In 2003, Chuck Palahniuk wrote a memoir-slash-travel information to Portland referred to as Fugitives and Refugees. It begins in Geek Love writer Katherine Dunn’s residence, the place she rolls cigarettes and explains her idea that everybody trying to make a brand new life migrates west.

“As soon as there, the most affordable metropolis the place they’ll dwell is Portland,” Palahniuk wrote. “It offers us essentially the most cracked of the crackpots. The misfits amongst misfits.”

With Portland’s median home worth teetering over half 1,000,000 {dollars}, folks with wanderlust in 2024 might in all probability discover cheaper digs elsewhere. (Although Portland nonetheless boasts a less expensive cost-of-living index than different main West Coast cities like Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego.)

Misfits and crackpots? Positive. However there are many people excessive on tech cash shifting to New Portland to allow them to, comparatively, dwell like kings. The “quirkiest” factor they may’ve carried out recently is go for the crimson Tesla as a substitute of the traditional pearl white.

Right here, they be a part of these of us who had been fortunate sufficient to be born on this mossy forest, earlier than it had the luster of silicon.

After a spirited newsroom debate (and consulting a 2015 ballot of WW staffers), we’re defining Outdated Portland as being born on Jan. 2, 1985, and dying on Jan. 21, 2011—1985 being the 12 months legendary “Expose Your self to Artwork” Mayor Bud Clark rode a bicycle to his inauguration. And 2011? That’s when Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein’s Portlandia debuted. Put a chicken on it, after which a burial shroud.

However Outdated Portland’s not simply an age, it’s a complete vibe. It’s bizarre, it’s small, it’s somewhat sleazy. It’s feeling aggressive with Seattle, and stunned when anybody east of the Continental Divide thinks of Oregon, not Maine, whenever you say you’re from Portland. It’s a light red-and-black Blazers tattoo, it’s consuming jojos from the recent case at Freddy’s, it’s saying “pop” as a substitute of “soda” and “filberts” as a substitute of “hazelnuts.” It’s these summers when it rained till the Fourth of July and climbed over 100 levels solely as soon as in a really unusual whereas.

Palahniuk printed Fugitives and Refugees squarely within the period of Outdated Portland. The guide features a chapter referred to as “Discuss the Discuss: A Portland Vocabulary Lesson.” In homage to his work, we’ve written an up to date model of an A-to-Z Information to Outdated Portland.

This dictionary just isn’t meant to be all-inclusive so don’t @ us as a result of your favourite hang-out didn’t make the reduce. Truly, go for it. We’re feeling nostalgic. —Rachel Saslow, Arts & Tradition reporter

A Is For…

Avalon Theatre: A century-old nickel arcade on Southeast Belmont Avenue at thirty fifth Avenue, now operated by the native chain Wunderland. Nonetheless out there: discounted films, nickel video games and Icees with complimentary mind freezes.

Annie’s Donuts: Earlier than Voodoo or Blue Star or Coco got here to city, Annie’s was slinging old school favorites in Roseway. (Word: It’s nonetheless actually slinging.)

Benson Bubblers: Iconic four-prong bronze ingesting fountains initially donated to town by timber baron Simon Benson. The Portland Water Bureau maintains 52 Benson Bubblers round city, plus 74 of the less-glam one-bowl selection.

Benson Bubbler combat. (Chris Nesseth) (Chris Nesseth)

Large Pink: What everybody calls the U.S. Bancorp Tower, a 42-story skyscraper on the north finish of downtown. The rosy hue comes from pink granite from Spain and copper-and-silver-coated glass home windows. The thirtieth flooring comprises Portland Metropolis Grill the place diners can get pleasure from Asian fusion delicacies together with a killer view.

Cock Rock: Naughty nickname for Rooster Rock State Park (particularly the clothing-optional portion), a seaside positioned 20 miles east of Portland within the Columbia River Gorge.

Sofa Avenue: Pronounced “kooch,” not “sofa” as in couch. The road and the Northwest Portland park are named after sea captain John Heard Sofa, whose Cornish heritage dictated the bizarre pronunciation that’s now used to brattily appropriate newbies.

Dean’s Magnificence Salon & Barber Store: Oldest family-owned, African American salon and barbershop within the state, established in 1956 in Albina. Added to the Nationwide Register of Historic Locations in 2022.

