‘PDX Sidewalk Joy’ map is a guide to roadside curiosities

Roll onto the sidewalk for even more fun.

We can all use a bit more joy in our lives. And what better place to find it then on the streets in our neighborhoods by bike?!

Today I learned about the Sidewalk Joy Map and couldn’t wait to share it with you. This excellent map includes 65 locations citywide where you can find wonderful, community-made delights like little free libraries, artistic displays, interactive public art, free swaps, and much more. It’s as if Hidden Portland for the Curious (one of my fave Facebook Groups) has been organized into a map.

The Sidewalk Joy map was created by the folks behind PDXDinorama and PDX FLAG, two instagram accounts that highlight front-yard art and little free art galleries throughout Portland.

There’s a Google Map where you can find all the attactions and descriptions of each one. And there’s a PDF with all the descriptions you can print out if you want a hard copy.

So grab your bike and a friend if you’d like, and plot a course for the Brooklyn See-Saw (SE 15th and Lafayette), the Comics Cottage (SE 56th and Rhone), the Robot Alley (south of N Skidmore between Borthwich and Kerby), the Tiny Creature Swap (NE 21st north of Knott), or the Puzzle Exchange (near SW Iowa and 45th).

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)
Editor

Um, I know I’m on vacation, but there doesn’t seem to be much joy on the west side. So I wouldn’t call this a “citywide” map, am I missing something?

SWTrails just sponsored a tool library under the Cap Hwy bridge over Bertha. You can borrow power tools, how cool is that?

Fred
Fred
1 month ago

Good use of that space, since there was a pretty robust homeless camp under there til recently.

Steve C
Steve C
1 month ago

“Ugh. Do we have to make comments like this?”

Fred
Fred
1 month ago

It’s funny how there is no “joy” west of the river, aside from the SW puzzle exchange.

Those folks on the west side are all rich so they must have private joys.

Brian McGloin
19 days ago
Reply to  Fred

We’re not all wealthy. The people who made the map started with where they were familiar. I don’t think it was meant as a slight against a large chunk of Portland.

 
 
1 month ago

Apparently to these people Portland doesn’t extend west of the river or east of I-5. North, outer East, and SW/Nw don’t exist at all. All too common of a mentality by people who live in the inner eastside…

Although, maybe the reason for the lack of sidewalk curiosities in SW is that there are basically no sidewalks in SW…

Fred
Fred
1 month ago

Yes, we do have to make comments like this, b/c a huge part of the city is routinely excluded. You don’t feel it b/c you live in the part that is included.

So go on enjoying your inclusion and we excluded people will make our own fun, I guess.

John
John
1 month ago
Reply to  Fred

I don’t know, what does this even mean? Not all of the city is as interesting. “The city” is an arbitrary geographically defined region and not all of it is the same. Some of it is bustling downtown, some of it is pretty much a suburb.

Not saying east of 205 (I assume that’s what they meant) or the west hills have nothing interesting, but *most* of the stuff that’s happening in the city is in the densest, most central part of the city. That’s what a city is. There is nothing wrong with that, except when it comes to not having sidewalks and other nice infrastructure stuff (which they should!). But not everywhere has to be the center of attention.

Like, if you made a map of “Best Portland Restaurants”, most of them would be pretty densely packed in a similar area. With that example, of course there would be some further out, but you get the idea.

It shouldn’t be taken as some insult or some kind of slight because they don’t have markers further out. And as Jonathan pointed out, it’s just what these people know, anyone is free to submit more things to the list (I think).

Lisa Caballero (Assistant Editor)
Editor

Hi Jonathan, I’m sorry, I wasn’t criticizing the map makers, it’s great they took on that project. (I was quibbling with your choosing to label it “citywide.” Don’t ya hate it when readers jump on one tiny word choice? Sorry.)

 
 
1 month ago

I was probably a little more snarky there than I should have been, but it tires me to no end when people always talk about Portland as though it’s only the areas close-in to the river on the east side. It’s not intentional, but it has the effect of alienating everyone else in the city when these areas are given no thought and making inner Portland seem like an insular place that forgets about the much larger community in the area.

An assumption that in my view is verified by the fact that almost all recent city council members have lived on the inner Eastside (as evidenced by Lisa’s prior comments here that I’ve read).

We should all do better, but it’s significantly worse when Portland “influencers” — for the lack of a better word — do it, because they’re the ones with the megaphone to shape public opinion and activities throughout the city.

cct
cct
1 month ago
Reply to   

So you are saying ‘inner east Portland’ is the Manhattan of Oregon? 🙂

Will
Will
1 month ago
Reply to   

Yes, those of us on the west side of the Central City are famously forgotten and overlooked. No one ever talks about Downtown, or the Pearl, or Northwest, or PSU. Totally ignored backwaters out here ;).

#1 landlord hater
#1 landlord hater
1 month ago
Reply to  Will

Yes, those in outer SE are famously forgotten and overlooked, No one ever talks about Buckman, or Hosford-Abernethy, or Richmond, or Sunnyside. Totally ignored backwater out here ;).

John V
John V
1 month ago
Reply to  Will

Those of us on the inner North side are famously Overlook.

qqq
qqq
1 month ago

That’s a great resource I’ve been using for awhile. Same with Hidden Portland for the Curious on facebook. It’s regularly got posts of things all over the city, for those keeping score. And posters always include locations.

Another map people might like is: https://portlandwild.com/
It’s got murals and notable trees, although there are lots of newer murals not on it yet.

jakeco969
jakeco969
1 month ago
Reply to  qqq

That’s pretty incredible!! Great resource, thank you!

Chrystal
Chrystal
1 month ago

How fun! Thanks for sharing.