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Keep Portland Weird a

Keep Portland Weird

Lost + Found


  • John 3

Lost and found, oh my goodness. The very mention of these words can make a traveler pause and silently do an inventory in their head. If you travel and have forgotten something in your room, take some solace in the fact that you are not alone.

A short list of the usual suspects are electric toothbrushes, miscellaneous clothes of various kinds, umbrellas, books of all sorts, and phone chargers, phone chargers, and more phone chargers. These items have come to be the usual daily fare, so they don’t surprise me anymore.

What does surprise me is what our guests will call for, but more interestingly, not call for. For instance; underwear, women’s shoes, and children’s stuffed toys will be called for. (Okay, I get the ladies shoes, but underwear?) Passports and other ID’s (including but not limited to birth certificates), jewelry, cash, and assorted items that hold significant value will not be called for. I have made it a practice to place a hurried call to a departed guest to let them know of an item was left in their room, and their response is usually a surprising calmness. “I have your birth certificate, and also your husband’s and two children as well” is met with “oh did I forget those?” “Sir, I believe you left your passport behind” conjures a muted response of “well, I can’t deal with that now, I’m about to board a plane…” How does one fly without their passport? You got me.

Yes, I have seen a wide range of items left behind, some of which are better left unsaid. But if you stay with us and leave an item behind, trust me, I am more than happy to get it back to you, especially if the lost item is your phone charger.


Keeping Portland (and Austin) Weird


Keep Portland Weird is our city motto and it identifies both our attitudes and independence from conventional thought. Indeed, Portland exemplifies weirdness, and does so proudly. Whether it’s our Naked Bicycle Ride, our Pub Crawls, our haunted Shanghai tunnels, or our famous cart-dominated food scene, Portlanders fully embrace the idea of being weird, even if we admire these activities without engaging in them (the Naked Bicycle Ride in particular).

  • Darth Vader

If you come from the Austin, Texas vicinity however, you might feel a certain sense of frustration with Portland’s motto, and for good reason. Portland stole Austin’s motto and made it their own. In 2003, Music Millennium owner Terry Currier came back from Austin and brought the motto with him. (Music Millennium is a cool old-school music store, btw. Check it out.)
Austin’s frustrations aside, the motto aptly fits Portland. It may fit Portland even more than it fits Austin?

So, while Portland took this motto and ran with it, we seemed to have kept an eye on Austin to see what they were up to next. In doing so, we also “borrowed” Austin’s famous South by Southwest Music Festival (SXSW) repackaged it in Portland as the Music Fest Northwest (MFNW) and called it our own. Micro-distilleries found their way into Portland’s heart as well, long after Austin neatly carved out a niche of their own.

But instead of getting frustrated with Portland, it appears that Austin appreciates Portland’s imitation, and may even be flattered by it. In fact, it would seem that Austin has reciprocated in kind by taking some things from Portland. Craft brew anyone?

One could argue Portland and Austin are sister cities. We share cultural, geographical and political traits that align our two metropolitans in unintentional ways. If we keep borrowing and sharing these great ideas, I say borrow away, and enjoy!


The Studio Building - hello neighbor


You can’t help notice The Studio Building when you are at the hotel, located kitty corner from us, and wonder what it once was. It’s quite unique with busts and names of famous composers lining the exterior of the building, all which are original and have been restored in the recent years.

  • Studio building

Here's what I learned -

Built in 1927, the Studio Building was the first of its kind in Portland – a nine-story building featuring 128 rehearsal studios for musicians and actors. Its attachment, now the Guild Theatre, was a 450-seat recital hall that brought civic theater to the heart of downtown and where the musicians and actors would showcase their talents.

Today the restaurant Pastini’s is on the ground floor level and office space above. The Guild Theatre is under construction preparing for a new unnamed tenant.

  • Composer busts
Insider Tips
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All blog contributions are written by the talented staff of The Paramount Hotel