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Portland, Oregon SperlingViews



"Portland: All Hype and No Substance"


Portland: All Hype and No Substance - 10/31/2011
34 27
Ottoline
Portland, OR

After having lived in Seattle, Berlin, Edinburgh, Glasgow, and Cork, my husband and I moved to Portland six years ago. Although we had looked at houses on both coasts of the US, and I had wanted to return to Seattle (where we both grew up), my husband was enthusiatic about Portland's much vaunted arts scene and ostensibly green sensibilities, as well as its purported gloomy weather (we both love rain and storms). I reluctantly went along with the move, and it remains the worst mistake I have ever made. Having spent every summer of my childhood at a cabin near Mt Hood, I knew that, in spite of its reputation for gloom, Portland really doesn't have a comparatively high percentage of rainfall. The sky is almost always a uniformly glaring, migraine-inducing white, and summers are bone dry and can be hellishly hot - often over 100 degrees. Our first summer here, we experienced a high temperature of 107. We began making plans then to sell our house and leave - just as housing prices began to plummet.

Whoever is responsible for PR in this city is an absolute genius, albeit shamefully deceptive. The so-called 'hip arts scene' we had heard so much about is non-existent. Somehow, Portlanders seem to confuse the term 'hip' with what would be called 'white trash' in most other cities. We had visions of spending weekends gallery and museum hopping, as we had done when we lived elsewhere, but there are no actual museums in Portland, and what galleries there are are almost entirely full of nothing but local unoriginal and derivative rubbish. Portland's Last Thursday Arts Walk is indistinguishable from a giant frat party - it has little to do with art, and everything to do with getting guttered on PBR and ralphing up in the street. Frame that.

Our first two years in Portland, wanting to support the smudge of culture that did exist here, we secured a box at the opera, and subscribed to the symphony and the ballet as well. After two years of lacklustre performances, 1970s-style lighting and staging, and increasing dumbing-down of content in order to appeal to the majority hick demographic, we gave up and have not subscribed since. We now arrange our work schedules so that we can travel to Seattle or San Francisco for music and dance, though White Bird does bring many excellent dance performances to Portland from around the world. And there is a reason why house concerts, organized and booked by neighbors who have abandoned Portland's 'offical' cultural establishment, are increasingly popular here.

As for the business environment, we have a small international repair business and work out of a workshop in our home. When we first moved to Portland, we had decided that, as we had always done, we would allow local customers to come to our house to obtain repairs by appointment rather than having to mail their items in. After enduring two years of time wasting no-shows, locals doorstepping us at 7.00 am, extreme rudeness, and customers reeking of alcohol or in mid-tweak, we'd had enough. We no longer take in work from locals. But even a large notice on our website, as well as a huge sign on our front door, has not stopped them, zombie-like, from trying to get in. We can never leave our front door open, and have had to install a panic button in addition to alarming the entire house. Maybe it is this lack of consideration or even a shred of intelligence that has contributed to the fact that Portland's shop clerks are so notoriously rude. Having dealt with the public here, I can only sympathize, and wonder if some mass scale lobotomizing chemical experiment hasn't at some time in the recent past been undertaken here.

And as for Portland's celebrated green credentials - pure hubristic hype. Portland is a long way behind San Francisco, Seattle, Berlin, Copenhaven, and many, many other cities in recycling, environmental education, and transportation. From all that we had read before moving here, we thought that we would be able to do without a car in Portland. Instead, we had to buy a car after moving here. The entire SE part of the city is served by only a very small handful of filthy, poorly maintained buses on a scatter-shot schedule. The first thing I did when moving here was to call Metro and ask for a transit or bus map - but they do not even have such a thing. There are no schedules, time-wise or fare-wise, posted at bus stops. And there is no way of getting cross-town, from North to South, on East side public transport - one must go all the way downtown to transfer to another route, then travel back across the open sewer, er, Willamette River. We live in inner South East, and have to take three buses just to get to our 'local' Post Office. Neither the highly publicized Max nor the tram venture anywhere near SE Portland - a huge area of the city with almost no public transportation at all.

