Despite its continuing changes, Portland remains a goldmine of small local businesses that deserve your support. Every time you shop locally, your money is pumped right back into Portland’s economy—making life better for everyone who lives here. And every time you shop on Amazon, a baby koala dies. (Not really, but… maybe?)

The point is: Whatever you can find on Amazon, you’ll find a more interesting, better-crafted (and quite possibly less expensive) version in a local Portland shop. But don’t take our word for it! In this special SHOP LOCAL: EMPLOYEES’ PICKS edition of the Mercury, we’ve enlisted the opinions of some of the coolest, smartest employees in Portland to tell us where they shop, eat, drink, and have fun. They have not been paid or coerced giving us any opinion other than their own, SO LISTEN TO WHAT THEY HAVE TO SAY. And say hi to ’em the next time you see them on the street. Like local businesses, they’re really what makes Portland a great place.—WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY


Also see Part Two!


Bitch Media

Andi Zeisler

Author and co-founder of Bitch Media

Corporate “feminism” is trendy, but Andi Zeisler was way ahead of the branding-is-not-activism game with last year’s excellent We Were Feminists Once, which delves into and critiques the empty promise that lies within the Venn diagram between late-stage capitalism and performative celebrity wokeness. Zeisler’s Bitch Media is an outlet that lives out its feminist ideals and makes Portland a better place for women and nonbinary writers.—MEGAN BURBANK

SHIPWRECK!
(805 N Killingsworth)
“When I first visited North Portland’s Shipwreck! (located in the gorgeous Baker Ballroom building), it was because a friend and fellow clogaholic had breathlessly recommended the store’s cache of sturdy wooden clompers. I keep going back to the friendly, airy shop for its well-priced mix of secondhand and vintage clothes, locally made ceramics and jewelry, and if I’m truly honest, the absolute best shop dog I’ve ever met.”

THE PENCIL TEST
(2407 NE Alberta)
“Look, having a big rack is all well and good until you realize that too many mainstream brands think of women’s bodies as purely decorative, and it shows. The Pencil Test, which has made its home on Alberta Street for more than 10 years, is serious about bras, stocking numerous brands of undergarments and bathing suits that are both pretty and functional as hell. Bra wizard Holly Powell will size you up (spoiler: you’re probably wearing the wrong size), drop some science on bra construction, and send you on your bold-breasted way.”

DARLING DISTRACTION
(1524 NE Alberta)
“This tiny gift shop is like a child’s jewelry box, except instead of a twirling ballerina inside, there’s a pot-smoking lady cat in a cactus-print T-shirt. Darling Distraction’s offerings—cards, journals, tote bags, phone cases, planters shaped like cans of LaCroix—come mostly from independent designers and prioritize whimsy (there are a lot of fruit patterns) and a kind of winking girly solidarity.”


Gabriel Michael Photo

Caitlin Weierhauser

Comedian, bargain hunter

Voted “Portland’s Funniest Person” in 2017, Caitlin Weierhauser is also the host of various comedy shows around town, including Lez Stand Up and the Mercury’s hilarious I, Anonymous Show. She also co-hosts a podcast devoted to Harry Potter, and is an expert in finding happy hours where she can eat on the cheap. Check out her top choices.—WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY

CASSIDY’S
(1331 SW Washington, happy hour 4-6 pm, 10 pm-2 am)
“There’s an amazing menu available here that’s both bougie and approachable. I recommend the grilled Gruyère and white cheddar sandwich served with tomato-red pepper soup, the Brussels sprouts, and the ‘Mac’—they are all simple and expertly done. Note: minimum one-drink purchase per person.”  

YATAIMURA MARU
(3810 SE Division, happy hour 4-6 pm & 9 pm-close weekdays, open-6 pm & 9 pm-close weekends)
“Sizeable happy hour menu that includes $3.50 house sake (served cold!), $3 hand rolls, and a very solid $5 ramen bowl. It’s a great date spot, family-friendly, and boasts a comprehensive sushi menu. Perfect cheap oasis among a strip of otherwise very expensive places on Division.”

