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Thread summary:

Moving to Portland: downtown, demographic data, neighborhood , traffic, university, grad student.

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Old 03-20-2008, 08:13 PM
 
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I might move to Portland. I wonder about the neighborhoods there in which I might rent. I'll give you an example of what I'm looking for in terms of busses, safety, cost, things-to-do-factor, etc...

In my city: Shadyside is the expensive place where grad students rent for close access to the universities. Nice restaurants and bars, good bus access. Really just kind of nice apartments with old character and charm. Close to other places you want to be.

Squirrel Hill is less expensive, more residential, more creative than yuppie, nice trees and shade. Safe. Busses not as good. Close to places you want to be.

East Liberty is cheap but generally dangerous and ugly. Smells like garbage. Man without teeth yells a lot. Good busses.

Wilkinsburg: you'll die here.

Point Breeze: very cool, artsy place with some reasonble rent and not so many loud college students. Busses and such ok.

...ok, that's an example. If you can do the same for Portland, you are my hero for the rest of the day.
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Old 03-20-2008, 09:20 PM
 
Location: Maryland not Murlin
8,248 posts, read 23,121,081 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Smily Gladshanks View Post
I might move to Portland. I wonder about the neighborhoods there in which I might rent. I'll give you an example of what I'm looking for in terms of busses, safety, cost, things-to-do-factor, etc...

In my city: Shadyside is the expensive place where grad students rent for close access to the universities. Nice restaurants and bars, good bus access. Really just kind of nice apartments with old character and charm. Close to other places you want to be.

Squirrel Hill is less expensive, more residential, more creative than yuppie, nice trees and shade. Safe. Busses not as good. Close to places you want to be.

East Liberty is cheap but generally dangerous and ugly. Smells like garbage. Man without teeth yells a lot. Good busses.

Wilkinsburg: you'll die here.

Point Breeze: very cool, artsy place with some reasonble rent and not so many loud college students. Busses and such ok.

...ok, that's an example. If you can do the same for Portland, you are my hero for the rest of the day.
Judging by what you wrote as a guide to what you are looking for, I feel that I first must comment on the bus system by saying that it is not that great. For the most part, you will not have any trouble going from downtown out to either a) Amtrak station (but you could probably walk there from downtown) b) the jet port (uh, that's what the airport is known as) or c) the mall. If you want to go anywhere else then you are probably SOL as far as a bus ride is concerned. Also, don't plan to ride the bus on Sundays. You'll either wait a long time for a bus that is not going to show, or wait a really long time for one that is.

So, you're a grad student? Cool. A lot of kids get the heck out of here once they graduate, so you'll definitely be one of a kind.

Most of your demographic lives between the West End and Downtown, or on the other side of the East End, but the entire section north of Cumberland between Forest and Washington is a no-no-basically East Liberty, but men without teeth can be found yelling all over Portland.

Shadyside, Squirrel Hill and Point Breeze are all found on the peninsula (East End through downtown to West End. Aside from the USM area, you probably won't want to live north of 295.
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Old 03-20-2008, 09:53 PM
 
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Originally Posted by K-Luv View Post
but the entire section north of Cumberland between Forest and Washington is a no-no-basically East Liberty, but men without teeth can be found yelling all over Portland.
Nailed it K-Luv! I was going to suggest you specifically stay away from Grant and Sherman Streets and the surrounding areas in particular, though K-Luv has broadened the area somewhat. The east end is OK on the harbor side but you have to be beyond Munjoy Hill to get into the higher end areas, If you can afford it Park Street is very nice, basically town houses converted from large old homes and businesses. I like that area. Also there are some pretty nice condo's and apartments near the Court building. My Stepson has a nice place on Silver Street just above the Old Port area and he loves it there. Portland's busses are not so good. The system is old and outdated. I sometimes wonder why they bother with it.
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Old 03-21-2008, 07:22 AM
 
Location: Maryland not Murlin
8,248 posts, read 23,121,081 times
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When I first popped into town I almost moved onto Sherman, but ended up on Grant. I would have preferred Sherman as it does not appear to be that bad. The particular block that I ended up on is literally divided in half. The western portion contains many undesirable elements while the eastern half is students, professionals, and other generally good people. My apartment is right on the dividing line, and although it is probably the best apartment that I have lived in (it is pretty awesome despite the area) I am moving out as soon as the lease is up.

The neighborhood between Park, High, Congress and Westen(?) is sort of an anomaly. One side of a street can contain nice working or middle class residents while across the street contains people that makes you wonder where they came from. One block would be nice, the next not-so-nice.
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Old 03-21-2008, 09:33 AM
 
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I can't offer much assistance with Portland neighborhoods...and you've received lots of useful info. from the members here.

