This is Portland | A Book Review
Usefulness as a Travel Guide5
Working at a publishing distribution company has it’s perks, and as someone who handles (almost) every e-book that comes our way, I get some special sneak peeks. This book came across my desk (erm…screen) the other day and instantly caught my eye for a couple reasons:
a.) because I had just finished catching up on Portlandia
and b.) because there is a strong possibility that I am moving to Portland this summer, so I need to learn everything I can.
This is Portland: The City You’ve Heard You Should Like by Alexander Barrett is a quick 60-something page read which encompasses all the quirky things you could wish to know about Portland from someone who has lived there for several years. It is not a travel guide necessarily, but more of an attempt to bust (and more often validate) the “keep Portland weird” factors that Portland is so notorious for boasting.
Now, I don’t want you to think I’m a horrible employee, normally I don’t read books at work, but I could barely help myself as I was preparing the file for distribution (it is truly such a fun and quick read). I soon after found myself telling my co-workers to take a break and read it as well. Even if you aren’t from/making a move to/interested in Portland, Barrett’s writing voice is so entertaining that you’ll find yourself wishing for more. With such practical advice as, ”If you have a backyard and you don’t keep chickens, many will suspect you of being a republican” and explaining the feud between Seattle and Portland (“Seattle took center stage and left Portland behind. That’s when Portland said: ‘Okay, if that’s the way it’s going to be, we’re going to fight back. We won’t rest until we’ve taken the thing you hold most dear: coffee.’”), it’s difficult not to find yourself laughing out loud at each page turn and recommending it to everyone you know.
I find myself referencing This is Portland every time I discuss potentially moving there, and despite its clearly playful tone, there are some practical things to draw from it such as which areas to live in and where to see $3 movies.
And so you have it ladies and gentleman, this book has convinced me that Portland is the perfect city for me, and that this is the perfect book for all of you.