You may have heard Portland, Oregon called “Rip City.” No one truly knows why, though. Not even the man who coined it.
Portland Trail Blazers’ broadcaster Bill Schonely simply exclaimed it on-air one night in 1970 after a player sunk a half-court shot, and the name stuck. Years later, when asked ‘why Rip City?’, Schonely was succinct: “I have no idea.”
The same question could be asked about plenty of Portland’s peculiarities. Why are there toy horses tethered to sidewalk rings throughout the city? Why is there a submarine parked in the middle of the Willamette River? And why do vacuums get their own museum? We, too, simply have no idea.
The following nine places may leave some explaining to be desired, but speak volumes to Portland’s singular spirit. As you criss-cross the city perusing the puzzling Portland locales listed below, instead of asking yourself ‘why?’, it may be better to ask ‘why not?’