Travel and Leisure, often known for creating rankings of cities based on traits they are commonly known for (features such as romance, thrift shops, craft beers) has recently put out its rankings of cities that have been shaped by its “kookiest denizens.” You are probably not surprised that Portland is on the list of top 20 cities, but in fact, Portland out-ranked San Francisco this year coming in at #3, while San Francisco came in at #6.
The top two cities were Austin, Texas at #2 and New Orleans taking all the honors as the quirkiest city in the country. Following is a quote from the article in Travel and Leisure describing some of the reasons why Portland was among the top 5 quirkiest cities.
The legendary community of hipsters ranked at the top of this year’s survey for being pedestrian-friendly—and perhaps, by association, unicycle-friendly, too. The independently minded locals are known for their passion for sourcing: the store MadeHere PDX boasts all local (and often kind of bizarre) products, like mustache wax or a wood-and-leather six-pack holder for cyclists. Readers also awarded Portland the top spots for its tasting-room coffee (like Coava) and craft beer (like the inventive brews at Coalition Brewing), but the City of Roses even offers a tasting-room experience with salt. At Jacobsen Salt (which shares space with the artisanal honeys of Bee Local), you can sample, say, the Smoked Cherrywood or Stumptown Coffee Flake salts. Unicycling is clearly good for your core: the locals also ranked No. 3 for being buff.”
Austin beat out Portland, perhaps because among its other notable features is the annual live armadillo race. Do we need to discuss more why New Orleans continues to rank #1 year after year?
Keep Austin Weird/Keep Portland Weird/Keep Louisville Weird?
Did you know that Austin was the first city to claims the motto “keep Austin weird” which was created in 2000 by the Austin Independent Business Alliance to promote small businesses in Austin? Portland unofficially claimed the same motto to promote businesses in this city in 2003, though, like Austin it has evolved into a mantra for both cities, and was even later picked up by Louisville, KY sometime late in 2005-2006.