Understanding a city can be a daunting task: guidebooks are rarely specific enough, tours can be far too boring, and Grace Slick can never adequately explain the complicated engineering that allowed everything to be built on rock and roll. To discover a metropolis via the stories of local experts, you’re gonna want Spotsi.
Brewed up in a PDX tech incubator and just nudged into public beta, Spotsi's a free, crazily innovative site that lets you explore the globe via geolocated, story-based tours created by notable citizens, an idea hatched by partners who found Rome is more fun when a friend hooks you up with a Coliseum archaeologist who knows the best tiramisu joints, and basically makes traveling a piece of cake. Currently Portland-focused tours come from folks like Chris Israel of Gruner, who maps a route through specialty food stores & boutiques that ends in a bang-up dinner party; the cats behind Nau, who take you from a Mt. Hood warming hut to NE's Tiga for cocktails; and even Thomas Lauderdale of Pink Martini, who struts his downtown lifestyle at joints like Spella Caffe and Mary's Club, where no one gets to Hang On to the Little Tomatoes. Non-famous Spotsi users like you can also build tours by simply entering the notable locations’ addresses, uploading pictures, and penning brief descriptions, whether it's “My Favorite Applebee's...es?”, "Yards My Pug Poops In", or “Applebee's...es? My Pug Poops In”.
Because it's mad tricky to walk effectively with an open laptop, Spotsi has a slick app, and will soon allow users to move seamlessly from one tour to another if they happen to share a location -- all in all, so much better than Grace getting tired of your questions, and telling you to go ask Alice.