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Thread summary:

Moving to Portland: housing, children, four seasons, great schools, job market.

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Old 10-24-2008, 01:09 PM
 
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Originally Posted by argo69 View Post
Whether this is due to people being shaped by their environment or people of a certain type being drawn to particular parts of the country would be the next question I suppose.
Fascinating. I have to agree with the fact that weather does affect the kind of activities people can engage in at a particular place, and so that obviously influences how people relate to each other.

In my particular country of origin, people who live in colder climates tend to be introverted (yup, those 6 months of rain per year may have something to do with it), whereas people raised in the Caribbean coast are festive and more talkative (in general).

I was raised in the rainy, cooler side. When I went to Portland I could see how its climate affects its architecture (like everywhere else I suppose), and was glad to feel certain environmental similarities to the place where I grew up.

I still think that people are people anywhere you go... and even if I don't know if I could live in a country where women are not allowed to vote and such, I feel that if you're nice to people, they will respond equally. Or is that too naive of me?
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Old 10-24-2008, 03:53 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
7,090 posts, read 7,162,981 times
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I can't say anyone really has been negative about me being recent to the state here, most people ask me how I like it or ask questions they have about Colorado. In general I've had more people asking strangers for help or getting into conversations with random people here (assuming both me and them don't look nuts, and there are a number of those), I get people asking me for directions all the time. I would say people are more subdued then introverted in comparison to the places I've lived (Philly, Colorado, England).

I do have to say it feels a bit more stressful here then I felt in Colorado, and a bit more dense...though you have to drive less to find open space and wild life.

Driving is a whole other ball game here to what I'm used to. There are a lot of polite drivers, and there are a good number that are completely on the other side of the scale...more on the extremes then I've seen before. People drive and park in places I don't think it's even possible, without regard to their vehicle...I would give much more of a safety margin!
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Old 10-24-2008, 05:30 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Coastal_habitat View Post
Hello there,

So here I am starting all over again. We moved 2 and a half years ago from Oakland CA to Austin TX, due to (surprise!) eye-popping child care and housing costs. My husband always, since he was very young, wanted to move to Portland. But, I got a job here and so we landed in Texas.

And while I like Austin, my husband (raised in the very moderate climate of the West Coast) couldn't adapt. So I thought, hey, let's move to the East Coast! I posted a thread, and people from the great Connecticut and MA forums helped us plan our short visit to New England.

But, there's something called destiny I guess. And I'm starting to believe my husband and Portland are destined for each other. Of course, there's that, and the fact that we have family in the West Coast and know nobody back East.

My question comes here: for someone raised in Berkeley CA (like Dear Hubby) and someone (like me) raised in a place in South America where it rained perhaps half of the year and the temp was always between 65 and 75, would Portland weather be too much of a shock? Is it really that bad? Does the winter get to a point where going out to parks or for a stroll is out of the question?

I remember running with my rain poncho down the streets of Bogota as a child, so rain for me is part of reality.

Anyway. My second question is about schools around Portland. For my child: what school districts do you think are good? For me: is there a university with a strong program in Film?

And, my third question is, I hear Portland is becoming more racially diverse. I feel attracted to places where I'm not the only Asian around (I'm Korean but speak Spanish) where I can find good Asian food, and yes, as a big Indian Cinema fan, good Indian stores and even a theater where to watch the occasional Bollywood flick. (Yes, my husband rolls his eyes too).

Thanks for your help, in advance...! I really really need to make this move work for us this time!!!

#1- I think you will find the weather just fine, but your hubby will need to get used to a lot more cloud cover and rain.

#2- For elementary schools I'd suggest Lake OSwego or West Linn.

#3- Portland is a deeply liberal city and I feel it handles racial diversity very well unless you're a Christian or conservative. For those types, it can be a city violently opposed to you.
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Old 10-25-2008, 08:28 AM
 
53 posts, read 90,412 times
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Originally Posted by subsound View Post
I do have to say it feels a bit more stressful here then I felt in Colorado, and a bit more dense...though you have to drive less to find open space and wild life.

