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Portland

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  11/19/2017
Loathed Portland
I moved to Portland for love. I honestly thought I would like the city, and would be able to tolerate the weather. I was so dead wrong on both accounts. At first glance Portland seems like a fun town with pulse. Kind of funky, kind of unique, somewhat aesthetically pleasing. There are hills, little stores everywhere, and it stays pretty green year round. All things that I find to be desirable. The reality of Portland settled in quickly, and it took me a year to get out. I will never look back. So, for a little background about where I'm coming from- I have been to every state in the US besides Alaska. I've lived on both coasts, but not too much in the middle. I've tolerated winters in Pittsburgh PA for 19 years and Bozeman MT for 2 years. We can start with the weather in Portland- it SUCKS. I have never been through a winter so depressing in my entire life. I believe I saw the sun (for more than a minute or 3) five times between December 1st and June 15th. I know these dates because on June 15th I flew to AZ (wearing wool socks, water proof boots and a coat- in June!!). I got out of the airport in Phoenix, stood in the 110 degree heat from the sun, and cried like a baby because it had been so long since I had felt warmth or saw that solar star in the sky that gives us life. July through part of September is nice.. Sometimes a bit too hot, but tolerable. But that is only 2.5 months of the year! The rest of the days are cloudy and miserable. The traffic. Ive never seen anything like it in my life, and I lived for a year in LA. In other cities with traffic, there seems to be a common desire among all drivers- to get somewhere. Not in Portland. 7am on a weekday, there will be a slight break in the traffic, and what do the other drivers do? Continue to drive below the speed limit. It took me 2 hours to go 35 miles to work everyday. And 2 hours home. Driving behind people who are afraid of their gas pedal... I've never experienced road rage like this. Eventually the rage just turned to apathy and depression. Oh, and God forbid you try to pass somebody. Twice, I had the person I was trying to pass weave into the oncoming lane to prevent me from passing them. Then they drove EXTRA slow to teach me a lesson.---- Everybody is so friendly. Not something to complain about? I beg to differ. Its just surface, politically correct, friendliness. However, there are no feelings of authenticity. If anybody asks you, "how are you?", the appropriate answer is always, "good, thanks, and you?". If you stray from these lines with a little bit of real emotion, the people will look at you like your nuts.----- The 'Diversity'... Really? Portlanders seem to really embrace the 'Keep Portland Wierd" motto, as well as the "Celebrate Diversity" theme. Too bad everybody looks the absolute same. Most everybody is white, and they all dress and act in the same Hipster fashion. I saw zero actual diversity when I was there. Another example of this is the countless Black Lives Matter signs I saw perched in yards all over the city and suburbs. My thoughts were, 'Yes, but why then do I not actually see any black people living here?'----- The supposed 'love of Nature'. Everybody is 'Green' and outdoor enthusiasm is at an alltime high. But, you have to travel pretty darn far to actually get into any real nature. I explained it like this to my friend, while comparing Portland to Arizona - In Arizona people are out hiking, scaling cliffs, and finding little natural pools of water to cool off in, while wearing their flip flop shoes. In Portland, there's many times more than enough Outdoorsy stores. Everybody seems to have the best hiking shoes, and apparel for taking on the wild. And yet, nobody is actually out there doing it. Very few people are out on the cold, wet, muddy trails. Do they really need all that fancy outdoors gear to hang out at the bar?----- The Bars. Portland, in my opinion has great restaurants and bars. However, alcoholism seems to be rampant. Its just normal to wake up and have a drink or five. I was told by a Portlander that the excessive drinking only coincides with the 10 month rainy season. That's relieving to know. ---- The cost of housing is ridiculous. I would compare it to a lot of California. But here's the thing- Portland isn't California. It doesn't have the endless sunny days with mild temperatures. It doesn't have the warm beaches. It doesn't have the diversity. It doesn't have Yosemite, the Redwoods, the Sequoias, Death Valley, etc etc. So it shouldn't cost anywhere near as much to live there as it does in California. My boyfriend and I bought a modest farm house on one acre 30 minutes from the city and it cost 450k. In my opinion the house was worth maybe 200k. The housing market is insane. By the end of our house hunting journey, a day in our life went like this: wake up and get a call from a realtor about a house that went on the market today. Put in a bid 30k higher than asking price without even SEEING the house. Wait a few hours to find out that there were 10-20 other offers. At the end of the day find out that we were out-bidded. No Thank you. ----- I could actually go on, but ill spare you my loathing. Needless to say, ill never go back to Portland.

