Keeping Portland Weird

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Darth Vader wearing a kilt riding a unicycle.

You may or may not have heard Portland, Oregon’s motto, slogan, tagline, whatever you wanna call it: “Keep Portland Weird.” Portland is known for its weirdness, which has been exposed by the Portlandia show, but Portlanders love it and embrace it.

I was known to be pretty weird when I was younger, very often described as “random.” Random was and probably is one of my characteristics. I seem to say and do things that people consider random. I can attest to the fact that Portland is random and weird, and I love it.

Below you will find a series of photos that I have collected since I got here over a year ago that give you just a glimpse of Portland’s slogan.

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These two guys from Oregon Potatoes where happy to get some attention at their booth. (It seems they weren’t as popular as the other booths).
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That is a “fishy apple” (you can’t see its fishtail), for labeling GMO foods. “Are we eating fishy food?” It was especially funny to see it drive away.
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The tattoo from the cashier at the local Salt & Straw ice cream shop.
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An old gas station turned into a diner.
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A unique character in the street.
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A man walks his Husky dog and his kid in a backpack in cold weather.
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Micro houses.
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The brewbike taking drunk people around a brewery tour in Portland.
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A pink trolley.
portland division tea house art
The art at a teahouse.
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The sign outside a barbershop.
portland division coffee art
The outdoor art sign of a coffee shop.
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The hair products inside the barbershop.
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And the complimentary drinks inside the barbershop.
Shirtless guy getting free ice cream. Why not?
Shirtless guy getting free ice cream.
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The line to voodoo doughnuts.
Elvis setting up.
Elvis setting up to play.
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Guys wearing beer hats.
The Zombie truck. "Zombies don't like fast food"
The Zombie truck. “Zombies don’t like fast food”
Yes it is.
A quinceañera by the waterfront.
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A security guy arresting Jack Sparrow or Johnny Depp?
batmobile
The Batmobile.
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Free chalk for people to use.
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Tin man.
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Hairdos.
Cute metal statues in Portland, Oregon
Happy metal statues.
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Superheroes for sale at a shop downtown.
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Eating their own poop.

But I think the prize goes to Darth Vader wearing a kilt, riding a unicycle and playing a bagpipe:

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And these are just things I have personally seen, I can’t imagine all the weird things that go on around.

What is the weirdest thing you’ve seen in your town?

Update: I just found out that unicycle Darth Vader guy shoots flames from his bagpipe. True story.

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12 thoughts on “Keeping Portland Weird

  1. This is great – I just discovered your blog and love it!
    FYI the kilt/unicycle guy actually shoots flames from his bagpipe (no kidding). Just when you thought it couldn’t get any weirder. 🙂

      1. Totally serious! He’s a Portland institution and I’ve seen a video of him riding the unicycle with flames shooting up in all directions. Hilariously, weirdly Portland!

  2. Haha, I love this! I think the Brewbike is my favourite- that’s a genius idea. I’m actually pleasantly surprised by how much some of these random oddities remind me of Winnipeg- I guess I might have to do a post of my own! 😀
    Btw, my favourite weird thing in Winnipeg is a busker who appears regularly in Osborne, wearing a horse mask and playing an accordion!

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