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Old 10-29-2009, 06:53 PM
 
3 posts, read 7,015 times
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Me and my fiancee are currently living in Southern California. She has lived here her whole life and I moved from Massachuttes when I was about 12. We are 27 and 26 as of now. Southern California is not the place where we want to raise our children and after doing much research we have decided Oregon is where we will most likely go. My grandparents had a home in Eugene when I was young so I am 10% familiar with the area. I love the rain so that is not an issue as long as my kids can go outside and play from time to time. Hopefully in about 3-5 years we will have about $200,000 in equity in our current home and be able to move up there and buy something for around $350,000? I guess what I am looking for is some reassurance, how is the community? How are the schools? How is the night life? We both work in Hospitality so I would hope getting jobs wont be to diffucult, although Ive heard jobs are scarce in Oregon all the time, even when there is not a recession. Any advise I could get would be great, its obviously a huge decision, I thank anyone who responds in advance.
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Old 11-03-2009, 12:43 AM
 
39 posts, read 131,729 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arklow View Post
How is the night life? We both work in Hospitality so I would hope getting jobs wont be to difficult, although Ive heard jobs are scarce in Oregon all the time, even when there is not a recession.
Considering we just left Eugene for greener pastures... we both, girlfriend and I, got laid off back in January from a Eugene restaurant. I've lived/worked (fine dining) in a strong restaurant town (not Eugene) previously, and found Eugene to be lacking in many ways. There are a few good restaurants as far as quality of the food goes, but overall, there seems to be a lack of good service mentality around Eugene. We tried and tried to go out and try new places but were so often disappointed with the poor service. Also, its tough to get a foothold in the Eugene scene without knowing someone or having a hookup. Not the best place if thats your forte IMO. It didn't turn out well for me. I always felt like I expected Eugene to be nicer (more upscale) than it was... given then proximity to Willamette valley wineries and amazing natural beauty. Not so... Oh well. Good luck!

Edit/Also: if bartending is your thing, IMO, its still not what you know but who you know... Small town mentality, can be good or bad, depends on how you look at it.

Eugene has some great qualities too... (scenery, organic/local food, can bike everywhere/even the kids to school, affordable alcohol and weed, close to beautiful beaches and mountains and rivers and creeks and so on...)
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Old 11-03-2009, 04:32 PM
 
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My husband and I have been together going on 15 years and we are raising two kids together - one who is in elementary school and one who is in middle school. We currently live in Eugene.

We have bounced around from state to state, and city to city, quite a bit for my husbands job. This is actually our second time living in Eugene! We lived here for three years, LOVED it, but then relocated for what my husband at the time thought were greener pastures (Seattle area). We were so unhappy after having realizing what we had given up (our happy life in Eugene) that we came back as quick as we could, and are planning to stay at least until the kids finish school.

If you are an outdoorsy, laid-back, tolerant, simple and quiet kind of person who appreciates art, music, books, nature, etc... I think you would really love the opportunity to raise your children here. Just keep in mind that Eugene is NOT California. It's not the east-coast, either. It's not about appearances here - how you dress, the car you drive, your hairstyle, etc. People dance to the beat of their own drummer here. There's a very strong "live and let live" mentality. People for the most part also tend to keep to themselves. You'll probably make friends with people you work or volunteer with... but we've found that in general Pacific Northwesterners are not a gregarious bunch. The old-timers/natives kind of already have their group of people and they are a close-knit group... and for outsiders we kind of slowly find our friends... but it's a very different sort of place socially than anyplace my husband and I have ever lived before. Maybe it's the weather? We personally like it, as we are boring homebodies who don't party or drink or go to bars or anything like that... but I can see how for younger people, or people who do like to go out, how Eugene might not be a good fit for them.

As far as whether or not Eugene has good schools, I feel that's a hard question to answer. People have different ideas on what makes a "good school". You can take the national test scores and throw them down the garbage... with the changing curriculum all across the nation and the fact that most state standardized tests do not change along with the curriculum... the tests do not truly show how the schools are performing. It's kind of a joke, to be honest. Not to mention the fact that many schools who do score very highly on those tests do so because they neglect other areas to drill the kids on the test material for that specific purpose. Years ago I used to place a certain amount of trust in those kinds of things but now I view them as a waste of time. You're better off visiting, talking to teachers, talking to parents, and just going in and getting a feel for a particular school. Also even within one district there will be some schools that will surprise you while others disappoint.

