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Old 04-27-2008, 09:02 PM
 
Location: Illinois
3 posts, read 32,904 times
Reputation: 11

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Hey everyone, I've been lurking on this thread for some time now. hehe. I've searched Astoria and read just about everything thats been said about it so far, but I've got just a few more questions that I need some good, honest answers for. You see, I'm writing a story and I have a feeling that Astoria may just be my perfect setting. =]

I currently live in a city of 100,000+ people and often feel like I know *everyone*. Now when seeing that Astoria has only 10,000 or so people--whew! So, my questions are--

*How tight-knit is the community? Very hospitable people, lots of "friendly faces"? Is this a place where everyone is connected somehow?

*If it is a tight-knit community, is the gossip ring really bad? Or are the folks friendly and tend to mind their own business?

*What about high schools? How many are there? Do the children often move through school with the same children all their lives? Are the schools very large?

Now the protagonist in my story is a young girl, age 16/17, moving from a very large city. She's used to bright lights, flashing signs and the works--which I've come to see Astoria is not all about (which is great!) So I'd like to know what Astoria *is* all about for teenagers.

*Do teens often spend their weekends in town? If so, what do they do?

*What are the "hottest" places for teens to hang out?

Now my next question is a bit more odd, but as far as housing, I've read that there are lots of old houses, etc. But can you tell me how exactly the housing is set up?

*Are there lots of small neighborhoods or bigger ones? Are the houses more lumped together in the town?

*Is the housing more spread out with plenty of property in between?

*Are there houses right outside the "main" area of town, more in the forest-y areas?

Sorry for such a lengthy post! And I'll probably think of tons more questions along the way. hehe. Any and all information is very welcome and I thank you profusely for taking the time to help. =]
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Old 04-27-2008, 09:10 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
10,936 posts, read 19,114,860 times
Reputation: 8030
Before you write about a town I recommend you visit it first.
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Old 04-27-2008, 09:21 PM
 
Location: Illinois
3 posts, read 32,904 times
Reputation: 11
I desperately wish I could, but alas. I'm a very poor student. lol.
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Old 04-29-2008, 09:42 AM
 
2 posts, read 14,038 times
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Astoria has an interesting vibe....it's kind of a tourist town so in the summer it's really alive with people from all over. In the off season it's really quiet....grey, moody, lonely feeling with alot of interesting local characters....fishermen, loggers, hippie types etc.
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Old 04-29-2008, 01:39 PM
 
Location: Southern Oregon
3,018 posts, read 4,682,491 times
Reputation: 3340
Astoria is an interesting town, it was the first permanent settlement in Oregon. The older area of Astoria is built on a hill, so allot of the streets have steep grades to them. The main downtown town center sets along the Columbia River waterfront just to the south of the Astoria-Megler Bridge. North of the bridge is the industrial area.
I would say that most of the homes sit on an average city lot. The farther out of town you get the more the homes are spread out ie, Navy Heights, Tongue Point and Fern Hill, these communities lay to the east of downtown Astoria. To the south you have the Youngs Bay area, Daggett Point and Miles Crossing. To the west is the small town of Warrenton.
Yes, Astoria does have it colorful characters, very typical of most small towns.
As to your question about teenagers in Astoria, I've no idea, I do know that allot of them are involved with their school activities.

I would suggest that you look at the local newspaper articles this may give you an idea of life in Astoria. The paper is called The Daily Astorian.

Good luck on your research
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Old 04-29-2008, 04:56 PM
 
Location: suburbia
595 posts, read 2,647,169 times
Reputation: 231
I visited Astoria on my trip out there this past summer.

Astoria is known as the San Francisco of the Pacific Northwest for it's steep streets and architecture. (I wish I could post the pic I have of it, but its too big)

It has a pretty cool riverfront with a trolley running along the banks of the Columbian River.

It's actual downtown, however, is not what I had expected. Pretty small and not too many things to do. As you make your way through the rest of Oregon, though, you will find yourself plenty of cool downtowns!

Astoria has the most historic buildings than any other towns on the Oregon Coast

It is also the place where movies such as Kindergarten Cop, The Goonies, and The Ring movies were filmed. Pretty cool, huh?

Astoria also has it's own cruise ship terminal.

Overall, it is a pretty cool town, and is deffinatly worth at least a visit...


Downtown, taken from the Astoria Columm
Attached Thumbnails
Astoria Research-oregon-vacation-07-111.jpg  
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Old 04-29-2008, 04:58 PM
 
3 posts, read 21,362 times
Reputation: 11
Cool Astoria

I lived there for a few years, it's ok, but the neighboring town Seaside is better. Astoria is like a ghetto version of San Francisco. There is one high school, it was recently remodeled and is really nice. People are generally nice. I wouldn't say there is any exceptional sense of community. If you're from the mid-west you would probably think people are paranoid and rude there. If you're from a large, west coast city you would probably feel like people are quaint, but nice. There is a serious drug problem in the community. Meth use is out of control. And this is coming from someone who has never used meth so it's interesting that I saw so much of it.

You really should visit before writing about it, but the www.dailyastorian.com will give you a push in the right direction. There was also a lot of fun movies filmed there....Goonies, Free Willie, Kindergarten Cop, The Ring......I know there are more, just do a Google search.

You can also look up people who live in the area on myspace and ask them questions...

Just remember, the best tip for any writer is to write about what you know!

Good Luck!
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Old 04-29-2008, 05:33 PM
 
Location: Illinois
3 posts, read 32,904 times
Reputation: 11
Thanks a lot for all the info guys...every bit is helpful! =]

The location isn't a huge part of the novel and I'll probably never name it precisely (to keep a bit of ambiguit, leave it open to interpretation), but I wanted to get a sense of how a character may feel living there, y'know? Again, thanks a ton!!
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