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Sat May 21, 2016, 12:01 AM

So I'm thinking of moving to Portland...good idea or bad idea?

I've spent most of my 20's stuck in a small city in Florida that makes me miserable -- minimal job prospects despite having a double B.A. in English and History, sky-high housing/rent prices, limited dating pool (seems like everyone who has a lot in common with me is either taken or not interested) and honestly, I'm sick of searing heat and humidity every damn summer. I'd have bailed a couple years ago if it wasn't for a few financial setbacks. (Nothing like having to pay $1000 - $1050 in rent by yourself for five months in a two-year period to eat up your savings...)

I'm currently trying to learn Arabic in preparation for a Master's Degree in Middle Eastern Studies. I can't get it from any of the local universities, and the closest major city only offers it to a second-year level. I'm currently taking first-year courses online. Portland State offers 3 years of Arabic and I could also pick up a bit of Farsi/Persian. (Admittedly, I'd have to establish residency and not take courses for a year, or hemorrhage money for non-resident tuition.) I want a day job that doesn't make me hate myself (currently I'm working customer service and loathing it) while I study.

The thing is, I've heard that Portland's starting to develop the same socio-economic problems as my current city -- minimal job prospects, rising housing/rent prices, etc...

I like the idea of living in an eco-friendly city with a strong counter-cultural movement, a ton of craft beer, more girls (or the occasional bottom) who might like me, and lots of grey skies & rain...but I also have three ferrets to feed, bills to pay, and the clock's ticking. I turn 28 in a couple of months, and I'm sick of being miserable. I don't want to move and then be miserable AGAIN, and jobless for an indefinite period to boot. (I can do my current job remotely, but my department manager hates me because I sided with someone who was sexually harassed by one of her cronies, so I get the feeling that I'm not going to be offered the opportunity to work remotely like other people who've moved.)

So I'd like your honest opinion...should I pack up and make for Portland in a couple of months, or should I find somewhere else to move to? (I was also considering Seattle, but that's going to be a separate post in the Washington forum.)

39 replies, 3778 views

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Reply So I'm thinking of moving to Portland...good idea or bad idea? (Original post)
BreweryYardRat May 2016 OP
SheilaT May 2016 #1
yeoman6987 May 2016 #4
SusanCalvin May 2016 #5
yeoman6987 May 2016 #6
SusanCalvin May 2016 #7
yeoman6987 May 2016 #10
SusanCalvin May 2016 #17
sense May 2016 #23
SusanCalvin May 2016 #24
sense May 2016 #28
SusanCalvin May 2016 #29
LWolf May 2016 #32
SusanCalvin May 2016 #33
LWolf May 2016 #35
BreweryYardRat May 2016 #8
SusanCalvin May 2016 #18
SheilaT May 2016 #11
roody May 2016 #16
SusanCalvin May 2016 #19
Lodestar May 2016 #2
SheilaT May 2016 #12
Scootaloo May 2016 #3
SusanCalvin May 2016 #25
CentralMass May 2016 #9
beveeheart May 2016 #13
grasswire May 2016 #14
SusanCalvin May 2016 #20
marble falls May 2016 #15
love_katz May 2016 #21
grasswire May 2016 #22
SusanCalvin May 2016 #27
love_katz May 2016 #31
The_Casual_Observer May 2016 #26
snort May 2016 #30
0rganism May 2016 #34
L. Coyote May 2016 #36
davidpdx May 2016 #37
tm2clean2 Jun 2016 #38
PasadenaTrudy Jun 2016 #39

Response to BreweryYardRat (Original post)

Sat May 21, 2016, 12:12 AM

1. I have a son who lives in Portland, and he loves it there.

 

He's a college graduate. He earns his living delivering pizza, a job he absolutely loves and allows him to support himself. I can't begin to comment on other jobs.

The city is very diverse in very many ways. It has a reputation for being expensive, but I can tell you I live in Santa Fe, NM, which I'm constantly told is totally unaffordable. Not true. Every city has more and less expensive areas. One way my son deals with the cost of housing is to have a roomate.

