Portland is the largest city in the U.S. state of Oregon, located near the confluence of theWillamette and Columbia rivers. According to the 2010 Census, it had a population of 583,776, estimated to have reached 609,456 in 2013, making it the 29th most populouscity in the United States. Approximately 2,314,554 people live in the Portland metropolitan area (MSA), the 19th most populated MSA in the United States.
Portland was incorporated in 1851 near the end of the Oregon Trail and is the county seat ofMultnomah County. The city operates with a unique commission-based government guided by a mayor and four commissioners as well as Metro – the only directly elected metropolitan planning organization in the United States. The city government is renowned for its superior land-use planning and investment in public transportation. Portland is frequently recognized as one of the most environmentally conscious or "green" cities in the world because of its high walkability, large community of bicyclists, expansive network of public transportation options and 10,000+ acres of public parks.
Portland is located in the Willamette Valley region of the Pacific Northwest, between the Pacific Ocean and the Cascade Mountains, and its climate is marked by warm, dry summers as well as damp, cool-to-chilly winter days. This climate is ideal for growing roses. For more than a century, Portland has been known as the "City of Roses", with many rose gardens – most prominently the International Rose Test Garden. The city is also known for its abundant outdoor activities, liberal political values, and coffee and beer enthusiasm. Portland is home to the most total breweries and independent microbreweries of any city in the world, with 58 active breweries within city limits, as well as 600+ food carts and food trucks which contribute to the unofficial slogan "Keep Portland Weird".
|City of Portland|
|Nickname(s): "Rose City"; "Stumptown"; "PDX"; seeNicknames of Portland, Oregon for a complete list.|
Location of Portland in Multnomah County and the state of Oregon
Location in the United States
Culture and contemporary life
Portland is often awarded "Greenest City in America" and "most green cities" designations. Popular Science awarded Portland the title of the Greenest City in America in 2008, and Grist magazine listed it in 2007 as the second greenest city in the world. The city is home to the Rose Bud and Thorn Pageant, started in 1975 and modeled after the Imperial Sovereign Rose Court of Oregon.
In 2012, the city was listed among the 10 best places to retire in the U.S. by CBS MoneyWatch
Entertainment and performing arts
Over the years, a number of songs have been written about Portland.
According to the New York Times, the dozens of karaoke bars in Portland make it not just "the capital of karaoke" in the United States, but "one of the most exciting music scenes in America.
Widely recognized animators who hail from Portland include Matt Groening (The Simpsons, Futurama) andWill Vinton (Will Vinton's A Claymation Christmas Celebration). Dan Steffan, cartoonist-illustrator for Heavy Metal and other magazines, lives in Portland. Portland is also home to Laika stop motion animation studio, creators of Oscar-nominated feature films Coraline (2009) and Paranorman (2012).
Filmmaker Gus Van Sant (Good Will Hunting (1997), Milk (2008)) is also a Portland native. Actors from Portland include Sam Elliott and Sally Struthers. Pop artist, Johnny Cash protégé and filmmaker Trevor Chowning resides in Portland.
Recent films set and shot in Portland include Gone, Extraordinary Measures, Body of Evidence, What the Bleep Do We Know!?, The Hunted,Twilight, Paranoid Park, Blue Like Jazz, Wendy and Lucy, Feast of Love, Untraceable, Drugstore Cowboy and My Own Private Idaho. Coraline andParaNorman were both filmed in the Portland suburb of Hillsboro. An unusual feature of Portland entertainment is the large number of movie theaters serving beer, often with second-run or revival films. Notable examples of these "brew and view" theaters includes The Bagdad Theater and Pub and the Laurelhurst Theater, in operation since 1923.
The IFC sketch comedy series Portlandia, starring Fred Armisen and Sleater-Kinney member Carrie Brownstein, shoots on location in Portland, satirizing the city as a hub of liberal politics, organic food, alternative lifestyles and anti-establishment attitudes
MTV's long-time running reality show, The Real World, was recently shot in Portland for the show's 29th season. The Real World: Portlandpremiered on MTV on March 27, 2013 and was filmed in a loft in the Pearl District. The show featured the cast members taking part in several Portland activities, such as hiking in the Columbia River Gorge. The cast members worked at a local frozen yogurt shop and the local Pizza Schmizza.
Portland is home to a diverse array of artists and arts organizations, and was named in 2006 by American Style magazine as the tenth best Big City Arts Destination in the U.S.
The Portland Art Museum owns the city's largest art collection and presents a variety of touring exhibitions each year. With the recent addition of the Modern and Contemporary Art wing it became one of the United States' twenty-five largest museums. Art galleries abound downtown and in the Pearl District, as well as in the Alberta Arts District and other neighborhoods throughout the city.
The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) is located on the east bank of the Willamette River across from downtown Portland, and contains a variety of hands-on exhibits covering the physical sciences, life science, earth science, technology, astronomy, and early childhood education. OMSI also has an ultra-large-screen movie theater and is home to the USS Blueback submarine, used in the film The Hunt for Red October.
