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Old 06-28-2008, 02:07 PM
 
Location: Fairbanks, AK
47 posts, read 95,387 times
Reputation: 14
Question Where to Live in the Pacific Northwest?

I'm relocating. Today makes four years since I left Israel (after 25 years) and landed in South Florida. Enough time to realize that cold(er) weather, cloudy skies, changing seasons, and coffee shops (among other things) are what I crave. So, I'm flying into Portland, OR and then driving way south to Grants Pass, for the last week in July. I have an older cousin who lives there. However, I've been reading a number of postings on this forum about Oregon, and have come to find-out that Grants Pass (and most of Southern Oregon) is:

* In the "Banana Belt", with temperatures soaring to 105+ for a week-or-more during the summer.
* Local services have-been/are-being curtailed, due to a lack of Federal/State/local funding (libraries closed, county sheriff's departments due to close).
* Meth-labs galore, with petty crime rampant (theft, etc.)

Feh! Not "my kinda town" -- spoke with my cousin earlier today, and she corroborated the postings on this forum. So I ask you: "Where to live in the Pacific Northwest?"

Manufactured/mobile homes are fine (2BR/2BA), as are equivalent small apartments in-town (in fact, an urban setting -- even a 1BR/1BA apartment -- would be best, 'cuz I miss walking and mass-transit a lot). Gimme a local JCC or YMCA with good workout facilities, and I'm happy; a nearby public library (and a county-wide public library system, with easy inter-library loans), and I'm there.

Suggestions? First-hand (or accurate hearsay) knowledge is gold.

BTW: I spent 1/1972 through 1/1974 in Alaska, so wintry weather and fir trees speak my language.

Jonathan
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Old 06-28-2008, 10:55 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
10,763 posts, read 17,551,649 times
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Oregon in general ranks high for petty theft. Most of our cities are well below comparable cities for violent crimes, but petty crimes are a problem everywhere in Oregon.

Maybe if you tell people what you like to do, they can give you some ideas. Are you wanting a small town? If you want to walk to places the Belmont neighbhorhood in Portland is one of the more affordable ones.
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Old 06-29-2008, 10:24 AM
 
Location: Southern Oregon
1,815 posts, read 1,927,916 times
Reputation: 1218
JB, it is true that Josephine County services are being cut back due to the loss in O&C funds. The main counties that will be affected the most are Josephine and Curry counties. Grants Pass, being the county seat of Josephine county, is hard hit by the reduction of the funds and Curry county, Brookings and Gold Beach, will be the hardest hit.
As for meth labs in these counties, last year there was a real problem this this, however, with the crack down by law enforcement there has been a dramatic drop in meth production in both counties. It seems that the "meth houses" have moved north or even out of state. As Silverfall said in her post, petty crime is everywhere in Oregon, just like most states.
Grants Pass is a nice town, but it will be interesting to see what happens next year when the O&C funds are completely cut off.
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Old 06-29-2008, 05:35 PM
 
Location: Fairbanks, AK
47 posts, read 95,387 times
Reputation: 14
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverfall View Post
Oregon in general ranks high for petty theft. Most of our cities are well below comparable cities for violent crimes, but petty crimes are a problem everywhere in Oregon.
I guess I'm just naive, or ignorant of what's going on. Sure, there's crack, probably meth, here in South Florida; but the drugs of choice are cocaine (G-d only knows why) and pot. I'm not aware of drug-related crime down here... must be "dumb luck".

Quote:
Maybe if you tell people what you like to do, they can give you some ideas. Are you wanting a small town? If you want to walk to places the Belmont neighbhorhood in Portland is one of the more affordable ones.
Throughout my 25 years in Israel, I lived in both Jerusalem and Tel-Aviv. Never owned an automobile... didn't need to. Mass-transit is, uniformly, fast, frequent, and inexpensive. I walked to the shuk (open-air market) every Friday, and bought fruit/vegetables for Shabbat and the following week, then took the bus home. No need to buy a vehicle, no need to purchase insurance, no need to buy gasoline, have the oil changed, replace tires, etc., etc.

Buildings in either city (and most other Israeli cities/towns) were 2-5 stories, where the ground floor was for stores, restaurants, coffee shops, etc., and the remainder housed 1/2/3-bedroom apartments (mostly walk-ups).

This what I'm looking for, in the PNW: a downtown location, upper-floor 1BR/1BA apartment, with washer/dryer hookups; close to regular public transportation (bus and/or light-rail); plenty of "mom 'n pop" business within a 1- or 2-mile walk; and a nearby public library branch.

So; does this describe neighborhoods in Portland, OR or Vancouver, WA?
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Old 06-29-2008, 06:10 PM
 
4,077 posts, read 4,374,300 times
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Eugene-Springfield have a pretty good city bus transit system, and there are plenty of areas for walking, bike lanes along most roads and streets too. It's large enough to offer a good selection of conveniences, but not as large as metropolitan Portland.

Corvallis and Albany also have lots of bike lanes. If you enjoy walking, that's a good option too. A fairly good number of smaller convenience stores, most within easy walking or biking range. Both cities have a YMCA. Albany has a small farmers market on Saturdays during the warmer weather, closed in the Winter.

Weatherwise, temps in the mid and lower Willamette Valley are generally moderate. Rain starting late-Autumn through Spring, although more frequent during the Winter. Occasionally we have snow, but usually not much. In summer, we may get a few days or so in a row now and then with temps in the mid to upper-90s.

