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Old 02-19-2009, 01:36 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
89 posts, read 249,849 times
Reputation: 71

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Quote:
Originally Posted by angelo129 View Post
...if you think the cold in Mpls is "ridiculous" and the winter "never ending" you really won't notice any difference in Maine. It starts early, ends late (I've seen thick ice in JUNE) and there are pot holes that lead to other universes.
Angelo -
I first want to thank you for your response and your ability to say what you feel. However - I think you have assumed my state of mind incorrectly.

First I understand that Maine is cold but it is nothing compared to NW MN (Zone 2) and Minneapolis winters - I am sorry but Portland will not receive "cold" sympathy from me - 25above is T-shirt weather (lol - I'm not kidding)

Quote:
Originally Posted by angelo129 View Post
This belief, that's based on nothing at all, will get you into deep trouble. Minneapolis is a big city; Portland is more like a mid-sized town. The opportunities are definitely not thick on the ground. You seem to think you need only find a job during the tourist season. Rents are very expensive relative to income, and things close down during the winter in a way you can't imagine unless you've actually lived in Portland. Please don't be so sure you can "make Portland work" without ever having even been here.
I do not want a big city nor have I ever implied it. I have done a great deal of research on my own and i have talked to a few restaurants in Portland and most of them hire in the late spring early summer. I thank you for your concern but also realize Minneapolis' Unemployment rate is near 10% and the service industries has almost completely dried up. The only that kept it going last year were business travelers (e.g. Target, Best Buy, AMEX, etc) however they have cut a great deal of fat out of their budgets and restaurants in the last two months are feeling the effects.

With that said I have 5 years of fine dining service and bartending in some of the cities finest restaurants, my partner (with a Culinary Arts deg.) has done every job in a restaurant (white and blue collar) for over 20 years - from waiter to Executive Chef and GM. And our friend also has a culinary degree and has over 10 years of experience in both the front and the back of house.

The definition of the statement "I'm sure I can make Portland work" accounts for the following:

1 I moved to Minneapolis 6 years ago with no job and $300 in my
pocket and I didn't know a soul down here. And I made this "big city
work"
2 When you really want something it can be had if one sacrifices
3 It was Reagan (I believe) that said if you are not in a better place in
your lives than you were 4 years ago...
4 Its a numbers game -

Minneapolis has 3,000,000 residents appx. approaching 10% (was 7% in
Jan) are unemployed = 300,000 there are currently 30,000 available jobs.
the number of service jobs available are below 50.

Portland, ME has on average from my research around 300K within close distance to downtown and including the beach towns as of Dec it was ranked 87 out of 400 and in my understanding during the summer the city fills with tourists spending money in restaurants, hotels, resorts, and bars there are 64,610 expected between July and Oct. on the cruise ships alone
(http://www.portofportlandmaine.org/schedule.pdf (broken link)). All in all there will be less competion and in turn we would be bigger fish in a smaller pond.



87 Portland-South Portland-Biddeford, ME Metropolitan NECTA 5.5


Quote:
Originally Posted by angelo129 View Post
And please also keep in mind (as I learned the hard way) that forums like this don't really represent a cross section of people in a given place. Those who have come to grief, whatever the reason, aren't likely to show up on a forum like this, and there ARE a disproportionate number of rah-rah people whose beliefs just aren't realistic. The other thing I'd mention is that experiences are unique to the person - a given place may be ideally suited to one person, they may have great luck there, and absolutely deadly to another.
I do not agree with that statement in its entirety - I bash MN all the time LOL

Quote:
Originally Posted by angelo129 View Post
Again, Portland isn't a big enough city to have whole neighborhoods of gay people (or neighborhoods of ANY specific kind of people), or specifically gay coffee shops or hangouts. There aren't enough gay people in Portland to keep a restaurant going on that basis alone. Portland is a very small city. It's hard to keep ANYTHING in business, especially during the winter. The fact that you've even asked this question indicates to me that you have a wholly wrong idea of Portland, especially as to its size and diversity.
Moderator cut: link removed, linking to competitor sites is not allowed
Gays & lesbians
National index: 100
Local index: 225

Not only is it indexed high, there are quite a few "gay" bars, businesses and churches. Also it is in the top ten for Partnered Gay Men - Small Cities and even higher for lesbian couples. Not including Ogunquit.

I hope this doesn't come off the wrong way but I feel it is important to offer a little more info about us so that in turn your response may be better fitted to our situation.

Last edited by Yac; 02-24-2009 at 05:36 AM..
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Old 02-19-2009, 05:41 AM
 
Location: Florida (SW)
46,182 posts, read 20,995,167 times
Reputation: 47043
"The Katahdin" resturant Katahdin Restaurant is not a "gay hangout" but is certainly gay friendly and lesbian owned.....and has great food!
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Old 02-19-2009, 07:35 AM
 
Location: East Boston, MA
11,291 posts, read 19,854,454 times
Reputation: 12957
Excellent response, Chandler.
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Old 02-19-2009, 09:52 AM
 
189 posts, read 285,848 times
Reputation: 368
Quote:
Originally Posted by lrfox View Post
angelo129,

I'd like to comment on your replies.

