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Unread 05-23-2010, 07:09 PM
 
13 posts, read 21,805 times
Reputation: 17
Default Spokane or Portland?

Greetings! I知 planning a move to the Pacific Northwest this August but having trouble choosing between Portland, Oregon and Spokane, Washington. I知 way past the party stage of life and wanting to focus on writing and hopefully making some chill new friends with similar interests. I have some money saved up, so I can weather a job search when I arrive. There痴 no way I can visit beforehand, so it痴 kind of a leap of faith. ;]

I知 drawn to Spokane because of the close proximity to the Rocky Mountains, more manageable size (for a big city), and lower cost of living. I知 concerned about the crime (a friend told me it痴 a 電rug-trafficking hub) and accessibility to new arrivals. Portland remains in the mix because of the liberal/progressive atmosphere, closeness to the Cascades and ocean, what I知 told is a 堵reat literary scene, and the presence of several relatives. I知 wary of the large size and supposedly deplorable job market though.

Any comments or information would be great but especially about the following:

I知 foremost a fiction writer. Does Spokane have a lively literary/creative scene?

I知 a late-20s young professional with a graduate education in history but happy to work lower paying jobs to get anchored in a new place. Is there full-time or part-time employment at, say, bookstores, Targets, small businesses, etc.; or are these jobs largely exclusive to locals? Also, are there many people in Spokane in their late-20s and early-30s or is the city geared toward other age brackets? Are there neighborhoods favored by young professionals or creative types?

As mentioned above, I知 partially drawn to Spokane due to its nearness to nature. How close are the big mountains? Are they accessible without four-wheel drive, e.g. trail-head access?

Finally, if anyone has experience of both Portland and Spokane, which did you prefer?

Thanks in advance!
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Unread 05-25-2010, 11:44 AM
 
231 posts, read 687,795 times
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Unless you're really used to a small town lifestyle the size of Spokane and even Portland shouldn't be overwhelming. Portland is a good sized city but doesn't really feel like a big city in many ways.

Spokane actually has a decent writing community. Check out the Get Lit! festival that takes place every spring. Spokane also produces a decent amount of authors for a city of its size: Sherman Alexie (close enough), Jess Walter, Pat McManus, Timothy Egan, etc. Granted, several of those authors are now based out of Seattle but I think Spokane can make claim to them in some form.

Spokane is a normal city as far as crime is concerned. Yes, there is crime but I wouldn't call Spokane a drug-hub at all. There are many nice, safe neighborhoods and a few that are a bit rough around the edges. Spokane is considered a pretty family friendly place and its crime statistics are consistent with cities of a similar size (see old threads on this).

There are neighborhoods I would recommend and there have been a couple of very recent threads on this topic.

I think you could find a bookstore/target type job here without too much difficulty. The unemployment rate is still historically high but not as bad as other places.

I'm not sure what counts as big mountains but Spokane has good access to the mountains. Mt. Spokane is about 6,000 feet and is about a 40 minute drive from downtown Spokane. If you head north to east you'll hit mountains in northeast Washington and most of the Idaho panhandle. A little further you'll find the Rocky Mountains proper. You can easily be in western Montana in an hour and a half or so. Head north into Canada and you'll find the Canadian Rockies. The Spokane area doesn't have ocean access but does have a large amount of lakes, many of which are pristine and not overly populated (Priest, Pend Oreille, etc.). Unless you're driving around in winter, the mountains are pretty accessible without 4WD.

Spokane is a 4 season city with a warm/hot summer and cold winter with snow (sometime only a little, sometimes a good amount). Portland is more temperate with a more 3 season climate, it can get cold in the winter and will snow once or twice but is more just damp and rainy. Spokane is drier than Portland and gets less rain. You'll find more 20/30 somethings in Portland than Spokane as it tends to attract younger people who come to the city for its, for lack of a better term, hipster scene. That can be a positive for meeting people of a similar age group but also a negative because the economy in Portland is difficult and all of the aforementioned seek the bookstore/coffee shop/bar jobs you're going to be looking for.

Portland has a more pronounced liberal/progressive bent than Spokane, which is a bit more of a 50/50 kind of place. Portland will be a bit more expensive but also has great nature access.

If you want more of a scene with late twenties crowds in a more openly liberal/progressive environment in a bigger city then Portland is your place. If you want a smaller city that may be a bit less expensive and with 4 seasons then Spokane would fit better.

