Ten DIYS to Survive in Portland

Sam Proof visited Portland and returned ALIVE!

Sam Proofby Sam Proof

Portland, aka Stumptown is one of America’s most liberal, progressive, and green cities. It’s pretty amazing actually, where cities like Detroit and Allentown, both once large industrial cities, have fallen to destitution, Portland has grown from it’s Lumbering past to a cultural hub.

But since it is a town stricken with unemployment, poverty and much of the same economic strife most states are facing, you can actually survive in Portland without too much effort.

Here are Ten DIY Tips to help you Survive in Portland!


1) Grow Shit!

Gardening is a lost art, with decades of people living in apartments the simplest concepts of things that can be learned in kindergarten, really aren’t learned anymore. Who knows why seeds work, or how you add water to it. These are mysteries for multimillion dollar farmers with 100,000 dollar tractors that can turn a field crop in to bails of saleable goods in a matter of minutes. As far as we know, farms couldn’t possibly have existed before John Deer. However with this advice, you’ll soon be able to grow actually vegetables that you can eat (or barter for pizza)

And who better to teach us than this MacCubbin’ Lubbin Couple… the MacCubbin’s!


2) Make Paper!

Ok, so maybe you’ve had limited success with the previous growing of things. Maybe something’s are easier to grow then other things, and maybe all you have are some roots and stalks and stuff you tried to eat but realized weren’t mass produced and thus don’t taste very good. So what can be done?! Actually, check this out, some guys in China figure out that if you take all this ‘vegetation’ (crazy, right?) you can make Papyrus or Paper! And then you can probably trade that for Pizza! Nice!

Let the PaperLady Show you What to Do!

3) Make a Zine

OK I’ve touted this before, but who knew in Portland they actually hold a festival, The Stumpton Indie Comic Festival which is devoted specifically to little comic books, magazines and … ZINES! I saw about a dozen venders using the technique that I show in this video. I even ran in to these guys that I know.

Look at this guy… what a total  fr–.. hey wait a second, that's me…. dammit!

4) Put a Bird on it! (how to make a stencil)

Ok, so You’ve grown stuff, turned it in to paper, made a Zine from it, but nobody is buying it? Well frankly, that’s crazy talk. But Apparently, there’s a trick in P-town that works every time, and it’s not drinking Colt 45 and being Billy Dee.

Though that’s probably better, but I digress.

If you've seen the show Portlandia, you may already be familiar with what I'm going to tell you. Here’s the secret : Put a bird on it! Purses, postcards, lamps, wallets, watches and Zines… if it’s got a sparrow, swallow or swift on it, it’s a sure thing. Here’s a stencil DIY that might help!

Here's How to Make the Stencil

grab a bunch of bird patterns and you're an instant hit, or a tattoo artist's best friend!

5) Burn it – Spin Poi

If you’ve tried all that and still you’re close to living on the street well it’s time to give up and restart. So just burn the butt-load of it. Drop it all in to a garbage can with a bird on it and blaze that chumpy up. While you’re at it, you might as well learn to spin that fire around. Spinning Poi is a long time tradition of the playa dwellers called ‘Burning Man’ Their culture is a long one that comes out of obscurity and dust. And they can be easily hypnotized by the awesomeness of circles of flame.

has a series short poi spinning tutorials

Please be careful – don't do this

I mean seriously, those should be on fire, then this video would be epic!

6) Pole Dancing (ladies only – seriously, please)

Well you’ve learned to spin fire, and honestly the only thing cooler then spinning fire is spinning fire naked, and showing your friends your whoohaa. If you can master this, you can make your way to Devils Point with the likes of Cricket, Piper and Ivizia.

This time we go to for a series of videos that will turn you from this

To this

7) Make Donuts

If you’re looking at your new found skills as a potential chance to land a more reliable job, consider this delicious and simple treat. The center of donuts were originally removed because it would stay uncooked by the time the outside was ready, as people could get sick. So a hole was made standard fair in the donut trade, and now at Portland’s uber-Original VooDoo Donuts, ‘The magic is in the hole”, also “Good things come in Pink boxes” and “bob’s your uncle, nudge nudge, wink wink… photographs. ”

Now if you're looking for a more home made recipe, you can say goodbye to Lexi and hello to The Drunk Chef. If you're in some metric country you may need to have your measurement converter on hand.

8) Make a Latte

Portland might actually be headed to creating the next indie coffee shop that spreads out and takes over Starbucks.  It might not be Pete’s Coffee, though they’re obviously the front runner. So while you’re exploring options, learn the difference between a Mocha, Latte, Macchiato and Dulce de Leche and boom town my friend, you might have a job.

Remember – never touch the steam wand! … steam wand… steam wand…

and if you want to artsy that junk up, watch this

9) Customize "Tall Bikes"

If all this hasn’t helped you find your path to Portlandia success, perhaps it’s time to build yourself a cool set of wheels and get the hell out of town. But you are after all, in Portland, so do it right, do it in style, do it on a double decker bike.

10) How to Pan Handle

Now that you’ve failed, aside from the darker alternative, there’s one option left to you. Find some cardboard and a good sharpie and settle in for long hours in the sun. You’ve now achieved a life of total freedom, now boss to tell you what to do, no annoying co-workers, no printers jams, no car payments (you can walk to work!), no gas! And remember there’s no need to waste money on soap, shampoo, tooth paste, new clothes… FREEDOM!

Sam Proof is an LA based writer/director, founder of podpocalypse.com and executive producer of SamProof.tv. You may know him as Raz from Tim and Eric, or from his popular youtube channel or stickam show.

Tweet @samproof  or @craveonline if you found these DIYs useful or found other's that should go in this collection?