What American City Downtown is like Portland, with all the street kids?
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We may be relocating to Portland from KCMO but we are originally from Austin Tx, and after SXSW there is always an influx of street kids for a while bumming until they get back home. Being a native Austinite I am tatooed and pierced and 51 yrs old... that doesn't sit that well in Kansas City, so I'm looking forward to relocation. But I think I'd like the overcast weather in Portland over the oppressive 105 degree hot sunny month of no water in Austin. To each he own I guess. I am a little concerned about the lack of ethnic diversity, and hope if we move here we don't find it bland. We really miss the good restaurants in Austin, KCMO has no BBQ, no Sushi, no Korean, just deep fried foods in huge proportions... ugh...
I moved to Portland last summer from SE Michigan.
- The proportions of food served in most restaurants in Portland were actually reasonable sized for urban dwellers. They were NOT sized for farm labors who burn 5000+ calories a day. I was quite pleased with the volume of food served in Portland.
- Portland has a local thing about street 'carts' serving food (mostly they're actually small RV trailers which have been modified for food prep and sell through a window to people on the street who eat on the go.) Here is a link: Food Carts Portland
Run down the list of Cuisine, I think we compete with variety with any large city.
- Oh, and I would be very surprised if anyone would comment on your choice of body art expression regardless of your age.
- In the Mid-west the term "low ethnic Diversity" when applied to suburban communities carried a sub-text code word meaning similar to "Racial Minorities are Unwelcome Here." I have not found that to be true in Portland. The city of Portland I have found to be very racial and immigrant tolerant. More tolerant than I expected.
I have no proof, and this is only an opinion, but due to the long damp cool winter and gray overcast sky, there may be a self-selection to lighter color skined people (natural vitamin D production, Seasonal Acquired Dysfunction (SAD) and all that.) Due to the closeness Portland and Seattle are to the Arctic Circle and the Pacific Ocean, our weather (and our shorter winter sunlight hours) may be comparable to the weather in parts of England and Great Britain. Check it out yourself with a globe.
I know this is off topic the following quote caught my eye:
Originally Posted by annabellavampirella
We really miss the good restaurants in Austin, KCMO has no BBQ, no Sushi, no Korean, just deep fried foods in huge proportions... ugh...
Really?? I thought Kansas City was supposed to be famous for BBQ? I've never been there, but everyone I know from KC never stops bragging about the BBQ.
Oh yeah, and Portland has excellent Japanese and Korean restaurants if that's what you're interested in. Despite the relative lack of ethnic diversity we do have sizable Asian and Hispanic populations here--and we've got great restaurants in a lot of different styles if you know where to look.
About the homeless: I only really notice them in the central core of downtown. I work by PSU so I notice them when I go to lunch towards the main area near Pioneer Square, but I rarely go to that part of downtown for non-work purposes. I live in North Portland and spend most of my free time in North and NE Portland, along with the Pearl and NW Portland---and while there are homeless around NW Portland, it's still not as bad as the central downtown area. Since most tourists probably end up in the area around Pioneer Square (where the homeless youth problem is most evident) visitors get a overwhelming sense of the homeless population at it's worst in Portland.
I used to work for a non-profit providing social services in East Portland(around 122nd and Division). Most of the homeless we dealt with were poor families, battered women looking to leave abusive relationships, older men out of work, etc---but not the typical street youth or mentally disabled or alcoholic "chronically homeless" that you see more of downtown. But a big part of the problem in Portland is that while homelessness is a problem throughout the region, almost all of the homeless shelters and facilities are located within a small area of downtown Portland. So therefore in Portland's oldest and most historic areas of downtown, you have blocks that are nothing but homeless shelters, because that's the area that has been deemed acceptable for these sort of services.
I KNOW, I know they really do brag about their BBQ, but it may just be my Texas BBQ taste where you taste the meat not just a dried salty hunk of flesh slathered in a ketchupy sweet sauce...
We just make our own at home now. Yes I miss Austin BBQ. I miss seafood you can trust, I don't like fried foods, or corporate chains. That is mainly what they have here. You can go to some pricey restaurants but it's still overpriced because they think you wants 32 oz of food on a plate. We live within walking distance of the only decent restaurants in the city, a dumpling place, a mongolian stir fry place, and a fusion hamburger place and some mediterranean. I miss coastal seafood that is hours fresh, for gumbo, stuff. I am allergic to stabilizers in a life threatening way, like swollen throat kind of way, so I can't have all this wildly preserved food. That is a problem dining out here.
They have a decent City Market downtown and we buy our fish from the Chinese grocery only. I'm very picky about the meat here because some of the grocery stores here really don't care if their meat is bad in the package. When they put meat on sale, it's because it's already bad. I don't think they check it. I have returned meat 4 times... and invited them to smell it. That's ridiculous.
