Keepin’ It Weird in Portland — A Photographic Journal

The weird, wacky and wonderful world of Portland, OR in pictures…

If you’ve been following my blog, you know that Mike and I recently returned from 2-weeks in Portland, Oregon. Part of our purpose while in the City of Roses was to make every attempt to ingratiate ourselves into the local culture. In order to really get to know the city, we endeavored to cover as much territory and experience as much as possible, while still trying to maintain a sense of reality and live as we would if we were legit Portlanders. Each morning, we ventured out to sample coffee from one of dozens of neighborhood coffee shops; we shopped for groceries; we cooked dinner at “home” (thank you, Heather!) on several occasions; and we did laundry. But we also ate at food truck pods, went to the farmer’s market, drove to the coast for fresh oysters, went on hikes, had some pretty memorable meals and drank a lot of beer – all things that locals purportedly do on a regular basis. We scouted every in-town neighborhood in all four quadrants, learned the names and locations of all nine bridges, and got lost on multiple occasions. We saw more tattoos than you can count, mustaches and beards of all shapes and sizes, hair dyed every color of the rainbow, and scores of VW buses of every vintage and all states of rust. We passed homeless enclaves, witnessed people foraging for food in trash cans and discovered a used syringe laying next to our car. And I would be remiss if I forgot to mention the profusion of cannabis shops (which, btw, are utterly nondescript aside from the telltale green neon cross) which provide medicinal and recreational “therapy” on about every other block. I won’t say that Portland is without its certain curiosities, but if you’re at all open-minded and adventurous, the city’s endless benefits (which I have described at length in my five previous posts – see links below), far outweigh the standard shortcomings of urban life.

One thing is for sure, Portland is a visually captivating and vibrant city. Let’s take a quick photographic tour of some of the weird, wacky and wonderful things we saw during our two weeks in Portland…

Pigs in Chains, NW 23rd Ave.
Portland Thorns game – Score!!
View from Pittock Mansion
Oregon coast
Silver bullet tram to OSHU
Tillamook valley
View of Mt. Hood from Council Crest


Keep Portland Weird” is undoubtedly the city’s self-prescribed and uniquely descriptive motto. Proudly emblazoned all over town, those are not so much words to live by, but instead an organic evolution that has gained a myriad of devotees over time. Portland residents don’t have to work at being interesting, they just are. PDX seems to draw a certain type of person who is comfortable in his or her own tattooed skin. They embrace life and enjoy living it in their own unique ways without regard for the trappings of traditional conventions. Other cities have attempted to adopt this slogan as their own (looking at you, Austin), but without question, Portlanders not only originated this super liberal, “don’t give a shit” attitude, but they continue to effortlessly embody and embrace the advancement of this distinctive, non-conformist way of life. And that certain “joie de vivre” is just one of the many elements that makes Portland such a desirable place to live, for us and for many others who seem to be flocking to Portland at a record pace. No, we haven’t changed our minds about moving to Portland. Not a bit. If anything, this experiment has only strengthened our resolve. Hope to see you there!

If you missed my 5-part Portland blog and want to read more about things to do, see and eat in the City of Roses, please visit the following links:

Part I — From the banks of Lake Michigan to the Oregon coast

Part II — From da farmers’ markets to da Bears and beyond

Part III — The days of wine and roses

Part IV — Doughnuts and pancakes and food trucks, oh my!

Part V — The Final Leg: Shopping and Eating

This travel guide of Portland is brought to you by


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s