U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S. > City vs. City
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
Reply Start New Thread
 
Old 05-30-2007, 10:41 AM
 
Location: Portland, OR
42 posts, read 53,678 times
Reputation: 18

Advertisements

First off, let me tell you that I am a student on a very fixed income. I live in the downtown area of Portland, in a little neighborhood called Goose Hollow. I pay a rent of $550 a month for a 450 square foot studio with an incredible view of The West Hills. If you wanted, you could also live on the other side of the building for an equally incredible view of downtown skyline and Mount Hood. I go to the community college here (at this point), and will be transferring to go to Oregon State (which saddens me) in a month. I believe that I can help because our situations are so similar. I do not drive, I take the max (rail) every single day, then I catch a bus to school. A pass costs me about $60 a month. I have NEVER had any problems on the max, and I find it a very enjoyable way to get around. It goes just about anywhere in the city, and they are building two new expansions (one will go to Southeast, and the other will go to suburbs Tigard and Lake Oswego). I really enjoy the goose hollow neighborhood, but I wouldn't exactly recommend it. It's a really cool little neighborhood, but you have to walk downtown to really do anything. The core of downtown is about 6 blocks away. However, I would recommend the neighborhood of Southeast. You would want to stay within a certain area though, say no further than SE 60th Ave. Around SE Clinton & SE 21st it is VERY bohemian with a really great organic market, tons of ethnic restaurants, and the typical Portland coffee shops. Also, around the area of SE 32nd & SE Hawthorne you also have another very bohemian neighborhood. The rent in these areas is a little higher, but you can get a nice 1BR apartment for about $500-$600 a month. This city also has a great live music scene. Just last week I went to see DJ Shadow at the Crystal Ballroom, and then the next day it was Regina Spektor, and the day after that it was Modest Mouse. In a few weeks I will be going to see Architecture in Helsinki. The typical music here is indie, but you can also find a lot of people who like other types of music, and there is something for them too. There is a lot of vegan food choices around here, and there is something we call a coffee culture. In the winter months it rains nonstop for a few months (which can be very difficult), but a lot of people just head to Powell's bookstore, read a book, and sip a cup of coffee. The city is very good when it comes to WiFi internet access, so you can basically take your laptop anywhere. After the months of rain, the city turns into one of the most beautiful green places. The hills are incredible, full of big green trees, and flowers everywhere. In the spring, right about now in fact, the weather is nothing short of perfect, and things begin to look up. It's amazing, but after the long bouts of rain, you REALLY appreciate the sunny spring. I personally have felt very alive and active the last month or so, just due to the amazing weather. I'm not too sure about the job situation here, but I know a lot of people who move here and have a job within a day, no kidding. There are a lot of high tech jobs, and if labor is your thing then you will have NO problem finding a job. It all depends on what your industry is. Also, Portland isn't just liberal, it's so far left that many people here are socialists -- I mean many. Me personally, I can't stand Bush, and that's one of the things I love about this area, because most people here can't stand him either. There are constant protests, marches, and tons of activist groups around here. Just about everyone has a sticker on their car denouncing the Bush regime, so if you're liberal, this is a great place for you. Also, I have lived in California (Bay Area, and Fresno (bleh)), and I can honestly say that this place is more liberal. In terms of homeless people, there is actually quite a lot of help for them. I have volunteered at quite a few shelters downtown, and I can't much of a homeless problem. To be honest, I see a lot of people blow it way out of proportion on here. I walked down to Plaid Pantry last night (a little convenience store) at 3 AM, and I had no problem. Yes, there was a homeless guy laying on the sidewalk screaming nonsense, but he was no threat. We are talking downtown Portland here. There's really not much of a problem. If you're interested in seeing what kind of volunteer activities we have here, check out Hands On Greater Portland. There is a minor problem with street kids, and sometimes they can be aggressive panhandlers, but I have never felt threatened. To be quite honest, I feel that a lot of the street people add a good flavor to Portland. Take a walk downtown during a nice day and you will see street performers playing music, acting, games of chess, and many other great things that would not be here without a lot of these people. There is a drug problem here (meth), but to be quite honest, that basically stays out in the suburbs, or areas where you (if you're like me) probably wouldn't care to live anyways. It's not like the rent there is much cheaper, so you're not forced to live in any of these areas. Basically, I end with this: every person that has come to visit me here loves it, and doesn't want to leave. This is a great city, and in my opinion, it is a better version of Seattle.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 05-30-2007, 11:02 AM
 
