“That’s so Portland,” “Keep Portland Weird,” and “Portland is so hipster” are several phrases I hear from my peers, especially friends who do not reside in Portland. But I feel like to really experience Portland life, you have to live here and see it for yourself.
There are atypical scenes you will come across on the PSU campus and in Portland in general. I do not regard them as “weird” but merely a pleasant surprise that can make one’s day.
It was last year when I witnessed an unusual scene after leaving my Statistics final during Spring term. It was two fellows, one wearing a monkey mask, dancing by the streetcar stop near Subway. Their flamboyant van was blasting absurd beats and music—it immediately attracted students who were passing by. They danced the Macarena and used a street pole explicitly. People stopped, stared, laughed, and snapped photos. After a solid five minutes of spontaneous dancing, they got back into their van, waved, and then sped away.
At first, I was curious to see what their intent was, but I soon realized it was spontaneous and had no purpose. It reminded me of flash mobs, where groups of people come together to do something out of the ordinary simultaneously for a few minutes.
This particular scene conveys how the culture of Portland cannot be duplicated elsewhere. I’m proud to say that PSU embraces and welcomes an environment filled with various, cultural backgrounds, passions, opinions, and personalities all in one large, mixing pot. Whether it may be blatantly expressing yourself through your voice, or the random dancing act I witnessed, it is the epitome of what makes Portland, Portland.
What is your “weird” Portland story?