Which Portlandia Stereotypes Are True?

Portlandia has put Portland on the pop culture map and if you have plans to visit Portland, chances are you have watched an episode or two. You may be wondering to yourself are any of these caricatures true? Are the dreams of the ’90s still alive in Portland? From a local’s perspective you can tell that the show is written by a person with a local connection.  Many of the skits hit pretty close to home.  In no particular order here are the stereotypes that I think hit the nail on the head.  

1.  The City Itself

In the opening skit of the show Fred and Carrie pay homage to the weirdness that is Portland.  I haven’t seen too many clowns around town these days but the double decker bike? Check.  Unicycle?  Check.  How about a double decker unicycle?  Yep.  Also, yes, it is true that all the hot chicks wear glasses and the tattoo ink never runs dry.

2. The No Bag Guilt Trip

If you forget to bring your own bag to a place like New Seasons, Zuppans, or Whole Foods you do run the risk of “you don’t need a bag for this right?”

3. Over Courteous Drivers

If you drive around Portland long enough this will eventually happen. It usually happens to me when the person who stops first just sits there waiting for you to go. Then inevitably when you start to move, then they decide to move…

4. Renaming Streets

Portland loves to rename streets seemingly for no reason at all. The latest name debate involves the new Trimet bridge over the Willamette River. Some in town nominated a guy who stood on the Hawthorne Bridge all day playing a trumpet with Mickey Mouse hands and are pissed he didn’t make the final cut. I’m pretty sure when Portland renamed 39th avenue a couple years ago, the meeting went like this:

5. Adult Hide and Seek

A couple of years ago I swear every person I knew between the age of 21 and 40 was in an adult playground league.

6. Is That Chicken Local?

This is actually not a skit this is a documentary.

7. Bicycle Rights!

In Portland there are two types of people on the road, bicyclists and those who want to run them over. This pretty much sums up the bicycle culture in Portland.

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