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Old 11-26-2007, 08:17 PM
 
Location: Raleigh, NC
1,558 posts, read 4,454,667 times
Reputation: 1161

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(I'm sure you guys get annoying posts like this a lot, but I need some help. Sorry!)

So I live about 45 min outside Boston, I'm 25, and engaged. My fiancee and I are looking to move in spring 2009. I work in biotech, and she's almost done with an MBA, hoping for marketing or HR jobs. The main reasons for moving are the crappy weather here from late October --> early May, the fact that a 600k house is 1200 sq ft with no yard, and just for something different. Maybe more outdoor opportunities, less crowded (MA isn't so big, you see...), etc. Anyways, we had been focused on Portland, OR for awhile now. They seem to have low housing costs, compared to here, and a lot of nature stuff, good microbrews, wine, local food, etc. We're both liberal, but mainstream, and Portland seems good for that if you don't mind the freaks

Anyways, the obvious problems I see presented are the fact that it rains there a lot Nov-April, and this is preferable to dirty snowpiles, but might get depressing, compared to clear winter days of fresh snow. Also, I guess the job market is quite bad there. We're worried we're going to wind up working at a bookstore or something, stuck in gloomy weather. How does Denver fit in to this? Is it reasonable for 2 college-educated late-20-somethings to make a combined 90k there? Or enough to buy a normal house? What is the shopping like (malls, little shops, etc)? What are the people like, friendly, conservative, liberal, diverse, straight-laced, weirdos, dressy, casual?? What kind of cars do people drive? Are there cool lofts or apartments downtown? Do people in my demographic typically live in suburbs, downtown, or certain sections? Is the weather nice? I'd really love some thoughts on the good, the bad, and any suggestions....on Denver, other cities in Colorado, Portland, other places, whatever.

Sorry this was so long and rambling. Thanks very much for anyone who responds!

Last edited by GucciLittlePiggie; 11-26-2007 at 08:26 PM..
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Old 11-26-2007, 08:41 PM
 
636 posts, read 2,156,906 times
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First of all, there are a lot of biotech companies up north of Denver, which, luckily for you, is also getting towards Boulder, which is very liberal. North Denver and Denver itself are liberal also. As you start to creep south into Douglas and El Paso Couties it gets red.

Here is my favorite link if you are ever curious about who votes how:
Election 2004 Results

Kelly Scientific Resources is the main science job placement firm for the Denver/front range, you might want to google them, give them a call and feel them out.

Someone else will have to answer with respect to Marketing/MBA jobs.

The Denver area is sunny almost all the time. There are all kinds of people here. In my opinion people are more relaxed than east-coasters. Probably because there is so much open space here, so many great outdoors things to do, and lots of places to go if you don't feel like being around other people. If you like cycling or jogging the Denver Metro area has a great trails system. My husband's relatives are from the east, and they dress much more formally than here. You can wear jeans and capris at a lot of high-paying jobs.

Houses here are less than Portland, which means you have money left over to go to Mexico for some beach time.

Last edited by MorningGlory; 11-26-2007 at 08:52 PM.. Reason: pushed wrong button!
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Old 11-26-2007, 08:58 PM
 
636 posts, read 2,156,906 times
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I forgot the money part. My friend started out at 85K after getting her MBA, science jobs the salary just depends. Look at the price of houses to determine how much you need. We can easily get by if just one of us works full time.
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Old 11-26-2007, 09:02 PM
 
2,755 posts, read 12,156,114 times
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My impression of Portland is that it's a bit more cosmopolitan than Denver -- feels a bit more "big city" even though the two cities are roughly the same size. Denver is closing the gap, I think. Both cities have their ups and downs in their job markets -- and both probably pay less money than Boston even in the best of times, though still respectably. Both have very lively downtowns with lofts, historic neighborhoods, nightlife. Both are meccas for the outdoor life -- Oregon and Colorado have a lot to offer -- Oregon has the ocean and the columbia -- but Colorado has more mountains. Take your pick. Neither place is exactly cheap in cost of living but Denver is noticably cheaper, particularly in the suburbs.

I don't know what to tell you about climate. Do you like chilly wet winters (Oregon) or cold sunny winters with snow (Colorado)? Do you like hot dry summers with cool nights (Denver) or cooler but more humid summers (Portland)? For me, either place would be fine in terms of climate.

