I've lived in Bend for 18 years, and one thing I can definitely say about the city is how much it has changed. Some of those changes are great, such as more diversity and culture, better food and more stuff to do on a Saturday night—but some of those changes can make Bend unrecognizable to the local. The crimes are more heinous, the traffic is brutal and there are people everywhere... like all of the time.
So with all that said, the staff pick for favorite local sticker is simple.
It says: "Bend Sucks: Don't Move Here."
Obviously the sticker is a joke and Bend doesn't suck (much); instead it's just trying to trick the rest of Washington and California from moving here.
The idea for the sticker came from Lauren Johnson at Newport Market (where the stickers can be purchased) and was executed by Big Cat Sticker Shack. Her inspiration came from a customer. "And then we ran with it," says Johnson, "always remembering that you can't take things too seriously."
I asked Ian Sexton from Big Cat Sticker Shack if he thought Bend had changed much since he was born here. "Bend went from a quiet town of 18,000 people with dirt roads to a chaotic maze of spandex, Subarus and people. It's quite amazing."
My Bend sticker would be even more blunt. It's a line from "Forrest Gump," when he tries to sit down on the bus and the mean little ginger kid looks at him and says "This Seat's Taken."
1121 NW Newport Ave., Bend.
Big Cat Sticker Shack
301 NW Greyhawk Ave., Bend
$3.99 per sticker