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Do you know the unspoken rules of Portland?

Tell us you’re from Portland without actually telling us you’re from Portland.

People sitting on Portland's public transportation, the MAX Lightrail.

What are your tips and tricks for the MAX?

Whether you’re a Rose City native or a relative newcomer, there are just some things every Portlander understands to be true.

We picked our brains, scoured the internet, and asked our readers about Portland’s unspoken rules, from common city knowledge to relatable trends and local lingo. You won’t find these rules in a handbook, but they are undoubtedly absorbed by the community — and if you’re not from Portland, these might be a little difficult to explain.

Conduct a concert from your car

“You honk in the tunnel on 26.” - Anonymous

Be kind to your bicyclist friends

“If you’re approaching a four-way stop and so is a cyclist, let the cyclist go through (even if they aren’t there first) so they don’t have to stop.” Kate D.

Buy local, shop thrifty

“Shopping locally, for both new and secondhand items, means supporting small businesses — and finding things that are unique. This is Portland. Your beanie shouldn’t come in an Amazon box.” - Cambrie Juarez, PDXtoday

Rip Ciiity

“No matter what happened in the offseason, this is the Blazers’ year.” - Ben McBee, PDXtoday

Sometimes you just have to laugh

“You do not steal the plastic horses on the iron curb hoops.” - GoblinCorp

"Allow Me," a statue of a man holding an umbrella, in Portland, Oregon

Okay, who’s going to tell him?

Photo by mike krzeszak

Two words: rain jacket

“Don’t use an umbrella... ever!!” - J. Mabry

Winter on top, summer on the bottom

59° out, shorts and sweatshirt 100% acceptable.” - jstmenow

“Shorts with hoodies is a style here!” - IMANXIOUSANDSAD

Wait, what is sun?

“First sunny day after a bit of rain requires getting out in the sun.” - Mr_Hey

“I call the day after the first warm, sunny weekend of the year as Lobster Day because no one remembers sunscreen during the February fake-out.” - RaspberryZinger_

Thanking TriMet + MAX etiquette

“We thank our bus drivers. When boarding public transit it’s off before on not a mass merge.” - Paperbackpixie

It’s pronounced...

“Say it loud! IT’S COOCH AND IT’S PROUD!!!” - beastofwordin

We’ve learned a thing or two from commuting

“If you and another person pull up to a stop sign at the exact same time, before either one of you can go, you must perform the dance of our people.

The exact sequence of events should be as follows:

Stop. Stare at each other. Wave for each other to go first. Let off the gas at the exact same time making it look like you’re both going to go. Stop. Wave a bit more fervently. Wait. Stare. Flash lights. Wait. Put it in park. Nothing, you live here now.” - Anonymous

What did we miss? If you know an unofficial rule that’s not on the list, let us know using this survey.

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