In summation, I am trying to think of one nice thing to say about Portland, just one. But not a thing comes to mind. I only wish that we could have spent more time visiting Portland and researching the truth of what we read prior to moving here. Now we are stuck here until housing prices begin to ascend again. It can't happen soon enough for us.

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dean

re: Portland: All Hype and No Substance - 10/31/20 - 12/3/2011
Were planning a relocation, i have lived in the Portland area growing up for about a year, not too long, and this was 32 years ago. In your opinion and experience, you like Seattle over Portland? We like the Pacific northwest...looking for a nice place, we have 2 children 4 and 6. Thanks


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Patrick

re: Portland: All Hype and No Substance - 10/31/20 - 1/7/2012
Reply to Dean: Education is much better funded in Seattle than in Portland, as are the arts. The public schools are far superior, and there are more educational opportunities for children, including the Museum of History and Industry, the Burke Museum, and the Science Center. Quite simply, there is more money in Seattle, and therefore more funding for the arts. Seattle is a cleaner, lovelier city, and theatre and the symphony are world class. The cost of purchasing a house in Seattle can be three times what it is in Portland for a comparable property, but if you can afford it, and your childrens' educational opportunities are important to you, Seattle is the better choice. It is also a stunning city, surrounded on all sides by mountains and water. And I also feel that it is a safer city, and a great one for walking. One of my favorite things to do a weekend there as a kid was to trek through the arboretum and spy on the abundance of wildlife.


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Ann

re: Portland: All Hype and No Substance - 10/31/20 - 3/16/2012
"Having dealt with the public here, I can only sympathize, and wonder if some mass scale lobotomizing chemical experiment hasn't at some time in the recent past been undertaken here." That is very funny. Yes, Portland, OR has no culture, no intelligence, no education and the food scene is actually rather boring and definitely uninspired. Portlanders are pretty vile and I would not trust one to work for me or with me (tried that, never again) as larceny and lying are the cultural ethos here. Portland is generally hell on earth and the suburbs are actually worse although somewhat less dirty than the city. Portland is intensely BORING. There is virtually nothing to do. I did spend a day being bored at what passes for the art museum and have attended the symphony (boring), plays, etc. Everything is a shadow of what you can find in other cities - non of which are in Oregon of course. There is something seriously mentally defective about Portlanders and Oregonians in general. Maybe they all get dropped on their heads early in life and end up without a civil thought in their heads.


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More Portland, Oregon SperlingViews

Want to move
Portland, OR

I want to move, but don't think Portland is bad as - 5/26/2014

I've lived in Portland for 10 years and I do want to move, but mostly because of the weather and my severe outdoor allergies. If you have any outdoor allergies stay away!! I have lived all over the United States and trust me there are worse places to live. It is very liberal here so if you are conservative or have negative thoughts about groups of people you should probably keep it to yourself. Bring a lot of money with you it's expensive. I was in good financial shape when I moved here and now I'm in terrible financial shape, of course we did just go through a terrible recession. Keep Portland Weird is mostly men dressed in drag, they are mostly harmless. I work downtown and there are a lot of homeless. It drizzles here most of the year. Drip, drip, drip. It's overcast and humid most of the time. There is only about two months of good weather here if you're lucky. When there is a random few days of good weather it feels like a miracle. You really have to watch out for the pedestrians and people on bikes. They don't obey the traffic laws and if you hit one with your car it is your fault no matter what they are doing. If you have money there is all kinds of stuff to do here. So the bottom line is if you have money and don't mind never seeing the sun and being damp and chilly all the time Portland isn't such a bad place.

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Starbuck
Fallbrook, CA

Portland, Oregon is a Nightmare Weird - 4/25/2014

After reading a few of the reviews about Portland, had to enter my response. Yes, it is the most weirdest place and corrupt for that matter than anywhere else I have lived. If you are planning to move here be careful what you say to people as the people of Portland are always in a bad mood (undoubtedly due to the rain) and don't even know it and do not under any circumstance sign one of Oregon's non competition contracts if you are working for a company. Lawyers are corrupt to the hilt in Oregon and buy off judges at a moments notice to get their way in court and the biggest kicker of all. Don't ever catch a pedophile in Oregon molesting some child; you will be sorry as the police protect these deviant people at all costs including Catholic priests. Just do some research on line for all the information about this subject in Portland. I believe the Oregon constitution's main jist is the protection of deviant lifestyles and police are ordered not to intervene if though they have committed crimes against normal people. Portland,Oregon, yes, is a very weird place... whacky, delusional, corrupt.... stay away at all costs if you value your finances and sanity.

