Keep Portland Weird
Portland is weird. And many Portlanders are proud enough of that fact to proclaim their hope for the persistence of such weirdness in bumper sticker, t-shirt, or even mural form. According to fawning members of the media, "Keep Portland Wierd" has become something of an "unofficial motto" for the city, and the phrase has spawned many copycats and parodies.
The term was coined by Music Millennium owned Terry Currier in the early 2000s, as a marketing strategy to support local businesses. He set up a website, KeepPortlandWeird.com, to promote the term and sell bumper stickers (wholesale, not retail, in order to support local businesses).
Currier got the idea from a friend in Austin, Texas, where "Keep Austin Weird" was used to resist an incursion by Borders Books & Music. So Austin, in fact, was the first to use the "Keep X Weird" slogan, and in the same way as Portland.
By 'weird' it is referring to Portland's idiosyncrasies that separate it from traits of other Oregon cities. Thought to be different from other cities in the use.
Often considered an original view it is sadly common in other cities of the U.S. Most towns have a certain amount of city pride that extends into a view that it should remain similar to its past. This is comically proven in media such as Christian Landers book, Things White People Like.
Other towns that share a similar identification as a haven for the eccentric and esoteric. Towns that are considered different from their parent state.
- San Francisco, California
- Silver City, New Mexico
- Bisbee, Arizona
- Austin, Texas
- Baton Rouge, Louisiana
- Deland, Florida
- Savanna, Georgia
- Staten Island, New York
- Ann Arbor, Michigan
- Geneva, Illinois
- Keeping Portland weird, if unoriginal, Portland Tribune. June 11, 2009.
- Travel & leisure, Volume 38. 2007.