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Portlandness: A Cultural Atlas Hardcover – Oct 27 2015

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: Sasquatch Books (Oct. 27 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1632170000
  • ISBN-13: 978-1632170002
  • Product Dimensions: 20.9 x 2.3 x 26.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 717 g
  • Average Customer Review: Be the first to review this item
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,146,170 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


"[Portlandness] suggests that when we let go of our biases and set off on the city streets, we will stumble upon a Portland we barely imagine."
- The Oregonian

"Portlandness: A Cultural Atlas should be required reading for newcomers and natives alike." -- Portland Monthly

"Portland State University geography professors Banis and Shobe tap into the popularity of the TV show Portlandia with this entertaining and educational reference."
- Library Journal
"Is there a Portland state-of-mind? Is there a way to objectively look at the peculiar state of being that seems to be Portland, here in the 2010's, and lay it all out for you, comprehendably? If there is, Portlandness: A Cultural Atlas comes as close as anything can at the moment...a witty, earnest look at what it means to be Portland right here, right now."
Zehn Katzen

About the Author

David Banis has managed the Center for Spatial Analysis and Research in the Geography Department at Portland State University since 2006, working with a wide variety of partners at the federal, state, and local levels. His work explores the diverse ways that cartographers can tell stories with maps, focusing on the mapping of nontraditional subjects.
Hunter Shobe is a cultural geographer and assistant professor at Portland State University. He holds a PhD in Geography from the University of Oregon and has over fifteen years of experience researching the cultural, political, and economic dimensions of how people connect to places and environments.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars 31 reviews
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Portland...on the map! Buy this book! :) Nov. 13 2015
By randall s morris - Published on
Verified Purchase
***Full Disclosure: I worked on the book. :) ***

Whether you live in, or even know Portland, this book is worth the modest price (between $18 and $25--for a hardback!).
I was lucky enough to be involved in this project, so I have seen it evolve along much of its trajectory. The energy and love that's been invested into each subject still takes my breath away every time I open the book.

This is NOT meant to be a travel atlas (although, if you want ideas for exploring Portland, Oregon, this might be EXACTLY what you are looking for).

Every few pages is a new take on either the entire city, or on some region or neighborhood. The perspectives offered are some engaging and thought-provoking combination of research, analysis, and cartographic/artistic representation.

Also, if you are a map-lover, this book is a MUST for your collection.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Quirky and informative -- everything you never knew you wanted to know about Portland, OR Jan. 4 2016
By L. Mountford - Published on
Vine Customer Review of Free Product
What a delightfully quirky but exceptionally informative book! I've never lived in Portland, but I've visited there many times, usually on business (I once worked for a company with a major presence in Aloha and Hillsboro, just west of Portland), so I'm somewhat familiar with the city and surrounding area.

This is truly a "cultural atlas," each page revealing maps showing everything from the distribution of strip clubs to the proximity of urban chicken coops to reported sightings of coyotes. The book is full of historical anecdotes to put the present circumstances in context. Want to see the representation of ethnic cuisines in the food carts Portland is famous for? Check out the "cart-o-grams" on page 144-145. Want to know how to get from one side of Portland to the other while under the least amount of surveillance? Pages 120-121 will show you. How about "scariness level"? The map on pages 74-75 will pinpoint sites of murders, fatal crashes, and "creepy old buildings," with a scariness level of "eyebrow raising" to "hair raising."

Really a fun read, very informative, put together by two geography professors at Portland State University. I loved it!
4.0 out of 5 stars Great for anyone in or from Portland, but i wish it wasn't so dry (no pun intended) Jan. 5 2016
By Silea - Published on
Vine Customer Review of Free Product
I suspect nearly anyone who's ever lived in Portland and has a curious mind will delight in this book. It documents the most absurd things, from house color by neighborhood to noise level in Providence Park by minute in a Timbers game. It is utterly and completely Portland, except that it lacks a sense of humor. (We actually had a debate about whether this was appropriately called a 'Cultural Atlas', or if it should have been a 'Cultural Encyclopedia'. Either way, it'll help you find the neighborhood with the highest density of brewpubs.)

Would it appeal to someone with no connection to Portland? Probably not. Even infographic addicts might be disappointed, as the infographics, though plentiful, play second fiddle to a great deal of explanatory text.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars It’s educational and funny in turns June 19 2016
By Amazon Customer - Published on
To be honest, I almost didn't order this. I mean, I live here, what would I use this book for? However we get a lot of young new hires fresh out of college where I work and I regularly find myself introducing them to the city, so I thought I’d end up loaning this out a lot. However when I sat down to peruse it I found it was a really entertaining read. It’s not just a bland compendium of data, rather a cultural tour of Portland that uses city data as a framework. It’s educational and funny in turns, and overall an enjoyable read. While most useful to newer residents, I think anyone intrigued with this odd little city would enjoy it. It’s also an interesting dissection of a city. Most of us live in them but we don’t always think about what that means. While Portland is perhaps a bit different, it’s in most ways a typical mid-sized American city and this book is a fun introspection on that animal. So don’t let the title put you off (if it does), this book is a nice bit of quasi-educational fun.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book about Portland Dec 26 2015
By Maria - Published on
Verified Purchase
An excellent book - full of interesting information about Portland, it acts as a history of the area. It offers a lot of different information presented both in pictures and text. Really a unique item.