Interesting Facts about Portland Oregon
At this time, we are currently living in Portland, Oregon. Drew has lived in Portland his entire life, while I moved here in 2002. For the past, almost 7 years, we have made a home together for ourselves in Portland.
This city has a wild and crazy history that makes for some rather interesting facts about Portland, Oregon. Some of these facts are why we’ve loved living here. Other things are why it’s time for us to leave. Well, those things and that Drew doesn’t want to only live in one place his whole life.
1. Portland was named by the flip of a coin. If it had landed on the other side, Portland would be known as Boston, Oregon.
2. Portland is home to many famous bands/musicians such as The Kingsmen and Paul Revere & the Raiders, The Dandy Warhols, Everclear, Pink Martini, Sleater-Kinney, The Shins, Blitzen Trapper, The Decemberists, and the late Elliott Smith.
3. Portland is the only major US city to have a dormant volcano within city limits. Dormant means the volcano is sleeping and there is the potential that it could wake up at some point.
4. In November of 2008, a judge dismissed charges against nude bicyclist on the grounds that Portland’s annual World Naked Bike Ride “was a well-established tradition in Portland.” In 2010, an estimated 13,000 attended Portland’s annual World Naked Bike Ride making it the world’s largest.
5. With over 700 food carts throughout the city, Portland has been named the best city in the world for street food by several publications.
6. Portland has the most literate people than any other city in the country. In other words, even the baristas have Masters Degrees.
7. The largest wilderness park within city limits is Portland’s own Forest Park with over 5,000 square acres.
8. At 2.5 feet in diameter, Portland has the smallest park within city limits in this country- Mill End Park.
9. Portland has more strip clubs, per capita, than any other city in the US.
10. The city is noted for its superior land-use planning and investment in their light rail system. With its public transportation networks and efficient land-use planning, Portland has been referred to as one of the most environmentally friendly, or “green”, cities in the world.
11. Being home to more than 60 breweries, Portland has more microbreweries than any other city in the world. No wonder Portland has been named the best city for happy hour in the United States.
12. Portland is one of the few destinations outside of France where you can take your dog into pubs.
13. During the dot-com boom of the mid-to-late 1990s, Portland saw an influx of people in their 20s and 30s, drawn to the promise of a city with abundant nature, urban growth boundaries, cheaper rent, and opportunities to work within the graphic design and Internet industries, as well as for companies such as Doc Martens, Nike, Adidas, and Wieden+Kennedy. Sound familiar?
14. The comedy series Portlandia, shoots on location in Portland, satirizing the city as a hub of liberal politics, organic food, alternative lifestyles, and anti-establishment attitudes. It’s all about living the “dream of the 90s” and its all pretty much true.
15. Fiction novelist Chuck Palahniuk, makes his home in Portland. He shares about his time here in his book, Fugitives and Refugees: A Walk in Portland, Oregon
16. The famous White Stag sign in downtown Portland now reads Portland Oregon. At one time, it used to say Made in Oregon– a bone of contention among many Portlanders. The day after Thanksgiving a red bulb is lit on the stag’s nose to welcome the holiday season.
17. Over 100 years ago, Portland was considered the most dangerous city in the states, to go out for a drink. Not because you might end up dead, but instead shanghaied on a boat to another country.
18. Portland’s “Shanghai Tunnels”, lesser known as “Portland Underground”, connected the basements of many downtown hotels and pubs to the Willamette River’s waterfront. Originally built to move goods from docked ships, these tunnels quickly created a unique network of passages and thoroughfares that were used by unscrupulous individuals called “shanghaiiers” or “crimps”, to move drugged and kidnapped individuals unto ships and into slavery and prostitution.
19. Powell’s City of Books can be found in downtown Portland, the world’s largest independently owned bookstore.
20. Portland has been voted in the Top 5 for Greenest Cities, Cleanest Cities, Best City to Have a Baby, Largest Bicycle Commuter City, and Top Food and Bar Scene in the United States.
How many of these interesting facts about Portland, Oregon did you know?
All photography by Kimmy Hayes © 2013.