If you have more specific questions please feel free to follow up.
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Unread 05-25-2010, 09:23 PM
 
Location: Spokane
91 posts, read 187,344 times
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From your background, interests and career goals, I'd say move to Portland.
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Unread 05-27-2010, 02:26 AM
 
Location: Terra, Earth, Dirt, Gteborg, Sverige, Scadinavia, N. Europa
68 posts, read 87,317 times
Reputation: 39
Hi Aonia,

Your interests suggest Portland. I'd say go to Portland. More a match for your interests. Socially far more dynamic, diverse, greater opportunity. You don't indicate your career desires or choices. I'm a technical writer and a damn good one and no jobs exist for my skills here. Few technical writer positions show up yet these, like it seems all Spokane jobs, pay nothing.

I currently live in Spokane Valley, WA. I regret the day I ever came here.

I'm single and 42, not ever married, and no children. No town to date in, for me. You may have a different experience. I'd not ever raise children here. There's so little to do. The cultural zenith of Spookylou is Hoopfest, the "world's largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament held every June.

Spookylou is where someone comes to Spokane and soon leaves in disgust after encountering this town.

If the Portland area, you may want to include Vancouver, WA as a destination location, just North across the mighty Columbia river. Though Vancouver has far fewer jobs than does Portland. Commuting from Vancouver to Portland for a job can be an extreme hassle, certainly if you motor over the I-5. If you commute on the I-205 into Portland that can be easier unless you must commute to Washington County, well East of Portland.

Spokane has few traffic problems in comparison, yet Spokane has little to offer, culturally. The social interface in Spokane are limited to bars and churches. I'm an atheist, almost. The people of this oakie town are clicky, choosing to socialize with people they've known since high school. Don't look to your employer as a social interface into the greater community. Though I'm a guy and social access seems easier for womyn all over.

Portland hosts a higher number of educated folks versus the paltry 23% of those with a four year degree or higher in Spookylou, Spokompton, Spokangeles. Class distinction is very important here, depending on the social venue or workplace quality, people distinguish themselves by socio-economic standing more than I've ever encountered in any city. Classicism, or the expression of class distinction, if more a quality of Midwest and perhaps northeastern cities. Social dynamics are more fluid in any of the West Coast cities from the lovely SF Bay Area, Portland, the Seattle Puget Sound Area (from Olympia up to Everett, WA or perhaps also including beautiful, beautiful Bellingham, WA), to Vancouver-Burnaby-Richmond, British Columbia, Canada.

Spokane is king of the minimum wage to 12$ job. The city is on the fringe of everything commerce. The homegrown companies, and I speak from direct experience, are all there to be soled in the future, have boom and bust cycles (Spokane is a boom and bust town in perpetuity), and do nothing to help you grow your career and despise career ambition. Plenty of WAL*MART and the like retail jobs.

You'll find rents about the same between Portland and Spokane yet some Portland rents may be much higher due to the higher population and better salaries. Now, keep in mind Oregon state takes about 10% in income tax, yet no sales tax. Washington state only charges sales tax and a hefty property tax if you own your home. However, WA-state offers about the same in social services as does Oregon.

Counties in Oregon can charge more income and sales tax but that does not mean better roads or better social services. Stay out of the city of Portland and Multnomah County. Try Washington County (Hillsboro or Beaverton) or, perhaps, Clackamas County (Milwaukie).

The downtown area of Spokane appears a mismatch of both architecture, zoned land use from the city planning and zoning (the same with Spokane Valley), states of repair, and lots of homeless people not trying to better themselves. You'd think your were in San Francisco a bit by the homeless population.

Portland is wrought with well marked bike lanes and bike paths so you can travel from Portland and Vancouver North to South and East to West. The Spokane roads and drivers are in no way bicycle friendly. You'll hear Spokane tout the Centennial trail that parallels the Spokane River for a long distance. If you have to ride North to South, that is problematic. The motorists could no be bothered. Yest whether bicycling in Spokane or Portland, you must keep your head on a swivel.

Areas of downtown Spokane are finished and nicely dressed, like the Riverfront Park that was home to the Expo '74 (the 1974 World's Fair), an event not since matched in subsequent Spokane history. The park comes filled with people throughout the week. Dunno if I'd choose to commiserate. Downtown is also the bar district set up to serve the over-privileged at Catholic Gonzaga University "home of college athletics of all sorts - yet we never hear of academic success - so you know where your 30k a year tuition is spent".

