A look back at one year of PDXtoday

We’re blowing out one whole candle on our virtual birthday cake and taking a walk down memory lane. It’s all thanks to you, Portland.

PDXtoday Portland anniversary birthday

The PDXtoday team celebrated with lunch at Miss Delta and a Blue Star donut.

Photo by PDXtoday

Table of Contents

Today, we celebrate PDXtoday’s first birthdayand what a year it has been. From the first newsletter we sent on Dec. 6, 2021, to today (259 newsletters later), we’ve had so much fun getting to know our city better and sharing the wealth with all of you. So we’re stopping to smell the roses with a recap of highlights from the past 12 months.

Keep Portland Weird

The slogan shines brighter with every layer we peel back. Sometimes, the best way to get to know someone is by uncovering their quirkiest traits.

Shanghai Tunnels | A network of subterranean passageways once used to transfer goods to and from ships.

Portland Weather Machine | The resident meteorologist in Portland’s Living Room.

Stark’s Vacuum Museum | This shop on Northeast Grand Avenue has a wall dedicated to the household machine. Ironically, it doesn’t suck.

Mill Ends Park | Welcome to the world’s smallest park, population: an unknown number of leprechauns.

Find your inner rose | Get matched with a bloom from the International Rose Test Garden.

The Wishing Tree | The first of two trees whose purpose in life is to bear witness to the hopes and dreams of those who stop to write them down.

Portland’s World Naked Bike Ride | Naked people. Riding bikes. Through the city.

UFO boat | An old boat with unique history stranded on Sauvie Island.

Portland International Airport carpet | Did you even visit PDX if you didn’t ‘gram a photo of the carpet?

Reader favorites

Numbers don’t lie — here are our top five most-clicked stories:

Bizarre things that happened | From paddleboarding witches to Paxton Gate’s oddities, Portlanders love a bizarre local story.

10 Instagram-worthy restaurants | The camera eats first at these eateries.

Spooky Halloween activities | We shared a slew of local treats, no tricks, for Spooky Season.

Adoptable pets | The Rose City’s heart for animals in need has no bounds.

7 unusual staycation spots | Everyone needs a local getaway — especially one to a treehouse or an alpaca farm.

Where to find birthday freebies |A bonus just because we love birthdays.


Chuck Palahniuk’s book “Fugitives and Refugees” opens on a discussion with fellow author Katherine Dunn. She says, “Everyone in Portland is living a minimum of three lives.” That just makes us three times more interesting, right?

Here are some excerpts from our favorite conversations with locals.

“I just went and bought a pumpkin and carved it real fast and then gave it to [my cousin] because they just had a baby. And then my cousin’s husband just stuck their kid in it and took a picture, which I thought was great. And then I’m like, “Oh, man, babies and pumpkins — I gotta do that again.” - Jonathan Barwood, master pumpkin carver

“Although raising awareness about animals from around the globe is an incredible part of zoo work, giving people an opportunity to connect with the wildlife they live among can be astoundingly impactful.” - Ali Azevedo, keeper at Oregon Zoo

“Comfortably we can put eight adults in there. We have filled it with 14 drunk adults no problem.” - Jeanette Schenk, owner of Hammie the Photo Booth

Our favorite memories

Time flies when you’re having fun.

The Crow Patrol | From the top of a parking garage to city streets, Ben will never forget photographing falconer Kort Clayton and his Harris’s hawk as they worked to keep the pesky corvids from making a mess downtown.

Springtime is showtime | Not many people get to say they explore local hiking trails for work. PDXtoday’s Hike of the Month series is one of Cambrie’s favorites, with her trip to the Gorge in search of wildflowers topping the list.

Blown away | Ben can still feel the heat from watching artist Evan Burnette take 2,300° Fahrenheit liquid glass and turn it into a vase.

USS Blueback | Climbing into the Navy’s decommissioned submarine now docked near OMSI is an experience Cambrie never tires of (she’s just glad she doesn’t have to stay in there).

We would be remiss without mentioning how much of a pleasure it was hosting Eva Limmer from Munich for her two-month Arthur F. Burns fellowship. You can bet her guide to eating and drinking like a German in Portland is authentic.

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