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Old 04-19-2007, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Journey's End
10,189 posts, read 24,932,555 times
Reputation: 3840

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Yes, physically Portland (Or) and Pittsburgh (Pa) are quite similar. I was only in Portland during warm weather months so can't compare the weather, but in principle, if anyone asked for a sister city, I'd vote for Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh has a more negative reputation, but frankly as far as culture is concerned, it exceeded my expectations with numerous, well endowed museums (one of the finest Science Museums, a Children's Museum) and a renowned Natural History museum, purportedly with the largest Jurassic collection in the world. It has an active, but not necessarily connected art community, beautiful landscaped parks, and contiguous neighbourhoods that offer their individual perils and pleasures (as I call them).

It doesn't have water fountains in the street, and may be a little dirtier, but otherwise, they bear a striking resemblance to each other--and affordable housing.

Quote:
Originally Posted by stevo6 View Post
The people that I work with from Portland tell me that Pittsburgh has a lot of similarities: rivers, a lot of green hills, cloudy, similar size, lots of neighborhoods, light rail transit, compact walkable downtown, a bit gritty, similar mix of blue collar/white collar, access to the outdoor life, struggling with relative isolation and slowish economy.
I would guess the differences are : Portland has warmer winters, a more progressive outlook in some respects, less diversity, fewer professional sports venues . Pittsburgh has larger Universities and is a large banking center. I guess maybe we have one or two fortune 500 companies left, Portland might not have any(?)
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Old 04-19-2007, 03:38 PM
 
192 posts, read 798,858 times
Reputation: 230
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3StillLooking View Post
I'm originally from Cape Cod, MA, so thinking about becoming a Long Islander is something that I've never really thought about . What about cost of living there? I know that in Portland, when we left two years ago, housing was going crazy, and I imagine the same thing is/was going on in New York, especially with the proximity to the city. Can a teacher and an IT person with no contacts afford to live on Long Island?
If you are from the Cape and liked it there, you might like Long Island very much! It is much larger, of course, but many parts of it have that seaside atmosphere and naturally the winters and summer extremes are tempered by the water (the Sound, Bay and ocean). A plus over the Cape is that not the ENTIRETY of Long Island is a tourist destination in summer: Only the forks and the barrier beaches, which are not a "must" to commute through.

From my research I have found that the cost of living on Long Island (housing, taxes, et cetera) is comparable to living in a Boston suburb which is where I am now. I don't know how that compares to Portland, though. I am moving to Long Island in order to escape the New England winters without going any further South, and also to be closer to the shore than I currently am.

I would say that affordability will depend on your salaries. Have you looked online to get an idea of what house prices and taxes are on Long Island? The best resource is MLSLI.com because that is the local Multiple Listing Service that serves Long Island and is what all the realtors use.
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Old 04-19-2007, 06:14 PM
 
Location: N.H.
1,022 posts, read 3,201,893 times
Reputation: 454
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3StillLooking View Post
I guess the first thing is the friendliness one finds in Portland. People are easy to get along with, and they are kind. My wife and I fit into the middle class as far as socio-economics goes (I'm a high school teacher and she is in the IT field); however, we never felt as though we were judged for not having as much money as the next guy. As a matter of fact, one of the things we loved the most about Portland was that you could go to a little bar and stand next to a person who owns a multimillion dollar company and not have any idea because they aren't pretentious. It is probably a product of so many transplants, but we also found the people there very welcoming.

After those things comes the desire to be outside, but also the culture (art etc).

Does that clarify?
I noticed Portsmouth NH mentioned. THIS IS A LIE. The people there are Very Snobby. Northern VT is like what you search for though.
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Old 04-19-2007, 06:15 PM
 
Location: Charlottesville VA
13 posts, read 38,882 times
Reputation: 13
Quote:
Originally Posted by ontheroad View Post
Yes, physically Portland (Or) and Pittsburgh (Pa) are quite similar. I was only in Portland during warm weather months so can't compare the weather, but in principle, if anyone asked for a sister city, I'd vote for Pittsburgh.

Pittsburgh has a more negative reputation, but frankly as far as culture is concerned, it exceeded my expectations with numerous, well endowed museums (one of the finest Science Museums, a Children's Museum) and a renowned Natural History museum, purportedly with the largest Jurassic collection in the world. It has an active, but not necessarily connected art community, beautiful landscaped parks, and contiguous neighbourhoods that offer their individual perils and pleasures (as I call them).

