Newcomers’ Guide 2016

The Newcomers’ Guide to Portland 2016

The Official Guide for Those New to Portland, Who Don’t Know a Single Goddamn Thing.

People You Should Know

Portland Newbies? Meet the Portland Oldies (Who Are Totally Doing Rad Stuff)

How to Trick Someone into Letting You Live with Them

Appear to Be a Good Housemate with These Six Simple Secrets

Meet Your POC Communities

Your People Are Here, and Here’s Where to Find Them

Know Your Portland Beers!

You’re a Portlander Now—Drink Like It

Don’t Be a Dope About Legal Weed

The Newcomers’ Guide to Oregon Pot Laws

Hey... Newbie’s Gotta Eat!

Navigating Portland’s Grocery Stores Like a Local

Mass Transit: Reviewed

Succinct Critiques of the City’s More Popular Mass Transit Routes

These Parks Are Okay

Responding to Portland’s Worst Public Park Yelp Reviews

Fashion Do’s and Don’t You Dares

A Newbie’s Guide to Dressing in Portland

Where to See a Play (Without Wanting to Murder Oneself)

Shut Up! It Can Be Done, and Your Date Will Be So Impressed

New Portland Food for New Portland Humans

Eat These Dishes to Get a Taste for the Town

A Newcomer, Helping Newcomers

Advice from Someone Who Doesn’t Know What He’s Talking About

THE BUSES are self-explanatory. They have buses where you’re from. You know how buses work. The light-rail system, the MAX (it stands for Metropolitan Area Express and yes, that is a totally forced acronym) is also fairly easy to understand. But! There are also these other, smaller trains....

That is the streetcar. The streetcar is not the MAX. The MAX is light rail. Think of the streetcar as lighter rail. The MAX is an interurban system that serves the whole metro area and can get up to highway speeds when outside of the urban core. The streetcar, on the other hand, never leaves the central part of Portland, stays on the... well, street... and is routinely outpaced by bicyclists.

Until the 1950s, Portland had a streetcar system that knit together most of the now-established neighborhoods. Our modern streetcar is a sort of echo of that old transit system, and has been in operation since 2001. Unlike the MAX and bus system, the streetcar is not administered by TriMet. It’s a project of the City of Portland itself.

Plenty of Portlanders dismiss the streetcar as slow and superfluous, but people actually do use it, and it’s been a boon to development. That’s a big part of why the thing exists at all. Sure, it’s transit... but it’s also a symbol of a particular kind of urbanism. By having the streetcar, we have become the sort of city that has a streetcar—and therefore embody all the nebulously progressive stuff this entails.

And yes, you do need fare to ride it. It’s two bucks, or valid TriMet fare also works. You could conceivably jump on and not get caught by fare inspectors. But if you do, just give them two dollars. It’s the cheapest ride in town.