Review of Portland, Oregon


Complaining in Portland is like a fine wine
Star Rating - 2/3/2021
I've lived on the East Coast, in the Southwest, and in Alaska, and in Oregon overall for about 7 years. Even as someone who is from the more neurotic Northeastern culture, I underestimated just how much people would complain about everything when I got to Portland. Yes, there are social problems here, but not more than in your average large Midwestern or Southern city. Yes, it's not a place with the kind of wealth you now find even in Seattle. And yes, it really is gray and/or rainy for a *lot* of the year.

But unlike other places I've lived, behind the complaining is a desire for change and there are the movements and actions that can and are leading to actual change -- now, if you want to move to a place only to make sure that it stays exactly as it is when you arrive, Portland is not the place for you -- very probably in the Midwest you can find something closer to what you're looking at (the Twin Cities in Minnesota are underrated in my opinion). But if what you're looking for is a place that is willing to evolve and change and reconsider the assumptions of the past, Portland fits that bill.

That cultural stuff aside, the nuts and bolts for me finding this a good place to be are:
- Good food options, food trucks, local markets, dive bars
- Lush, green regional environment, less worry about climate change than other regions in the West, great parks & outdoor recreation options
- Good transit for a city of this size, MAX light rail, frequent bus services, affordable ticket prices
- Excellent airport
- Good options for higher education, OHSU is expensive but has great outcomes for graduates, community colleges are accessible to most that are interested

What's bad, to me:
- Overall costs rising faster than wages, especially homebuying; the housing market is hot and that's bad for buyers
- Rising housing costs and statewide unemployment have led to a surge in homelessness that's not managed well, again, people need housing
- Steel gray skies reign from October to April-ish, buckle up
John | Milwaukie, OR
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