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Old 12-31-2014, 01:12 PM
 
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Hello,

I am approaching my thirties in a couple of years. College graduate and writer. I need help figuring out which city to move to. I visited Portland (Eugene, and Lake Oswego) a few years ago and loved it. It was green, people were friendly, I was so sad upon returning to California and seeing the rampant brown that colors everything here.

I don't care much for a nightlife. I rather like book shops, coffee shops, good food, movies, and safe neighborhoods, but I still want to drink beer and cocktails once in a while.

I am also looking to get a county job or something.

I want to move to Portland. But I've researched Salem and it has a lot of things that appeal to me: hiking, hours drive from the coast. But I've never actually been to Salem.

I just need some advice on where would be better for me to move and how to go about it. I am open to any other city in the Willamette Valley also.

I've heard it's hard to get a job in Portland. Not sure if that's true now.

Any help or advice is appreciated. Thank you!
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Old 12-31-2014, 01:52 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
10,944 posts, read 19,240,372 times
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Jobs are still hard to find so that is where you should focus your efforts.

Of the cities you mention Portland and Eugene would be where I would look. Generally speaking Portland has higher living expenses but to offset that it has an excellent public transit system. Eugene, because of the presence of the UO, has lots of concerts & theater performances at a very reasonable price and it has the other amenities you mention.

Salem isn't where I would want to live unless my job was there. For entertainment I would go to Portland or Eugene.

In the Portland forum you will see we strongly suggest living where travel to your job is convenient, that is true state-wide.
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Old 12-31-2014, 03:19 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
15,166 posts, read 37,784,021 times
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I live in Salem. Salem is a slow paced city and is cheaper than Portland or Eugene. I like living here, but I like the slow pace for my family.

The best book shop is Powell's in Portland hands down. I love that place. Salem's local book shop is the Book Bin. They have two locations, and I like the staff there. We have some smaller used book stores as well, but Book Bin dominates.

Local coffee shops that I like are the Ike Box and Broadway Commons Coffee House. Archive just opened downtown and I haven't been there yet, but it is a coffee shop by day and cocktail place by night. We also have the Beanery and French Press for local coffee shops also. Then we have Starbucks, etc. No lack of coffee anywhere in the PNW.

We have good food here. Don't listen to people that haven't eaten here in the last 5 years. We have lived in Salem for 15 years now, and when we first moved here from Portland we had to go up there to get a good meal. We have some really good restaurants in town now. These are my favorites.

Robert's Crossing
Andaluz
Amadeus
Wild Pear
The Kitchen
Crooked House Bistro
Word of Mouth Bistro
Acme Cafe (really good breakfasts)
DaVinci's
The Drunken Cook
Rudy's
Bibim Bap House
Venti's (their taphouse has the best selection of beer)

There are other good places to eat like Super Pho, China Gourmet, Gambretti's, etc.

There are ample movie theaters in Salem. Salem Cinema is the indie theater in town so you can see pretty much everything.

Whether or not you like Salem depends on your lifestyle. If you want concerts and theater then Portland is what you want. We go to the Keller and Schnitz all the time in Portland, and it is a 50-60 minute drive. If that isn't your thing and you want a quiet, slow paced city then Salem might work. The city doesn't have the energy of Eugene or Portland because we only have a small private university in town that has 2,000 students. We don't have that young, hip vibe here. People who generally don't like Salem don't like the lack of energy.
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Old 12-31-2014, 06:25 PM
 
82 posts, read 168,316 times
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To me Salem is an uder-rated city with a lot going for it. Portland is great, but you have to want the larger city with the faster pace. As relatively new Oregonian of 3.5 years, I've yet to figure out what the big appeal is with Eugene. Nice enough, but what's the big deal? If I were to live in a college town, I would pick Corvallis.
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Old 01-01-2015, 01:13 AM
i7pXFLbhE3gq
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by romocla View Post
I don't care much for a nightlife. I rather like book shops, coffee shops, good food, movies, and safe neighborhoods, but I still want to drink beer and cocktails once in a while.
Anywhere will do. Portland will obviously have the most options. Eugene and Corvallis would also be fine.

Quote:
I am also looking to get a county job or something.
Pick anywhere that has an opening. If you're thinking of Corvallis, also look at jobs in Albany. Salem might have some state jobs.

Quote:
I want to move to Portland. But I've researched Salem and it has a lot of things that appeal to me: hiking, hours drive from the coast. But I've never actually been to Salem.
That's true of everywhere in the valley.

