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  1.  (2076.1)
    I'm taking the liberty to do the same thing Fredrick did here earlier last month.

    I am visiting Portland, Oregon this following week from the 13th to the 20th, hoping to nail down a job and a place to live(rent) to move up mid/end of June. I'm using this opportunity to kill my car(well, sell it) and just ride my bikes and public transportations, too.

    So what would you recommend doing and where would be the best parts of town to look for a house or apartment? I need info!
    •  
      CommentAuthorMark R
    • CommentTimeMay 3rd 2008
     (2076.2)
    Portland is one of the most cycling friendly cities in the States. If you're a rider you'll love it.

    If you like coffee, check out Stumptown Roasters. My brother (who lives out there) sends me a pound or two for Christmas and birthday. Best coffee I drink all year.
    • CommentAuthorrobb
    • CommentTimeMay 3rd 2008
     (2076.3)
    somewhere there, you can get donuts with bacon on them.
    •  
      CommentAuthorJon Wake
    • CommentTimeMay 3rd 2008
     (2076.4)
    That would be Voodoo Donuts on 3rd Ave. They used to make a nyquil donut, but the FDA made them stop. My roommate works there.

    If you want a relatively cheap and nice place to live, South East Portland (say, inside 70th ave) is a great neighborhood. A little pricier is downtown, but compared to other town's downtown prices, it's not bad at all.

    Go see Powell's on 9th ave and Burnside. It's a five story book store. And it's wonderful. The nightlife in this town in great with lots of hidden little art spaces and more bars and music venues than you can shake a stick at. All in all, I recommend Portland to anyone who wants a laid back and arts-friendly town.
    • CommentAuthorjohnmuth
    • CommentTimeMay 3rd 2008
     (2076.5)
    I'm going to be there on Wednesday - flight gets in at 8, job interview at 9. When I moved to Portland in 2004, it took me and my girlfriend two days to find a really nice apartment in the Southeast side of town. (We moved back to the east coast in '05) Great district full of little shops and different theatres and whatnot. It's amazing how nice the people are, for the most part and how even when things like traffic lights go out, everyone understands that to make things go smoothly, you have to cooperate.

    Powell's is DEFINITELY a great place to visit!!

    When I was there before, I didn't really get to explore the city too much, so I'll keep an eye out on this thread too. You're only about an hour and a half from the coast and where Goonies was filmed (god that's such a touristy thing to say, but that movie was a big deal when I was a kid.
  2.  (2076.6)
    You guys rock! Thanks for the info!
  3.  (2076.7)
    As a Portland resident, I need to tell you -- the job market here is harsh. You can look for weeks or months before you find a job. And the housing can be rough too, especially if you're choosy.

    As far as things to do, I don't know where to start. I really don't. What kind of stuff do you like to do?
    • CommentAuthorStefanJ
    • CommentTimeMay 4th 2008
     (2076.8)
    I drove to Freegeek -- SE 10th south of Hawthorne -- today, to drop off some old computers.

    There's something so damn mellow about a mix of low-rent industrial and old residential. Old bungalows and rooming houses, really old storefronts with dance studios in them, breweries, dog day care joints, an Elk's hall.

    Hmmm, let's see. Take the MAX to Washington Park. It's a stop deep in a tunnel under the West Hills. The station itself is damn cool. Then take the elevator up. There's all sorts of museums and gardens up there.

    And if you find the right vantage point, it's like you're looking at a postcard view of downtown, with the mountains rearing up in the background.
  4.  (2076.9)
    @Brandon

    Yeah, I've heard jobs are hard to come by. Hopefully one of the three interviews will pan out a job.
    •  
      CommentAuthorJon Wake
    • CommentTimeMay 4th 2008
     (2076.10)
    I second that. I've been out of work for going on four months now, and I'm a low wage menial laborer. Tough times all around.
    •  
      CommentAuthoralan
    • CommentTimeMay 4th 2008
     (2076.11)
    If you're looking at bike or transit as your primary means of transportation you'll want to aim for something "close-in" to city center, or on one of the Max (light rail) lines. Public transportation is good IF you're in the right part of town, but there are huge gaps of the city and surrounding areas that are poorly serviced by transit. Most lines shut down by 12:30 AM, and if you close the bar down (last call's 2:00am here) you'll be walking, cabbing, or drunk biking home.

    The city is split into four quadrants, North East, North West, South East, South West (NE, NW, SE, SW). Avoid far out SW and NW because of the aforementioned transit issues. Close-In NW (out to about 28th) avenue has most of the expensive, trendy neighborhoods, but you can find still sort-of affordable housing in the blocks between 20th and 16th.

    Avoid the Pearl District like the plague. It's relocated Southern Californians who couldn't hack it as Souther Californians so they brought their small dogs, fake tans and asshole attitudes up North. (Apologies to friends in LA, but you know who I'm talking about)

    Old Town is the part of North West portland downtown, between the river and and 6th or 7th avenue. Well-to-do people consider it Portland's "sketchy" area but it's pretty mild. If you want to live downtown and you're comfortable watching your back you may be able to find some interesting rental prospects in the area. Old town also encompasses the "everyone 20 - 27 going out to the bars" part of town.

