The city’s famous motto is “Keep Portland Weird”. Well let me tell you, they succeeded. Don’t get me wrong, the city of Portland is a great destination to explore. As self proclaimed “foodies” there’s more than enough options to keep your belly full with great food. The city also has more weed dispensaries than gas stations, bike lanes bigger than car lanes, and just as many vegan options than regular options (if you’re into that kind of thing). If that isn’t enough, head a little bit outside the city for scenic views that make for a photographers wet dream.
If you’ve ever heard of Portland, or watched any episodes of Portlandia, then you already know Portland is a hipsters paradise. But in this city, there’s a fine line between hipster, homeless, and straight up crazy. After my trip, I can no longer tell the difference between each. Below are some of the encounters I had. I’ll let you decide which was which.
CBD Oil: As we’re walking down the street, a man wearing a beanie and some baggy clothes shouted to us “You gotta get some CBD oil! It’ll change your fucking life!” At first I thought he was trying to deal us some, but he was walking at an incredibly fast pace away from us (not a very good sales tactic). Think his recommendation was sincere, but those changes he mentioned don’t look positive. Not a good look for the CBD industry so I’ll pass for now.
Voodoo Child: Surprisingly, one block away from the CBD oil guy, we stop outside the famous Voodoo donut. The line is too long and we’ve tried the donuts at other locations so we settle for a picture of the sign instead. As we line up to take a picture, a very nice lady approaches us and pointing to the ground says, “See those arrows there? I know the owners, they said they put those arrows there so you can see the best angle to take a picture of the sign.” We nod, thank her, and step to where she was pointing. The thing is, we couldn’t see the arrows on the ground. In fact, no one could, because those arrows weren’t there. She could be under a voodoo spell, so we don’t ask questions. The photos came out good though so kudos to her.
Pure Mayhem: We stop in a Starbucks to get our caffeine fix. I tell my date I’m getting an extra shot of espresso. She says I’m crazy. I flirtatiously say no you’re crazy. A large man who is out of breath bursts in screaming. He wins. “Some homeless guy was chasing me! You can’t fuckin do that!” Not sure if he expects the Starbucks staff to do anything and I’m certainly not gonna do anything about it, so we all shrug and ignore him, as if to say “Welcome to Portland”. Minutes later he storms out. Of course, we follow. We now see him across the street shouting the same spiel at what looks to be cops or Nordstrom security guards. Either way, no one is doing anything about it. He storms off down the street “You can’t fuckin do that!” We wonder who the homeless person is that chased him. Without turning even slightly, we see across the street a man in a yellow raincoat and rain boots pushing a baby carriage with no baby in it start screaming. But not anything coherent. It was a mix of howling like a wolf and Bret from Anchorman shouting “Loud Noises” screaming just to take part in the action. Then on the corner right across the bike lane, there’s another man cursing “fuck you! fuck you!” But this hate was directed at anyone in particular, just himself. In complete aww, my date and I look at each other and say the only thing we can bare to mutter “Welcome to Portland”.