Thursday, May 17, 2007

Keep Portland Weird!

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

I read in the Sunday LA Time last week that Portland, Oregon is the most eccentric city in the land. I only know you there and already I'm convinced they're right.

11:34 PM

Sam left me that comment the other day. SAM...the one who has an unhealthy obsession with goats, but is a delightful volcano builder. We have a volcano up here, you know. Anyway, at first I was all, 'whatevs'. I mean, if you've ever been to LA, you'd know that people STILL rollerblade mostly naked there. And yet Portland is the eccentric one? Harumph.

But then I thought about it some more. I thought about the Volvo with the "Buy Local" sticker on it...the NAU store with their "environmental" clothing being sold for hundreds in the haughty Pearl District, the guy crossing the street that one time wearing Danskos and a cowboy hat. And then I went to Powell's to look for a book that the website said was there but it wasn't (god I hate that fucking labyrinth) and there was a car parked outside with this sticker upon looked a little like this:

photo courtesy of

You have to muck through the visual assault that IS this person's anti-war stance, but I'm fairly certain you'll find it there in the lower right corner. Those bumper stickers are everywhere here. They sell them at Music Millenium (local High Fidelityesque music store) and you can't really count to 10 without seeing one stuck somewhere. And I guess I can see why. This can be a wacky place. I just didn't realize it was any more or less wacky than any other place (hello, New Orleans). Though the Zoo Bombers do instill some civic pride. Those crazy fuckers are cool.

After some masterful googling, I found the article Sam was referring to. Here it is. Read it if you must. And by "must" I mean are considering a jaunt to the grand Northwest or you have nothing better to do and your life is empty. But let me just warn you here...any of you fuckers consider a move that results in jacking up the house prices (Californians...I'm fucking talking to you) that are already threatening to keep me a renter til I've lost all my own natural teeth, I will tear your balls off. Even if you don't sport the man berries, I'll get them installed and then tear them off.
(current Californians that are already here and are personal and accepted acquaintances of mine may disregard disclaimer)

I will say this about the article. This is far from my favorite city in the world, but it's got some kick ass shit about it and NONE of it was mentioned in that article. He didn't even venture to the East side (S.E. RULES). So if you DO read his ramblings and think 'huh, Portland sounds like some place I'd like to visit' on before calling your travel agent.

There is only one decent guide to Portland out there in literary land. It is Fugitives and Refugees by Chuck Palahniuk. Not only is it the best guide there is to Portland, with the exception of the inclusion of the 24-Hour Church of Elvis, which is no longer's written by the author of Fight Club...which rocks my socks off. But don't try to fucking find it at Powell's.


**update**: It is sheep that Sam is strangely drawn to in a literary sense...sheep. It is also very obvious that I am in some serious need of coffee. Which makes it all the more tragic that I don't drink coffee.

15 keep(s) me blogging:

apterix55 said...

I think this is all by design, you know, to make the farmers AFRAID to come into town.

My favorite quirk, although it's state-wide: It's legal to kill yourself but illegal to pump your own gas. That contrdaction still astounds me!

Anonymous said...

Being weird or "eccentric" (which is just a nice word for weird) is better than ranking 3rd on the list of cities with the worst Road Rage!!! I'd take weird over angry anyday! I guess this just further proves we're a bunch of Massholes....


Macoosh said...

weird-o portlandite. pssh.

Sarah said...

First of all, let me thank you for the disclaimer. I was all "what? me? She LOVES me!" and then I read the disclaimer and I was all, "oh, she really DOES love me".

Second, that book kicks ass. I laughed through most of it. Not because I was all that surprised either, but because it was so true. I think I'm going to get a copy and use it as a travel guide for out of town guests. They may never return.

Third, my word verification is pvcbj. I'm pretty sure that would hurt someone.

Laura said...

Ok, I am a native Oregonian and I never knew that the View-Master was invented here. That rocks. But dude, it's the MAX, nobody calls it just MAX. And I can almost hear "orEEgone" intoned in his every mention of Oregon. It's "ORuhgun" people. Get it right or we WILL hire someone to club you in the knee.

Laura said...

Furthermore, after reading that article, I feel it almost made Portland seem rather normal. Good thing I know better. I mean, he didn't even visit the Church of Elvis! Lame.

Sam, Problem-Child-Bride said...

I stand by my original assertion. The evidence abounds.

Point of Information: So how comes its ORuhgun but not OReGHAno for that widely used Italian herb? How very comes it's orEGGano in America?

PS. I categorically deny an unhealthy obsession with goats. It's sheep that endlessly fascinate me.

Kara said...

gasp, sam, you're right. i don't know where my head was. i'll correct that this very instant. don't want to give any false impressions...

Kara said...

apterix - but can you kill yourself with gas?

pony - we have some rage here...but it's mainly bicycle vs. car rage. i'm very guilty of it myself. some day we cyclists will form an army...and then, watch OUT SUV bastards!

waif - i didn't know that about the Viewmaster either...but i don't care to go wandering around NW to find these things out. those snotty mcsnottertons can suck it.

sam - a cause there are no italians in oregon. duh. and we don't use any spices that haven't been blessed by Chief Joseph or Sacagawea...or Lewis and Clark. they don't really bless things, though...they just make maps.

AxAtlas said...

You should create a PDX tourism guide and/or tourism company. New source of income for ya.

Laura said...

sam - Oregano is an Italian word, Oregon is Native American. So there you are. Which is to say, I got nuthin.

Sheep go to heaven. Goats go to hell.

d said...

well, i didn't really read this one. but i did read the two below it. and i think that counts for something.

Gorilla Bananas said...

Sam may be right, but Portland has a low international profile. Vancouver is much better known. You need to get your tourist board to get its act together.

Kara said...

ax - i have no love for this place, ax...which would make for a sorry sack of a tour guide.
it's raining today.

waif - CAKE rocks!

d - then why comment on THIS one? strange.

goranas - silly goranas...Vancouver is in CANADA. TOTALLY different country. Don't they have globes in the Congo?

Gorilla Bananas said...

I knew it was in Canada. So? It's still a competitor for the international tourist buck.

So, so, suck my toe
All the way to Mexico