AALTO LOUNGE
(3356 SE Belmont, happy hour 5-7 pm daily)
“Slick little cocktail bar complete with DJs spinning vinyl a couple of times a week, and a tiny but phenomenal happy hour. Three beer buckets ($12 for four bottles of Pacifico), three food items for $3, plus four featured cocktails for $3 each, including ‘grown-up Jell-O shots’ and just... choose your own adventure on that.”


Martin Connoly

Martin Connolly

Residential property manager

Few people know Portland’s tumultuous rental scene as well as Martin Connolly—for 18 years, he’s managed apartments for both small companies and private owners. (Talk to him for five minutes and you’ll realize he’s seen some shit.) Connolly’s accomplishments also include catching Southeast Portland sous chefs in the act of stealing greens from residents’ gardens and exploring the secret homeless encampments of Moore Island. Here are his top local picks.—ERIK HENRIKSEN

BEERMONGERS
(1125 SE Division)
“Great prices, great staff, great selection. My ex-girlfriend met me there once wearing an overcoat with nothing on underneath—just the creamy, taut goodness the Lord gave her. I thought that only happened in ’80s movies! She died.”

WAPATO ACCESS GREENWAY STATE PARK
(18846 NW Sauvie Island)
“In addition to being the only place on Sauvie Island you can hike without buying a permit, there’s a murmuration of boat lesbians at the end of the trail at the docks past Virginia Lake. Last time I went, one of them invited me on board, and she had an iron pot-bellied stove right there on her boat. I was like, “Girl, give me a fleece blanket and a cup of lentil soup and I’ll be a boat lesbian, too!”

LIPPMAN CO.
(50 SE Yamhill)
“If this apartment manager gig ever dries up, I’ve been trying to get into the children’s birthday party racket. You can walk into Lippman’s with a couple of sawbucks and walk out with a pretty respectable selection of Chinese finger traps, novelty fart machines, and those balloons that blow up into funny shapes.”


Marcus_mam

Jared Chung

Production sewer for COLTY and local nightlife drag artist

I think Jared Chung might be one of the only people on the planet who can simultaneously make camouflage cargo pants look fashionable AND walk better than me in heels. And that’s their day look. By night, Chung transforms into their alter-ego, Fine China, and performs in local drag revues. Do yourself a favor and follow them on Instagram.—ELIZABETH MOLLO

RED LIGHT CLOTHING EXCHANGE
(3590 SE Hawthorne)
“Perfect for drag artist looks! Excellent, diverse choices of thrift wear from clothing to shoes to accessories! Also, the staff is great!”

BROTHERS CANNABIS CLUB
(3609 SE Division)
“Excellent choice of weed from affordable to top shelf prices! The staff is lovely!”

FAT STRAW
(4258 SE Hawthorne; 806 NW 23rd)
“I NEED BUBBLE TEA EVERY DAY AND THIS PLACE IS PERFECT FOR MY ORIGINAL MILK TEA WITH BUBBLES! Also the staff is very kind and down-to-earth! And, no one knows this, but their cookies are low-key the best and have the perfect texture.”


Whitney Burnside

Brewmaster at 10 Barrel Brewing Company

Whitney Burnside crafts some of the best beers around. She started in the biz with a culinary degree and made cheese before turning to brewing. Burnside’s also worked at Upright, Pelican, and Seattle’s Elysian. And she’s super chill, so it’s no surprise that she picked her favorite places to drink beer and watch live music.—ANDREA DAMEWOOD

LAURELTHIRST PUBLIC HOUSE
(2958 NE Glisan)
“An intimate venue with a killer tap list and free live music on the reg? Yes, please! Laurelthirst is always busy and for good reason! It just feels like home.”