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Jasmyn
Tualatin, OR

Keep Portland Weird - 1/12/2014

Portland is filled with weird people looking for a good time. Oregon is one of the best places for customer service because youll find people here actually care about other people. We look out for eachother whether you moved here 40 years ago or 6 months ago. We dont care. Dont try to change Portland. We are weird and we are proud. But we also accept everyone. <3 welcome to oregon!

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Alex
Portland, OR

Listen to the masses - 1/12/2014

Would be appreciative if 1,000 more people would add to this thread about how horrible Portland is. People who are thinking of moving, or have recently moved, or contemplating moving, need that extra push to decide. Yes, people think Portland is expensive, uneducated, fake polite, boring, hate the rain, no one will make friends with them, taxrs too high, nothing to do, can't make a profitable living,, were duped by the hype to move here, have home marrow ice cream, be transported to the ozarks but it's really Portland, pushy small Christian business owners will try to convert you, Buddhists will try to convert you, takes 16 years to make a friend,, trains only drive a straight line-north to south and easy to west,ridiculous traffic, and let's not foreget....Portland is white, oh so very white. ( I always thought it was gray and gray blue.... So in a nutshell, there you have it. Portland is the worst....the absolute WORST place to move because it will not meet your expectations and it definitely is not a "lovely" place to be spend hell in. Please, for the love of God and all that is organic DO NOT MOVE HERE.

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Alex
Portland, OR

Listen to the masses - 1/12/2014

Would be appreciative if 1,000 more people would add to this thread about how horrible Portland is. People who are thinking of moving, or have recently moved, or contemplating moving, need that extra push to decide. Yes, people think Portland is expensive, uneducated, fake polite, boring, hate the rain, no one will make friends with them, taxrs too high, nothing to do, can't make a profitable living,, were duped by the hype to move here, have home marrow ice cream, be transported to the ozarks but it's really Portland, pushy small Christian business owners will try to convert you, Buddhists will try to convert you, takes 16 years to make a friend,, trains only drive a straight line-north to south and easy to west,ridiculous traffic, and let's not foreget....Portland is white, oh so very white. ( I always thought it was gray and gray blue.... So in a nutshell, there you have it. Portland is the worst....the absolute WORST place to move because it will not meet your expectations and it definitely is not a "lovely" place to be spend hell in. Please, for the love of God and all that is organic DO NOT MOVE HERE.

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Alex
Portland, OR

It's raining out there - 1/12/2014

Portland is raining ran.

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Jay
Leander, TX

Portland is great - 9/26/2013

I really like Portland and I even like Seattle a lot too both cities looks alike. It's beautiful in Portland and the smaller towns around Portland is very nice. Weather is nice all the time never too cold or too hot it's can be a little too warm in summer sometimes and a little humid but it's not bad at all because it's only a week or two in summer. In winter it's rainy a lot sometimes and some years will be different it's will be rainy too much in winter and some years will get less rain than some other years but it's just light rain most of the time and it's can be a little heavy sometimes. Not very cold in winter it's very mild compare to Denver, and Chicago. Denver gets bitter cold in winter and Portland is no where nearly that cold. Spring, summer and early fall is awesome weather here some summer can be sunny everyday for three months and not see a cloud and some summer can have a few more cloudy days than other summers. But it's beautiful in those three seasons. There is some sunny days in winter but it's mostly cloudy days with rain. The job market is great in portland area and economy is doing better and doing good I hope it's stays good because three or four years ago it's was doing a little bad but better than rest of country. Tons of things to do in the state of Oregon and in Portland too. Lots of bike and walking trails. A lot of clean safe campgrounds and mostly along the coast of Oregon. There are campgrounds close to Portland that are great to camp. A lot of sight seeing all over town and leaving town on way to ocean or to the cascade mountains. The people there are very nice and not everyone is nice but a lot nicer than most cities in this country I guess it's has something to do with people liking it in Oregon a lot and that what makes people happy and friendly there. I love the pacific northwest united state it's my favorite part of the country, because of good weather nice folks and very good foods like seafoods and beautiful there. Thank you for reading my comment.