The areas around Spokane city and Valley use the land inefficiently. You'll see areas of bare earth laid waste that was formerly occupied by some industrial or manufacturing concern. Spokane had a concentration of manufacturing that paid the higher wages supporting the secondary and tertiary economies and that has since left the area. The town has an influx of people from Montana, northern Idaho, places North of Spokane like Colville and Colfax. Eastern Washington University in Cheney and Univ. of WA in Pullman means a ready pool of degreed labor performing menial jobs. In other words, the job market in Spookylou is nil, nearly.

About an hour or two and further by auto from Spokane you'll encounter the lovely grandeur of the rising Western slope of the mountains and dense pine forests. Plenty of parks to the North and East of all sorts and azure blue spring fed alpine lakes. The area between Spokane and the Puget Sound area well North of the I-90 contains the Okanogan national forest that ends at the Cascade range. You can travel the area using primarily SR (state route) 20.

In Portland, you can head West on the 26 and be on the northern Oregon/southern WA coast in a few hours. The Pacific Seacoast Ranges that parallel the West coast offer some low mountainous country and many state and federal parks. Portland has Mount Hood to the East and there is a lot to do and explore. You also have Mount St. Helens Volcanic National Monument to explore. Seattle is about 2.5 to 3 hours by car from Portland, also.

Spokane just does not offer up really any good energy about it. Feels like Indianapolis, IN, a bit. The air is clean and the tap water is good. But the people seem cloistered in another time or are out of time. I sort of got turned off by the innumerable christian end time and prosperity evangelicals that live here versus the more secular Portland, Seattle, SF Bay Area, and Vancouver, BC, Canada. I was told many times that to meet people in Spokane you have go to a christian church.

Portland has a homey (unlike Spokane), if oakie quality (like Spokane), but the Portland people are far more aware, educated, and involved with the various communities comprising Portland. Portland contains people from all over the West Coast so it has a Seattle and Bay Area buzz about it on occasion. Portland also has a great music scene community radio stations (KBOO Community Radio). Spokane offers up a few community radio stations linked to NPR save for one (KYRS - Thin Air Community Radio in Spokane, WA - Home Page). For music, nothing beats KDHX :: INDEPENDENT MEDIA PLAYS HERE, though.

All West Coast cities have a drug and gang problem but it appears more available or more on the surface in Spokane than anywhere else I've lived. But it is everywhere in any West Coast city or population area, unfortunately.

Hope that helps. I'll be leaving Spookylou soon - for Portland, more than likely in a few months.

cheers,

MacDuff.
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Unread 06-08-2010, 01:13 AM
 
2 posts, read 11,153 times
Reputation: 10
Quote:
Originally Posted by Aonia View Post
Greetings! I知 planning a move to the Pacific Northwest this August but having trouble choosing between Portland, Oregon and Spokane, Washington. I知 way past the party stage of life and wanting to focus on writing and hopefully making some chill new friends with similar interests. I have some money saved up, so I can weather a job search when I arrive. There痴 no way I can visit beforehand, so it痴 kind of a leap of faith. ;]

I知 drawn to Spokane because of the close proximity to the Rocky Mountains, more manageable size (for a big city), and lower cost of living. I知 concerned about the crime (a friend told me it痴 a 電rug-trafficking hub) and accessibility to new arrivals. Portland remains in the mix because of the liberal/progressive atmosphere, closeness to the Cascades and ocean, what I知 told is a 堵reat literary scene, and the presence of several relatives. I知 wary of the large size and supposedly deplorable job market though.

Any comments or information would be great but especially about the following:

I知 foremost a fiction writer. Does Spokane have a lively literary/creative scene?

I知 a late-20s young professional with a graduate education in history but happy to work lower paying jobs to get anchored in a new place. Is there full-time or part-time employment at, say, bookstores, Targets, small businesses, etc.; or are these jobs largely exclusive to locals? Also, are there many people in Spokane in their late-20s and early-30s or is the city geared toward other age brackets? Are there neighborhoods favored by young professionals or creative types?

As mentioned above, I知 partially drawn to Spokane due to its nearness to nature. How close are the big mountains? Are they accessible without four-wheel drive, e.g. trail-head access?

