By Jonny Rasch
Portland is weird. And I’m not the only one who thinks that. Portland’s #1 selling bumper sticker says, “Keep Portland Weird.” Portland is the only city I can think of think of that has more nicknames than fast food restaurants.
My first impression of Portland came as my flight descended into Portland International Airport. I looked out the airplane window and saw the magnificent Mt.Hood only a few hundred feet away from me. Even though the temperature outside was reaching the 90s, the top of the mountain was covered in snow. At that point, I knew Portland was going to unlike any other city I had seen.
Even though Portland is the biggest city in Oregon, it still has that “small town” feel (probably because Portland is split up into five quadrants). While Portland does have its large buildings and tourist traps, they’re removed from the residential and shopping areas.
Speaking of shops, one of the weirdest parts of Portland could be the abundance of shops that make you stop and think, “Why would anybody need that?” For example, Portland has not one, not two, but THREE(!) different clog stores. Also, the Saturday Morning Market has more clothing stores for dogs than for humans.
When not buying clogs or clothes for their dogs, Portland residents are incredibly eco friendly. The city is full of people who ride their bikes instead of driving, but noticeably absent is the lack of litter present in most other major cities. Portland is home to a number of musicians, all of whom are VERY interested in you coming out and listening to their band. All in all, Portlandians are friendly and sweet people.
But, what really makes Portland stand apart from any other city is the view you get driving across one of Portland’s many bridges that span the Willamette. A glimpse out the left window reveals the snowy mountaintops of Mt.Hood. It’s breathtaking.
When I look back on my 25 days in Portland, I don’t know if I’ll always remember what the crazy stores sold or my favorite streets to walk down. But I know I’ll never forget the one word I’ll always use to describe this city: Weird.
I hope they keep it that way.