I had to respond to tell you I used to live in Shadyside! After five years there, we moved to Mt. Lebanon for the public schools and we really missed the social aspect / convenience of walking to the shops in Shadyside!

We've been in Portland for almost four years now...but don't have any first hand experience renting in this City. The Old Port area is a little reminiscent of Shadyside...great restaurants, pubs, good music scene and eclectic book/gift/clothing stores...not quite as "polished" as Walnut Street and not as "commercial" (as in ...you won't find The Gap or Banana Republic in the Old Port, which enhances the charm ;-)!

Good news: You won't find any neighborhood here to be similar to Wilkinsburg or East Liberty (or ..."Sliberty" ).

Quick search...

1 Bedroom in historic West End minutes from the Old Port (http://maine.craigslist.org/apa/613577416.html - broken link)

Heart of the trendy West End includes parking and electric!! (broken link)

Cute Studio Close to USM! H/HW Included -- Available Now! (broken link)


I wish you well in your decision to move!
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Old 03-21-2008, 01:06 PM
 
8,767 posts, read 16,951,427 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K-Luv View Post
When I first popped into town I almost moved onto Sherman, but ended up on Grant. I would have preferred Sherman as it does not appear to be that bad. The particular block that I ended up on is literally divided in half. The western portion contains many undesirable elements while the eastern half is students, professionals, and other generally good people. My apartment is right on the dividing line, and although it is probably the best apartment that I have lived in (it is pretty awesome despite the area) I am moving out as soon as the lease is up.

The neighborhood between Park, High, Congress and Westen(?) is sort of an anomaly. One side of a street can contain nice working or middle class residents while across the street contains people that makes you wonder where they came from. One block would be nice, the next not-so-nice.
When Pineland Hospital and Training Center was in operation in Gray there were far fewer mentally ill people on the streets of Portland. Since the closing of that facility there is really no place for the borderline functionally mentally ill and chronic alcoholic to get help or live. The state pays to integrate these people by paying for apartments in residential areas. Most of these people should be under 24 hour supervision but the state will not build a facility to house them and take care of them. The state sees fit to drop these people in the middle of the city where the residents are supposed to welcome them with open arms. Many of these people can't go to the bathroom unassisted yet they roam the streets of Portland un-aided. I know you have seen these people everywhere in the city K-Luv. Do you feel safe having these people in your neighborhood? Does housing the mentally ill in these neighborhoods help the area in any way ..I think the answer is no. I'm not for warehousing the mentally ill but Pineland was a very nice community where these people got the help they needed in a pretty country setting not unlike a college campus. Now they're left to fend for themselves on the streets of Portland...That's compassion??? Go look at Pineland today, it's now a gorgeous multi million dollar horse farm. The state sold it for pennies on the dollar when all they had to do was just put a little money into repairing the facility. They don't mind shelling out the thousands in rent in Portland though do they?
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Old 03-21-2008, 06:15 PM
 
158 posts, read 485,991 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Irishinmaine View Post
I can't offer much assistance with Portland neighborhoods...and you've received lots of useful info. from the members here.

I had to respond to tell you I used to live in Shadyside! After five years there, we moved to Mt. Lebanon for the public schools and we really missed the social aspect / convenience of walking to the shops in Shadyside!

We've been in Portland for almost four years now...but don't have any first hand experience renting in this City. The Old Port area is a little reminiscent of Shadyside...great restaurants, pubs, good music scene and eclectic book/gift/clothing stores...not quite as "polished" as Walnut Street and not as "commercial" (as in ...you won't find The Gap or Banana Republic in the Old Port, which enhances the charm ;-)!

Good news: You won't find any neighborhood here to be similar to Wilkinsburg or East Liberty (or ..."Sliberty" ).

Quick search...

1 Bedroom in historic West End minutes from the Old Port (http://maine.craigslist.org/apa/613577416.html - broken link)

Heart of the trendy West End includes parking and electric!! (broken link)

Cute Studio Close to USM! H/HW Included -- Available Now! (broken link)


I wish you well in your decision to move!
Irish!! How are yinz? (sorry, had to). Fancy chatting with someone from my neighborhood in my little city. I did get some good advice, and thanks for the links. What else can you tell me about Portland? ...Here's the deal: I'm willing to live in a small place,,,,sort of like you might find here in Shady,,,you know, small but nice-ish (not crazy expensive, because it's small). So I'd love to find a neighborhood close to the same kinds of charm we have here in the east side of the 'burgh. ...I just wonder, what is the same, Portland-to-Pittsburgh, and what is different? In your 4 years of comparison, that is? ...and I bet the traffic and crime is pretty tame by 'burgh standards (well, 'burgh crime and traffic are both rather tame, too).