Finally, if anyone has experience of both Portland and Spokane, which did you prefer?

Thanks in advance!
Do not move to Spokane I have lived in Portland also, but Spokane will ruin your life!!
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Unread 06-08-2010, 01:18 AM
 
2 posts, read 11,153 times
Reputation: 10
Default Spokane, WA Drug Traffic Hub

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spokanimal View Post
Do not move to Spokane I have lived in Portland also, but Spokane will ruin your life!!
Seattle to west Canada to North MT to East and Tri-Cities. Do the math every one is Alcoholic or on drugs and I mean everyone Bar Bar Bar, Casino Casino Casino to small of a town and those are the majority of business in area. There is more drugs in little Spokane, WA than anywhere in the NW. Go to Finalcutrecords.com and sample music artists from the area listen to the lyrics its like Compton, CA. You just don't make this kinda of music up its not a fairy tale its real life!!

Who ever moves to Spokane, WA is a dam fool and who ever does not leave is stuck, but wants out and can't leave there dealer.
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Unread 06-08-2010, 08:33 AM
 
4,925 posts, read 5,493,395 times
Reputation: 3082
Wow, just...wow.

Anyone generalize much?
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Unread 06-08-2010, 10:15 AM
 
Location: Nine Mile Falls/Spokane, WA
835 posts, read 2,693,149 times
Reputation: 449
Hopefully anyone who is reading this will realize that there's no way a city like Spokane could function as well as it does if it really were run by alcoholics and drug addicts. Guess I'll have to break the news to everyone I know that we all need to get into rehab!
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Unread 06-08-2010, 11:17 AM
 
Location: Kentucky
470 posts, read 506,594 times
Reputation: 271
Quote:
Originally Posted by bitko View Post
Hi Aonia,

Your interests suggest Portland. I'd say go to Portland. More a match for your interests. Socially far more dynamic, diverse, greater opportunity. You don't indicate your career desires or choices. I'm a technical writer and a damn good one and no jobs exist for my skills here. Few technical writer positions show up yet these, like it seems all Spokane jobs, pay nothing.

I currently live in Spokane Valley, WA. I regret the day I ever came here.

I'm single and 42, not ever married, and no children. No town to date in, for me. You may have a different experience. I'd not ever raise children here. There's so little to do. The cultural zenith of Spookylou is Hoopfest, the "world's largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament held every June.

Spookylou is where someone comes to Spokane and soon leaves in disgust after encountering this town.

If the Portland area, you may want to include Vancouver, WA as a destination location, just North across the mighty Columbia river. Though Vancouver has far fewer jobs than does Portland. Commuting from Vancouver to Portland for a job can be an extreme hassle, certainly if you motor over the I-5. If you commute on the I-205 into Portland that can be easier unless you must commute to Washington County, well East of Portland.

Spokane has few traffic problems in comparison, yet Spokane has little to offer, culturally. The social interface in Spokane are limited to bars and churches. I'm an atheist, almost. The people of this oakie town are clicky, choosing to socialize with people they've known since high school. Don't look to your employer as a social interface into the greater community. Though I'm a guy and social access seems easier for womyn all over.

Portland hosts a higher number of educated folks versus the paltry 23% of those with a four year degree or higher in Spookylou, Spokompton, Spokangeles. Class distinction is very important here, depending on the social venue or workplace quality, people distinguish themselves by socio-economic standing more than I've ever encountered in any city. Classicism, or the expression of class distinction, if more a quality of Midwest and perhaps northeastern cities. Social dynamics are more fluid in any of the West Coast cities from the lovely SF Bay Area, Portland, the Seattle Puget Sound Area (from Olympia up to Everett, WA or perhaps also including beautiful, beautiful Bellingham, WA), to Vancouver-Burnaby-Richmond, British Columbia, Canada.

Spokane is king of the minimum wage to 12$ job. The city is on the fringe of everything commerce. The homegrown companies, and I speak from direct experience, are all there to be soled in the future, have boom and bust cycles (Spokane is a boom and bust town in perpetuity), and do nothing to help you grow your career and despise career ambition. Plenty of WAL*MART and the like retail jobs.

You'll find rents about the same between Portland and Spokane yet some Portland rents may be much higher due to the higher population and better salaries. Now, keep in mind Oregon state takes about 10% in income tax, yet no sales tax. Washington state only charges sales tax and a hefty property tax if you own your home. However, WA-state offers about the same in social services as does Oregon.

