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The Peculiarium | © Visitor7
The Peculiarium | © Visitor7
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How Portland Became America's Capital of "Weird" and Embraced It

Picture of Alexia Wulff
Updated: 30 January 2017
Portland has been affectionately referred to as “weird” for decades – perhaps because it has the most strip clubs per capita in the nation or the high prevalence of man buns and mustaches. It’s also home to the smallest park in the world, a vacuum museum, and the Freakybuttrue Peculiarium – an emporium for all things weird, creepy, and just downright strange. But don’t forget the quirky, über-hipster residents, most of whom are advocates for things like roller derby, craft beer, cycling, doughnuts, and the environment. But this “weirdness” is what makes Portland, Portland. And the locals have surely embraced it.

Found in nearly every corner of the city are Portland’s random bits of eccentricities and culture – whether it’s the strip club with karaoke that strippers will dance to or the makeshift “bar” located in the basement of a plumbing business of a middle-aged homebrewer, considered to be a speakeasy of sorts by the locals. No matter what it is, the city’s weirdness has been apparent for decades. For example, established in 1976, Mill Ends is a tiny urban park located in the middle of a pedestrian crosswalk; it’s only two feet (0.6 meters) in diameter and is really just a small flower pot. But it had such success in the media that it made it into the Guinness Book of World Records. And that was just the beginning.

Mill Ends Park