Though I have spent more weekends in Washington than in Portland since I “moved” to Oregon, I am slowly beginning to acquire a feel for my new home. When I returned to Seattle for the holidays, many of my friends asked if I was experiencing scenes from “Portlandia,” which I assumed was the “Jersey Shore” of Oregon. I answered the first few inquiries admitting that I had no idea what “Portlandia” was until finally both my mother and my father were discussing it (that’s when you really know you really should make an effect to learn about pop culture) and were more knowledgable about it than I.

Thanks to an article in the New Yorker my mom was culturally literate, and due to a show in Seattle at the Showbox featuring Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen, my dad even heard a local radio report with clips and could recite the skits and themes. How convenient that I moved to a new city right when a popular TV show airs accurately mocking the quirks of my new home?!

After reading the New Yorker article, I was convinced that, perhaps, I did want to see a few clips after all. But, I still approached YouTube searches of “Portlandia” with the same skepticism as I did Bridesmaids thinking there was far too much hype for it to be as good as people kept suggesting. As soon as the opening chords of “Dream of the 90s” played, however, I had to admit: It’s clever and just really funny.

So after dabbling a bit more on YouTube, I got the flavor for the show, just as I’ve slowly gotten the flavor of the city. The morning after watching “Put a Bird on It” I was waiting at Starbucks (I know, so unPortland of me to go there) only to turn around and see some local art on the walls…

Portland Starbucks has "Put a Bird on It."

I also walked into my first bike shop in PDX (I’m not convinced I like that abbreviation) where I encountered one of the more humorous signs I’ve seen in quite a while

Wow, thanks. It's so expensive other places...

During other roamings, I’ve found two identical VW vans just blocks from each other in my neighborhood (yes, I’m sure they’re not the same one) with entertaining messages in their window:

That means you Scott...
"My other car is a pair of boots." Probably XtraTufs.

I think I’ll keep searching to see how many mustard-colored VW vans with white window shutters and yellow curtains I can find in Portland.

And finally, I woke up to this note from my roommate a couple weeks ago, sitting on the kitchen counter:

Perhaps material for my own version of Portlandia? Thanks, Kateri!

 At first glance, my thought was, “Why is there a drawing of a penis on that paper?” And after sharing the photo with a few friends, Lucas replied, “What is that picture supposed to be? Arousal early in the day?” So look out, Carrie Brownstein and Fred Armisen, at this rate, I might just have some material of my own.

One thought on “Portland(ia)”

  1. Your parents are into Portlandia? Cool. Might be time for you to see some FULL episodes! I know, I know…go slowly…. But I think you might especially like the clip about house sitting. (BTW, LOVE the erotic art!)

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