PORTLAND, OR (KOIN) – A local author has published a new guide to what he calls a “secret Portland” detailing “strange, wonderful and dark” stories and places rarely mentioned in most books or advertisements.
Author and artist Jeff Brawn explained that the book, “Secret Portland, OR: A Guide to the Weird, Wonderful, and Obscure” is part of a series of established guides in other major cities.
“So they were like, ‘I know a weird guy who just moved to Portland and he’s a writer and he’s a weird artist so that’s the kind of guy we’re looking for for this book,'” said Brawn.
New to the Pink City, Brawn said working on the book was a way for him to get to know Portland.
“Since I was new to Portland…I thought this would be a great way to meet people and that way I could force myself to go and find out more about the city,” Brawn said.
“A lot of this stuff is free and unadvertised,” Brawn said of the attractions listed in the book. The artist noted that one place that stood out for him was the Zymoglyphic Museum on Southeast Alder – featuring “found objects of dead things”.
“In the book I have a few images and some are funny, some are a little weird, but it all comes together somehow, it’s just fantastic,” Brawn explained.
When deciding which places to list in the book, Brawn said, “I didn’t want to do any sightseeing. Everyone knows them and who wants to hear about them?
“I wanted to include some things that Portlanders who’ve lived here their whole lives wouldn’t know and things that… people who’ve never been to Portland wouldn’t know,” Brawn said. “I feel weird for weird’s sake is something I wanted to avoid.”
Instead, Brawn said he wanted to focus on “something that’s pure in heart, something that by its nature is unusual because people express themselves or that’s the way it is. So you’re not saying “look at me, look at me, look at how weird it is”, which is one of the charms of Portland, I think, it’s just so naturally interesting.