It’s Wednesday, Portland.
And if you’ve been a constant reader, you know what that means — we’re getting weird today.
Every week, we celebrate elements of Portland’s wonderful weirdness in collaboration with Weird Portland United.
If you haven’t read any features in this series yet, you can find our archive of Weird Wednesdays here, featuring The Unipiper, the Portland Sleestak, Spencer Sprocket, Carlos the Rollerblader, Strawberry Pickle, and many more colorful local characters.
It’s time to meet another of Weird Portland United’s board members (the unofficial ambassadors of Rose City’s weirdness), the treasurer of this fantastically weird nonprofit and attorney at law, Aaron Cronan! Let’s dive in.
What is your position on the board of Weird Portland United, and what are your responsibilities?
I am the Treasurer. My day job as an attorney has me managing business filings all the time, so it is a natural fit that I help handle a lot of the upkeep on the corporation and various registrations/filings.
(📸: Courtesy of Aaron Cronan)
How did you become involved with WPU?
Brian started working with me many years ago as the attorney for his alter-ego, The Unipiper. I helped him register trademarks and negotiate marketing agreements. Brian mentioned back then that he hoped to start a non-profit to support the creatives in Portland. And here we are!
What does keeping Portland weird mean to you?
For me, helping Portland stay weird means keeping the city affordable for people to be able to take risks and think outside the box. If everyone is working at 100% just staying afloat, there is no time to explore creative ideas. It also means keeping the unique flavors of non-chain shops and restaurants. If individuals get squeezed out by big-box, we all lose.
When you’re not working on WPU tasks, what passions and hobbies do you get up to around Portland?
Before I had kids, I had a live music show called Robot Uprise, consisting of me playing keyboard, signing with a robot vocoder, oscillating LED glass, and a lot of lasers – plus it was made into a comic book. It was a blast! Now, most of my hobbies are in the daylight and involve taking a combination of my kids and puppy to the park. I can see a near future where I can get back into more creative exploits again.
What is one of your favorite weird features / people / events here in Portland and why?
My favorite thing about Portland is all the amazing options for food. We lost some great places this past year. I really hope we can keep up that diversity and experimentation.
As WPU’s treasurer, Aaron keeps track of what is valuable for the nonprofit. For him personally, it’s his pup. (📸: Courtesy of Aaron Cronan)
What is something you’re working on right now, big or small, that you could use reader support on, and how can folks get involved?
I have a start-up almost in beta, but it is far outside the WPU weird arena. It’s a trademark monitoring tool called Trademark Aardvark. If it gets reader support then I had better get a landing page in place.
Thank you to our Bridgeliner Unabridged members. Stories like these are made possible with your membership and support.