As for resident/non-resident tuition: I've moved a lot as an adult, and if you're over 21, and especially if you've bought a home in that area (although trust me, this is not a requirement) you'll get credit for being a resident within a couple of months. Here's what you do: Move, rent (or buy if that's possible), register to vote, get your car registration changed. And then go register for school. If they give you grief about how long you've lived there, just stare them down. I've been through this more than once, and while I suppose the specific school or state does make a difference, once you're an adult, they stop playing games with you.

Portland is a great city to by young in. My son is 29, your age. Several years ago, when I was getting divorced and had decided I needed to leave Overland Park, Kansas, where I'd lived for 18 years, I looked at various places, including Portland. I ultimately decided against it, and moved instead to Santa Fe, NM. Great choice for me. This is, in my opinion and experience, a wonderful city for an older woman starting over. I would not want to be young here. Portland is a wonderful place for young people.

My son also plays Ultimate frisbee, and there's a strong comedy scene there -- he's been known to do a bit of stand-up on occasion.

Here's my advice, as someone at least old enough to be your mother: take the chance. You are miserable where you are. If you stay there, you will spend years and years thinking you should have made a change. If you move and it doesn't work out, you swear a bit, kick the furniture, and move again. I want to encourage you to take a chance. Take a chance on yourself. Take a chance on your future.

Best of luck to you.

SheilaT

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Response to SheilaT (Reply #1)

Sat May 21, 2016, 12:35 AM

4. Why not get your teaching certificate?

 

Cheaper then a new degrees and once you are teaching do a masters program then. You have an English and history degree that you are not using. I think that might be a better avenue. Also while getting the certificate, substitute teach. Just a thought.

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Response to yeoman6987 (Reply #4)

Sat May 21, 2016, 12:39 AM

5. Does Oregon honor teaching certificates from Texas? nt

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Response to SusanCalvin (Reply #5)

Sat May 21, 2016, 12:41 AM

6. You'd have to transfer it over and maybe do a class or two

 

And then again maybe just transfer and no classes. Each state is different. Good luck!

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Response to yeoman6987 (Reply #6)

Sat May 21, 2016, 12:44 AM

7. Do you happen to have a link to Oregon info?

I've looked around before and just gotten confused.

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Response to SusanCalvin (Reply #7)

Sat May 21, 2016, 01:34 AM

10. Give me tomorrow and I promise to investigate.

 

I will do this.

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Response to yeoman6987 (Reply #10)

Sat May 21, 2016, 10:39 AM

17. Oh thank you!

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Response to SusanCalvin (Reply #5)

Sat May 21, 2016, 10:37 PM

23. Oregon requires a masters to teach

in any public school.

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Response to sense (Reply #23)

Sat May 21, 2016, 11:03 PM

24. Got it.

Does it have to be in the subject?

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Response to SusanCalvin (Reply #24)

Sun May 22, 2016, 12:26 AM

28. No, I don't think so.

I think if you attend an Oregon University, there's a 5 year education program where you wind up with a masters in Ed. If you've already got a Masters in a subject, it would be pretty easy to add a few classes to get a teaching certificate.

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Response to sense (Reply #28)

Sun May 22, 2016, 12:29 AM

29. Interesting.

I really want to get back to the left coast, but what I'm currently teaching and wish to continue to teach is not either of my degrees.

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Response to SusanCalvin (Reply #5)

Mon May 23, 2016, 08:26 AM

32. Start here.

http://www.oregon.gov/tspc/Pages/index.aspx

I transferred my certificate from CA 12 years ago; I had to take one class on civil liberties...a redundancy to be sure. It depends upon your state. I know that the requirements have changed. Of course, they're always changing, but the reauthorization of ESEA has had an effect.

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Response to LWolf (Reply #32)

Mon May 23, 2016, 06:39 PM

33. Thanks.

It's not real specific, is it? I guess they don't want to box themselves in.

Do you happen to know if Oregon allows you to add certification areas by exam, as Texas does? What I currently teach is not what I have any degree in...!

