I have lived in the coffee-swilling PNW most of my life, and for all that time, I've heard the battle cry "Keep Portland Weird!" Not having really ventured out much past its mountainous borders, I didn't give it a lot of thought. Everyone has odd things about their city they are either proud or ashamed of. How odd could we really be?
Well as it turns out pretty...well, weird! My wife, Erin Rhew, comes from the east coast, and when I visited her home town, I expected that they too would have naked bicycle rides, skirt-wearing women that ride unicycles to work, tiny parks, and x-rated doughnut shops. Nope, evidently these things are unique to our neck of the woods.
Here are a just a few highlights of our fair city:
Naked Bike Rides. Yes, that's right: naked. In the buff. Nude. No clothes on. No padding in your nether quarters on bumpy roads. For the record, I have not done, nor plan to, do this, but many in our city participate in this annual event. My first thought is "Ouch!!" followed up by "Nobody wants to see me naked."
|Portland's Naked Bike Rides|
Crazy Bikes. Portland is ranked 3rd in the county's most bike friendly cities by Forbes. You can get from pretty much anyplace to anyplace via one of our specially marked lanes, bike-only trails, or bike-friendly bridges. So it stands to reason that we would have some very special bikes.
Crazy Doughnuts. Anyone who's been to the city has to stop in at Voodoo Doughnuts. This place has pretty much anything you could ever dream of on a doughnut, including maple bacon--both Erin and I have tried this and voted it delicious--Captain Crunch, CoCo Puffs, you name it. This place is ranked #1 in the country! It also includes a couple of x-rated tasty cream-filled treats. I won't include a picture here, though I'm sure that Google Images would be more than happy to oblige you.
Other city highlights:
Crazy Cars - There are many such automobiles running 'round our city. Their drivers are usually just as...individualized.
PDX Carpet - Who ever thought a city would get so attached to the carpet in their airport? Guess who? Portland! We even have a carpet project web site.
And of course our "professional" basketball team. A team so sad and wracked with delinquents, felons, and the cream of society's crop that we renamed them:
World's smallest park! Mill Ends Park is a park for, of course, Leprechauns! At just 2 feet across, it is the smallest park in the world.
|Mill Ends Park|
I don't know how we stack up against Austin, Texas who also has a similar slogan. Perhaps someday I'll do a point-by-point comparison. Erin and I will have to add Austin to our list of places to visit.
But, my dear friends, in Austin, do you have a kilt-wearing, flaming bagpipes-playing, unicycle-riding, Darth Vader? I think not.
I introduce to you the Unipiper! He can be found on Facebook,on Twitter, and on his Unipiper web site.
With his flaming bagpipes, he rides around Portland, enchanting us with sounds of Star Wars. Definitely gives my inner geek a THO.
Erin and I actually saw him from the TriMet yesterday!
So those are just a few things about my city that I love. For you Austin folks that think that your city is weirder, it may be. I haven't been there, but I leave you with this.
Have fun and keep it weeeeirrrd!!!