Driving is a whole other ball game here to what I'm used to. There are a lot of polite drivers, and there are a good number that are completely on the other side of the scale...more on the extremes then I've seen before. People drive and park in places I don't think it's even possible, without regard to their vehicle...I would give much more of a safety margin!
Hi Subsound, thanks for your post!!! I think it will be tough to top the Bay Area in terms of density or lack of parking...! I even had to wait for a swing at a public park... and it was during one Wednesday morning. That's how dense the BA is (or was when we left)!!! But definitely, it's something to consider, especially when Austin is incredibly relaxed and laid back... parking abounds and pocket parks are usually deserted (there are so many of them!!!)




Quote:
Originally Posted by BLAZER PROPHET View Post
#1- I think you will find the weather just fine, but your hubby will need to get used to a lot more cloud cover and rain.

#2- For elementary schools I'd suggest Lake OSwego or West Linn.

#3- Portland is a deeply liberal city and I feel it handles racial diversity very well unless you're a Christian or conservative. For those types, it can be a city violently opposed to you.

Dear Blazer Prophet, thanks for the info! I guess after living in Texas (even if it's Austin), Portland will feel extremely liberal. We are a quite secular family so I'm sure we'll be fine.

Thanks again!
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Old 10-25-2008, 10:20 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
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Originally Posted by Coastal_habitat View Post
Hi Subsound, thanks for your post!!! I think it will be tough to top the Bay Area in terms of density or lack of parking...! I even had to wait for a swing at a public park... and it was during one Wednesday morning. That's how dense the BA is (or was when we left)!!! But definitely, it's something to consider, especially when Austin is incredibly relaxed and laid back... parking abounds and pocket parks are usually deserted (there are so many of them!!!)!

Oh yeah, In CO it was hard to find a good parallel parking spot...it's all so wide and easy to park anywhere including downtown and lodo. Here I've been driving around with coworkers and in narrow streets and where we park, I could put a credit card though the space between us and the car next to us. Put that with the insane angles (which look great, but glad I am not driving) I fear for my mini crossover!
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Old 10-27-2008, 08:03 PM
 
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Originally Posted by Coastal_habitat View Post
Thanks for your replies, folks. Actually, my DH and I are almost 90% decided to go there anyway, but there are a few details we need to get right before taking this huge step.

We were in Portland about 4 years ago and we absolutely loved it (I guess the city had a positive effect on me as well): the architecture, the lushness, and yes, the rain. It really seemed like an ideal place for us.


I guess from this point on, my questions are:

1- What are the best school districts in Portland? (Elementary School for now, but of course we have to think long term and include Middle and High School in the equation as well)
Don't overlook Portland Public Schools. While test scores might look better in the burbs like Lake Oswego, WEst Linn, living in the City gives your children an education they can't get in the burbs.

For elementary check out: Llewellyn, Duniway, Laurelhurst, Alameda, Irvington, Chapman, Buckman, & Winterhaven. Go to the Portland Public Schools website to find these.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Coastal_habitat View Post
2- Would you consider Portland a "college town"? Or is it a bit like Austin, where you do have UT influencing the look and feel of the neighborhoods around it but apart from that, it's just like almost any other town? (not that it's bad).
It's a "real city".... very little college influence. I currently live in a "college town".... I miss a real city.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Coastal_habitat View Post


4- Why do you like Portland?

Thanks again.
Too many reasons to list here.... for starters you & your children can have a Mayberry Family Existence in the middle of an urban, metropolitian, liberal city. Amazing beauty from the architecture to the vistas.... the scenery alone is enough to feed my soul. LOVE being able to walk so many places and or take the bus.
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Old 10-28-2008, 09:36 AM
 
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Thanks so much, PDXMom! I am getting very anxious as I plan this move... I really want it to be our definite one. We've moved about 4 times in the last 2 years and it can be really tiresome.

What excites me the most about a possible move to Portland is:

1- Allowing my child to grow in a safe urban setting where he can ride public transportation, walk everywhere, and actually see other people walking around!!!

