Wednesday, April 23, 2014

U is umbrellaless (Portlandia A to Z)

It's a well-known fact in Portland that if you are using an umbrella, you are probably a tourist. Yes, it does rain a lot here...that's why it's so green...but in fact, it actually rains less in Portland (averaging 36 inches a year) than in many other cities:

  • Zurich, Switzerland
  • Bergen, Norway
  • Milan, Italy
  • New York City, NY
  • Washington DC
  • Miami, FL
  • New Orleans, LA
  • Atlanta, GA
  • Seattle, WA
  • Dallas, TX
  • Boston, MA
  • Vancouver, BC
  • Juneau, AK
  • Sao Paulo, Brazil
  • Buenos Aires, Argentina
  • Tokyo, Japan
  • Shanghai, China
  • Hong King, China
  • Singapoe
  • Calcutta, India
  • Dhaka, Bangladesh
  • Nairobi, Kenya

Hard to believe, isn't it? The reason it seems like it's constantly raining in Portland is the fact that we get about 55 percent of our rain between November and February. So yes, it does feel wet here! Look at the forecast for this week:

Portland Timbers fan at a rainy game--in raincoats
But on any given day that it rains, when I look out my office window at the people on the street below, few of them are carrying umbrellas. I rarely buy a jacket or coat that does not have a hood...because I vastly prefer using a hood to carrying an umbrella. It's not because I'm worried about not being hip, but because umbrellas can be a pain in the ass. They're a hassle to carry, they stay wet until they dry out, and they occupy your hands. I'd rather have my hands free or in my pockets.

Even though umbrellas are not that cool here, we do have an Umbrella Festival now at the Alberta Rose Theater.

Today it rained, and I was lacking even a raincoat. Yes, I got wet. But I am a true Portlander.

Read my other A to Z posts here, and stay tuned for tomorrow: Voodoo Doughnuts, volcanos, and Vaux Swifts.


  1. Thanks for sharing your city. Lovely pictures.

    Dropping by from A to Z
    Suzy at Someday Somewhere

  2. woww !! Cool to know inspite of rain people prefer to stay Umbrella-less
    Like u said u can stay hassle-free with out umbrella

  3. Rain or shine, we tourists love Portland and its people! A-Z Blogger visit

  4. Though we left the Pacific NW, I still long for (and completely enjoy) the days of soaking wet solitude when they arrive.

  5. I don't mind rainy days. If anything, they give me a good excuse to curl up with a book. I'm with you though, I'd much rather have a hood than lug around an umbrella. Add that to the fact that every umbrella I've ever owned has managed to be blown inside out and destroyed, and you have good reason for the fact that I don't like them. Elle @ Erratic Project Junkie