Why So Weird, Portland?
You’ll find traces of the slogan everywhere — on faded stickers, on street signs, written in chalk on the sidewalk and even splashed on the side of a live music venue in Portland’s Historic District. “Keep Portland Weird.”
Many might also recognize it as the city of Austin’s slogan. It was “borrowed indefinitely” from the Lone Star State in an effort to recreate the original movement of supporting small and locally owned businesses. However, Portland has proved itself as a place that thrives on individuality, marching to its own locally sourced, sustainable baseline.
Portland is a place you have to see for yourself to understand, and soon you will. Until then, check out a few of Portland’s quirky, must-visit spots.
- Mills End Park
56 SW Taylor St., Portland, OR 97204
Located at the Southwest Naito Parkway and Taylor Street intersection, Mills End Park proudly welcomes traffic on either side of its median. You won’t find any park rangers or on-site gift shops, and the only wildlife you might see has six legs.
In 1946, Oregon Journal writer Dick Fagan saw the two-foot space that was originally meant for a light pole and began filling it with dirt and flowers. It was officially named a city park in 1976.
- Voodoo Doughnut
22 SW Third Ave., Portland, OR 97204
On any given afternoon in Downtown Portland, you can spot someone carrying the signature bubblegum-pink box from Voodoo Doughnut. Children and those who offend easily should be cautioned, as certain doughnuts have inappropriate names and designs.
Nevertheless, it’s an establishment that often has a line out the door, despite being cash-only. The menu offers more than 60 classic and unique varieties, such as a maple-frosted doughnut topped with bacon.
- McMenamins Kennedy School
5736 NE 33rd Ave., Portland, OR 97211
In 1997, brothers and business partners Brian and Mike McMenamins renovated an abandoned elementary school building into a neighborhood watering hole. Known today as McMenamins Kennedy School, the site includes a pub, restaurant, theater, brewery and even lodging.
The school cleverly retains much of its historic charm. Enjoy a craft cocktail in Detention Bar, order a panini in the school’s former boiler room, and catch a movie in the converted cafeteria.