ABRAXAS IS CLOSING
One of Portland's weirdest locations deserves your love this month.
When I first moved to Portland, I knew the city through the lens of my older sister. I knew the flea markets and the coffee shops, but living there as an adult, I had to find my own places. It wasn’t long before the marquee at ABRAXAS caught my eye.
ABRAXAS described itself as an “Enchanted Arsenal.” It was my go-to locations for cassette tapes, leftist zines, WIPERS albums that I swooned over. They were regular tabling fixtures at metal shows, and most importantly for me, was the place where I knew I would be able to get books that would challenge my worldview. ABRAXAS was the place where I bought my copy of Transgender History, We Still Here, The Faggots and their Friends Between Revolutions. It’s where I bought a copy of a Demetra George astrology book that was so outside my reading level that it essentially ended my astrology phase.
When I finished my first zine, I talked to my roommate endlessly about how badly I wanted it to be carried at ABRAXAS. I called my sister on the phone so she could hype me up before I went in and asked if they would carry it. I jumped for joy when they said yes. It was an honor to have something on the shelves at ABRAXAS - especially my second zine, A Future, which was so inspired by the books I picked up there.
Matt ran ABRAXAS and is one of my favorite people to make small talk with in Portland. More than picking up something cool and unusual at the store, I looked forward to catching up with him. He announced on instagram yesterday that the shop is closing its doors on October 2nd. My devastation about this closure only grows every day, but I gotta trust that it’s all for the best.
You’ve got about a month left to hit Abraxas up if you’ve never been there before. Go and check it out and pay your respects. Grab a book that you’ve never heard of before, a zine by someone local, or a t-shirt of a metal band whose font you can’t read. We’ll miss this little stop on Congress Street for years to come.