This is the first in a series of Portland figures who we plan to talk to about what they like to do around Portland. We start with the legendary Portland Unipiper.
Who is the Unipiper, you may ask? He’s a person just like you and me, except he’s periodically known to ride a unicycle while wearing a Darth Vader Mask and playing flaming bagpipes. Here’s a quick interview with him to give you an idea of what he’s about:
What is your occupation?
Have you always lived in Portland? If not, when did you first move here? Where are you from before that?
I moved to Portland in 2007 from North Carolina. At that time, there was a certain buzz in Portland that was attracting like-minded individuals looking for change of pace. It was a care-free attitude mixed with a strong desire to just be yourself. I’ve since learned those values have always been part of the fabric of Portland. The willingness of Portland’s citizens to preserve those attitudes is evident to this day. Now, the more places in this country that I visit, the more I appreciate how special of a place Portland truly is.
Do you have more roots in the West Side or the East side of the Willamette River?
I’ve always lived on the East side, however the West side is where I tend to focus most of my efforts at ‘Keeping Portland Weird’. The great thing about Portland is that there isn’t just one ‘good part’. Every neighborhood has its own interesting story and is worth exploring in its own right. If you want to truly get to know the character of Portland, I’m sorry to tell you, but you’re going to have to put in the effort to see it all!
What is your favorite brunch spot in Portland?
Kingsland Kitchen – Skip the crowds and go straight for this downtown gem. Proving there’s no holding back a good idea, this restaurant started life as one of Portland’s signature food carts. Success followed, and now they serve up modern takes on traditional British classics daily to the downtown crowds. My suggestion – go with the Full English.
How do you feel about the Television series Portlandia?
Love it or hate it, Portlandia has changed the way people think about Portland and even the way we think about ourselves. Now, in the post-Portlandia era, we’re left to make sense of our newfound fame and decide collectively where we go from here. Personally, I think the citizens of Portland are eager to get back in touch with their weird roots, television be damned, and show a whole new generation what is possible when you become personally invested in creating the community you want to live in. As I always say, be the weird you want to see in the world!
What is your favorite donut place in Portland?
Do I have to answer?? That’s like picking a favorite child. I won’t. Ok fine, Tonallis if I must.
Would you rather attend a game of the Portland Timbers or Trailblazers?
I would actually choose to go see a Portland Pickles baseball game. The way the local community has embraced Portland’s newest sports team is an inspiration. You haven’t lived until you’ve eaten fried pickles through the 7th inning stretch.
If you had a friend visiting Portland for a weekend, which part of town would you tell them to stay in, and why?
I’d steer them towards Hawthorne. With its colorful atmosphere, eclectic shops, vibrant food scene, and proximity to Mt. Tabor, there’s plenty of ways to spend a weekend and not grow tired. Taking in a movie at the Bagdad Theatre is a must!
The Unipiper has given us an itinerary of one of our neighborhoods- Mississippi Ave-now available on our neighborhood map.
Click HERE to see where he would do with a day in one of our quirky neighborhoods!
See what the Unipiper is up to at his website, Unipiper.com.