night

Inside the (appropriately) small and dark club, his portraits and book covers line the wall. I was convinced that Lovecraft’s eyes would follow me, like in “The Case of Charles Dexter Ward.”

portland gothic party, brickbat Mansion

The decor is a tribute to his universe. Tentacles represent Cthulhu, an Old God who looks like an octopus with claws and wings (much like my own). Lovecraftian symbols are everywhere, like this pentagram-like Necronomicon gate. Note the cute “No Entry” sign and my ever-present glass of absinthe.

lovecraft symbols, portland bar

Every first Friday of the month is a no-cover Goth night, called Brickbat Mansion. The DJs played highly danceable darkwave, post-punk, classic Gothic and shoegaze.

angelica brigade, art nouveau hair decorations

I won’t go into detail, but let’s say we had a bit too much fun on the dance floor. Portland locals are a friendly, kooky bunch. (My makeup is from Annabelle Cosmetics — love their creamy eyeshadows that match my new hair, and TwistUp lipstick crayons.)

eyeball balloon, goth balloons

Things got scandalous, when we got our hands on the balloons… We may or may not have left with a giant eyeball or two.

bear costume halloween

It doesn’t get better than this: celebrating Halloween in a sci-fi Goth party with my Pirate film crew. I’m lucky to be able to work with my friends, and glad that we can travel worldwide and shoot the topics we love. (Outfit and restaurant photography by Melissa Rundle; food closeups by me; Lovecraft images by First Mate Naomi.)

portland clubbing, dance parties

Much more Halloween shenanigans on the way, along with a video. I still have two costumes to show you!

PS: I’ve updated my travel TV hosting reel. Watch it above and on YouTube. The clips include Food Network, Today Show, Travel Channel, Discovery, National Geographic, CNN… How fun to see my hair change over time.

the lovecraft bar, portland or

How do you like Portland’s spooky side? Thoughts on my new mermaid-colored hair?

PPS: If you’ve read H.P. Lovecraft and want to chat with me about his weird tales, I invite you to comment in this post or on my Facebook. “Ph’nglui mglw’nafh Cthulhu R’lyeh wgah’nagl fhtagn!”


  1. Denise
    Posted November 11, 2013 at 1:43 am | Permalink


  2. yukiro
    Posted November 11, 2013 at 2:36 am | Permalink

    I luv your new hair colour and that black dress with broken wings is to kill for!

    • lacarmina
      Posted November 11, 2013 at 7:33 pm | Permalink

      Can’t wait to see you soon!!!!!!!!!!!! Loved all your Hell-oween looks too!

  3. Miss Xya
    Posted November 11, 2013 at 3:01 am | Permalink

    That fairy dress is TO. DIE. FOR. Holy hell I need it like right now where’s my credit card…

    • lacarmina
      Posted November 11, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      haha I know! that was my reaction when I saw it too.

  4. Art Vixen
    Posted November 11, 2013 at 3:13 am | Permalink

    I enjoyed reading your blog post and yeah, your new hair color looks cool! :)

  5. Sophie
    Posted November 11, 2013 at 5:32 am | Permalink

    So lovely @lacarmina & we miss you!!!

  6. MelissaR
    Posted November 11, 2013 at 5:55 am | Permalink

    The most beautiful gothic fairy ever and the food looks AMAZING!!! Makes me want to go to Portland!

  7. Bella
    Posted November 11, 2013 at 6:06 am | Permalink


  8. Lara Lizard
    Posted November 11, 2013 at 6:40 am | Permalink

    I love your hair color :) I used to have a similar one (by straight dyes) but I had troubles getting rid of it eventually :D. Your outfit is superb :)

    • lacarmina
      Posted November 11, 2013 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

      Nice!! My stylist is very good at color, loving it!

  9. Sophie
    Posted November 11, 2013 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

    I love your new hair! That Lovecraft bar seems amazing thank you for always sharing such wonderful places to discover.

    • lacarmina
      Posted November 11, 2013 at 7:31 pm | Permalink

      Thank you Sophie! I am liking the change too. YEAH what a great city!

  10. Curatrix
    Posted November 11, 2013 at 5:03 pm | Permalink

    Never tried the Lincoln Restaurant, and I’m a Portlander — will need to venture over now! Thanks for paying a visit and the honor of a mention to Brickbat Mansion and the Lovecraft — I’m glad you had a good time, and I love your pictures. Happy Halloween!

    • lacarmina
      Posted November 11, 2013 at 7:30 pm | Permalink

      I was seriously blown away by Lincoln! It isn’t too pricy either. I hope you’ll visit and let me know what you think :) So much fun at Brickbat, and much more to come from PDX! xo

  11. Leyla
    Posted November 11, 2013 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    I like it

  12. Key
    Posted November 11, 2013 at 7:34 pm | Permalink

    Welcome to the family of blue haired ones! <3

  13. Ezra
    Posted November 11, 2013 at 7:34 pm | Permalink


  14. Liv
    Posted November 11, 2013 at 8:44 pm | Permalink

    Woah I really envy you! And love your videos. I was really surprised seeing you in german tv recently with Yoko.

  15. Bertrand
    Posted November 11, 2013 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    now I’m hungryy

  16. nao
    Posted November 11, 2013 at 9:30 pm | Permalink

    Omg! So beautiful! wow

  17. jewel
    Posted November 11, 2013 at 9:54 pm | Permalink

    its pretty fabulous!

  18. Susan
    Posted November 11, 2013 at 9:57 pm | Permalink

    a beautiful color.

  19. Serafina
    Posted November 12, 2013 at 3:39 pm | Permalink

    Ahhh so pretty! You look awesome and BrickBat looks like a blast :D

  20. Hannah
    Posted November 12, 2013 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

    You make a gorgeous Gothic fairy La Carmina. It is an interesting take on Steamfae. The flowers in the hair, and your beautiful blue locks, are very faery, but the velvet/lace pattern on the dress give a hint of Victorian, and of course you have the black wings and Gothic element.

  21. Kevin
    Posted November 12, 2013 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    Oh, it’s true. Fairies wear boots.

  22. Marina
    Posted November 12, 2013 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    I’ve never been there, but I read Lovecraft and I believe that’s cool.

  23. Bekah
    Posted November 12, 2013 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

    I’m making a day trip up to Portland this Saturday for the Buccaneer’s Ball feat. Abney Park! Any chance you’ll still be in Portland then? :D

  24. Coralynn
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    Love it!

  25. Marie
    Posted November 13, 2013 at 9:12 pm | Permalink

    soo coool , love your hair soo much

  26. Jugar Jugar
    Posted November 16, 2013 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    Actually, I always liked your fashion style. It is truly unique and fashionable ways to look like a designer. You have succeeded with the clothes you wear. Cheers.

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