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Old 05-13-2013, 10:34 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
Definitely a small city, but not a "medium" city as the metro population would imply. The problem is that a big chunk of Providence's metro population is actually outside of Providence's urban and suburban area. Even more of suburban Providence is also suburban Boston. In most metros, even people in the exurbs use the principal city for some services (health, entertainment, transport, etc). Much of metro Providence doesn't need to set foot in Providence as there are more jobs in Boston and other jobs scattered around other semi-independent population centers in the metro area. Entertainment, transport, healthcare, etc. all fall into the same boat.

The cities of Fall River, Taunton and New Bedford, MA are a good example of smaller, semi-independent population centers that are technically within the confines of metro Providence. They have nearly 250,000 residents between the tree of them and probably close to 150,000 more in their immediate suburbs. Even though those places aren't far from Providence (they're in Bristol County which is part of metro PVD), they feel quite disconnected from the city. They each have large populations, independent downtown areas, Hospitals, transportation options, jobs, dining, shopping, nightlife, etc. There is definitely a relationship between Providence and these cities, but they dilute the impact of the metro population on the "feel" of Providence's size. They also have a relationship with Boston (it is, after all, their state capital) which dilutes that relationship even further.

That's the primary reason I feel that Providence doesn't "feel" like it's a metro area of over 1.6 Million people. It feels like a metro of closer to 800,000- 1,000,000.

But I can attest, Providence feels quite a bit smaller than Portland. Providence's influence doesn't have nearly the reach that Portland's does and that's partly because it's muddled by Boston, and a bunch of other smaller cities nearby.
Thanks for pointing out how the metro is set up and how this affect the "feel" of the city/metro size. I think Providence "feels" about the size of Birmingham, Alabama. Which is about 1,200,000. I think BHM because Columbia, SC and KNoxville, TN are about 800,000 and Providence feels to me a lot bigger than metros in that range.
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Old 05-14-2013, 01:03 AM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by btownboss4 View Post
If you looked a Providence's population 10 years ago to now 90% of the people are probably still there.
Portland has a huge population turnover (in+out migration) so the community ties are far less deep.
Its like having a house vs having a home.
I have lived in Portland for nearly 35 years and while I don't have statistics on the subject I agree with some of this observation. The comments about neighborhoods being their own little self contained own little communities is pretty accurate. In fact, I have heard many transplants make this who are have come to this conclusion.

Some of the neighborhoods within their own radius have neighborhood associations have a strong sense of community but not many. And this only exists within their own parameters and only when their leaders stay strong. It is not a united city wide thing.

But getting back to the first statement, yes, over the years there has been quite a turn-over in the population from my observation. I am a renter and have lived in the same neighborhood over the past twenty five years. I have lived in various apartments over this period of time.

Also, I used to work for one of the largest employers in the city and I observed people constantly giving notice to move to other cities for better opportunities.

What I see a lot of is young people moving here and failing to be able to earn a living. Often they move here with savings thinking they will live on them until they find work but cannot find employment enough to support themselves. Jobs, unless you have really special skills, are hard to come by here. People think they can find simple wait staff or retail jobs which are in short supply and but even if they do, they cannot earn a living wage due to the high COL compared to those wages. Many people do have good skills or degrees but so do all the other unemployed people with whom they have to compete for jobs. They give up and wind up moving where jobs are more plentiful, competition is lower and the COL is more managable.

Anyway these are just a few reasons why there is a pretty large population turnover at least as I have observed. The attraction of Portland for many young creatives and dreamers is strong so they move here, but the reality is often that they just don't stay. Of course this is not the situation for everyone. There are people who have the means to move and stay, but this is much more transient a city than most people may think.

I think if you look at Portland's population ten years ago to now, I don't know how many would be but I would not say it would be 90% or anywhere near it and I think I would be pretty safe in saying it.
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Old 05-14-2013, 01:21 AM
 
Location: Macon, GA
1,891 posts, read 3,854,176 times
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Providence is definitely underrated
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Old 05-14-2013, 09:34 AM
 
Location: Denver
6,628 posts, read 12,112,091 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingsley View Post
Some people refer to Providence as a "small town" or something like that. Is Providence a small town or is it a small city or how do you really classify it, when it's metro population is so large? Some even say that Boston is "small". But is this determined by its footprint or feel or what? Just interested.

