Real Life Portlandia: No Script Required

By: Crai S Bower

January 17, 2014

A city with “BigBelly,” a solar-powered, compacting waste receptacle, deserves a little teasing. So it came as no real surprise when comedians Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein decided to showcase Portland’s somewhat unique quality of life for the amusement of the masses. Fortunately for the creators of the hit show, unabashed Portlanders continue to produce plenty of stock for new episodes. Here’s a sampling of what we might see in the future.

Suds Today, Gone Tomorrow

Picture two hipster creative types leaving their web design jobs inside some converted warehouse. They decide to pause for a pint on their bike commute home. However, it can’t be just any pint. They need to find a “flash brew,” a single batch a brewery crafts but once. Gigantic Brewing Company and The Commons Brewery pioneered the trend, but flash brewing is popping up in many of the city’s 50+ breweries. Let the chase begin, or relax and check into “Tap it Tuesday” at the Cascade Barrel House.



Welcome to the “Microtel”

Fred’s mom has decided to visit town, but she’s tired of bunking with her son. Where to stay? Why Caravan, of course. Caravan is rumoured to be America’s first “Tiny House” hotel. Located in the Alberta Arts District, Mother Armisen will feel right at (very small) home in one of four, fully equipped rolling homes (the houses sit on their trolleys). Two of the homes sleep up to four, should Fred wish to have a sleepover.


Public Access Potties

It isn’t hard to imagine Fred creating a character who’s a bit **bleep** retentive. Now imagine that person in a state of digestive disrepair. Problem is he’s downtown, too far from his comfortable home commode. In agony, he finally steps into a Portland Loo, the homegrown, stainless steel toilets that have Portlanders feeling über proud. Having completed his business, Fred turns Portland Loo convert, spreading the word by street selling the latest Portland guide, “The Best Places to Pee, A Guide to the Funky and Fabulous Bathrooms of Portland.”


Salt and Straw | No Script Required

Ice cream flavours © Salt & Straw


We All Scream for (Pear with Blue Cheese?) Ice Cream

Fred and Carrie’s obsession with locally sourced chicken seems like old news just two seasons after they searched for the source of the egg that eventually grew into their dinner. But fear not, a trip to get ice cream at Salt & Straw will remind viewers just how curious the Portland food scene remains. What scoop will grace Fred’s cone, “Loaded Baked Potato” or “Mushroom with Port Red Wine?” And rest assured epicureans, the seasonal mushrooms are definitely, you guessed it, locally sourced.


Goat Cheese Marionberry | No Script Required

Goat cheese, marionberry, habanero ice cream © Salt & Straw


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Written by Crai Bower


Crai S Bower

Award winning travel writer, photographer and broadcaster Crai S Bower contributes scores of articles annually to more than 25 publications and online outlets including National Geographic Traveler, Journey, American Way magazines and T+L Digital.

Categories: Our Places