Cam Floyd

I MOVED TO PORTLAND about six months ago for this job (at least I’m not from California, amiright?). If you’re one of the approximately 4,726,219 people who moved here since then, pull up a chair and take some notes because wise ol’ Uncle Doug has got some life-changing advice for you. Everybody else, please ignore me, because I don’t know what I’m talking about.

You’re new here, so I recommend you learn to talk shit about Californians, so you can deflect any criticism from Portlanders who are upset about your moving in and bumping up the cost of rent. Say it with me: “At least I’m not from California.” If you actually are from California, I recommend you go straight to hell. See? It’s that easy.

On a serious note, you should have a bike and actually use it. Then get a TriMet pass. Knock it off with the unnecessary driving. Having now relied on biking mostly (and sometimes on busses) to get to work for six months, I’m ashamed of my day-to-day car use since I turned 16. I arrived in Portland fat and I’m now just kind of fat, all without adjusting my lifestyle beyond how I get to and from work. And I no longer pay for parking or get in traffic jams.

Next, understand that just because recreational marijuana is legal here, it doesn’t mean you necessarily have to blaze up every day. It’s expensive living in Portland, and daily trips to your local artisan craft cannabis dispensary will add up. You’ll need that money for when your rent goes up because of all the people—like you—moving here.

There are probably more homeless people here than where you came from. You don’t need to engage with them if they engage with you, but, no matter what, don’t be an asshole. Most are harmless and just trying to survive.

Perhaps the most important thing: Don’t tell people who have lived here longer than the show’s been on the air that you enjoy watching Portlandia. Just keep your love for Carrie and Fred, Peter and Nance, Kath and Dave, Spike and Iris, Nina and Lance, and Toni and Candace to yourself, and binge-watch it alone in your room with the curtains closed. In no situation should you audibly say, “This is just like Portlandia,” even if the situation is just like Portlandia. You will immediately be disliked.

And that’s just about all you need to know to survive and thrive, in Portland and in life (at least until our next Newcomers’ Guide). You’re welcome.