SKYLINE TAVERN
(8031 NW Skyline)
“A gem of a dive bar located on a hilltop right above Forest Park. The sweeping views, live music, outdoor area (complete with horseshoe and fire pits), and the solid beer selection makes this saloon-style tavern one of my favorites.”

McMENAMINS EDGEFIELD
(2126 SW Halsey, Troutdale)
“Oh, how I love McMenamins. I’m a huge fan of most of their renovated locations for the beautiful, funky-cool, slightly creepy, hippy vibe. Their beers haven’t always been my favorite, but lately I’ve noticed this is changing in a very tasty way.”


Tender Heart Productions

Katherine Paul

Portland music linchpin

Katherine Paul is a major pillar of Portland’s music community: She works as Mississippi Studios’ ticketing manager and associate talent buyer, sits on the board of Rock ’n’ Roll Camp for Girls, and records music under the moniker Black Belt Eagle Scout (her debut LP, released on Good Cheer Records, was a major highlight of 2017). Paul’s got the scoop on the best places in town for fellow musicians to buy gear.—CIARA DOLAN

REVIVAL DRUM SHOP
(2045 SE Ankeny)
“Revival Drum Shop is a must. Jose [Medeles] and all the folks there are super sweet and helpful. So many good percussion items if you’re looking to spice up your routine! Plus, they’ve got some good merch. I own their Drums hat.”

TRADE UP MUSIC
(4701 SE Division; 1834 NE Alberta)
“I really like Trade Up Music for their cables. They have a lifetime warranty and a bunch of great options for color, texture, and length. You can also get good deals on used stuff there. I recently bought some mics and stands for my practice space at a good price.”

OLD TOWN MUSIC
(55 SE 11th)
“Old Town Music is my dream shop for all the cool pedals and amps. They’ve got private practice rooms where you can try out gear undisturbed. As a woman, it can sometimes be intimidating going into a music shop when there are a bunch of men behind the counter. Having this private room to make whatever sounds you want is super important for me. It also totally cuts down on the occasional dad-rock concert that is a music shop!”


Dave Depper

Musician

Multi-instrumentalist Dave Depper is the Scheherazade of Portland’s music scene, having performed in approximately 1,001 different bands over the course of his career. He currently plays with an obscure combo called Death Cab for Cutie, and has helmed two of his own solo albums, including last year’s Emotional Freedom Technique. But Depper’s true passion is a good plate of nachos, and he let us in on where to find the best in Portland.—NED LANNAMANN

NIGHT LIGHT LOUNGE
(2100 SE Clinton)
“I’ve searched the earth far and wide for nachos that top these, but nope—they don’t exist. The recipe has been seemingly untouched in the 12 or so years I’ve been ordering them (and yes, I’ve checked recently): multicolored chips fried to perfection, tangy tomatillo salsa, thin streaks of crema, perfectly seasoned black beans, a generous scoop of perfect guacamole, and mountains of gooey cheese. This is my death row meal.”

THE MATADOR
(2424 E Burnside)
“Listen, I cannot vouch for the vibe, ambience, or authenticity of this Pacific Northwest chain restaurant, which until recently was called Casa del Matador. What I can tell you, dear reader, is that they have a gigantically proportioned serving of $5 happy hour nachos that are made to goddamned PERFECTION. Generously topped with all of the fixings, no chip left behind.”

LIBERTY GLASS
(938 N Cook)
“This is a somewhat controversial choice, as these are not conventional nachos—first of all, they use Triscuits instead of tortilla chips. And eschewing the traditional pile format, they’re prepared in a single layer, with each salty cracker lovingly topped with cheese, black olives, and jalapeños. And finally, they’re served with some sort of irresistibly delicious herbed cream cheese spread. The whole endeavor is powerfully addicting and deserves some sort of Nobel Prize for the advancement of nacho technology.”


