Keeping Portland Weird

From California, we made our way through the green landscapes of Oregon. We passed mountains of lush trees and fields of water-logged grass reflecting the clouds and mountains in the background – of which I could only take mental images. I forgot about that part. If I hadn’t looked back on the few travel notes I managed to jot down once in a while, Portland (and maybe Eugene) would be my only memory of Oregon – the other state whose residents need not pump their own gas. Us Jersey girls did not mind, but the two other interns found it strange.

So, what’s so weird about Portland, anyway? From the little I’ve learned, it’s about Portland’s support of its many local businesses. To Keep Portland Weird is to keep Portland local. Right on, Portland.

First order of business – find that Keep Portland Weird sign. We did find such a sign, but it was a small painted sign on the side of Music Millennium and definitely not the sign I had in mind. The sign I knew (from images, at least) took up the entire side of a building. Where was that sign? It was across from Voodoo Doughnut, but not that one Voodoo Doughnut at which we stopped, but the other one – the one downtown. So there we went, circling a few residential streets with colorful houses until we made our way downtown to said sign across from the other Voodoo Doughnut. I called over a random passerby to take a photo with me underneath the sign. I think his name was Jerry, though it could have been Terry. Either way, he was a good sport.

In the hour that we spent downtown, we also visited Powell’s City of Books, “the largest used and new  bookstore in the world,” according to Powell’s.

Now, I’m not much of a reader, but I certainly don’t mind spending some time between shelves of text…or shelves of thrifty clothes across the street in Buffalo Exchange. Before I could cross the street to Powell’s, this store boasting new and recycled fashion had already grabbed my attention.

As did this place, though I’d choose thrift clothes over Scientology, any day.

Oh, Portland, you’re so weird.

Kidding.

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