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Old 12-06-2009, 04:01 PM
 
Location: Stumptown, OR
36 posts, read 160,048 times
Reputation: 41

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My wife (30) and I are thinking of moving to Portland sometime early next year. I lived in Gresham until I was 12 (Im now 35), so I remember some things about the area but not a whole lot. We would like to live close to where things are happening Downtown, but not in the crazy expensive lofts, maybe somewhere eclectic but cheaper? So I have a few important questions:

Has the city been hit hard by the economy? My wife is a bartender, will she have a hard time finding work in that field? She prefers divier/more down to earth type places.

To anyone in the service industry; will she need local certification?

I know Downtown has experience a revival over the last few years, but are there still affordable drinking/eating and living areas there. If so, what are the neighborhoods called.

Is crime a major issue? If so what types of crime?

What re the pro/cons of living in Portland?

We live in Albuquerque now and it is a boring, cultureless hell. We are looking forward to moving somewhere with some personality and character...
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Old 12-06-2009, 04:28 PM
 
Location: Baker City, Oregon
3,391 posts, read 5,401,045 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DrexlerMcStyles View Post
We live in Albuquerque now and it is a boring, cultureless hell.
I googled Albuquerque best places to live and found that it is listed at the top or near the top of at least four Best Places to Live lists.

Sometimes, when people are unhappy or having problems, they mistakenly put the blame on the place they are living.

Moving to Portland, another very nice place to live, might not help you.
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Old 12-06-2009, 05:52 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
1,657 posts, read 3,831,513 times
Reputation: 889
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrexlerMcStyles View Post
....Has the city been hit hard by the economy? My wife is a bartender, will she have a hard time finding work in that field? She prefers divier/more down to earth type places.
........
I know Downtown has experience a revival over the last few years, but are there still affordable drinking/eating and living areas there. If so, what are the neighborhoods called....
Yes, as with all cities in the USA, the recession has hit Oregon and Portland hard. Unemployment claims are running over 10%. Lots of people are also underemployed, or working for less money than they could have earned a couple of years ago doing the same job.

As for Neighborhoods:
Map: Neighborhood Maps and Boundaries

a web site for basic information: Susan's Online Guide to Portland Oregon - The City of Roses
(aside: a bit rah-rah; from a real estate person)

another web site:
Portland Neighborhoods: Information about Portland, Oregon

Portland is not for everyone. But then, IMHO, neither is the city you are living in right now. All depends on how you and your wife bond to the community where you live. Some people have problems with Portland and Seattle's northern lack of sunlight during the winter, others enjoy the gray overcast sky of winter in the PNW.

Be aware, there are lots and lots of small neighborhood taverns and bars throughout all of the larger Portland area. One of the really great local pub chains is:
Homepage brought to you by McMenamins
from what I know, each pub is slightly different, so for every taste and style of pub that a customer could want, is covered. Including, from what I have been told, fux-dive places in semi-yuppie suburban neighborhoods for the wannabe hipster 30-somethings.

Do a Google search for: IPA brew pubs in Portland.
I presume you know that IPA is a higher alcohol content, way more flavor, micro-brew ale that carries a very specific locally significant brand-names.

Phil
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Old 12-06-2009, 05:58 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
1,657 posts, read 3,831,513 times
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Just an add-on to my previous post from today's Portland newspaper:
Beer lovers cozy up to winter brews at Holiday Ale Festival | Oregon Local News - OregonLive.com
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Old 12-06-2009, 07:02 PM
 
Location: Florida
6,262 posts, read 16,752,049 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by karlsch View Post
I googled Albuquerque best places to live and found that it is listed at the top or near the top of at least four Best Places to Live lists.

Sometimes, when people are unhappy or having problems, they mistakenly put the blame on the place they are living.

Moving to Portland, another very nice place to live, might not help you.
but is there an indication why it is listed as such?
I've been there and thought it the bowels of hell.
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Old 12-07-2009, 12:50 AM
 
Location: Stumptown, OR
36 posts, read 160,048 times
Reputation: 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by karlsch View Post
I googled Albuquerque best places to live and found that it is listed at the top or near the top of at least four Best Places to Live lists.

Sometimes, when people are unhappy or having problems, they mistakenly put the blame on the place they are living.

