Portland, Oregon


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What's it like to live in Portland?

What would you guys say are the biggest pros and cons of living in Portland or the surrounding area. And also some important things to know about living in Portland

I moved from SoCal to here last January (not by my choice) and I don't like it at all. It's sort of cheaper than Los Angeles but not really. I'm making roughly 10k less than I was in 2018 and my rent is only a couple hundred dollars less. Next year I'm going to move back to Phoenix where I grew up.


It takes hardly any time to get somewhere. Street parking is cheap compared to SoCal and it's easier to park in my opinion. Things move at a slower pace here and it's not too stressful. No sales tax is a huge bonus! Car registration is good for two years and it's cheaper than California. The greenery is amazing and the people are relatively nice if you are like them.


Things move at a slower pace, it doesn't seem like anyone has a sense of urgency for anything. Income tax is higher than California and unless you're buying big-ticket items the no sales tax doesn't really make up for it. Utilities are expensive. Wages are low compared to the cost of living. Too many arthouse theaters. You don't see any diversity in Portland. Tons of Black Lives Matter signs but you don't see any African American communities in Portland, nor Latinos or Asians. It's pretty much a sea of white people for days. If you're a single girl then it's just men with beards that are single. On a personal note, I feel like I am constantly being judged because I'm a moderate instead of a super progressive. I actually had someone call me racist because I wasn't on board with their presidential candidate.

What would you guys say are the biggest pros and cons of living in Portland or the surrounding area. And also some important things to know about living in Portland

It's one thing to have a bit of rain on a weekend trip. It's a different experience to sit through 9 months of the same 45 & rainy day. By year two, it'll get to anyone…

Best way to get around that is develop an interest in snow sports, then you have something to look forward to during the winters.

The hustle is unique in Portland. Feels more like Europe. People are interested in their unique thing, and that's enough. Maybe they've made a job out of their passion, maybe they just have a job, either way "what do you do for a living?" is perhaps not the best opening question at a party here vs. "what are you into these days?"

Finding affordable housing is hard, but if you're in California it won't feel that way.

Drivers are amazingly bad in a confusingly over friendly way. They'll stop in the middle of a multi-lane boulevard to let people cross, even though there's no need and its obviously not safe.

There's a LOT of homeless folk at this point in Portland. The city refuses to prosecute anything but the most violent crimes, heroin is pretty cheap and the laws are really forgiving. It also only gets below freezing occasionally so it's a lot more appealing than many towns in the midwest.

Schools aren't great. The better ones tend to be in the suburbs on the west side, which don't feel particularly "portland-y"

Traffic has gotten really bad, and it will only get worse. Public transport is basically bus. There's a light rail but it doesn't have that much coverage. By in large buses don't have their own lanes, so they're just as slow as being in a car. There's some talk of more bus only lanes which might make them more appealing. In the last 5 years I've seen commutes that used to take me 10 minutes turn into an easy 40 minutes.

On the plus side? In broad generalities….
Amazing food and beer are reasonable prices.
Great outdoor activities. 2 hours to snow, 2 hours to ocean. 1 hour to some of the best hikes in the States.
Being surrounded by people who often don't only care about making more money than their neighbors.
Very progressive kids. My children go to school with any number of "they's" and one kid who self identifies as a cheese burger. Bullying isn't a thing the same way as it was/is in the mid-west.
Weed is legal and cheap. There's more dispensaries than coffee shops at this point.

What is it like to live in Portland, Oregon?


-beautiful surroundings naturally and geographically; lots of outdoors stuff to do

-cost of living lower than larger cities (although housing has exploded now)

-laid back people

-great weather 6 months a year including summer


-limited opportunity professionally (especially for people with advanced degrees)

-mediocre higher education

-lack of world class organizations and access to the “latest and greatest” (lacks great hospitals, universities, top companies, cutting edge stuff)

-strong “social justice” subculture which is a good thing but I don’t fit in into on a personal level (although I am very liberal)

-weird subcultures (unless you are into hipsters, alternative type cultures)

-liberal in the “hippy, sustainability, craft foods, no war” sense; not as liberal about other things and not very liberal at all compared to Europe

-anti-business and anti-development mindset

-grey skies can go on for months during half of of the year; when it rains, it drizzles so you are not getting as much rain as you may think but it’s constantly misting which is annoying (I prefer heavy rain that stops and gives way to clearing)

-have always had trouble relating to people here and dating; this could be just me but the predominance of the “hipster” subculture may be an issue if you’re more straight cut

-trendy for men to have beards and everyone has tattoos; women don’t dress very fashionable/don’t take care of appearance as much as in other cities

-more religious people than you hear in the media

What is it like to live in Portland, Oregon?

I moved to Oregon in the 3rd grade and initially I didn’t like it, not even a little bit. It rained almost everyday, the ground was wet, and it seemed everywhere was muddy and slippery to step. This type of atomosphere is a recipe for seasonal depression. However, I grew to love Oregon for its other aspects. It is a place that I remember not being afraid to be myself. southern Oregon gets abt 300 days of sun a year. It is a beautiful place to live in general with tons of untouched land that is therapeutic to observe and the air is generally cleaner than most places you visit on the west coast. The education system is impeccable, the low, middle and high class citizens vote for the betterment of everyone from animals to humans no matter the class. Native Oregonians are humble, caring and giving. If you can get past the dreary, cold weather Oregon is actually a pleasant place to be.

TOP 5 PROS and CONS of Living in Portland Oregon