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32 Reasons to Love Portland Right Now

It’s easy to obsess about our many problems. But if you stop, step away from the keyboard, and take a look around once in a while, you might see just how good you have it.

Love, if we're being truthful, does not conquer all.

It can't stop the oceans from rising, and it won't make any Republican senator to grow a spine. Closer to home, it won't unclog I-5, solve the housing crisis or get the Blazers to the playoffs.

Good feelings, positive vibes, thoughts and prayers—as the man once sang, they won't pay my bills, nor will they enact sensible gun control laws.

But at a time when cynicism is the default position of the world, taking a moment, however brief, to consider the things that keep us pushing through the darkness is a necessary act of self-care.

If you're having trouble coming up with anything, don't sweat it—we've got 32 reasons for you right here.

In our annual valentine to Portland, we turn down the volume on our own negativity, digging past the murder trials and corrupt politicians we usually report on to recognize everything that makes us grateful to live here.

Some of it is right in front of our faces, like the temporary art project that's transformed a civic landmark earmarked for destruction, or the architecture that's turned blighted blocks into brand new neighborhoods.

In other cases, it's the small stuff we take for granted, like the fact we can smell our weed before buying it, or that our barbecue scene is making even Texans drool.

It's the world champion air guitarist, the defiant news anchor fighting back against internet trolls, and the stripper who created a workout class to keep sex workers healthy. And, of course, it's Damian Lillard , because it's always Damian Lillard.

None of it, we admit, will save the world. (Well, except maybe Dame. Can't put anything past him.) But it might make you realize that saving the world is still worth the effort.

And, barring that, maybe it'll just make you feel a bit better about being in Portland right now. It's easy to obsess about our many problems, and get caught up in the endless grousing of social media and comment sections. But if you stop, step away from the keyboard, and take a look around once in a while, you might see just how good you have it.

—Matthew Singer, Arts & Culture Editor

1. Because we're creating new neighborhoods…

2. Because we made voting even easier… 

3. Because a doomed building is now a temporary work of art… 

4. Because we're still No. 1 in semi-factual superlatives… 

5. Because you can finally get a beer for less than $10 at Moda Center… 

6. Because our news anchors don't take crap from internet trolls… 

7. Because University of Portland continues to turn out some of the best women's soccer players in the world… 

8. Because we are the champions of cyclocross…

9. … and roller derby… 

10. … and air guitar…

11. Because we're turning wastewater into beer…

12. … and beer into exercise…

13. Because a local punk legend is holding a permanent rummage sale in the basement of a record shop…

14. Because we let you stop and smell the weed…

15. Because we're a world hub for slap-tagging…

16. Because even Texans are impressed by our barbecue… 

17. … and you can get almost any style of pizza here… 

18. … and also, we've perfected the soy curl… 

19. Because we're dedicated to keeping our strippers healthy and limber…

20. Because our gynecologists are building a better speculum…

21. Because our airport keeps getting more awesome…

22. …and so does Movie Madness…

23. Because we're making Halloweens more inclusive…

24. Because the city's most daring developer is growing strawberry fields in the sky…

25. Because we're bringing the pay phone back, minus the "pay" part…

26. Because you can turn on the TV and see your neighbor compete in an eating contest against a bear…

27. Because hardcore foosball players finally have a home…

28. Because we're home to the largest astrology school in the United States… 

29. Because this is the best place in the country to be a witch… 

30. Because we believe no kitty should be left behind…

31. Because the barred owls are taking over…

32. Because the best Trail Blazer in history is playing in front of us…