We have experienced several different school districts in several different states and for our kids and our family priorities Eugene fits us best. But it's a very personal thing. We feel the arts are important as well as strong academics and a focus on the humanities and environmental sciences. Eugene has this, and also stresses the importance of allowing children time to be children - time for family togetherness and play. We've lived in other places where the schools were supposedly rated the "highest in the nation" but we weren't happy with the schools at all in those places. Too competitive, too stressful, too much homework, too little time left for family time or relaxed playtime. So as far as whether you'll like the schools here, it just depends on what your idea of a good school is.

Jobs are an issue here... that's for sure. I wouldn't relocate here without a job lined up first. It's one of those places where you're better off knowing someone who knows someone else who can refer you and get you a position with someone they know who has an opening. If that makes sense? And $350K will buy you a very nice home in a good, safe area.
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Old 11-13-2009, 01:27 PM
 
Location: Montana but maybe Eugene next
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Thanks for all the great info about Eugene. I am looking to relocate as my children are out of the nest. I am looking for an active town which Eugene seems to rank near the top in activities for a town of this size.
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Old 11-13-2009, 05:57 PM
 
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City of Eugene Recreation website (http://www.eugene-or.gov/portal/server.pt?space=CommunityPage&control=SetCommunity &CommunityID=221&PageID=0 - broken link)

That is a great link for finding all kinds of thigns for people of all ages to do - from infants all the way up through toddlers. That's just for the programs offered through the city... there are also tons of resources here aside from what the city itself offers.

Kidsports is very popular for Eugene kids... my family loves it because the emphasis is more on learning the games and learning good sportsmanship and how to work as a team, it's not merely focused on being competitive like a lot of other sports clubs often are.

Nearby Nature is AWESOME. We love the opportunities they offer for families, kids, and adults. Their Nature hikes are awesome, and my kids loves their summer camps.

http://www.artsumbrellausa.org/

http://www.lordleebrick.com/

http://www.therct.com/

http://www.oregonchildrenschoir.com/

http://eugeneayso.org/

http://mountpisgaharboretum.org/summercamp (broken link)

http://www.sciencefactory.org/

The Eugene Public Library (http://www.eugene-or.gov/portal/server.pt?space=CommunityPage&control=SetCommunity &CommunityID=215 - broken link) is wonderful... they are always offering programs, classes, and holding events for all ages of people... and the downtown branch is beautiful.

And this link has a lot of ideas as well: http://www.eshaoregon.com/places/ten/

Everytime I turn around I'm learning more about what's here. It's a really fun place to grow up. I'm in my 30's, and sometimes I feel like a kid again just living here.
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Old 12-15-2009, 03:48 AM
 
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I don't have personal experience as I am not a parent, but I can say that there are a lot of young families here, everyone seems really kid friendly. I believe that it's a great place to start a family, my husband and I moved here with that in mind.
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Old 12-17-2009, 02:39 AM
 
857 posts, read 695,320 times
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Default Eugene

Quote:
Originally Posted by haggardhouseelf View Post
If you are an outdoorsy, laid-back, tolerant, simple and quiet kind of person who appreciates art, music, books, nature, etc... I think you would really love the opportunity to raise your children here. Just keep in mind that Eugene is NOT California. It's not the east-coast, either.
Great post. You bring up some interesting considerations not related to raising children. May I bring them up in the same thread or a new one? In terms of tolerance and the laid back nature of the Eugene residents, how would you compare Eugene to the competition . . . consisting of such liberal, tolerant, outdoors towns as Boulder, Flagstaff, Berkeley, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Santa Cruz, Ashland (OR), etc. etc.

Quote:
Originally Posted by haggardhouseelf View Post
It's not about appearances here - how you dress, the car you drive, your hairstyle, etc. People dance to the beat of their own drummer here. There's a very strong "live and let live" mentality.
In the Southwest, I've unfortunately found that it IS STRONGLY about outside appearances, including Flagstaff, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and to a lesser extent Boulder. If you drive an extended cab truck in certain parts of Arizona, you're at a disadvantage. If you drive a Subaru in Boulder or Durango, same thing. If you make one political comment against the status quo, you'll lose all your friends. If such nonsense is NOT the case in Eugene, then it sounds PERFECT for non-conformists, free-thinkers, and Bohemians, including the author of these lines. How would you compare Eugene to these OTHER places?

