The Last-Minute Portlandia Holiday Gift Guide


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If we’ve learned anything from Portlandia, it’s that mainstream stuff sucks. And that capitalism is only acceptable if it’s used as a tool for supporting local artisans, fair-trade coffee mongers, and feminist bookstores. That said, it can be tricky to shop for a favorite Portlander—or aspiring Portlander—for the holidays, but fear not: we rounded up some Northwest essentials for your last-minute stocking stuffing. Ho ho ho…or whatever.

For Your Favorite Coffee Puritan

A Coava Coffee Kone. Once I went into Coava, a fantastic coffee shop in Portland’s inner southeast neighborhood, and idly inquired about the roast I was to purchase. Twenty minutes later, I was a pseudo-expert on the appropriate levels of boric acid in the coffee plant’s soil. These guys do not mess around with their beans; they’re so committed to the perfect cup that they even designed and manufactured their own filter, the Coava Kone, out of laser-cut stainless steel. Basically, if you’re not using one to make your brew, you’re doing it wrong.

Stumptown Coffee Grand Cru Collection. Stumptown is the original, the company that put Portland coffee on the map. I needn’t detail here their always-reliable blends, their innovative Direct Trade policy, or their indispensable iced coffee “stubbies,” without which no summer in the Northwest is worth living. No caffeine aficionado will turn up their nose at Stumptown’s “Grand Cru” collection, a sampler set of the company’s “most coveted” coffees that comes complete with a stylish holiday mug.

For The Bookish Type

Locally-Printed Books from Publication Studio. Everyone knows about Powell’s, the largest independent purveyor of books in the world. It’s the jewel in our crown, proving indubitably that we’re one of the great literary cities in America. But our legacy as book nerds of the highest order is only growing. Evidence: Publication Studio, a completely new model for a bookstore. Publication Studio is boutique publisher that literally prints books on demand from their tiny storefront downtown, on SW Ankeny street. You can walk up, order a book, or browse from their selection of curated tomes, which range from literary anthologies to a beautiful (and pocketable) edition of Walter Benjamin’s Berlin Chronicle.

Field Notes Notebooks. Designed by local design icon Aaron Draplin, who mines classic American mid-century design and reinvents it as an impeccably type-set, beautifully minimal aesthetic, Field Notes Notebooks are a staple of the Portlander’s back pocket. Show your state pride with special-edition Oregon notebooks, or go for the classic brown-cardboard version. Your favorite advocate of “real paper and pencils” will be stoked.

For The Advocate of Bicycle Rights

Hand-Sewn Leather Bicyle Track Drops. Ship your clean bicycle track drops to Draught Dry Goods, and they’ll hand-stitch fancy vegetable-tanned leather around them, upgrading your daily bicycle commuter’s look to downright classy. Like all fine things, the leather will age to rich golden brown with regular use.

PDX by Bike Zine. Designed to fit in your back pocket while you ride, this slim little zine is part tour-guide, part civic history book, and will bring you up to (ten) speed on Portland’s unstoppable bike culture. Perfect paired with a gray “I Bike PDX” t-shirt,” don’t you think?

For The Portland Patriot

Hand-Letterpresed Portland Holiday Cards. It seems you can’t throw a rock in PDX without hitting a letterpress shop. Pay homage to our fair city (and its hearty printing scene) with these beautiful, local-monument-heavy holiday cards handmade in a fancy old-timey manner by local printer by Beth Kerschen.

Portland Grocery Maptote. Ok, this guy isn’t made locally, but we promise it’s still handmade in the USA from organic cotton, so it’s honorary Portland. Maptote makes a whole line of Portland paraphernalia emblazoned with charming wood-hewn letters and simple maps of the Rose City. Great for toting famer’s market produce home on your bike—plus it doubles as emergency directions.

Bonus: For The Patchouli Victim in Your Life!

Olo Fragrances. Hand-blended in Portland by fragrance-mystic Heather Sielaff, Olo fragrances are unisex, woodsy, and ever-so-ethereal. Tell your hippie friend to ditch their Nag Champa for good and gift them a sampler kit of four of Olo’s most popular scents, which have moody, epic names like “Victory Wolf” and “Dark Wave.”

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Hard Out

Comedy From The Closet

Janice and Jeffrey Available Now On IFC's Comedy Crib

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She’s been referred to as “the love child of Amy Sedaris and Tracy Ullman,” and he’s a self-described “Italian who knows how to cook a great spaghetti alla carbonara.” They’re Mollie Merkel and Matteo Lane, prolific indie comedians who blended their robust creative juices to bring us the new Comedy Crib series Janice and Jeffrey. Mollie and Matteo took time to answer our probing questions about their series and themselves. Here’s a taste.


IFC: How would you describe Janice and Jeffrey to a fancy network executive you met in an elevator?

Mollie & Matteo: Janice and Jeffrey is about a married couple experiencing intimacy issues but who don’t have a clue it’s because they are gay. Their oblivion makes them even more endearing.  Their total lack of awareness provides for a buffet of comedy.

IFC: What’s your origin story? How did you two people meet and how long have you been working together?

Mollie: We met at a dive bar in Wrigley Field Chicago. It was a show called Entertaining Julie… It was a cool variety scene with lots of talented people. I was doing Janice one night and Matteo was doing an impression of Liza Minnelli. We sort of just fell in love with each other’s… ACT! Matteo made the first move and told me how much he loved Janice and I drove home feeling like I just met someone really special.