Bibi McGill

Bibi McGill

Yogi, guitarist, and “multi-dimensional manifester”

After spending over a decade shredding on stages across the world as Beyoncé’s lead guitarist and musical director, Bibi McGill has settled back into her hometown of Portland to focus on making yoga accessible for all. She currently leads Yogis of Color Crushing It for POC at the People’s Yoga and various pop-up yoga workshops. Here are her recommended Portland spots.—EMILLY PRADO

BETE-LUKAS ETHIOPIAN RESTAURANT
(2504 SE 50th)
“One of my favorite restaurants in Portland that’s also close to home. Dining with an upscale experience, but without the upscale price.”

GRAND ARMY TAVERN
(901 NE Oneonta)
“They make the best whiskey sours on the planet. Their white beans and greens ain’t too bad, either. Overall, the entire menu is delicious, and they can make a lot of things vegan!”

STUDIO X FITNESS
(2839 SE Stark)
“Studio X has taught me two things: You can either throw in the towel or wipe the sweat off. This is a serious gym with excellent trainers who will guide you through some high intensity, strength, and conditioning training in a fun group setting. Get your arm wraps on and get drenched.”


Amory Jane

Amory Jane

Sex educator and education coordinator

If you’ve ever dropped by Portland’s finest sex toy shop, She Bop, you may have been wisely advised by Amory Jane, who not only teaches some of the in-store sex education classes (which YOU MUST DO, THEY ARE GREAT), but she is also the host of Whoopee! A Sex-Positive Variety Show (coming at you Saturday, April 7, at the Bossanova Ballroom), as well as being a 2015 HUMP! “Best in Show” winner! So whatever she has to recommend, it will behoove you to listen.—WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY

JAYNE PDX
(2145 NE MLK)
“There are many places to purchase cannabis products in Portland (there’s about one on every block nowadays—not that I’m complaining), but Jayne is hands down my favorite. It’s a lovely, spacious shop with excellent daily deals, a joint rolling station, and a wide selection of flower, edibles, extracts, and more. They also have free BBQs when the weather is nice and regularly support sex-positive and women-run events and businesses.”

SPELLBOUND FLOWERS
(720 SW Broadway)
“If I’m downtown, my favorite antidote to seemingly endless gray Portland days is to visit Spellbound Flowers for a burst of life and color. Nico makes the most stunning and unique bouquets I’ve ever seen, and they’re always filled with the freshest and most beautiful blooms. Perfect if you desire centerpieces that are custom works of art, or want to send a thoughtful message to a loved one.”

SEAGRAPE BATH + BODY
(319 NE Wygant)
“This shop is gorgeous, but have you smelled it?! The second you go through the door, delicious botanical scents from their oils, massage candles, soaps, and balms fill your nose with all-natural goodness. It’s a community space of healing and magic, and my favorite part is that they offer weekly workshops on herbs, tarot, astrology, and other witchy topics. They are also women and queer owned—hooray!”


Aaron Levison

Anna McClain

Kill Rock Stars dynamo

Anna McClain manages social media, radio promotion, and the Future of What podcast for Kill Rock Stars, one of Portland’s most iconic record labels. She’s also got excellent music taste, so she’s recommending her favorite record stores in town to shop for vinyl.—CIARA DOLAN

MISSISSIPPI RECORDS
(5202 N Albina)
“Owner Eric Isaacson runs this must-visit store with a unique and refreshing business model. They offer well-priced records and champion artists while operating beyond ‘the hype.’ Cash-only and wholeheartedly independent!”

MUSIC MILLENNIUM
(3158 E Burnside)
“Music Millennium is my go-to Portland record store. It’s super accessible for fans of any genre (and format). The store is an integral part of the Portland music ecosystem—plus they host great in-stores!” 

LITTLE AXE RECORDS
(4142 NE Sandy)
“Little Axe carries a great selection of used records that I could spend way too long digging into. It’s hard to walk away without buying something unexpected and new-to-you. Bonus: My dog approves!”