And one more thing. The local governments perpetuate the "Southwest Image," with their HOA restrictions and expensive, fancy, 150' wide 10-lane suburban streets (that is, each incorporating two sidewalks and two bike lanes = 10), in the "new Urban Villages" surrounding Vegas, Phoenix, and Albuquerque, where your front yard is gravel; no grass for the kids to play on - just the irrigated neighborhood park down the street where they're dealing drugs (so nobody plays there, so why bother watering the grass?). Even the case in Flagstaff, AZ, with tall pine trees and 100" of snow, and 8" of summer rain. Don't let the greenery of Scottsdale allure you; the area is unsafe for kids w/ a massive drug problem. Can people plant whatever they want to in their front yards in Eugene? Lawns? Flowers? Veggies? Fruit Trees? And, do the HOA's allow American Flags?

Quote:
Originally Posted by haggardhouseelf View Post
People for the most part also tend to keep to themselves. You'll probably make friends with people you work or volunteer with... but we've found that in general Pacific Northwesterners are not a gregarious bunch. The old-timers/natives kind of already have their group of people and they are a close-knit group... and for outsiders we kind of slowly find our friends... but it's a very different sort of place socially than anyplace my husband and I have ever lived before.
Interesting, sounds like the Southwest, meaning AZ, NM. However, is Eugene in ANY way "cliquish" and hard to break in? If people are shy, that's NOT the same as being "cliquish" i.e. "unwelcoming." In Arizona and New Mexico, it's absolutely impossible to make friends with "the locals," and many move back to where they are from. You never meet your neighbors in the Southwest, not because they are shy, instead, they hate newcomers to their respective states (Arizona, New Mexico). If you try to talk to your neighbors in AZ/NM, they fail to make eye contact and back away. New Englanders, Californians, and people from the Northwest, Colorado, and the Upper Midwest get so offended by this unintentional lack of manners, that they generally move back. Same thing happens during job interviews - that is, if you're not "a local."

Quote:
Originally Posted by haggardhouseelf View Post
Jobs are an issue here... that's for sure. I wouldn't relocate here without a job lined up first. It's one of those places where you're better off knowing someone who knows someone else who can refer you and get you a position with someone they know who has an opening. If that makes sense?
Yes it makes sense, and can possibly be arranged. Does one also "need a Landlord lined up in advance," since in some places, such as Boulder, many property managers require a job in advance just to pay the rent - EVEN IF you have 1st, last, and deposit in CASH. Thank you.

Last edited by CCCVDUR; 12-17-2009 at 03:14 AM..
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Old 12-17-2009, 08:58 PM
 
1,592 posts, read 1,725,800 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CCCVDUR View Post
Great post. You bring up some interesting considerations not related to raising children. May I bring them up in the same thread or a new one? In terms of tolerance and the laid back nature of the Eugene residents, how would you compare Eugene to the competition . . . consisting of such liberal, tolerant, outdoors towns as Boulder, Flagstaff, Berkeley, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Santa Cruz, Ashland (OR), etc. etc.



In the Southwest, I've unfortunately found that it IS STRONGLY about outside appearances, including Flagstaff, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and to a lesser extent Boulder. If you drive an extended cab truck in certain parts of Arizona, you're at a disadvantage. If you drive a Subaru in Boulder or Durango, same thing. If you make one political comment against the status quo, you'll lose all your friends. If such nonsense is NOT the case in Eugene, then it sounds PERFECT for non-conformists, free-thinkers, and Bohemians, including the author of these lines. How would you compare Eugene to these OTHER places?
Some people here have prejiduces just like anywhere else. For example, try being obviously republican and living on College Hill or the Amazon area. For the most part though Eugene is a place that does not care what you look like, how you dress, or what you believe.


