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Old 12-29-2009, 08:34 PM
 
Location: Kansas City, MO
36 posts, read 165,467 times
Reputation: 31

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Hi everyone,
I have a question for all of you native Portlanders (and anyone else who has information to contribute! )...
I am a midwest (Missouri) native, lived here all my life and have had about enough of it...the close-minded people, the lack of progress, etc. From what I have read and heard from others, the Portland area would be a good remedy for this. Since I am looking to move to a new city, this info is especially helpful. Anyways..so here are my questions...
I have heard that the people of Oregon and Portland are not so hot on outsiders (correct me if I'm wrong, please! ) mainly because they try to introduce their own, new ideas and concepts and try to change the area when no change is wanted. I totally understand. And my intentions are not to change anyone or to introduce new, radical ideas or concepts to anyone. From my PDX research, I think I would actually fit in well with the locals...I am a very open-minded person, I LOVE the outdoors and natural beauty, the whole green-scene is very appealing to me and seems like the smart thing to do (Missouri is at the opposite end of the spectrum...NOT green in any aspect, most people don't even know what it means to be green and/or don't want to be or just don't care). Do you think I would get along ok in Portland? I know that PDX has long, dreary winters, which, honestly, wouldn't bother me.
Next question...are there any areas that any of you would suggest looking for housing in? Here are my requirements (these are not set in stone...I am willing to compromise or make changes...). Oh, and by the way, I am wanting to RENT for the first couple of years, at least.

1 BR 1 BA apartment (2 BR would be awesome so that I could have an office, if it fits in the budget...)
Price range for housing: $750-1,000
Would like to have a place close to a MAX light rail line
Needs to be in a safe, walkable neighborhood
Would also like to have convienent freeway access to downtown (I will have a reliable car...)
Any areas I should AVOID looking at renting in, due to being unsafe?

Thank you all SO much for your input! Like I said, I feel like I was BORN to live in Portland, based on the copious amounts of research I have done on the area. I know that PDX has its issues and problems (high unemployment rate, homelessness, etc.) but DOESN'T EVERY CITY?!? I really feel like my personality would allow me to mesh well with the city and its citizens; any comments or info would be greatly appreciated!! THANKS ALL!
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Old 12-30-2009, 01:22 AM
 
17,802 posts, read 22,432,481 times
Reputation: 36140
Unless you have a job waiting for you or a couple of years worth of savings in the bank that you don't mind parting with you will be in a tough spot.

I guess I don't understand people who have specific requests of an area, but the most important (how you plan on eating/having a roof over your head) is not really touched upon or asked about.

Lots of people will fit it in well in Portland...the problem is there are more of them then there are jobs.

FYI....Portland even when the economy was good was never an easy place to find work.
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Old 12-30-2009, 04:50 AM
 
Location: Lakewood OH
21,697 posts, read 25,217,327 times
Reputation: 35663
Quote:
(high unemployment rate, homelessness, etc.) but DOESN'T EVERY CITY?!?
Do not be so dismissive of Portland's high unemployment rate. It is higher than many cities but the killer is that wages are lower than most and not match the high cost of living. You mention you are looking for a place with room enough for an office. If you are self-employed and can support yourself where you are now, take a look at some of the websites that show the cost of living in Portland and see if your earnings will go far enough.

If you will be seeking a job, try to secure one before you move or bring plenty of money to live on while you search with enough put aside to get you back to MO if you don't find anything. Competition for jobs is fierce.

Extend your research to a visit here to check out which neighborhoods are to your liking. I don't think you will find what you describe near MAX but there are many areas that would suit your needs that may have some bus service.

The least of your concerns should be what others think of you as a transplant. Some will be accepting; some won't. Keep in mind too that not everyone is "green," liberal, open-minded or progressive. As in any place you will find a mix of all different types depending on the company you seek.
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Old 12-30-2009, 07:28 AM
 
Location: Portland, OR
1,657 posts, read 4,116,095 times
Reputation: 900
Mid West Matt:

Yes, you will need a car for shopping / errands and such. But how do you feel about park & rides for the light rail system? The new 'Green' line MAX that follows I-205 from Gateway Transit center to Clackamas Town Center is lightly used and has large Park & Ride lots. Very residential and suburban feel.

Your post seems to indicate you are looking for "green vegetation" views from your windows of your new home. My personal opinion is the view from apartment buildings near most stops on the Red, Yellow, and Blue MAX lines will be closer to an "urban environment" as in more houses, apartments, streets, and parking lots with the usual trees, shrubs, and lawns.

Oh, and how I do agree a small 2nd bedroom to be used as a computer room and library is so needed anymore. {sigh} I wish I could still afford one.

Now about some of your other questions:
I have found I can start a conversation with anybody on the street at it will last for about 90 seconds. It will be a friendly conversation and polite. But true friendship is harder to come by. It will take time to build such. IMHO, It has nothing do with your new ideas, it is more of wait-n-see if this new person can survive Portland's weather, or moves on to someplace else. I base this comment on having coffee with a lady I met on the Internet. She is an Oregon native and claims she has meet quite a few newcomers to Portland city over the years, and almost all have moved on after a few years for all kinds of reasons. Some just moved far into suburbia and don't come into the city anymore.

Your post did not indicate if you wanted to be walking distance to a grocery store, local neighborhood tavern and the such. You seem to be focused on green views and outdoor activities beyond just a bicycle path and a tame and groomed city park to walk around in. But that is just my impression from reading your post.

