portland vs. austin weird

It’s not a Hatfields-and-McCoys feud. It’s more like a friendly rivalry. The good people of Portland, OR, and Austin, TX–and in cities elsewhere–regularly debate which city qualifies as the weirdest. It’s almost a badge of honor, as each place strives to “keep it weird.”

Well, we decided to settle this debate once and for all. Here are our unbiased results (even though we live in Austin).

In case you want to stash some of your weird stuff in either of these weird locales, check out our storage unit listings for Portland and Austin.

Portland vs. Austin weird

Infographic designed by Brian Shreckengast

  • Lucky13X

    How could Austin lose out in weirdness to Portland? For Shame ATX. However, you gotta give it to Portland for winning so many of those categories that were used.

  • DJD

    Portland is the #18 beer town? What crap are you smoking!?! 31 microbreweries in the city limits. See portlandbeer.org.

    • EditorJohnEgan

      We are in the process of fixing the beer ranking. Stay tuned.

      • Heather Gearing

        Get with it. I’m still waiting 17 hrs later. See this is another reason Portland is better, our writers work harder than yours!!!! :) Portland doesn’t keep you waiting like Austin does! #PortlandWins

    • Steve

      At one point, Portland was second only to Munich in terms of the number of craft breweries in the world, soooooo…

  • Guest

    Boulder, CO beats them both.

    • Gloren

      ah, does Boulder have a beer scavenger hunt where teams of people dressed in bizarre costumes follow a long list of hints where to find certain beers on tap? The first team to return to the finish line with all of them wins…nothing…but bragging rights. yeah, I thought not…Boulder is not that weird. (Although I love Naropa Univ.’s Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics! Now, that IS weird…and very cool…)

      • Orion73

        In Austin we call this “Tuesday.”

    • Mat Hill

      Boulder might be the only other city in America outside the NW that I’d consider living in.

    • Friend

      Boulder is one of the Unweirdest places I’ve ever been….place feels like a living j crew catalogue

    • Chris Gattman

      You’ve never been to the Folsom Street festival or the Castro district in San Francisco. Google it.

  • bivalve

    Boulder?! Give me a break. Everything there is entirely predictable. Very few breweries and hippies cannot afford to live within 75 miles. I’ll give you the dog-friendly category, though.

    • Mat Hill

      As a Portlander, I have to say only three other cities have the same vibe to me. Seattle, Boulder, and Austin. I love them all.

  • John

    I am genuinely offended when I see “keep Austin weird” shirts. Austin should get -100 weird for using another city’s unofficial slogan.

    • Jacob Gellman

      I’m from pdx but I do believe “Keep Austin Weird” preceded Portland’s use of the slogan.


    • Mat-a-tat-tat

      Pretty sure Austin was using it first (see link in other reply), but I don’t care if y’all do too. Be genuinely offended no more!

    • mnr

      then you are genuinely dumb

  • Globe Traveler

    Until I see a show titled, Austlandia or Bouldlandia, all cities other than Portland are merely “wannabes” and not worthy of discussing.

    • disqus_5lcNQavSis

      The fact that Portlanders are so obsessed with their wanting to be ‘weird’ is not weird in itself. Nothing but people from Portland are clamoring in this thread, no one from Austin and no one from Boulder. What does that tell you?

      • Spidey

        You obviously haven’t read the comments, because I see quite a few people from Austin replying

      • Chris Gattman

        “The fact that Portlanders”

        Portlanders aren’t. People who came to Portland from California and other towns or who desperately need to feel connected to a scene are the ones who are obsessed.

        “Nothing but people from Portland are clamoring in this thread, no one from Austin and no one from Boulder. What does that tell you?”

        They’re too stoned to read in Boulder, and there aren’t as many readers in Austin? I’m just kidding, but, dude…try harder.

        • disqus_5lcNQavSis

          “Try harder..”

          This post is about a competition of weirdness. I have better things to do.

      • Budabuddy92

        It means maybe you guys are like Cowboys fans a disappear on threads after you lose!

        • David

          Why do you asses from Portland think you’re the only weird folks out there. ‘We made it what it is’… Shut the fuck up you stupid bitch. Come down South and we’ll show how weird we are. It’s called a Texas ass whipping and you softies know nothing about that. Stay weird bitches.

    • Guest

      “Austin Stories” aired more than a decade before “Portlandia”

      • Chris Gattman

        Austin what? Never heard of it. :>

    • Marx Marvelous

      Portlandia is a blatant Austin Stories ripoff

  • AZK

    If you have to rip off another city’s “weird” logo to say you are weird, you are not weird. Austin will always beat out Portland. Find your own slogan, Portland!

    • Chris Gattman

      Portland was the City of Roses and bands from Austin come up and crash on the couches of bands in Portland, and vice versa. They were like sister cities.

      Then the urban hipsters showed up. Wait for it, Austin. Keep your head down.

  • Michael Fletcher

    Is it not stupidly ironic that it is weird to be #1?