Asa Bree

Graphic artist and nail tech at Fingerbang

If you don’t live under a rock, you know who Asa Bree is. She’s one of the superstars at nail salon Fingerbang and has been featured in an assortment of national publications including Buzzfeed, Teen Vogue, and WeMake. Her art has surpassed its medium and even made political headlines. Aesthetically, her range is incredibly broad, and reflects beauty, whimsy, and a strong sense of female empowerment.—CASSIE RIDGWAY

PROJECT OBJECT
(2502 NE Sandy)
“I love this shop so much! Owner T Ngu curates a rad selection of wares and goods from unique women-owned companies and empowered makers. They also host workshops, talks and events, and donate part of all proceeds to [organizations like] the ACLU and Bradley Angle!”

CEMETERY GATES
(2504 SE 50th)
“Nathan [Graves] runs an incredible oddities shop, with some of the most obscure, rare antiques and finds I’ve ever seen. My own home is stocked with his ethically sourced taxidermy bat displays and occult wares.”

AVIDD
(1100 SE Division, #130)
“Christin Ayala runs this gorgeous neighborhood boutique singlehandedly, and stocks the cutest (not to mention affordable) versatile wardrobe staples. She has a gorgeous selection of her own handmade home goods and accessories, and is an absolute pleasure to chat and shop with.”


Rose City Live

Jeffrey “Chairman” Couch

Vocalist for Nasalrod

If you frequent DIY rock shows in Portland, you’ve undoubtedly crossed paths with Jeffrey “Chairman” Couch. Leading his beloved art-punk outfit Nasalrod through their whirlwind live shows, Chairman has graced nearly every stage in the city with his signature vibrato and high-flying kicks. Here are his favorite local places that rock.—CHIPP TERWILLIGER

GREEN NOISE RECORDS
(720 N Killingsworth)
“Green Noise provides that rare opportunity for all-ages shows—in a very intimate setting. Plus, I accidentally smashed their light bulb when we played there, and Gary, the owner, was way cool about it!”

THE FIXIN’ TO
(8218 N Lombard)
“This is kinda like a rad smaller version of Mississippi Studios, which I also love. The sound is great (both on and off stage), and they have a monthly all-ages matinee series. They book a wide variety of bands, too.”

TONIC LOUNGE
(3100 NE Sandy)
“The current owners have done an amazing job of making this place fun again. This spot has been through so many ridiculous changes over the years. They now have excellent sound and great food.”


Jon Raymond

Jon Raymond

Author and screenwriter

Jon Raymond is an award-winning novelist, short story writer, and screenwriter, best known for his screenplays for Meek’s Cutoff, Wendy and Lucy, and the HBO miniseries Mildred Pierce, which was nominated for a Primetime Emmy. But for more than 20 years he’s also moonlighted as a venerable local art critic, contributing to magazines like Artforum and Modern Painter, and editing the Portland-based art and design magazine Plazm. Here are his most beloved local bookstores.—SANTI ELIJAH HOLLEY

NATIONALE
(3360 SE Division)
“Nationale is a clean, well-lighted capsule of immaculate taste reflecting the brains and eyeballs of the indispensable May Barruel. She stocks excellent books (literary and artistic), interesting knickknacks, and revolving displays of real, serious art by soulful people near and far.”

AMPERSAND
(2916 NE Alberta)
“Ampersand specializes in amazing photography—books and prints both. A while back I got a beautiful book of photos of the Northern California coast by a photographer named Richard Rothman. I’m looking at it on my bookshelf right now, drawing strength and sustenance from the cloth binding alone (created by the once-local Nazraeli Press). They also have great art on their walls and in their flat files, incredible archives of found photos and ephemera, rad prints, and a beautiful back catalog of books published on their own imprint!”

MONOGRAPH BOOKWERKS
(5005 NE 27th)
“Monograph is like the Platonic fantasy of an art bookstore. You step in the door, walk down three or four steps, and you’re standing in a dim, shallow pit surrounded by some of the funkiest printed materials of the last century. Old art catalogs, classic critical texts, new monographs, a few very special objects d’art, posters, everything. You could spend your life in this paper galaxy.”


