Originally published on Popten.
Twenty-three nights ago, I arrived in Portland to moonlight as an anthropologist. My mission? To find out if Portlandia exists.
I spied chin beards on boys, glasses on hot girls, and anorexic jeans on both sexes. Might as well have been in Williamsburg, or any city dotting the map of Hipsterdonia. Nay, my quest required extensive research. I had to go deeper.
That’s what he said. (Snap.) My investigation led me into a thicket of locally grown evidence…confirming that the below portrayal is nothing but authentic.
The top ten signs Portlandia is REAL:
10. Urban chickens. Basic and advanced urban chicken keeping classes are in full effect. Hint: It’s free if you purchase a copy of the “Chicken In Every Yard” guide book. Thank me later, I’m late for class.
9. Bird Art. During its annual fundraiser last month, local NPR station OPB offered a canvas tote bag. And guess what…they put a bird on it.
8. Clowning. If I had a dime for every time I heard someone say, “I gave up clowning years ago.” Nobody likes a quitter, especially one with a hand buzzer. Fly to PDX and turn that dirty clown frown right upside down. Register here.
7. Feminism. In Portland, feminists don’t just belong in feminist bookstores. They belong in mother nature.
6. The dream of the ’90s is alive and well. Exhibit A: Those construction barriers won’t stop Goth Tammy or Skinhead Sam from shoppin’ for some Docs.
5. Friendliness. Everyone here is as friendly and concerned as this waitress. It is equal parts refreshing and startling. An old woman on the sidewalk tapped me on the shoulder to let me know she’d be passing. She didn’t want to startle me. (In hindsight, why are the elderly out-walking me?)
4. Dogs. They really are treated better than people in this town. These pup snacks were hotcakes at the Saturday Market.
3. Cats. Felines aren’t far behind on the spoil factor. When’s the last time you bought your lover a hump-worthy catnip body pillow dildo? Exactly.
2. Nests. Humans here build bird nests in their spare time.
1. Organiclocalsustainableveganglutenfreedeliciousdidimentionlocal? Where else can you grab an organic pesto pizza roll, organic local stuffed squash with organic millet pilaf, organic local roasted roots, two organic gluten free vegan gravies (one uses local ‘shrooms!!), organic local green chili enchilada pie, AND wash it all down with a gluten-free beer, all in one shop?
The proof, as they say, is in the pudding. In this case it’s local. Welcome to Portland.