For jobs, you're far better off living either in the Denver area or in Boulder (if in Colorado) That's where the jobs are, and that's where the salaries are the best.
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Old 11-26-2007, 09:37 PM
 
Location: Long Beach, CA
2,071 posts, read 11,432,169 times
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I have a friend who moved from living all her life in the Chicago suburbs to Oregon. It's a big adjustment for her. She said she'd take the cold sunny days in Chicago over the 5 months of gloom in Portland any day.
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Old 11-26-2007, 10:37 PM
 
Location: Parker, CO
1,135 posts, read 2,910,999 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tfox View Post
My impression of Portland is that it's a bit more cosmopolitan than Denver -- feels a bit more "big city" even though the two cities are roughly the same size. Denver is closing the gap, I think.
Actually, according to Emporis.com, the Denver metro area is almost 1 million people larger than Portland...

Portland metro population: 2,095,861
Denver metro population: 2,927,911

I haven't been to Portland either TFox but from what I've read, I think your assessment is right... Portland is a bit more cosmopolitan than Denver. From what I understand, Portland is a very laid back city- more so than Denver (again, just from what I've deduced, Denver has much more of a big city feel than Portland).

I'd say that the majority of people in your demographic- liberal, educated, 20 somethings live in the city... sure there some in the suburbs as well but I think that you may enjoy living in the city more- you're close to everything so there is a lot more to do. There are tons of great lofts and apartments in the city and there are new ones going up like crazy. It's quite reasonable that the two of you can make $90K combined- especially if you have a few years of experience in your field(s) and can land good paying positions.

The shopping here is good- lots of large malls to choose from. Cherry Creek Mall is in my opinion, the most high end mall in the city. There are a scattering of little shops and botiques around (mostly in the city, not so much in the 'burbs). Cherry Creek North area has several smaller shops/botiques. People here drive all kinds of cars here but you'll notice LOTS of SUV's (the combination of snowy winters and outdoor enthusiasts I would assume contributes to this).

In my opinion, the people here are not as uptight and hurried as people out east but I wouldn't go as far as to say that Denver is "laid back" either. I've never seen people wearing jeans to work, at least not at corporate workplaces with the exception being some companies that have causal Fridays.

Denver and Boston are difficult to compare in many ways- they're really worlds apart: the culture, the feel, the attitude. I'll give you the advice I give everyone- fly out for a few days, rent a car and get a feel for the city. Also take a trip out to Portland and compare the two to see which is a better fit.

Good luck to you!!
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Old 11-26-2007, 10:46 PM
 
Location: Foot of the Rockies
90,377 posts, read 109,274,425 times
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In my opinion, the people here are not as uptight and hurried as people out east but I wouldn't go as far as to say that Denver is "laid back" either. I've never seen people wearing jeans to work, at least not at corporate workplaces with the exception being some companies that have causal Fridays.

The entire engineering dept at DH's company in Boulder (Polycom) wears jeans virtually every day. They do not, as a rule, have any customer contact.
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Old 11-26-2007, 10:51 PM
 
636 posts, read 2,156,906 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pittnurse70 View Post
In my opinion, the people here are not as uptight and hurried as people out east but I wouldn't go as far as to say that Denver is "laid back" either. I've never seen people wearing jeans to work, at least not at corporate workplaces with the exception being some companies that have causal Fridays.

The entire engineering dept at DH's company in Boulder (Polycom) wears jeans virtually every day. They do not, as a rule, have any customer contact.
I should have qualified that. If you have no customer contact you can, in general, wear fleece and jeans. If you have to work with customers (sorry!) its another story.
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Old 11-26-2007, 11:31 PM
 
Location: Parker, CO
1,135 posts, read 2,910,999 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MorningGlory View Post
I should have qualified that. If you have no customer contact you can, in general, wear fleece and jeans. If you have to work with customers (sorry!) its another story.
That makes sense. I suppose that if you're working in a position that is "behind the scenes," and doesn't require any customer contact, the dress tends to be much more casual.
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Old 11-27-2007, 12:07 AM
 
Location: Westminster, CO
271 posts, read 1,297,262 times
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Dress code depends on your proximity to the customers, much less so than where you work, location wise. I work in engineering and have never been required to wear anything in particular, so I go casual but neat.

As far as location.. for me, Denver holds a slight edge over Portland. Both are great in terms of progressiveness, relaxed attitudes, weather, outdoors, tech/engineering industries, etc. Portland is definitely a bit more cosmopolitan, but Denver is catching up. I have a preference for mountains and dry weather over oceans and humid weather, so Denver was the best choice for me. I do have fond memories of Mount Hood, but that's all there is there as far as I'm concerned.
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