Please message back if you are really looking for a deep suburbia apartment with access to Expressway and Mass transit, or an inner urban area with access to parks and Mass Transit of any kind.

Aside: Not a good idea to build a plan around commuting to work downtown using I-5, I-84, or US-26. -- rush hour traffic and $$$ downtown parking. And commuting from Vancouver Washington across the Columbia River during rush hour is just insane right now.

Best of luck, and I am sure you would like Portland very much.

Phil
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Old 12-30-2009, 09:30 AM
 
7,371 posts, read 5,656,261 times
Reputation: 16515
You seem to be very concerned about getting away from "close-minded people, the lack of progress, etc." I suspect you will be disappointed. If YOU have difficulty relating to the people in your environment, I doubt that a move will change that situation. Been there, done that. Sooner or later you will find that you are the one who needs to change.
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Old 12-30-2009, 02:23 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
1,657 posts, read 4,116,095 times
Reputation: 900
Quote:
Originally Posted by jrkliny View Post
You seem to be very concerned about getting away from "close-minded people, the lack of progress, etc." I suspect you will be disappointed. If YOU have difficulty relating to the people in your environment, I doubt that a move will change that situation. Been there, done that. Sooner or later you will find that you are the one who needs to change.
Give Matt a break, will ya?

It could be just possible that a move to Portland, or someplace in the Pacific Time Zone is just the thing Matt needs for him to grow to the next phase in his life. Give him some positive, but realistic, encouragement. It won't hurt you.

BTW: I have lived in the Mid-West, I know just how brain dead so much of the Mid-West and the Rust belt can be. When "exposure to the Arts" is considered to be the "Talent" portion of the Miss America contest, you are in Brain Dead Country.

Phil
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Old 12-30-2009, 02:54 PM
 
Location: Portland, OR
62 posts, read 232,801 times
Reputation: 55
Well F - I just posted a long response but it deleted itself when I wasn't logged in.

I lived in MO for a few years and Portland is very different. Alot of closed minds on the other side of the fence (liberal vs conservative), but Portland is by far the nicest & most open city in the Northwest. Expect to meet a lot of hippies/hipsters (same thing in my book but they'll all argue differently). While this is the friendliest place in the Northwest, you may still be taken back by how cold people are compared to the South/Midwest. There are TONS of local breweries and things to do in-city. You can also go to the mountains or coast in under 2 hours (my fav part about the Northwest).

Downsides, jobs are tough to get here. Very tough. Be forewarned. There are homeless people everywhere (yep, everywhere) which is very annoying because many of them just make a living that way and don't even try to find work. There is also GLOOM! 6-7 mos of the year is nothing but grey, overcast, raining skies. It's very depressing and they say 63% of residents suffer from seasonal depression, FYI.

Overall I'd definitely recommend Portland. Get over it's weird quirks and it's a great city to be in.
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Old 12-30-2009, 03:37 PM
 
Location: Portland, Oregon
73 posts, read 165,212 times
Reputation: 71
As others have already mentioned, Portlanders/Oregonians do tend to be reserved when it comes to welcoming people into their lives, but this isn't always synonymous with a disdain for 'outsiders.' I doubt you would feel much outright hostility toward your newcomer status, and most likely you'll find just the opposite. Portland is so full of transplants you're just as likely to meet people from out of state than those who have lived here all of their lives. And also as others have said, there's a something for everyone here (except maybe a job!)

Convenient access to the freeways to get downtown is really only an issue if you choose to live well out in the suburbs. Most close in neighborhoods have easy enough access to downtown by car, bus, train, bike or foot that you shouldn't limit your search to freeway access. Portland's 'close-in' neighborhoods are very walkable, bike and bus friendly, and most are very safe. There are still a few small pockets of crime hot spots, but they're hard to define by neighborhood - it's more like a block by block thing. I guess to generalize broadly the least safe areas are farther out in SE and NE, mostly beyond 70th ave.
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Old 01-04-2010, 12:52 PM
 
151 posts, read 201,523 times
Reputation: 332
You will probably like it here, Matt. (I can't tell if you've actually visited. I fine totally mind boggling that anyone would move anywhere without visiting, unless it's a total "must get out of town" emergency.)

This city is filled with young transplants from the midwest (and everywhere). You are more likely to meet and interact with these people than natives. Many transplants don't know any natives.

Your green progressive attitude will mesh well here. Again, I'm not sure how much that attitude and reputation here is actually from here, rather than having been imported from outsiders expecting to find it over the last 10 to 15 years. Some of the things about Portland that are so celebrated are those things that have been introduced by newcomers, as you mention.

I would come visit, make sure it's what you like, then move on out (taking the above advice on jobs to heart).
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Old 01-04-2010, 01:04 PM
 
Location: Oceanside and Chehalem Mtns.
716 posts, read 2,577,346 times
Reputation: 530
Quote:
Originally Posted by midwestmatt View Post
Thank you all SO much for your input! Like I said, I feel like I was BORN to live in Portland, based on the copious amounts of research I have done on the area. I know that PDX has its issues and problems (high unemployment rate, homelessness, etc.) but DOESN'T EVERY CITY?!? I really feel like my personality would allow me to mesh well with the city and its citizens; any comments or info would be greatly appreciated!! THANKS ALL!
Guess what. There are planes, trains and buses that will take you from the midwest to PDX.

Block out a few weeks or months and see it first hand. There's only so much you can do based on random opinions from the internet. Either you'll love it or hate it.

If you love it and can line up a job then do it. You can't make important decisions like this hunched behind a computer screen.
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