1. Local

Keep Portland Weird

By October 4, 2006

Portlanders are an outspoken bunch, and we often use our bumpers to expresss our ideas, political and otherwise. Personally, my favorite local bumper sticker is the one that says "Keep Portland Weird!" It not only speaks to the uniqueness of the city, but it has a purpose. The creators of the motto make the stickers to support the idea of shopping at local businesses. Learn more at the Keep Portland Weird website.


October 10, 2006 at 11:23 am
(1) John says:

I too, at first, thought the ‘keep portland weird’ thing was cool. However, now when I see it, I think to myself; ‘like we have a choice?’ ‘The city that begs’ is a little too high on itself; made up of the rich that never worked; the retired who no longer work; and the street people. The city is ageing quickly and when the mass transit can no longer comprehend all the scooters, walkers, and wheel chairs; it will fall back to earth with the rain.

October 10, 2006 at 1:23 pm
(2) Brett says:

Austin, Texas has been using this slogan for decades-this is not a new one at all…

October 10, 2006 at 1:44 pm
(3) Emily says:

I love it!! John, you must be hanging out with the wrong people in the wrong places… or do you even live in Portland? I can’t comprehend why you would read up on the latest news from a city you don’t live in, but I can’t imagine that you would hold such a negative opinion about Portland’s great population of beautiful, freethinking and (generally) unpretentious people.
Every city has an elite class and a fast-growing population of retirees from the baby boomer generation (from which you might be able to learn a thing or two, by the way). Most cities to NOT have such a vastly unique culture with such a wide variety of venues in which skater punks, corporate america-types, mid-twenties college preppies, grad queens, aspiring gangsters, soccer moms, and (your favorite) retirees can come together to share a latte in a dog-friendly coffeehouse, a late-night donut an poetry reading, an art-house flick in a brewpub theater, a bike ride in a prom dress, a pint of micro and a game of chess, a tiaras-required neighborhood cleanup, or a free breakfast on a bridge overlooking the river. Thatís what makes Portland weird, and thatís why I love it.

October 11, 2006 at 1:24 pm
(4) Elizabeth from Austin, TX says:

That’s Austin’s slogan. Go get your own!

October 19, 2006 at 2:49 pm
(5) Tom says:

Funny. I saw that bumpersticker my second day after moving to Portland in August ’06. I now know why it’s appropriate. Portland is just that, “weird”. It has no coolness or style about it. It’s a bunch of mean, rude, inconsiderate and clueless people who have no manners and are unfriendly. After living in Minneapolis, Denver, Detroit and Orlando, I know this is THE most unfriendly place I’ve ever lived.

Try to get a “hello” or “how are you” or even eye contact out of these people. Not just people on the street, but even people at my office. There’s no small talk, no “how was your weekend” or talk about sports or anything. It’s all look down at the ground, don’t smile and keep walking!

I suppose if you’re a homeless person, have green hair and piercings, take a bath once a week or are mentally ill, Portland is your kinda town. However, if you are intelligent, clean cut, have any semblance of traditional value or lifestyle, you will not fit.

I’m stuck here for now, as I moved here to be closer to my daughter. However, the sooner I can get out of here, the better!

Portlanders, you can keep your gloomy, mean spirited and rude “city”. By the way, Portland is NO city. It’s a zoo, a freakshow or a circus, but that’s about it. Don’t believe me? Take a stroll anytime of the day or night to Pioneer Courthouse Square and let me know if you’d feel safe taking your kids through there. I don’t think so!

October 31, 2006 at 6:15 pm
(6) Kerry says:

Wow, don’t know what Portland you’re talking about Tom. I love Portland and miss it. I moved away 6 years ago and am looking for a job right now so I can move back. I come back every few months to visit, and still love it! The diversity, the people and yes, even the rain make Portland the best city to raise children in. The schools could be a little better, but thats being worked on.

Maybe if you started looking around and enjoying what portland had to offer instead of being scared to walk around the Courthouse, you’d see what all Portland has to offer!

March 22, 2008 at 5:31 pm
(7) Johnny says:

Austin is nowhere near as weird as Texas.

December 21, 2008 at 2:52 pm
(8) mizBIGhead says:

Hey, Tom…maybe *you’re* the freak show? Portlanders have always been extremely friendly & cool to us…

May 25, 2009 at 8:03 am
(9) Leaf says:

Hi Tom,

PDX is really stuck on itself. It’s like being in middle school. I have lived in many of the cities you mentioned as well. There is NO diversity or personality in PDX. Everyone is the same. People dress funny and they think it makes them so different. It’s just silly. People in the SE can’t even be accepting of people in the NW. It just makes me laugh. PDX is a funny little town. It is weird in that sense.

June 26, 2009 at 8:29 am
(10) Robb in portland says:

Dumbass johnny…austin IS Texas…and Tom from 2006, you’re a douche bag, and the people you work with know it, that’s why they don’t like to say hi to you. Portland is probably THE friendliest city I’ve ever been, and I come from “friendly iowa” I’ve never said hi to someone only to be shunned and passed by unanswered. Tell you anything? OF course not, because you’re a tool that thinks he’s the man, and that everyone should like him. I know that you’ll never read this, but it feels good to say anyway.