IFC: How would Janice describe Jeffrey?

Mollie: “He can paint, cook homemade Bolognese, and sing Opera. Not to mention he has a great body. He makes me feel empowered and free. He doesn’t suffocate me with attention so our love has room to breath.”

IFC: How would Jeffrey describe Janice?

Matteo: “Like a Ford. Built to last.”

IFC: Why do you think the world is ready for this series?

Mollie & Matteo: Our current political world is mirroring and reflecting this belief that homosexuality is wrong. So what better time for satire. Everyone is so pro gay and equal rights, which is of course what we want, too. But no one is looking at middle America and people actually in the closet. No one is saying, hey this is really painful and tragic, and sitting with that. Having compassion but providing the desperate relief of laughter…This seemed like the healthiest, best way to “fight” the gay rights “fight”.

IFC: Hummus is hilarious. Why is it so funny?

Mollie: It just seems like something people take really seriously, which is funny to me. I started to see it in a lot of lesbians’ refrigerators at a time. It’s like observing a lesbian in a comfortable shoe. It’s a language we speak. Pass the Hummus. Turn on the Indigo Girls would ya?

See the whole season of Janice and Jeffrey right now on IFC’s Comedy Crib.

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Die Hard Dads

Inspiration For Die Hard Dads

Die Hard is on IFC all Father's Day Long

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIPHY

Yippee ki-yay, everybody! It’s time to celebrate the those most literal of mother-effers: dads!

And just in case the title of this post left anything to the imagination, IFC is giving dads balls-to-the-wall ’80s treatment with a glorious marathon of action trailblazer Die Hard.

There are so many things we could say about Die Hard. We could talk about how it was comedian Bruce Willis’s first foray into action flicks, or Alan Rickman’s big screen debut. But dads don’t give a sh!t about that stuff.

No, dads just want to fantasize that they could be deathproof quip factory John McClane in their own mundane lives. So while you celebrate the fathers in your life, consider how John McClane would respond to these traditional “dad” moments…

Wedding Toasts

Dads always struggle to find the right words of welcome to extend to new family. John McClane, on the other hand, is the master of inclusivity.
Die Hard wedding

Using Public Restrooms

While nine out of ten dads would rather die than use a disgusting public bathroom, McClane isn’t bothered one bit. So long as he can fit a bloody foot in the sink, he’s G2G.
Die Hard restroom

Awkward Dancing

Because every dad needs a signature move.
Die Hard dance

Writing Thank You Notes

It can be hard for dads to express gratitude. Not only can McClane articulate his thanks, he makes it feel personal.
Die Hard thank you

Valentine’s Day

How would John McClane say “I heart you” in a way that ain’t cliche? The image speaks for itself.
Die Hard valentines


The only thing most dads hate more than shopping is fielding eleventh-hour phone calls with additional items for the list. But does McClane throw a typical man-tantrum? Nope. He finds the words to express his feelings like a goddam adult.
Die Hard thank you

Last Minute Errands

John McClane knows when a fight isn’t worth fighting.
Die Hard errands

Sneaking Out Of The Office Early

What is this, high school? Make a real exit, dads.
Die Hard office

Think you or your dad could stand to be more like Bruce? Role model fodder abounds in the Die Hard marathon all Father’s Day long on IFC.

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Founding Farters

Know Your Nerd History

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC.

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Photo Credit: Everett Collection, GIFs via Giphy

That we live in the heyday of nerds is no hot secret. Scientists are celebrities, musicians are robots and late night hosts can recite every word of the Silmarillion. It’s too easy to think that it’s always been this way. But the truth is we owe much to our nerd forebearers who toiled through the jock-filled ’80s so that we might take over the world.


Our humble beginnings are perhaps best captured in iconic ’80s romp Revenge of the Nerds. Like the founding fathers of our Country, the titular nerds rose above their circumstances to culturally pave the way for every Colbert and deGrasse Tyson that we know and love today.

To make sure you’re in the know about our very important cultural roots, here’s a quick download of the vengeful nerds without whom our shameful stereotypes might never have evolved.

Lewis Skolnick

The George Washington of nerds whose unflappable optimism – even in the face of humiliating self-awareness – basically gave birth to the Geek Pride movement.

Gilbert Lowe

OK, this guy is wet blanket, but an important wet blanket. Think Aaron Burr to Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton. His glass-mostly-empty attitude is a galvanizing force for Lewis. Who knows if Lewis could have kept up his optimism without Lowe’s Debbie-Downer outlook?

Arnold Poindexter

A music nerd who, after a soft start (inside joke, you’ll get it later), came out of his shell and let his passion lead instead of his anxiety. If you played an instrument (specifically, electric violin), and you were a nerd, this was your patron saint.


A sex-loving, blunt-smoking, nose-picking guitar hero. If you don’t think he sounds like a classic nerd, you’re absolutely right. And that’s the whole point. Along with Lamar, he simultaneously expanded the definition of nerd and gave pre-existing nerds a twisted sort of cred by association.

Lamar Latrell

Black, gay, and a crazy good breakdancer. In other words, a total groundbreaker. He proved to the world that nerds don’t have a single mold, but are simply outcasts waiting for their moment.


Exceedingly stupid, this dumbass was monumental because he (in a sequel) leaves the jocks to become a nerd. Totally unheard of back then. Now all jocks are basically nerds.

Well, there they are. Never forget that we stand on their shoulders.

Revenge of the Nerds is on IFC all month long.

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