"Steve Roskoski, a library assistant, said he and his fellow librarians (some with their own tattoos) came up with the idea to match readers with books based on their tats. It’s Portland after all. “Book recommending and finding people good reads is something we do every day here at the Multnomah County Library,” Roskoski said. “Social media is a great way to interact with those people - and we’ve seen a great response. We had over 150 awesome tattoos sent in.” That number will continue to grow, Roskoski suspects, as the word gets out." [more inside]
Portland isn’t the biggest city, the most historical city, or the best weather city. If it isn’t quirky donuts that we promote, what’s it gonna be? You think Seattle people actually like the Space Needle? Hell no. It looks like a giant alien dick. But you’ve got to hand it to them, they put that alien dick on t-shirts, aprons, and frisbees and sell it year round. Voodoo has become a Portland institution, and it’s time to accept it. What is civic pride if not the ability to look out-of-towners directly in the eye and say “you should buy this stupid bullshit.”
Portland is courting Japanese tourists with this absurd video (warning: earworm). [more inside]
The Panic Sign - a brief story about a remote-controlled sign on top of a building in Portland, Oregon
Portland Community College to launch a "Whiteness History Month." (April to be specific) The American Conservative disapproves: "... plainly designed to convince white students to despise themselves and their culture." The Washington Post hits the ground running with a listicle: Whiteness History Month is a great idea. Here are 7 ways to observe it.
In 2011, Everclear frontman Art Alexakis finally gave the people of Portland what they wanted: He moved back to California.
"The number of people living in poverty in Portland’s suburbs shot up almost 100 percent between 2000 and 2011, according to the Brookings Institute. If the North’s poor black residents are driven to the same poverty in less desirable areas, then the Portland Boheme for middle-class whites has been purchased at a price of cultural disruption and displacement, even violence. And while immigration to cozier, comfortable climes, and gentrification and attendant displacement are not new phenomena, I find that people flocking Portland-ward rarely wish to accept their own culpability or complicity in this story—there is a desire on behalf of most newcomers to think of themselves as socially progressive and so properly enlightened, as if being anti-racist or super-considerate and well-meaning, responsible even, somehow makes this process of ‘urban renewal’ consequence-less and clean. It is not." Michael Copperman, La Boheme Portlandia.
In the midst of Portland, Oregon's ongoing building boom, one property in the Eastmoreland neighborhood has drawn special notice, as it’s home to three giant sequoias over 100 years old. When a local developer announced plans to cut them down to build two new homes, a coalition of neighbors and tree lovers banded together to raise $900,000 to buy the property. (A tree-sitter, perhaps unsurprisingly, has also been involved.) Things weren't looking good until an unexpected ally stepped in: South Park’s Matt Stone.
Portlander Ursula K. Le Guin is Breathing Fire to Save American Literature - Portland Monthly, Taylor Clark. “I just played with words all my life,” she told me. “I kind of went to my room and found out what was going to happen that day.” [Previously: "How are things in the Land of Youth?" Ursula Le Guin blogs from 85 | Ursula K. Le Guin on writing and freedom at the National Book Awards]
Portland, Oregon's Salt & Straw creative director, Tyler Malek, was recently named to Forbes "30 under 30" list. In this PDF he generously shares how to get the most of your ice cream maker. To calculate how to get to his "magical 17% butterfat" for YOUR quantity of ice cream, use this handy Butterfat Calculator from Ice Cream Geek. See also their handy Ice Cream Butter Fat Converter.
A standoff between Greenpeace and Shell Oil is happening right now high above the Willamette River in Portland, Ore. Yesterday, using mountaineering equipment, thirteen protestors lowered themselves down from the magestically large St. Johns Bridge in a bid to prevent the passage of Shell's icebreaking ship MSV Fennica, which had been undergoing repairs in Portland and was scheduled to depart to assist Shell's oil drilling activities in the Arctic. The protesters have supplies to stay awhile. For now, the ship has turned around and a judge has ruled that Greenpeace will be charged $2500 for every hour the protest continues.
Meanwhile in Portland, in an incident Mashable describe as the acockalypse, dildos are appearing on power lines in increasing numbers. The Metro notes that the items are usually paired red and yellow. Speculation persists on where the items came from e.g. "There was Empire Labs that did Clone-A-Willy but that was awhile ago", while Bustle asks "Who knows this dildo man? Where can I find him???" Speigel reports that Unbekannte hängen Hunderte Dildos an Stromleitungen , while the BBC will not directly use the d-word because British, but will replicate some tweets which use it. Death and Taxes thinks this is biblical in nature, while Austria is concerned that "Rätsel um Dildo-Invasion in US-Stadt". And previously in Portland.
Steven Smith, teamaker, passed away last Monday. He was a co-founder of Stash teas, founder of Tazo tea, and most recently, founder of the eponymous Steven Smith lines of teas. [more inside]
As Neda Maghbouleh pointed out for an article in the January 2009 issue of Center for New Racial Studies, the 2008 presidential campaign of Barack Obama gave Portland newspapers a striking image of its racial makeup. Just look at the photo above from Portland during Senator Obama's presidential campaign. You'd be forgiven for thinking that maybe Dave Matthews Band was about to go on stage.There's a reason why Portland, and Oregon in general, are so whitebread: it was founded as a whites-only, racist utopia with no room for black or Asian people.