Melanie Fey

Melanie Fey

Writer and “book minion”

Melanie Fey digs words. By day, the indigenous feminist keeps busy circulating books at the Central Library in downtown Portland, and by night, she plugs away at her own work. Although Fey spent years co-editing a series of Native American zines, she’s now a retired zinester. You can find her work in several literary anthologies and, eventually, in the published version of the novel and poetry chapbook she’s working on now. Here’s where she likes to get writing done.—EMILLY PRADO

WORLD CUP COFFEE & TEA
(1005 W Burnside)
“If you thrive in a chaotic working environment, this is the place for you. When I’m able to find a seat in the notoriously cramped coffee shop, I take a moment to marvel at the creative tornado around me: people reading, working on comics, conducting business meetings, conversing in foreign languages, and more. I take the energy of that high-octane environment and channel it into whatever I’m writing.”

WASHINGTON PARK
(W Burnside & 24th)
“I usually enter off West Burnside and hike up some very steep and treacherous stairs that lead to some picturesque picnic tables. The splendid views of the city and the beautiful trails slow down my overactive brain and help me to focus solely on my writing projects.”

COFFEE TIME
(712 NW 21st)
“Coffee Time is a nice combination of both busy and relaxed. The front has an assortment of chit-chatty coffee drinkers and large windows where you can people-watch/spy, but in the back, you will find a crowd of people working silently and rocking out to their headphones. Plus, they have a really cool blue couch with rhinestones.”


Riley Brown

Michael “Fountaine” Stewart

Rapper/producer

Mikey Fountaine is a Portland-grown MC and producer who gained visibility from starring in Seena Haddad’s X-RAY web series. His recent LP Hell for Infinite Losers is rife with personal lyrics, local features, anime rap, and synth-heavy R&B. See him live and you’ll understand why he’s considered one of the most charismatic and creative rappers in town—and you’ll probably be taken by his innate sense of personal style, too. As is the case with many Portland artists, Fountaine also has to keep a day job; he currently works at Rose City Liquor, so he’s got more than an average person’s knowledge of proper beverage pricing.—JENNI MOORE

ARTIFACT
(3630 SE Division)
“They have tons of jerseys that you can get—in order, like I don’t have to search for a fucking jersey. I can go in there and be like ‘I want a jumpsuit!’ and go to where the jumpsuits are and see if they got one. I fuck with Artifact because they have original stuff, they’ve got jewelry selections, they’ve got good people in there. They’ve got good conversation—everybody lets you shop, I never get bombarded. They actually have older clothing and that’s really hard to find nowadays when you’re doing thrift shopping.”

VICTORIA BAR
(4835 N Albina)
“That is my shit! I like their food menu ’cause it’s true to the core of Southern cuisine. I don’t have to add seasonings to it, the drinks are hella reasonable, it’s a good vibe, and it’s good people. Plus they’ve got a really nice patio.”

CONTROL VOLTAGE
(3742 N Mississippi)
“It’s a store full of nothing but synthesizers, and it’s awesome. I got my vocalizer from there. They sell a lot of cord plug-ins, foot pedals, and all types of stuff I use to do my vocals nowadays. For anybody that wants to play music, or just go and have some fun, they don’t discriminate—you can play as long as you want on those machines and they’ll chop-it-up with you about it. That store has all the specifics.”


Jo Carter

Jo Carter

Operations manager at Portland Fashion Institute

Most people know Jo Carter as the owner of the much beloved boutique Physical Element (now shuttered), but now she’s the operations manager at Portland Fashion Institute (PFI). With this new job, she’s able to continue to support and promote local businesses through PFI’s boutique tours, classes, and resources. She loves shopping at the independents since the shopping is always unique, the money stays local, and the service is far better. She also has amazing personal style, which is why you should pay attention to her picks!—ELIZABETH MOLLO

WEST END SELECT SHOP
(927 SW Oak)
“Andi [Bakos] has a great eye as a buyer and I love the modern Japanese aesthetic this shop represents. It’s a small, intimate shop with interesting and informative staff. West End Select Shop offers a unique point of view to Portland’s fashion landscape.”