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  8/28/2017
Too many problems
Infrastructure is weak with terrible city government not doing anything to improve it. In recent years so many people have moved here and there are a number of big problems with the roads, public transportation, housing (lack of rent control, predatory landlords, no legislation, etc.), homelessness, drug abuse, etc.

The culture that made Portland cool is no longer as prominent as it once was. With such an influx of people moving here, chasing that cool vibe, the city has become much more of a melting pot of white people. A lot of people moved here from northern California fleeing their terrible cost of living only to increase the cost of living in Portland.

The urban boundary means that Portland has to build up instead of out. This means housing costs become more and more expensive as the only places to live are brand new inner city high rises. The suburbs are cheaper but because the city can't expand they're also increasing in cost of living. Since the highways are intended for a small town, not a big city, living in the suburbs and commuting anywhere is a gamble.

The city is the whitest in the country. While this might not necessarily seem like a terrible thing if you're not racist, there is a lack of diverse culture. Living in a bubble is a great way to become narrow-minded. There are also a lot of hipster social justice warrior types who permeate the cultural zeitgeist here. If you're not prepared to change your views and accept theirs get ready for an earful. White privilege and gentrification are two of Portlands core tenets. Oregon was once a haven for KKK and other white supremacists. This is still quite evident outside of the city. Most of Oregon is pretty backwoods with the Willamette Valley being the only saving grace.

It rains a lot in Portland but not torrential downpours. It just rains often and is always accompanied by overcast clouds 9-10 months out of the year. The "winter" of 2016-2017 started in October 2016 and ended in June 2017. It rarely gets below freezing but when it does the city gets ice and snow and nobody is prepared to drive in it. The city shuts down in the snow and ice. Most of the winter is 40-50 degrees and dreary. The days are super short in the winter compared to cities further south.

The homeless population has boomed in recent years. Some argue that it's caused by lack of rent control and increasing cost of living. Some argue that it's caused by all the safety nets in place in Portland for homeless people and they're coming here from other cities. Being homeless in Portland means you get fed, clothed and shelter provided in the form of shelters or free camping gear. Drug addiction, disease, and mental health issues are prominent among the homeless population. This puts stress on the police and social services which stretches them thin while the local government doesn't do anything productive to fix the situation. Portland police have a bad reputation and a history of applying excessive force on the mentally ill. There have also been known white supremacists on the force.

TLDR: The weather sucks, the people used to be cool in Portland but now they suck too, the people outside of Portland have always sucked, the government and infrastructure sucks, drugged out and mentally ill homeless people are everywhere, it's expensive, traffic sucks and it's getting worse every year.

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  7/2/2017
A bit of a monoculture
It is a beautiful city - because it is a wet climate! The climate predictions for Portland and Oregon are wetter and colder winters and hotter summers. So expect to live an indoor life in Portland most of the year most of the time. (About 8 months of continual rain and cloudy days from mid Oct to mid June - not every day but most days.) Hence, why restaurants are such a big thing here. You got to get out of the house!

If you are coming from a red state, you may be taken by the liberal appearance of Portland. But remember , it is basically a white privileged community with multicultural communities who are not the city's decision makers. White supremacists have been a part of the community and Oregon since the 1800s. Real estate titles still show those who are not allowed to buy the property - of course now obsolete due to federal laws.

This is a city of followers not much innovation OUTSIDE the hipster monoculture. So if you truly are an independent thinker, and used to living a broad life be prepared for a limited frame of reference. After a few months or years you may feel a bit bored or even stagnant.

Oh and the 9.0-9.5 mega earthquake that hits the area every 300 years is about 30 years overdue. Don't live in one of the many brick apartment buildings!