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Mickey
Portland, OR

A town where people don't shower and are incredibl - 9/15/2013

I've finally left Portland after being seduced by the NY Times articles and short visits to check it out. Boy was I duped. I quickly grew tired of the phony shop keepers asking me about my weekend plans--you don't know me and why would you care? Tired of the icy coldness of the general public--unless your a "Proud Oregionian" they would much prefer you not move to their state. I grew tired of being asked why I moved there and fear that I might be taking a job away from one of their own. Guess what? I wasn't taking your job. I brought my own. I ate in your restaurants and hired your people. I paid property taxes and contributed to your overall economy. I'm educated with a post-graduate degree. I shower and I have all of my teeth (meth addicts everywhere). I qyuickly grew weary of the holier than though Christian fundamentalists. I've never seen so many businesses advertise the scriptures on their websites. The incidence of DUIs was appalling. I felt like I was in the Ozarks for much of the time. Portland thinks they are a big city with world class restaurants. That is laffable. No, I dont like bone marrow ice cream. Good riddance Portland. I'm heading home where the people have brain cells, shower and smile and mean it. Oh, and the majority have their teeth.

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Mickey
Portland, OR

A town where people don't shower and are incredibl - 9/15/2013

I've finally left Portland after being seduced by the NY Times articles and short visits to check it out. Boy was I duped. I quickly grew tired of the phony shop keepers asking me about my weekend plans--you don't know me and why would you care? Tired of the icy coldness of the general public--unless your a "Proud Oregionian" they would much prefer you not move to their state. I grew tired of being asked why I moved there and fear that I might be taking a job away from one of their own. Guess what? I wasn't taking your job. I brought my own. I ate in your restaurants and hired your people. I paid property taxes and contributed to your overall economy. I'm educated with a post-graduate degree. I shower and I have all of my teeth (meth addicts everywhere). I qyuickly grew weary of the holier than though Christian fundamentalists. I've never seen so many businesses advertise the scriptures on their websites. The incidence of DUIs was appalling. I felt like I was in the Ozarks for much of the time. Portland thinks they are a big city with world class restaurants. That is laffable. No, I dont like bone marrow ice cream. Good riddance Portland. I'm heading home where the people have brain cells, shower and smile and mean it. Oh, and the majority have their teeth.

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D.C.
Portland, OR

Outstanding music scene - 7/2/2013

Portland has a great music scene. The Waterfront Blues Festival is the crown jewel.