It doesn't have water fountains in the street, and may be a little dirtier, but otherwise, they bear a striking resemblance to each other--and affordable housing.
Why does it have the negative reputation? When my wife and I read this, we immediatly had the reaction of "we're not going to live in Pittsburgh" but we really don't have a reason. I've only visted it once, and that was for a quick trip. Why does Pittsburgh have such a rep of being a dirty city, and are they attempting to change that? I feel that Pittsburgh is a dying city -- from your post, you seem to think otherwise.

When you say affordable, what does that mean? In Charlottesville, affordable means that you have a tiny house for $250,000.

We did start researching Pittsburgh, so thanks for the suggestion -- other info would be great.
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Old 04-19-2007, 09:06 PM
 
Location: Polish Hill, Pittsburgh, PA
30,260 posts, read 67,435,389 times
Reputation: 15919
Quote:
Originally Posted by 3StillLooking View Post
Why does it have the negative reputation? When my wife and I read this, we immediatly had the reaction of "we're not going to live in Pittsburgh" but we really don't have a reason. I've only visted it once, and that was for a quick trip. Why does Pittsburgh have such a rep of being a dirty city, and are they attempting to change that? I feel that Pittsburgh is a dying city -- from your post, you seem to think otherwise.

When you say affordable, what does that mean? In Charlottesville, affordable means that you have a tiny house for $250,000.

We did start researching Pittsburgh, so thanks for the suggestion -- other info would be great.

Most of PA has a negative connotation. People think of places such as Pittsburgh, Erie, Philadelphia, Allentown, Reading, Scranton, York, etc. and shudder. They think of rusted out cities that are a shell of their former selves. They think of poverty, a struggling economy, bleak weather, corrupt politics, high taxes, nasty people, vacant buildings, etc. To some extent, these are true. However, most of PA is on a significant rebound. Cities such as Bethlehem, Scranton, Pittsburgh, Wilkes-Barre, and Philadelphia are enjoying massive amounts of reinvestments in their downtown from various developers. Pittsburgh has a new casino project underway on the North Side. Philadelphia has a few new luxury apartment high-rises coming downtown. Scranton and Wilkes-Barre each have various mixed-use projects of retail boutiques, offices, and lofts coming to their downtowns. Bethlehem also has a casino on the way. The new "Wall Street West" initiative may soon have high-tech employers flooding into both the Lehigh Valley and Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Things are finally looking up in urbanized areas of the Keystone State after many years of post-Industrial decline and neglect.
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Old 04-19-2007, 09:49 PM
 
942 posts, read 1,070,008 times
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Since I live in Portland Oregon, but am from Massachusetts, I will say without a doubt, that Portland has not been duplicated in the USA. To add to that the only place I would say has even the slightest similaritarity is where its name derives from Portland, Maine. I say that in the sense some of the live and let live mindset is in both places, an abundance of higher priced restaurants in its downtown areas, alot of students, and both within a short drive of the ocean and mountains. a certain kind of people friendly festive type setting in its downtown especially when the summer finally arrives. Other than that, that is where my comparison ends. Portland,Oregon is much larger, and has serious social problems, especially with Meth problems and homelessness. Unfortunately we are having a serious time with high crime and the reapperance of gangs, something we made national headlines for in the 90's. Its a nice city Portland, Oregon, but for a sampling of the Portland vibe, you definitely can get some of that on a smaller scale in its parent city Portland, Maine.
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Old 04-20-2007, 08:02 AM
 
Location: Journey's End
10,189 posts, read 24,932,555 times
Reputation: 3840
You can check out some of the pros and cons posted on the Pittsburgh forum--and see the differing opinions. Most of the negative chatter is from folks who view the city from within; some of the more positive remarks are from folks like me that visit or are newcomers. Much of the city's negative reputation is based on "what was" rather than "what can be." In the few years I've visited, I've seen increasing upward mobility, positive change and an influx of young blood.

Housing is much less expensive than the price you quote for a small Charlottesville house. I am going to estimate, not based on fact, but conjecture, that you could get a spacious, not commodious, house for under $250,000 in the city proper.