And I agree that Portland seems much larger as a "city" even though its metro pop. is not that much larger.
I think it's just a common way of speaking in New England. My friends, family, and myself refer to Boston as a town. If someone were to say "we're heading into town tonight", it would mean you're going into Boston.
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Old 05-18-2013, 07:41 PM
 
Location: New Mexico --> Vermont in 2019
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Originally Posted by the Instigator View Post
caphil asked for something for you to back up with stats and again you answered with no stats or facts.
True, he's usually very much off the mark when posting about the Northwest injected with New England bias at it's finest. Not a very knowledgeable opinion at all. Anybody who knows Portland could sense a very palpable sense of place in the city.
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Old 05-18-2013, 08:15 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caphillsea77 View Post
True, he's usually very much off the mark when posting about the Northwest injected with New England bias at it's finest. Not a very knowledgeable opinion at all. Anybody who knows Portland could sense a very palpable sense of place in the city.

Funny, of all the people who addressed his comments, I am the only one who actually has lived in Portland for 35 years and stated there is some truth in what he says. But I guess those who do not live here knows more than a long time resident.
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Old 05-18-2013, 10:33 PM
 
8,638 posts, read 8,771,906 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caphillsea77 View Post
True, he's usually very much off the mark when posting about the Northwest injected with New England bias at it's finest. Not a very knowledgeable opinion at all. Anybody who knows Portland could sense a very palpable sense of place in the city.
The long-time resident is not agreeing with you. See who was "off the mark"
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Old 05-19-2013, 12:38 PM
 
Location: New Mexico --> Vermont in 2019
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Originally Posted by Minervah View Post
Funny, of all the people who addressed his comments, I am the only one who actually has lived in Portland for 35 years and stated there is some truth in what he says. But I guess those who do not live here knows more than a long time resident.
Quote:
Originally Posted by btownboss4 View Post
The long-time resident is not agreeing with you. See who was "off the mark"
Has the long time resident been to Providence? Say when I'm exploring a city, walking around downtown Portland I'm mindful of the sense the transplants are simply one small factor when determining what a sense of place really is. Walk around downtown Portland, ride the streetcars, go to Powell's, explore the parks, compare Hawthorne in Portland to say Thayer Street in Providence, or Pioneer Courthouse Square to Kennedy Plaza, dine out, experience the nightlife, go to city markets, compare it all to Providence (and I ask the poster from Portland who knows Providence to do so), then get back to me.

Having lived in Seattle for five years and friends visited frequently 3 hours away in Portland along with residing near Boston most of my life an hour from Providence my experience is that both cities have a very good sense of place and I don't feel that it's that much more palpable in Providence. Though from another perspective being a transplant myself I have a different aspect of what a sense of place can be and it doesn't always have to be multi generational from the same families who've been there for so long. Transplants bring creative elements that enhance a sense of place in many cities keeping things from staying stagnant. And on that same token the communities the transplants are relocating to already have a tangible and unique sense of place that these individuals can relate to and drew them there in the first place.

btownboss, you're painting a picture of Portland as if it had a transplant element and vibe akin to Las Vegas, and it's not like that at all. Nor have you demonstrated any poignant knowledge or familiarity of Portland, just simple trite remarks.

Last edited by Desert_SW_77; 05-19-2013 at 01:47 PM..
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Old 05-19-2013, 01:03 PM
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Location: Western Massachusetts
45,740 posts, read 39,610,543 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kingsley View Post
Thanks for pointing out how the metro is set up and how this affect the "feel" of the city/metro size. I think Providence "feels" about the size of Birmingham, Alabama. Which is about 1,200,000. I think BHM because Columbia, SC and KNoxville, TN are about 800,000 and Providence feels to me a lot bigger than metros in that range.
The Providence urban area (continuously developed area with some commute ties to the center city) has 1.2 million. The metro area includes some rather disconnected areas. I don't know why people tend to bring metro areas all the time, but rarely bring up urban areas.

List of United States urban areas - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
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Old 05-19-2013, 03:55 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
20,861 posts, read 22,433,523 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by caphillsea 77 View Post
Has the long time resident been to Providence? Say when I'm exploring a city, walking around downtown Portland I'm mindful of the sense the transplants are simply one small factor when determining what a sense of place really is. Walk around downtown Portland, ride the streetcars, go to Powell's, explore the parks, compare Hawthorne in Portland to say Thayer Street in Providence, or Pioneer Courthouse Square to Kennedy Plaza, dine out, experience the nightlife, go to city markets, compare it all to Providence (and I ask the poster from Portland who knows Providence to do so), then get back to me.