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Response to SusanCalvin (Reply #33)

Tue May 24, 2016, 07:59 AM

35. I know that,

when I got here, you could add some endorsements by exam; I did. I also know that when I renewed this spring, my endorsement page was completely different. So now I'm not sure. In the left hand column, there's an "out of state applicant" link; see what you can find there.

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Response to yeoman6987 (Reply #4)

Sat May 21, 2016, 01:09 AM

8. Thanks

Not a bad idea. I actually love teaching history, and applied to the Teach For America program earlier this year. (I got turned down due to "lack of leadership experience." I've just realized over the last few months that I need some degree of change in my daily routine, and teaching would be more routine, no matter how much I love the subject. Being in a classroom 5 days a week wouldn't stress me as badly as 5 days a week in an office, but one of the reasons I was interested in a Master's degree is because of the opportunity to go overseas...and hopefully not end up stuck in an office. However, teaching would be a good short-term solution.

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Response to BreweryYardRat (Reply #8)

Sat May 21, 2016, 10:40 AM

18. Teaching is only routine if the teacher makes it that way.

I mean, you gotta have your customs and procedures, but there's PLENTY of variety if you encourage it.

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Response to yeoman6987 (Reply #4)

Sat May 21, 2016, 01:51 AM

11. Oh, dear. I don't have a four year degree.

 

I do have an AA degree, with a paralegal certificate.

I've been going to college on and off most of my adult life and have over 200 semester hours of credit. I will brag and say that college professors often think I am one of them.

There are places where you don't need a degree to substitute teach, and I've sort of thought about that, but one friend who did substitute teaching mentioned that you had to be up early, waiting for the phone call. I am NOT a morning person. As far as I'm concerned, the world does not begin until at least 10am. So substitute teaching is simply not a good choice for me.

Most of my working life I've had an afternoon shift. I just love it. I can sleep late enough, wander off to work, and do what's required of me.

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Response to yeoman6987 (Reply #4)

Sat May 21, 2016, 09:32 AM

16. Do this if you have infinite patience with children.

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Response to roody (Reply #16)

Sat May 21, 2016, 10:41 AM

19. You can start out with less than infinite, just a reasonable amount.

You develop it.

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Response to BreweryYardRat (Original post)

Sat May 21, 2016, 12:14 AM

2. I've heard really good things about Portland

A niece of mine who lives in Austin thought she'd like to go to college in Portland.
But she went for a semester and found the whole experience much less to her
liking than she expected and returned to finish her schooling in Austin. I'd
always heard these two cities had a lot in common so was kind of puzzled.
I think it may come down to personalities. My niece prefers the personality
of Austin and its people, while still admiring the good things about both cities.

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Response to Lodestar (Reply #2)

Sat May 21, 2016, 01:57 AM

12. I have been to Austin, although it was a very long time ago,

 

and to Portland much more recently. I'm not sure I see any commonalities between the two cities, other than colleges and universities. The climate is quite different between the two. The political climates likewise quite different. While I understand Austin is a bastion of liberalness in the middle of Texas, with all due respect, it's still in Texas. And while Portland is EXTREMELY liberal, it's still inside a somewhat liberal state overall.

And you probably have it right about personalities. Cities, states, regions of the country, all have personalities as we individual humans do. It's not that one personality (Austin or Portland) is better than the other, it's that they are different. And that's okay.

Most people do not get the chance to truly choose where they will live. They wind up somewhere because of a job, or a transfer, or that's where they grew up, or something like that. Your niece got to check out a place in another part of the country. Too bad she didn't like it there, but better to have found that out than spent her life wondering.

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Response to BreweryYardRat (Original post)

Sat May 21, 2016, 12:19 AM

3. How do you feel about bacon and ukuleles?

 

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Response to Scootaloo (Reply #3)

Sat May 21, 2016, 11:05 PM

25. Like both (bacon uncured), but hope there's more.... nt

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Response to BreweryYardRat (Original post)

Sat May 21, 2016, 01:14 AM

9. I've lived outside of Portland for a year and a half.

The number of people moving here is quite high and housing prices are high and increasing. I pay a little over a grand for modest one bedroom apartment in Beaverton.Traffic seams to get worse every week

I am not a cultural giant but..

