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Old 09-12-2007, 08:02 PM
Location: Southern California
394 posts, read 1,297,636 times
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I'm living in the Los Angeles area again. When I got out of college and started working, I decided to move to Denver. I spent 16 years there a LOVED IT! For health reasons, I had to move back to LA to be with my family five years ago, but I miss Colorado so much.

I found the people there really friendly, and didn't have any problems meeting friends, but I was heavily involved in Pagan and cultural interest groups, so I put myself out there to meet people.

I'm suffocating here in Southern California. Too much concrete and too many bodies, and not enough trees and wildlife for me. I've been trying to figure out whether to return to Denver when I can, or to move to the PNW, and these forums have really been helpful as far as giving me information.

Denver has hot, dry summers and cold, snowy winters. The PNW has (mainly) cold to cool, wet winters and cool to very hot summers depending on where you choose to live. There are plusses and minuses to each area. They're both very beautiful. I guess it's a matter of choosing which cons you can live with and still have most of the pros you're looking for.
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Old 09-12-2007, 08:30 PM
Location: Monterey County, CA
5,159 posts, read 11,750,341 times
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I grew in S. Cal. - Hermosa/Manhattan Beach. It was a pretty awesome place 30 years ago and very fun as a kid. But now it is a zoo, over crouded, over inflated and enviromentally raped. I grew up on the beach and really love the ocean. But it is so polluted that I actually stopped surfing the last year or so before moving to Colorado. I'll always have fond memories of it. But it is no place I would want to raise my children now.

That is why I enjoy Colorado and potentially the PNW. I love being out in nature and want my children to experience and fully enjoy it as well. Even though both places are experiencing growth, there are still a lot more trees than people. Wide open spaces can still be found. So I understand you wanting to leave LA. The beach is still the nicest part. Here was my backyard growing up:
http://derek.zenfolio.com/img/v0/p364941555-4.jpg (broken link)
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Old 09-12-2007, 11:56 PM
Location: Los Angeles
5,257 posts, read 12,574,081 times
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Originally Posted by pittnurse70 View Post
pwright1, we disagree again. Denver also has a walkable downtown with good restaurants, great natural beauty, great public transportation, and fairly moderate temps year-round with four seasons, which the pnw doesn't have. Mountain sports an hour away!
I have to agree with Gueroloco. I don't think Denver has fairly moderate temps at all. And yes Portland definately has 4 seasons. MtnSufer I know you must miss the beautiful Oregon coast.
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Old 09-13-2007, 09:44 AM
Location: Monterey County, CA
5,159 posts, read 11,750,341 times
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The funny with about the idea of a 'Mild or Moderate' climate is that it is very relative.

For most folks from the East Coast or Mid West Denver has a mild climate - many sunny days even in the winter months and snow which normally melts off very quickly.

For folks from California, Arizona, Florida, Hawaii, and even the PNW Denver will seem quite a bit colder than what they are used to. For example we are from California and had never experienced blizzards or being 'snowed in' before. That is not what we consider 'mild' weather. LOL... ;-P But there are a lot of sunny days in between those blizzards.

I think the harder thing for us to get used to were the number of days and nights when temperatures were well below freezing, and not just in the winter. I went out to do some landscape photography with a local friend of mine and my camera actually 'froze' up. It was 0 degrees out! I had to take it back in the car and thaw it out with the heater running so that I could try and take some pictures. That was new for me.;-D

Then there is hiking in the snow when it is below freezing (5-20 degrees + wind). That is down right cold for a California boy. LOL...

Last edited by MtnSurfer; 09-13-2007 at 09:57 AM..
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Old 12-21-2007, 06:08 AM
Location: Denver Metro area
5 posts, read 19,777 times
Reputation: 80
Default I've lived in both Denver and Portland

I've lived in Denver and Portland for over 5 year's each and I'm not originally from either area.

I agree with the other posters that both are great places to live.

I moved from Portland to Denver after High School and maintain close relationships with friends and family in both areas. I currently live in a suburb of Denver called Lakewood.

I've lived in the Denver suburbs of Westminster, Littleton, Lakewood, Broomfield, Denver itself, Thornton, Northglenn, and others mostly on the west side of town.

In Portland I lived also mainly in the western suburbs of Hillsboro, Aloha, Beaverton, etc.

Some of the random things I have noticed about both areas:

1. Driving around Denver I see often see Oregon license plates on other vehicles at the rate of a bout 1 per day (each on on a differnt car). I have rarely seen any Colorado license plates driving around Oregon. I'm uncertain if this is a DMV or maybe vaction thing. I also run into about 1 person per month that is originally from Oregon or Washington.

2. I graduated from high school in the Hillsboro suburb of Portland with about 500 people, and less than 10% of my graduating class has left the Portland area according to the reunion statistics.

3. There is no sales tax on most items in Oregon. However other taxes tend to be higher to offset this, especially property taxes. Sales taxes in Denver can vary widely depending on the suburb you are in from approx 4% to nearly 8%.

4. To my knowledge every single gas station in the state of Oregon is full service. You cannot pump your own gas for your car. Gas prices reflect this and tend to be slightly higher. Driving back to Oregon personally I find it cumbersome to wait in a line for gas when I'm in a rush to get somewhere.The octane ratings of gas for cars are somewhat differnt in Denver due to altitude and weather considerations.

5. Public transportation in Portland is much more accesable than in Denver. The new light rail system in Denver is a carbon copy of the sytem that Portland has had for several years. The mayors of the two cities worked together on the Denver project when it was being designed. Having a car in Denver is a must to get around town. There are many buses but the schedules are often cumbersome as is the placement of the stops if you happen to live in the suburbs. The light rail in Denver covers a small area but planning on a city-gov level is underway to expand it further. The light rail in PDX runs east-west through the core of the city including downtown and to the PDX airport (DEN airport is car only). Very helpful for nightlife activites and traveling via the airport. The bus stops that I used in PDX were always well located and the buses seemed to run every 15 min. making planning a snap.

