Our quirkiness shined through 2017 from the Cat Rapper to Commissioner Chloe Eudaly to dueling protests.


Oh, Portland.

Your quirkiness has become so legendary that people are flocking to live here from all over the world.

It seems at times that your magical Portlanditude — Portlandivity, really — knows no bounds.

So, as we reflected on the past year, The Portland Tribune decided to tease out the news events and reactions that could have happened only in this one-of-a-kind place we call home.

The Snowpocalypse

Remember back in 2007 when a YouTube video of Goose Hollow vehicles pin-balling around on ice — hitting various cars — made Portland drivers a national laughingstock?

Good times, good times.

This year's winter storms were not that. Few people were laughing as the freakish barrage of storms turned streets into an impassable rutted disaster for much of December and January.

But it was very Portland. Nobody here had any idea what to do with that much winter weather. Portland Bureau of Transportation couldn't even salt the roads, because of salt's nasty environmental impacts.

The inconvenience of icy gridlock seems to have changed our minds on that one.

PORTLAND TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO - Commissioner Chloe Eudaly

Chloe Eudaly

Portland has a thing for politicians in thick-rimmed glasses.

2017 was no exception.

Having won an upset victory over incumbent city Commissioner Steve Novick in November, Eudaly took office in January and immediately made it clear that she danced to her own beat. Yelling constituents got a taste of their own medicine and department heads got shown the door.

Sliding to victory on a combination of alt-left street cred, social media prowess and fury over housing affordability, Eudaly is already vintage 2017 Portland.

As for her recent scuffle with the media over public records laws and access to government: Unfortunately, that's about as Portland as it gets, too.

Eclipse madness that wasn't

State and local officials (as well as the media) were a little too successful in stoking fears over Eclipse Day, Aug. 21. The region mostly avoided the predicted massive traffic-related problems as the once-in-a-lifetime path of totality crossed near Portland.

Many residents used the excuse for a mid-week trip across the mountains, to the coast, down near Salem or to dance in the dust at a giant outdoor festival.

When you think about it, though, it seems reasonable that there wouldn't have been that much more traffic. When Portlanders aren't in Portland, you can usually find them Portlanding around at those locations already.

Cat rapper

Like, what? We've got goat yoga, boutique weed shops and artisan-gluten-free-vegan-kombucha options bustin' out of every corner. Of course Portland has a cat rapper.

Moshow — who, yes, raps about and with his fabulously dressed cats — has been around the Portland scene for a few years. But the recent theft of his car (also very Portland), his partnership with PBOT to promote its Parking Kitty app, and his headlining the international Cat Fanciers Association conference at the Portland Expo Center threw him back into the local spotlight in 2017.

"I'm not doing anything 'cause it's never going to end. There is no 'What if?' I'm the Cat Rapper; I'm here to stay," Moshow told our reporter Lyndsey Hewitt.

Why not? It's Portland.

PORTLAND TRIBUNE FILE PHOTO - Patriot Prayer protest is protested

Protests of your protests

In Portland, we have so many protests, we have protests of protests. In fact, early in the year, we estimated the city had experienced a protest somewhere nearly every day since the election of President Donald Trump.

Not much has changed.

There was the massive Women's March in January, the Day Without Immigrants protest in February, The March for Science in April, and on and on.

In a veritable turducken of protests, the right-wing Patriot Prayer group and leftist Antifa have been protesting each other off and on for months.

After all, 19 percent — 67,954 voters — in Multnomah County went for Trump, so this First Amendment quarrel is part of Portland, too.

MAX heroes

Fred Rogers of Mr. Rogers Neighborhood famously said that when tragedy strikes, look to the helpers.

Ricky Best and Taliesin Namkai-Meche lost their lives trying to help diffuse a violent situation on the MAX line in May. For that, they represent the best of Portland.

So, too, do all of the people who helped decorate the MAX stop where tragedy struck with a flood of love, support and calls to action. And all of the people who donated to fundraisers, or showed up to vigils, or told the stories that needed told. They are also Portland.

The survivor of the attack, Micah Fletcher, and Namkai-Meche's mother used their 15 minutes of national fame to urge people to stand up to injustice. Those acts, too, are Portland.

It came at an unthinkable price, but the whole world has learned that now, here, in Portland, we stand together against hate.

That's Portland.

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