Jobs: I agree, moving to ANY city without a job lined up, especially in these times, is a bad move. I would suggest having something in advance before committing to a move.
I say what I do because my husband and I have moved often for business reasons and lived in many places. In only one instance did our (extensive) research really prepare us for what it was like to actually live there. The fact that Forbes Magazine (or some other impressive source of statistics) claims there are X number of jobs in a given place is just no guarantee of anything. When you're out of work and nothing is happening for you in spite of every effort, knowing that Forbes says you live in #6 of the top one hundred cities really will not be of any help or comfort to you. I've lived in many places where I got work within a week of looking for it. Portland, on the other hand, I found extraordinarily difficult, as did everyone I knew there, and I tell it as I see it. I'd rather contribute a word of caution than encourage people to jump off a cliff and hope for the best. However, everything on this forum represents no more than a suggestion that people can consider or discard as they see fit. If I were forced to move someplace without having a job lined up, Portland would be among the last places I'd choose. A close runner up would be Burlington, Vermont. Both are expensive (relative to wages) and work is hard to come by and to keep. My husband is making less than half the salary that his job would typically pay in another state, although our expenses are certainly not half as much. This isn't a whine, it's merely a statement of fact that could be useful to someone in making a decision.

Quote:
Originally Posted by lrfox;7520671[B
The Forum[/b]: I also agree that these forums aren't a good cross-section of people in an area. USUALLY, they tend to be pretty happy with where they are and very apt to promote their town or state. However, there are exceptions (you're clearly one of them, I tend to be another) and many of those people have contributed to this discussion.
I wouldn't promote anyplace at the expense of telling the truth. I wouldn't say that I represent someone who is unhappy with where I am - rather that I believe it's not helpful to people to tell them what's good about a place, particularly when it's kind of self-evident anyway. Maine is beautiful and has many delights for people who enjoy the outdoors. You can read about them in brochures meant for tourists, so I think it's more helpful to talk honestly about the difficulties one might encounter. Of all the places we've lived, this has been the hardest one in which to get, and keep, a job.
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Old 02-19-2009, 11:52 PM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
89 posts, read 249,849 times
Reputation: 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by angelo129 View Post
Of all the places we've lived, this has been the hardest one in which to get, and keep, a job.
But what do you both do for a living? Are you in the hospitality industry? I have to say that the best cities for me, my partner, and friend are the tourist based cities.
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Old 02-20-2009, 11:47 PM
 
Location: Maryland's 6th District.
8,350 posts, read 24,380,590 times
Reputation: 6506
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chandler85 View Post
Angelo -

First I understand that Maine is cold but it is nothing compared to NW MN (Zone 2) and Minneapolis winters - I am sorry but Portland will not receive "cold" sympathy from me - 25above is T-shirt weather (lol - I'm not kidding)
Portland itself does not get as cold as Minneapolis does, but northern and portions of eastern Maine do get that bitter cold. Yes, you will find tons of people around here who will complain about how cold it is, but it is all relative; to many people Portland is effin bum freezing cold. The other day I commented on how nice the weather was. It was sunny and about 32˚ F. The people I was with when I made that comment were like Are you nuts!?



Quote:
Originally Posted by Chandler85 View Post
But what do you both do for a living? Are you in the hospitality industry? I have to say that the best cities for me, my partner, and friend are the tourist based cities.
The tourist industry is huge here, but keep in mind that it only lasts from maybe May until Labor Day. There will be a few scragglers into October and possibly November if the weather is okay but basically count on five, possibly six months of solid work in this 'field'.
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Old 02-24-2009, 02:30 AM
 
Location: Minneapolis, MN
89 posts, read 249,849 times
Reputation: 71
Quote:
Originally Posted by K-Luv View Post
The tourist industry is huge here, but keep in mind that it only lasts from maybe May until Labor Day. There will be a few scragglers into October and possibly November if the weather is okay but basically count on five, possibly six months of solid work in this 'field'.
Well as I look at it there are three of us who will be working all summer and into the fall. We have very little overhead and 1 of us should be able to find a year round job. Kind of the plus of not having children, car payments, etc. All we have to do is pay the rent and with 3 people splitting that it shouldn't be too hard. In a perfect world we'll all get great high paying jobs but in case that doesn't happen I am sure we can survive as comfortably as we do in Minneapolis.
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Old 02-24-2009, 06:05 AM
 
Location: Florida (SW)
46,182 posts, read 20,995,167 times
Reputation: 47043
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chandler85 View Post
Well as I look at it there are three of us who will be working all summer and into the fall. We have very little overhead and 1 of us should be able to find a year round job. Kind of the plus of not having children, car payments, etc. All we have to do is pay the rent and with 3 people splitting that it shouldn't be too hard. In a perfect world we'll all get great high paying jobs but in case that doesn't happen I am sure we can survive as comfortably as we do in Minneapolis.
I have a son and daughter-in-law who supported themselves and child....working in resturants in Portland for a few years....in fact after my son got a job in human services his wife continued as a waitron because the money was good and the hours worked for them around child care. I don't believe that either of them were ever "out of work" over the 4 or 5 years that they were depending on that source of income.

