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Old 01-08-2012, 05:11 PM
 
Location: Great Falls, MT (But the road is where I feel home)
1 posts, read 14,508 times
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Hello! I am a single 22 year old woman and I am planning on moving. I currently live in Great Falls, MT. I dislike the lack of diversity, everyone does the same things and new organizations or businesses aren't very welcomed and often fail. Its not a town for the artistically inclined or alternative types, if you don't like what you have found...well, sucks to be you because you won't find it.
I'm looking for a place with a strong arts community, a decent gay/lesbian community, a place where I can make new friends, shop locally and all-naturally (preferably with a large variety as well, there's very limited options here if you want anything other than corporate, big brand type anything.) and meet a lot of different types of people. I'm concerned about pollution, cost of living and crime, which are very small factors here. also would like to live somewhere where the winters aren't so frigid but summers aren't too ghastly. I'm not sure this place exists I have looked into Seattle and Portland (and as a side note, Modesto.), but statistics aren't helping me much, I would like to hear from people in these cities, as well as any others you think I might like. I am moving alone and have accepted that I will most likely be going somewhere I don't know anyone, so these aren't factors at the moment.
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Old 01-08-2012, 06:17 PM
 
99 posts, read 198,649 times
Reputation: 65
Quote:
Originally Posted by NotAllWhoWanderAreLost View Post
Hello! I am a single 22 year old woman and I am planning on moving. I currently live in Great Falls, MT. I dislike the lack of diversity, everyone does the same things and new organizations or businesses aren't very welcomed and often fail. Its not a town for the artistically inclined or alternative types, if you don't like what you have found...well, sucks to be you because you won't find it.
I'm looking for a place with a strong arts community, a decent gay/lesbian community, a place where I can make new friends, shop locally and all-naturally (preferably with a large variety as well, there's very limited options here if you want anything other than corporate, big brand type anything.) and meet a lot of different types of people. I'm concerned about pollution, cost of living and crime, which are very small factors here. also would like to live somewhere where the winters aren't so frigid but summers aren't too ghastly. I'm not sure this place exists I have looked into Seattle and Portland (and as a side note, Modesto.), but statistics aren't helping me much, I would like to hear from people in these cities, as well as any others you think I might like. I am moving alone and have accepted that I will most likely be going somewhere I don't know anyone, so these aren't factors at the moment.
Hey, crazy, I'm 21 (22 on the 16th) ... a California native and I lived in Great Falls for 3 years!

I would choose Portland, I think it would satisfy what you want more than Seattle would. I like it here.
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Old 01-09-2012, 11:20 AM
 
56,511 posts, read 80,824,285 times
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Other areas that may work are Asheville NC, Columbus OH, Fort Collins CO, Morgantown WV, Blacksburg VA and Bloomington IN, among others.
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Old 01-09-2012, 03:55 PM
 
Location: Seattle
1,507 posts, read 2,092,052 times
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I'm from Seattle and have visited Portland quite a bit and it sounds like both would fit the bill. Both are pretty diverse, there is a lot of emphasis on dense, walkable neighborhoods and local food, and both cities seem to foster and encourage local arts to a greater degree than most other cities I've lived in. That's not to say that artists are gettin' rich here, but there are a lot of galleries and local art projects. There are workshops for metal workers and lots of venues for local sales of crafts. Most artists I know have a day job and work obsessively in their off hours. Both cities are pretty welcoming of alternate lifestyles - Seattle's LGBT community is probably larger, but so is Seattle.

The biggest differences between the two are price and size. Portland is smaller, less expensive and has the better public transportation system. Seattle is larger, the cost of living is greater, but there are more large employers and there are more neighborhoods to chose from that meet your criteria. To me - Portland seems to be a little 'younger' in that their youth demographic seems larger. Not sure if that's just the areas I hang out in when I go there or not, but that's the impression I get. Overall - I think Portland would probably be the easier move of the two financially.