Counties in Oregon can charge more income and sales tax but that does not mean better roads or better social services. Stay out of the city of Portland and Multnomah County. Try Washington County (Hillsboro or Beaverton) or, perhaps, Clackamas County (Milwaukie).

The downtown area of Spokane appears a mismatch of both architecture, zoned land use from the city planning and zoning (the same with Spokane Valley), states of repair, and lots of homeless people not trying to better themselves. You'd think your were in San Francisco a bit by the homeless population.

Portland is wrought with well marked bike lanes and bike paths so you can travel from Portland and Vancouver North to South and East to West. The Spokane roads and drivers are in no way bicycle friendly. You'll hear Spokane tout the Centennial trail that parallels the Spokane River for a long distance. If you have to ride North to South, that is problematic. The motorists could no be bothered. Yest whether bicycling in Spokane or Portland, you must keep your head on a swivel.

Areas of downtown Spokane are finished and nicely dressed, like the Riverfront Park that was home to the Expo '74 (the 1974 World's Fair), an event not since matched in subsequent Spokane history. The park comes filled with people throughout the week. Dunno if I'd choose to commiserate. Downtown is also the bar district set up to serve the over-privileged at Catholic Gonzaga University "home of college athletics of all sorts - yet we never hear of academic success - so you know where your 30k a year tuition is spent".

The areas around Spokane city and Valley use the land inefficiently. You'll see areas of bare earth laid waste that was formerly occupied by some industrial or manufacturing concern. Spokane had a concentration of manufacturing that paid the higher wages supporting the secondary and tertiary economies and that has since left the area. The town has an influx of people from Montana, northern Idaho, places North of Spokane like Colville and Colfax. Eastern Washington University in Cheney and Univ. of WA in Pullman means a ready pool of degreed labor performing menial jobs. In other words, the job market in Spookylou is nil, nearly.

About an hour or two and further by auto from Spokane you'll encounter the lovely grandeur of the rising Western slope of the mountains and dense pine forests. Plenty of parks to the North and East of all sorts and azure blue spring fed alpine lakes. The area between Spokane and the Puget Sound area well North of the I-90 contains the Okanogan national forest that ends at the Cascade range. You can travel the area using primarily SR (state route) 20.

In Portland, you can head West on the 26 and be on the northern Oregon/southern WA coast in a few hours. The Pacific Seacoast Ranges that parallel the West coast offer some low mountainous country and many state and federal parks. Portland has Mount Hood to the East and there is a lot to do and explore. You also have Mount St. Helens Volcanic National Monument to explore. Seattle is about 2.5 to 3 hours by car from Portland, also.

Spokane just does not offer up really any good energy about it. Feels like Indianapolis, IN, a bit. The air is clean and the tap water is good. But the people seem cloistered in another time or are out of time. I sort of got turned off by the innumerable christian end time and prosperity evangelicals that live here versus the more secular Portland, Seattle, SF Bay Area, and Vancouver, BC, Canada. I was told many times that to meet people in Spokane you have go to a christian church.

Portland has a homey (unlike Spokane), if oakie quality (like Spokane), but the Portland people are far more aware, educated, and involved with the various communities comprising Portland. Portland contains people from all over the West Coast so it has a Seattle and Bay Area buzz about it on occasion. Portland also has a great music scene community radio stations (KBOO Community Radio). Spokane offers up a few community radio stations linked to NPR save for one (KYRS - Thin Air Community Radio in Spokane, WA - Home Page). For music, nothing beats KDHX :: INDEPENDENT MEDIA PLAYS HERE, though.

All West Coast cities have a drug and gang problem but it appears more available or more on the surface in Spokane than anywhere else I've lived. But it is everywhere in any West Coast city or population area, unfortunately.

Hope that helps. I'll be leaving Spookylou soon - for Portland, more than likely in a few months.

cheers,

MacDuff.

