Portland, OR - Help, We are moving there!

Melissa82

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Hey guys

Been awhile, I know, lol.

Does anyone here live in Portland or around? My husband and I are planning on moving there once he is out of the Army, around April 2012. I need to go down on my own and check things out so we can find a place to move/work without not knowing what we are doing when we get there. He is not able to go with me so I was wondering if there was anyone that could help by means of telling me where are good places to look to live/work and which to avoid.

Thanks :)
 

Kanaka916

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Hi Melissa . . . Just wanted to say Howzit goin and How Are You? Sorry, can't help you on this one, but I'm sure there are a bunch of members in the Portland area. Let us know how it goes and Best of Luck.
 

bbycrts

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Hey Melissa -

Portland Native - lived here all my 42 years besides college days...

In GENERAL - and this is way, way general, so other Portlanders don't jump down my throat...

Westside is newer - the most affluent part of the city is probably NW, though there are parts of NE and SW that are pretty spectacular, too. SW is probably the most "suburban" part of the city. NE is old neighborhood Portland - the neighborhoods can be a bit patchy, but in general they're smaller houses in tidy neighborhoods. North Portland can be pretty run down (as well as inner NE and large chunks of SE).

In case you hadn't gathered already, Portland is in 5 sections - N, NE, SE, SW, and NW. The Willamette river divides the city E/W and Burnside St. divides the city N/S. North Portland is North of a curve in the river and lies between the river and Williams Ave.

I don't have much bad to say about Portland. It's kind of a goofy place at times, with the city's unofficial motto being "Keep Portland Weird." If you've seen the Independent Film Channel's "Portlandia" you get a feel for the weirdness - greatly exaggerated, of course. If you watch the opening sequence, I've actually seen several of the weird things they depict just while driving to work in the morning.

It's a good city for cyclists - pretty bike friendly.

There's recreation of just about every kind nearby - year-round skiing, watersports on the Columbia river, fishing, camping, mountain biking, the beach - a little bit of everything is available within a 60 mile radius. I think we're the only major U.S. city to be within 60 miles of an active volcano...

Don't overlook Vancouver, Washington, either. It's just on the other side of the Willamette from Portland and is part of the metropolitan area. I don't know Vancouver very well, but I've heard it's less expensive to live there (not that Portland is an outrageously expensive city...). Keep in mind if you consider Vancouver that if you work in Portland you WILL pay income tax to Oregon. Washington has a sales tax, Oregon does not. You can pump your own gas in Washington - it's illegal in Oregon (go figure...). You will forever be irritated by cocky Portlanders who make jokes about "annexing Vancouver' or saying "Vancouver is really just a part of Portland." I guess you're Canadian, though, so you've probably heard plenty of "51st state" jokes...

Anyway...PM me if you have any other questions or want a more down-and-dirty description of parts of the city...
 

mm stan

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Aloha Melissa82,
Wow great to hear from you back....you went AWOL on us...sheesh...hope you will be back more often now...sorry no info on Portlland...Take Care and Good Luck...MM Stan
 

Melissa82

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Sorry for short replies at work... That and my husband being home has taken up much of my time lol.

Vancouver may be nice. My husband will be going to school and so will I. If i live in wa though i'dhave to pay out of state tuition which we cannot afford if we go to school in Portland.
 

bbycrts

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Sorry for short replies at work... That and my husband being home has taken up much of my time lol.

Vancouver may be nice. My husband will be going to school and so will I. If i live in wa though i'dhave to pay out of state tuition which we cannot afford if we go to school in Portland.

Washington State has a campus in Vancouver...
 

Melissa82

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Ooo that's interesting. We'll have too look up the community colleges because he wants to go there first
 

FreakyBob

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Tough to say without knowing what you want to avoid.

We live near (I do mean near not in) the high rent SW area of the PDX and our two sons who live in NE near the hip Hawthorne area would say this is the area to avoid.

