Vanifest Destiny: Vanzanita

I get booted from a beach town by the cops and give deep thought to the van plan.


Culture Features
Is this what a tsunami feels like? That’s what I thought as I awoke to find my home violently rocking back and forth. I cursed myself for not paying attention to the tsunami evacuation route s   More
 
Wednesday, September 25, 2013 PETE COTTELL

(Not Even Close To) Live Review: Sub Pop's Silver Jubilee, 7/13

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Music
[Ed. Note: Well, this is embarrassing. Pete "Vanifest Destiny" Cottell managed to get his van all the way to Seattle to relive his grunge-addled childhood at Sub Pop's 25th anniversary bash, and filed this report a day or two later, but we're only now getting around to posting it. Our bad, not Pete's. We promise we'll be on time for the label's 50th anniversary.]I spent my 25th birthday drinking ...   More
 
Tuesday, July 23, 2013 PETE COTTELL

Sleeping Around Part 2: Life in Each Quadrant

Spending a night in all five of Portland's quadrants.

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Features
I spent most of my first month in Portland parked in Buckman. It was a great vandwelling homestead—lots of shade, flat streets, tolerant (or clueless) neighbors—but when a nosey neighbor spooked me, I decided to leave the verdant Southeast and see what else my new home had to offer. While driving around the west side of Portland—a sloping urban maze of harsh contrast between the haves and ...   More
 
Wednesday, July 24, 2013 by Pete Cottell

Vanifest Destiny: Rolling Roomies

A freeway breakdown and a new friend.


Culture Features
I expect the gas station to be empty. It’s 11 pm on a Sunday night, and I’m out on the border of Gresham to check on my broken-down van and maybe slip inside for shuteye. Instead, I see some   More
 
Wednesday, July 3, 2013 PETE COTTELL

Vanifest Destiny: The Shower Scene

The logistical challenges of waking up without a place to piss.


Culture Features
It’s 8:30 in the morning and I have to pee. This is a common problem, I know. For most people, it is easily solvable. For most of my own life, it was easily solvable. But now that I live in a    More
 
Wednesday, June 19, 2013 PETE COTTELL

Vanifest Destiny: Stealth Bomber

First rule of vandwelling: Don’t let anyone see you vandwelling.


Culture Features
The cops may be on to me. It’s 10:30 on Monday night and I’m walking “home” to the van where I’ve lived for a week. I’ve got one eye on a police cruiser as a black-and-white Radio Cab    More
 
Wednesday, June 12, 2013 PETE COTTELL

Remodeling My House/Van

Time to rip out the seats, buy some hangers and make this place livable.

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Features
I never considered myself to be a messy person. Sure, I had a propensity to put things in “organized piles” and shove them aside to be dealt with later, but having an entire bedroom to enable a delusion of tidiness made it work for years. It wasn’t until the bulk of my clothing, office supplies, and the French press I stupidly anticipated needing my adventure in vandwelling were lying in ...   More
 
Friday, June 14, 2013 PETE COTTELL

Vanifest Destiny: Buying My House/Van

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Features
Pete Cottell quit his job in Ohio and moved to Portland to live in a van. Read why here and follow his adventures all summer here. For some reason, I really like Craigslist. Yes, there’s a surplus of bored weirdos with nothing better to do than troll sellers with anonymous e-mail malice, but I’ve found some truly wonderful things on the wild, chaotic frontier of American internet commerce, ...   More
 
Friday, June 7, 2013 PETE COTTELL

Vanifest Destiny: How I Became a College-Educated 29-Year-Old Who is Technically Homeless

It's really not as weird as you think.

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Features
Pete Cottell quit his job in Ohio and moved to Portland to live in a van. Read why here and follow his adventures all summer here.What do you do when you’re pushing 30 and you haven’t achieved much of anything beyond getting a bachelor’s degree from a monolithic land grant university?Well, some people go back to school to delay the inevitable, tossing more debt on the heap in hopes that ...   More
 
Thursday, June 6, 2013 PETE COTTELL

Vanifest Destiny: When In Roam

Why I left a comfy job and sweet apartment in Ohio to live in a van in Portland.


Culture Features
I’m lying on the backseat of a busted old conversion van that reeks of oil and cigar smoke in the parking lot of a Space Age gas station near the Portland-Gresham border. It’s not quite 6 am,    More
 
Wednesday, June 5, 2013 PETE COTTELL

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