Moving to Portland, another very nice place to live, might not help you.
Quote:
Originally Posted by DreamWeavin View Post
but is there an indication why it is listed as such?
I've been there and thought it the bowels of hell.
LOL. If they could, they would bring Prohibition back to Albuquerque. They say there is a real bad Drunk Driving problem that they really want to control, yet, you can have 20 DUI's and still have a license. The city is in it for the money. If they werent theyd have a 3 strikes policy. As a Bartender everyday you go to work you have to worry about going to jail because of chicken**** undercover sting operations that serve no real purpose except to generate money for the city. Drinking is not a crime.

The people here are bitter, nasty and hateful. No thanks. The Dining scene blows, Ive never lived anywhere that Chinese places (or Pizza) DONT deliver, but thats ABQ.

I'm not a hipster, we dont hang out in bars where a $5 draft is considered a good deal. We're not into "scenes". I'm a photographer and the art scene here sucks. If you dont take pictures of the Sandia mountains or Green Chiles theyre not interested (anyone who IS interested can check out drexlermcstyles.com).

Is the depressed job market affecting professionals more than service industry or retail type jobs?

The weather is not an issue, I know what to expect. However, does it really only snow 3-4 days a year? (I remember more in my youth)

Thanks
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Old 12-08-2009, 01:49 PM
 
10 posts, read 16,182 times
Reputation: 19
The job market is bad in every industry, except maybe education and healthcare, which is the case everywhere.

Portland has bars and restaurants of every style and price range, and many of them are very good. It also has a lot of young people who tend to work in bars and restaurants, so that labor market is pretty crowded. From what I've heard, New Mexico has a "taxi medallion" system for liquor licenses. Although the OLCC is pretty strict in some ways, there's nothing like that.

There is not much crime. Portland may actually have inflated crime statistics since people here tend to report crimes that people in larger cities wouldn't bother to report.

I'd say even 3-4 days of snow a year is a stretch. Its seems more like one or two days. However, last winter we got beat up bad for a couple weeks and it was chaos. Even though snow is fairly predictable, its rare enough that people don't really prepare for it.
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Old 12-11-2009, 03:57 PM
 
Location: Albuquerque, NM
3 posts, read 4,248 times
Reputation: 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by DrexlerMcStyles View Post
We live in Albuquerque now and it is a boring, cultureless hell. We are looking forward to moving somewhere with some personality and character...

just wanted to say thanks for the laugh! i live here, and couldn't agree more. apparently "karlsch" has never experienced albuquerque. any variety of statistics can make a place look good on paper. until you live somewhere and get a sense of the vibe and culture, i don't believe you can really have a meaningful opinion. a list of "best places" doesn't mean much to me, personally. forums like this can give much more personal insight.
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Old 12-16-2009, 09:11 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
606 posts, read 578,127 times
Reputation: 764
Portland is 200 days of gray, slow, cold drizzle. When summer arrives, you think that you are in heaven for three months. Then the cycle begins again. Cool city with weather that makes you want to kill yourself.
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Old 12-17-2009, 03:40 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
73 posts, read 148,115 times
Reputation: 70
I'm really interested in your threads DrexlerMcStyles since I'm just beginning to research Albuquerque as a possible place to relocate from Portland. After 13 years of endless grey skies I'm ready move back to the high desert.

I would say that while Portland has been hit kind of hard by the economy, it's been a soft blow because Oregon's economy was never that great to begin with. Portland has always been a tough job market, with service/restaurant/bartending jobs as perhaps the most over saturated. This town attracts lots of 20-30 somethings with college degrees and a lot of them end up working in the service industry.

If you're dead set on moving here, my advice would be to get to know as many people as possible right away. Employers aren't advertising because they just get swamped with hundred of applicants. Word of mouth and knowing people is the best way to get a service job in Portland.

Crime is not a major issue in Portland. There are small pockets here and there, and it's difficult to name specific areas because it can go block by block. The east side of Portland close-in is full of self-sufficient neighborhoods with small bars, restaurants, and shopping. Each neighborhood has its own personality but none are so different from each other that you would feel like you are missing out on some important element.

What I find to be cons to Portland:
The cloud cover, rain, and saturation of green growing things blankets everything in a kind of homogenous fog. I sometimes feel suffocated by this. I know this is totally personal and may not apply to you.

Lack of jobs. Tons and tons of competition.

There is an art scene and an art culture here that is supported in lip-service. If you are a commercial artist you may do well here. If you show in galleries and rely on sales that way you might want to look for representation in other cities as well. The arts are generally underfunded here, but nonetheless there are lots of local nonprofits that curate and support some excellent work.

Pros:
Really good food. Portland has great restaurants and supports lots of farmer's markets and local growers.

Bike-friendly.
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