PINKHAM MILLINERY
(1012 SW Washington)
“I’m obsessed with hats and Portland is so fortunate to have this master milliner right here in our midst. Dayna Pinkham’s creations, featured in Vogue Italy, are immaculately made and they always know the perfect hat shape/style for your face. Pinkham Millinery even offers hat-making classes! I took her workshop, had the best time of my life and walked away with two hats of my own design.”

RICH’S CIGAR STORE
(820 SW Alder; 922 NW Flanders)
“I adore Rich’s for their abundant selection of domestic and foreign fashion magazines. Even though we live in an Instagram world, I still love hunkering down with a stack of magazines on the weekend and getting inspired.”


Matt Carlson

Jonathan Sielaff

OLO Fragrance, Golden Retriever

I interviewed Jonathan Sielaff and his wife Heather about their cats for our 2016 pet issue, but the local musician (bass clarinet in the experimental two-piece Golden Retriever) always gives me great recommendations when I see him running the counter of his wife’s perfumery OLO Fragrance. Before OLO started its shop, Sielaff worked for Stumptown Coffee and Tao of Tea, so I asked for some of his favorite local tea and coffee shops.—SUZETTE SMITH

EITHER/OR CAFE
(8235 SE 13th)
“Serving various roasters of high repute, espresso flights, and the best coffee ‘mocktails’ I have ever had, this has long been one of my favorite cafes in Portland. It’s in Sellwood, so I don’t get to go there as often as I’d like. However, just found out they are opening a location on North Williams near my home! Stoked.”

GOOD COFFEE
(1150 SE 12th)
“I frequent a lot of coffee shops, but the one I go to most often is Good Coffee on Southeast Salmon. The staff is great and the coffee is indeed good. It’s on a southwestern corner with big windows, so I can absorb a little sunlight when it’s out.”

HEAVEN’S TEA
(SE 122nd & Foster)
“This is not a shop, but an experience. I met Po when we were both at the Tao of Tea a million years ago. He’s super knowledgeable, but also has a great sense of humor and there’s few I’ve had as much fun getting ‘tea drunk’ with. He’s been doing this a long time and his tea collection is insane!”


Taylor Stillwell 

Painter, ceramicist, model; shopkeep at Carter and Rose

As a jill-of-all-trades, Taylor Stillwell has a careful eye for modernity in design with a touch of romanticism for Northwest ecology. Many prominent Portland manufacturers have used Stillwell as a model for their brands, but it is clear that she is also quite the stylist, artist, and innovator herself.—CASSIE RIDGWAY 

SHOP BOSWELL
(729 SE Morrison)
“Shop Boswell is owned and whimsically curated by talented hat maker Brookes Boswell. It has an elegant selection of work by emerging designers in clothing, ceramics, jewelry, and housewares. Shop Boswell also sells select vintage clothing, and of course Brookes’ incredible hats!”

I AM THAT
(3623 SE Hawthorne)
“I appreciate this shop’s playful and beautifully minimal Instagram posts of amazing, one-of-a-kind vintage items for sale. To see it all in one place at their brick-and-mortar shop is quite a treat, and you also get in on items that aren’t for sale to their massive Instagram following. They not only sell clothing in their shop, but also some rad jewelry, wall art, ceramics, and skincare/beauty products.”

OKO
(811 E Burnside, #113)
“Oko shop owner Lisa Mangum finds antique jewelry ranging from incredibly ornate to perfectly minimal; most of which appear to have been crafted by foreign magicians or alien shamans. This small shop is full of unique treasures, and could double as a tiny museum. Items range from jewelry to ceramics, wall art, housewares, and even some local designs.”