Portland is a very cool city with great public transit access and many things to see and do. You can hop a train into the city on the weekend and walk along the river front and explore the vendors and artisans of the outdoor market place and watch bands and other entertainment for free and choose from many differen food trucks .

The city has phenomenal restaurants, bars, bakeries and breweries. There is the legendary Voodoo Doughnuts. Many coiffee houses like Stumptown Coffee. There is one of the coolest bookstores on the planet Powell's Bookstores. You have the old Bagdhad Theater in South Portland that is not a pub/cinema in one of th he coolest neighborhoods in Portland.

There a great wineries in the area and the number of micro breweries making great beers and ciders and micro distilleries are increasing.

I find the people here to be very friendly. The pace is a bit slower then in the northeast where I'm from. The drivers are more cautious in an annoying sort of way to a Masshole who is used to driving in Massachusetts

The state has some stunning natural beauty. You have the many water falls like Multnomah Falls along the Scenic Columbia River Gorge Highway and the BonnevilleBonneville Dam with Salmon ladder where you can observd salmon. Sturgeon and other species returning to the streams that they were born to continue the life cycle. There are beautiful pristine beaches and some great seaside towns about an hour or so to the west for starters.



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Response to BreweryYardRat (Original post)

Sat May 21, 2016, 02:02 AM

13. My friend moved to Portland area a year ago

and still hasn't found full-time work as a graphic artist.

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Response to BreweryYardRat (Original post)

Sat May 21, 2016, 02:05 AM

14. I am a Portland native.

First, I have to tell you that way too many people want to move here. The city cannot keep its character that attracts people and embrace a huge influx too. There is some pushback from established residents, because their neighborhoods are being riddled with demolitions of family homes so that condos can be thrown up by developers. It's a big problem.

Here's the job situation. My nephew, who has a degree in European history and a degree in Russian language from University of Oregon on the dean's list and extensive experience living in Eastern Europe works in Portland as a busboy, with another small job at a bike shop. He has significant student loans. He shares a one bedroom apartment with two other guys. He gets some meals at the restaurant. He does not have a car. There really is no reason to keep a car if you live in the city. The housing market is extremely tight and very expensive. It is possible to get a restaurant job, but that isn't going to cover expenses. You might have to leave your ferrets behind to get an apartment.

The plusses. Public transportation is very good and the city is walkable and extremely safe in most areas. There is plenty to do for cheap entertainment. It is beautiful. And the weather has got to be preferable to Florida. No alligators, no pythons. It's a totally different vibe than Florida.

What kind of work are you doing now?

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Response to grasswire (Reply #14)

Sat May 21, 2016, 10:44 AM

20. Are there any places within reasonable driving distance for a weekend day out

that are less expensive?

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Response to BreweryYardRat (Original post)

Sat May 21, 2016, 09:07 AM

15. I'm moving to Springfeild, OR, Oregon was such a wonderful surprise.

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Response to BreweryYardRat (Original post)

Sat May 21, 2016, 12:36 PM

21. I agree with glassware.

I am a native. Too many people are moving here, they are swarming in from all over the country. My hometown is sinking under the weight of the crowds. Our traffic has become miserable and horrendous. Portland has made it to the top of too many " best of " lists, but the huge influx of people is crushing those quality of life characteristics that they came in search of. I don't find it fun to go places on the weekends anymore because the crowds just ruin the experience. Our freeways look like rush hour all the time. As near as I can tell, our employment opportunities have not increased, other than low wage service jobs related to the boom in population. Generally, jobs like that don't pay enough to live on and they tend to disappear when the inevitable bust sets in. We are also being affected by climate change. We recently had temperatures that would be normal in August in April and May! I fear we are going to end up hot and dry like California, which would be a disaster. Speaking of California, many of them have moved up here because they have run short on water. One of the biggest problems facing you if you try to move here is housing. We do not have rent control here. I talked to someone who said that they were going to lose their apartment because the owner was going to way Jack up the rents because they can get more money from all the new people moving in from other states. I would not recommend moving here unless you have a good job nailed down and can find an affordable place to live.

