Kelsey Wroten

WELCOME TO PORTLAND! For decades, those of us who are natives and long-time residents have had Portland to ourselves—and now, you’re discovering what makes our city so special. It really is great to have you here, and I truly hope you’ll experience all that Portland has to offer.

But whether you moved here from San Francisco or from a slightly more expensive part of San Francisco, I do ask one tiny favor: Please, avoid every single one of the following places—at least while I am in them. Thanks in advance!


The Bus

Among Portland’s many “quirks” are “people who aren’t millionaires” who take “public transportation” to “work.” I ride the #14, #15, #20, #12, and the MAX, so if you can avoid those, that’d be great! If you absolutely must ride—if, say, Uber’s too busy strangling a union to send a car to you—please avoid the seats in the middle of the bus, the ones that face to the side rather than to the front? That’s where I sit.


Powell’s City of Books

Every tourist and newcomer has to visit Powell’s—it’s amazing! My favorite section is the Gold Room, so if you see me there, please immediately go somewhere else. Also, please entirely avoid Powell’s Books on Hawthorne, the “secret Powell’s,” where local bibliophiles go to avoid tourists and newcom—shit. Shit! What? I didn’t say anything! Moving on!


Bagdad Theater, Hollywood Theatre, Cinema 21, Laurelhurst Theater, Academy Theater, and Movie Madness

I bet you love movies just as much as I do—so it’s a good thing Portland is a fantastic town for film! But even if we’re just sitting quietly in the dark, I’d love to know that you aren’t there. Feel free to check out the Regal and Cinemark multiplexes, which are just like the movie theaters where you came from.


Forest Park, Columbia River Gorge, Gifford Pinchot National Forest, Mt. Hood National Forest, Tillamook State Forest, and the rugged, stunning coastline that stretches from California to Washington

One of the most wonderful things about Portland is being so close to nature! Getting out into Oregon and Washington’s awe-inspiring wilderness will enrich your life in profound ways—just so long as it’s not on the weekends, when I tend to be there, or during the week, because sometimes I call in sick and go there. Any other time, though? You owe it to yourself to explore!


I-84, I-5, and I-205; the St. Johns, Fremont, Broadway, Steel, Burnside, Morrison, Hawthorne, Marquam, Ross Island, and Sellwood Bridges; Northwest, Southwest, North, Northeast, and Southeast Portland

Look, I’m not pointing any fingers over why Portland’s traffic turned into a gridlocked shitshow. All I’m saying is that if you can be a bit more discerning about how you get around, it’d really help everybody out.


Valentines, the Moon and Sixpence, Sam’s Billiards, Yamhill Pub, Double Mountain, Muu-Muu’s, Shanghai Tunnel, Rontoms, Low Brow Lounge, the Old Gold, Virginia Café, Goose Hollow Inn, and Slingshot Lounge

I’m just trying to relax and have a beer, all right? Just trying to have some goddamn peace and quiet and think about how nice Portland used to be. Can you leave me alone for five fucking minutes? Jesus Christ. Yes, that seat is taken. For fuck’s sake, you’re everywhere. EVERYWH—