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  5/29/2017
$1498 stay clear
One bedroom apartments in Portland now rent for $1498 a month on average (if you can find one).
The air is toxic (heavy metals, fumes) and water laced with lead and crypto. No longer cool or even feasible as the greedy landlords/developers continue to extort ever higher rents. Tens of thousands of houseless, unresponsive politicos, suddenly very heavy traffic and violent cops. No sustainable future.

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  4/2/2017
Good place if you have a job and make good money
What surprised me about Portland was the rapid increase in cost of living. Living in the cool parts of the city is expensive, so many may have to live in the surrounding communities like Beaverton, Gresham etc. While the climate is mostly mild year round, your going to get a lot of drizzly gloomy days from mid October to the end of March. That's about half the year without much sun, so if your a sun worshiper, this isn't the place for you. On the positive it doesn't rain hard, it's more of a mist and the heavier rain is usually in the early morning or late at night when your usually still at home.

The overly liberal politics of the place are easy to ignore, and seemed hypocritical to me. The other issue is that if you don't know anyone and can't network well, good luck getting a job to pay the bills. Since everyone wants to move here, there are not enough jobs to go around, and many people have bachelors and master's degree already, so it's not a place for someone just starting out.

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  1/30/2017
No Men. No Balls. Goodbye.
After 6 years in Portland I'm very happy to see the value of my house double because I'm leaving. I have made a few female friends and even a nice girlfriend who tells me, "Of course you don't like it here. Portland has no balls." And that's it in a nutshell.
The men in this city are remarkably lame.
So happy to be leaving so I can hang out with guys again.

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  1/26/2017
Yes Weird but Wonderful
Portland is a place that has a lot of character. The rain brings a lot of beauty. The food culture is unique and different than anywhere. Well worth visiting and staying.

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  1/26/2017
One of a kind
I’m a Portland native, and growing up I was aware that it was a special place and that I was lucky to call it home. Now it’s been “discovered” and there are a lot of changes and growing pains there. It will still be a great place to live, but it’s just not as affordable and it’s not as uncrowded.

If you can deal with a constant drizzle in the winter months, Portland is a lush and inviting city. Portlanders take pride in the enjoyment of “little things” like coffee, beer, and well-prepared food.

I live in LA now, and when I’m back in Portland I feel the lessened level of activities such as concerts and the like. But, I still love Portland and think it might be the perfect place to raise a family/grow up.


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  1/16/2017
Do Not Move to Portland If you Can Help It
Don't believe the lies that the liberal media tells you about Portland. I have lived and worked in Portland for over 4 years now. I thought moving back to the Northwest was gonna be great but this town is soooo very nasty that I had to move outside the city to get away from it. Below is a list of Con's.

1. Expensive to live in. All the greedy owners keep jacking the rents. You can't find a decent home for less than 300,000.

2. Homeless Love this Liberal Tree Hugger City, they crap and Pee on the streets, Nasty Nasty streets. Feces can be seen every day, guess who has to clean it. The business owners. What do you expect from a city that has about 12 homeless shelters in a 10 mile radius and free food. They bum and pan handle every day, harassing office workers and tourist.

3. Drug City fur sure, meth, heroine, lots of hookers and stuff like that. The water front on NATO Parkway where I work is full of drug addict needles, the water and grass is full of them. They live under the bridges and through food and garbage on the streets every day.

4. If you got money police will fine you, if your a poor homeless person you get a free pass, no matter if you did something illegal. (No its true)

5. Taxes are through the Roof, they tax workers to pay for their social programs, 33 to 40% goes to state social programs, wow, thats a lot.

6. Cost of living is through the roof. Gas, Food, Lodging,

The only thing here that is decent is the Public transportation System. Its really good. Almost like Germany System. Other than that I say its a really crappy town. I work for the Federal government and have lived all over the country. I would say cities that are more conservative are better to live in. I would not recommend the Liberal City of Portland as a 1st Choice.