  • Meh

    Erm, Seattle, Boulder and Portland all have snow and ice, so fuck all of them (except in the summer) Austin wins.

  • dl

    I lived in both cities. Fled Austin for Portland and was teary eyed for a year to be home. Porkland is the Freak Capitol of the World and only Welingtion NZ can rival it. And, what an insult to Porkland, comparing it to any piece of the flat world of Texas. Yes, Austin you are Weird for Texas and it is your title, keep it, just stay in your south.

    • rnm

      don’t mess with Texas, turd.

  • fidel

    ok. how about a comparison of Portland and Boulder

  • KajM

    I beg to differ. San Francisco IS weird. Austin is weird FOR TEXAS. And Portland is a yuppie/hipster shit hole trying to be quirky and weird.

  • Whateverhappenedtomanners

    “Get with it. I’m still waiting 17 hrs later. See this is another reason Portland is better, our writers work harder than yours!!!! :) Portland doesn’t keep you waiting like Austin does! #PortlandWins” Portland wins for rudeness, that’s pretty evident.

    • Budabuddy92

      No kidding, I’m from Salem but go to
      School at PSU and I found that exceptionally rude. I don’t think most people are like that but there’s a few punks everywhere. But really Portland is without a doubt more weird than Austin (though it’s close) I think both cities are great. But as an Oregonian I love the weather honestly and yeah that includes the rain!

  • Lord 2324

    Austin has been there and done that! Its ok to have others follow in our footsteps. We have been losing alot of our great qualities, but have gained some new things, due to the influx of entrepreneurs. I don’t like it at all!! but i know that Austin is always changing and that it will always be my home.

  • Chris Gattman

    In Portland we don’t debate whether we’re weirder than Austin. We respect Austin a lot, and recognize that they came up with the “Keep it Weird” slogan.

    Portland was weird before it weird was cool, and weird is quickly becoming uncool because of how narcissistic and self-indulgent it becomes. Weird is the new grunge. Mostly, we just wish the hipsters would give us our city back.

    • Mike Glidden

      I never really bought into the marketing of the “Keep Portland Weird” thing. The hipsters usually stay on east Burnside, so I don’t have to see them too much since they can’t get up the hills with their single speeds. I love the art out of Austin, music, film, good stuff. Many props to you guys, but you gotta develop your brewery scene. It’s awesome to roll all over town just to fill a growler or two.

  • melbo

    The weird austin is long gone. We just capitalize on the slogan now but this is just LA in the flat lands of TX now. I’ve never been to Portland but unless yuppies and immigrants are weird than I’m not sure how Austin is still winning. Most of the pop isn’t even from austin and it’s certainly no longer the friendly city I grew up in. All the cool stuff that made austin weird is now just for rich hipsters. and yes there is job growth but with the population boom and immigrants making up 1/3 of the workforce, if you don’t have a BA then you should just have a baby and go on welfare because you can’t support yourself anywhere in austin on an entry level job (and I don’t mean mcdonalds. I’m talking hard labor overnight warehouse jobs for $8/hr, no benefits). Since they can find people to fill the jobs, the pay stays low while the rent goes up ($200 for me in the past 3 yrs). Even if you have a BA you have UT grads to compete with, along with the regular population and oh yea the 100 people moving here each day. And a thanks to them for turning our already horrible traffic into LA traffic. I love being in bumper to bumper traffic on a saturday afternoon…. If I were you Portland, I would not advertise being cool because they will come and destroy you! Weird yourself’s out while you still can

  • Mexicansunrise

    But Austin is weird even though we’re right smack in the middle of Texas, for Pete’s sake! We should get points just for that.

    • A Smythe

      Have you seen the rest of Oregon? Outside of Eugene and Salem, the place might as well just be Idaho.

      • PDX bikefuck

        And obviously, you haven’t been to Salem…

  • http://www.imprintpdx.com Aimee Levens

    Why is owning a dog considered “weird”? Or riding a bicycle? Or living sustainably? Why is the insult used in the first place? If any place is weird, it’s living somewhere where people are not free to live however they want. Using “weird” as a creepy compliment seems to me very similar and un-genuine as supermodels saying they were once “nerds” as if that makes them cool. I’m a Portland native and always considered this town more strange back in the old days when we were only known for rain and stripclubs.

  • Amber
  • Trino Pam

    Sad discussion, when everyone knows the weidest is New York.

  • Steve

    If there was a show on IFX called Austinia, then I think there may be some basis for this discussion. I am not sure when “Keep Portland Weird” became our “slogan,” but we’ve had it for a long, long time – I’ve lived here since 1975… If you’ve ever been to our Saturday Market, our claim to “weirdness” would be well understood! 😉 We don’t mind sharing our weirdness, just so long as you don’t “Put a bird on it!”

  • http://hightechforum.org/ Richard Bennett

    OK, but what about Boulder?

  • André Jackson

    Austin IS as weird as Portland, but the boom in growth over the past decade and the state politics hold them back.