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Old 10-02-2008, 11:10 AM
 
Location: Austin, TX
1,267 posts, read 3,991,899 times
Reputation: 648

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I know all three cities have similar climates, and I know Portland is much larger than the other two (though Eugene and Salem are almost the exact same population), but what other differences are there between these cities? I'm mainly looking at:

1. Housing prices

2. Types of employment

3. Crime

4. Schools

5. Weather (if there is any difference)

6. Access to outdoor recreation (we loved the beaches to the west of Portland and the waterfalls, etc. along the Columbia River Gorge)

7. Overall political climate (Portland is liberal, but what about Salem and Eugene)

8. Shopping/restaurants, urban or small-town feel (we liked Portland but Salem and Eugene may be large enough to not feel like hick towns to us)


Any comparisons are greatly appreciated
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Old 10-02-2008, 04:23 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
15,068 posts, read 37,270,482 times
Reputation: 15839
Quote:
Originally Posted by jread View Post

1. Housing prices
Salem is the cheapest of the three cities.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jread View Post
2. Types of employment
Portland has the most diverse jobs and probably the best for the high tech jobs. Eugene has U of O which is a huge employer. Salem is the state capital so we have around 16,000 state jobs which is by far the largest employer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jread View Post
3. Crime
All three rate above national averages (for similar sized cities) for petty crimes like car break-ins. All three rank below for violent crimes. Salem and Eugene have similar crime rates.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jread View Post
4. Schools
All three have some good schools, average schools, and not so good schools. You really need to go on a neighborhood by neighborhood assessment of these.

In general Oregon schools are seriously underfunded.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jread View Post
5. Weather (if there is any difference)
I've lived in Portland and Salem, but not Eugene so I can't speak for the weather there. I think Salem has less rain and gray than Portland. I just remember with Portland many foggy mornings until it burned off, and we don't have that as much in Salem.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jread View Post
6. Access to outdoor recreation (we loved the beaches to the west of Portland and the waterfalls, etc. along the Columbia River Gorge)
In Portland we hit the coast at Cannon Beach and Manzanita and in Salem we tend to go to Lincoln City/Newport area. There are great points all along the coast, so I don't think there is much difference in my opinion.

We have Silverfalls State Park about 30 minutes from Salem and it is incredible. One of my favorite places. We are also about 30 minutes from the Santiam River which is great for fishing and rafting. Detroit Reservoir is about 40-45 minutes away.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jread View Post
7. Overall political climate (Portland is liberal, but what about Salem and Eugene)
I think Eugene is the most liberal, then Portland, then Salem. Salem still votes blue, but is definitely the most conservative of the cities. I'd call the politics here fairly moderate to mildly conservative.

Quote:
Originally Posted by jread View Post
8. Shopping/restaurants, urban or small-town feel (we liked Portland but Salem and Eugene may be large enough to not feel like hick towns to us)
I originally came from the Chicago area 18 years ago, then Portland to Salem. I wouldn't classify Salem as a hick town, but there is a serious lack of good restaurants around here. Now that has been changing since I moved here 9 years ago, but it is still a problem. For someone coming from a small town perspective, they may think we have a lot in this vein. There is the huge outlet mall in Woodburn and there is tons of shopping there. We are starting to get a few more nice boutiques in town as the downtown area is being revitalized, but it needs more time.

Having lived in Portland (West Hills area and Lake Oswego), Salem is a much slower paced lifestyle.
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Old 10-02-2008, 04:30 PM
 
Location: Austin, TX
1,267 posts, read 3,991,899 times
Reputation: 648
Thank you so much for your response. It sounds like Salem is a good candidate on many fronts, so we'll keep it in mind. We are used to living in a city about the size of Portland (Austin) so it would take some adjustment, but I think Salem is probably big enough to have most of what we need. If not, Portland isn't far away. I guess we'll just see what areas have job opportunities and where we could afford to live. I have worked for the government my entire career so I do like that there are so many state jobs in Salem.
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Old 10-02-2008, 04:37 PM
 
Location: Salem, OR
15,068 posts, read 37,270,482 times
Reputation: 15839
I had a little culture shock coming from Chicago to Portland to Salem. I was used to being able to go out and a listen to music (a biggie in Austin), great food, etc.