Location: Texas
2,703 posts, read 2,448,261 times
Reputation: 206
Portland sounds great. You are making me want to visit that place.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-30-2007, 11:04 AM
 
4,721 posts, read 13,617,612 times
Reputation: 4685
Sounds great avantgarden,,you should work for the Chamber of Commerce
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-30-2007, 12:27 PM
 
Location: Texas
2,703 posts, read 2,448,261 times
Reputation: 206
But Houston has the best job market:

http://www.houston.org/blackfenders/10AW001.pdf (broken link)
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-30-2007, 12:36 PM
 
Location: Washington D.C. By way of Texas
18,225 posts, read 25,920,077 times
Reputation: 8987
I wonder if Houston will grow in the IT field. If it does, tha would be great and I would consider moving back there.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-30-2007, 01:14 PM
 
1,008 posts, read 3,669,775 times
Reputation: 249
Haha!Nanannie and Guerilla "literally" took the words out of my mouth. After reading that posts I nearly quit my job and started to pack my bags...lol
I must say "avantgarden" if you're not a journalist/writer you really should be one. That was so eloquently written I nearly got a "VISUAL" for what Portland looks like. If everything that you mentioned was honest, then I can't imagine many people resisting moving out that way.

I realize that Houston is no where near the greenery/scenery of Portland and it's very hot and humid as well as major "sprawl"...things that I don't find attractive. However, Houston has a very strong and diversified economy, low cost of living and perhaps the most important factor *resources* due to 2 million people residing there. Now, I'm a practical and critical thinker that believes you have to take factors in to consideration that "most people" tend to ignore prior to making a big move, which is essentially what I'm doing. In other words, I'm not going to move to a city just because it has a "popular museum" you have to take a lot in to consideration.

No question..Houston's economy, low cost of living and vibrant culture are extremely tempting. It wouldn't be in my top two cities if it wasn't. I was considering Atlanta but then when I learned about their crime figures, hills and cost of living/resources it no longer appealed to me. Apparently the locals claim that Houston is a moderate city leaning "slightly" liberal.

Portland- From a social standpoint...I'm a socialist, NOT a communist but a socialist, there is a major difference. Do I mind republicans, not really, I get along with practically everyone but my thinking/way of life is very much like the early native Americans. I'm against war and suffering both domestically and abroad. I connect with Republicans on select issues, mainly I'm not for "bigger government" and I take civil rights seriously. Simply put I can live anywhere so long as it's not an oppressive conservative environment. I believe in "live and let live" mentality social culture. That's why I'll never share in the negative views of how some people view the southerners/Texans etc..

There's Bush and there's Texas and there's the Dixie Chicks...So yes, you can be a blonde, blue eyed cowboy and strongly dislike bush/conservative lifestyle
But we've been taught to think that Texans have the most oppressive laws and will "execute" you in a heartbeat. Unfortunately, this reflects poorly on all Texans even though I don't know the political climate of the state. My guess, from what I've read, is it varies where you live. Suburbs everywhere are going to be more conservative...that's why I stay away from them

avantgarden- You and I are in very similar situations. The only difference, I would guess, is that I'm much older than you. I'm "returning" to school as a result of a career change. In a sense, like most people, I'm starting over and this happens to be my time. I wish to live simple and in peace. I want to relocate to a community where I can swing a 500sq ft place for $500-600 per month. I NEED to be as close as possible to a community college. Walking distance would be perfect but if not I can take a bus/train so long as it will drop me off right there and I won't have to deal with insane commutes.
My occupation would be in the white collar financial sector. The only thing I have NO experience in is fast food/grocery and coffee shops...I never worked in those areas and mainly held office positions. However, I would be willing to do anything so long as it provides me a lifestyle that is NOT check to check.

