We’ve all heard about “Keep Portland Weird,” the unofficial, yet very effective, slogan of Portland, Oregon. Weirdness and Portland, at least in the early hipster days, went hand-in-hand, and the slogan served as an instruction to visitors, who flocked to sample organic foods and sip craft brews, as well as a reminder to locals, who kept the town weird by hopping on bikes, participating in fringe film festivals and celebrating random holidays. But “Keep Sausalito Salty?” What might that mean? Alex Frankel, the man behind the saying and the graphic T-shirts and hoodies adorned with it, thinks that the half-joking request is the essence of the town, and also a reminder of sorts.
On the brand’s website, Frankel explains that while Sausalito is just across the bay from glossy San Francisco, its rugged, ocean-inspired, fishing-fueled charm shouldn’t be forgotten. Celebrating the Sausalito of houseboats and rolling hills “in its unpolished glory,” Frankel pairs the slogan with an amusing illustration by artist Nat Russell, featuring a bearded, smoking pipe-clad fisherman.
Russell himself is no stranger to humor—his murals and exhibitions have, in the past, featured long-haired mermaid types, fake ‘vintage’ books and more.
“We noticed that the best parts of Sausalito are under threat of being waxed, polished, fixed, and otherwise tweaked,” writes Frankel on the website. “By buying the shirt you hold in your hands, you can help keep your favorite Bay Area town just the way it is.”
He notifies shoppers that 10 percent of each sale supports a public information outreach effort to keep Sausalito citizens informed about local developments. And as for keeping it salty? Everyone can interpret it to their own liking.