    SW encompasses Portland's Downtown, and then further out the suburbs. You don't want to live in the suburbs without a car.

    SE to about 10th avenue is the industrial district, which is slowly being developed as a residential neighborhood. There's a great club called Rotture in the area which is worth tracking down if you like live DJs and strong drink, and a lot of cool art spaces and businesses in the area. The aforementioned Freegeek springs to mind, as well as Newspace, a community darkroom.

    SE between 16th and 50th is the current front of gentrification in Portland. There's still affordable places between 39th and 50th though, plenty to do in walking/biking distance, and three main lines on Division, Hawthorne and Belmont into downtown. I'm not familiar with life between 50th and 70th, but I run into a lot of people who live out there and like it. SE 82nd is the magic "sketchy" line. It's cleaned up a bit, but still a lot of white trash and meth in those parts.

    Once you get out of the industrial district, SE is filled with lots of old trees and Mt Tabor lurking in the background. If you go really far south you're in Milwaukee, which is a self contained community that a lot of people are moving to due to affordable rents. Only live there if you'll be content with what's in Milwaukee, as getting to Portland proper is a pain in the ass. It's also the home of Dark Horse, if you're interested in such things.

    NE is another front of gentrification, but less along than SE. Some people split the neighborhood into North East and North. Main up and coming drags are Alberta (NE) and Mississippi (N). It's an odd mix of old established businesses and new art gallery/"stuff white people like" shops. Definitely where the artists and queers congregate. Probably your best bet if housing prices are a concern.

    Laurelhurst is the established, more expensive NE neighborhood, but still plenty affordable if you're splitting a house

    In general, the rental market is weird. One bedrooms are overpriced, but if you can get two or three people together renting a full house is surprisingly affordable. Canvassing a neighborhood is the best way to find someplace interesting to live; you'll do OK with Craigslist, but end up paying the upper end of the spectrum. If you're looking to buy I laugh and pity you.

    Portland's job market is equally weird. The "OMG job market sucks" reputation Portland has seems to be left from the bad old days. If you have talent and skills you'll be able to find work pretty quick. If you're starting out things are a bit tougher, and if you work service you almost need an introduction to get into the places where you can make a living, but once you're in you'll be fine.

    Unless you need the cash, I'd consider keeping the car and just not driving it a lot.

    Since you read Whitechappel I'm going to assume you like the funny books. Excaliber Comics on SE Hawthorne is the established shop that serves the Superhero crowd with a good selection of non-DC/Marvel lines. I'm mainly shopping at Floating World these days, which you can find in Old Town on 5th. The owner is super friendly and orders a lot of random stuff you might not get at other shops. There's also a place called Bridge City Comics on MIssissipi which I've only been in once. It was a really nice place with great service, but definitely focused on the Superhero crowd.
  5.  (2076.12)
    @ Alan

    Christ on a crutch, man! That's a hell of a lot of detailed info, dude! Thanks!

    Appreciated one and all, though. If the job pans out and I wind up moving there, I have to buy for a lot of beer for a lot of people. I think I'm just going to print out this thread and take it with me. :)
    • CommentAuthorxpac
    • CommentTimeMay 5th 2008
     (2076.13)
    Wow Alan that guide even helped me and I've lived here for two years.
    I might have to check out Floating World.
  6.  (2076.14)
    I agree with most of the sentiment here about the job market but it's certainly not as bad as other top markets.

    Home purchasing is a little tough due to cost and the desire for close-in proximity - Portland certainly has a loud heartbeat that people want to hear and be part of. Prices are high (aren't they everywhere?) but has stabled as well appreciation reaching normalicy (unlike the skyrocketing pricing that went on in 04-06).

    The time to buy is now - huge inventory, still great interest rates and an above average economy (metro-area).

    Go to my links to find out more about what Portland and Oregon have to offer. www.JoeSchafbuch.com
  7.  (2076.15)
    I lived all over Portland for years, SE, downtown, North, even out in Milwaukie (believe me, once you get to know the city, you'll think to yourself, "Jesus, he lived there?") and for much of that time I hoofed it. There's not really a bad place to live in terms of public transport. And if you have a bike, you'll have an even easier time.


    As far as comcs shops go, I'd also recommend Cosmic Monkey on Sandy.
  8.  (2076.16)
    Floating World is excellent. Back when it was at it's old location I found a copy of Brought To Light for about $10. Anyway, NW Portland on the edge of the NW industrial area is nice. Nice housing, a good mix of commercial sites, downtown is just a bus away, and Macleay Park is a short walk away.
  9.  (2076.17)
    I'm actually up in NW right now, mister slim -- and yes, having the Macleay Park entrance to Forest Park right there is definitely one of the benefits. Especially since it's only a 20 minute walk to this:


    From there. (I love the Witches' Castle.)
  10.  (2076.18)
    I see you have a photo of my favorite spot:
    Forest Park waterfall bridge/benches.
    The benches are one of my favorite spots to sit and read or write. The brook and small waterfall create enough white noise to block out the city sounds and forest light and smell remind me of the land I grew up on. Oddly enough I was born in Fairbanks myself.