Portland has built a solid reputation as a place for quirky folks. And the folks there would have it no other way. In fact, the unofficial slogan of the third-largest city in the Pacific Northwest is “Keep Portland Weird.”
Yet some of the weirdness is truly worthy of admiration, like its early investment in light rail, its superior city planning and its environment consciousness. Portland is also noted for its uber-liberal values and its enthusiasm for home brewed beer and coffee.
The City of Roses is also known as a global hub for athletic and footwear production. Calling the Portland metropolitan home are Nike, adidas, Li-Ning and Columbia Sportswear. Needing to be where the leaders are has compelled Under Armour and Merrell to open shop there as well.
And, of course, Portland couldn’t make it through cable television without a sketch comedy focusing on its weirdness. Portlandia — created by Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein — debuted on the Independent Film Channel in 2011 and has become one of Jerry Seinfeld’s favorite comedies of all-time. The name — Portlandia — is taken from a statue on the west side of the Portland Building. For people tracking these things, it is the second-largest hammered-copper statue in the U.S. (behind only the Statue of Liberty).