Amid all the recent furor over moving our money and designating days to buy or not buy and boycotting banks and big-box stores and all the rest of it, beneath the moralizing and recriminations, one great truth has been overlooked: Shopping local is fun. 

Wandering the streets of Portland, poking around our many, sometimes aggressively eccentric shops is a guaranteed good time, free from the feeling of constant anxiety, liberal guilt and imminent migraine that inevitably accompanies the contemporary mega-mall retail experience. Whether you find exactly what you're looking for (you won't, most likely) or even wind up buying anything (you will, most likely), a trip through your neighborhood boutiques, junk shops, specialty stores and unclassifiable repositories of knickknacks is always entertaining. 

To give you a jumping-off point, we've spent the past few weekends combing some our favorite neighborhoods (they're listed in an index on the right there) in search of the wonderful—and bizarre. Of course, what we've found is just a taste. There isn't a street in Portland that doesn't have its share of fascinating shops. I urge you, this weekend, to see what your neighborhood has to offer, not out of a sense of duty to the local economy or political correctness but because the alternative—squinting at hundreds of badly punctuated Amazon reviews or idling for hours in the parking lot of Clackamas Town Center—isn't worth your time.

Have fun! Life's too short to do otherwise.

Ben Waterhouse


Editor: Ben Waterhouse

Art Director: Carolyn Richardson

Copy Editors: Rob Fernas, Kat Merck

Writers: Craig Beebe, Ruth Brown, Martin Cizmar, Jonathan Frochtzwajg, Marianna Hane Wiles, Casey Jarman, AP Kryza, Matthew Singer, Ben Waterhouse

Cover Photo: Matt Wong

Abominable Snowman: Rob Fernas

Abominable Snowman's Hat: Goorin Bros. Hat Shop

Photographers: Cameron Browne, Liz Devine

Designer: Brittany Moody

Ad Designers: Melissa Casillas, Soma Honkanen, Brittany Moody, Dylan Serkin