Depends on the culture you like around you. For instance this SW area is crawling with boring 'ole chain restaurants. If you want really interesting food and coffee hang outs down the street then the NE, NW and some SE areas are the place.

So letting us locals know a little more of what you like to have around you would help. Also has your husband narrowed down a school yet - that could make a difference.

Hey, an advance welcome to you and yours but don't tell anyone else about this place OK!
 

Melissa82

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He hasn't even looked in to school yet and I've been bugging him constantly. He said he wants to do something science related starting at a community college.

I was thinking that I'd move down March 2012 and look for a job and place to live. I'd probably start off by staying in a furnished roommate situation until I found a place and the Army was going to move our stuff.

I just want to live somewhere that I can find a 2 bedroom townhouse or home (really trying to avoid apartments) for about $850 a month plus utils. I don't want to be smack in the middle of the city. It would be nice to be close to grocery stores. Being close to transit is also a must. My goal is to use our car the least amount as possible.
 

Melissa82

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Hmm, it says small dogs but we have a German Shepherd and my husband said he will only live in a house or duplex/townhome with fenced yard.
 

Boozelele

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I have an opinion...imagine that!

Melissa, to find a good apt/home/duplex/etc. check out http://portland.craigslist.org/ everyone out here uses that to find anything...or to sell anything for that matter. Also, if you are looking for a safe area, the closer to the city you are the better. There is much more crime in the suburbs. I live is the "Hawthorne" area, and it is safe, clean, I never drive (except to work), the bus runs every ten minutes, there are a butt-ton of 20 something hipsters wondering around the neighborhood. You can stumble home alone from the bar at 3:00 A.M. and feel totally safe. If you like Applebees, Walmart, and driving...move to Beaverton, Vancouver, Gresham, or Lake Oswego...if you like mellow, friendly and safe, move close in. NE, SE or NW...as close to downtown as possible.

As for schools PCC (Portland Community College) has locations all over the place. and PSU (Portland State University) is right downtown.

When looking for a place to live remember the lower the number the closer to the city....streets start at 1st and go to 260th...or some thing like that.....I live on 17th...i never go out past 70th...its scary...if its not a numbered street you can tell by how big the house number is......21750 Main St. is way the F out there.......Good Luck.
 
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TheOnlyUkeThatMatters

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Hi Melissa,

I moved to Portland from southern Idaho about 20 years ago. It was a nice, big town then, now it's a nice, small city.

I'd advise against living in Vancouver if you plan to work or study in Portland. Traffic on the bridge is really bad---you'll lose twelve hours of strumming time per week. Areas to avoid in Portland depend on your style---there are some dodgy areas, but most neighborhoods are great.

You'll be glad to hear that Portland Community College is a great school that three big campuses in town---I'm a proud PCC graduate. There are good community colleges nearby in Vancouver (Clark College), Gresham (Mt Hood Community College), and Clackamas (Clackamas Community College) as well. This a great area for getting back into school.

As for jobs, if you're not picky, there's always work. If you're looking for something specific, you may need to be patient.

If you need recommendations for places to see on your trip, just let me know some categories and I'll provide suggestions. I do know, for example, the best places to go for ukulele-browsing.
 

shrink9

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I am an older guy who lived in Portland and Gresham back in the 1970s. It was a beautiful city. I never was concerned about safety. I walked from my apartment in SE Portland to my job on Sandy Blvd every day for a long time (until I had to move back to the midwest). Of all of the places I've lived, Portland still stands out as my favorite. We have vacationed there periodically over the years and it still is a beautiful, though more expensive, place to live. The opportunities for outdoor recreation are abundant. Further, I found the people to be amazingly friendly and helpful. I with you well with this venture.
 

bbycrts

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Hey, an advance welcome to you and yours but don't tell anyone else about this place OK!

Oh yeah - I forgot to mention that an old Oregon tradition is to welcome people to visit but not stay...but it takes a pretty old Oregonian to remember that one!