Like the light bulbs hanging upside-down from the ceiling, Beulahland is a collection of unconventional ideas. It is a uniquely Portland mix of best friend’s basement familiarity and progressive art-house, making it one of the most naturally iconic bars in a town with an ever-increasing number of forced icons. Beulahland’s authenticity cut its Southeast PDX teeth a good ways back, providing one of the earliest and most vibrant trivia nights as well as serving as the meeting place for Portland Adult Soapbox derby organizers. Over the years, it’s early one-room beer and soup model has grown into a three-room show featuring a humble, underrated kitchen and a keenly selected array of music, art, and sports spectator events. The rotating taps never disappoint, the bar is well appointed to concoct a signature cocktail, and the servers are strong, happy, professional, and interesting. The welcoming, wisecracking nature of Jimmi, the bar’s enthusiastic owner, seems to have infused the distinctly urban atmosphere with a pervasive, bucolic charm. For me, Beulahland represents a necessary link between two Portlands: the sleepy, early 90s Portland where culture pioneers began to remake forgotten buildings and neighborhoods; and the sharply-awakened, style-magazine Portland of the present day in which highly-funded restaurateurs battle for hip neighborhood real estate. Amidst it all, Beulahland seems as timeless as its vintage fridge; a warts-and-all conjunction of old and new. It provides an intellectual rain jacket for the winter rain and a swamp cooler for the midsummer sun. In many ways, as in the gospel hymn for which it takes its name, the bar represents a storied high ground; a proper vantage point to take in the surroundings. In fact, at times, from a corner booth, drinking late night coffee with whiskey and a slice of cherry almond pie, I’m pretty sure I am in heaven. If not, at least I can see it from here.