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Response to love_katz (Reply #21)

Sat May 21, 2016, 02:19 PM

22. yes, many people are losing their apartments and rentals

It's just too attractive an environment for landlords and profiteers. My rent has gone up three years in a row, but thankfully not to the disastrous hike that has happened for many. Every day I am blessed by a beautiful small dwelling that I can afford -- so far.

Everything you say is true. Success is ruining our beloved city. Those hordes who come here for its character are killing it off. And we don't have a city council with the backbone to stop it. Perhaps they are taking money from developers.

Climate change is also a problem. Californians ruined their own state, and came here first because our cost of living was cheaper, and then as climate refugees. Our roads cannot keep up. Our own lives are the worse for it all.

Yes, the bust is inevitable. But the boom is destroying a lot of what will be left for we natives.

HOWEVER....I was trying to be kind to the OP who genuinely wants to further his education. It might be that Eugene and University of Oregon would be better fit.

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Response to grasswire (Reply #22)

Sat May 21, 2016, 11:31 PM

27. Yep. San Diego redux.

But I still wanna go back if I can.

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Response to grasswire (Reply #22)

Sun May 22, 2016, 11:56 AM

31. I thought of Eugene, also.

Eugene is a college town, so there is a better chance of finding someone who needs a roommate.

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Response to BreweryYardRat (Original post)

Sat May 21, 2016, 11:12 PM

26. I think if you are in Tech or lumber mill automation

You might be ok there. It expensive and a haven for hipsters.
Eugene is far less expensive, a college town and less crowded, but the job prospects are as tough as anywhere.

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Response to BreweryYardRat (Original post)

Sun May 22, 2016, 10:08 AM

30. The occasional

bottom! You'd really like Portland. It's a great place to live.

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Response to BreweryYardRat (Original post)

Mon May 23, 2016, 08:59 PM

34. if you do this, plan to look for shared housing near the university

going for shared housing solutions will save you $$$, and let you experience one of the great traditions of Portland: randomly assembled students living in varying degrees of cleanliness as they scale the heights of higher learning from various angles.

one more word of advice:
as a prospective student, do NOT -- repeat do NOT -- come to Portland with a car. you will start off on the wrong foot immediately, fighting with thousands of more experienced Portland drivers for the increasingly rare long-term parking spaces. plus, you'd rob yourself of the opportunity to experience two attractive aspects of life in Portland: publicly supported bicycling and efficient mass transit.

later on, you can get a car when you need it and you have a place to put it.

if you bring a car with you, you're asking for a raftload of wasted time and extra rage.

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Response to BreweryYardRat (Original post)

Fri May 27, 2016, 02:12 AM

36. Depends

http://www.kgw.com/news/new-map-shows-1800-portland-buildings-vulnerable-in-earthquake/216308132

Why not Corvallis, home of OSU Beavers? Small city with a large university, off the freeway, great co-op food stores ....

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Response to BreweryYardRat (Original post)

Mon May 30, 2016, 04:47 AM

37. I grew up in Oregon and moved to Portland when I was 21

I lived there for 11 years before moving to South Korea. I love Portland as it is a very unique city. My wife and I go back to visit every two years and are headed there in four weeks. I'm literally giddy about the trip and can't wait.

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Response to BreweryYardRat (Original post)

Tue Jun 14, 2016, 01:17 AM

38. You don't want to move to Portland ;)

Hahaha! I discourage everyone thinking of moving to Portland, to just go somewhere else. It's cold and rainy here, who wants to always be wet? No, but seriously Portlands is awesome but I just don't want it to get over crowded. Already there is some really fierce competition going on for housing and rental and home prices are starting skyrocket. There is already a bit of a migration happening here with people moving up from Cali... Just something to keep in mind.

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Response to tm2clean2 (Reply #38)

Wed Jun 29, 2016, 01:05 PM

39. OR has always hated

us Californians. Even back in the '60s and '70s, lots of anti-CA sentiment. OR is too white for me, y'all can have it.

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