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Old 01-10-11, 12:24 AM   #1
bluevelo
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Tell me more about Portland, OR/Vancouver, WA

Well, I've heard so many great things about the area, including a recent rave about how fantastic Portland is from a trip my quasi-GF made there for work.

So, I finally pulled the trigger on a promotion that I've probably got a decent shot of getting in our office that's in downtown Vancouver near Officers Row. Yes, I know all about the Great Gloom in the Northwest, but I would get a salary bump + no state income tax in Washington state, and... from what I've been able to Google and find online, my COL is going to go down at least a little bit compared to here in Sacramento... seems like the music scene in Portland is also much better than here.

Yes, I know that Vancouver and Portland are very different, but as a 49 year old guy I'm not sure I want to live amongst hipsters anymore and fight the bridges to go to work in Vancouver every day (and pay Oregon's California-like state income tax rate - although you don't have to pay sales taxes, so it all evens out, I'm sure), but having Portland a hop, skip and jump away seems to make a great deal of sense.

I also see a positive in that the public school systems appear to be *much* better (and safer) than what you typically find in California. I'm not that impressed with the schools my children are attending in CT right now - since CT is essentially a suburb of NYC/Boston, the rich that live there have their kids in private schools - not the public school systems, and from what I've heard, the public schools are nothing to write home about in CT either (better than Cali, but not much). Another upside is that you have better airport connections to the East Coast and the rest of the country from PDX vs. SMF. Plus, the more I observe California politics, the more I am convinced this state is headed for complete bankruptcy and total collapse in the near future, and I'm not sure I want to be here when inevitable implosion occurs. More house for your dollar, better schools, lower taxes - yeah, rain sucks but there's always tradeoffs...
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Old 01-10-11, 08:15 AM   #2
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You likea da rain?
http://www.movingtoportland.net/portland_links.htm
http://www.cityofvancouver.us/page.asp?menuid=10466
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Old 01-10-11, 08:18 PM   #3
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We flew into Portland then drove down the entire length of the Oregon coast and back. The coast was very interesting but would probably be cold and dreary in winter. We didn't spend any time seeing sights in Portland, and the downtown area seemed interesting, but traffic in the rest of the city was unbearable to us, and I drive in Dallas every day.

The big attraction to Portland is windsurfing in the gorge. I had a friend that was so into windsurfing that he moved to Portland.
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Old 01-10-11, 09:17 PM   #4
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yeah, rain sucks but there's always tradeoffs...
Pshaw. I still ride year 'round. Fenders are a necessity. I might skip riding tomorrow, though: http://www.wunderground.com/US/WA/039.html#WIN

FWIW: I moved here 17 years ago from San Diego. More affordable, and it's become somewhat more bike friendly in that time. There's still a ways to go, but all of the new roads have bike lanes on them. Given what I know about California, Portland, and Vancouver public schools, I'd say Vancouver is a pretty good choice. (Not having kids means my understanding is hearsay.) Living near the Columbia River also means good access to riding around Portland, but the riding here in Clark County is decent, too.

Going back and forth across the Columbia is relatively straightforward once you learn the squiggles. Join the VBC "Two Bridge Loop": http://vbc-usa.com/site/site_files/r...STwoBridge.pdf to get it figured out- Jantzen Beach is spaghetti and it helps to have a guide. My commute to work and back takes me across the I-205 and I-5 bridges, so I can do it in my sleep. The VBC is a good recreational club, and if you want to go racing OBRA is great. If your office will be at Officer's Row you'll be minutes away from Portland International Raceway, which has bike road races Monday and Tuesday night during the spring and summer.

Warning: being near the I-5 bridge means you'll probably also hear a lot about the Columbia River Crossing, pro: http://www.columbiarivercrossing.org/ and con: http://stopthecrc.org/
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Old 01-11-11, 02:16 PM   #5
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Well, I've heard so many great things about the area, including a recent rave about how fantastic Portland is from a trip my quasi-GF made there for work.

the more I observe California politics, the more I am convinced this state is headed for complete bankruptcy and total collapse in the near future, and I'm not sure I want to be here when inevitable implosion occurs. More house for your dollar, better schools, lower taxes - yeah, rain sucks but there's always tradeoffs...
among other things - I'll agree with you.
Sactown is okay, but when I had the choice to move down there & live with my gf, I passed, and I'm still thankful for that.

I live a little further north in Seattle, but I looked at Vancouver/Portland long and hard before deciding to move to seattle.
They are good places to live - life is relaxed and comfortable by and large.
There is lots of cycling, lots of good food, a large percentage of people are "outdoorsy", and I don't think you'd regret it.
You can live car-free if you want, and plenty of people do.
WA is a good state to live in, we may get a state income tax eventually, but even still, it is a fantastic place to live.

