PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A local author published a new guidebook to what he calls a “secret Portland” detailing the “weird, wonderful, and obscure” stories and places rarely mentioned in most books or advertisements.
Author and artist Jeff Brawn explained the book, “Secret Portland, OR: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure” is part of a series of guidebooks set in other big cities.
“So, they were like ‘I know a weird guy who just moved to Portland and he’s a writer and he’s a strange artist so, he’s the kind of guy we’re looking for for this book,’” Brawn said.
New to living in the Rose City, Brawn said working on the book was a way for him to get to know Portland.
“Since I’m new to Portland…I thought that this would be a great way that I could meet people and that way I could force myself to go and discover more about the city,” Brawn said.
“So much of these things are free and unadvertised,” Brawn said of the attractions listed in the book. The artist noted one location that stood out to him was the Zymoglyphic Museum on Southeast Alder — showcasing “found objects of dead things”.
“In the book I’ve got some pictures and some it’s funny, some of it is kind of icky, but it all goes together somehow, it’s just fantastic,” Brawn explained.
When deciding what places to list in the book, Brawn said “I wanted to not do the touristy thing. Everybody knows those and who wants to hear about them?”
“I wanted to include some things that Portlanders that lived here their whole lives wouldn’t know about and things that…people who have never been to Portland wouldn’t know about,” Brawn said. “I feel like weird for weird’s sake is something I wanted to avoid.”
Instead, Brawn said he wanted to focus on “something that is pure of heart, something just by its nature happens to be unusual because people are expressing themselves or it just happens to be that way. So, you’re not saying, ‘look at me, look at me, look how weird this is,’ which is one of the charms of Portland, I think, it’s just so naturally interesting.”