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  1/15/2017
Odd place...
My husband and I are in our late 50s and grew up in Seattle. I also used to live in Tulsa and quite enjoyed it. We have been in the Portland area (PDX as it's known) for 17 years and this city is not for the politically faint of heart. The extreme liberal slant can cause the extreme right to come out as well. Not a lot of in between at least that you can talk about openly. It is one of the least "churched" areas in the country but there are church communities that are nice, but nothing like Tulsa. People are standoffish, smiley but not warm and unless you are totally into whatever they are into, strong bonds have been hard to come by. We have been fortunate to live in Lake Oswego and find a neighborhood that is very unusual, very nice people on our street that we've gotten to know. Lake Oswego is also very full of money and often full of itself, so we consider ourselves very lucky to have found nice ordinary folks. Saying that, the housing prices are around $500,000 for a very modest small home with very small yards right next to your neighbor. This isn't just in Lake Oswego, but in Portland as well. Portland has very high taxes, beware and the city always wants more. The groceries are very expensive, the roads are poor and they are trying to make bicycles the preferred mode of transportation. The schools all vary like any city, Lake Oswego schools are very good. The West side of Portland, Beaverton is crawling with people and the houses are cookie-cutter, but expensive. The traffic everywhere is horrible with few back routes. This winter has been another nightmare for the area as the city does not clean streets, but leaves people stranded at the top of hills til the snow melts. Oh, and the city streets are full of homeless people in tents. I hate to be so negative, but this place is not my cup of tea and we are considering relocating after retirement. Overall, this area is beautiful to look at when out travelling around and paradise if you ski, hike, drive a subaru and like travel to the beach on a regular basis. Otherwise, it's constantly raining except for the occasional summer sun. That's beginning to really get to me. Good luck, I hope you make the right decision.


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  12/17/2016
Portland Dec. 2016
Portland is a great place to live but isnt the workers paradise it thinks it is..at least not anymore. I've been here 7 years and felt the pinch of rent doubling and wages lagging far behind the housing price increase. Local employers believe that $12 hour is a very high pay rate in a housing market where a 450 sq ft studio rents for $1195. The traffic problems are getting much worse. The recent snowstorm...a whopping 2 inches..! completely gridlocked the city and most suburbs, which is funny because NW natives blab ALOT about their immunity to harsh weather. Funnier still, natives think that any temps over 79F are "Extreme Heat Events" and complain ALL Summer long about the oppressive heat. Ore natives are generally friendly people unless they encounter a Californian. The food is great, varied and affordable.
Hikers will be in heaven, the Gorge, Mt Hood, The Cascades are stupendous! Cycling of all types is supported here. City officials have gone the extra mile to include cycling in the traffic planning. The vast array of music shops, music venues and musical genres practiced is incredible.
The rivers are a great asset.
Taxation is high as it pertains to property and income, nonexistent when it comes to sales. Natives falsley believe that a .0000001 % sales tax would equate them with the Uber Evil California so they vote it down year after year and are very proud of that.
The penchant for massive facial hair, manicured, unkempt as well as bizzare is as strong as ever. If your waiter didn't exude follicles in your salad you've been denied! Know this if you plan to move here: it IS beautiful, relaxing and a great outdoor playground and you will be submerged in dialogue reminding you of how much better the NW is than any other place on earth every single day, all year long.
As for the rain trust me, the total rainfall has little to do with the fact that the sun disappears in early October and does NOT return until June. Unlike most climates, the NW sees a virtually permanent cloud cover for 9 months every year. The rain may stop from time to time but the moisture is held in and light held out by very thick constant clouds.

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  11/24/2016
Considering Relocation, suburb recommendations?
Hello,
My husband is considering taking a job that would move us to Portland from Tulsa, OK. We are mid/late 30's and have two elementary age kids. It's a good paying management position and we could afford a home for $400k. We are Christians on the conservation side but open to opposing views. Fine with moderates and some liberal views, but, honestly, far left is concerning. We love sports, the outdoors, hiking, camping, skiing so OR looks awesome. We love what we've heard about Portland food, craft beer, wine, and coffee. We're very down-to-earth not at all hipster but to each his own.
So, would Portland work for us?
Recommendations on suburbs with great schools, no more than 30min commute to downtown, and lean conservative? Would also love a good-sized lot, our kids are used to a big back yard as our current home is a little over a 1/2 acre.
Thanks!

