"Atmosphere" of Portland, OR???

Old Sep 21st, 2003, 09:04 PM
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"Atmosphere" of Portland, OR???

Just curious about what the "atmosphere/vibe" is in Portland Oregon.

Right now my wife & I live in San Diego...which is heavily Republican and pretty conservative. Before SD we lived in San Francisco, which everyone knows is heavily Democratic and pretty liberal.

Any thoughts/insights on Portland? We could be moving there in the next 6-months. Thanks--and thanks to all who've made fantastic contributions to Portland threads within the past month.
LuccaBrazzi is offline  
Old Sep 21st, 2003, 10:29 PM
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Portland is a very liberal city with conservative suburbs. Democratic Mayor Verz Katz has won overwhelmingly the last few elections. It's feels a lot more laid back than San Francisco, however. Portland is a small city, much smaller than San Diego.

People are very friendly in Portland, but the lack of sun in the winter seems to make people much more subdued than in fun-and-sun San Diego. You'll see a lot of kids with tattoos and piercings wandering around. The city is also very bike friendly, vegetarian/granola-leaning, anti-establishment. My neighborhood in SE Portland successfully fought a McDonalds from coming into the area - people protested until they pulled out.

Portland has a good, safe, fairly clean transit system. Riding the bus here is only a stigma to people who moved here from some other city where it was. It's not so unheard-of to live without a car here, though it's no European city.

Portland has great old urban neighborhoods close to the core, but if you go away from downtown not too far, you'll hit the same kinds of suburbs you find in So. Cal.

Andrew
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Old Sep 21st, 2003, 11:19 PM
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Some suburbs are much more conservative than others--Wilsonville, OR, for example is very conservative, but Cascade Park (where we lived) was not really conservative at all, or rather, it was a mix of conservatives and liberals, mostly moderates. The church we attended (and really liked) would probably be described as on the liberal side.
In addition to conservative/liberal divisions there is also the "native Oregonian" pretentiousness that can be irritating. As I wrote in Willamette Week, during the Portland timber summit held some years ago, then-President Bill Clinton could have solved the forest crisis in a minute if he asked all the native Oregonians to pull the old-growth sticks out of their butts.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2003, 02:17 PM
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I would say that the core of Portland is moderate to liberal. Politically Oregon has been viewed as progressive and liberal for many years and I think it is still a little that way, especially in Portland.

As Andrew mentioned the suburbs vary - some are liberal and others are much more conservative. I think you could definately find one that fits your views.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2003, 10:42 PM
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Thanks for the info. Andrew and Liz, you sound like you're "plugged-in" locals. If I send you my private e-mail, would you be willing to contact me off-forum? My wife and I are REALLY interested in moving there...so much so that we're taking steps to get
pre-qualified for a mortage in Portland.

Thanks!
Ray Seva
San Diego, CA
[email protected]
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Old Sep 29th, 2003, 05:38 AM
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lucca,
good luck on your possible move to portland. i'm in sd and my wife and i are considering a move up there as well.
but the reason i'm posting is to suggest that you 'munge' your email address when posting it on any website or newsgroups. spam 'bots search these pages and look for addresses to add to their lists.
to munge your address, do something like this:

[email protected]

That's probably one of the most popular munge formats-of course, the bots will eventually figure this out so maybe try something more unique.

[email protected].

Good luck!!
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Old Sep 29th, 2003, 05:53 AM
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and just to clarify, a spambot is a computer program that harvests email addresses from webpages and newsgroups so munging prevents the bot from getting an accurate address while allowing humans to figure out the real add.
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Old Sep 29th, 2003, 06:03 AM
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Yes... the spambots keep getting more sophisticated. A solution we've been using for the email addresses on our small company web site seems to be fairly effective. My address as an example.....

phaelon56 at yahoo dot com

This seems to be fairly effective but at this point I just blithely use my webmail address anywhere and Yahoo does a fairly good job of filtering spam into a "bulk" mailbox where it's easy to review at a glance and delete en masse. I now reserve my private ISP email address for some very select correspondence and use the webmail for 95% of my email.
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Old Sep 29th, 2003, 06:08 AM
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Having been in college in the 60's, and a theatre major to boot, I'm pretty familiar with the 60's Hippie movement.
Forgive me for saying so, and I DO like Portland, but going there is always a bit like stepping back in time to me. I don't know where else you will see so many people still dressed in those vintage 60's outfits, still with their 60's long straightened hair look (men and women), or smell so much incense burning everywhere. Craft or flea markets are like a throwback to the Hippie movement as well. I've even seen old VW vans along the streets painted with happy flowers. Also it is hard to find food that isn't "organic" or products that aren't "environmentally friendly", whatever that may mean. Many larger cities have a smallish area that seems like this, but in Portland it is practically everywhere.
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Old Sep 29th, 2003, 07:52 AM
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As a 35 year Portland area resident, I can confirm (at least from my own perspective) that most of what's been posted here is accurate. But, to embellish a little on what's been written:

The reason "You'll see a lot of kids with tattoos and piercings wandering around" is because of "progressive" programs providing free needles to drug users, etc. In spite of it's relative smallish size, recent studies have shown Portland as one of two drug capitols in the west. It's partially evidenced by the largest population of homeless street kids in the NATION.