Anywho, I just assumed that a large city like KCMO would have room for all thinkers, liberal and conservative alike, have some culture. They do but they also have some kind of racist class system I don't want to be apart of, so the thought of relocation is attractive.
We don't have kids in school, we have 3 cats and 3 dogs, and one visiting grown daughter who is saving money to move back to Austin. If we relocate to Portland I am mostly concerned for enough of a yard to garden and have animals so as not to bother folks. I think a condo would be out of the question. I don't think we could afford a penthouse loft with access to a roof farm... but hey that would be nice. ehheheh The job would be pretty much downtown Portland on Stark St (?). so we'd try to live as close as possible with a yard.
Right now we live in a 3 story 1908 post victorian home, LOVE it.. but can't take it with us. Any suggestions of close neighbourhoods... KCMO has crime, as in shooting people in the street dead kind of crime so I'm not sure I'm worried about how dicey the neighbourhoods are... here it's street by street, very pockety...
Thanks for listening, that was quite a ramble.
Last edited by annabellavampirella; 02-25-2010 at 02:55 PM..
Reason: misspelled street name
Portland is mostly single family occupancy homes, with a spattering of small to mid-sized apartment (& condo) buildings mixed in, usually near the bus routes.
There are a couple of web sites that provide info on the extensive city of Portland neighborhoods and the unique 'feel' or 'flavor' of each neighborhood. But most of the homes in Portland have front and back yards. Albeit, some backyards are of limited size and utility.
Google: Moving to Portland. I think the site put up by Real Estate lady Susan is a bit Rah-Rah and glosses over some down sides, but still good neighborhood info.
Official Portland Neighborhood info, but hard to navigate web site, as there is so much info, but comes (well buried) official Portland Police crime stats for each neighborhood. Neighborhood Involvement
When you contact a real estate person in Portland, ask about the Irvington and East Moreland districts for Pre-WW1 homes. There are a quite a few that come on the market every year, and please, be seated when you find out the going prices for these "Edwardian-era" monsters. Just take heart in that the weather is mild here, so monthly heating bills for them monsters are more reasonable in Portland than in the Heartland during winter.
I would suggest you hold off on looking at post-Victorian homes on Nob Hill and Goose Hollow until you see the terrain and geography of the area. As older people, the hills may be a bit much for taking an evening neighborhood walk. (5% grade in places.) But each to his own.
Aside: Portland (and Multnomah County) have high property taxes. 'burbs in Washington County to the West, and Clackamas County to the East and South both have lower taxes. The City of Portland is regarded as Liberal due to it's voting record. The voting record of the two counties south and west is more even up. To the North is the State of Washington, and the City of Vancouver Washington. Vancouver, WA has it's own forum on this site.
Thanks for the tips, I'm figuring 400k to 500k like it would be in silicon valley...only with more house and land to it... who knows... My husband is flying out there for an interview next week, I'm finishing up classes so I'm not sure I can make it. I will know more of what I've got to work with next week, but I've learned a heck of a lot in this thread. Thanks for all your help. cheers!
More house yes, more land...maybe not so much. Portland has strict development rules within the urban growth boundary around Portland and it has gotten progressively stricter over the last 10 years. That means that most newer houses are built on little tiny postage stamp lots. Older houses offer somewhat larger lots. You would most likely have to live fairly far outside the city to get a truly spacious lot. Coming from the east coast this was a bit of a shock to me as most nicer neighborhoods I was used to actually had minimum lot sizes of say 1/2 acre or 1 acre...not the max lot sizes they have out here that for the newest houses may only be 3,000 or 4,000 sq feet - barely larger than the house itself. The upside is that there is minimum lawn care needed. Good luck!
I spent three days staying at the Downtown Portland Hilton during a recent trip to your fair city. What an experience. I have two observations:
There is a very high percentage of white people in Portland for a large metro area.
There is an incredible number of street kids with crazy tattoos, strange haircuts, and freaky looking clothes. I have no other words for them other than street kids. There was tons of them hanging out and looking for money. A few approached me and asked for money. I asked them why they don't get a job. They said they are not into working. Whatever!
Are there other downtown's that have such a high percentage of street kids?
I grew up in Oregon and it has long been a popular past time of youth to ask for hand outs. It's part of this whole feel good, community, commune vibe. I support the vibe but not the street kids. Just brush em off. I always give em an, "I'm good man" and they really don't have anything to say back. Lecturing them would be one of the last options in my book just because they usually have a bunch of rehearsed responses.
I remember one time in the mid 90's walking though downtown one of the street kids hit me up for some chapstick. He had about 6 lip rings so I was curious as to how he would put it to use. I handed him the chapstick and he rubbed it all over his nose! Then his street kid girlfriend grabs it and says, "this s**ts got petroleum in it!"
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