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j
Portland, OR

Hyped, White and Classist - 5/12/2013

I've lived in several cities in the U.S. large and small; Philadelphia, Denver, L.A., Pittsburgh, Chicago and now Portland. I am a nearly middle-aged caucasian male with a doctoral degree. I am employed and make a reasonable wage for a single person. While these comments are inherently unfair because of they are opinions and full of blanket statements, I hope that people would think twice about moving to Portland after reading mine. Portland is easily one of the most frustrating places I have ever lived. The lack of diversity here is appauling. The northwest in general is extremely "white". Institutional racism and classist socioeconomic policies have continued the 20th century trends into the 21st. The few "black" areas of Portland have become increasingly white sociall and culturally over the past decade. While this has been positive economically for the ruling real-estate owning class, and a few others, it has made Portland even more unaffordable for middle and low income people and has helped to promote Portland's singular cultural agenda of priveledged, self-aggrandizing, "white" 20-40 somethings. Property taxes are high and the real-estate market is very tight at the moment. This makes it ripe for people who already have money being able to control land ownership. Renting here is therefore a nightmare. There are few rules protecting renters i.e. no fair, plain-language lease agreement, no rules about security deposits or cleaning fees, and no rules about property upkeep and maintenance. Be prepared to pay way too much for way too little if you are a renter. Also, be prepared to deal with landlords that have no motivation to work with tennants. Most landlords raise your rent here on a yearly if 1/2 yearly basis. Many younger people here rent homes with a large group of friends to make renting more affordable, which is OK if you want to continue to live in a college-type dorm situation well into your 20's and 30's. 1BRs on the edge of the nicer areas of town are at least $700/mo. If you want to be in the middle of town expect to nearly double that. imo there is a tradition here of treating renters as an underclass. i.e. renters are poor people or criminals and there must be something wrong with them if they can not afford a home. There is an anti-business and development stance here. Portland wants to promote small businesses and there is a small businees mind set amongst the populous because the people are, in-general, anti-corporate. People like to be "crafty" and start businesses or etsy accounts selling handmade soaps and candles that they sell at 500% mark-up. The people here seem to believe that just because something is local it is better (food or otherwise). The infrastructure here is crumbling. The interstates and highways are rutted. Literally, troughs on major freeways which drain water poorly in a place with a significant number of rain days during the winter months. The state / city spends its money on bike lanes and allows drivers to have chains and studded tires on their vehicles and time of year regardless of the weather. It almost never snows in the valley where Portland sits but people in outlying areas legitimately need chains or studs because the roads are not salted. That being said, many many people in the city use these anti-slip tools on their cars and have no need for them. Further, the roads are almost all made of basalt which is a highy weatherable porous rock, ergo the roads stink. The driving also is dangerous because the drivers ride in the left lane without passing and are indecisive and tentative in their decision making. I've also never seen so many people using their cell phones. The rude jerks in Philadelphia weren't even this bad with their phones. Also, student driving is not taught in Oregon high-schools. Public transportation is pretty good in the city. The train lines move very slowly on the east side of town and in the downtown area; like some European cities. Busses go most everywhere and stop too often, imo. People don't seem to think they should have to walk at all if they are taking public trans. Only about 1/2 of the busses are air-conditioned but this is rarely an issue. Although, it might help with the overwhelming smell of marijuana and hobo that permeates many a buss ride here. People here have a limited work ethic. They seem to not take their work seriously. Customer service is very poor, particularly in restaurants. The people are generally friendly, compared to the east coast cities, but they are also incredibly passive aggresive. They are afraid to be direct and honest. Many people here work part-time. I believe this accounts for the positive recent employment numbers here. Without full-time work or the desire to obtain full time work the average person here remains relatively poor and the city and state continue to collect less and less taxes despite high indiviual income tax rates. I saw another comment about the spending on schools here. I can only say that regardless of the dollars spent only certain schools are taken care-of. Not surprisingly the schools in the affluent neighborhoods look very differnt on the outside and have very different achievement records on the inside, than schools in poorer formerly black neighborhoods. If Portland spent equally on all of its schools and if it cared about improving the situation of its lower-income students Jefferson high school would not resemble an urban county jail. This gets at the crux of the situation in Portland. The people here care about their community, the environment and the world at large only as long as it fits into their white, privledged, elitist narrative. You are expected to eat organic, work as little as possible, be anti-government and/or a conspiracy theorist, who ride a bike to work and uses marijuana, as a Portland resident. As someone who grew up in the midwest many of these ideals are offensive and just plain stupid to me. The weather here isn't very hard to deal with. It rarely gets below freezing in the winter and the summers are dry and warm, although they are a bit short. There are many cloudy days in the winter and many days with rain, but the rain is very inconsistent and the rain amounts are rarely significant. Downpours and thinderstorms are rare. Overall it is very comfortable. Which is good for Portlanders because they are very concerned about personal comfort. If you are a white 20 something, whose parents pay their rent, who wants to be in an average band or make craft products then you might like it here otherwise you'll want to move to a place with a much higher average I.Q. with more employment opportunities.

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Hudson
Portland, OR

Beer & Board games - 4/23/2013

I've never lived somewhere with some many bars that welcome board gamers like my partner and me.

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Rex
Portland, OR

Totally wrong information..... - 3/19/2013

This site states that Portland OR $5,493 per student. That's factually incorrect. Not sure where you're getting your data but the actual figure is almost $16,000 per student. Take the ALL FUNDS budget divided my the ACTUAL number of students. That's how much per student is spent. This year they have 43,408 students. The budget is $687 MILLION dollars. Do the math.