Mark Benoza

Kevin Minnieweather 

Shop Bawse, Deadstock Coffee

Born and raised in North Portland, Kevin Minnieweather says he works too much, but “if I get free time, I spend it chillin’ with friends and family. I also take an annual trip to Coachella for my birthday, ’cause weekend two of the festival goes down during that time.” Like everyone at Deadstock, he’s obsessed with sneakers—here’s where he goes to get them.—ANDREA DAMEWOOD

INDEX PDX
(114 NW 3rd)
“I gotta go with Index, because they are the fam! Both our shops fully support each other and we’re all bros. Also I went to school with the homie Cam K! Shout out Cam’s Customs! They come through with sneaker legit checks and help out with past missed pick-ups.”

FLIGHTSKOOL
(flightskoolshoes.myshopify.com)
“Another business owned by homies I go way back with. AJ and DJ keep it lit. Price points stay on point and they’re hands down my favorite YouTube channel. They’re always dropping knowledge on how to cop the best kicks for the low.”

COMPOUND GALLERY
(107 NW 5th)
“Not only does Compound have the latest kicks, but they also stay up on the latest boutique streetwear. Definitely a one-stop shop for a full head-to-toe outfit. One of our dope neighbors/homies that support us, and we support them.”


Joe Hieronymus

Joe Hieronymus

Theater rat at Curious Comedy Theater

Joe Hieronymus’ passion for the Portland comedy scene knows no bounds. When he’s not writing or performing his own material, he’s pitching in any spare time he might have over at Curious Comedy Theater, where he’s tended bar, greeted guests, applied fresh paint during a recent remodel, and co-coached weekly improv workshops. Here are his favorite local places to see comedy.—CHIPP TERWILLIGER

OPEN MIC AT HELIUM
(1510 SE 9th, Tuesdays 7 pm)
“Probably the favorite club for most local stand-up comics, Helium has really fun and sweet audiences with a smart staff. It’s consistently one of the best places to see new faces, because they always rotate their lineup. I told jokes there for the first time almost seven years ago and got to meet host Ron Funches—then I fell off the stage (while completely sober, I promise!).”

OPEN COURT AT CURIOUS COMEDY
(5225 NE MLK, Thursdays 7:30 pm)
“Most Portland comedy fans know stand-up here is great, but the improv scene is bursting with just as much talent and memorable shows. This is the city’s premier open mic of improv, where anyone can put their name in a hat to play. Katie Behrens and other darling hosts lay out the framework, cool coaches warm everybody up, and then all the would-be pirates, ninjas, and robots ‘give their hearts out on the stage.’”

YES, YOU CAN OPEN MIC AT KICKSTAND COMEDY SPACE
(315 NW Davis, Mondays 9 pm)
“This is a really useful writing workshop, and they rotate the focus of their format weekly. I like to go when it calls for stand-ups to do improv and improvisers to do stand-up. Led by DIYers Dan Weber and Kara Moore, the sets can be as cringe-worthy as [they sound], but it’s also a lot of fun watching normally funny people learn and perform different styles of comedy.”


T Ngu

Jewelry designer, Upper Metal Class; owner, Project Object

One of the minds behind Project Object—the Portland gallery/shop that shows off work from local design greats like Kate Bingaman-Burt alongside rad products from women-, queer-, and POC-owned businesses—T Ngu has an eye for style and a mission to center voices that have been historically underrepresented in the art world.—MEGAN BURBANK

THE YO! STORE
(935 NW 19th)
“Beautiful bright shop with handmade ceramics, adorable kids’ clothing and accessories, and the women’s selection of new/vintage are a huge YES!”

PALACE
(2205 E Burnside)
“Love this shop for its explosion of coolness from a rainbow collection of clothing, handmade home goods, jewelry, and accessories. Coolness!”

LITTLE OTSU
(3225 SE Division)
“The cutest shop for all your paper goods and organizing needs.”