14 Signs You Were Born and Raised in Portland

by Henry Miller Jul 31, 2015

1. You’re not afraid to humblebrag about your connection to nature and wildlife.

Sometimes your Californian friends send you a picture of a deer they saw by the freeway, and you smile and wonder if sending them a picture of the herd of Elk currently sleeping on your lawn would be rude — so you send them a selfie of you dwarfed by some Doug Firs in your backyard instead.

2. You *still* enjoy the occasional day-trip to Oaks Park (even in your late twenties).

There is just something about risking your life on that rickety, outdated amusement park equipment that is so appealing. Maybe it’s nostalgia, or maybe you’re just drunk on the fact that the weather is nice enough to go to Oaks Park.

3. You view nudity as an active pastime.

Between events like the naked bike ride, or just hanging out in Sellwood park during a particularly sunny day, you’ve been immersed in the many sizes and shapes of the naked body your entire life (so it’s no longer a taboo topic for you). You’ve learned to love and celebrate your body, and now know that the only thing better than wearing a couple flannels in the rain is wearing nothing. Nothing at all while you ride your bike down Burnside with a swarm of fellow naked Portlanders in protest of automobile dependence. Hey Big Oil, look at our pasty junk!

4. You know that body hair is the most important accessory since the beanie.

Beards and bushes are less of a political fashion statement than outsiders might think. Really they are just extra insulation that Portlanders use to give their baggy wool knit sweater a little extra layering.

5. You are totally down with public transport as an energy and space saver, but you come close to an emotional breakdown every time you get stuck behind the Portland streetcar while driving downtown.

“I can walk faster than you, you useless piece of shit” you’ll scream from inside your car… just loud enough that the streetcar passengers might actually be able to hear you.

6. You knew the differences between a mandolin and a ukulele well before 2008.

It was actually really uncomfortable for you when the rest of America started getting into the whole “we rock hard with our twelve-piece folk-bluegrass-rock-fusion band” thing. To Portlanders, those were the bands we’d seen at our local McMenamins since forever.

7. You have always considered comic books to be a real art form.

Thanks, largely, to the obscenely large graphic novel section at Powell’s, and the surprisingly prolific indie comic community here.

8. Your favorite holiday is the 4th of July.

But only because it is the one party of the year that has guaranteed sunshine.

9. Sure, you like the craft beer, wine, smoked salmon, and the fancy coffee that Portland is known for… but these days Burgerville and a sixer of High Life are your go-to for the night.

What? We love it here and would really like to stay — which is why we need to save every penny for our Manhattan-level rent increases.

10. You mock other cities like Houston and LA for their urban sprawl.

And take utter pride in Portland’s urban growth boundary…which is why the second you saw the new four-story luxury condos on NE Alberta, you briefly considered becoming an arsonist.

11. You know that water is life: it is everywhere, and you want to be in it.

It’s not just the refreshing rain that almost never ceases in Portland- it’s the big, splashy puddles it leaves behind for you to play in. And it’s the swimming holes (and the lakes, and the rivers) you’ll escape to during unseasonably hot days that make Portland one of the best places to fully realize your inexplicable desire to live like a salmon.

12.Your sense of fashion is determined to look both ready for a logging job and a grunge nightclub.

Who knew a black denim vest and some Docs could be so versatile?

13. You didn’t know that car horns existed until you went down to LA that one time.

Seriously, relax California.

14. You love it in Portland, and don’t want to see a damn thing change.

The only thing stifling your fierce pride and desire to tell the world about Portland is your fear that the rest of the world will try to move here. Fuck off, Angelenos and New Yorkers- we aren’t that amazing. Have you checked out Pittsburgh yet? Now *that* is a place to get a cheap studio apartment in a downtown area.


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