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Wed Jun 8, 2022, 01:05 PM

Portland is still putting a Bird on it!

Rachael Townsend spotted the handmade sign, stapled to a telephone pole, while on a walk with her mom near Scott Elementary School.

“Are you tired of Tinder?” it asked. “Want to meet a local? My boredom can benefit you! Let me interview you and potentially find you a perfect match!”

The sign made Townsend laugh.

“I just thought, ‘That’s hilarious – I’m going to give it a shot,’” the 37-year-old massage therapist recalled.

Townsend rarely used dating apps like Tinder, finding them “too anxiety-producing. I didn’t feel like this was the way I was going to meet somebody.”

So, following the sign’s instructions, she texted “Match” to the phone number listed.

A reply quickly arrived, assuring her, “This is no joke. I’m a real person.”

It was January 2021, and though Townsend didn’t know it, she was getting in on the ground floor of a unique Portland experiment.

Not long after that text exchange, she found herself bundled up and wearing a mask on a fold-out chair in a snow-clogged driveway. Opposite her was Autum Bird, a 33-year-old local barber. Bird, a laptop on her knees, peppered her with questions:


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