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  6/6/2016
The kids' table
But now I'm done. Have lived here for over a decade and am leaving, finally. Portland is a wonderful city with great potential. Problem is, there's a wide streak of ineptitude and arrogance that makes accomplishing things more difficult than it has to be. Yes, on the surface, the customer service is friendly, but if you require one iota of effort beyond what's normally offered, that smile turns into a snarl real quick. Portland is ruled by the Peter Principle (people are promoted to the level of their incompetence). You will find here that you use the phrase "You had one job" way more than you thought humanly possible. And there are several realities that I have come to just accept: Never try doing business on a Monday (too close to the weekend), don't expect cheerful service in a restaurant on a Sunday (staff hung over). Forget doing business on a Friday (almost the weekend) or having anyone here conduct any commercial transaction with anything resembling "hustle" (needing things quickly and efficiently is perceived as you being "pushy"). And to those who say "it doesn't rain as much as they say," you must have come here in an off year, because it was November through June for all 11 years I was here, with a few exceptions. And actually, that's kind of good, because it explains the demeanor of the people. They aren't intentionally slow and cranky, it's just physiologically impossible to maintain a good mood without sunlight, and that's a scientifically proven fact. As for the overall vibe, I'm the rare older person (40s) who's not scornful of hipster culture. I can appreciate what the kids of Portland are doing with their artisanal food and their beards. I also realize with youth comes a certain amount of trial an error on things like service and other person-to-person skills. Problem is, the desire to be young forever bleeds into all age groups, and what you get are 55-year old business owners acting like they're 25 too. I've heard grey haired shop owners talk disparagingly about their customers in front of me, I've had middle aged store keepers ignore me as they gossiped with other middle-aged workers, and I've endured all sorts of inept f*ckery from people who had outgrown the spacy-is-cute phase of their lives like 20 years ago. And don't ever expect anyone to be contrite about their lame service, because that requires admitting a mistake, which seems physically impossible to some folks here. Bottom line: at some point, you have to be a grownup, but it seems like no one really wants to here, because it involves taking risk and being exposed to challenge. That's fine, not everyone needs to be a type-A high powered shark, but there is a benefit to everyone doing whatever job they have really well. That's how cities become great, not simply by saying they are like Portland does. Over all, if you want to act like a kid forever and avoid taking risks and live in a little protected bubble of groovy unreality, this is the place for you. And PS, it's not like I'm a Republican or anything. My politics actually veer toward the radical. I just have a work ethic that says even if you are scrubbing a toilet, you try to be the best toilet scrubber there is even if your ego tells you are really a rockstar.

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  3/22/2016
over it
Lived here for over a decade. This city ous not what it used to be. This place is too liberal for its own good. Mayor has a hand off policy regarding crime and homeless.The cost of living has sky rocketed making property taxes obscenely high. i do, however, enjoy the climate and many options of things to do. I miss you old portland.

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  1/10/2016
Portland pros and cons
I moved to Portland in 2012, so I'm still a relative newcomer. Before coming to Portland, I lived in Santa Cruz, Mt. View, Gilroy, and Palo Alto -- all cities in California.

Weather

It doesn't rain as much as everyone says it does. When it does rain, it's more of a drizzle. Summers are hot -- over 90 degrees every day for several weeks -- and the sunshine is intense. Spring and Fall are gorgeous. Winter is dreary, but it doesn't get very cold (45 degrees during the day) and snow is rare.

Housing

Prices have escalated during the past three years, especially in close-in neighborhoods that used to be very affordable. Lower income people are being priced out. Affordable housing and homelessness are the top two issues here. Small affordable homes are being demolished to make way for larger more expensive homes, condos, and apartments. Houses have appreciated by more than 20 percent in some areas since 2012.

Restaurants

If you're into good food, Portland is the place to be. Lots of variety, quality ingredients, and low prices are the norm here. The neighborhood farrmers markets are great if you like to cook.

Culture

Lots of small independent theatres, book stores, and galleries. Last year I saw 2001 a Space Odyssey in 70mm at the Holywood Theatre And attended several plays at a converted church within walking distance of my house (Portland Playhouse).





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