Portland Monthly

Portland Monthly Hector Sanchez, new Creative Director for SagaCity Media's Portland Monthly, shares some details about, well, beards:
The great thing about working on a city mag is the opportunity to observe and document a city's native culture. Having worked for three great city mags, I found that Portland is home to an amazing creative community and is truly, as we recently called it, the "beardiest city in America!" Shortly after arriving here, Editor in Chief Paige Williams and I noticed all these "beardos" (localspeak for beards + weirdos) and wanted to explore why beards are so rooted in the Pacific Northwest. We asked them how they felt about their beards and not only were surprised by their candor and creativity and eloquence--these guys really thought about their whiskers--but also by the response in Portland and around the country. Who knew beards could be so zeitgeist?

All the beards in our photo essay (January 2009 issue, Portland Monthly) were gathered by local photographer Chris Hornbecker. Also check out designer Thomas Cobb's illustrated beard timeline, "Whiskery History."

Here's a sampling of our subjects' musings on their facial hair ...

"A beard is many things for me.
"A beard is a bullshit filter. It keeps me from working at lame places and interacting with lame people.
"A beard is a reminder that I am wild, that my roots are from the wilderness.
"A beard is a scarf that works great while bike riding in this climate--it's better than wool!
"A beard is a confident vote for manliness.
"A beard is a friend who is always there to give you a hug.
"A beard honors all the loggers who lost limbs and died harvesting the timber that built our great city--these buildings are made of old-growth Douglas fir and gravel dust from Mount Hood.
"A beard helps solidify the cultural significance of the Pacific Northwest and the rugged people who live here."

-- Justin "Scrappers" Morrison


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  • Matthew Bates

    Really nice work Hector. The magazine is looking great and the timeline is too fun.

    Glad to see Oregon represent.

  • Mark Kaufman

    Whenever I go a few days without shaving, people usually ask if I am growing a beard, my kneejerk reaction is to say NO! I don't know why that is, I haven't wished to be associated with Seattle “beardo” culture I guess. After seeing your quite beautiful spreads, I hope that I will have a different reaction when this question comes up again. The answer will still be no, but I won't be so defensive about it. A clever idea treated with great respect. Thanks.

  • Heather Jones

    I totally love the "Sasquatch" on the Whiskery History timeline. The Pacific Northwest bent is super fun, but don't you think this timeline could break out and go national? I'm just sayin' I could throw you some specimens from the right coast;) Keep up the great work! //// HJ

  • Christian Jensen

    I loved looking through this issue when i was home from NYC for the holidays. It may be hard for outsiders to fully understand and appreciate the creativity that comes with a beard...but in in P-town...it makes sense. and people get it. The photos are great, and the spreads look great (as do the rest of the pages!)

    Keep up the good work...I hope to be west again, sooner rather than later!

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