The articles you read on Travel Portland are written by real people who really love our city! Click the images below to learn more about our top contributors and to access their most recent articles. If you would like to write for us, please send an introduction and clips to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joel David Ahumada
Tojo Andrianarivo is a Malagasy-American photographer based in the Pacific Northwest. He specializes in portraits, live music and event photography. When he’s not snapping pictures, he enjoys traveling, spontaneous adventures, biking, and trying out new restaurants.
“My favorite thing about Portland is the expectation of work-life balance and the diversity of options available to realize it.”
Tiara Darnell is a creative strategist, writer, and video and audio producer based in Buffalo, New York, and Portland. Tiara’s freelance writing encompasses cannabis, travel, food and more with an emphasis on diverse perspectives. Her work has appeared in Travel Portland, Broccoli Magazine, Travel Oregon, Willamette Week and elsewhere. Tiara enjoys podcasts, spending time by water, fresh flowers on her table and white tea.
“My favorite thing about Portland is the diehard hoop culture! Go Blazers. ”
JT Flowers is an artist, multi-disciplinary creative and public lands campaigner born and bred in the heart of inner NE Portland’s historic King-Alberta neighborhood. Raised by a single mother and grandmother, neither attending college, JT graduated from Yale University with a degree in Political Science, earning recognition as both a Truman and Rhodes Scholar. He is passionate about wilderness exploration and helping underrepresented communities step into the grounding and healing power of the outdoors.
Catalina Gaitán is a queer Latinx writer and editor from Portland, Oregon. Catalina has written for Willamette Week, Portland Monthly, Harvard University and The Boston Globe and was Travel Portland’s Content Editor from 2015 to 2020.
Catherine Ryan Gregory
“My favorite thing about Portland is that we don’t take ourselves too seriously.”
Catherine Gregory is a freelance writer and the author behind TenThousandHourMama.com. She has lived around the world, including in New York and Singapore, but is happiest living in Oregon with her two daughters.
“My favorite things about Portland are the punks, the nerds and the sheer volume of coffee shops that let me post up for hours writing and drawing silly stories.”
Jim Kettner is a coffee shop cartoonist, writer, illustrator and podcaster (Adult Crash, Galaktacus). His work has been featured in SF Weekly, Razorcake, Driftwood Magazine and As You Were: A Punk Comix Anthology. His graphic memoir collaboration with writer Lacy Davis, Ink in Water, was published in 2017.
“My favorite thing about Portland are the long summer days. ”
Amy Lam is a writer and editor based in Portland.
“My favorite thing about Portland is that it’s a city that can still feel like a small town, if you know where to look.”
Emma Mannheimer is a Seattle-born, Portland-based writer and editor. She is frequently spotted hanging out at dog parks, biking to Expatriate for a drink or paging through art books at the library (but is most likely at home making pizza).
“My favorite thing about Portland is visiting the many vintage stores and buying plaid pants.”
Joseph Manuel was raised on the West Coast and has spent the majority of his life in Oregon. He enjoys black coffee, chess, basketball, samurai films, reading and shopping.
Zelos Marchandt is a multi-media artist/activist based in the Portland metro area. He is the artistic director of T & A Grand Theater and the Ten, Tiny, Talks artist in residency program, a global program based in Oregon for Black, Indigenous trans and queer creatives.
“My favorite thing about Portland is how easy it is to run into someone you know while you're out and about! ”
Marina Martinez-Bateman (they/them) is an equity and communications consultant and ghost tour guide who moved to Portland in 2014. They are the author of The Planner for Doing Less and a founding staffer at the East Portland Pilot Project, now called the Catalytic Investment Initiative. They live in Rockwood with their family and pets and can usually be found somewhere on the East side making friends.
“My favorite thing about Portland is the friendliness. It’s so easy to strike up conversations with strangers; there’s an openness that you don’t find in other cities.”
Karen Martwick, Travel Portland’s director of content strategy, has lived in Portland since 1993. She has a Bachelors in English from Portland State University, served for four years on the board of the American Copy Editors Society, and is an avid karaoke singer and dog mom to Mavis.
“My favorite thing about Portland is that no matter how big we get as a city, our neighborhoods continue to foster community.”
Claudia Meza is an award-winning journalist and host of City Cast Portland, a daily news and talk podcast. She spent a large percentage of her youth playing in various bands and traveling the country. Her accomplishments include learning every possible way to comfortably sleep upright in a moving vehicle.
“My favorite thing about Portland is the food. The fresh, local ingredients are hard to beat, and there are actually too many excellent restaurants to eat at.”
Jenni is an Alaska-born, Oregon-raised writer living in Portland. In addition to being the copy chief at the Portland Mercury, Jenni enjoys playing volleyball, photography, yoga, travel, live music, vegan cupcakes and dogs.
Celeste Noche is a food, travel and portrait photographer based between Portland and San Francisco. Her work has appeared in Portland Monthly, San Francisco Chronicle and The New York Times. She loves reading, eating dumplings and watching reruns of “The Office.”
“My favorite thing about Portland is how each neighborhood has a different feel and culture. And good food!”
Victoria Powell is a former Content Manager at Travel Portland. She has lived in Portland since June of 2021 after relocating from Atlanta, Georgia. She has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Baylor University, and a master’s in Emerging Media from the University of Georgia. Victoria served as the Diversity, Equity and Inclusion liaison for the UGA Women’s Track and Field team and marketing team co-chair of the Baylor University’s Student-Athlete Academic Council.
