Designed and written for the DIY-inclined person without any cash to spare, the Zinester's Guide to Portland breaks down the PDX grid by neighborhood with descriptions of good restaurants, thrift stores, bars, bridges, places to loiter, etc. (lots of etc.). The newly overhauled and illustrated sixth edition gets shoulder-deep into the history and local lore, providing a well-rounded argument as to why (fill in the blank) deserves your time.
It also demystifies the TriMet public transportation system, bike events and culture, outdoorsy stuff, the public libraries basically anything you need to know as the new kid in town. The book's title implies a guide to Portland zine culture, and indeed it originated in 2001 as a hand-stapled zine. But now, as editor Shawn Granton says in the introduction, the Zinester's Guide is not just for zinesters, that "It's always been about sharing the interesting and unique things that make Stumptown great, and also helping people get by that aren't swimming in scads of money." For those of us that can't so much as dogpaddle most days, this is community at its mightiest.
Shawn Granton is a freelance artist and contributor to the magazine Momentum. He lives in Portland, Oregon where he leads bike rides, draw comics, and works at a hostel.