Quote:
Originally Posted by CCCVDUR View Post
And one more thing. The local governments perpetuate the "Southwest Image," with their HOA restrictions and expensive, fancy, 150' wide 10-lane suburban streets (that is, each incorporating two sidewalks and two bike lanes = 10), in the "new Urban Villages" surrounding Vegas, Phoenix, and Albuquerque, where your front yard is gravel; no grass for the kids to play on - just the irrigated neighborhood park down the street where they're dealing drugs (so nobody plays there, so why bother watering the grass?). Even the case in Flagstaff, AZ, with tall pine trees and 100" of snow, and 8" of summer rain. Don't let the greenery of Scottsdale allure you; the area is unsafe for kids w/ a massive drug problem. Can people plant whatever they want to in their front yards in Eugene? Lawns? Flowers? Veggies? Fruit Trees? And, do the HOA's allow American Flags?
Yes, lots of people have gardens.



Quote:
Originally Posted by CCCVDUR View Post
Interesting, sounds like the Southwest, meaning AZ, NM. However, is Eugene in ANY way "cliquish" and hard to break in? If people are shy, that's NOT the same as being "cliquish" i.e. "unwelcoming." In Arizona and New Mexico, it's absolutely impossible to make friends with "the locals," and many move back to where they are from. You never meet your neighbors in the Southwest, not because they are shy, instead, they hate newcomers to their respective states (Arizona, New Mexico). If you try to talk to your neighbors in AZ/NM, they fail to make eye contact and back away. New Englanders, Californians, and people from the Northwest, Colorado, and the Upper Midwest get so offended by this unintentional lack of manners, that they generally move back. Same thing happens during job interviews - that is, if you're not "a local."
Some people are like that but many are friendly. I think people are much more friendly and outgoing during the sunny months and tend to hole up a little during the grey season.
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Old 12-18-2009, 12:05 PM
 
5,581 posts, read 8,320,816 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CCCVDUR View Post
Great post. You bring up some interesting considerations not related to raising children. May I bring them up in the same thread or a new one? In terms of tolerance and the laid back nature of the Eugene residents, how would you compare Eugene to the competition . . . consisting of such liberal, tolerant, outdoors towns as Boulder, Flagstaff, Berkeley, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Santa Cruz, Ashland (OR), etc. etc.

In the Southwest, I've unfortunately found that it IS STRONGLY about outside appearances, including Flagstaff, Phoenix, Albuquerque, Santa Fe, and to a lesser extent Boulder. If you drive an extended cab truck in certain parts of Arizona, you're at a disadvantage. If you drive a Subaru in Boulder or Durango, same thing. If you make one political comment against the status quo, you'll lose all your friends. If such nonsense is NOT the case in Eugene, then it sounds PERFECT for non-conformists, free-thinkers, and Bohemians, including the author of these lines. How would you compare Eugene to these OTHER places?

And one more thing. The local governments perpetuate the "Southwest Image," with their HOA restrictions and expensive, fancy, 150' wide 10-lane suburban streets (that is, each incorporating two sidewalks and two bike lanes = 10), in the "new Urban Villages" surrounding Vegas, Phoenix, and Albuquerque, where your front yard is gravel; no grass for the kids to play on - just the irrigated neighborhood park down the street where they're dealing drugs (so nobody plays there, so why bother watering the grass?). Even the case in Flagstaff, AZ, with tall pine trees and 100" of snow, and 8" of summer rain. Don't let the greenery of Scottsdale allure you; the area is unsafe for kids w/ a massive drug problem. Can people plant whatever they want to in their front yards in Eugene? Lawns? Flowers? Veggies? Fruit Trees? And, do the HOA's allow American Flags?



Interesting, sounds like the Southwest, meaning AZ, NM. However, is Eugene in ANY way "cliquish" and hard to break in? If people are shy, that's NOT the same as being "cliquish" i.e. "unwelcoming." In Arizona and New Mexico, it's absolutely impossible to make friends with "the locals," and many move back to where they are from. You never meet your neighbors in the Southwest, not because they are shy, instead, they hate newcomers to their respective states (Arizona, New Mexico). If you try to talk to your neighbors in AZ/NM, they fail to make eye contact and back away. New Englanders, Californians, and people from the Northwest, Colorado, and the Upper Midwest get so offended by this unintentional lack of manners, that they generally move back. Same thing happens during job interviews - that is, if you're not "a local."



