I hate it here and I'm moving out as soon as I can. It's being gentrified and any Portland you think you want to move to will be gone by 2050. It's becoming more and more bland and corporate-friendly by the day, they even sell the phrase "keep portland weird" to clueless tourists.
Housing within PDX proper is extremely hard to get. Houses are sold and apartments are rented within minutes of being put on the market. The market is so insane that some people have moved out of town and are renting their homes and apartments via Air B & B. Parking is insane. Traffic from 7 a.m. to well into the evening is a nightmare. Light rail and frequent service buses are great ways to commute only if you live within walking distance of the line and where you are going is within walking distance as well - every transfer can add 30 minutes to even an hour to your trip. Homelessness and drug addiction are at epidemic proportions all over the PDX metro area, including surrounding suburbs.
Bicycle commuting is only for the very brave and those in excellent physical shape - if you take your bike on a bus, you have to be able to physically raise it up to a very high platform in front of the bus, and on the train, raise the front wheel far above your head to hang it on a hook (these are usually full of other bikes).
Fair number of good concerts, performing arts groups, local bands, and public events. Sporting events sell out.
My favorite thing in Portland: Roller Derby!
It rains a LOT.
If you can manage to live within downtown, you will probably love it. Park your bike inside or your motorcycle in a locked garage - it will get stolen otherwise.
I lived in Portland for 22 years. It was a cool place to live in the 70's and 80's. After divorcing I moved to Phoenix, AZ. and even only there for 4 years, that is the place I called home. I currently reside in Seattle, a bigger but much better place for all of what Portland offers, only lots more of it.
I visit Portland / Vancouver every month to see Grandkids. I always drive, and that is where the first big difference is for me. The drivers in Portland are, to say the least the rudest drivers ever. With Seattle's size, with commuters in the thousands upon thousands, everyday of the week, and traffic jams of unbelievable frustration, the drivers here are 90% more courteous than those in Portland. I returned to Portland a few years ago, lived and worked for 1 year and then left as fast as I arrived. Hated it!
We also share a "teenage homeless" issue, on a huge scale here. Which is mostly drug driven so that is something the 2 cities share. I live in the Burien/White Center here and the homeless sometimes feel as if they out number the citizens who are not.
I know there is a lot more that can be said about these issues. But I will reserve my opinions to avoid the backlash from those currently living in Portland. I just would never choose to live there again.
Portland Has Always Sucked!
Born and raised here. Have always hated it here. A city with 80%+ cloud cover for 280 days of the year needs redeeming qualities to make it desirable. The people here all spew the same I heart PDX rhetoric in delusional solidarity.
If you want to see first hand what failed liberal policy’s look like, move to Portland Oregon.
I was born and raised here and it was a beautiful place. Now, its almost unlivable. Too many people moving here and in the last 4 years rent has risen hundreds of dollars...it was $1000 for my studio apartment when i left...whrn i fist moved in it was $535. Homeless population is growing to outrageous numbers. And not to mention crime is rampant. Its become so over crowded.
Portland can be incredibly scary and expensive to live in. People aren't that friendly and there is a lot of drug activity as well as crime in North Portland.
Ignore all the twats with the "don't move here" attitude.
It doesn't rain as much as people like to complain about - the rain tends to be a light rain in the morning or evening, rarely all day. The winters are pretty mild - last year I think it froze twice in my area - when it does traffic gets even worse of course like anywhere. Summers are pretty mild too - upper 80s, maybe lower 90s during a heat wave. The climate means there's tons of time to do outdoor stuff in the nearby areas.
There are tons of neighborhoods that are great little communities - lots of restaurants, bars shops, etc. They are wonderful if you can afford them (Alberta, Division, Sellwood, etc.).
Political climate here is very liberal. I leave it up to you to decide if that's a good or a bad thing.
Traffic is just like any other big city. It's not particularly worse than any other. Lots of cyclist traffic, so be careful driving around. In my experience they don't consistently follow traffic laws.
If you don't have any marketable skills you'll have a hard time finding work.
Portland's population toes the line between an innocent playfulness and a shameless wild side. Naked bicycle rides, a fully costumed adult soapbox derby and Voodoo Doughnuts – a bakery that is known for making one-of-a-kind donuts – are a sampling of ways residents live up to the unofficial city motto: "Keep Portland Weird." Locals tend to be friendly and laid-back while maintaining a healthy work ethic. This, combined with Portland's emphasis on self-expression, has created a breeding ground for many independent businesses and startups.
Portland is a well-rounded region with more than just the offbeat shops and events. Museums, art galleries and the oldest public library on the West Coast feed a population with more academic degrees than the national average. The metro area's loyal sports fans avidly support their NBA basketball team, the Portland Trail Blazers; MLS soccer team, the Portland Timbers; and major junior ice hockey team, the Portland Winterhawks.
Wilderness is also close by. Two mountain ranges and the Pacific Ocean can be reached in an hour or two, while the fertile vineyards of the Willamette Valley lure city dwellers with a thirst for something fresh.
I moved to Portland, OR from Austin, TX and have lived here for 24 years. Portland, OR is a beautiful “air-conditioned” city. Temps are mild all year round. The only negative weather wise are the grey skies - not the rain - but GREY OVERCAST skies for ~ 260 days/year. The city receives 38 ins of rain a year (the right amount for the city not to have water problems with some margin) - the same as Austin, TX, but Austin gets over 300 sunny days/year, we have 120 !! The sunny days start from July and end in October. The overcast conditions can take a toll on you - but if you live here long enough, it is something you can get used to.