Dockside Saloon & Restaurant: Nautical-themed restaurant on Northwest Entrance Avenue with a well-known dumpster. In 1994, the proprietor discovered luggage of trash containing incriminating proof of determine skater Tonya Harding’s ties to the knee-clubbing assault on rival skater Nancy Kerrigan.

Elvis: (see right here)

Fryer Tuck: (see right here)

The Grotto: An outside shrine and backyard in Northeast Portland, formally named the Nationwide Sanctuary of Our Sorrowful Mom. Guests flock to the Christmas Competition of Lights, when the backyard units up 1000’s of colourful string lights, choral performances and a Nativity scene on the base of a 110-foot cliff.

Hippo {Hardware}: Eclectic ironmongery store on East Burnside Avenue established in 1976 that focuses on distinctive {hardware}, lighting, structure and plumbing fixtures. Additionally well-known for the scene within the 2002 movie Jackass: The Film wherein a solid member took a dump in one of many bathrooms on the market.

DSC05233 Hippo {Hardware}

Irvington Membership: Tennis membership established in 1898 within the tony Northeast Portland neighborhood. Within the information final month for a battle with a neighbor over noise from its two outside pickleball courts.

Jack Shacks: Stretch of lingerie modeling companies on 82nd Avenue. That’s in all probability sufficient stated.

jojos: Thick potato wedges seasoned and fried, finest when eaten straight from the recent case at a grocery retailer or mini-mart.

Karaoke From Hell: Portland’s unique dwell karaoke band, based in 1992 and starring Voodoo Doughnut co-founder Tres Shannon. Dante’s prospects have been capable of dwell out their rock-star fantasies each Monday night time for the previous 20 years with Karaoke From Hell and their catalog of over 700 songs (lengthy on traditional rock however all the time updating with new hits by Miley Cyrus, Taylor Swift, Bruno Mars, et al.).

Laurelthirst Public Home: Portland’s longest-running impartial music venue. Established in 1988 at 2958 NE Glisan St. (pronounced GLEE-sun; see Sofa Avenue), Laurelthirst is a longtime house for Portland’s bluegrass and people music communities, with dwell reveals on daily basis of the week.

Lincoln Excessive College: Downtown highschool that’s arguably the crown jewel of Portland Public Faculties’ grade 9-12 training, with its Worldwide Baccalaureate program, formidable Structure group, and checklist of notable alumni. The Simpsons creator Matt Groening went there, as did painter Mark Rothko, Bikini Kill’s Kathleen Hanna, Elliott Smith, and Mayor Ted Wheeler.

Mary’s Membership: The oldest strip membership in a city with a variety of strip golf equipment, Mary’s Membership is now positioned at 503 W Burnside St., simply two blocks from its unique location. Based in 1954, Courtney Love danced there within the ‘80s as “Michelle.” In the present day, Mary’s is thought for treating its dancers properly and for having an all-female bar employees.

Mary’s Membership signal. (Christine Dong)

NUNM: Nationwide College of Pure Drugs, the oldest accredited naturopathic medical college in North America. Established in 1956 and housed in a historic brick faculty constructing on the west finish of the Ross Island Bridge.

Oaks Park: Sellwood amusement park based in 1905 and one of many oldest constantly working amusement parks within the U.S. Hosts an enormous fireworks viewing get together on the Fourth of July. The hangar is house to the Rose Metropolis Rollers, Portland’s four-time world champion curler derby league.

Capsule Hill: Nickname for Oregon Well being & Science College, the hospital and campus related to South Portland by way of an aerial tram in-built 2006.

pizza: (see right here)

Portland Spirit: (see right here)

Queen’s Coronation: Earlier than the Grand Floral Parade, the Portland Rose Competition crowns the Queen of Rosaria, essentially the most excellent excessive schooler from a courtroom of 15 princesses. On the coronation, the Royal Rosarians (a fastidiously chosen group in white fits and straw boater hats…we all know, stick with us) hand her a crown, scepter, cape, bouquet of crimson roses, and the duty of a full 12 months of nationwide and worldwide journey selling Portland.

Renn Fayre: A 3-day springtime get together at Reed School the place the campus is closed to outsiders so college students on the leafy liberal arts faculty have a secure surroundings for chemical experimentation. Started as a Renaissance honest in 1968. This 12 months’s theme: “Surrealist Soiree.”

