The trouble with being interesting is a lot of people think they know you.
That’s the thesis of Willamette Week’s 2022 Best of Portland Issue. Yes, this is an interesting city. Interesting people live here. Interesting shit happens here. But because it’s also a problematic city, our narrative is often less bewitching to those whose main familiarity with us originated from global headlines and/or deep cable comedy.
But we live here, we know there’s more to Portland than corrupt Keystone cops, feckless politicians, racism, food carts and white guilt.
This is a magical, emerald green city full of esoteric witches with cool haircuts, improbably eccentric gallery installations, extraordinarily conceived spaces for people to just, like, vibe, and always always always individuals who, despite the many climate bummers of this epoch, are actively trying to make Portland a better place, so much so that we had to put a whole issue together about who’s doing it best.
Best of Portland includes a lot to celebrate about this city. For example: the True Crime Cat Lawyer podcast, hosted by my guest Elyse Lopez, a workers’ comp lawyer who moonlights as a Pacific Northwest true crime storyteller. Rather than unpacking case details or perpetrator backstories, her podcast focuses on victims, many of whom were from local communities and whose familiar stories may have gone untold in favor of sensational headlines.
We’ll also have a quick chat with WW’s art director, Mick Hangland-Skill, about how he organized this issue’s iconic Big Float cover.