It should come as no surprise to anyone that freaky-deaky Portland is the first place that I felt like I fit in since I left New York.
While in Portland, I was chatting with Beth, and I mentioned that I wasn’t able to get together with Ned, who lives in Oregon, because of the flooding.
She replied, “I didn’t realize it was still fluffing!”
Girl, it’s ALWAYS fluffing in Portland.
I traditionally spend Christmas with my college bestie and her family. Her oldest daughter lives in Portland, and this year, ten of us traveled there for the holidays.
We stayed at an Airbnb. For the uninitiated, an Airbnb is when you pay to stay in someone’s house, and pray they’re not a meth head with a vermin problem.
There was one other person there, a thirty-something dude who blazed up and coded with Java script all day. Every morning, while we ate breakfast, we watched Java Man do his 10 am bong hits on the terrace.
Little Dude got to see some of Portland’s coolest stuff, like the OMSI, (Oregon Museum of Science and Industry), where we toured an actual submarine. That went splendidly, especially the part where I clawed the tour guide for air and screamed “WE’RE ALL GOING TO DIE DOWN HERE!!!”
Afterwards, I had to soothe myself with a trip to the famous Voodoo Doughnuts, and purchase a Cock-N-Balls doughnut.
Little Dude also had quite the unofficial sightseeing experience. He spent an entire week with my wacky wonderful friends, who were inebriated most of the time. The very first night, F-bombs and dick jokes were flying. Christmas night, ten of us played Cards Against Humanity, where my 12-year-old was treated to such phrases as “coughed into a vagina.”
I’m blaming it all on Portland.
Ahhh, the Elixir of the Gods. Portlanders take their coffee seriously. They go nuts for obscure beans, like Formosan Rock Monkey coffee. They brew it in state of the art machinery that looks like it belongs in a steampunk sex dungeon.
Nobody goes to Starbucks for evil corporate caffeine. Portland residents frequent independent coffee shops staffed by skinny white dudes with full sleeve tattoos and plaid western shirts who listen to Neutral Milk Hotel.
WELCOME TO PORTLAND; NOW GO HOME
Portlanders are not thrilled by the influx of misfits from all over the country. Portland is like the nerdy girl in those hackneyed teen movies who never gets asked out, because she wears glasses and has her hair in a bun. Then, she lets down her bun (only not if she’s a guy, manbuns are cool) and takes off her glasses (except glasses are sexy in Portland…)
Okay, that was a bad example.
Portland is the skinny girl who sprouted breasts over summer vacation and becomes suddenly popular. Naturally, they’re a little suspicious. Twenty years ago, no one gave a half a fuck about Portland and now the entire country has a boner for Oregon.
Portlanders are generally super friendly, but I did wander into a few places where I felt distinctly unwelcome. One coffeehouse, housed in a raw industrial warehouse, had a discernibly restrictive vibe.
You know that vibe? Where you feel as if you’ve wandered into a rural cult compound and everyone celebrates the arrival of an outsider by tying you to a banquet table, putting on their ceremonial animal masks, and drinking your blood from a chalice? THAT.
PORTLAND IS WEIRD AND ARTSY
You’re surrounded by Hipster Apple fanboys with 2% body fat, who didn’t get the memo that mutton chops are only sexy on Confederate generals. Did you know that plaid is scary? Yes, I know you think of it as innocuous little pattern of perpendicular strips and bands, but when worn in a cluster? It’s positively frightening.
No one has clear-cut occupations in Portland. Some do something vague and techy that leaves them a whole lot of time to hang out in jock straps while hot boxing weed. Others set up their laptops at the coffee shop down the street, where they divide their time between applying for odd jobs on Craigslist and writing (free) articles for Thought Catalog.
Everyone is an artist/intellectual. They write poetry or unicycle with flamethrower bagpipes or play the didgeridoo. There’s even an artsy intellectual sex toy store – She Bop. They offer sex education classes. If you’re in Portland, you can go there to learn about anal sex, cunnilingus, or how to give a more fabulous blow job.
PORTLAND IS CRAFTY
The heart of Portland beats to an Artisanal beat. There are more yarn stores here per capita than any other city in the US, in case you want to take up knitting – a slow, frustrating, repetitive hobby that will enrage you.
There’s a reason Portland is so crafty. Aside from Hipsters, the city is teeming with regular ol’ hippies. They wake at the crack of noon, and have a full day of smoking pot, protesting progress and reason, playing hackey sack and seeing how long they can go without bathing before they become infested with ticks.
However, hippies without trust funds must do some sort of work in order to buy weed and overpriced organic hippie food. Hence, the craft markets. The hippies sell their hippie crap to tourists like me, because apparently I can’t visit the city and leave without a Dorodango mud ball and jewelry made of plastic baby heads.
WALKING AND BIKING AND STROLLERS, OH MY!
Everyone walks everywhere, even though it ALWAYS RAINS.
No one in my suburban neighborhood walks. The only exercise I get is
reverse cowgirl reaching for things in the back seat of my car.
In New York City people walk, but there’s no rhyme or reason to the flow of sidewalk traffic. Groups of people walk five-abreast. They treat walking down the street like a struggle for pack dominance
Portland pedestrians are very civil. It’s the hipster dads pushing doublewide monster strollers you have to watch out for. There has to be a way to stack kids vertically. How about putting your favorite kid on top?
There are more people on bikes than on cars. I personally am not a cyclist. But I understand it’s part of their fanatic need to help the environment. Portlandians also ride out of a sense of community. Nekkid community. Portland hosts the annual “World Naked Bike Ride.” OW. Bicycle seats hurt my delicate smush mitten – and that’s clothed.
HOW do people get on those double-decker bikes, which are essentially two bikes welded together, one on top of the other? They usually ride with steampunk glasses and top hats, in case they don’t stand out enough.
Yep, Portland feels like home.
I plan to return this summer.
I’m a little concerned about the lack of central air conditioning in 90 degree weather. Who the DICKWOLF designed apartments without air conditioning?!! Apparently, in summer a Portland home become an oven in Satan’s tool shed.
On a positive note, I’ll be able to fill a growler with my own sweat and sell it at a crafts fair.
Have you ever lived in or visited Portland? What is up with all the weirdos? Do you live in a different weird city?
Talk to me. I’m listening.