They are both gorgeous cities and have an abundance of hiking and outdoors activies within a short distance. Portland is a tad milder than Seattle, but generally they have similar types of weather. Winters are mild, overcast and drizzly/rainy with highs in the 40's, lows in the 30's and only an occasional dip into the 20's. Summers are absolutely perfect - generally sunny with highs in the mid to upper 70's, lows in the 50's and very little wind and few bugs. If you end up in one of these cities, try to find a place with a deck or patio because it's a crying shame not to eat outside as much as possible between May and Sept.

Best wishes to you wherever you end up! Life's too short not to try something new.
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Old 01-09-2012, 04:17 PM
 
7,383 posts, read 13,224,704 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kayela View Post
Overall - I think Portland would probably be the easier move of the two financially.
How? Considering the bad economy... if she even finds a job, she will have to pay income tax. Washington has no income tax, but a high sales tax. Oregon has a high income tax but no sales tax.

At this point, the OP just needs to visit these 2 cities and see which vibes well with her. She might be surprised that as nice as these towns are, it still may not be for her and she needs to look into a place like... Eugene, OR.
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Old 01-10-2012, 01:56 AM
 
Location: US
743 posts, read 566,628 times
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I've been to Portland. They are very Gay/Lesbian tolerant now days, heard they used to not be. I think the city is know as the Lesbian city, as San Fran is known as the Gay city. Def. take a trip there, see if you like it. From what i experienced, Nice city lots of trees and places to shop(that you won't find in other places such as where you are at that are not a hugeee city)/things to do, the tram is about 5 dollars to ride all day very convenient.
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Old 01-10-2012, 08:13 AM
 
21,185 posts, read 30,343,833 times
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I would broaden your scope a bit, as believe it or not the traits you seek are not exclusive to the Pacific Northwest. Besides that I would think a lower cost of living and job availability might be a concern as well. As a gay male myself who has lived in several places on the east coast I would recommend Durham, North Carolina. The city has an unemployment rate of 7.4% compared to Portland's 8.7%. Rent for a nice one bedroom apartment walking distance to amenities you're looking for would cost around $700 a month. Durham has a relatively high GLBT population with a majority Lesbian demographic. The city has many great natural/organic food options ranging from Whole Foods to an excellent food coop and awesome farmers markets. The local restaurant scene reflects the same passion for locally sourced items as well. The city is a melting pot, attracting people from all over the world to attend/work at Duke University/Duke University Medical Center, to work in Durham's Research Triangle Park or as artisans. The geographic diversity also lends itself to a friendlier environment as you don't see the clique-like traits as result. The city/environment is quite clean in my opinion with an ongoing downtown revitalization that has brought a lot of activity back to the area which was already fairly active with the arts/cultural activities. The weather is best described as a milder four season climate with not much in the way of ghastly other than a hot streak or two in July or August. Winters are quite mild with little if any snow or ice. Check it out, as it's a fantastic place to live. Good luck!

Durham, North Carolina - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Independent Weekly
Bull City Rising (http://www.bullcityrising.com/ - broken link)
NC Gay Travel :: Triangle Cities
Durham Dining - Pies, Panini and Barbecue - NYTimes.com
Durham, a Tobacco Town, Turns to Local Food - NYTimes.com
Durham Arts Council
American Dance Festival (http://www.americandancefestival.org/visitorInfo/visitorInfo.html - broken link)
Weaver Street Market - Locations and Hours
Durham Central Market | Eat local, y'all!
Durham Farmers Market - North Carolina - Local Produce and Crafts for Durham, Raleigh, Chapel Hill Cary and the Triangle
Carrboro Farmers' Markets
Chapel Hill Farmers Market

Last edited by kyle19125; 01-10-2012 at 08:58 AM..
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Old 01-17-2012, 03:45 PM
 
561 posts, read 1,033,322 times
Reputation: 384
This issue has been discussed ad nauseum on other threads, just fyi: Do a title-only search with the text "portland seattle" and copious results emerge.

