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Old 07-26-2011, 09:21 PM
 
84 posts, read 195,834 times
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I originally posted to get advice on moving from Atlanta to Seattle, but now I am making a final decision and narrowed it down to Seattle and Portland. I am a 32 year old, African American woman currently living in Atlanta and I need a change. I am planning to move Feb 2012. I moved here a few years ago for my job, and now I can work anywhere in the US as my job is a work at home job. I need a change of scenery and need something fresh in my life. I already have a job, so I don't have to worry about that!

More about me: I am single, love to walk and hike. I enjoy the theater (plays, musicals, opera, ballet, etc), music and movies. Full time I am in the IT field. Part time, I am a yoga teacher. I am looking for a place with mild temperatures, nice walkable areas (parks, trails, hiking) good yoga studios, organic food, nice people and lots of culture. I love to travel and want to live near the airport and also near places to drive to for weekend getaways. I love the mountains and the ocean. I am also looking to settle down and I date interracially. My budget is around $1200 for an apartment in a nice neighborhood (with room for my home office). I would prefer to live around other like minded, educated people. I can get along with all races, ages, and cultures, just as long as they are nice and civil

Atlanta weather is hot and sunny, but too hot for my taste. I don't want cold and snow (I grew up in the midwest and don't miss the weather) .... and I would be OK with Seattle's cloudiness and rain..... or the weather in Portland. Would Seattle be the best place for me or would Portland be best?

I would like to live on the West Coast (California is too expensive and I don't really like the vibe of Cali). So, based on all of this, would Seattle or Portland be for me?


Thanks in advance!


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Old 07-26-2011, 09:27 PM
 
Location: Spain
1,855 posts, read 4,468,049 times
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Based on that criteria I don't think either city stand above the other. Seattle feels a little more multicultural and IT is stronger there, but your rent money will go further in Portland.

Because Seattle and Portland both meet your broad criteria pretty well, try to narrow down your city likes and dislikes as much as possible so we can really find key differences between the two places that might help with your decision.
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Old 07-26-2011, 09:45 PM
 
317 posts, read 321,466 times
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Seattle feels more cosmopolitan while Portland feels more like a nice small town, but with big city amenities. Seattle has better, more distinct neighborhoods while Portland has a few but not like Seattle. Good luck and enjoy the Pacific Northwest! (Wish I was there!)lol
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Old 07-27-2011, 01:29 PM
 
Location: Los Angeles
5,717 posts, read 13,692,854 times
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I'm AA also and moved to Seattle from Washington DC and absolutely loved it. I recently moved to Los Angeles. I spent 12 years in Seattle. You will find all the amenities you're looking for, just remember it's a little bit more expensive in renting an apartment. Also you DO NOT want to live near the airport but easy access to the airport. I loved living on Capitol Hill and central Seattle. Its walkabe, bike friendly, tons of cafes, coffee houses, markets, banks and public transportation.
Speaking of getaways and short trips, its endless. Vancouver, Victoria, the San Juan Islands, Port Townsend, the national parks, Leavenworth, Yakima, ferry rides and the list goes on.
Since you are an AA women, black salons and barber shops do exist. Black hair care products are sold at most drug stores in central and south Seattle. (I get these questions sometimes)
Either city is a good choice. About twice a year I would take a nice train ride to Portland for a weekend getaway.
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Old 08-30-2011, 10:16 PM
 
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Is Portland cheaper than Seattle? I heard that Portland is a lot like Asheville, NC?
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Old 08-31-2011, 02:06 AM
 
Location: Los Angeles
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Portland is a little cheaper than Seattle and Portland imo is nothing like Asheville. See ya in Seattle!:-)
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Old 08-31-2011, 06:58 AM
 
Location: northern Vermont - previously NM, WA, & MA
10,023 posts, read 20,076,999 times
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It's difficult to discern what might be better for you as both cities are very compatible based on your criteria listed. I would give Seattle a bit of an edge up as aesthetically I think its a more beautiful city with more waterfront, the mountains a bit more visible, a nicer skyline, and closer to Vancouver, BC (definitely a big plus). Most mornings when I woke up in Seattle in the 5 years I lived there I would step out onto my apartment balcony always say to myself... my god this city is so beautiful. With all the hills, waterfront, Mount Rainier/Casades/Olympic mountains, the views are just phenomenal.

