Reviews & Comments
Portland, ORMostly Very Good.
I’ve lived here 2 years. I’ve lived in several other (larger) cities in the U.S. and other countries. I’ve found Portland interesting, safe and fun. Local Govt is very politicslly liberal but the general population seems more “moderate Democrat”. As mentioned in another review, there is a strain of passive-agressiveness here, which runs counter to the upfront, openly combatative approach towards conflict resolution that I grew up with. Cost of living seems about average for an urban center in the first world. Still a lot cheaper than Seattle which is nearby, but going up steadily. There’s a decent art, entertainment and food scene. It has a really good airport. Weather is dreary, for sure. If you need a lot of sun, don’t settle down here. (Consider Austin, TX?) Then again, with climate change, Portland could have LA’s weather in 15 years’ time. Clean, fresh water is plentiful and we don’t have droughts or water restrictions. Access to nature is fantastic - 3 hours drive puts you in the real wilderness. In the city, I am yet to meet someone - who I have to deal with for more than a fleeting moment - who is truly an asshole or a douchebag. This is awesome, and rare in large towns or cities. Public transport is OK. Not as extensive as Tokyo, London, NYC or even the SF Bay Area, but not as crowded either. Traffic is nothing compared to LA and SF but it can be bad during rush hours on key routes, and is getting worse. Safety: less crazy ppl than downtown SF, less violence than West Oakland pre-2008, but more low level property crime, due to ineffective policing of property crimes. In general I suggest you become self sufficient vs potential criminals and rely zero percent on the police.
Unlivable unless your rich.
I’m new here and I apologize for being part of the problem, and I can relate to what you wrote, it all seems very true to me. What I notice is that property developers are all building the same type of new thing - living spaces for people who will pay 2k rent per month for small-ish 1 or 2 BR apartments. Or, new 3BR/2BA homes for purchase, in the 600-750k range. This seems really badly matched to the middle class incomes of the city. It’s like they’re building for the tenants and home buyers they hope to get, not the tenants and buyers that actually exist in portland today. Most smart cities address this issue with basic City Planning, a profession that is at least 400 years old in its currently recognizable form. I’m not sure why this balance is so “badly calibrated” in Portland. Usually this happens when you mix ignorance, inexperience and corruption - and I’m talking about the developers, not just the city govt.
This place sucks.
The political leadership of the city is quite monochromatic and that does have a real world impact, but it’s not some sort of communist dystopia. The incoming population is generally well educated and politically moderate, with decent and stable incomes. They can spell “policies” and aren’t given to hyperbole about the entire place “sucking”. But if you prefer very socially conservative environments, if you don’t like rain, or if you earn less than 50k total for your household, you might find it unpleasant and difficult here.