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Old 03-18-2011, 03:44 PM
Location: Pacific NW
6,415 posts, read 9,812,415 times
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I hear that 2012 is expected be a good/better year to find a teaching job in Oregon. Supposedly, many of the teachers who should have retired a few years back, but didn't due to the economy, are expected to then be retiring. (this comes from a family member finishing his degree in education)

As for the "cultural divide" it's not that extreme. It's more just the difference between city and soccer-mom land. Oregon, in general, is pretty liberal. It's more conservative in Eastern Oregon, but still nothing extreme. But I don't think it sounds like you'd be happy west of the hills, even with a long commute. It is strip-mall land, where the car is king. And while traffic doesn't seem to have as defined a flow in and out as it used to, you would be traveling against the flow, heading out of town in mornings and back at night.

But Forest Grove is a nice little town. You'll probably find it more walkable, and non-strip-mally than Beaverton or Hillsboro. The college dominates the town, but that also brings more culture to what you wouldn't normally find in a small town. Rents should be cheaper there, too. So you might want to check it out.
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Old 03-18-2011, 04:06 PM
Location: the Beaver State
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I'm in the "If you're going to school in Forest Grove, live in Forest Grove," camp.

It's not a bad small town. It's got most of the amenities you're going to want, and I'm pretty sure there is not a Chili's or Applebee's out that way. The Mexican Population is a bit higher then you may be used to, but that just translates into more non-chain eating options.

The other option is to live in Hillsboro and then drive to school, but you'd want to be up around Highway 26 . Right about 185th there is a lot of apartments, and tons that are at or under your price range. The bad news is that that are right there is strip mall land again, and you've got to deal with a few of the Chains. On the other hand, there is an great little Italian place, and an Indian place that I highly recommend to anyone. Across 26 there is a Greek deli that has some good food too.

The good news is that the chains are not heavily invested in Oregon in general. You'll find them hear and there, but certainly not like some locations I've seen. We have a great cooking school here, along with a do it yourself spirit that means there are a ton of fantastic non-chain dining options - if you look for them and are willing to try something new.
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Old 03-18-2011, 05:35 PM
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I lived in Forest Grove for about 4 months with friends while I was house shopping this past year and I lived in Cornelius (which abuts FG on the east side) in 2000-2004.

It is a relatively rural community (about 22,000 pop.) outside the Portland metro area - about 50+minute commute to downtown Portland (commute times at peak can take well over an hour).

I'm assuming you are planning on attending Pacific University (Ophthalmology?). There is bus service out there, and a trip from Pioneer Courthouse Square (Portland's front porch, right downtown) to Pacific U. is about an hour and 45 minutes via Max Blue Line (light rail) and Bus#57 (the only bus that services FG).

Like Phil said, the problem with commuting to the west of Portland is having to navigate the "West Hills" which are actually the Tualatin Mountains. The main thoroughfare to the west of Portland is US-26, via the Vista Ridge Tunnels which have 3 lanes both ways and are the busiest tunnels in Oregon. To give an idea of the traffic that goes through these tunnels daily, there are 2 Interstate bridges. These tunnels carry 12% more traffic than the 6 lane I-5 (Interstate) bridge and 2% more than the 8 lane I-205 (Glenn Jackson) bridge. The traffic backups can be very bad going through these tunnels.

If you are attending PU in FG itself (versus the one in downtown Portland), I would recommend looking at the communities in Washington County, although rents in Beaverton and Hillsboro are comparable to rents to Portland because Washington is a high tech area. Hillsboro, the city closest to FG has a population of about 97K, and is about a 20-25 minute commute by car. Beaverton is between Hillsboro and Portland, has a pop of about 86K, and a commute of 30-40 min.

If you can find a place to live where you can avoid US-26 (Sunset Hwy) and OR-8 (Tualatin Valley Hwy, AKA: TV Hwy), and use some of the outlying roads, you can avoid some of the commute traffic. Take a look at the Aloha and SW Beaverton area, and maybe Tigard. Stay west of OR-217. Also avoid OR-99W as it has heavy traffic also.

Last edited by domodogs; 03-18-2011 at 05:37 PM.. Reason: typos
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Old 03-18-2011, 06:20 PM
Location: Lakewood OH
20,474 posts, read 21,706,720 times
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Forest Grove is a nice little town. It isn't the cookie cutter suburban type place. In fact, I don't think of it as a suburb but a pretty town outside of Portland and close enough to the city that you can still enjoy all it has to offer.

You would better off I think living there. Rents would be cheaper than in Portland and your school could possibly steer you to housing you can afford. Two bedroom apartments in Portland will cost you more than what you say you can afford. The burbs' would be more likely to be your best bet.

Regarding teaching positions for your wife. Why not contact the schools in Forest Grove and the surrounding areas? You could also include Portland in this but there would be a long commute. Right now, many teachers even those with masters degrees are unemployed but the individual schools themselves may be able to give you a forecast of possible jobs to come.

How much of a "cultural divide" are we talking here? Does it go from extreme liberal and open minded to say, tea party the farther west you go?
Opinions may differ on this but I don't believe it does.
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Old 03-18-2011, 06:29 PM
Location: Portland, Oregon
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The 'culture' I think he had in mind was city vs suburban lifestyles. In Portland metro most tea parties serve Chai.
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Old 03-18-2011, 07:42 PM
9 posts, read 9,782 times
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Thanks for your help everyone. Got some good info here.

Originally Posted by Nell Plotts View Post
The 'culture' I think he had in mind was city vs suburban lifestyles. In Portland metro most tea parties serve Chai.

I always love a good cup of chai
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