2- The lushness of beautiful Oregon (and having the possibility of visiting Seattle, BC and our family in the Bay Area)

3- Sharing the road with civil drivers (question: do they yield to pedestrians?)

4- The coolness in the weather.


What worries me a bit about the move is:

1- I hear that there are a lot of extreme conservatives outside of the city (I hope they are not intolerant of people who are secular, liberal and of a different ethnicity; I respect people for what they are and believe in, and so I hope people can also accept us for who we are)

2- The lack of ethnic diversity in Portland itself. I'd love to expose my child to experiences through which he can realize the world is made of all kinds of people...! Also, I really hope folks are ok (and even open) about sharing their space with people from other races than their own. (I've had people literally stare at me as if they wondered how on earth I landed in their neighborhood pizza place or grocery store... and this happened in "supposedly diverse" Austin, and in Northern California as well!)

3- The difficulty in finding and keeping a job. But I am hopeful that that will change. I'm optimistic about the economy overall.



All I can really wait for is that this is really our last move in a long time and that it Portland and our family end up being a great match! (And that it happens before another summer in Austin!)
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Old 10-28-2008, 08:27 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
121 posts, read 253,287 times
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I was going to answer your questions but what I was going to say has already been said. but I can answer 4 and 5

4) I like Portland because it's my hometown. I was born and raised here when it was much smaller than it is now, and a much better city. if you like outdoor activities then this is a great place, many trails and scenery close by and the farther out you go the nicer it is in most cases. the skiing is fantastic, and mt biking here is also fantastic. good beer, (not great like people think) just good, but lots of bars with a huge variety of microbrews and thats always a good thing. great seasonal fishing also.

5)there's plenty to not like here. this city was built for a smaller population, and there really isn't any room for expansion. you have forest park to the west, you have the columbia river to the north, and you have the columbia river gorge to the east. there's one eastbound freeway thats always congested in both directions. the public transportation system always has problems with crime, (robberies, muggings, etc) this city has a history of taking money from public safety and putting it towards unimportant things (unimportant compared to public safety), there's going to be a lot of that kind of thing when our lovely mayor-elect is in office. if you like sports other than basketball then there won't be much here for you. school system is not great either. they also cram appt complexes in nicer neighborhoods. Irvington neighborhood is a good example, big beautiful historic houses and every house has a security system in it, if you live there then lock your stuff down tight. bike theft is a huge problem, (check craigs ads in portland area and see) it doesn't have that small town vibe like everyone says it does. everyone has blinders on and no one sees or does anything when things happen.

hope this helps.
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Old 10-29-2008, 03:10 PM
 
53 posts, read 90,412 times
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Thanks, Barleysoda (gotta love that name, he) for your post, it's pretty informative.

You know, all this research is more for my husband to be honest. Since I grew up in a "third world country", I don't consider myself to be really demanding in terms of what a city has to offer. But I agree. Good beer is important!!!

I think I'll be happy wherever my family can be happy and where there's the possibility of making good friends. My husband does (as the title of this post implies) love Portland (as much as he dislikes Austin) so, since I don't care much where I land as long as it's not a war zone or anything like that, I guess I will happily trade Austin's lushness for Portland's.

I think we're going to travel to the west coast sometime in Jan or Feb of next year, so hopefully we'll have the chance to visit Portland and experience it firsthand!
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Old 10-29-2008, 06:35 PM
 
Location: portland, OR
147 posts, read 379,240 times
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wha??? Portland is a great beer town with AWESOME IPAs. Amnesia brewing, Urban Hopworks, Bridgeport all brew excellent IPA, especially seasonal fresh local HOP batches.
I love IPA.

I guess if you're looking for Belgian Ale, Lager or, Hefeweizen, you might be disappointed.
Big places like Mcminamans and Widmer have subpar beers.

Coastal - ethnic diversity is very dependent on the neighborhood. There are pockets of diversity here, generally you won't have any problems.
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