Weird Things You Might Find in Portland

For those of you who have watched the TV show, Portlandia, you get a slightly exaggerated view on how weird Portland really is! What makes Portland so great is how weird it is! Now don’t get me wrong, people of Portland consider being called weird a compliment, so please don’t be upset by this post! My main goal is to entertain you, and hopefully convince you to check out this super fun and eclectic city!

The People – Since I had never been to Portland, or Oregon in general, I had no idea what to expect. I really loved Portland for many reasons, and the first one being that everyone seems to “fit in.” EVERYONE! Anything goes here, so embrace your inner weird, wear what you want to wear, say what you want to say, and just be!

Sushi Delivered on a Train – Well this was one of the weirdest but coolest things! We went to Sushi Ichiban for some sushi, and found that they had a really cool set up! The chefs work behind an oval shaped sushi bar, with a toy train that runs around the perimeter. When the food is ready,  they place the food on it to be delivered to the customers sitting around! So cool! (Don’t mind my commentary song! I was a bit excited!)

Weird Fact – Did you know that Portland, Oregon, has the most strip clubs per capita? Well they do! So I also have to tell you that I am awarding myself the Best Wife of the Year! We went to Union Jacks, a strip club, on my husband’s birthday. We had gone to one about 7 years ago when we were dating, so we figured that it was time to go again! I never once felt uncomfortable here, well…let me start over. ONE guy at the bar made me feel a little uncomfortable, and I was a bit uncomfortable when the dancer accidentally spilled my ¾ full cider all over me. But other than that, it was a good experience! We had some good laughs, got to sit up front for a while, and got to see some talented girls in that place!

Artistic Expression – In addition to being weird, it is also very artsy! I guess those things normally go hand in hand! No matter where you are, you will find everyone’s unique expression of art, which could be a really cool mural on the side of an abandoned building, interpretive dance performances, or tiny horses tied up on a sidewalk like we found on our walk from our hike!

A horse tied up on a ring on the sidewalk in a neighborhood near Forest Park
A horse tied up on a ring on the sidewalk in a neighborhood near Forest Park
Plastic Koi fish "swimming" in a birdbath in someone's yard!
Plastic Koi fish “swimming” in a birdbath in someone’s yard!
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Interesting corner of a building
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Awesome mural of an elephant! Find their work on @pablosmurals and @stefanways!
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What a beautiful way to make an old building look nice!
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The mural at the Taco place we visited!
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Dinosaur on your drink, why not?
Mural on the side of the building in Portland that says "You are confined only by the walls you build yourself."
“You are confined only by the walls you build yourself.”
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And signs like this for places like that!

One of my most memorable encounters was walking into Powell City of Books, which is a MUST see by the way! As we were walking in, there was a guy, wearing a ridiculous outfit, energetically waving to everyone with a huge crazy smile on his face. When you got close enough, he would say, “HI!!!! I MADE A BOOK!!!!! WANNA SEE!?” Being used to walking by people like this and not giving them the time of day, I walked right by. On the way out, he was still there, and we were waiting for our walk signal. I finally said, “oh what the heck!” and walked over to see what we made. He let the act go a bit and talked to me about the Sudoku like book he made which was meant to be a brain exercise with patterns instead of numbers. I really wish I had taken his picture. It really was priceless, but SO weird!

Homeless People – Ok, before you get upset again, keep reading a little more! It is not what it seems like. I found the one downside was that the city was not as clean as Seattle, and seemed to have a lot more homeless people. On NPR, I heard something both weird and interesting! From what I heard, the city is coming up with a lot of creative solutions to helping with the homeless population, including letting people have tiny houses on their property to house homeless, which comes with some incentives for both parties. THIS is something I like the sound of! You can read more about Portland’s creative ways to battle homelessness here!

Atlas Obscura – One of the coolest blogs recommended to us by a friend was Atlas Obscura, which shows you all the weird and interesting things to do in each city. You can find more weird things in Portland there! This was how we found the Beer Can House in Houston!

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When we travel, I love finding the weird and quirky spots, as you might have noticed in my Weird Things in Texas blog post! These are the things that make a place interesting and give it character. It is nice to break up the concrete jungles, gives you something to talk about, and helps make the memories of a location last a lifetime!

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