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Old 08-10-2008, 07:47 PM
 
7 posts, read 14,742 times
Reputation: 14

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Hi folks

I left Portland for Arizona in 1987 and now, 21 years later, I want to come home! I wonder if that old cliche' is true that "you can never go home." Maybe you can help me decide?

I've been reading the posts here and sure sounds like a lot has changed! The names of some streets and freeways have changed, but mostly what I notice is that downtown seems to have taken a turn for the worst? I've seen some documentaries on TV about how downtown Portland has become pretty (SADLY) overrun by teenage meth addicts and from some posts I've seen on here, it sounds like that's true. Particularly the post from DestinationSeattle https://www.city-data.com/forum/portl...ingly-bad.html That post made me a little ferclempt. For DestinationSeattle's sake, if he still cares, I'd like to reminisce a little about the way it used to be (I'm glad a lot of you locals chimed in to steer him in a more favorable direction for what is NOW - the best thing I remember about Portland is that the people aren't shy and they're very nice and very proud of their city)! But since I'm coming from the perspective of someone coming back after 21 years:

In the early 80s, being in a "van down by the river" didn't mean being on skid row. It meant you just parked your van within walking distance of the Burnside Bridge to attend the Saturday Market, the biggest and the best I had ever seen of it's kind (and still to date). In 1985, I was 18 and thought this was the bohemian paradise I should have been born into in the 60s. But, I was also a very responsible, employed bohemian-wanna-be. I ABSOLUTELY LOVED the culture of the Saturday Market back then. It was mostly stuff you didn't see in regular stores. I still have It had a flea market feel, but you could dive off into surrounding streets and find a guy who sold nothing but hammocks, then a guy with nothing but kites. I never felt unsafe at the Saturday Market and I never saw any homeless teenagers. You would see the occasional old scruffy bum and feel sorry for him and even though he didn't even ask you'd give him what you could because it was obvious he had hit bottom and you just couldn't stand yourself if you didn't try to help.

I went to the Saturday Market and also used to go to these concerts they held at Riverfront Park, many times just myself and another female, and the only time I ever felt unsafe was when my brand-new Mitsubishi Cordia had a dead battery after the Carlos _____ (on tip of my tongue, driving me crazy that I can't fill in the blank - I was HUGE fan of this local band - someone help me out?) concert. I was 18 or 19 and had my 16 yo niece with me and it was dark and I didn't have any jumper cables and this was before cell phones. This guy parked next to us came up and said he could help us, opened the hatchback on his car and pulled out an AXE! I told Sarah to get in the car and lock the doors and she did, but he just used the metal part of the axe to create a spark and he got my car started! HA HA

I turned 21 right before I left Portland for Phoenix, AZ to marry my husband and I've been in Arizona ever since, but most of my family is in Washington State. I've been divorced now since 1998 and since my Grandma in Walla Walla had a stroke my mom has moved back there to help her out - I'm the only one left here and I am thinking about coming on home to get closer to family - I could use some advice on where to land these days.

In the early 80s, I used to live near Emanuel Hospital - I don't remember the name of the neighborhood - (around NE Mallory Ave. & NE Killingsworth St.). We had a really cool 3-story Victorian house with turrets, basement, attic. Couple who sold it to my mom were architect and interior designer, so they had really spiffied it up. But it was in a pretty rough neighborhood. Does anyone know if that neighborhood is better or worse now?

I don't want to go back there at all, but I'm wondering if it will be possible for me to find a house I can afford (in $150-180K range) in a safe neighborhood (preferably close commute to downtown) **not surrounded by meth heads/labs.** It's just me and my border collie and I would be okay with downsizing quite a bit from what I've become accustomed to. Here in AZ I have a unique and probably non-reproducible situation of having a 2-bed, 2-bath 1250 sq ft patio home with attached garage in a very desirable neighborhood and my mortgage is $670/mo. For one, I KNOW that having 2 bathrooms is almost unheard of up there, in my price range. I can pay $800/mo. and more if I don't need a car.

The housing market is SEVERELY depressed right now here in Arizona. How is it up there? It doesn't seem to be depressed from what I can see on www.realtor.com but I appreciate any input. I plan to stick it out here in AZ until I can get more for this house and then move up there (might be a year or more from what the financial analysts say). I like to plan, though, and I am just not sure where to land and that's why I need some help from you wonderful people.

To give you an idea of what I miss about Portland:
Old Town Pizza in downtown
Huber's downtown
Dublin Pub near Beaverton
Powell's books downtown
Mass transit availability (a lot more available since I left)
Small town feel, big city available
Friendlies - people who just get in your face and make friends with you
Outdoor activities (waterfall collecting, etc.)
Dog lovers
Being near water
CULTURE!! Arts and entertainment and shopping and....

I have the same complaints as anyone about Portland:
*Sometimes dreary weater - weighing against HEAT of AZ I've seen both and it's six of one, half a dozen of the other - we make our choices in life.
*Drug culture - but I live in a small town in AZ and there is a lot of meth here too. I just probably don't get out as much to see it in action as I would in a big city like Portland.
*Traffic/driving in the rain: That will take some getting used to again after living in a "main street town" for the last 10 years, but I can and I am excited to get back to civilization!

I have almost a mirror complaints about where I live now, though:
*Months of weather so hot it's hard to make yourself go outside and get active.
*Drugs - they're not just in big towns - I wonder if the problem isn't almost worse in small towns.
*I hate that main street rolls up at 6:00 p.m. I hate that I can't go to a bookstore at 10:00 p.m. if I can't sleep.