I think both cities would be a good fit for you. Here are my general observations:

- Geographically, Seattle is more appealing. We're surrounded by water and there are mountains on both the east and west (it's easy to access the cascades to the east). While Portland isn't bad -lots of rivers, rolling hills- the mountains are further away, and it's just not as strikingly beautiful.

- Portland is a smaller city, for both better and worse. I'll discuss this related to other issues.

- In terms of overall diversity, I think Seattle has the edge. This is relative, but Portland still seems pretty WASPy to me. Seattle has a significant Asian population, an above average East-African pop, and a smattering of others. The African American pop is fairly small (but not insignificant). Both cities are GLBT friendly.

- Downtown Portland is wonderfully walkable, built on a human scale, but the surrounding areas are less appealing, while Seattle is just the opposite; downtown Seattle isn't much different from any other large city, but the surrounding neighborhoods are unique and friendly.

- In terms of public transit, I think it's a wash. Portland's is much more extensive and pleasant than Seattle's mostly-bus system, but Portland's population is much more diffuse. Since Seattle is a fairly small area surround by water, our population is comparatively compact. If you live and work within 3-4 miles of downtown there is reliable bus service that will take you everywhere, and there almost never a reason to drive. If you have the time, you can walk many places, and Seattle is regarded as one of the best cities for bicyclists (as is Portland). In Portland, you'll probably need to travel a longer distance for work (there aren't many major employers downtown). Overall, it's probably a wash.

- Portlanders are generally more eccentric, or at least there are eccentric personalities. Many people think of Portland as the way Seattle was prior to the mid-90s tech boom. While there's still bohemian element in Seattle, it's much smaller than in Portland. Seattle has many more large corporations than Portland, and this is reflected in the culture of both cities: I would say that Seattlites are generally more ambitious/motivated, while Portlanders are more leisurely (not an insult). It seems to me many of the more esoteric/arty personalities have left Seattle over the last 10-15 years; in Portland they are more prominent.

- Portland's outlying areas are significnatly rednecky, while Seattle's tend to be Yuppy-ish. This is largely due to different histories/economies: The Willamette Valley is significantly agricultural, while east king county is focused on tech and other 'professional' occupations. While I love downtown Portland, I don't the surrounding areas (Seattle's surrounding areas are OK, but unless you live there, you probably won't visit regularly).

- There seem to be more independent/local businesses in Portland. This is related to Portlanders' doggedly independent/eccentric vibe. Really, both cities have great local businesses, but Portland resists national chains more. Much of east King County is generic suburbia, characterized by malls with generic chain retailers/restaurants.

Ultimately, I think you'd like both cities. If you prefer smaller, funkier citiy with a more casual lifestyle, I suggest Portland. If you want a larger 'major' city, with all the good and the bad that entails, Seattle is probably a better option. Good luck in whatever you decide
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Old 01-18-2012, 04:00 PM
 
1,981 posts, read 3,171,285 times
Reputation: 1575
Quote:
Originally Posted by kyle19125 View Post
I would broaden your scope a bit, as believe it or not the traits you seek are not exclusive to the Pacific Northwest.
I think a lot has to do with the OP being from directly across the mountains from the Pacific Northwest. For Great Falls, the nearest big cities in the USA are Seattle, Portland, Salt Lake, and Denver. You folks mentioning smaller, distant towns are asking someone to move further away to a place with less employment opportunity. Seems silly to me.
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Old 01-19-2012, 12:39 PM
 
56,511 posts, read 80,824,285 times
Reputation: 12480
Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy View Post
I think a lot has to do with the OP being from directly across the mountains from the Pacific Northwest. For Great Falls, the nearest big cities in the USA are Seattle, Portland, Salt Lake, and Denver. You folks mentioning smaller, distant towns are asking someone to move further away to a place with less employment opportunity. Seems silly to me.
Not necessarily true as some of those places have some of the lowest unemployment rates in the US. Morgantown is one example.
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