In spite of being the state with the highest unemployment in the country, "progressive" Portland politicians continue to push an agenda very unencouraging to business and economic growth. I have friends who are moving their companies out of state in response to the increased cost of doing business in Portland.

On a per capita basis, I suspect Oregon's budget crisis is more severe than California's. Worse yet, I suspect the light at the end of the tunnel is a train.


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Old Sep 29th, 2003, 11:00 AM
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With all those problems, why do they continue to avoid a sales tax in Oregon. What's up with that?
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Old Sep 29th, 2003, 01:35 PM
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You'd think, wouldn't you..... But we've already got very high state personal income tax and property tax rates. So sales tax won't happen without a guarantee that it wouldn't be offset by decreases in the other taxes. And who amongst us would trust politicos (of either party) to deliver on that?
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Old Sep 29th, 2003, 01:58 PM
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Does that sales tax thing make any sense? So the residents pay a lot of taxes. God forbid, that visitors to the state or those who don't work there or own property there, but use the roads and other facilities should actually help contribute!
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Old Sep 29th, 2003, 02:10 PM
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Yeah, well, the voters of Oregon have made a bed in which their kids, pierced or not, will have to sleep. They rolled back property taxes in the 90s when the income tax was generating surpluses, shifted the costs of education from local to state sources, then voted no this year to an income tax increase to put back the money the dot-com bust had taken out of the income tax stream. The highest unemployment in the country means there isn't all that much income to tax; the capital gains windfalls of stock churners went away (along with many of the churners) and bingo, no money honey. As usual, it's the folks that are already hurting that get whacked the worst.

Like Prop 13 and the recall hoohah in California, the works of a certain jewelry salesman and his band of illiterate smurfs in Washington State, Measure 50 in Oregon shows that the initiative and referendum statutes in the western states can be dangerous. Either we elect representatives to make decisions and risk judgement and removal every four years, or we elect them then tell them "We'll handle the legislative process for you, thanks all the same." If you don't trust your alledgedly democratic system to represent you, who ya gonna trust? If everything is run by referendum, let's send them all home and vote for everything on line as if we're selecting the next American Idol.
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Old Sep 29th, 2003, 03:58 PM
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Here is something to get some people going..... at least us Oregonians don't have to get out in the rain, hail, sleet, and heat to pump our own gas!!

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Old Sep 29th, 2003, 05:56 PM
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Ha - that's right Sara. I recently moved to Washington State and I've been in Oregon a couple of times. I couldn't figure out why there were guys pumping my gas for me! Why did I keep driving into the Full Serve lane? I finally caught on...
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Old Sep 29th, 2003, 10:43 PM
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Two things I hate about the no self-serve law: the phony full serve and the careless attendant.
With the phony full serve (which you have at a lot of gas stations), you have to get out of your car, go inside to pay the cashier (if you're paying cash and want to fill your tank, you have to guess at the amount), go back to the car and wait for the attendant (who doesn't check your oil or clean your windshield and who doesn't always serve people in the order they arrive). Then at the end, if you are owed change, you have to go back in and get it. How that qualifies as "full serve" and how it's better than self-serve are mysteries to me.
The careless attendant can be dangerous. A friend and I were on our way to PDX for him to catch a flight. We were returning a rental car and needed to fill the tank. We stopped at some small station on the way and the attendant stuck the nozzle in the tank, then left. After a bit, we looked back and saw gasoline flowing down the side of the car!!! For some reason, the nozzle didn't shut off when the tank was full. We started shouting and the attendant came running over. He still wanted us to pay the full amount shown on the pump, but that did NOT happen.
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Old Sep 30th, 2003, 05:39 AM
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I am MORE THAN HAPPY to get out of my vehicle to fill it up at 1.36 a gallon!
With more than 250 days of sunshine a year, hey it's no big deal!
Besides, all the gas stations in Texas are covered.
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Old Sep 30th, 2003, 06:21 AM
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I just moved from NJ back to my original hometown in NY state. NJ had real full serve where they brought the credit card slip to the sindow or cheerfully made your change on the spot, I never had a single problem with attendants in four years and the gas was generally about 15 to 20 cents per gallon CHEAPER than in NY state. Add to that the fact that property taxes were far lower and rather than paying an extra $100 or so in state cinome tax every spring, I actually received a $500 refund.
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Old Nov 28th, 2003, 10:47 PM
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Do Not move to Oregon. Beautiful scenery but liberal tax-and-spend idiots in Government have made it a very bad place to live.I have an 800 sq ft house-1bdrm-1 bathrm accessed at $125,000(way over-accessed!!)and my property taxes are $2,100 this year. Will be higher next year and every year after.My nephew lives in Huntsville,Ala in a $400,000 house and property taxes are $1,000 yr!! Do Not move here-heed my warning!Liberal lovefest here-tax the RICH or anyone making over minimum wage and give it to the bums and useless
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