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Old 06-29-2013, 10:26 AM
 
Location: Newton, MA
25 posts, read 12,538 times
Reputation: 17
Default might Portland be a good fit for me and my son

Hello, all. I'd welcome thoughts from anyone about whether Portland might be a good location to move to with my young son.

I'm in my mid forties, and I'm an attorney. I have a 9-year-old son who I am the sole caretaker of (his mother died recently). I've been living in Boston for more than fifteen years. No offense to Boston itself, but we've had a lot of heartache here and I've recently learned my job will be ending near the end of the year.

So, I'm interested in making a fresh start elsewhere. I should emphasize (because this has been a source of confusion in other forums) that in no way am I looking to find somewhere like Boston, only in a different place. In fact, the less a place is like Boston, the more I will like it.

Important factors to me include friendly people, good schools, a lower cost of living than in Boston (I currently rent a 3 BR apartment here for $2,600 / mo.) a slower pace of life than on the East Coast, family friendly (big yards, plenty of parks and outdoor activity, etc.). A different sort of landscape has great appeal to me. Part of my thinking there is that following my ex-wife's death, we have fixed sums of money from insurance and her SSI that might go substantially farther in other places. Also, now that I am his sole caretaker, I am concerned about finding work here that will keep us afloat and also let me be available to/for him. I plan to let location drive the decision rather than conducting a job search ahead of time, so I'd be interested in people's impressions of the local economy. Also, if you have ideas about nearby communities, where schools are good, etc.

I am open to practicing law in the new destination, but it is not mandatory (firm work and billing hours may be difficult as a single parent).

I welcome any thoughts and advice. Thanks so much.
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Old 06-29-2013, 11:35 AM
 
Location: the Beaver State
6,477 posts, read 5,948,681 times
Reputation: 3287
Based on just what you said here, yes, Portland would be a good fit.... but....

Tell us more about yourselves. What kinds of things are you into? You looking to eventually jump into the singles scene in the future? Are you into the outdoors? Good food? Musicals? Reading? History? Photography?

My impression of lawyers nationwide is they tend to be fairly conservative, yet Lawyers in Portland tend to be less uptight when wearing a suit jacket. Which side of the spectrum do you fall into and do you think you can handle Portland's (and Oregon's) uniquely wacky, great, yet frequently frustrating political outlook?
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Old 06-29-2013, 11:36 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
6,736 posts, read 7,389,242 times
Reputation: 2830
You can find what you are looking for in the greater Portland area.

Unfortunately we have a full complement of lawyers, unless you have expertise in a specialty area finding a position as an attorney will be a challenge. The key will be finding employment before you move. With rare exception an employer who pays moving expenses for professionals/managers will do so even if you indicate that you will pay your own. I don't recommend giving 'move to a lower cost area' as your reason for the move. I assume you are a practicing attorney in Mass so seeking a promotion wouldn't be a valid reason for the move. Perhaps you want to be closer to a family member or close friend given the passing of your son's mother .. find a rationale that pulls you here, not pushes you out of Boston.
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Old 06-29-2013, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
65 posts, read 46,999 times
Reputation: 60
Good Morning JamesCher, I think of the first thing you will notice in Portland verse the east coast is that we care less about what you have rather, we are attractive to WHO you are. Though the job market for professional white collar jobs has always been tough, there is not the pressure to have a lot of showing things here. there is a big creative feel here and simplicity seems to be the preferred way of life. Get a cute vintage apartment/house in one of our older neighborhoods and its walk ability will quickly integrate you into your new community.
Though we have our urban problems, we don't have to extreme social unrest found in many of the east coast neighborhood. I think we will be surprised how well we all get along.
Transit is really good and the city is very walkable. Think Portland is a wonderful city for children, it's so walkable and it allows children to develop a sense of independence. Each neighborhood has their our community commercial district where you'll find the local pub, coffee house and grocery.
I live in the Far southeast neighborhood. though we lack a lot of services and amenities, we are a group of neighbors that are actively involved in its improvement. When compared to many other cities, we live in a place where our government is listening (of course not perfect but better than other place.) I hope you make a good choice for yourself. I wish you the best of luck.
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Old 06-29-2013, 11:59 AM
 
Location: Newton, MA
25 posts, read 12,538 times
Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by hamellr View Post
Based on just what you said here, yes, Portland would be a good fit.... but....