Thanks to all of you for your input. Keep it coming.
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Old 03-21-2008, 06:28 PM
 
158 posts, read 485,991 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by K-Luv View Post
I feel that I first must comment on the bus system by saying that it is not that great.

So, you're a grad student? Cool. A lot of kids get the heck out of here once they graduate, so you'll definitely be one of a kind.
Well, I'm a 35-yo non-traditional, single graduate student. I'm an anomaly, basically. Since statistics suggest I am likely to remain single (and I prefer to use the stats as a crutch and excuse), I have this feeling that Portland will be a good, quietER, unique place to fit my different-sort-of-life. What do I know?

...And you have mountains and snow. And other good things. I helped build houses in Dedham for a week, and that was weird, but I felt attached to the state--it's so like my little mountain childhood in Western PA. And Portland seems like the kind of place that has the good stuff of just about any city...just lots less of it. I kind of like that.

And if the traffic is not insane, I don't care much about the busses. I guess I was thinking "proximity," rather than "mode of transport." Sorry, not very clear.

yeah, I don't know. We'll see.
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Old 03-21-2008, 06:35 PM
 
Location: Florida (SW)
40,168 posts, read 19,589,055 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maineah View Post
When Pineland Hospital and Training Center was in operation in Gray there were far fewer mentally ill people on the streets of Portland. Since the closing of that facility there is really no place for the borderline functionally mentally ill and chronic alcoholic to get help or live. The state pays to integrate these people by paying for apartments in residential areas. Most of these people should be under 24 hour supervision but the state will not build a facility to house them and take care of them. The state sees fit to drop these people in the middle of the city where the residents are supposed to welcome them with open arms. Many of these people can't go to the bathroom unassisted yet they roam the streets of Portland un-aided. I know you have seen these people everywhere in the city K-Luv. Do you feel safe having these people in your neighborhood? Does housing the mentally ill in these neighborhoods help the area in any way ..I think the answer is no. I'm not for warehousing the mentally ill but Pineland was a very nice community where these people got the help they needed in a pretty country setting not unlike a college campus. Now they're left to fend for themselves on the streets of Portland...That's compassion??? Go look at Pineland today, it's now a gorgeous multi million dollar horse farm. The state sold it for pennies on the dollar when all they had to do was just put a little money into repairing the facility. They don't mind shelling out the thousands in rent in Portland though do they?
State facilities for the mentally retarded, including Pinelands, were not the answer. I won't take us off track with a full response, but the involuntary commitment of people based on their inteligence and/or need for assistance with personal care never was humane or legal. I doubt there is one person in the state of Maine who would opt for involuntary commitment to an institution which is unable to protect them from the vilest abuse or to allow for the slightest degree of privacy or individual choice. I don't intend to respond further, but couldnt let the previous post stand unchallenged.
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Old 03-21-2008, 08:37 PM
 
8,767 posts, read 16,951,427 times
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Originally Posted by elston View Post
State facilities for the mentally retarded, including Pinelands, were not the answer. I won't take us off track with a full response, but the involuntary commitment of people based on their inteligence and/or need for assistance with personal care never was humane or legal. I doubt there is one person in the state of Maine who would opt for involuntary commitment to an institution which is unable to protect them from the vilest abuse or to allow for the slightest degree of privacy or individual choice. I don't intend to respond further, but couldnt let the previous post stand unchallenged.
Good.... you can move in next door to them then. Letting them wander the streets of Portland or where ever they place them,deficating and urinating all over the place, scaring the crap out of little kids that have to walk by. That's an improvement over the setting they were in before? Improvement for whom? The now neglected patient or the people who are now forced to accept these people as the way life should be? I'm not talking about someone with Downs Syndrome who is capable of taking care of themselves, I'm talking about the severely mentally ill who are released in the city with very little if any supervision. Sure there are abuses in any institution and there were families who abused the state institutions because they did not want to accept the responsibility or embarrassment of having a mentally ill child to raise. That was wrong but it's not the whole story. I have witnessed the semi functionally mentally ill standing on the side of the street covered in pi** screaming at the top of their lungs and no one would help them. So the cops come and haul them away ....again. Portland is filled with people who should, for their own good be institutionalized, period. Most of these people are incapable of making a reasoned individual choice so that is not an issue here. The high visibility, in-your-face, guilt, approach does nothing for those they are supposedly trying to help and certainly does nothing for the liveability of the city. I do remember what Portland was like before it became Maine's dump for the formerly institutionalized. If it wasn't a problem then people like K-Luv wouldn't mention the screaming toothless men all over the city. It's a big problem in Maine and especially in Portland and it needs to be addressed!

Last edited by Maineah; 03-21-2008 at 09:00 PM..
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