Keeping Portland weird, 10 photos at a time.

Posted on
Oct 5, 2010

Dear lord, Portland is a strange place. It’s somewhat reminiscent of Seattle, but smaller and stranger. My cousin describes it as what Seattle was in the eighties – a Pacific Northwest town full of artists and slackers and dreamers and lots and lots of rain. It reminds me so much of my home, but varies in ways both slight and profound. It isn’t nearly as pretty as Seattle, but there’s more of an art scene, and better restaurants. The people are more hippie and less stodgy, clad in flannel more than fleece.

These difference might make little sense to someone unfamiliar with each of these cities, but if you live in one, you understand me perfectly. And if not? Well, these photos might give you an idea of what Portland is like …

1. Magnets? An internet search provided me with no answers as to what this storefront was getting at. It looked virtually empty inside. Is it really a warehouse full of magnets? The world may never know.

Please. Make more sense.

2. Psychic vending machine. The message on the screen reads as follows: “SPECIAL THIS MONTH: THE WORLD’S CHEAPEST PSYCHIC!! NO APPOINTMENT NECESSARY!! WE KNOW WHEN YOU’RE COMING!! DEPOSIT 25 CENTS!! IN COIN SLOT AT YOUR RIGHT!! COIN SLOT AHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!” Profound, really, if you think about it.

3. Ted Nugent Pinball machine. That is, apparently, a machine gun/guitar he’s wielding.

4. Political notes in restaurant window. Fact: Trashing Obama in Portland as stupid as trashing Bush in Crawford. The waitstaff doesn’t care, and you end up sounding like a douche.

5. Goth building. Across the street from the Kimpton hotel in which we stayed, we saw this building. I assume the folks who run it listen to The Cure. A LOT.

6. Confusing art installation.

I think my gyno has one of these in her office.

I think my gyno has one of these in her office.

7.  Diner that didn’t even realize how cool it was. Notice the guy at left, wearing sunglasses on the back of his head, over his baseball cap. He looks like a muppet in disguise, right?

Also, they had good bacon.

Also, they had good bacon.

8. Self-portrait, me and Rand. I like this photo, because it’s our relationship in microcosm: I’ve just bought something at Anthropologie and am taking photos. I’m wearing a wool coat because I’m freezing, while Rand has on a linen summer shirt BECAUSE HE IS AN INFERNO. Also, he’s kissing my eye. Which he tends to do.

I guess this in no way communicates Portland's weirdness.

9. Dirty magnets we probably should have bought.

Do you think these were previously stored in the MAGNETS! warehouse? I wonder ...

Do you think these were previously stored in the MAGNETS! warehouse? I wonder ...

10. Unassuming marketing campaign.


Leave a Comment

  • Bhavya

    And I thought coffee vendors on bicycle were indigenous to India.

  • Disco inferno?

    • Everywhereist

      Cathy – Your comment is enigmatic and fascinating to me. Do you mean to suggest that the Magnets! warehouse is a disco? If not, to what ARE you referring? I am very curious. 🙂

  • I do believe that Nugent graphic is from the “Weekend Warriors” album which I loved as a child, probably mostly for the Gibson semi-automatic guitar gun he’s rocking. Then I grew up and realized Nugent had caught the crazy. Still have fond memories of that stupid album, though.

    Also, if you have not seen the Insane Clown Posse’s “Miracles” video, dial it up posthaste. It contains what is really the final word on magnets.

  • I suddenly HAVE to go to Portland.

  • Bhavya, I was actually thinking the same thing, haha.

  • My goodness, those signs are amazing. Especially the psychic, damn.

  • You said Rand is an inferno, so I was wondering whether he was a disco inferno, because that song came into my head and it amused me.

  • Woah. It’s strange to see images of places I go to every day. Except for the MAGNETS! I stay away from those. I mean, there’s no way you can actually keep so many magnets in one place. Just think of the cars! You start a magnet factory, and your business is going strong, and I mean STRONG, because one day you wake up and there the highways are empty and there are no cars in front of your house, and that semi truck is inching closer to your beloved magnet storage facility, and there are guys from CERN calling up, asking how you managed to get so many magnets in one place, and if they can borrow some for their accelerator, and when you get to your office in the morning you see that all of the metal objects in the city are now attached to your warehouse!

    Oh, the horror! You realize in horror that none of your magnets are electromagnetic! There is NO WAY that you can turn them off! So you do the only thing you can do – you dive underneath the cars and trucks, spoons and forks, pacemakers and microwaves…deep into the heart of the mangled metal megolith…and then begin to remove one magnet at a time to host it off site. But while you’re doing that, the pile of metal is becoming larger and larger, threatening to become a national or worldwide emergency. It’s becoming a metal singularity! In vain, helicopters begin to circle your building, getting the metal catastrophe on the news for mere seconds before slamming into the rest of the junk.

    Anyway, that’s my hypothesis of why their building is mostly empty.

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