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The Funny, Funky and Unique People of Portland


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I spent a week in the Greater Portland Area. These are some of the interesting people I met.

In This Portland Travel Article You Will Discover:

  • Chefs & Teamakers
  • Distillers & Cyclists
  • Craftspeople & Vintners
  • A Ghost

It’s not the city… it’s the people we love! The howling, punk-rock vocals of Sleater-Kinney’s Carrie Brownstein speak wisdom. Although born in Seattle, Brownstein is one of Portland’s best-known characters—she’s half of the duo behind the Peabody Award-winning series, Portlandia.

But truly, there are no cities to love. It’s not the cities, it’s the weather we love… it’s not the weather, it’s the people we love!

I went to Portland and the surrounding areas. I did not meet Carrie Brownstein. I met these people instead.


Alfredo Apolloni, co-owner of Apolloni Vineyards, in Forest Grove, is passionate about wine—and climate change awareness. He’ll happily chat with guests about both.


Daniel McIntire, our bicycle guide on the Banks-Vernonia State Trail (located about 20 minutes outside of city centre), lives in a van and plays in a punk band. How Portland is that?


After 90 minutes with Mike Kuenz, of David Hill Vineyards & Winery, I had learned more about wine—and Oregon wine specifically—than I had in the past year. (Then again, I usually just pop the cork and glug it, so that’s not terribly surprising.)


Christian Krogstad is a slightly-tipsy mad scientist—and he makes the finest American gin in the world. A tour of Portland’s House Spirits Distillery was enlightening and intoxicating.


In the humble words of Tony Tellin, head teamaker at Portland’s Steven Smith Teamaker, “We just like to make tea.” But he’s underselling it—on-staff experts approach this beverage as one-part sommelier and one-part scientist.


Earl Ninsom and Patrick McKee operate Common Law in Portland’s brand-new Pine Street Market. Their Asian-fusion fare is helping attract a crowd to this eight-establishment culinary collective.


Using the “wine thief,” Kevin Green, winemaker at Apolloni Vineyards,  passed around samples of bold, delicious pinot noir. I want his job.


Sarah Gilbert was one of the first people I met on my tour of Greater Portland. We talked about psychic tea as she pointed out local make-out spots around Mount Tabor.


Sam Drevo is a passionate advocate for outdoor recreation in the area around Willamette Falls, in Oregon City. He’s trying to get a whitewater park built here, to help revitalize an area dominated by industry for more than a century. (And that’s Mojo up front.)


Cindy Mostul, and her husband Burn, recreated the essence of the Mediterranean in Oregon City with Villa Catalana Cellars, a stunning property inspired by a 12th century Romanesque church they became enamoured with while on vacation in Spain.


This is the Lavender Lady of Mcmenamins Grand Lodge, in Forest Grove. I don’t want to talk about her.

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About the author: David Webb is a Vancouver, BC-based travel writer, photographer and magazine editor.

5 comments… add one
  • Tom Brown Aug 16, 2016 Link

    I love the pine street market, not to mention the people of Portland.

  • Tom Malone Jul 19, 2016 Link

    Love David Hill Vineyards. As a Portland native (who now lives in Colorado), it’s hard to beat the quality, price, and people that comes with David Hill. Glad you made it to that little-known spot!

  • David Webb Jun 14, 2016 Link

    Honestly, I have no idea. Some teas are supposed to “enhance psychic energy.” Do with that what you will.

  • Zaheer Ghani Jun 14, 2016 Link

    You Mentioned about Psychic Tea whats that ?

  • Cacwj May 16, 2016 Link

    So nice, i want to go now

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