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Old 01-02-2014, 08:39 AM
 
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I love the PNW, I've lived here many years, but I'm starting to question whether I want to leave.

The weather is vastly overrated. People have this delusion the weather is warm all the time. Not true! Winter is only a few degrees warmer than back east, and lasts just as long if not longer. I don't mind the cold itself but the dampness is terrible to a person's lungs. People seem sick here all the time. Summer is even worse with all the pollen, and it's hotter than you'd think. The traffic in Portland and Seattle is terrible and rivals Los Angeles and Shanghai. While Oregon and Washington are renowned for their forests roughly half of each state is comprised of ugly desert that is frozen for 8 months and bakes the rest of the year. Not only that but I don't think our scenery is superior to what you'd find in New England or the deep South, it's just different. The schools in the state suck aside from U of O and OSU and even they are only good if you wanna get into biology. The K-12 system is not as bad as California but pretty bad.

The culture is tacky as hell. Nobody cares about what they wear, you can go to the store in your pajamas. Which I guess is kinda cool in a way too but it just represents the half-assed nature of life here. Everyone seems to do either meth or weed and it's hard to find a person who's over 18 and not a senior citizen who doesn't have a tattoo. The positive side about people here though they do seem less religious and less materialistic than people from other parts of the continent.

Perhaps worst of all though is the economy. Especially in Oregon! If you want to work a crap job at Kmart or Whole Foods and smoke a lot of weed, the Northwest is where you wanna be but it's not a good place to get rich or start a family. Unless you work for Nike of course. The cost of living is expensive too. Basically we have Canada's economic situation - we make nothing and rely on extracting resources, in our case lumber, and a lot of people from abroad who already have money come in here and price out the locals.
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Old 01-02-2014, 09:11 AM
 
Location: Zurich, Switzerland/ Piedmont, CA
32,320 posts, read 55,123,408 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by belmont22 View Post
The traffic in Portland and Seattle is terrible and rivals Los Angeles and Shanghai.
Los Angeles and Shanghai have considerably worse traffic congestion than either Portland or Seattle.
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Old 01-02-2014, 09:47 AM
 
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In summary, yes it's quite overrated....especially here on C-D where it tends to be the one size fits all suggestion for relos. Sounds like you're ready for a move and would recommend taking a long hard look at options because living in a place you dislike that much isn't good physically or emotionally...I know from experience!
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:25 AM
 
Location: Bothell, Washington
2,701 posts, read 4,667,251 times
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It depends on what you are comparing- it sounds like your complaints are more geared towards western Oregon. Up here in Seattle, you don't have nearly the pollen in the summer- Seattle's allergy problem rating is far, far lower than it is back in my home area of Omaha, Nebraska. I suffered severely back there from Allergies in the summer, but here I have no problems at all.
And regarding economy, the Seattle area's economy is very strong, one of the top in the country, so no issue there.

I would say overall the Pacific Northwest is not overrated. The winter is definitely warmer than back east- not just a few degrees. The landscape remains green and "alive" here for the most part, where as back east it goes dormant, with the grass turning brown, everything looking totally dead for that time of the year- with sub freezing weather frequent or even normal at night and rather frequent even during the daytime. (depending on how far north you are back east) I am still amazed now 4 years after moving here that I can be walking in my green yard in January, that I can have landscaping that looks nice even this time of year without everything getting killed off or going dormant.
And the beauty of the landscape here is absolutely stunning- unmatched anywhere else in the country (I have lived in a lot of other places).
So it depends what one is looking for, but to me it is definitely not overrated- maybe even underrated, because if you ask someone on the east coast what they know about this area, all they would probably come up with is "it rains a lot?"
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:26 AM
 
605 posts, read 1,234,519 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by belmont22 View Post
Not only that but I don't think our scenery is superior to what you'd find in New England or the deep South, it's just different. .

Perhaps the cities are overrated. For one thing, it is wayyyyy expensive to live in Seattle or Vancouver IMO.

But the PNW still takes the cake on mountain scenery.

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Old 01-02-2014, 10:28 AM
 
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No it's not overrated or underrated. It's pretty cut and dry actually: unless you are up on a mountain a lot, then winter sucks and summer is amazing.

I actually kind of like being able to wear a hoody and jeans anywhere I go. Even at my job and I'm in an office setting.
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Old 01-02-2014, 10:33 AM
 
Location: Brew City
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I think it is. There are only a few little pockets I'd be willing to live in Washington or Oregon and the opportunity hasn't presented it's self yet. I have turned down countless other areas of the PNW though. Beautiful as the Southern Oregon coast may be, it didn't seem to be a good place for my family to live.
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Old 01-02-2014, 11:03 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles
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When I moved to Seattle from Washington DC I didn't know what to expect but it blew me away. I thoroughly enjoyed living there and Seattle is an awesome city. The PNW was more than I ever expected.
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Old 01-02-2014, 12:01 PM
 
9,967 posts, read 14,605,870 times
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I don't think the Northwest is overrated in terms of general opinion, Portland and Seattle might be overrated in some regards as cities, people rarely talk that much about the rest of the region(or rate it that highly). The major cities are not even the most interesting cities in the US(or Vancouver the most interesting in Canada), however compared to a lot of other(and often bigger) US cities, at least they were able to maintain or redevelop fairly vibrant cores compared to some of the virtual ghost towns you see in around some other US downtowns. The mountains are beautiful here, yet don't even get as much press as the Colorado Rockies or the Sierra Nevada. The landscape is amazing if one is willing to explore, though I doubt most people really see much than a few of the famous tourist sights or the sort of blandness of the I-5 corridor outside the cities.

Every region has some strong points and weak points however, really no place is perfect. The people who move to region with stars in their eyes are the ones most likely to be disapointed. After living close to 15 years in the region, I find that people who've lived in the area for a while or grew up here, yet who've who've lived somewhere else or travelled outside the area frequently and returned, often have the most balanced and realistic perpsective on the area. People who just move here have big expectations often(that won't always be met) and people who've lived their entire lives in the area and never left, often get a little sensitive if you mention anything isn't perfect about the region(yet they complain about things themselves). A lot of what you find though is that the Northwest is mostly ranked by the expectations of Midwestern or Northeastern or California transplants. People say it feels remote, though it's all a matter of perspective. While I'd love to live in the Northeast, right now I'd rather be two hours from Mount Hood or Mount Rainier than two hours from Cleveland.

Last edited by Deezus; 01-02-2014 at 12:29 PM..
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Old 01-02-2014, 12:12 PM
 
9,967 posts, read 14,605,870 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by belmont22 View Post
The weather is vastly overrated. People have this delusion the weather is warm all the time. Not true! Winter is only a few degrees warmer than back east, and lasts just as long if not longer. I don't mind the cold itself but the dampness is terrible to a person's lungs. People seem sick here all the time. Summer is even worse with all the pollen, and it's hotter than you'd think.
Who the really rates the weather that highly? Even people who've never been to the Northwest complain about the weather. It's well known that there's a lot of gray coastal weather and rain west of the Cascades--it's part of the dominant stereotype of the region. Look at how many threads on the Oregon and Washington forums are from people asking "How bad is the weather, really?" prior to making a move...
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