Rimsky-Korsakoffee Home: Classical music and ghost-themed espresso and dessert spot in Buckman named after Russian composer Nikolai Rimsky-Korsakov. Model components dangle from the restroom ceiling, sure tables rotate or rise unannounced, and waiters generally ad-lib full songs tableside. Enjoyable place to freak out vacationers.

Rip Metropolis: Considered one of Portland’s nicknames (together with Stumptown, Rose Metropolis, and many others.); basketball in origin. Path Blazers play-by-play announcer Invoice Schonely yelled “Rip Metropolis! Alright!” throughout a 1971 sport versus the Los Angeles Lakers when level guard Jim Barnett made an extended 3-pointer. The late Schonely reportedly didn’t know why he stated it, we don’t know why we nonetheless use it 53 years later, and but right here we’re.

Path Blazers (Michael Raines)

Roseland Theater: Gritty midsize live performance venue in Chinatown that welcomes native and nationwide acts to a loud, standing-room crowd. Previously often called Starry Evening. Scene of the 1990 “Starry Evening Homicide” of worker Tim Moreau by then-owner Larry Hurwitz.

Soapbox Derby: On the third Saturday in August, inventive DIY automobiles zoom down Mount Tabor at speeds of as much as 50 mph to rapturous cheering and potential damage. About 40 groups hurtle down the mountain every summer season with automobiles which have paid homage to the likes of Pee-wee Herman, Cup o’ Noodles and the Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog.

Soapbox Derby (Chris Nesseth)

Suicide Bridge: Vista Bridge spans a picturesque canyon by means of the Southwest Hills and have become recognized for jumpers shortly after its development in 1926. Protecting fences put in in 2013 have been efficient, however the bridge could by no means shake its morbid moniker.

Tom McCall Waterfront Park: The grassy park that runs down the westside financial institution of the Willamette River downtown, host to many annual occasions such because the Cinco de Mayo Fiesta, Rose Competition’s CityFair and Waterfront Blues Competition. Accomplished in 1978 after which fittingly named after Gov. Tom McCall, a pioneering environmentalist politician.

URM: “Unreinforced masonry,” as in a brick constructing that’s prone to crumbling within the Large One. Though Portland is in a seismically lively space, scientists didn’t totally perceive the danger till the Nineties. Town handed a (now repealed) ordinance in 2018 that required URM buildings to submit notices that they “could also be unsafe within the occasion of a serious earthquake.” Some placards are nonetheless seen round city.

Vera Katz Eastbank Esplanade: A 1.5-mile strolling and biking path between the Hawthorne and Metal bridges alongside the east financial institution of the Willamette River. Development was accomplished in 2001, and the trail—a few of which floats proper on high of the water–was named after then-Mayor Vera Katz in 2004 for her help of the venture.

Will Vinton: The late Oregon-born clay animation pioneer and founding father of Will Vinton Studios, as soon as housed in Willamette Week’s present newsroom on Northwest Quimby Avenue. Vinton’s creations included Nineteen Eighties media sensation the California Raisins (dehydrated claymation fruit that sang “I Heard It By means of the Grapevine”) and M&Ms as characters with personalities. Within the early 2000s, Vinton was fired from his personal animation firm by Nike’s Phil Knight. That studio went on to turn out to be Laika.

Xmas Martini: Each December for the previous 40 years (minus three years within the 2010s), a three-story martini glass full with a skewered olive lights up on a balcony within the West Hills and unofficially indicators the vacation season.

YMCA: Beneath Armour’s West Coast headquarters are in a constructing that many aged Portlanders nonetheless consider because the YMCA. The inexperienced, rounded 1977 athletic facility on Southwest Barbur Boulevard turned Beneath Armour 40 years later. The monitor is way nicer now.

zipper merge: The one type of on-ramp maneuver that famously passive Portland drivers are actually snug making. In a zipper merge, two lanes of visitors alternate coming into the roadway so there are not any harm emotions. A first-rate instance of a Portland zipper merge in motion is throughout rush hour on the Ross Island Bridge.

Zoo Prepare: A historic railway on the Oregon Zoo that opened in 1958. The six-minute journey circles on a 20-foot elevated trestle within the forest north of the Elephant Lands. (Outdated Portlanders scoff at this truncated model of the “actual” Zooliner, which made a 2-mile loop by means of Washington Park till officers stopped it in 2014 resulting from structural issues.)

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