Photo: Anatoliy Cherkas/Shutterstock

15 Ways Us Locals Know You're Not From Portland

by Michelle DeVona Nov 3, 2016

1. Brunch is not a religion for you. Nor is it a necessity after last night’s shenanigans at Eastburn.

Over an hour wait for bacon and eggs?! To you, this may seem ridiculous. And it actually is. But Portlanders drink a lot. A lot. So most of the people you see brunching on Sunday afternoon are probably either hungover or still drunk.

2. Strip clubs make you uncomfortable.

Clearly you’re in the wrong city, as it’s a challenge not to turn a corner without being a stone’s throw away from a strip club. If you haven’t tossed some dollars for the dancers yet you haven’t really been to Portland.

3. You pronounce Couch Street wrong. And Willamette, for that matter.

Then can’t help snickering when you finally learn the correct way to say “Couch.”

4. You’re willing to wait an hour at VooDoo Doughnut for that Bacon Maple Bar concoction everyone’s been raving about.

We do like our doughnuts here, but we don’t go to VooDoo. Why? Because it’s for tourists. Plus, there are way better shops to appease that craving. But we won’t dare tell you where. For selfish reasons.

5. You carry an umbrella and complain about the weather.

Portlanders buy themselves a good waterproof coat and don’t fuss about the drizzle that you like to call rain.

6. You’re wearing high heels or a tie.

Here in Portland, it’s flannels and Chelsea boots all the way. Yup, we prefer to keep it casual. Unless you’re in the Pearl District, which is probably about as posh as it gets here.

7. You find IPAs way strong for your liking. And too hoppy

Sure they’re often too bitter for any sane person to enjoy but that’s how we like them. Though don’t feel too bad, it’s an acquired taste.

8. You get out to pump your gas.

Oregon is the only state besides New Jersey that has full service gas stations. Try pumping your own and you will just look like a fool.

9. You inadvertently throw trash into a compost.

Portland has an intricate system for compost and recycling so don’t fuck it up by throwing your non-biodegradable wrapper into the wrong bin. Oh yeah, and this is a BYOB (as in Bring Your Own Bag) kind of city, meaning reusable eco-friendly bags. NOT plastic bags.

10. You like Starbucks.

A city that takes coffee more seriously than most other things in life, we scoff at people who still support corporate caffeine when there are so many great local roasters here. Go to Coava Coffee Brew Bar. Go to The Albina Press. Anything but Starbucks.

11. You think Portlandia is funny.

Maybe when it was actually an exaggeration of Portland it was funny. But Portland has now branded itself as that very thing we used to enjoy mocking.

12. You go to Chinatown expecting an array of Chinese restaurants.

Wrong. Besides Chen’s Good Taste Restaurant and Red Robe Tea House, there are not a whole lot of options when it comes to Chinese food, ironically. Locals know that the Jade District is where it’s at when you’re hankering for some dim sum.

13. You appear lost and overwhelmed while navigating yourself around Powell’s City of Books.

First off, we simply refer to it as Powell’s. Second, we’ve been there so many times by now that we have our favorite genres memorized by floor level, color-coded room, and subsection.

14. You don’t stop for pedestrians when driving.

Shame on you. Portland is a pedestrian-friendly city.

15. You cringe at the mere mention of hiking, biking, climbing or anything outdoorsy for that matter.

Portland is a gateway for tons of great nature, like the Columbia River Gorge and Mount Hood. Our proximity to the outdoors is one of the reasons we love it here. If hiking and camping are not your thing, you’re kind of an oddball here.

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