Your best bet would be to spend some time visiting some of these cities to determine if they seem suitable for you.
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Old 06-29-2008, 06:16 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
10,763 posts, read 17,551,649 times
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I think you want Portland. Depending on what you can afford...
1) The Pearl District (more expensive)
2) Sellwood/East Moreland areas (expensive)
3) Laurelhurst
4) Belmont

Those would be 4 great neighborhoods. The Pearl is more expensive, but the energy and area is just fabulous. There is a Whole Foods downtown and easily accessed of the Max and bus fare is free in the downtown square.

Belmont and Laurelhurst areas are on the east side of the river. I like Belmont for it's affordability and there are some good bistros over that way.

Portland would be your best bet. I don't think Vancouver quite has the same vibe that Portland does.
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Old 06-29-2008, 06:30 PM
 
720 posts, read 794,211 times
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From the sound of things you will probably want to live in one of the Pacific Northwest's larger cities. Seattle and Portland would top the list.
Other cities that have many of the amenities you are looking for and within walking distance would be Tacoma, Bellingham and Bellevue in Washington; Eugene, Corvallis, Ashland would be choices to investigate. If you don't mind Canada, Vancouver is a great (but expensive) place to live.
There are others as well. I haven't mentioned them only because I am not familiar enough with them to offer an opinion.
Hope this helps, FV
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Old 06-30-2008, 03:26 PM
 
Location: We_tside PNW / CO / SA TX / Thailand
10,667 posts, read 17,287,950 times
Reputation: 7543
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverfall View Post
I think you want Portland. Depending on what you can afford...
1) The Pearl District (more expensive)
2) Sellwood/East Moreland areas (expensive)
3) Laurelhurst
4) Belmont

.
or the lesser expensive adjacent areas surrounding these.

I was thinking of the area just south of I-84 from Lloyd center (east downtown Portland) Near Benson HS, or directly east of Lloyd Center. There are some nice older apartment complexes that we have toured on historic visits. Very central, walkable, relatively safe, close to transit and within central district, avoiding transfers and additional expense. Maybe Sandy (Hollywood district) or Woodstock. Possibly a place in NW so he can be closer to Forest Park if Fir trees are a priority, tho just roaming the Reed College campus (or any others, including Lewis and Clark and Warner Pacific, nice communities) or any parks in metro area may seem like 'forest' after Israel.

Lots of nice neighborhoods in Portland for JB
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Old 01-12-2012, 01:10 AM
 
2 posts, read 12,065 times
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Lately I have also become interested in living somewhere in the PNW and have been doing research (thus stumbling upon this thread!)

A little background - I grew up in Los Angeles County, left when I was 18 to join the Army and spent 14 years being stationed in Germany, Utah, Central Texas and Tennessee. I am 33 years old, married with 5 kids, love the outdoors and seasonal change (If it's winter, I want to see snow; Springtime hiking and Summer BBQs). I think I would enjoy the outdoor activities the PNW has to offer and like living somewhere family-friendly, cultural, and relatively peaceful, but I would also like to be within 15-20 minutes of a major city (Whole Foods, REI, shopping districts, culture etc.).

The only catch to all of this is that I get a bit of the blues in the Winter from lack of sunshine, and I am not a fan of the rain. How do you mitigate this factor? And is it worth dealing with the rain to live in a great city in the PNW? Which cities would you recommend? I don't need to live in the most affluent areas, but I would like to move my family to a nicer area that is priced right. Thanks, I appreciate any and all feedback.

Last edited by thaistarkovich; 01-12-2012 at 01:13 AM.. Reason: Forgot to add a sentence
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Old 01-12-2012, 03:51 AM
 
Location: Stumptown
2,222 posts, read 4,358,435 times
Reputation: 1451
Quote:
Originally Posted by thaistarkovich View Post
Lately I have also become interested in living somewhere in the PNW and have been doing research (thus stumbling upon this thread!)

A little background - I grew up in Los Angeles County, left when I was 18 to join the Army and spent 14 years being stationed in Germany, Utah, Central Texas and Tennessee. I am 33 years old, married with 5 kids, love the outdoors and seasonal change (If it's winter, I want to see snow; Springtime hiking and Summer BBQs). I think I would enjoy the outdoor activities the PNW has to offer and like living somewhere family-friendly, cultural, and relatively peaceful, but I would also like to be within 15-20 minutes of a major city (Whole Foods, REI, shopping districts, culture etc.).

The only catch to all of this is that I get a bit of the blues in the Winter from lack of sunshine, and I am not a fan of the rain. How do you mitigate this factor? And is it worth dealing with the rain to live in a great city in the PNW? Which cities would you recommend? I don't need to live in the most affluent areas, but I would like to move my family to a nicer area that is priced right. Thanks, I appreciate any and all feedback.
Close to a major city? There is only one in Oregon--Portland. If you need the winter sun of Utah, Texas, Tennessee, or California, then Oregon (or Washington) is probably not going to do good by you. And you're not going to see snow in winter except on the east side of the Cascades (i.e. at LEAST a couple hours from a major city). We don't have four "real" seasons. We have two major seasons (cold, rainy, overcast winter and dry, sunny, cool to warm summer) with two brief transition "seasons" (spring and fall). I'm not sure how to mitigate the winter blues because I don't get them. I'm taking it you have a bit of SAD? This is definitely not the place for anyone with SAD.

Other than the weather, the suburbs of Portland would be a great spot for you. Fisher's Landing in Vancouver, anywhere in Beaverton, parts of Tualatin and Tigard, Lake Oswego, Wilsonville, Tanasbourne in Hillsboro... All family friendly, nice areas, and close to upscale shopping and a quick trip into Portland for anything cultural that your heart desires.
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