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Old 05-05-2008, 03:59 PM
Location: Portland, Oregon
1,372 posts, read 2,307,028 times
Reputation: 573


Whoever is in charge of Portland tourism does a good job. They make it sound like a green city surrounded by forests, mountains and rivers.

It's kind of true. You have the Tillamook rainforest, about 20 miles west, and Mt. Hood about the same distance east. It's not in the middle of nature though, it's in the very developed Willamette Valley. Cities like Albany and Salem aren't anywhere close to large forested areas. Reading these tourist descriptions and you'd think you can river raft and hunt in the downtown area.

Portland's a nice town, but it's nothing impressive. For a city of 500,000, it's pretty boring.
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Old 05-05-2008, 04:50 PM
Location: Pacific NW
6,415 posts, read 9,418,276 times
Reputation: 5706
I guess it depends on what bores you. I don't think it's at all boring. Seems to me there are more things to do than anyone could possibly do.

While the Tillamook State Forest (which isn't a rain forest) is 40 miles west, there are forested areas in Portland. Like Forest Park. As there are hills, which to many people seem mountain-like. I'll never forget being taken to a ski resort in Michigan. I had to laugh. It looked like a mound of dirt that someone put a tow lift on, and they called it a mountain.

And there is the matter of this river that runs through the middle of Portland.

But you're right about Albany and Salem - they are more out in the middle of the flat Willamette Valley. But at least you can see the mountains. That's what I miss whenever I travel to a lot of other places - not having mountains on the horizon.
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Old 05-05-2008, 05:16 PM
36 posts, read 109,487 times
Reputation: 35
Default Great Observation

Your're right. Portland has been taken over by large multi national media corporations whose sole purpose is to get you here to get bored.
Both of my grandparents who settled in Portland in the 1920's would roll over in their graves if they saw the taco vans on TV Highway for at least 10 miles West of Portland, not to mention gridlock traffic...worse than many freeways in California.
The river is hard to access; I have advertised for bookkeeping and got one call in one month...not the sign of a healthy business atmosphere. I don't need the money, I have good, early retirement but I want to share information. I have a real stake in helping people be proactive and not suffering unnecessarily.
If you really want the NW experience, go ride the Washington State and Canadian ferries. You get so much more of what you pay for in Washington State.
Portland has always been and continues to be the poor stepchild of Seattle and San Francisco. The hype does not make it so and it costs you big time to make this kind of move. Don't do it.
As a 61 year old native who has tried to come home, I have been greeted by the obsenity of corporate apartment ownership, whose sole purpose was to get me to pay rent, while they remodeled for the purpose of selling the building.
I was told there were not children living above me and for the last month, my life has been hell. Their attitude...too bad tootsie..you fell for our line of bs.
This is not the exception, this is the rule. Stay away from Beaverton corridors and if you read the reviews on Apartmentratings.com, you will see that only about 50% of residents actually enjoy the apartment living experience. Why?
This is not the Portland you will read about. I believe there are other smaller cities that offer better quality of life.
But both my family homes are still there and I drive by once in a while and grateful they came and left the beautiful construction and their good names.
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Old 05-05-2008, 05:46 PM
Location: Portland, OR
858 posts, read 2,056,017 times
Reputation: 673
I'm going for a change of pace from my usual posts here and will actually defend Portland for a change. While Portland often does get overhyped as an absolute paradise; that is not to say it doesn't have a lot of good points. It has a very good music scene, particularly jazz and blues. It has a better dining/restuarant scene than most cities its size. It has excellent public transportation. It does have alot of parks and green spaces. I'd say it offers more than a lot of places it's size.
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Old 05-05-2008, 08:05 PM
Location: DC Area, for now
3,517 posts, read 11,344,237 times
Reputation: 2112
Not to mention all the beautiful parks where a walk can transport you into lovely nature with the city seeming far away, yet is really isn't. I found it quite easy to find the Willamette in one of those parks bordering the river. And the mighty Columbia counts as a Portland river too. My general impression of Portland is one of being in a forest. There are tons of trees in the city and a good proportion of them are conifers.

I would not, however, compare it to either San Francisco or Seattle. Both are much larger cities, tho PDX has more in common with Seattle than with SFO.
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Old 05-05-2008, 08:42 PM
Location: Pacific NW
6,415 posts, read 9,418,276 times
Reputation: 5706
Originally Posted by bliss60 View Post
The river is hard to access;
How so? Here are the 22 public parks or boat ramps I count on the Willamette in the approximately 17 miles of river between I-405 bridge to the I-205 bridge:

Waterfront Park

Johns Landing to Sellwood:
Willamette Park
Butterfly Park
Powers Marine Park

Peter Kerr Park

Lake Oswego:
Roehr Park
George Rogers Park

West Linn:
Cedar Oak ramp
Mary S. Young State Park
Burnside Park
West Bridge Park


Oakes Bottom Wildlife Refuge
Oakes Pioneer Park
Sellwood Riverfront Park

Milwaukie boat ramp
Elk Rock Island
Spring Park
River Villa Park

Oregon City:
Meldrum Bar State Park
Dahl Beach
Clackamette Park
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Old 05-05-2008, 08:51 PM
920 posts, read 2,414,289 times
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It is over-rated, but honestly... do you know of ANY downtown areas where hunting is allowed? (Sometimes I wish it was, after being panhandled for the umteenth time, LOL).

One of the things I do like about Portland (and the Willamette Valley) is its proximity to nature, at least compared to the city I grew up in. It's great to be able to hike in Forest Park or the Hoyt Arboretum after work -- they literally are in the city.

Salem has Silver Falls nearby, and other hiking/nature areas, as does Eugene. I remember having a great time hiking on Spencer's Butte, when I lived there.

The downside is that the weather usually doesn't cooperate when I want to enjoy these perks, but they are nearby.
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Old 05-06-2008, 02:23 PM
Location: Greater PDX
1,018 posts, read 3,522,810 times
Reputation: 922
The proximity to nature is one of PDX's strong points. There are very few large cities that have mountains, forests, and coastline within 2 hours, not to mention the rolling hills SW of town in the Yamhill/Dundee area, and the trees and flora within the city. I think there certainly are arguable reasons to claim Portland is "overrated" (although that's a very general term), but IMO this isn't one of them.
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Old 05-07-2008, 01:37 PM
Location: Richmond
20 posts, read 49,058 times
Reputation: 18
Sure it is, but what isn't overrated in these days of saturation? As a past citizen of a few big metro areas, Portland wins in the tranquil, peaceful living category. Someone mentioned restaurants and music - both are true. But yeah, traffic sucks, hordes of homeless kids, depressed economy, etc. will bring you down if you focus on it. This is the same of any city. They all have their plusses and minuses. I've finally learned it's really more about you than where you live.
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Old 05-07-2008, 07:46 PM
2,430 posts, read 5,531,588 times
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Originally Posted by mrsptobe View Post
This is the same of any city. They all have their plusses and minuses. I've finally learned it's really more about you than where you live.

Excellent post!
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