September 7, 2009 at 11:40 am
(11) Bob Warrick says:

I live in San Jose Ca. and visit Portland 3 or 4 times a year. Myself, wife and dog love the place. The friendly, diverse people of Portland are the citys greatest asset all the rest that Portland and the surrounding area offers is just icing on the cake

Portland and surrounding area offers is just icing on the cake

October 24, 2009 at 5:44 pm
(12) Suzy says:

Really? Why would Austin have a bumper sticker that says “Keep Portland Weird”! : ) It’s ours!

October 31, 2009 at 9:33 pm
(13) Chuck Glisson says:

Hey Tom,

I don’t know what YOUR PROBLEM is, but I’ve NEVER run across an urban population that was more friendly than Portland, unlike MOST LARGE CITIES in America, Portlanders are very friendly and respectful, and that INCLUDES to strangers!

Portlanders MIGHT be a little “Weird”[in a good and refreshing way I might add], but they are also good at spotting a DIP$hit.

So Tom, I suspect that YOUR SNOBBY and STUCK-UP attitude is what caused the locals here to shy away from you.

You wouldn’t like me either Tom, I wouldn’t give a clown like you the time of day!

November 6, 2009 at 8:41 am
(14) David says:

Hi, I am from Germany and I lived 6 months in this great city – I have to say – that compared to every German city – Portland is the friendliest city. I visited a lot of other American cities like San Fran, NYC or LA but Portland was the very best ;)
And a nice Portlander bought me a shirt with the print – keep Portland weird! – nice
greetings from Dresden, Germany

May 5, 2010 at 10:56 pm
(15) Curly says:

The term “weird” has never had a positive connotation. Why would anyone describe themselves as weird?
As an outsider who’s lived here and MANY other places, I find this label accurate though to a degree….
Here, it is IMPOSSIBLE to complain about anything in any way about PDX. Just try it. People will look at you sideways. What’s weird is that people DO NOT allow themselves to show anger. Instead, they stuff their emotions. The result is passive-aggression.
Apart from this, PDX’ers are really friendly…TO EACH OTHER. In other words, they don’t like outsiders. Just ask them what they think of California..or better yet, ask them about Washington.
People here aren’t individuals at all. They have individual STYLE, if you consider mixing punk/hippy/gangster,etc. all together in a blender. PDX is mostly made of cliques. Real individuals are seen as an anathema.
PDX is like being in highschool..SERIOUSLY. If you do not want to grow up, come to PDX. There are no rules here. Like the other posting said, people are somewhat socially clueless. They go out of their way to ignore each other, and pay no attention to well established normes. For example..try getting off of the MAX-train and watch how people getting on habitually bum-rush their way past YOU to get on first. Food and culture in general have no rules either. The outsiders that like PDX, mainly like the advantage they have maturity/experience-wise.
Do you think I’m bashing PDX? I’m just stating the facts as I’ve experienced them…My contention is not with the people, but the attitudes of some of them. I could easily mention just as many positive truths about PDX to be fair. But why? PDX loves itself enough.

September 16, 2010 at 12:30 am
(16) taylor says:

Austin, Texas adopted this slogan long before Portland did to try and help promote locally owned and operated small businesses. There was a book written about it: Weird City. Many other cities tried to use this motto to support small business companies, but Portland and Austin were the two main ones it stuck with.

December 3, 2010 at 12:19 pm
(17) Eve says:

I am from the Washington DC area, and I agree that Portland is not the place for you if you are clean cut. I used to wear suits to work, and here… there is barely a need too own one!! it seems like dressing up is somehow offensive. In walking around Portland yes, people seem to be more concerned about their latest piercing or tattoo than to better themselves. The dropout rate for kids in highschool is among the highest around. Everyone seems to think that they need to smoke marijuana for medical purposes… and yes, I agree that Portland, is very much like middle school! / high school!! I am a college graduate and am a high energy person. There is nothing motivating about Portland!! People care more about how they “feel” than furthering their education. Portland, while I love visiting the beaches and find it very clean, more so than not feels like being in a rut. This is not a place for a career!

January 23, 2011 at 9:22 am
(18) Simon Palmer says:

Greetings from Portland, UK,

Never mind whether this slogan belongs to Portland Oregon or Austin – its really taken off here.

The UK Portland is a lump of sandstone stuck out in the English Channel well known for the quality of its stone (a lot of famous buildings in London are built from it)

True Portlanders are definately quirky; you should never use the R word (Rabbit) but rather “Wilfred” or “underground mutton”.

A lot of people are hi-jacking our name as we will be hosting the Olympic sailing in 2012.

Regards to all in the “other” Portland

April 27, 2011 at 2:23 am
(19) don says:

Elizabeth, you make Austin sound like it’s the one stuck on itself.

August 20, 2011 at 1:32 pm
(20) Zack says:

(7) Johnny says: :
Austin is nowhere near as weird as Texas.

I think what Johnny wanted to say is that Austin is so different from the rest of Texas that it’ all on it own. And I’m from Texas and I have to say … it is! Love Austin!

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