To the outsider, Portland can seem intimidatingly hip. Or it can be downright inscrutable. It is a sea of grandpa sweaters and vintage dresses, a town where every touch of grime, every aging neon sign, seems intentional—all populated by purposeful masses of every imaginable clique, pursuing agendas creative or corporate or downright hedonistic.
THE BEER AND THE MUSIC ARE PRETTY REMARKABLE.
That's because Portland retains that balls-out ambition from Oregon's earliest days. Where our forerunners battled dysentery and ornery oxen to claim their plot of land, settlers now go up against different kinds of adversity—seasonal affective disorder and an often combative job market—to claim a more liberal definition of the American Dream. Want to stride boldly through your 20s and 30s without deciding what you want to be when you grow up, and still get by? Want to dress like a cracked-out Jackie-O? Want to work in advertising?
WELCOME TO STUMPTOWN.
Finder is assembled with residents—both sophomore and longtime—in mind (and it provides a crash course for tourists). In lieu of a short-stay itinerary, we give you a packed-to-the-gills guide to the Portland lifestyle—the best places to brunch, an expert's bar crawl, a scrutinizing rundown of local retailers, a quick how-to on biking and the organic lifestyle, even an introduction to the suburbs—to help you get your bearings. Because you don't sightsee here, you absorb.
Let Finder help you explore or reconsider this fine city: Is Portland a green metropolis that keeps things simple, or is it the next viable hub for entrepreneurs? Is that a town-wide appreciation for local brews, or are we all just functioning alcoholics?
We'll admit it, Finder proudly retains the independent tone of parent publication Willamette Week. This guide is beholden to no one, and does not shy away from sassy backtalk (or from naming a beloved spot as a city institution). It's a loving collaboration between those born and bred in Portland, and a few who have lived an itinerant lifestyle all over and still approach this city as a novel gem.
Saundra Sorenson & Ethan Smith
PUBLISHER » Shawna McKeown
EDITORS » Saundra Sorenson, Ethan Smith
ART DIRECTOR » Tom Humphrey
NOTE: Due to the overwhelming popularity of Finder, the only remaining copies are at WW headquarters, 2220 NW Quimby St. You can order a mailed copy for $10 by contacting WW's Robert Lehrkind. Many of the WW guides from which Finder is drawn are drawn are available online, including Restaurant Guide, Cheap Eats, Drink Guide and Pocket Shop. Other City Guide features from Finder are being introduced on WWeek.com throughout Fall 2008. Thanks for reading!