You missed the Black Friday sales due to a drunken stupor from your grandmother’s rum cake (not sure what else it had in it, but it definitely had rum) and enough tryptophan to knock out a rampaging herd of drug-immune Reedies who have a developed immunity to sleeping toxins after years of on-campus abuse of all things narcotic; that’s a LOT of tryptophan. Now, you’ve woken up and realized that you forgot to buy a gift for your impossible-to-shop-for relative/friend/other-of-some-significance who also happens to live in Portland.
In Portland, the worst kind of “natives” are the ones who moved here from somewhere else (in Portland, you can be a native by simply claiming to be one). Nothing ensures full development of Epic Portland Snobbery like moving here, acting like you’re the first to discover the city, then proceeding to proclaim that it just isn’t the same since all these people started moving here from elsewhere. For some odd reason, there’s a direct correlation between this attitude and being absolutely impossible to shop for.
Have no fear. Stumped in Stumptown has put together a list of gifts with just enough pretension to entertain and amuse even the most snobbish of Portland natives. In addition, we made sure to include some for every budget to ensure you’ll be able to find something cool for that special Portland person you care about (even if you’d rather not).
One of the things that makes Portland unique is the fact that it’s split up by two rivers and fifteen billion bridges. The rivers divide Portland into an east side and a west side while Burnside Street divides into north and south – making five quadrants.
Wait. Five quadrants? How is that even possible seeing as how, by definition, a quadrant is one of four?
You’ll discover that what Portlanders lack in math skills (and, often times, common sense), they make up for in eclectic lifestyle preferences. The quadrants are simply named as followed: Northwest, Northeast, NoPo (Northern Portland), Southeast and Southwest.
I’ve had the unique experience of living in almost all of them (and more) within a 3-year time frame, and Northwest is my personal favorite. Now, in no way am I trying to disregard any of the others (except for maybe the overrated and highly odoriferous Southeast which is filled with slackers, hippies, and, worse, Reedies), Northwest just happens to be where I spent the most time when I first moved here.
Northwest is everything east of 25th Avenue, south and west of the Columbia river and north of Burnside St. It encompasses the prestigious, pretentious and snobbish NW 23rd Ave, the less exclusive 21st Ave, the Pearl District, Forest Park, Chinatown, Old Town, Powell’s Bookstore, Henry’s Bar, Ringside Steakhouse and numerous other restaurants and stores.
What is it?
IKEA (“eye-key-ah”) offers 9500+ household products ranging from a 3-pack of wooden kitchen utensils for $0.49 to entire rooms for thousands of dollars.
According to Wikipedia, IKEA was founded in 1943 by a 17-year-old named Ingvar Kamprad who named the store using his initials (IK), the first initial of the name of the farm where he grew up (Elmtaryd) and his home parish (Agunnaryd) in Småland (also the name for where parents imprison … erm … stow … uh … leave their kids while shopping – pronounced “Smallland”).
Where is it?
Address: 10280 NE Cascades Parkway, Portland, OR 97220
Hours: Monday-Sunday, 10am-9pm
How is it?
The word conjures overwhelming excitement in the hearts of shoppers everywhere. For me, I first heard of IKEA when I moved to Syracuse, New York for school (I know — it’s a post about Portland and one of the first things I do is mention another city – sacrilege!). While in the great white north, experiencing IKEA simply meant receiving their epic catalog of products promising everything that particle board furniture has to offer, but, with no location nearby, shipping charges so exorbitant that cardboard boxes became a better fit for my nightstand needs.
IKEA blessed Portland with its own store location, conveniently planted within driving distance of the international airport just in case you need to buy an affordable but attractive kitchen table with matching chairs, and then hop a flight out of the country to escape your escalating credit card bills.