Portlandia, a statue on the west side of the Portland Building, is the second-largest hammered-copper statue in the U.S. (after the Statue of Liberty). Portland's public art is managed by the Regional Arts & Culture Council.
Powell's City of Books claims to be the largest independent new and used bookstore in the world, occupying a multistory building on an entire city block in the Pearl District. In 2010, Powell's Technical Books was relocated to Powell's Books Bldg. 2 across the street from the flagship store.
Washington Park, in the West Hills, is home to some of Portland's most popular recreational sites, including the Oregon Zoo, the Portland Japanese Garden, the World Forestry Center, and the Hoyt Arboretum. Oaks Amusement Park, located in the Sellwood district of Southeast Portland, is the city's only amusement park, and is also one of the longest-running amusement parks in the country. It has been in operation since 1905, and was known as the "Coney Island of the Northwest" upon its opening.
Portland has many options for shopping. Some of the well known shopping areas are Downtown Portland, Nob Hill (NW 21st & 23rd Avenues),Pearl District, Hawthorne Avenue for vintage apparel, and the Lloyd District. Major department stores in downtown include Nordstrom, Macy's, and H&M. The major malls in the metropolitan area are Lloyd Center, Washington Square, Clackamas Town Center, Westfield Vancouver, Bridgeport Village and Pioneer Place. Another destination is the Portland Saturday Market, a town bazaar-like environment where many kinds of goods are sold from Artisan Crafts to Tibetan Imports, reflecting the many cultures of Portland. The Saturday Market is open every weekend from March through Christmas.
Portland hosts a number of festivals throughout the year in celebration of beer and brewing, including the Oregon Brewers Festival. Held each summer during the last full weekend of July, it is the largest outdoor craft beer festival in North America with over 70,000 attendees in 2008. Other major beer festivals throughout the calendar year include the Spring Beer and Wine Festival in April, the North American Organic Brewers Festival in June, the Portland International Beerfest in July, and the Holiday Ale Festival in December.
Portland has been named the best city in the world for street food by several publications, including theU.S. News & World Report and CNN. Food carts are extremely popular within the city, with over 600 licensed carts, making Portland one of the most robust street food scenes in North America.
Portland has an emerging restaurant scene nationally, and among three nominees, was recognized by the Food Network Awards as their "Delicious Destination of the Year: A rising city with a fast-growing food scene" for 2007. In 2010, The Washington Post called Portland "one of the best places in the country to dine. "Travel + Leisure ranked Portland's food and bar scene #5 in the nation in 2012. The city is also known for being among the most vegetarian-friendly cities in America.
In addition to its reputation as a craft beer capital, Portland is also known as a leader in specialty coffee. The city is home to Stumptown Coffee Roasters as well as dozens of other micro-roasteries and cafes.
Parks and greenspace planning date back to John Charles Olmsted's 1903 Report to the Portland Park Board. In 1995, voters in the Portland metropolitan region passed a regional bond measure to acquire valuable natural areas for fish, wildlife, and people. Ten years later, more than 8,100 acres (33 km2) of ecologically valuable natural areas had been purchased and permanently protected from development
Portland is one of only four cities in the U.S. with extinct volcanoes within its boundaries (along with Pilot Butte in Bend, Oregon, Jackson Volcano in Jackson, Mississippi, and Diamond Head in Honolulu, Hawaii). Mount Tabor Park is known for its scenic views and historic reservoirs
Forest Park is the largest wilderness park within city limits in the United States, covering more than 5,000 acres (2,023 ha). Portland is also home to Mill Ends Park, the world's smallest park (a two-foot-diameter circle, the park's area is only about 0.3 m2). Washington Park is just west of downtown, and is home to the Oregon Zoo, the Portland Japanese Garden, and the International Rose Test Garden
Tom McCall Waterfront Park runs along the west bank of the Willamette for the length of downtown. The 37-acre (15 ha) park was built in 1974 after Harbor Drive was removed and now hosts large events throughout the year. Portland's downtown features two groups of contiguous city blocks dedicated for park space: the North and South Park Blocks.
Tryon Creek State Natural Area is one of three Oregon State Parks in Portland and the most popular; its creek has a run of steelhead. The other two State Parks are Willamette Stone State Heritage Site located in the West Hills and the Government Island State Recreation Area located in theColumbia River near Portland International Airport.
Portland's city park system has been proclaimed one of the best in America. In its 2013 ParkScore ranking, The Trust for Public Land reported that Portland had the 7th best park system among the 50 most populous U.S. cities. ParkScore ranks city park systems by a formula that analyzes the city's median park size, park acres as percent of city area, the percent of city residents within a half-mile of a park, spending of park services per resident, and the number of playgrounds per 10,000 residents. The survey revealed that 80% of Portlanders live within a half-mile to a park and over 16% of Portland's city area is parkland.
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