To me Salem is very un-Oregon. It's just a place. You could pick it up, drop it in Kansas, and it'd fit right in. It's generally just a boring, ugly, generic place that people find themselves living in for work. I can't imagine actively choosing it as a place to live if you're interested in some sort of culture or even occasional night life. There are much better options.
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Old 01-01-2015, 12:01 PM
 
82 posts, read 168,316 times
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Please enlighten us. What is this quintessential Oregon place you speak of? Because as a relative newcomer I might not get it. The places you mention are obvious outliers in this State of 95,000 square miles.

Look at several of Silverfalls posts for numerous options for culture and food right here in this "boring, ugly, generic" place. I'm not saying Salem is an exciting City, just that it is a respectable option for those of us who like a slower pace. It also seems to me to be under-rated , likely in part due to some obviously unobjective posts from people like you.
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Old 01-01-2015, 12:42 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
15,166 posts, read 37,784,021 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jumauslo View Post
As relatively new Oregonian of 3.5 years, I've yet to figure out what the big appeal is with Eugene. Nice enough, but what's the big deal? If I were to live in a college town, I would pick Corvallis.
Anytime you have a large university in a city, it creates a lot of energy for the city. Students go to clubs so it creates nightlife, and it brings in professors and other professionals associated with the university. Universities do create opportunities for the arts, concerts, etc.

Since you are newish to Oregon you will see that there is huge loyalty to Eugene and Corvallis by their graduates. Many of them seem to stay in Oregon so it creates an ongoing love of those cities. We've had people on this forum only drive down Lancaster and make their decision about Salem based on that street. Not much you can do about that.



OP, I forgot to mention the local wineries. If you come to visit Salem go to Cubanisimo, Evesham Wood (only open certain times of the year, but crazy good wine), and Ilahee Vineyards. Such good wine.
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Old 01-01-2015, 04:32 PM
 
23,663 posts, read 31,936,767 times
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One thing to be sure to do in Salem is to ride your bike down some of the streets that are lined with cherry trees during bloom season. It's absolutely enthralling -- there's a street in SE -- I think it may be 24th street on the south side of State Street that is lined with them. The grounds of the capital also have lot of cherry trees. Deepwood has some wonderful events too.
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Old 01-01-2015, 08:20 PM
i7pXFLbhE3gq
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jumauslo View Post
Please enlighten us. What is this quintessential Oregon place you speak of? Because as a relative newcomer I might not get it. The places you mention are obvious outliers in this State of 95,000 square miles.

Look at several of Silverfalls posts for numerous options for culture and food right here in this "boring, ugly, generic" place. I'm not saying Salem is an exciting City, just that it is a respectable option for those of us who like a slower pace. It also seems to me to be under-rated , likely in part due to some obviously unobjective posts from people like you.
Quite obviously, Portland, Eugene, Ashland, Corvallis, maybe even Medford. I'm not sure what point you're trying to make with the square mile statement. Yes, Oregon is large, but it's mostly an uninhabited expanse of nothingness. The "obvious outliers" are where most people live.

And yes, Salem is boring, ugly, and generic. And it's not just the abomination known as Lancaster.

And of course it's not objective. It's called having an opinion based on experience with the place. Others may like it. If I were in the market for a dead city with lots of chain stores, ugly strip malls, and car dealerships, I'd hit up Salem (or Beaverton). If I were enthralled by a prison or state hospital, Salem would be the place to be. But I'm not, so I avoid it like the plague.
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Old 01-02-2015, 02:12 PM
 
4,060 posts, read 5,210,679 times
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The Portland metro will be the strongest jobs market, hands down, in most fields. If you have skills a university might want, then UO/OSU are worth the look. Otherwise a lot of what's available for work there is in the service sector, though Eugene has some medical and a wee bit of tech and industry, and Corvallis has HP.

But Portland will also have the highest housing costs (though you can save some money if willing to rent a room in a house - the market for house shares is pretty robust), and by far the worst traffic. Compiling what others have said, it really depends on what you're looking for.

Eugene is a fairly busy college town in a mid-sized metro. Corvallis is smaller college town, without a real metro to speak of. But it's a nice town, and has a Trader Joes and a Grocery Outlet, etc.

Portland is a mid-sized city with a fairly large metro. With moderate traffic, it's an hour to drive across the metro (east-west). In the same time you could drive from Eugene to Salem, or Salem to the coast.

Salem is going to be somewhat dependent on your point of view. Respectable, smallish city with some good options for family living, but underwhelming if you're 20 and single looking for copious nightlife options. It's probably the most 'balanced' city in the state (though the rental market is very tight) in terms of a decent mix of employment and reasonable COL.

Edit - and since they all rest more or less on I-5, they're all going to be 1-2 hours from the Cascades and coast. Eugene is closest to Florence or Sisters, Salem to Newport or Jefferson, etc. so to some extent you'd want to look at what about the coast/Cascades compels you. But they're all going to be day-trippable to mountains and coast.
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