- Posts: 968
- Joined: Thu Oct 14, 2004 8:36 am
Pros ~ Laid back, clean, tons of outdoor activities, very friendly, considered "liberal".
Cons ~ The economy is suffering, housing prices are high, the state is virtually bankrupt. Oregon has one of the highest hunger rates in the nation.
*Oregon tries to be tough on crime but doesn't use it's death penalty laws. We do have Measure 11 which has mandatory minimum sentencing starting at 6 years for violent crimes. It applies to everyone from 15 years old on up.
*We have the only Assisted Suicide law in the nation, but we are constantly fighting other states to keep it.
*Both liberals and conservatives are quick to voice opinions here. Protests, marches, and candle light vigils are common. Sometimes the police are rough, and other times the police are really nice when dealing with these events. Depends on the group.
*We have a new mayor. He is marrying some woman half his age. Even the liberals are rolling their eyes over this one. I don't know him personally, but I've heard that he has some control/power issues.
*Portland is large enough to offer opportunity but small enough that eventually you get to meet the town players that are important in your field.
*Almost everyone is college educated. Not everyone actually uses this education.
*We have one regular newspaper, The Oregonian. We have a free paper on Tuesdays and Fridays that only deals with Portland. The Portland Tribune. We have a very liberal paper as well called The Willamette Weekly. Check out their websites and scan the local news.
*Many of our Oregon National Guardsmen are in Iraq. People are extremely supportive of our soldiers and their families. We never tire of hearing their human interest stories.
*Live and let live is the general atmosphere. Cross dressers roam certain streets at night and no one really seems to care. People dye their hair every color, and tattoos and piercings are really popular among the young. I was talking with "The Gay King of Portland" last year after he was roughed up by some thugs. He didn't have any bruises to show for it, so even the violence against certain sects doesn't seem to be atrocious. (That didn't come out right, but hopefully you know what I mean).
*We have lots of homeless here since the weather is usually mild. We also have lots of disgruntled teen runaways. It's common to be asked for money when you're in certain parts of downtown. It's also common to find these people bathing in our numerous water fountains come summer.
Suburbs...that depends on what you want. Some people live to the east on the edges of Mt Hood where they have lots of land. Others prefer the west hills - money neighborhoods and much closer to town.
Oddities...coming from Chicago, I had a very huge culture shock. People here are nice. Sometimes it's annoying how nice they are. (LOL). The work ethic is not what I'm used to at all. They balance home and work while I'm accustomed to working like a dog. They worry about interpersonal relationships while I just want to get the job done as efficiently as possible. This is not the case at Nike, by the way, which has a cut throat reputation.
Businesses close at 5 or 6pm. Most businesses are closed on Sundays. If you're used to doing dry cleaning and banking at any time of day or night, this will be hard to adjust to.
It rains roughly 9 months of the year. Dry weather is from late June through early October. We often get snow (in Portland) in January or February. The town is not equipped to handle it, and the town crosses 2 rivers so we basically shut down for 3 days. Winter temps range from the 30s to the 40s. The wet makes everything very cold. Summer temps can reach the high 90s but we have very little humidity here.
This is a temperate rainforest area. Moss grows on everything during the winter months, and our forests are gorgeous. Environmental issues are very important to this area these days. Even industry is constantly searching for improved energy-saving methods. Our Willamette River is so filthy that you cannot eat fish from it, but the city is involved in a long expensive project to clean it up.
Portlanders get very involved in their town. Last year we had some dog poisonings at a large local park. It was a continuing battle between Leash or No Leash groups. The news devoted lots of time to the story, and everyone had a (loud) opinion. A large cash reward was offered to capture the one who was poisoning dogs....Of course, this backlashed into other groups getting outraged because the cash reward was larger than one that had been offered to find a dead college student. That outrage led to more information being released about the college student case, and so on...That's how Portland works.
Portland has tons of bicycles. There is a program called One Less Car where they encourage you to ride your bike to work instead of driving. Buses and the train is equipped to hold your bicycle while you ride. There is a large cyclist group that enjoys racing. We also have tons of joggers. They do an annual Hood to Coast run...and since Mt Hood is 30 miles east of me while the coast is over an hour's drive west, it's quite an event.
We have constant fundraising activities down by the riverfront. There are also tons of fairs, and live music events. We have local home businesses offering goods every week at the Saturday Market. Fun place, everybody goes.
Grass is extremely common. There are entire shops that sell pipes, and have existed for years. Even conservative business people seem to smoke grass. Police are not too concerned about that, but we do have serious drug problems.
Oregon offers excellent grass, along with local beers and wines. Escaping reality is pretty easy here. LOL.
I've worn myself out. Next Oregonian, please!