I love independent music of all sorts. poetry reading, movies *big film buff* art, museums, architecture, love poor neighborhoods with an eclectic feel to natural woods/wildlife surroundings...just no yuppies, suburbs/superficial environments.. I LOVE Thrift Stores...It's like you never know what you will find! I can't stand the big department stores that outline suburban neighborhoods like JC Penny's and Sears etc. Love the Zoo, Love the Library and love free Wi-Fi, especially in "non-crowded" open cafe's. Intimate environments where you can sip on some coffee/pastries and get to know people on a "personal" level. Environment should be very easy going and friendly people who respect your space. A city that doesn't have oppresive laws and law enforcement standing on every corner to make sure you feed the meter...lol Obviously: care for the environment is important as well as a feeling that you're connected to others.

The most important features to add to the above: Finding a job and an apartment should not be difficult. Job stability and a stable economy that's "progressing" is important. I wouldn't want to find myself out of work and facing homelessness! So there should be a safety net should the unexpected happen. I worked my whole life so I don't foresee this happening but hey, we all have this on our minds and don't want to be caught off guard. So yeah, an apartment for $600 per mo, good job and stable economy with a "not so high" cost of living. I know it's not as cheap as Houston but I don't want Portland to be the next Seattle or LA. If you get me?

On a personal note: As mentioned before, homeless people don't bother me and I agree with you they add a very interesting vibe to the city. Panhandlers don't bother me in the least. "Young teens w/meth problems" and gangs are a different story. Every city has these problems BUT every city has it's own culture as to how these people act. Example: CA-The CAPITAL of homeless people...very seldom if ever harass you. Maybe it's the weather but people help the homeless a lot here. My issue and where I'm confused is this: If Portland is supposed to be mainly socialist/leftist with a stable economy where you can get a job without a problem. Why are there so many homeless adults as well as children living on the streets??? An earlier poster mentioned that it's because of "politics" of the state much like San Francisco, I would most definitely agree with that assessment. However, it still doesn't answer my question as to why or how a "socialist" community can stand by and watch its citizens sleep and die on the streets in a climate known for heavy rain? Who's at the helm running the show in Portland and why is the "cost of living" higher than the national average and continually rising? This sounds more like a culture you'd find in Alabama or Georgia...NOT a "liberal city" even if the burbs are filled with conservatives, the main city and majority is supposed to be socialist.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-30-2007, 01:16 PM
 