That said Portland could work very well too. Portland has an edge up on public transit, and though Seattle is slowly catching up, Portland has its whole metro area covered with light rail lines. As far as scenery is concerned, think if Seattle and Pittsburgh had a love child, you would have Portland. Portland reminds me of Pittsburgh a little as its a river city with hills, greenery, and lots of bridges. Portland's downtown is also a bit more old world to me than Seattle (pioneer architecture, short blocks, narrow streets, streetcar lines). Portland has excellent parks, the riverfront Park, and Washington Park is so close to downtown yet you could walk into the thick of it and never feel like you were close to any large city with all its dense forest, gardens, and greenery. Portland has a bit more grit than Seattle also. Basically it comes down to do you want to live in a seaport city or a river city?

Another poster here had mentioned all the weekend getaways within Seattle's periphery and they are very appealing. But Portland also has many desirable getaways within its range.

Closer to the open Pacific Ocean and its surf; Oregon coast, Cannnon Beach/Seaside 1-1.5 hours
Bend/Central Oregon High Desert and Mount Bachelor (best skiing in the US Pac NW) - 3 hours
Mount Hood/Columbia River Gorge - 1 hour
Willamette Valley wineries - 1-1.5 hours
also you got Mt. St. Helens, Crater lake, 400 miles of beautiful coastline in Oregon (the drive on 101 is jawdropping), Silver Falls state park near Salem (7 waterfall cascades in one park). Oregon has much to explore.


One big decisive factor for you may be your budget. $1200 will get you a decent apartment in Seattle sure, but it will take you a lot further in Portland. Portland is definitely more affordable. I also found dining out in Portland to be a bit more affordable as well. Good luck in your decision. Honestly based on your criteria though you can't go wrong in either city.

Last edited by Champ le monstre du lac; 08-31-2011 at 07:12 AM..
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Old 09-05-2011, 12:18 AM
 
Location: Sag Harbor, NY (The Hamptons)
351 posts, read 486,229 times
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Seattle has many beautiful sights, but the Portland area offers 80% of the beauty of Seattle with only 20% of the traffic congestion. All that water around Seattle means there is limited room to cost effectively build roads. Consequently, (very) heavy traffic is a way of life for most people living in Seattle. In this respect, and in many other respects, Portland is MUCH more enjoyable for day-to-day living and exploring. In general, Portland is a very comfortable city, with much to offer - huge bookstores, theater, ballroom dancing, fantastic food, interesting historical architecture, very nice layout, great neighborhoods with lots of character, famous rose gardens, great parks, etc., etc. If you check out both cities, you will probably find that Seattle is fun to visit, but that Portland is very fun to call "home". Across the board, Portland is probably in the top five cities in the USA and has won so many awards that there is not enough room here to list them all. Do a Google search and check out YouTube videos on these two cities.
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Old 09-05-2011, 12:58 AM
 
413 posts, read 702,878 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QuickStudy178 View Post
Seattle has many beautiful sights, but the Portland area offers 80% of the beauty of Seattle with only 20% of the traffic congestion. All that water around Seattle means there is limited room to cost effectively build roads. Consequently, (very) heavy traffic is a way of life for most people living in Seattle.
Not really. I've lived in Seattle for five years, including in the heart of downtown, and I don't think it's particularly bad. Things are fairly congested at rush hour but nothing that out of the ordinary for a city its size.

In my experience, the majority of the complaints about Seattle's "terrible" traffic come from people who commute between Seattle and the East Side of Lake Washington. Todrive to Seattle, they must take either the State Route 520 bridge or Interstate 90 bridge which are inevitable traffic choke points, as bridges going a cross a large body of water tend to be.
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Old 09-05-2011, 04:27 PM
 
Location: Sag Harbor, NY (The Hamptons)
351 posts, read 486,229 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Bowen View Post
Not really. I've lived in Seattle for five years, including in the heart of downtown, and I don't think it's particularly bad. Things are fairly congested at rush hour but nothing that out of the ordinary for a city its size.

In my experience, the majority of the complaints about Seattle's "terrible" traffic come from people who commute between Seattle and the East Side of Lake Washington. To drive to Seattle, they must take either the State Route 520 bridge or Interstate 90 bridge which are inevitable traffic choke points, as bridges going a cross a large body of water tend to be.
If you live and work in the same neighborhood, or the one directly adjacent to where you live, then the commute is not a big deal. However, if you have to drive across Seattle from one side to the other or north and south, then you will often spend much of your time behind the wheel. I've worked in sales for 20 years and have had to drive all over the Seattle area, and all over the Portland area. Driving in Portland is a cake-walk compared to Seattle. And while I am a big fan of ferries and enjoy seeing the whales, having to regularly use ferries for work-related tasks is another big time waster.
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