An outsider’s guide to figuring out Portland, Oregon (a.k.a. Stumptown)

Portland, Oregon has a reputation far and wide for being a very cool place to live. We didn’t move here because of that.

In fact, we never really wanted to move here. In 1992, a friend moved here and never left. Over the following 15 years, she regularly tried to convince us that Portland was the place to live by showing us the mall where Tonya Harding practiced figure skating, endless smoke-filled pubs and what can only be described as some of the most depressing weather known to man.

Naturally, we were a little horrified at the thought of living in a city where one of the biggest claims-to-fame was “more strip clubs per capita than any city in the U.S.”

Somehow, years later, we ended up in Portland.

The reasons included a few small ones like having family nearby, but the big one was: to get away from where we were. None of our reasons were: “Portland’s so cool. We love Portland. If Portland were human and it was legal to do so in Oregon, we’d marry Portland, sleep with it and have a houseful of little Portlands running around. ”

Now that we live here, we try to figure out what all the fuss is about, point out the stuff we can appreciate, the stuff we can’t and the stuff that makes us laugh. Hopefully, it will make you laugh, too.

If something we write rubs you the wrong way, consider the following:

(1) Maybe you’re taking it too seriously.
(2) The truth hurts.

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