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Paul
Portland, OR

Cloudy - 3/7/2013

There are many things to like about Portland. It's a very walkable city, with lots of eateries, bars, and nightlife. And the people here are incredibly nice. The big challenge is weather-related. Not rain, really, as it doesn't flat out rain as much as you might expect. But the percentage of cloudy/overcast days is really quite sizable, except during the summer months. The rest of the year there are an awful lot of cloudy days. Having just recently relocated from Singapore, where it's sunny almost nonstop, I've found that transition to be quite challenging.

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lowar
Portland, OR

uninteresting and unpleasant - 3/3/2013

Unlike many people who hate Portland, I am politically quite liberal and do not mind rainy weather. In fact, rain in Portland is a plus because it keeps the annoying population indoors rather than wandering around being loud and horrible. I thought I would enjoy this city: I moved here five years ago, a new young professional with some free time and a good attitude toward the place. I have always made friends pretty easily and have lived in some large cities in Europe as well as Seattle, San Francisco and some smaller Oregon towns. I like a rich grassroots culture (not when it's overly contrived though). I am curious and energetic and just fine with being a stranger in town. I love places with a sense of history and I like to be among educated and creative people. I thought Portland would be the place for me in Oregon, but it is far worse than some other Oregon cities and towns in my opinion. It feels uneducated here and mind-bogglingly, fist-eatingly boring. The "fun" people have is a kind of hick, screaming-drunk fun that I call uptight leisure time. Lots of douchebag yupsters displaying what good and edgy consumers they are by showing off what cool places they go to eat Lots of mediocre innovation and DIY hobbies meant to show off how very Portland a person is. Far too many person crimes, far too rude a public. The city is big enough to be crowded, but one gets the impression that the people in crowds and traffic aren't used to having to share their space. The soulless "me-first" behavior becomes wearing. And there is this contingent of 35-year-olds trying way too hard to still be 23 and to be super off-beat cool, that creeps me out. Art and culture here are unimpressive and not very accessible. There are some colleges, but none that radiates any academic vibe in the city. I know a lot of people who love it here. In my experience, those people are often beer enthusiasts, lots of recently divorced men (it seems to be very well liked by recently-divorced men, so if you are one, you might give Portland a try I guess), people who like live music almost to the exclusion of any other activity (there is plenty of that), young graphic designers who love putting pictures of Portland on Tumblr, and people who grew up unexposed to anything very liberal and so they believe they are in some kind of liberal haven (I don't think it is, but it satisfies some people as such), and people who have this idea in their minds that Portland is THE cool place to be and they want to advertise that they're in Portland. (These people usually live in Tigard or Beaverton.) There are also some young families who like it here, maybe because the parents grew up here and remember when it was fun. But I find Portland so over-hyped-- everything is overblown, overpriced, under-serviced and neglected. I should try to be fair and put in a plug. It might be fun to be in the restaurant business here: the restaurant scene does seem innovative, and Portland, though a city, is small enough so you could meet some regulars who are community people and could get some good community ties and interests, which always makes a place more livable. And again, if you are 22 and from pudunk-town-Oregon and you love beer but don't want to be too far from your parents in Podunk-town, you'll likely enjoy living here. I'm afraid my overall impression of Portland is that it is needlessly inconvenient, uninspiring, cheesy and kind of dumb. But it is not an impossibly bad city, and if you really have good friends here, you can likely be pretty happy-- though it will be a bit inconvenient to get together with your friends unless you live or work in the same portion of the city. It is not a great place to come and be inspired and try to build a life. Maybe it used to be.

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Alex
West Linn, OR

bla bla bla - 1/5/2013

I don't want to review my state.

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Jenn
Portland, OR

Portland is Not a Decent City - 11/26/2012

I'd like to start by qualifying my opinion of Portland. I grew up in Austin, went to school in West Texas, lived in Summit County, CO for 5 years, lived in denver for 5 years, and lived in Japan for a year and spent a season in Antarctica. I've traveled all over the world and have seen some really unique and "weird" places. Trust me, Portland is nowhere nearly as "hip" as I was lead to believe. The only thing "weird" about Portland is its complete lack of character. Just because you recycle and have a "Free Tibet" sticker on your dirty car doesn't make you a hippy. It makes you annoying. The in-your-face political correctness is nauseating. Everyone spouts about "diversity acceptance", but what they really mean is - We accept you if you're a caucasian, secular, gender-bending jobless freak. Portland sucks. Can't wait to leave.