5. Having searched for jobs in both states I have found the jobs in Colorado easier to come by, but Colorado jobs these jobs also seem to tend to have a higher turn-over rate based on my own experience. Tech jobs are avail in both areas, in Portland check out the so-called sillicon forest in mostly the western suburbs. Intel is a big emloyer in the western suburbs. Tech jobs are all over Denver but concetrated between Denver and Boulder and in a area called the DTC in south/central Denver (Denver Tech Center...this area has light rail access)

6. Nightlife....One frustration I always had with Portland, and this may sound silly is with pizza. I can get a pizza most hours of the day and night in Denver. However Portland seems to shut most things down by 10p-12a. With repsect to other types of food I have found many places open all night in Denver, but fewer in Portland. The number of clubs and bars seems to be fairly evenly matched between the two cities. Both cities have movie theaters that will serve you meals while you watch movies.

7. Medical........There are many hospitals in both areas and both have good and bad spots. Having said that, OHSU (Oregon Health Sciences University) is one of the best I have had to visit anywhere in the USA. They saved my life with an airlift from Hillsboro. My words really cannot do those folks any justice. They are great and I wish we had them here in Denver.

8. People.......I think the other posters hit it on the head, really the red vs blue areas vary depending on suburb in both states. While I find people in both areas generally similar, they seem harder to meet in Denver...a bit more distant initally.

9.Farmbelt.....The farm belt seems closer to Portland than it is to Denver. While most cites have a saturday market, being closer to the source is always good as far as fresh crops goes. Portland has 1 or more wineries close to town, some in town. All that I know of for Denver is about an hour drive or more. Portland has a really neat experimental rose garden that I very highly recomend that you look up and or visit (overlooks the city of Portland).

10. parks......so many parks in both places really difficult to say which is better. Depends on what you like in a park.

11. The Denver Broncos (NFL), The Colorado Rockies (Baseball) , The Avalanche (NHL), soccer, and various other sports teams are centrally located downtown. As are most of the musuems. All of these are great times and are worth a look. Portland seems to lack in the profession sports area, but there is college and High school sports to consider in both areas. Portland boasts 1 major stadium downtown (Rosegarden) and Denver has at least 3 (Mile High Stadium, Pepsi center, Coors Field, etc. as well as many large to small concert venues. The Denver music scene is very interesting right now.

12. Not sure if anyone has mentioned natural hazards yet, but there are some intersting things to note. Portland is located at the intersection of 2 large rivers (Columbia and Willamette both very scenic) so flooding can sometimes occur (but seems intermitten and rare). Also Portland is near two active volcanoes, the 1st being Mt Hood which hasn't erupted since Lewis and Clark visited the area (as far I know) and the more famous MT St Helens which is currently erupting (minor) but not impacting populated areas. There are also on occasion earthquakes in Portland and as far as I know is over due for a "big one" like in California. Denver does not have volcanoes but it does have heavy T-storms during parts of the year. There is less drizzle in Denver and more lightning, hail, and occasional weak tornadoes. There is the obvious snow, but we rarely get snowed in (1-2 times every 2-3 years for a few days, normally less than a week), infact snow usually melts in the city in a day or two and most cities are good about sand/salting and plowing streets...the mountains are another story though.....many roads in the higher altitude areas (above and outside of Denver metro) close during winter and do not open till mid-late spring. This does not generally include routes to ski areas which are usually well maintained and very scenic at any time of the year.

Well I have to stop writing for a bit. Hopefully this helps. Sorry If I over covered or repeated anything. Let me know if any questions

Mazimitsu (transplant to Portland and Denver)
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Old 12-21-2007, 08:40 AM
Location: Denver,Co
676 posts, read 2,496,098 times
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Seems to me that portland is just denver with a coast
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:24 AM
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I would say that Portland is a better choice than Denver for overall scenic outdoor variety. Sure Denver is an hour from the mountains but Portlanders can get to Mt. Hood in an hour as well. Mt. Hood offers the only year round skiing in North America and even in August when all but in the highest peaks and rocks of Colorado's mountains are barren of snow, Hood's snowfields and glaciers glisten in summer warmth. Portland also has the coast as well as vineyards, rivers and the waterfalls and cliffs of the Columbia Gorge. An hour or even less to the north and east of Denver takes one to the endless flats of the plains. Booooooooring.
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Old 08-20-2008, 08:46 AM
Location: City of Thorns
536 posts, read 1,906,845 times
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Portland! Because of what the two above posters said.... and the weather in Portland is mild. I doesn't get below freezing, but it does rain most of the winter. I also noticed, being from the midwest that Portland still has kind of a California vibe, but it's not California if that makes sense? Oh, and the ocean.
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Old 08-20-2008, 10:56 AM
Location: from houstoner to bostoner to new yorker to new jerseyite ;)
4,085 posts, read 11,229,668 times
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Originally Posted by nephthys View Post
I also noticed, being from the midwest that Portland still has kind of a California vibe, but it's not California if that makes sense? Oh, and the ocean.
That's because of all the California transplants!

Which city has a larger downtown? Just curious.
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Old 08-20-2008, 11:03 AM
1,992 posts, read 5,924,758 times
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I am guessing that Denver has a larger CBD and definitely has taller buildings. Portland has small block sizes and light rail all over the place, so it feels pretty unique for a city of 2 mil.
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