I didn't have kids when we moved here, but now that I do, I appreciate that it only takes me 10 minutes to get to where I need to go. We don't have big city traffic.

It took me a while to figure out how to slow down, and once I did that I adjusted just fine. I have taken my kids up to the theater in Portland and we may try the symphony for their Christmas concert. It's only a hour to get downtown Portland and we head up there a lot to hit the Science Museum (OMSI), the Zoo, or the Children's Museum.
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Old 03-03-2009, 10:25 AM
 
198 posts, read 375,387 times
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Hi,

Don't mean to be negative. Salem is pretty depressing in my opinion. You need to see it in person. I wouldn't consider it. Maybe areas in the country or very specific neighborhoods.

Eugene is beautiful. The employment is hard. A highly educated population and not enough jobs. Many people waiting tables. The real estate costs are high compared to the available wages.

Portland is varied. The unemployment is high in Oregon now. I wouldn't consider it without employment that truly covers the cost of living.

The other issue is the current question of home prices. An iffy time to buy.

You can find good schools in any of these areas. My suggestion...Check educational stats and census info and you will see what fits.

People seem to make the mistake of thinking things will be what they have been.
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Old 03-06-2009, 08:26 PM
 
11,149 posts, read 15,065,750 times
Reputation: 18823
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mclaurin View Post
Don't mean to be negative. Salem is pretty depressing in my opinion. You need to see it in person. I wouldn't consider it.

Eugene is beautiful. The employment is hard. A highly educated population and not enough jobs. Many people waiting tables. The real estate costs are high compared to the available wages.

Portland is varied. The unemployment is high in Oregon now. I wouldn't consider it without employment that truly covers the cost of living.
I've lived in all three cities and agree completely with this assessment!
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Old 03-08-2009, 09:42 AM
 
5,274 posts, read 13,654,891 times
Reputation: 5864
Quote:
Originally Posted by Silverfall View Post
Salem is the cheapest of the three cities.



Portland has the most diverse jobs and probably the best for the high tech jobs. Eugene has U of O which is a huge employer. Salem is the state capital so we have around 16,000 state jobs which is by far the largest employer.



All three rate above national averages (for similar sized cities) for petty crimes like car break-ins. All three rank below for violent crimes. Salem and Eugene have similar crime rates.



All three have some good schools, average schools, and not so good schools. You really need to go on a neighborhood by neighborhood assessment of these.

In general Oregon schools are seriously underfunded.



I've lived in Portland and Salem, but not Eugene so I can't speak for the weather there. I think Salem has less rain and gray than Portland. I just remember with Portland many foggy mornings until it burned off, and we don't have that as much in Salem.



In Portland we hit the coast at Cannon Beach and Manzanita and in Salem we tend to go to Lincoln City/Newport area. There are great points all along the coast, so I don't think there is much difference in my opinion.

We have Silverfalls State Park about 30 minutes from Salem and it is incredible. One of my favorite places. We are also about 30 minutes from the Santiam River which is great for fishing and rafting. Detroit Reservoir is about 40-45 minutes away.



I think Eugene is the most liberal, then Portland, then Salem. Salem still votes blue, but is definitely the most conservative of the cities. I'd call the politics here fairly moderate to mildly conservative.


I originally came from the Chicago area 18 years ago, then Portland to Salem. I wouldn't classify Salem as a hick town, but there is a serious lack of good restaurants around here. Now that has been changing since I moved here 9 years ago, but it is still a problem. For someone coming from a small town perspective, they may think we have a lot in this vein. There is the huge outlet mall in Woodburn and there is tons of shopping there. We are starting to get a few more nice boutiques in town as the downtown area is being revitalized, but it needs more time.

Having lived in Portland (West Hills area and Lake Oswego), Salem is a much slower paced lifestyle.
I would only add one thing and change one answer.

Withg respect to outdoos access, Eugene is in Lane county. That county has a ski resort (Willamette Pass) and the beach (Florence) and both are very close in.

With respect to politics, Portland is violently liberal to the point of discrimination against conservatives-moderates, Eugene is moderate with an extended "let's legalize drugs" group and Salem is moderate to conservative.
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