Having lived in Seattle for five years and friends visited frequently 3 hours away in Portland along with residing near Boston most of my life an hour from Providence my experience is that both cities have a very good sense of place and I don't feel that it's that much more palpable in Providence. Though from another perspective being a transplant myself I have a different aspect of what a sense of place can be and it doesn't always have to be multi generational from the same families who've been there for so long. Transplants bring creative elements that enhance a sense of place in many cities keeping things from staying stagnant. And on that same token the communities the transplants are relocating to already have a tangible and unique sense of place that these individuals can relate to and drew them there in the first place.

btownboss4, you're painting a picture of Portland as if it had a transplant element and vibe akin to Las Vegas, and it's not like that at all. Nor have you demonstrated any poignant knowledge or familiarity of Portland, just simple trite remarks.
I am the "longtime resident" and no where did I make a comparison between Providence or Seattle because although I have visited Seattle I have never lived there and have never visited or lived in Providence. My comments about Portland are not made through hearsay. I make them through personal observation and solely about the Portland area in which I live.

I was simple describing my Portland neighborhood along Hawthorne Blvd known as the Buckman neighborhood bordering on the Hosford/Abernathy and Richmond neighborhoods and using them as examples as to what btownboss4 was saying. It is what I have observed for over a 25 year period. I am not talking about what the tourists see; a thriving business district that is fun and exciting but the neighborhoods where the people live.

There are two new large apartment buildings going up now guaranteeing the transiency of my Portland neighborhood. They are being called "affordable housing" in a high rent area. One will have 70 units and consists of studio apartments, the other has 52 studio apartments with a few one bedroom apartments.

They are specially being targeted for transient younger people moving into the area who are targeted to be living there for approximately two to four years while they get their bearings probably as first time renters and then move on to higher rent, larger apartments in less crowded areas or in more expensive areas like downtown or maybe even until they can purchase homes. This isn't my speculation, one of the city planners who was behind these sardine can buildings was quoted as saying that no one lives in a city neighborhood for much longer than a few years and certainly not for twenty years.

But this is not true in every city. In Chicago, where I grew up, it was very common although I can't say what it is there today. I can see one reason for this in Portland is because it has come so much to the national attention that many young people not yet established in any type of profession or just looking for adventure want to move here. Once they get here, they do not realize how difficult it is to remain in Portland and how hard it is to make a living. The COL is high compared to wages and the the type of jobs that are often plentiful in other cities such as waitstaff, retail and the like are very difficult to come by here due to the tremendous amount of competition for them.

Young creatives love Portland but also find there is also a great deal of competition. There have also been a mass amount of layoffs in almost every field and so those already here are competing for work.
I have lived in this neighborhood for over twenty years. So have a very few of what is left of some of my neighbors. It wasn't so uncommon in Portland at one time. There used to be a lot more of us. Gentrification and rising rents put a halt to that. These kinds of sardine can buildings as the neighbors call them will be putting the final nails in the coffin of neighborhood stability. They leave no room for people to want to stay for very long.

This is happening all over the SE part of Portland. One has only to drive around and know where to look. Neighborhood associations are fighting the the construction of these buildings tooth and nail but losing the battle. Perhaps one has to live here to know this but there it is. I suggest that if anyone would like more details on the subject they Google "The Willamette Week" or "The Portland Tribune," both local Portland newspapers that have done feature stories on the subject and will further explain this particular situation which cannot help but add to the transient nature of Portland neighborhoods.

It is ironic that this subject has come up at this time but as I type this, I am watching my cat watching my next store neighbors who moved in exactly two years ago, moving their stuff out. They tried very had to make a go of it here but couldn't. They are a young couple who came from the midwest, together for seven, years now splitting up. Typical Portland story, one could find steady work, one couldn't. Typical of the many people who did not set out to be transient but of those I have seen over the years that have made transiency more the rule than the exception.

Sorry for this long winded post, but I just have to add that when someone points to a thriving business district with all the shops, restaurants, entertainment and whatnot as an example of a stable Portland neighborhood, they are not pointing to a neighborhood inhabited by actual residents but rather an area that simply has a successful business district, which, by the way, in reference to Hawthorne Blvd has certainly seen its share of businesses comings and goings over the years as well due to the high cost of rents. A lot of Ma and Pa establishments that used to be there have moved thanks to no longer being able to afford their places.

So I don't know how stable Providence or Seattle neighborhoods are but from my observation, judging by my Portland neighborhood and my observance others nearby over the past 25-35 years (the total amount of years I have lived in Portland), Portland neighborhoods are not.
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