So thanks for going along with me as I walked down memory lane, and if any of you has any suggestions for me, I would love to hear from you. Thank you (sorry this got a little long).
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Old 08-10-2008, 08:02 PM
 
Location: near Portland, Oregon
472 posts, read 1,711,501 times
Reputation: 304
Quote:
I went to the Saturday Market and also used to go to these concerts they held at Riverfront Park, many times just myself and another female, and the only time I ever felt unsafe was when my brand-new Mitsubishi Cordia had a dead battery after the Carlos _____ (on tip of my tongue, driving me crazy that I can't fill in the blank - I was HUGE fan of this local band - someone help me out?) concert.
Do you mean Carlos Santana? He lived in San Fran, and one of the original band guys was from Seattle, so I guess that's local?

As for real estate, the local RMLS (online) is an open MLS with all the listings. Right now you could probably find a 2 bedroom condo in your price range. Edited: I just looked up "single family detached" in Multnomah and Washington County, between 150k - 180k and got 30 hits. I then looked up "condos" and got 105 hits. So there are some choices out there at the moment. Our market is down in price as well as total sales, but we haven't been hit as badly as many other areas. I don't think prices will surge over your time horizon, that's for sure.
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Old 08-10-2008, 08:54 PM
 
11 posts, read 25,300 times
Reputation: 15
Carlos Delgado?
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Old 08-10-2008, 09:04 PM
 
7 posts, read 14,742 times
Reputation: 14
No this was a locally well-known musician/band Carlos blank or Carlos and the somethings - it's terrible what 21 years will do to kill your brain cells. I am embarrassed that it's not quickly popping into mind, as I used to think Carlos was pretty hot and I would go where-ever his band was playing. Someone will remember. It is SO on the tip of my tongue. Of course all that's coming out is like what is for you, Santa, O'Brien....no that's not it.

Something in the far reaches of my brain even says that he might have died.

What's the name of that indie paper up there? Here we have the "New Times (out of Phoenix/Tempe)." Is it Willamette Weekly or is something even more Indie? I can call them - they would remember. I'm sorry, this is just 21 years ago. Some things are crystal clear and some are a little foggy.

Whatever paper it was where Matt Groenig started "Life in Hell" that is the paper I am thinking of.
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Old 08-10-2008, 09:05 PM
 
Location: near Portland, Oregon
472 posts, read 1,711,501 times
Reputation: 304
Quote:
Originally Posted by Pen-Cap-Chew View Post
Carlos Delgado?
The baseball player?

How about Curtis Salgado, the blues guy?
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Old 08-10-2008, 09:15 PM
 
7 posts, read 14,742 times
Reputation: 14
Default Ding ding ding - thank you!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pen-Cap-Chew View Post
Carlos Delgado?
Yes it was Carlos Delgado! As soon as you said it, I remembered. Do know what happened to them?

Kirsten
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Old 08-10-2008, 09:21 PM
 
7 posts, read 14,742 times
Reputation: 14
Default Right! Curtis, not carlos - (see about those brain cells i killled)

Validation and everything - ***curtis*** not carlos
salgado!!!!

What do we know about him anymore? When i was a teenager i followed him around (not like a stalker, just liked his music).


Quote:
Originally Posted by scone View Post
the baseball player?

How about curtis salgado, the blues guy?
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Old 08-10-2008, 09:30 PM
 
Location: near Portland, Oregon
472 posts, read 1,711,501 times
Reputation: 304
Quote:
Originally Posted by RodeosMom View Post
Validation and everything - ***curtis*** not carlos
salgado!!!!

What do we know about him anymore? When i was a teenager i followed him around (not like a stalker, just liked his music).
He has a web site, with some of his background, and a new album out. A while back he had liver cancer, and got a transplant. Evidently he's doing o.k. now.
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Old 08-10-2008, 09:34 PM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,695 posts, read 28,484,276 times
Reputation: 35863
People have made too much of a big deal about the homeless. I encounter them every day going from the bus stop to my job and at lunch time. All they ever do is ask for money. There are neighborhood homeless but they keep out of everyone's way. The homeless are definitely here but they are no reason not to return if that is what you really want.
Saturday Market has changed since the 80's. It's more "commercial" and less hand made but you can still find some great stuff. The Dublin Pub is still in Beaverton. I was sad when it left Belmont because I could walk to it. Old Town Pizza still exists with the best pizza around. There are still lots of concerts in River Front Park as well as neighborhood parks in the summertime.
I don't think you can find a house in your price range close in. And rents are soaring. Several of the buildings in my neighborhood (Hawthorne) are raising their rents by $100 per month. The cost of living ever soars but salaries do not keep up. You would not recognize the changes with all the condos that have replaced some of the wonderful old buildings in the neighborhoods and the shops have changed but are still fun to go to.
One thing we have much more of now that were not present in the 80's is a multitude of restaurants of which Portland was seriously devoid.
There have been changes good and bad, I think you should come visit and explore to see what you still want and what is now here. Then you can make an informed decision.
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Old 08-10-2008, 10:18 PM
 
2,430 posts, read 6,636,055 times
Reputation: 1227
I think the downtown being overrun with homeless meth addicts is a bit of a stretch. There is a homeless contingent but apart from Old Town (or right by the Burnside Bridge) it's a mix of all types of people. Downtown is very walkable, and often quite nice. It's not Main St. USA if that's what you remember--it's a city with typical problems of a city but...hardly some place you wouldn't walk in.
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