When I walked across Spain for a week I met a lot of people who had never heard of Portland, which at first I thought was fair. Not everyone needs to know about Portland. "Is it near New York City?" they always asked.
It's literally as far away from New York City as you can possibly get in the continental US.
"I really want to go to New York City." said everyone on earth.
Then three South African girls invited me to walk with them for the rest of my trip. Five days of walking with me means I slowly provide more and more facts about the city I live in, and the facts get stranger and stranger, less and less possible, until you realize the city must be imaginary, and I am most likely a compulsive liar, and I am probably going to murder you and your friends in the Spanish countryside.
Here are true but made-up-sounding things I will tell you about "Portland" as we walk:
Forests remind me of Portland! Cats remind me of Portland! So does sun. So do clouds, and mountains. My favorite thing in Portland is probably the ocean.
In Portland people don't eat meat, or anything from animals.
In Portland people ONLY eat meat, it's a diet inspired by cavemen.
In Portland I lived in a high-rise building full of professional basketball players. There are no street performers, only people selling a homelessness newspaper for a dollar. There are chickens everywhere. I get free shoes, yogurt costs a fortune. There's a giant birds' nest with bad air circulation. If you want breakfast you have to wait in lines three hours long. Most food is served in trucks. There are hazelnuts everywhere.
The more I told them true stories that sounded like poorly-crafted lies the more I realized how unbelievably great Portland is - we have the ocean and chickens and cereal-flavored ice cream and everyone needs to know about it. Because you can go to Spain or South Africa or outer space and there probably aren't very many cities as good. I will go, and I will look for them, and I will let you know.
In Portland my friend Boaz hosts a talk show attached to a bicycle and if you believe that then you are the most gullible person on earth,
petition for it to be on the television show Portlandia.
And then visit Portland!