I'd recommend that move, and I'd skip portland if you are deciding between the two.
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Old 01-11-11, 02:18 PM   #6
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Riding is always doable - I'm riding a steel bike with full fenders today, and there are very, VERY few days over the course of the year in which I couldn't ride it with 23mm tyres.

Buying gear will make things a lot better - get good rain gear and it isn't a problem at all. The rain isn't hard like a T-storm, you'll get used to it.
Highly recommended, as a guy whose last move was a comparison of Washington and California.
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Old 01-11-11, 02:49 PM   #7
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Plus, the more I observe California politics, the more I am convinced this state is headed for complete bankruptcy and total collapse in the near future, and I'm not sure I want to be here when inevitable implosion occurs.
+73, and I do not believe it is stoppable at this point either.
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Old 01-11-11, 02:53 PM   #8
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National Forest named after Gifford Pinchot? We have a State Park here named after that short-sighted clown who sold Hetch-Hetchie under the reservoir.
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Old 01-11-11, 04:34 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by bluevelo View Post
Well, I've heard so many great things about the area, including a recent rave about how fantastic Portland is from a trip my quasi-GF made there for work.

So, I finally pulled the trigger on a promotion that I've probably got a decent shot of getting in our office that's in downtown Vancouver near Officers Row. Yes, I know all about the Great Gloom in the Northwest, but I would get a salary bump + no state income tax in Washington state, and... from what I've been able to Google and find online, my COL is going to go down at least a little bit compared to here in Sacramento... seems like the music scene in Portland is also much better than here.

Yes, I know that Vancouver and Portland are very different, but as a 49 year old guy I'm not sure I want to live amongst hipsters anymore and fight the bridges to go to work in Vancouver every day (and pay Oregon's California-like state income tax rate - although you don't have to pay sales taxes, so it all evens out, I'm sure), but having Portland a hop, skip and jump away seems to make a great deal of sense.

I also see a positive in that the public school systems appear to be *much* better (and safer) than what you typically find in California. I'm not that impressed with the schools my children are attending in CT right now - since CT is essentially a suburb of NYC/Boston, the rich that live there have their kids in private schools - not the public school systems, and from what I've heard, the public schools are nothing to write home about in CT either (better than Cali, but not much). Another upside is that you have better airport connections to the East Coast and the rest of the country from PDX vs. SMF. Plus, the more I observe California politics, the more I am convinced this state is headed for complete bankruptcy and total collapse in the near future, and I'm not sure I want to be here when inevitable implosion occurs. More house for your dollar, better schools, lower taxes - yeah, rain sucks but there's always tradeoffs...
Isn't Portland, Oregon, Bike Hipster Capital, USA?
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Old 01-11-11, 06:39 PM   #10
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Isn't Portland, Oregon, Bike Hipster Capital, USA?
I think that's why he's considering holing up in Vancouver, WA, so he can just visit hipsters when he wants to and not have to live amongst them.
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Old 01-11-11, 07:46 PM   #11
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I think that's why he's considering holing up in Vancouver, WA, so he can just visit hipsters when he wants to and not have to live amongst them.
Thanks for the cliffs note version.
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Old 01-11-11, 08:46 PM   #12
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I think that's why he's considering holing up in Vancouver, WA, so he can just visit hipsters when he wants to and not have to live amongst them.
This might also explain why I live 25 miles north of Seattle.
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Old 01-12-11, 12:47 AM   #13
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I think that's why he's considering holing up in Vancouver, WA, so he can just visit hipsters when he wants to and not have to live amongst them.
Yeah, well, they don't call it "Van-tucky" for nothing!
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Old 01-12-11, 10:10 AM   #14
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Another upside is that you have better airport connections to the East Coast and the rest of the country from PDX vs. SMF.
I don't know about Portland but from SeaTac JetBlue flies direct to JFK and Logan, which is just really useful.

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Plus, the more I observe California politics, the more I am convinced this state is headed for complete bankruptcy and total collapse in the near future, and I'm not sure I want to be here when inevitable implosion occurs. More house for your dollar, better schools, lower taxes - yeah, rain sucks but there's always tradeoffs...
I wouldn't bank on any of that staying constant most anywhere. Except for cheaper houses.
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Old 01-12-11, 10:13 AM   #15
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ps-> riding in today's slush-fest was a total blast. And, to make matters better, I was not locked out of my office so I could get out of the downpour at the end of my ride to take my sopping footwear off!
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Old 01-12-11, 06:32 PM   #16
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Watch this movie to learn more about Portland: http://www.ifc.com/videos/portlandia...of-the-90s.php

We also have a lot of good beer.
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