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  • 7 minute Read
  • destinations uncovered

Portland Uncovered: Kelly Sue DeConnick’s Picks

Comic book writer Kelly Sue DeConnick and writer/husband Matt Fraction Reveal Their Favorite Spots in Portland.

Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business share their favorite hometown restaurants, bars, shops, and activities in our new series in partnership with Aloft Hotels, Destinations Uncovered.

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Floating World

Whip a rock at a good comic shop in Portland and it’ll bounce off and hit two more. My favorite, FLOATING WORLD COMICS, encompasses a little something from the superhero mainstream to hand-stapled ‘zines, to art objects, to gallery shows. Shop owner Jason Leivan curates the best racks in town — and now they sell vinyl, too, if your disease spans multiple obsessions. Pick something up to read while waiting in line at Voodoo Donuts just across Burnside. —Matt Fraction
400 NW 4TH Couch St, Portland OR

Duchess Clothier

Famous TV fancy man and deranged millionaire John Hodgman recommended Duchess Clothier to me and, man, do they know a thing or two about style. For men and women, full suits from template or wholly from scratch, or shirts, or, and I swear to god this is my favorite piece of clothing I own, silk-ass pajamas. For me, the very definition of a rarified pleasure but if you ever need to look like a million bucks, Duchess has your back, and the shirt on it. —Matt Fraction
2505 SE 11th Ave #102, Portland, OR 97202

Imogene + Willie

I have what one friend of mine diplomatically referred to as a “generous booty” and finding pants that both fit and flatter is no small feat. I’m also short — good thing Imogene + Willie do their own alterations! The truth is, I’m not cool enough to shop there, but please don’t tell them because I need their black Elizabeth jeans like I need love and chocolate. Yes, I’m living a lie, but I look good doing it. —Kelly Sue DeConnick
1306 W Burnside St, Portland, OR 97209


Imogene + Willie

Hollywood Theater

Portland loves movies — gotta do something to get out of the rain — and there’s a theater for whatever kind of movie you want or whatever mood you’re in, from beer-and-second-run to the NW Film Society to the luxe Cinetopia. My favorite, the Hollywood Theater, reigns supreme. A nonprofit with staggering programming, educational workshops, and local film showcases, the Hollywood just broke in its newly restored 70mm projector with a print of Kubrick’s 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY. —Matt Fraction
4122 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR 97212

Yakuza Lounge

Our office ended up at Yakuza Lounge when Fraction botched our Beast reservation next door but now we pretend he did it on purpose in some clever ruse. See, turns out the best burger in Portland is at a Japanese joint. Because of course it is. There is goat cheese involved, and shoestring potatoes and enough cholesterol to take years off your life, but it’s so, so worth it. —Kelly Sue DeConnick
5411 NE 30th Ave, Portland, OR 97211

Scapegoat Tattoo

Welcome to Portland! If you don’t have a beard (and really, even if you do) you’re going to need a tattoo. At least one. My guy is Ryan Mason, but I’m jonesing to get a piece from Scapegoat shop owner, Brian Thomas Wilson, too. Check out all their artists’ portfolios online to find a great match. (Oh, and Scapegoat is vegan-owned and operated, which is pretty hardcore in a town that loves bacon and charcuterie as much as this one.) —Kelly Sue DeConnick
1223 SE Stark St, Portland, OR 97214

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Halo Shoes

They’re known for more tasteful fare, but the first time I stepped into Halo shoes I found a pair of purple leather heels with fringe on them that changed my life. They make me feel like a rock star. Or a pony. Or maybe a back-up dancer for Prince. I don’t really care which. —Kelly Sue DeConnick
938 NW Everett St, Portland, OR 97209

Schoolhouse Electric

My best friend I grew up with is an interior designer in Austin. (Amity Worrel http://www.amityworrel.com, for my Texas people.) Leave it to an out-of-towner to take me to a TREASURE TROVE in my own town. I never knew that place was there!—hiding out in the industrial part of town, like it is. We must’ve spent two hours oohing and ahhing at everything from fixtures to an impossibly cool dog leash. Oh, and they have a whole section of vintage-inspired school supplies and desk tchotchkes, which are my personal Kryptonite.—Kelly Sue DeConnick
2181 NW Nicolai St, Portland, OR 97210