Tell us more about yourselves. What kinds of things are you into? You looking to eventually jump into the singles scene in the future? Are you into the outdoors? Good food? Musicals? Reading? History? Photography?

My impression of lawyers nationwide is they tend to be fairly conservative, yet Lawyers in Portland tend to be less uptight when wearing a suit jacket. Which side of the spectrum do you fall into and do you think you can handle Portland's (and Oregon's) uniquely wacky, great, yet frequently frustrating political outlook?
I've lived in Madison, WI in the past, and that had a similarly wacky political vibe (with differences, no doubt). I'm generally not affected either way by things like that, but I do like the diversity of lifestyles, restaurants, etc. that tends to come along with all of that, so I would say that that "Keep Portland Weird" stuff a positive to me.

Being a lawyer is not at all a big part of my personal identity, so I don't think that what "lawyers are like" will tell you much about me. Hmm, as for the "singles scene," I don't think that will drive my choices at all. If/when I am going to be dating, I won't be looking for someone in bars, etc. We like hiking and kayaking and would like to do more of those. I like museums, restaurants, etc. Nightlife, etc. is not especially important to me at this age.
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Old 06-29-2013, 12:06 PM
 
Location: Newton, MA
25 posts, read 12,538 times
Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by Nell Plotts View Post
You can find what you are looking for in the greater Portland area.

Unfortunately we have a full complement of lawyers, unless you have expertise in a specialty area finding a position as an attorney will be a challenge. The key will be finding employment before you move. With rare exception an employer who pays moving expenses for professionals/managers will do so even if you indicate that you will pay your own. I don't recommend giving 'move to a lower cost area' as your reason for the move. I assume you are a practicing attorney in Mass so seeking a promotion wouldn't be a valid reason for the move. Perhaps you want to be closer to a family member or close friend given the passing of your son's mother .. find a rationale that pulls you here, not pushes you out of Boston.
Just about everywhere I would consider already has a full complement of lawyers, so I will just have to live with that. Wherever I go, it will be an improvement on the situation here (we have 8 local law schools). I'm not going to worry about being employed before I move. If that happens, it's great -- but if not, it's okay. I can survive a long period of figuring these things out. If I am already living there, then there is less reason to need to justify the rationale for my move, less need to overcome the skepticism that I will really relocate. But my job here will be ending on 12/31, so although I am employed, I won't be walking away from employment. It's just that my job that is ending is the last thing holding me here, so now that that will soon be gone, I am freed. I do have a close friend out in Portland, and that is a big draw as well.
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Old 06-29-2013, 12:08 PM
 
Location: Newton, MA
25 posts, read 12,538 times
Reputation: 17
Quote:
Originally Posted by rye-rye View Post
Portland is a wonderful city for children, it's so walkable and it allows children to develop a sense of independence.
I like that, thanks for that comment.
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Old 06-29-2013, 12:24 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
6,736 posts, read 7,389,242 times
Reputation: 2830
You are blessed to have so much time to do research.

Because your son has suffered a loss you may want to explore what school and sports programs are a good fit for him. Were I you I would look for a home in the Tualatin Hills Parks & Recreation District: THPRD: Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District - connecting people, parks & nature in Beaverton, Oregon Within that District there are a number of public schools, if you desire the test score results link ask.
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Old 06-29-2013, 12:34 PM
 
Location: Newton, MA
25 posts, read 12,538 times
Reputation: 17
thank you, Nell, that is great information.
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Old 06-29-2013, 12:56 PM
 
2,180 posts, read 3,817,169 times
Reputation: 878
There's also a place here called the Dougy Center The Dougy Center | The Dougy Center for Grieving Children and Families | Portland Oregon that specializes in programs for kids who have experienced loss/grief. They run age organized groups where kids can share their feelings, meet others who have experienced the same, etc. It's in SE Portland and has an excellent reputation.
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