Fugitives and Refugees

26 January 2012 in Reviews, Traveling


Curious about where to see the World’s Largest Hairball or what the I-Tit-A-Rod Race is? Take a walk through Portland, Oregon with tips from Chuck Palaniuk’s book Fugitives and Refugees.

The Jolly RogerWhen we decided to go to Portland for New Year’s, I was really excited. We had only visited this city for a brief amount of time last year. We got there late at night and had to leave in the morning, so we left the city unexplored except for the Jolly Roger. A bar that was open for breakfast? Sounds good. Get me a Screwdriver. So when we came back it was nice to know we had the chance to really explore and see things, or so I thought. When we checked into our hotel I remembered asking the employee behind the counter if there was anything crazy going on for New Year’s. He replied with, “Well, it is Portland”. With a lack of knowledge of the city, I had no clue what that meant besides thinking there may be some bars open past 2am and a champagne toast at midnight. I was thrilled even for that!

But upon reading chapter after chapter of what is essentially one of the best travel guides ever composed, I realized that this city is full of more excitement and things that I never knew existed. Each chapter I would look at Dan and be like, “What the hell?!” I wish we had known about this book before we left because Good Lord there were tons of things that we missed out on. And many of them were close to our hotel.

The book talks about places to visit such as the Self-Cleaning House, which is pretty self-explanatory. The Periodicals & Books Paradise, which is the largest store for used periodicals and magazines. I love old ads and recipes! The Kidd Toy Museum, where you can find a large collection of old toys and banks from as early as the 1840s. He talks about places that are haunted, favorite restaurants, places to get your freak on, great gardens, parks and even going on tours of the underground tunnel system for which you have to sign a waiver. Want to know why? Read the book.

I really enjoyed this book because it tells you about places and events that normal travel guides probably wouldn’t mention—that is if they’re even aware of them. He even provides addresses, phone numbers and websites to check out so you can make appointments for visits. Before we leave here I need to go back to Portland because there are some things that I would like to see like The Train Yards and the Feral Cat Races. I’d maybe even come back around Christmas so I can take part in the Santa Rampage. After reading this book I realized asking the hotel employee about what “crazy things” were happening for New Year’s was pretty stupid. Who knows what we missed.

Dan here. I can only echo Lindsay’s sentiments. This was a wonderful book that revealed a side of Portland not mentioned in any of the many visitor guides we had carefully looked through. I also must mention that some of the activities and events in the book were inspiringly creative and thought provoking. It seems Portland is filled with a wealth of imaginative individuals developing new ways to have fun, express themselves and pursue their passions.

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26 January 2012 Reviews, Traveling

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