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Three Things Portland Has in Common with Derry, Maine, the Town from “It”

A lot of bizarre stuff happens here...

Hello, let's get creepy this week. Fall is in the air, Halloween is around the corner, and I feel ALIVE! But first things first, did you see the new Lady Things logo?!? Take a look, it's incredible.

You also might have noticed a little ol' movie called It making waves recently. It's based on the massive Stephen King novel about a clown named Pennywise who lives in the sewers of Derry, Maine, feeding on people and their worst fears. I'm a huge fan of the original 1992 miniseries starring Tim Curry, so I was definitely there on opening night to see the new take on Pennywise and The Losers Club.

Like all significant cultural events, I immediately thought "How can I make this about Portland?" and got to thinking about what the fictional town of Derry, Maine, where the novel and films take place, has in common with our own leafy city. Here's a few things I thought of:

1. We have a lot of clowns

Whether they're professional clowns who can do some impressive stuff, or that dude waving at school children, Portland has had it's fair share of clowns, including Creepy's, a new clown-themed bar. Clowns have gotten a bad rap as of late, thanks in part to movies like It, John Wayne Gacy and the fact that it's pretty easy to make a clown look really fucking scary. However, I've met a number of people here in Portland over the years who participate in circus-type things, and they all seemed like regular people who definitely wouldn't hang out in sewers and eat people.

2. It rains and the streets flood. A lot.

For a city where it just rains, and rains, and rains some more, you think we'd have the drainage thing down without question. But anyone who bikes, walks or has to wait for the bus knows that sometimes it feels like the city's drainage system just can't keep up with all the rain. Just like Portland, the city of Derry has problems when it comes to its infrastructure, thanks in large part to the evil clown who calls the sewers home. I'm not saying Portland has some evil entity living in its sewers that prevents the city from being able to handle all the rainwater…I'm not saying that at all.

3. A lot of bizarre stuff happens here.

Whether it's sex toys appearing on power lines, random gas explosions or that mysterious screeching noise in Forest Grove, this area is home to a fair amount of odd happenings. Portland has even gone a step beyond and fully embraced the weirdness. We have a museum dedicated to freaky shit and every summer a bunch of people take off their clothes and smile while they ride bikes around town. Like Derry, Portland is known as a place where strange stuff happens and even stranger people live. Both towns also have giant Paul Bunyan statues, but only one of them might come to life and try to kill you.

That's it for this week folks, try not to let the clowns scare you too much, they only want to put a smile on your face.


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