Scarlet Chamberlin

Scarlet Chamberlin

We all want to be good at everything and to make it look effortless at every stage of our lives, but that, my friends, is an impossible dream. I used to be good at clothes shopping and whatnot—at least I think I was!—but at some point after two kids and a career that worked out better than I ever could have imagined, I looked up from my desk and realized that I wore the same three t-shirts and 15-year-old jeans every day. Shopping for myself was relegated to the slivers of time I could steal while Fraction waited in the car with our precious weasels. I didn’t know where to start. So I asked for help and it came in the form of my angel named Scarlet, who, for an incredibly reasonable package price, cleaned out my closet, made me a shopping list and a personalized list of dos and don’ts, took me shopping at boutiques I never would have known about, hooked me up with a tailor and then came back to my new closet and styled a buttload of outfits for me — ensuring that when I spent that week in an LA writers room, the only thing I *didn’t* worry about was how I looked. Glorious freedom. —Kelly Sue DeConnick

Portland Timbers + Thorns

Fellow comic writer Greg Rucka, tired of me making fun of soccer, took me to my first Timbers match in 2014 and I came home a frothy-mouthed convert. Aside from having the best fans in the world, catching a Timbers game at Providence Park means steeping oneself in all things Portland — beef jerky vendors, Widmer Brothers beer, a Burgerville on-site (get a Timber Joey milkshake) and on and on. Hit up the Timbers Army van on your way in and come flying your NO PITY colors, you King or Queen of Cascadia, you. —Matt Fraction

Salt And Straw

The joke about PORTLANDIA goes that it’s not really a comedy but a documentary. Remember the Brunch episode, with the lines for food? That’s no joke. And, I’m sorry, I don’t care how much bacon you put on your bacon, no food’s worth waiting on line an hour and a half for — except the ice cream at Salt & Straw. Look, just Bing “Joe Biden + Ice Cream” right now. Do it. DO IT. See? THAT is what you’re missing out on. Hit the shop on NE Alberta and you can get a slice at VIA CHICAGO and never have to eat again. —Matt Fraction
2035 NE Alberta St, Portland, OR


Salt And Straw

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Commonwealth Skate Park / Skate Like A Girl PDX

Until this spring I hadn’t skated in 20 years, give or take, but when our kids expressed interest you bet I got back on a board. The folks at COMMONWEALTH outfitted my whole family. A great shop with a knowledgeable and patient staff, stocked with tons of decks, trucks, and wheels made right here in Raintown, it’s next door to a kid-friendly indoor skate park, home of the taught-by-girls-for-girls-only nonprofit SKATE LIKE A GIRL PDX. Also a middle-aged man on a skateboard is like kryptonite to teens. Just the best. —Matt Fraction
1425 SE 20th Ave, Portland, OR 97214

Crossroads Music

My fabulous wife got me a record player for my last birthday and now I have a real problem. Portland is a town sick with vinyl and great shops to crate dive but only one causes me to set an alarm on my phone and a limit to the money I walk in with: Crossroads Music. Lose hours or hundreds of dollars there, whatever comes first, doing deep-dives through what seems like a country mile of records. You’d be amazed at how much music a place like this can remind you that you love. —Matt Fraction
3130 SE Hawthorne Blvd, Portland, OR 97214


Kelly Sue DeConnick is a Comic Book Writer.

Do Kelly Sue & Matt’s recommendations have you excited for a trip to Portland? Check out Aloft Portland Airpot At Cascade Station, located just minutes from the Portland International Airport and the convenient MAX Light Rail, enjoy travel to and from the airport with ease and experience downtown Portland. Order a drink at the WXYZ® bar, and enjoy local attractions like the Oregon Zoo, local breweries, Powell’s City of Books and Lan Su Chinese Garden.

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