It isn't that far from Charlottesville, it might be worth a weekend visit to check it out yourself.

Quote:
Originally Posted by 3StillLooking View Post
Why does it have the negative reputation? When my wife and I read this, we immediatly had the reaction of "we're not going to live in Pittsburgh" but we really don't have a reason. I've only visted it once, and that was for a quick trip. Why does Pittsburgh have such a rep of being a dirty city, and are they attempting to change that? I feel that Pittsburgh is a dying city -- from your post, you seem to think otherwise.

When you say affordable, what does that mean? In Charlottesville, affordable means that you have a tiny house for $250,000.

We did start researching Pittsburgh, so thanks for the suggestion -- other info would be great.
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Old 04-20-2007, 08:07 AM
 
Location: Journey's End
10,189 posts, read 24,932,555 times
Reputation: 3840
OREGONRAIN makes good points in comparing the two Portlands. Although not native, I lived in New England for many years, off and on, and think highly of Portland, ME. But if we compare cost of living, and amenities, and attempt to replicate cities, I would still suggest Pittsburgh. Although it is not even remotely near the Ocean, the number of rivers and access to W.Va mountains (~50 miles) and the Poconos, can be seen as good substitutions. Just my opinion, mind you, and I am a big fan of coastal living.

Quote:
Originally Posted by OREGONRAIN View Post
Since I live in Portland Oregon, but am from Massachusetts, I will say without a doubt, that Portland has not been duplicated in the USA. To add to that the only place I would say has even the slightest similaritarity is where its name derives from Portland, Maine. I say that in the sense some of the live and let live mindset is in both places, an abundance of higher priced restaurants in its downtown areas, alot of students, and both within a short drive of the ocean and mountains. a certain kind of people friendly festive type setting in its downtown especially when the summer finally arrives. Other than that, that is where my comparison ends. Portland,Oregon is much larger, and has serious social problems, especially with Meth problems and homelessness. Unfortunately we are having a serious time with high crime and the reapperance of gangs, something we made national headlines for in the 90's. Its a nice city Portland, Oregon, but for a sampling of the Portland vibe, you definitely can get some of that on a smaller scale in its parent city Portland, Maine.
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Old 04-20-2007, 09:08 AM
 
3,042 posts, read 8,097,410 times
Reputation: 1154
i lived in Portland OR; I love Portland Maine though. It is wonderful. I think Ashville NC is comparable in terms of vibe, Burlington VT as well.

Portsmouth NH can be snooty but I found Portland OR to be rather racist but since I am a minority i will have that perspective that most wont so it wont bother you
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Old 04-20-2007, 09:20 AM
 
Location: Charlottesville VA
13 posts, read 38,882 times
Reputation: 13
Oregonrain -- Thanks for the reminder of the downsides. My wife and I were just talking yesterday about the amount of homeless. Although many of the homeless have not chosen their lifestyle, we remember well the many homeless who were choosing to live that way and would become belligerent when they were not given money after they asked for it. I forgot the Meth problem completely. We moved two years ago, and the gangs weren't a bad thing then -- it is sad to hear they are rising again.

When one moves to Maine, specifcially Portland, would you say that you swap the OR rainy season for the NE snow season? Although it didn't have a great affect on me, my wife was bummed by the clouded skies over Portland, OR -- are we going to face the same type of cloudedness in Maine?

Thanks for the info

Quote:
Originally Posted by OREGONRAIN View Post
Since I live in Portland Oregon, but am from Massachusetts, I will say without a doubt, that Portland has not been duplicated in the USA. To add to that the only place I would say has even the slightest similaritarity is where its name derives from Portland, Maine. I say that in the sense some of the live and let live mindset is in both places, an abundance of higher priced restaurants in its downtown areas, alot of students, and both within a short drive of the ocean and mountains. a certain kind of people friendly festive type setting in its downtown especially when the summer finally arrives. Other than that, that is where my comparison ends. Portland,Oregon is much larger, and has serious social problems, especially with Meth problems and homelessness. Unfortunately we are having a serious time with high crime and the reapperance of gangs, something we made national headlines for in the 90's. Its a nice city Portland, Oregon, but for a sampling of the Portland vibe, you definitely can get some of that on a smaller scale in its parent city Portland, Maine.
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