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

NEW PORTLANDERS REJOICE! Your new home is a pantheon of public parks spanning 11,546 acres in 209 locations. But we know it’s not enough to just enjoy the parks! You have opinions! AND YOU MUST SHARE THEM. Well, worry not because you can review parks on Yelp. And yes, many of Portland’s parks have at least a handful of less-than-perfect evaluations. In the spirit of everyone being a critic, here are some of Portland’s worst park reviews to inform your adventures, and our responses to their authors.

Yelp reviews edited for length and clarity.


From Kimberly V.’s Yelp Review: It is a mean trick to situate your restrooms on top of a fairly steep hill when you know that you just can’t play kickball without hops and barley after the age of 10. It will also make you feel slightly sheepish once you reach the bathrooms because they are located next to the no-leash area for pooches. recommendedrecommendedrecommended

The Mercury Responds: Kimberly V., we’re sorry that you drank too much beer while playing kickball and accidently peed on a stranger’s dog. In our experience, the bathrooms at Irving Park are quite nice.


From David M.’s Yelp Review: My boyfriend likes to take me here.... Did I say boyfriend? I meant my dog. My dog LOVES Laurelhurst, but for whatever reason people look at you funny if you let your dog run free. He’s chasing squirrels and jack rabbits, ignore him! recommendedrecommendedrecommended

The Mercury Responds: David M, your review is accurate. Many boyfriends inhabit this park. Picnicking, sunbathing boyfriends. They are busy ignoring their girlfriends, hence the attention paid to your off-leash dog.


From B.S.’s Yelp Review: Decent park, just unemployed hipsters plague the area. Bike jousting is mildly entertaining, if only for the fact that there’s potential for a hipster to be gored. recommendedrecommended

The Mercury Responds: B.S., we think the word you’re looking for is HIPPIES. Monday Funday at Colonel Summers Park attracts all kinds of slackliners, hula hoopers, hacky sackers, jugglers, and yes, the occasional bike joust. If those were hipsters, they’d be exchanging records, rocking overalls, and writing poems on their vintage typewriters.


From Wendy C.’s Yelp Review: Alberta Park—where parks and rec playground equipment goes to die. Amenities: Nike-funded covered basketball court, jogging trail, sports fields. Un-amenities: saddest, most rundown, squeakiest, rustiest mismatched playground equipment I’ve seen in Portland. recommendedrecommended

The Mercury Responds: Wendy C., modern “safe” playground equipment is contemptibly overrated. How will children learn if we spoil them with rubber mulch and padded slide landings? We say let them eat dirt and run their hands against the grain of some splinter-covered unfinished wood. It builds character!


From Cindy O.’s Yelp Review: Portland is not as dog friendly as we had hoped. Dogs must be leashed pretty much everywhere, including here, save for a very small, awkwardly sloped, and not at all scenic off-leash area. Our dogs were bored and so were we. recommended

The Mercury Responds: Cindy O., in our experience, dogs hate parks—so it’s easy to imagine yours being bored by this lackluster mountaintop. May we suggest getting your dog an iPad (or another dog’s poop to eat) to keep them entertained while you enjoy the awkward, un-scenic slope?