by Laura O. Foster

Timber Press, $12.95, 141 pages

As most Portlanders know, there are many things that “Keep Portland Weird”. Unbeknownst to many is the fact that we have so many stairs. Stairs with views, stairs to nowhere, stairs up and stairs down. This small volume is loaded with stairs and there were probably some stares, which led to some of the stories and history included in this book. If you live in Portland, like to walk, and are up for an adventure, go to Powell’s, pick up this pocket book, and seek out some stairs for a change. For visual people there is a blessing and a curse. The first half of the book has just scenic pictures, with no maps, rendering this useless as a guide if you don’t know where Sherwood meets Arden unless you are sporting your smart phone. However, beginning on page 79 are five routes packed with stairs and a map for each of the five routes. A companion website to this book would be great fun, with a map for each location mentioned, and the ability for people to gather virtually on the stairs and tell the stories of their experiences on the stairs and rate their experience. Alas, Google Maps will have to suffice.

Reviewed by Janet Wright