“My favorite thing about Portland is the DIY scene, from art collectives to maker spaces like the Independent Publishing Resource Center. ”
Emilly Prado is an award-winning journalist who has called Portland home since 2009. Her work has appeared in more than 30 publications, including NPR, Travel Oregon, Eater, Marie Claire, and Portland Monthly, and she is the author of two books including Funeral for Flaca, a winner of a 2022 Pacific Northwest Book Award. When not writing, she travels as much as possible, cuddles with her rescue pit bull, and DJs as Mami Miami with Noche Libre, the Latinx DJ collective she co-founded in 2017. See more work of her work at www.emillyprado.com or via social media @emillygprado.
“Taqueria Los Punales is my favorite Portland thing for shrimp tacos and cucumber lime agua fresca.”
Native to the enchanting shores of Puerto Rico, Paola Santiago is a digital marketer with an Ohio University degree in journalism and cross-cultural communications. Though her career began at her college’s local news station, she has since worked in social media and digital marketing for brands like Friends of Puerto Rico, Ohio. Find It Here. and Lecturio Medical. In 2021 she moved to Portland and now enjoys taking in the city’s natural splendor, spending her evenings concocting new recipes and playing with her best feline friends, Mochi and Pocky.
“Portland creates the best kind of choice paralysis — do I want to take a dance lesson or shoot archery? Rock climb or aerial yoga? Paddle board or hike? Attend trivia night or watch improv comedy? The options are delightfully endless.”
Maya Seaman is a SoCal-born writer who traded palm trees for pines when she moved to Portland in 2010. A self-proclaimed hobby collector, Maya fully exploits Portland’s diverse range of readily available activities.
Donovan Scribes (fka Donovan M. Smith)
“My favorite thing about Portland is St. John’s Bridge. ”
Donovan Scribes (fka Donovan M. Smith) is an award-winning writer, artist and speaker in Portland. He has written for several publications, including The Oregonian, Skanner and iHeartRadio where he served as a co-writer on the 10-part top 100 iTunes podcast “Uprising: a Guide from Portland” detailing the history behind the 100+ days of protest in Portland in 2020. Scribes has also been featured in USA Today, The Nation, The FADER, FYI Network and more.
His “Gentrification is WEIRD!” platform has been used to steer important dialogue about Black history and futures in Oregon, policing, and reimagining George Park in St Johns. He has served on many boards and committees, including the Multnomah County Charter Review Committee (2021-2022), charged with revising the county’s local constitution, and as 2nd Vice President of the Portland NAACP (2021-2022), where he led work on housing, police and environmental policies and programs.
Scribes is an oft-requested speaker on college campuses and universities, government and community organizations seeking creative and challenging conversations on history, narrative and justice. His “Music As A Tool For Justice” workshop continues to be offered by Oregon Humanities as part of their statewide Conversation Project.
A fourth-generation Portlander, Scribes is committed to civic engagement, uplifting stories, and creatively shaping futures. A graduate of Oregon Episcopal School, he also attended the HBCU Fisk University in Nashville, TN.
He enjoys good music, good stories, and making an impact.
“My favorite thing about Portland is its creative spirit.”
Courtney Tait is a writer from Victoria, B.C., who lives in Portland. She enjoys forest hikes, thrift shopping, cuddling with her cats (and husband), volunteering, jazz music and digging into the latest read for her feminist book club.
Benjamin Tepler is Portland Monthly magazine’s associate editor, and his writing has appeared in publications including Food & Wine and Sunset. To counter-balance his high-caloric diet, Benjamin spends his free time running, hiking and climbing up Oregon’s various peaks.
“My favorite thing about Portland is the proximity to the outdoors. Okay — and Powell's.”
Katie Vaughan is a writer and marketing coordinator living in Portland. She enjoys consuming carbs, reading any book she can get her hands on, hiking in the woods and binging British detective television shows.
“My favorite thing about Portland is the abundance of outdoor recreation; you're only a short walk or bus ride from city parks, hiking trails, winding rivers, or lush forests!”
Matt Wastradowski is an Oregon-based travel writer who loves writing about the great outdoors, the Pacific Northwest’s craft beer and cider scene, and regional history. He’s been lucky enough to write for Willamette Week, Northwest Travel & Life, Portland Monthly, and more—and has authored three guidebooks for Moon Travel Guides (including Moon Oregon, due out in 2023). When he isn’t hiking around the region or bellying up to the bar at his favorite Portland breweries, Matt is probably rocking out to Pearl Jam (as he owns more than 40 albums by the seminal band).
Janey Wong is an East Portland native who works as a freelance writer and social media manager. Her writing work ranges from copywriting to essays on food, culture and identity. Beyond her professional projects, she runs a food Instagram (@foodbbpdx) that has been featured on Eater Portland and Yelp PDX, sells vintage clothing online and is an avid traveler.
“My favorite thing about Portland is how many trans people live here. ”
Tuck Woodstock wrote and edited content for Travel Portland from 2014–2020. Tuck is a gender & equity educator, as well as the creator of the podcast Gender Reveal.
“My favorite thing about Portland is the art community that's super open to sharing resources and collaboration. And of course, really good food in restaurants as well as food carts. My favorite on top of my head is Nong's Khao Man Gai!”
Subin Yang is an illustrator currently based in NY. Using colorful blocky shapes and loose line work, she makes illustrations inspired by themes of home, culture and identity. When not drawing, she’s probably eating butter chicken or tuna kimbap somewhere.
“My favorite Portland thing are the posters stapled to telephone poles that help me discover local live music. ”
Katrina Yentch is a freelance journalist, editor, and copywriter living in Portland. When she isn’t writing, she’s either napping and cooking in the winter or paddling and backpacking during the summer.