The suburbs are neat, clean, and tidy, and thanks to the Urban Growth Boundary (designed to prevent urban sprawl), property prices are constantly on the upswing. Rental prices are high and creeping up on an ongoing basis. The people are friendly and neighbors look out for each other. Most importantly, Portland has the best water I have tasted anywhere. The water comes from the Bull Run Reservoir, and is essentially purified/treated melted snow. It doesn’t get any better than that. No calcium buildup in the pipes, and no need for a filter or desalination system for the home.
The restaurant scene in Portland is awesome. You can find a plethora of restaurants and cuisines from every corner of the world here. Korean, Thai, Indians, Filipino, Japanese. Ethiopian ….and the list goes on. Best of all, the food in these restaurants are of a very high standard.
The traffic can be bad on weekdays. The highways seem to be clogged and backed up most of the time from 7AM-6PM. Weekend traffic is OK. The pop influx is clearly outpacing the ability of the highway infrastructure to absorb the influx.
On balance, Portland, OR is a great place to live and a population magnet. Is it any wonder that Portland as a city & OR as a state ranks #1 in terms of population growth ?
Arkadia Getheren Moon
I love the weather. I moved here for the clouds and rain (among other things); my only climate complaint it that it's a little too hot, bright, and dry in the summer. If I'd wanted to stay dry, I'd've moved to Albuquerque, okay?
Racial/ethnic diversity is low, and the barriers to communication between racial/ethnic groups seems rather high.
The mountains are beautiful. There are three active, highly prominent volcanic cones visible from various parts of Portland -- Mts. St. Helens, Hood, and Adams. On exceptionally clear days, Mts. Rainier and Jefferson can just be spotted. They are much farther away than they look -- Mt. Hood is sixty miles away -- but can be reached easily, and in fact his snowline is readily accessible in the summer, if you like playing in snow and tephra in July. (I do.)
Portland has the finest public-transit system I have ever personally seen, made up of buses, light rail, streetcars, and an aerial tram. No hydrofoils on the Willamette -- yet -- but I dream. People complain about the fares (of course), but in my view they have nothing to complain about. The fine pubtrans and the walk- and bikeability of the city make it an ideal city in which to live without a car. Don't expect great savings, though -- the cost of housing tends to eat up what people save from not owning cars.
Portland has an enormous unhoused population, possibly one of the highest per capita in the country. There are enormous numbers of panhandlers. Generally, the unhoused are good people, but there are exceptions. Portland is the only city I know that has two separate populations of the houseless -- the year-round population and the summer population.
One thing I've noticed here is that though the city has an aura of nonconformism and cultural diversity, it's something of an illusion. All the nonconformism seems to be funnelled into very strictly defined subcultures that clearly have very little room for nonconformism within them. The gutterpunks wear the gutterpunk uniform, the hipsters wear the hipster uniform, the lesbians wear the lesbian uniform, the would-be hoboes wear the would-be hobo uniform, and so on. The result seems to be an atmosphere not so much of bohemianism as fauxhemianism. Rarely do you see a nonconformist who isn't merely conforming to an alternative conformity.
It depends on where you live, which has to do with income, education, class and all of that. Then each one of the quarters has a distinct flavor and culture. Thanks for gentrification and general lack of business development, employment I now live in the outskirts of SE PDX.. almost at the boundary of the Multnomah/Clackamas counties.
If you live old, tall conifers, you'll forgive the lack of Portland planning and tolerate the dirt streets.. otherwise, you can go and pay top dollar for your "compartment" hmm I meant, studio at the Pearl..
Fun, culture art and one of the most educated young crowds await you in this, the most European cities in America.. Bring your bike so you can bike in our bike lanes, trails all throughout the city. Enjoy public transportation and our MAX train system.. a glorified system in the nation.. when you don't live in my part of town..
See you around.. ~Ivonne Rivero/Portland, OR
Portland is beautiful! There is no shortage of natural beauty in the city. Portland is bustling with local boutiques, farmer's markets in every neighborhood, community gardens, eclectic community events, and some of the best food around. It's easy to live a healthy lifestyle here with access to quality food and health care. There are several places to go hiking right in the city that offer expansive views of the whole city. Portland is super family friendly and has several colleges and universities. It's downsides include being expensive, a competitive housing market, and long commute times due to traffic.
I have lived in numerous cities throughout my adult life and I can confidently say that Portland has felt the most like “home” to me. There are so many aspects I am grateful for; the abundance of hiking opportunities within the city limits, the numerous parks, the overall dog friendliness of the city, the walkability of the city along with easy bike access, the mixture of having big city amenities yet quaint and quiet neighborhoods....I could go on and on of the positives Portland has to offer. Did I mention the food?! I love the rule Oregon has that any establishment selling alcohol must offer a full menu...some of the most delicious meals I have had in Portland have come from dive bars!
The only negative That truly stands out is that the highways in Portland and surrounding areas were not built for the population influx that the city has experienced.
I've lived in Portland since I was born. This city is very different from others in that it is filled with lush greenery and a highly accepting populace. Unlike others, I'm happy to see the city grow and small businesses flourish with the influx of people moving here. The change in the city can be a good thing! Though, the prices here are expensive, it is still a beautiful city. I think transit and the public school systems here need a lot of help. They are definitely hurting. I also don't think the city's infrastructure is able to handle the growing populace. However, Portland is a very interesting city with a lot of opportunity.