I Live Here: Andrew Self

Name & Age: Andrew Self, 31

Hometown: I grew up in Corvallis, but I consider Portland my hometown.

Current Neighborhood: Buckman

How do you pay the rent and what is your slash? I do IT work for a law firm by day, but outside of work I have a love of Portland’s food and beer scenes. Many people know how immersed Portland is in beer, but the casual observer might not realize just how many beer events go on in this city on any given day. Not just the big brewfests downtown, but release parties, “meet the brewer” events, special tappings, beer pairing dinners, and so on. It’s practically a full time job just keeping up with them, but I live right in the middle of one of Portland’s beer hotspots so I can always stumble back home.

What do you create? Occasionally I brew my own beer, often I’m cooking food. It’s a real pleasure to be the designated chef in my house, though if I were cooking for more than two or for a picky eater I’d imagine that would change.

How did you land in Portland? I moved here to go to Catlin Gabel for high school, and aside from attending college out of state I’ve been here ever since. I’ve often said that the only things that could ever lure me away from Portland are the perfect job or the perfect woman, and fortunately, my perfect woman loves Portland as much as I do so I married her.

What is the last book you read? The Looming Tower by Lawrence Wright, and I’m in the middle of a history of the Crimean War. Scintillating stuff, I know, but I’m on a non-fiction streak.

Name your favorite tattoo. I don’t have any ink, but if I did, it would in some way incorporate hops and roses to reflect my love of beer and my love of Portland.

What was the last thing you ate at a food cart? A lamb gyro. I tend to stay on top of the food cart scene in Portland, particularly the downtown ones near where I work, and I came across a new Greek cart.

Oregonian, Willamette Week, or Mercury? Willamette Week for news, Mercury for news & snark. I get the majority of my world news online through NPR and the BBC.

What is your favorite bridge and why? I love the design of the St. Johns bridge, but the sweeping vista of east Portland and downtown as you cross the Marquam bridge going north is beautiful. I hate the bridge itself, though.

Stumptown Coffee or _________? Stumptown is always excellent, but lately I’ve been exploring some of Portland’s smaller roasters in my neighborhood like Oblique, Clive, Water Avenue, Cellar Door, Coava, etc. I buy a bag of something different almost every week.

Coast or Mountains? Coast. I can sit and watch the surf for hours.

Only in Portland moment? The goats in the vacant lot at SE 10th and Belmont. I was so amused by them last year that I wondered if they’d be back, and when they did finally return I tweeted about them and I found from some of my followers that I wasn’t the only one happy to see them again.

A favorite local business? It might be cheating because it’s a collection of businesses, but the Portland Farmers Markets. I feel like I’ve been offered a challenge when I see everything for sale: what can I make with all this? It feeds right into my love of cooking.

Are you a car person or a bike person? I commute by bus and walk most other places, but I see a need for both bikes and cars. The “us versus them” feeling is starting to wear a bit thin, though. Both cyclists and drivers have many arrogant rule-breakers among them.

If you could change one thing about Portland, what would it be? I feel like there’s a disconnect between Portland and its suburbs and even outer Portland. I’ve lived in both the city and the suburbs, and many things are so fundamentally different that we often don’t realize we can’t push some ideas on each other. I feel like there’s a lot of friction due to that. Cycling is a great example—the suburbs were designed around the car, and biking and even walking is inconvenient or dangerous in many places. In much of Portland, biking is a more efficient and convenient mode of transportation due to limited parking, smaller streets, higher population density, etc. When Portland builds up the bike infrastructure or mass transportation, it’s not to push some liberal agenda, it’s to meet the needs of a population that utilizes it. But at the same time, I won’t criticize Beaverton or Hillsboro for meeting the demands of its population with more roads and more parking, if that’s what’s needed. We just have to remember that some things don’t have a single solution.

And finally, where can we find you on the web? I’m @AGSHender on Twitter, I’m on Facebook and I have a personal blog that I update occasionally at http://www.technodevil.com.


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