Portlandia is a white show for a white audience, and Portland is a very white place, by design. Kiran Herbert writes about the history of race in Portland and its depiction on Portlandia. Via
Portland’s paradox is that it attracts so many of “the young and the restless,” as demographers call them, that it has become a city of the overeducated and underemployed — a place where young people are, in many cases, forced into their semiretirement.
In the late 1990s, Portland-based programmer Kevin Lewandowski shifted his musical discography efforts from a manually maintained drum'n'bass website to a community-built effort, and named the effort Discogs. The site grew, slowly at first, focusing on documenting any and all details of electronic records, then hip hop, rock and jazz, and eventually any sort of recorded audio, more or less. Other key changes include the 2005 addition of the Discogs Marketplace, and the contentious Version Four update, which changed the way submissions are moderated, making all pending submissions publicly visible. The latter change resulted in "the oggercide," but it was the former that brought about a vinyl revolution, uniting a world of record sellers small and large in one well-visited vinyl (and CD, cassette, DVD, etc.) record store. Last month, Discogs held its first in-person record sale, in Portland, Oregon.
City resources are lavished on gentrification and bicycle infrastructure, but few are invested in our public transit system and structures that support working class people (whom are disproportionately people with disabilities and QTPOC). Fares have gone up, incentives to park and ride have phased out, and there are endless stories of transit cops harassing riders. Bus routes run infrequently enough to be standing room only in my part of town.While Portland, Oregon prides itself on its progressive bicycle policies Rory Judah Blank's experiences show it's far less progressive when it comes to helping people with disabilities.
James Mickens (previously) gives a talk at Monitorama 2014 about distributed computing and security.
In Many Cities, Rent Is Rising Out of Reach of Middle Class. Here's What $800 in Rent Gets You in 11 Major Cities [more inside]
Burn, Destroy, Wreck, Kill - SB Nation reports from the inside of the fan culture of the biggest rivalry in the MLS, the Seattle Sounders and Portland Timbers. The rivalry game between the two cities is on April 5th.
7 month old baby pulls tail of cat. Cat scratches baby. Father of baby kicks cat butt. Then things go rapidly downhill between the 22 pound house cat "with a history of violence" and the family... [more inside]
What happens when your neighborhood gets overrun with upscale stores and the rich posers move in? You make fun of them, of course, and realize that the good old days there are fuckin over
"Replace the paint of your car and accessories with reflective material" is the first of several suggestions from TriMore, a brilliant parody of the "Be Seen, Be Safe" campaign from TriMet, provider of public transit for Portland, OR. [more inside]
Explore the world of custom motorcycle making through the stories of three independent builders in Portland, Oregon [more inside]
Will Portland have fluoride in its water? This is a hot button issue with people on the pro and the con sides feeling strongly about the issue. See also "Why I’m voting for fluoridation in Portland today".
Yesterday the Green Machine beat the Portland Timbers 10-9. What makes this unusual is that the Green Machine is a youth club, and the winning goal was scored by Atticus Lane-Dupre, an 8yd old with cancer. And that the match, organized by the Make-A-Wish Foundation, was attended by thousands of enthusiastic fans.
Tomorrow, January 19, you can watch as the Sellwood Bridge in Portland, OR is moved 33-66 feet to the north in order to allow a new bridge to be built in its place, while still allowing traffic to move over that part of the Willamette River while the construction is taking place.
"The History of Food & Drink in Portland, Oregon" presented by the Portland Mercury and written by Chris Onstad.
A festival of indie creativity in Portland, Oregon, XOXO was Kickstartered into existence as an alternative to SXSW and sold out in just over two days. Its speakers spoke of a new kind of individual creative entrepreneurship enabled by technology, and included Dan Harmon, Adam Savage, MakerBot's Bre Prettis (previously) and MeFi's own mathowie, while its attendees were a kind of who's-who of the Internet. Anil Dash wrote up every session, and you can pre-order videos on the main site.
A dude found his stolen bicycle on Craigslist days after it had been lifted and then drives 160 miles to find the thief and confront him.
Two things about working in coffee shops. First, don't assume everyone else in there is a hipster. Second, don't assume that the elderly person who befriends you is a crazy old man telling tall tales. Else you may miss out on the meeting experience of a lifetime.
The latest match in North American soccer's Cascadia Cup was played yesterday between the Portland Timbers and the Vancouver Whitecaps, and the atmosphere was amazing. [more inside]
Why Portland's Public Toilets Succeeded Where Others Failed. A short documentary on the Portland Loo. Official website.
On Monday, the Occupy Wall Street movement disrupted ports in its West Coast Port Blockade. [more inside]
Portland Nights is a series of structured motion controlled time-lapse clips taken in and around downtown Portland, Oregon at night over the course of several months.
Jasha Lottin says she can't understand why people are so interested in why she bought a horse, killed it, gutted it, then posed naked for photos inside the carcass and posted them on the Internet. (NSFW) [more inside]
The National Congress of American Indians is holding its 68th annual conference in Portland, Oregon this week. Oregon Public Broadcasting's Think Out Loud program talked today with Jefferson Keel, president of the NCAI and with others about food sovereignty on tribal lands. [more inside]
The lifeblood of Portland OR's music scene in the early 1990's was an all ages club called the X-Ray Cafe. Here is their story.
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