Yes it makes sense, and can possibly be arranged. Does one also "need a Landlord lined up in advance," since in some places, such as Boulder, many property managers require a job in advance just to pay the rent - EVEN IF you have 1st, last, and deposit in CASH. Thank you.
I've only visited those places, never lived there... so I can't really speak from experience. I was born in Dallas and grew up there, only leaving Texas in 2003... so I am familiar with life in the Southwest... I've also lived in other states, in large and small cities... California, Oregon, Washington state...

All I can say is that Eugene is a very laid-back, tolerant, easy to live place.

One example: You can wear basically the same thing all year to any event and nobody will think you strange for it. Because of the weather here, and because most people who live here enjoy doing outdoorsy things whether it be running, cycling, hunting, fishing, hiking, horseback riding, or whatever... I think those two things - climate and lifestyle - have made a big impression on how people dress here. Very casual, comfortable, layering, and warm with sturdy shoes.

My husband and I like to go to the symphony performances downtown at the Hult. The first time we went, we dressed up like we normally do for the symphony when we lived in other places - very nice dressy evening clothes and our "fancy shoes". I even put my "date night" jewelry on that I always save for special occasions. When we arrived for our first symphony performance here in Eugene, we felt we had overdressed. We saw people in sandals, shorts, hoodie sweaters, jeans - one old guy with a long Santa Clause-like beard in tie-dye with Birkenstocks. Of course there were others like us who were dressed-up as well, but not too many. People were dressed however they wanted to be dressed and it was all OK. When I got home I checked the website for the symphony and even there on the page it says to wear what you're comfortable in because you are there to enjoy the music, and you cannot fully enjoy the music if you are not comfortable.

That's Oregon. Or at least, that's our experience of it here! People take you as you are and appearances/clothing choices/the kind of car you drive mean almost nothing to most people here. We appreciate the fact that our kids are growing up in this sort of environment where there is more emphasis on what you DO or what you KNOW or what you KNOW HOW TO DO rather than what you look like, wear, or drive or how much money you make.

As far as tolerance - i.e. losing friends due to political or religious affiliations, etc - that kind of thing happens everywhere. People of like interests tend to be drawn to and stick by others who share their same interests. It's human nature. And if you do not share the same interests as a particular group, you will probably feel as if you don't "fit in" and will naturally want to keep searching until you find "your" group. This process can take quite awhile when you relocate to a brand new place where you don't know anyone. I know this because of our many moves for my husbands job.

Also, no matter where you live in the world you will have groups of people who go to the extremes one way or another - extreme conservatives or extreme liberals and so on. We have hate groups just like every other place and we have groups that support minority groups and people who are different from the norm just like every other place. We also have people like us who are middle-of-the-road "normal" type people (we call ourselves boring) who don't really belong to any group and just try to get along without hurting or offending anyone. We have gays and people that hate on gays, we have Blacks and Mexicans and Asians and racist white supremacy groups. There's all kinds of people here, just like everywhere. Of course, in Oregon there are more white people than any other color of people, but that is slowly changing (which I think is a good thing!).

Overall, though, I think people in Oregon are some of the nicest, friendliest people we've ever met. We had a horrible experience in the Seattle/Eastside area with rude, unwelcoming people. But in Eugene people have been wonderful.

As far as planting whatever you want to plant and housing questions - you should contact a realtor. I think there are a few HOA developments in Eugene, but there are plenty of places where you can buy your land or your home and do what you want with it. Just depends on where you buy. A local realtor could answer those questions better for you.

Last edited by haggardhouseelf; 12-18-2009 at 12:14 PM..
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Old 01-02-2010, 03:14 PM
 
Location: Eugene, Oregon
24 posts, read 79,402 times
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Our family is from San Diego, Cal. Our daughter & hubby (age 29 & 35) w/2 kids (4 & 6yrs) & My husband & I retired. There is a lot to do here in Eugene for both age groups. this is family and retirement activities here. People are very friendly here. Been here 11 yrs and absolutely Love it here. we live in the Santa clara area in Eugene, Or. By the way we are Chargers & Duck fans...LOL...come to Eugene...you will be welcomed with open arms!
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