2012 Portland Monthly Gift Guide

The Geek's Guide to Gifts: Get the perfect local present for your most beloved obsessive.

By Eden Dawn November 20, 2012

Portland is a city of geeks. And we don’t mean that as an insult. Our obsession with everything from smoked ice to custom-built bikes has created some of the country’s most cutting-edge restaurants and celebrated designers—and a citizenship that craves such craftsmanship. Embrace the fascination this year, and indulge your most beloved geek with one of these local gifts.

*Click the images to enlarge or get a closer look by visting our gift guide gallery on Pinterest


1212 foodie geek gifts pgojvl

A collection of delicious DIY: The Sugar Cube by Kir Jensen ($25); The Mighty Gastropolis: Portland by Karen Brooks ($25); Roots by Diane Morgan ($40); Flour Water Salt Yeast by Ken Forkish ($25), all at Powell’s

Stir things up with spices from Viridian Farms’ online store (viridianfarms.com), newly relaunched in November. 

Getting one of Bob Kramer’s custom knives usually means hoping you’re one of the people randomly selected through e-mail each month to place an order. Hope no more: now you can collect his eight-inch Stainless Damascus Chef’s Knife, a collaboration with Zwilling J. A. Henckels, for $400 at Sur La Table.

A native knife-wielder must: Myrtlewood Oregon cutting board, $33 at Made in Oregon

Curl up with Portland ceramic master Notary’s White Stoneware mugs, $24 each at Alder & Co


1212 art geek gifts hxwqud

Old works of art give birth to new ones in Portland’s Ex Libris Anonymous Vintage Book Journals and Sketchbooks, $14 from bookjournals.com.

Pretty in ink: Portland architect Brendon Farrell designed this NW Rubber Stamp collection, $78 at Canoe.

Give new meaning to the term “road music” with Case of BasS Debonair Class Speakers, $450–900 at Tender Loving Empire. These portable sound systems are hand-built into vintage luggage; earplugs not included. 

Nomad Play iPad paintbrushes (from $18 at nomadbrush.com) are perfect for the modern Picasso.

Gossip girl: Beth Ditto’s Coal to Diamonds: A Memoir, $22 at Powell’s 


1212 gear geek gifts rqnxk4

Vanport Outfitters Amanda Reed iPad Case ($110 at vanportoutfitters.com) keeps your iPad looking pretty and you looking chic. 

Part iPhone charger, part USB port, Twig ($25 at Hand-Eye Supply) is a portable docking station with bendable legs that turn it into a stand for hands-free Skype calls or self-portraits. (Twig’s development was funded 100 percent through Kickstarter.) 

Tarp on one side, space blanket on the other, the Poler Magic Tarpit ($25 at polerstuff.com) keeps you warm in any weather and doubles as a cover for your bike and other gear. 

Your favorite fitness freak/data head will love TomTom’s Nike+ SportWatch ($149–169 at nike.com), with GPS, run tracking and reminders, and even motivational messages while you sweat.  

Form meets function in the Danner for Tanner Goods Mountain Trail Left Bank Boots ($350 at Tanner Goods), the inaugural collaboration between the two companies.


1212 design geek gifts sezf8a

Nell and Mary Doors Pillows ($66 at nellandmary.com) are cut, sewn, and screen-printed in the heart of Southeast Portland. 

Empty nest: Hand-blown in Portland, Lynn Read’s Think Bowls ($45 at Canoe) are pretty even when they’re cradling only air.

See the city in a whole new way with Archie’s Press Large Portland Prints, $24 at Red Sail and Boys Fort.

Every castle deserves a throne like this new Herman Miller Eames Walnut Rocker reupholstered in Pendleton Wool, $990 at Beam & Anchor.

Macro meets micro(brew) with Quarter Twenty’s Knucklehead bottle opener ($28 at Tilde), made out of a hefty slab of steel. 

Filed under
Show Comments