Best Hipster Haircut

You know you've seen them around: Portland hipsters with painfully cool do's. Just-so product-laden coifs are aplenty in this city, and the most delish are the work of one woman: Galen Amussen at Burnside Proper (624 E Burnside St., 234-2807), the salon-slash-boutique on East Burnside. Want hair that looks like a blonde Japanese Harajuku girl? How about hair that vaguely mimics that of the guy Ashlee Simpson used to date, but not as dorkishly long and with black streaks? Galen can make it happen, and we are infinitely cooler as a city because of her uncanny way with the scissors. God bless Galen.

Best Duds for the Disabled

Leave it to the sharp brains behind Smartypants Workshop (5717 SE Ramona St. 971-219-5823, smartypantsworkshop.org) to create clothes for those who need a little bit more help with their buttons. With several years of experience working in the outdoor performance-apparel industry as well as intensive volunteer work with physically and developmentally disabled children, Smartypants' designers have handcrafted a debut apparel line customized to help fit disabled childrens' specialized lifestyles and needs. Jackets with stretch under the cuffs allow extra room for arm braces, and pullovers pimping magnetic closures make for easy dressing (slits up both sideseams provide access for tubes). Should your kiddie use wheels as his primary mode of transportation, Smartypants created stretch twill pants with a padded, higher-waisted back to prevent chafing. For diaper-wearers, there's built-in extra room so you can gear 'em up in style.

Best Repurposed Bling

Now that Portland has been declared the most sustainable major city in the country, we have to make sure we stay at No. 1. Sure, we bike everywhere, build houses entirely out of salvaged materials, and eat nothing but soy, but many of us are still adorned with petroleum-heavy, unsustainable jewelry. Tamara Goldsmith, jeweler and recycler extraordinaire, seeks to change that. From Redux (811 E Burnside St., Suite 110, 231-7336), her tiny gallery and store, she peddles accessories and knickknacks made of repurposed materials. From bracelets made of typewriter keys to purses crafted from phone cords, Redux is a showcase of future cool.

Best Kicks

BOP seems like the best place to give Keen Footwear a big "Welcome to town" on behalf of WW. Even though the company's only been around since '03, and relocated to Portland from Northern California less than a year ago, Keen has become cutting-edge chic for the moneyed woodsperson. It has caught the Portland vibe precisely, offering rugged-soled sandals for the Thoreauvian scenester who wants to bop between North Mississippi Avenue and Mount Hood without missing a step. Although it's nothing new in the world of outdoor gear, one facet of Keen's brand-building efforts likely to go over well in this town is its charitable giving to conservation causes—which approached $1 million last year.

Best Reason to Beat Yourself Up

It's no use getting injured if you can't brag about it, right? Everyone loves to count their stitches, show off their scars and recap their most brutal crash scenes, whether they happened on a bicycle, motorcycle, skateboard, snowboard or some other fast-moving form of transportation. But scars fade. For a more permanent memento of mortality, check out brokenbonepatch.com. Local speed demon Patrick Leyshock invented the Go for Broke Patch ($4.50) while mending a cracked collarbone after an '01 motorcycle racing crash. Sew the patch onto your gear to mark the places your skeleton splintered. Just don't try to keep up with Leyshock: His own best customer, he has at least 15 on his leather jacket.

Best Totally Inappropriate Fashion Statement

WW ♥ a lot of things: kitties, guacamole chips, Tony Danza...the list goes on. But the newest things to tug at our ♥-strings are the lovably appalling T-shirts designed by Chad Miller and sold at his store, Food Fight! Vegan Grocery (4179 SE Division St., 233-3910). They read, "I ♥ Hunting Accidents." Despite appearances, they're not the rambling of some psycho with a silkscreen, or an allusion to a Dick Cheney death wish. No, the militant herbivores at Food Fight! are just happy to see hunters get a taste of their own medicine. But the shirts are funny enough that you don't have to be a vengeful vegan to sport one. For only $12, you can run around with a heart-shaped target for disgruntled hunters on your chest.

Best Clean Machine

From an industry whose idea of new technology harkens back to the turn of the century (1900, that is—not 2000), the latest device to arrive at Bee Tailors & Cleaners (939 SW 10th Ave., 227-1144) looks as if it might be part of a machine that could transport you to the bottom of the sea or to Mars as easily as it could put a crease in a sleeve. Sleek, with bright red paint, the newly installed Unipress Lightning NT units deliver the latest in shirt-pressing technology: superheated steam and high-pressure air. No other cleaners in Oregon or Washington has one, let alone two, of these amazing gizmos that owner Jay Bleich promises will produce the best-pressed shirts in town.

Best of Portland 2006 MENU:

|

|

|

|

|

|

|

|

|

|

|