Useful Notes: Portland

The dream of the 90's is alive in Portland!

Portland, OR (not to be confused with Portland, ME) is Oregon's largest city and a major city of The Other Rainforest. Portland is known for being almost as rainy as Seattle but twice as bizarre. Portland's nicknames include the City of Roses, Stumptown, Portlandia, PDX, Rip Citynote  and "the place where young people go to retire". The residents are often stereotyped as hipsters, Granola Girls, or New Age Retro Hippies. It is, however, not quite as bizarre as Portlandia would have you believe. Portlanders are serious about their beer, bicycles, books (Powell's Books is the largest used book store in the world), and food carts.

Portland is divided into five quadrants: North, Northeast, Southeast, Southwest, and Northwest. North and South are divided by Burnside Street (and addresses along Burnside are merely given the designation of "East" or "West"), while East and West are divided by the Willamette River. North Portland, finally, is basically a peninsula that juts off from Northeast Portland going into the Willamette. Downtown Portland is made up of central Southwest and Northwest Portland, while the "cool" hipstery areas are largely found in Southeast and Northeast (and are where a lot of the neighborhoods accused of having gentrified are located). There is an unofficial sixth quadrant occasionally referred to as "East Portland" or "East County" that starts roughly at 82nd Avenue and runs Eastward until it runs into Gresham, which has a reputation of being significantly poorer, under-served by city and county resources, and less white than the rest of the city, with a heavy Asian and Slavic influence. African-American Portlanders have traditionally been concentrated in North Portland (it used to be that they were "redlined" out of living in any other part of the city) although gentrification has pushed more and more black Portlanders Eastwards.

Notable people connected to Portland:

Works set in or near Portland:

  • In Comic Book Tattoo, a collection of short stories based on the music of Tori Amos, the story for "Take to the Sky" is based in Portland's black community.
  • Portland was the main setting of The Transformers during the Marvel era, apparently being the closest city to Mount St. Hilary.

  • The Hunted. The film features an action scene where Benicio Del Toro's character is pursued through Downtown Portland (notable for a sequence involving a MAX train on the Hawthorne Bridge—in spite of the fact that the MAX doesn't go on the Hawthorne Bridge).
  • Mr. Brooks: A successful Portland businessman turns out to be a serial killer.
  • Untraceable. The climax prominently features Portland's Broadway Bridge, which made some local headlines when the film was first released.
  • The first Twilight movie was largely filmed in and around Portland, although it takes place in Forks, Washington. For the second movie onwards, production was moved to Vancouver, British Columbia.
  • Mr. Holland's Opus was filmed and set in Portland, though the only indication in the movie that it is Portland is the city seal on the wall during a meeting of the City Council.
  • The first and final thirds of Gus Van Sant's Drugstore Cowboy take place in Portland circa 1971.


Live-Action TV
  • Portlandia, a (sometimes) Affectionate Parody of the city's association with hipsters.
  • Hello Larrynote 
  • Grimm
  • Perfect Couples
  • Leverage during the fifth season, though it had been filmed there from Season 2 on.
    • The fourth season episode "The Gold Job" sees the team pulling a con on a brother-sister cash-for-gold scheme in Portland. Little details of the scenery start seeping in, like how Parker keeps getting distracted from the con by Voodoo Doughnuts.

  • The song 'Light Rail Coyote' by indie-punk band Sleater-Kinney is about the city and mentions many of the sites.
  • The Bon Iver song Holocene is about a Portland bar where the band played an early show.
  • "Portland, Oregon" by Loretta Lynn and Jack White, from the former's Van Lear Rose album.

Web Original
  • For Portlanders Only, a sub-site of Platypus Comix, is full of Portland-related media.
  • Curbside Classic is based in Eugene and started with the site's owner photographing older, interesting cars he found in use in the area, which has plenty due to a lack of road salt.