942 posts, read 1,005,071 times
Reputation: 224
Quote:
Originally Posted by avantgarden View Post
First off, let me tell you that I am a student on a very fixed income. I live in the downtown area of Portland, in a little neighborhood called Goose Hollow. I pay a rent of $550 a month for a 450 square foot studio with an incredible view of The West Hills. If you wanted, you could also live on the other side of the building for an equally incredible view of downtown skyline and Mount Hood. I go to the community college here (at this point), and will be transferring to go to Oregon State (which saddens me) in a month. I believe that I can help because our situations are so similar. I do not drive, I take the max (rail) every single day, then I catch a bus to school. A pass costs me about $60 a month. I have NEVER had any problems on the max, and I find it a very enjoyable way to get around. It goes just about anywhere in the city, and they are building two new expansions (one will go to Southeast, and the other will go to suburbs Tigard and Lake Oswego). I really enjoy the goose hollow neighborhood, but I wouldn't exactly recommend it. It's a really cool little neighborhood, but you have to walk downtown to really do anything. The core of downtown is about 6 blocks away. However, I would recommend the neighborhood of Southeast. You would want to stay within a certain area though, say no further than SE 60th Ave. Around SE Clinton & SE 21st it is VERY bohemian with a really great organic market, tons of ethnic restaurants, and the typical Portland coffee shops. Also, around the area of SE 32nd & SE Hawthorne you also have another very bohemian neighborhood. The rent in these areas is a little higher, but you can get a nice 1BR apartment for about $500-$600 a month. This city also has a great live music scene. Just last week I went to see DJ Shadow at the Crystal Ballroom, and then the next day it was Regina Spektor, and the day after that it was Modest Mouse. In a few weeks I will be going to see Architecture in Helsinki. The typical music here is indie, but you can also find a lot of people who like other types of music, and there is something for them too. There is a lot of vegan food choices around here, and there is something we call a coffee culture. In the winter months it rains nonstop for a few months (which can be very difficult), but a lot of people just head to Powell's bookstore, read a book, and sip a cup of coffee. The city is very good when it comes to WiFi internet access, so you can basically take your laptop anywhere. After the months of rain, the city turns into one of the most beautiful green places. The hills are incredible, full of big green trees, and flowers everywhere. In the spring, right about now in fact, the weather is nothing short of perfect, and things begin to look up. It's amazing, but after the long bouts of rain, you REALLY appreciate the sunny spring. I personally have felt very alive and active the last month or so, just due to the amazing weather. I'm not too sure about the job situation here, but I know a lot of people who move here and have a job within a day, no kidding. There are a lot of high tech jobs, and if labor is your thing then you will have NO problem finding a job. It all depends on what your industry is. Also, Portland isn't just liberal, it's so far left that many people here are socialists -- I mean many. Me personally, I can't stand Bush, and that's one of the things I love about this area, because most people here can't stand him either. There are constant protests, marches, and tons of activist groups around here. Just about everyone has a sticker on their car denouncing the Bush regime, so if you're liberal, this is a great place for you. Also, I have lived in California (Bay Area, and Fresno (bleh)), and I can honestly say that this place is more liberal. In terms of homeless people, there is actually quite a lot of help for them. I have volunteered at quite a few shelters downtown, and I can't much of a homeless problem. To be honest, I see a lot of people blow it way out of proportion on here. I walked down to Plaid Pantry last night (a little convenience store) at 3 AM, and I had no problem. Yes, there was a homeless guy laying on the sidewalk screaming nonsense, but he was no threat. We are talking downtown Portland here. There's really not much of a problem. If you're interested in seeing what kind of volunteer activities we have here, check out Hands On Greater Portland. There is a minor problem with street kids, and sometimes they can be aggressive panhandlers, but I have never felt threatened. To be quite honest, I feel that a lot of the street people add a good flavor to Portland. Take a walk downtown during a nice day and you will see street performers playing music, acting, games of chess, and many other great things that would not be here without a lot of these people. There is a drug problem here (meth), but to be quite honest, that basically stays out in the suburbs, or areas where you (if you're like me) probably wouldn't care to live anyways. It's not like the rent there is much cheaper, so you're not forced to live in any of these areas. Basically, I end with this: every person that has come to visit me here loves it, and doesn't want to leave. This is a great city, and in my opinion, it is a better version of Seattle.
Now this is a nice kid, if the person wanting to move to Houston or Portland, should decide on Portland. Then you should meet this kid, because then some of the things mentioned about Portland may not overwhelm you as much. Basically Portland is a nice place, I just think people should know about both ends of the spectrum so to speak. I don't believe we do anyone any good, and in fact can hurt someone by saying everything is wonderful ,when some things that are not so desireable but very much a part of the picture are not mentioned. I would really take a long hard look at the job market in both cities as to the type of employment you are seeking before committing to anyplace. I would never move anyplace without a job in my hand in this day and age or without any family or friends in the region in case hard times came hard. Get the job first.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-30-2007, 01:25 PM
 
1,008 posts, read 3,669,775 times
Reputation: 249
I'd love to hear more about your experience in Portland avantgarden!!! I also want to hear from the rest of view who live there or have "recently" been there. Oregonrain adds a nice perspective to the picture. Most importantly be honest as you know better than anyone. I can get the best picture of both cities when you describe them objectively! If I had the time and money to visit now I'd do it but unfortunately with work and school it's not in the cards.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-30-2007, 01:31 PM
 
1,008 posts, read 3,669,775 times
Reputation: 249
Oregponrain- Well put, I couldn't agree more and I thing avantgarden is terrific. All the people here are wonderful and the "mixed views" help me take the proper course. I never in my life worried about finding work, always had jobs, GOOD jobs, but never been to these two cities and I don't know/have anyone there. What can I say...I'm a risk taker but damn confident in my abilities.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 05-30-2007, 01:35 PM
 
1,008 posts, read 3,669,775 times
Reputation: 249
Southeast or Goose Hollow in Portland vs Montrose or East Side of Houston...lol
Decisions Decisions. I need a vacation!....lol
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > U.S. Forums > General U.S. > City vs. City
Similar Threads
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

2005-2018, Advameg, Inc.

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top