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Old 08-16-2010, 05:58 PM
 
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I visited Eugene lately and can say overall I didn't get the sense of a dangerous or gritty place so much as it being fairly suburban (in comparison to Portland for sure!) with a few sketchy areas.

Downtown itself was not so attractive, although it did seem to contain music venues, restaurants, independent theater, employers and some nice blocks separated by poor 70's style development, parking lots, empty pits (soon to be filled in?), etc. I did see some wierd older hippy-type people walking around, sometimes shirtless, and some street kids and wannbe street kids, sad but not threatening. West of downtown (not Whitaker itself but between the downtown and the Whitaker neighborhood) was decidedly sketchy with cheap 70s apartment complexes and strip-mall type developments and near the free kitchen I was both offered drugs and asked if I would sell drugs.

The south part of town, however, was attractive with well-kept historic homes giving way to 60s ranches in the leafy hills south of town. South Eugene High is apparently verywell-ranked. The River Road area was nice as well, and I saw more people hanging out by the river between the butte and the rose garden than I did downtown. I didn't spend time north of the river.

Oregon admittedly has a poor economy in most rural areas, and this shows. Being from Colorado, ranked as the thinnest state with the highest percentage of college grads and a concentration of good businesses, I certainly felt some culture shock (plus everyone was so pale!) - but met plenty of friendly people.

Again, my impression is that if you avoid the sketchy areas, Eugene is a pleasant if rainy suburban-type community with some nice parks and some things to do. It'd be nice to present a better face - spruce up the downtown and link it to the riverfront and use this to attract some young educated people and innovative businesses (beyond the University and Health care). Maybe offer free personal grooming services and tattoo removal to residents.

I did check out some websites and although Eugene doesn't appear dynamic and diverse and had little in the way of urban housing, I did find things to do from Salsa dancing to various cultural organizations, so I'm guessing there is more than meets the eye.

So overall I didn't feel like Eugene should be avoided because of crime or sketchiness, and I think the stats bear that out, but think it could stand a bit more urban vibrancy and a better economy.

That said I know most Americans (at least outside of cities) like things quiet, suburban and slow so maybe this is just what you're looking for ...
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Old 08-16-2010, 06:41 PM
 
Location: Florida
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I like to go to Eugene when I need a break from the urban mess Portland is becoming. Especially where I live where it is constantly construction and noise.

With that said Eugene is nice smaller city and in many ways it feels like it is the 60's or 70's there at times. Some of that aspect is nice but I think for someone that needs a meaningful job and living a more vibrant life, Eugene may be to slow for them. Yes I think there is noticeable crime and as mentioned in the other post there is a very noticeable poor econony. Not only in Eugene but the entire state. I think that most shocked me when moving to Portland from the East Coast. I have seen remnants of Appalachia in this state, except here it has a counter culture alternative type vibe to it. Where as in Appalachia many are dirt poor but will work in a mine or poultry factory if that is where the work is. Here in Oregon, well its a different world here.

I think Eugene is nice if one has suitable employment a stable and inviting neighborhood and neighbors. Especially if it is a stable neighborhood where neighbors don't come and go. Eugene is a rather self contained city. Medical and shopping unless one needs high end stores. Its a great place if one is interested in fitness and is health conscious. I love all the trails and the river that runs thru town. I notice they are building all the bus rapid transit lines and stations on the routes. You could do alot worse that Eugene in America. Just make a meaningful visit and make sure Eugene fits your life in the manner you need. Best of luck
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Old 08-16-2010, 09:28 PM
 
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Just to be clear, I would not say to avoid Eugene because of it's crime. I would say the opposite, that its safety is a draw. Just be careful to secure your posessions.
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Old 08-16-2010, 10:13 PM
 
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Quote:
I have seen remnants of Appalachia in this state, except here it has a counter culture alternative type vibe to it.
I was thinking the same thing, having gone to school in Appalachia ...

Quote:
You could do alot worse that Eugene in America.
From what I saw, I would agree.
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Old 08-27-2010, 10:33 PM
 
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Default Also researching Eugene

Hi There! Sounds like we have many of the same questions re: Eugene. I too am beginning my quest for a move to Oregon. I am a single mom of 2 boys and have family in both Portland and Corvallis. Currently I work for Sephora in Montrose, Colorado. If I have any new information for you, will be glad to share Laura
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Old 08-31-2010, 02:03 PM
 
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It would seem that there are some similarities between Eugene, OR and Santa Cruz, CA and Asheville, NC. Does anyone with experiences in any of these places feel the same?
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Old 08-31-2010, 03:42 PM
 
Location: Florida
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Quote:
Originally Posted by blf53 View Post
It would seem that there are some similarities between Eugene, OR and Santa Cruz, CA and Asheville, NC. Does anyone with experiences in any of these places feel the same?

Yes they all attrack alternative and counter culture types and groups in very large numbers. Portland being the larger of any of them it is much more noticeable in this city. Its politics and more politics that as far as I am concerned, are very Radical and foreign to most East Coast liberal people. With the exception of Asheville that is.

I think for a person considering any of the cities mentioned. The personality traits of these cities really needs to be considered. I don't care what anyone says, that anyone can find thier niche in these type cities. It is not true they very much attrack a certain crowd, and that crowd quite possibly is not for everyone.

You can also add Austin to this list of cities also.
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Old 09-02-2010, 01:14 PM
 
2 posts, read 2,748 times
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Couple of folks keep repeating "Most participants have had bad experiences in Eugene."

I don't believe them, and I think they have an agenda, and I think they're not at all honest. And let me add my voice to those who haven't had a problem or felt unsafe living in Eugene. Been here a little over three years, and I walk half an hour to and from work every day (by choice -- I think best while walking), and I feel perfectly safe here. And there's tons to love about the town.
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Old 09-02-2010, 04:11 PM
 
Location: Florida
8,243 posts, read 14,214,059 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elcnu View Post
Couple of folks keep repeating "Most participants have had bad experiences in Eugene."

I don't believe them, and I think they have an agenda, and I think they're not at all honest. And let me add my voice to those who haven't had a problem or felt unsafe living in Eugene. Been here a little over three years, and I walk half an hour to and from work every day (by choice -- I think best while walking), and I feel perfectly safe here. And there's tons to love about the town.

I agree Eugene is not that bad. It does have its crime and that should not be taken lightly. However if one feels unsafe living in Eugene. Then they should never live in many of the areas of Portland, or especially some of the bigger cities around the country. Eugene is pretty tame compared to many places. But it is not perfect no place is.
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Old 09-03-2010, 02:18 AM
 
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i've lived for the past 25 years very close to santa cruz, and am relocating to eugene shortly (i also spent 4 years in college in eugene). to me, eugene seems like a sort of working class santa cruz. santa cruz has gotten so expensive that it's very unaffordable for all but the upper middle class now unless you bought in before housing costs skyrocketed in california. eugene is still affordable and has the same "vibe" albeit without the surf culture aspect. granted, there is more rain in eugene, and i may miss the weather, and the easy access to the ocean. fortunately the ocean is not all that far away from eugene, plus it's so much easier to "get out of dodge" when the urge strikes. you have to suffer through a much crazier maze of freeways to access other parts of the state from santa cruz.
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