This pretty much well sums it up. Portland is your better choice. I am one of the few here in Spokane with education and ambition and in August, I too will be rolling out with a middle finger on each hand up for Spokane. Spokane really is for those that lack any sort of ambition or have come to the end of the road in their career and want to look at mountains and trees.
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Unread 06-08-2010, 03:28 PM
 
231 posts, read 687,795 times
Reputation: 127
Quote:
Originally Posted by bitko View Post
I'd not ever raise children here. There's so little to do. The cultural zenith of Spookylou is Hoopfest, the "world's largest 3-on-3 basketball tournament held every June.
A matter of opinion I suppose but my opinion is that Spokane is pretty family-oriented and a nice place to raise kids. While Spokane may not have everything you'd find in a major metropolitan area it has plenty for kids to do, and it comes with some of the good things about not being in a major city. Hoopfest isn't the cultural zenith in Spokane but it is a pretty cool event. You have an entire community coming together to play and watch and see teams from all age groups and backgrounds taking place. It may not be everyone's cup of tea but the fact that Spokane embraces large community events is, in my mind, a positive.

For culture, which means different things to different people, you can always check out the symphony playing in the beautiful Fox Theater, opera, touring concerts, Broadway shows, author readings, etc. Will you find more of that in a bigger city? Of course. Whether what Spokane has to offer on that front is enough is an individual call.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bitko View Post
If the Portland area, you may want to include Vancouver, WA as a destination location, just North across the mighty Columbia river. Though Vancouver has far fewer jobs than does Portland. Commuting from Vancouver to Portland for a job can be an extreme hassle, certainly if you motor over the I-5. If you commute on the I-205 into Portland that can be easier unless you must commute to Washington County, well East of Portland.
I'm really not trying to start any Spokane v. Vancouver debate but if you're suggesting Portland because it is cooler and more cosmopolitan than Spokane, you cannot suggest Vancouver as an option. Vancouver has some very nice parts but is pretty suburban in nature, you'd just be dealing with the mess of trying to cross into Portland. In my humble opinion, the Spokane River and falls through downtown Spokane is much prettier than the mighty Columbia between Vancouver and Portland.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bitko View Post
Portland hosts a higher number of educated folks versus the paltry 23% of those with a four year degree or higher in Spookylou, Spokompton, Spokangeles. Class distinction is very important here, depending on the social venue or workplace quality, people distinguish themselves by socio-economic standing more than I've ever encountered in any city. Classicism, or the expression of class distinction, if more a quality of Midwest and perhaps northeastern cities.
I thought these sentences were interesting back to back. Yes, Portland has a higher percentage of four year degrees (32.6% to Spokane 25.1%).

Quote:
Originally Posted by bitko View Post
(Spokane is a boom and bust town in perpetuity)
Actually, more people wish Spokane was boom and bust. It is really a relatively steady slow growth place. Yes, more and better high paying jobs are needed. That said, Portland's economy is not exactly flying high at the moment.


Quote:
Originally Posted by bitko View Post
You'd think your were in San Francisco a bit by the homeless population.
I honestly like most parts of downtown Portland. When I lived there I used to walk to and from work through downtown every day and Portland absolutely takes the crown for number of homeless people and street kids.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bitko View Post
Portland is wrought with well marked bike lanes and bike paths so you can travel from Portland and Vancouver North to South and East to West. The Spokane roads and drivers are in no way bicycle friendly. You'll hear Spokane tout the Centennial trail that parallels the Spokane River for a long distance. If you have to ride North to South, that is problematic. The motorists could no be bothered. Yest whether bicycling in Spokane or Portland, you must keep your head on a swivel.
Portland has been very progressive on this front (along with mass transit) and I hope Spokane takes some of the good ideas and puts them into practice. It seems Spokane is slowly warming more and more to bicycle travel but Portland is really a leader on the bicycle front.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bitko View Post
Areas of downtown Spokane are finished and nicely dressed, like the Riverfront Park that was home to the Expo '74 (the 1974 World's Fair), an event not since matched in subsequent Spokane history. The park comes filled with people throughout the week. Dunno if I'd choose to commiserate. Downtown is also the bar district set up to serve the over-privileged at Catholic Gonzaga University "home of college athletics of all sorts - yet we never hear of academic success - so you know where your 30k a year tuition is spent".
So Spokane doesn't have enough young people or educated people but the bars are overrun with rich college kids. Are some downtown bars more popular with college kids? Sure. Are there lots of bars that do not cater to college crowds? Yes. I'm not affiliated with GU but it is well regarded academically. For what they are worth it is ranked as the #3 school in the west by US News for Masters level universities.

Portland is a nice city. It may better fit what you're looking for in a place to live. That said, Spokane is a nice place too. No place works for everyone. I hope you find the place that works for you.
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