I believe you will make it work. Good Luck.
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Old 02-24-2009, 08:36 AM
 
Location: Waldo County
1,220 posts, read 3,772,783 times
Reputation: 1414
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chandler85 View Post
Well as I look at it there are three of us who will be working all summer and into the fall. We have very little overhead and 1 of us should be able to find a year round job. Kind of the plus of not having children, car payments, etc. All we have to do is pay the rent and with 3 people splitting that it shouldn't be too hard. In a perfect world we'll all get great high paying jobs but in case that doesn't happen I am sure we can survive as comfortably as we do in Minneapolis.
I haven't followed this thread through its entire life, but I have read portions of it this morning. It appears to me that the poster and his partner have some fine culinary credentials.

I would suggest very strongly that you contact The Maine Restaurant Association and speak with them about opportunities for you in the food service industry here. The Maine Restaurant Association has grown considerably since the late 1970's and I believe has a very firm finger on the pulse of its industry. I would expect that they can offer you a good deal of true thoughts that will help you more than statistical surveys of questionable value and authenticity found in magazines and over the Internet.

You are correct in that it really does come down to a game of numbers. But he problem is that the entire state of Maine has a population that is smaller than the city of Minneapolis. That the greatest population density is in southwestern Maine, including Portland, doesn't mean that the average person has the money to support much more than fast food restaurants. It is true that the number of "fine dining" restaurants has grown in Maine over the past twenty years. But in "good times" their mortality rate was high, and their seasons short...three months for many, four for most. Now, we are in very hard times, and the corporate money and much of the seasonal money will be absent, and I expect the food service industry will suffer greatly this year and for a while to come. It matters little what "the numbers" indicate. The percapita income of Maine people is pretty low compared with Minneapolis and most other large, urban areas.

For planning a move and seeking employment in the food service industry, I believe there are many stronger areas to move to than Maine right now. If you and your partner can support yourselves for at least six months without ANY work, then by all means: give it a shot. If you will need to land in Portland, find housing and find a job in short order, you may regret your decision just as quickly.
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Old 03-17-2009, 05:39 AM
 
Location: USA
1,106 posts, read 2,856,785 times
Reputation: 961
Quote:
Originally Posted by Chandler85 View Post
Angelo -
I first want to thank you for your response and your ability to say what you feel. However - I think you have assumed my state of mind incorrectly.

First I understand that Maine is cold but it is nothing compared to NW MN (Zone 2) and Minneapolis winters - I am sorry but Portland will not receive "cold" sympathy from me - 25above is T-shirt weather (lol - I'm not kidding)



I do not want a big city nor have I ever implied it. I have done a great deal of research on my own and i have talked to a few restaurants in Portland and most of them hire in the late spring early summer. I thank you for your concern but also realize Minneapolis' Unemployment rate is near 10% and the service industries has almost completely dried up. The only that kept it going last year were business travelers (e.g. Target, Best Buy, AMEX, etc) however they have cut a great deal of fat out of their budgets and restaurants in the last two months are feeling the effects.

With that said I have 5 years of fine dining service and bartending in some of the cities finest restaurants, my partner (with a Culinary Arts deg.) has done every job in a restaurant (white and blue collar) for over 20 years - from waiter to Executive Chef and GM. And our friend also has a culinary degree and has over 10 years of experience in both the front and the back of house.

The definition of the statement "I'm sure I can make Portland work" accounts for the following:

1 I moved to Minneapolis 6 years ago with no job and $300 in my
pocket and I didn't know a soul down here. And I made this "big city
work"
2 When you really want something it can be had if one sacrifices
3 It was Reagan (I believe) that said if you are not in a better place in
your lives than you were 4 years ago...
4 Its a numbers game -

Minneapolis has 3,000,000 residents appx. approaching 10% (was 7% in
Jan) are unemployed = 300,000 there are currently 30,000 available jobs.
the number of service jobs available are below 50.

Portland, ME has on average from my research around 300K within close distance to downtown and including the beach towns as of Dec it was ranked 87 out of 400 and in my understanding during the summer the city fills with tourists spending money in restaurants, hotels, resorts, and bars there are 64,610 expected between July and Oct. on the cruise ships alone
(http://www.portofportlandmaine.org/schedule.pdf (broken link)). All in all there will be less competion and in turn we would be bigger fish in a smaller pond.



87 Portland-South Portland-Biddeford, ME Metropolitan NECTA 5.5




I do not agree with that statement in its entirety - I bash MN all the time LOL



Moderator cut: link removed, linking to competitor sites is not allowed
Gays & lesbians
National index: 100
Local index: 225

Not only is it indexed high, there are quite a few "gay" bars, businesses and churches. Also it is in the top ten for Partnered Gay Men - Small Cities and even higher for lesbian couples. Not including Ogunquit.

I hope this doesn't come off the wrong way but I feel it is important to offer a little more info about us so that in turn your response may be better fitted to our situation.

Best of luck to you, Chandler, I hope you find a great job and enjoy yourself in the Portland area. It's truly a beautiful place !
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