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Jarrett
Fresno, CA

The Hotbabeville of the Northwest - 11/20/2012

I lived here for about 6 weeks in summer 2011, and this city has more sexy chicks than, I think any other city of comparable size. It also has a very high number of breweries and strip clubs. Bottom line is if you love hot babes and beer, you'll love Portland. Can't wait to go back one day.

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Kami
West Linn, OR

Have loved it and hated it - 10/28/2012

Why live here? Well, because there are many good things. Downtown is small, but it is probably the safest of the many, many cities I've seen in the U.S. The urban decay of the rust belt where I grew up is absent. I love the outdoors. I camp, hike and ski a lot. Had only one weekend at home this summer. We have an enormous back yard in the endless national and state forests (about 1/3 of this state is public land including the beaches - they belong to the people). No one will try to convert you to their way of thinking (though this is good - it's because they're completely disinterested). Our son has grown up here. He is in love and will probably marry his long time girlfriend and have children in the near future. I will stay here to be near he and his family. Why not live here? My story isn't the whole story, but that's all I've got. I moved here 16 years ago. I expected an adjustment period; that's normal. What I didn't expect was that all the surface niceties displayed while vacationing here did not speak to the challenges of acceptance here. Being a well-rounded open-minded person hinders this. Though I have friends, it took years to develop them. Having lived in south Florida where everyone is from somewhere else, the diversity was accepted by most of us and was pretty cool. It was fun exploring our differences. In Portland, most everyone is from somewhere else, but the cliquishness is nearly impenetrable. Well-rounded does not fit a specific enough demographic. Your choices to fit in here are: Latte sucking yuppie; hippie; earth child; sports loving Mormon; Christian hip; 4-wheeling redneck; or atheist intellectual. Being anything else or some a la carte combination of these standards presents an enigma to Portlanders. If they can't figure you out within narrowly pegged confines, you're just too perplexing. The lack of curiosity as concerns diversity is perplexing to me. Maybe it shouldn't be - it is soooo white here. There is little racial or ethnic diversity. I'm a dark complected Irish-German-Native American hybrid. I'm oddly exotic to the white people here (and most are oh so white). Countless times, I've encountered strangers at the hair salon or the grocery store who want to play 'let me guess your ancestry'. The political demographic is very liberal and that suits me. It's socially liberal, too - and that's acceptable - though I've been sometimes amazed at the assumption that everyone is promiscuous - I'm not (married for many years). The workplace is passive-aggressively competitive. You will be talked about, but you will rarely have a chance to communicate because no one is assertive enough to talk to you. I can only guess that life on the historic end of the trail was ridiculously individualistic and competitive. I don't know. Most people earn very low wages and the housing costs are high. That doesn't stop $15/hr earners from going to the spa at least once a month or sucking down $5 lattes every day. Keeping up with the Joneses is alive and well here. The traffic is ridiculous and it's foolhardy not to widen the interstates and improve the infrastructure. Public transportation is heralded as some great accomplishment, but the folks I work with who ride the trains have some pretty gnarly tales to tell about disgusting, violent and extremely nasty behavior on their daily commute. Most of them have to drive and take the trains. They don't do it for clean air. They do it because parking downtown runs $12 a day. The trains go only straight lines: one east and west and one north and south. Those who don't have a car usually can't afford one because wages are so low. It rains from the end of October until typically the 4th of July - nearly every day - usually a slow all day drizzle. But when the sun shines, it's a joyous place to be; the beauty is astounding. And you can see the mountain - Mt. Hood. Well, that's how I see it. But everyone's experience is their own. Live your life. If nothing else - I've experienced it and have had an adventure. I've learned and grown. And I have a lot of fun playing in the woods. I think I'll like it better when I retire - a little place near Mt. Hood maybe and Portland when I need to shop.

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Jim
Portland, OR

Glad I'm out of that town - 10/7/2012

I was so glad when it was time to leave this place. I was so glad that is my review on Portland, Nothing more needs to be said.

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