Even though Portland is a big city in the Pacific Northwest of the United States, it still feels like a small town. Recently, it has become known for taking a slightly different approach to most things, from veggie food and alternative music to sports like roller derby. Live music is big in Portland, and the city’s music scene has something for everyone. The Aladdin Theater, the Doug Fir Lounge, and Mississippi Studios are some of the biggest and most well-known places to go.
There is a famous live music venue called Music Millennium on Portland’s East Side. It is also the oldest record store in the Pacific Northwest. Terry Currier, the store’s owner, wants to keep the store’s history alive. “We’ve done over four-and-a-half thousand live performances,” he told me. “We try to bring in a lot of up-and-coming artists who are touring through the store.” Which gave them a chance for younger people to see them play.
He said that Portland’s alternative music doesn’t have a certain style or sound. “Each band does it differently. Many of the people there were willing to listen and understand. The songs are what matter, not how the band sounds. Spoon Benders, a new garage-psych punk band, is happy to live in Portland. Katy Black, Buffy Pastor, Aj Herald, and Velvet said that the music coming out of Portland isn’t locked into one type, which makes the scene more varied.
The city’s “counter-culture” attitude isn’t just in its music; it’s also in its food, especially veggie food. It’s true that WalletHub called Portland the best city in the US for vegans and vegetarians. Detroit-style pizza, which is a rectangular pan pizza with a thick, crisp, chewy crust, is served at Boxcar Pizza, which started in 2020.
Joe Russell, who works in a restaurant, said that in the 12 years he’s lived in Portland, he has seen the vegan scene “explode.” “I just saw the scene go crazy.” “Just a bunch of cool people coming to town and making any kind of non-vegan food you can think of vegan,” he explained.
But Portland is more than just a city. People who love nature will love how close it is to national parks, waterfalls, and leisure areas. Outdoor adventurers can go on trips with Good Trip Adventures to places like Multnomah Falls, which is only 30 minutes by car from Portland.
People can book a one-day walk or a backpacking tour that lasts more than one day, said Lauren Skonieczny, the owner and guide. She added, “We also teach about geology, human history, and natural history. We really try to give people a full picture of these places they are visiting.”
Portland has a reputation for being “alternative,” so sports fans might want to check out the roller derby scene. Wheels of Justice, the four-time WFTDA International Champions, play for the Rose City Rollers, the best roller derby team in the city.
In recent years, the all-female, volunteer-run league has become the most popular sport in Portland. Venues like the Memorial Coliseum, which can hold thousands of fans, and the hangar at Oaks Amusement Park, where only a few hundred can fit, are packed with fans cheering on the gladiators. Someone on the team, Darth Maully #88 and Lil RegulateHer #79, said that anyone can come watch them play.
Roller derby is a contact sport for roller skaters that combines music, lights, and motion on the skates. Lil RegulateHer said that music is a big part of how people feel connected to what’s going on on the oval track. Derby and Portland’s music scene are both very different. The group is very diverse, and music is a big part of it because it can change how you feel about a game.
We have a great DJ who plays music that fits the mood of the game. At the very end, during the last jam (units of play), a tense song will play to get everyone excited.