Me and Chelsea(loveandasandwich) are planning a move next summer to the west coast. We're lookin at Seattle or Portland... Any opinions on which is the better city and how the prices on rent and whatnot compare? I just started looking recently and so far Portland seems like the better deal. But I'm not sure if its a better city for the money?
We'll be flying out there around February or so to check it out... hopefully I'll be able to hook up with some of you dudes and go around the cities !
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I can't comment on anything related to Portland as I have only visited there, but I have lived in Seattle for about 10 years...I feel qualified to relay my knowledge of the area to you.
Seattle is definitely a little pricey, but it depends on where you live of course. Basically, as close to downtown as you live the higher price it's gonna be. If you are buying a house, you'll probably need to look at areas around Bothell, Everett, Lynwood, Renton, or Kent...that is, unless you make 6 digits or have a HUGE savings.
If you are just renting, the same principal applies with downtown being the epicenter of high price and it radiates outward. I live in a largish 2-bedroom apartment for 1350.00 a month....I'd say the average price for middle class apartment is anywhere from 900-1400 a month. I've heard Portland is like a "mini-seattle" culture wise, so if money is your only factor in deciding...then I guess go with that one. But I fell in love with Seattle my first day here. It's got everything I want for a city, so I would definitely recommend visiting both before you decide.
Hope you like rain...it's not an exaggeration. It really does look grey and rainy from September to about March and it doesn't let up. But when it does let up, it's gorgeous because there's no pollution. Summers are warm, but not blazing. I think we had one 3-day heatwave this last summer that was like 95-105 but that had everyone freaking out because it never gets that hot. The biggest mistake you can make if you move out here is thinking the rain won't bother you, but then every time it rains you are one of those people that's like "GAWSH, I SURE WISH THE SUN WOULD COME OUT! I WISH IT WERE SUMMER". Argh...if you want that, move to LA or San Diego. Because you will absolutely not get that here, haha. I love the rain, so it's perfect for me.
I lived in Seattle for about 10 years as well, as a kid, then got to go back for the seattle workshop. I can't express my love for that city enough, rain and everything. Living portside is the best. I also love my Seahawks and Soncis
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I moved out here to Portland last year and I'm loving it so far. Yes, it does rain almost every day starting late october /early november through march or april or so, but I don't think it's that bad personally. and it's usually more of a light rain, rather than heavy downpours and it hardly ever storms really bad. But if you hate rain, then both of these cities will get you down in the winter. spring summer and fall, however, fucking amazing! you don't have to drive more than an hour or so in any direction to see some really incredible landscapes and nature shit. waterfalls, rivers, volcanoes, the ocean, farms, mountains, valleys, canyons, you name it, it's here.
Also, I wouldn't really recommend visiting in Feb. if you really want to get a good feel for the city. It will almost certainly be cloudy and rainy and cold, and you won't be able to really enjoy any of the scenery.
Can't be worse than where we are now, weather-wise. In the winter the amount of snow we get is ridiculous, it never leaves after the first time it snows and sticks, and doesn't go away till the end of April, maybe even later. I'd welcome rain as opposed to 3 feet of accumulated snow & temperatures in the negatives. D:
The northwest in general is filled with exceptional creatives, gorgeous and inspiring vistas and lots of other eye candy for the artist.
Amongst all of this? Portland Kicks. Ass.
Of course, I'm biased. I live (now) just south and well frankly, more exceptional artists nearby would be uber cool. Plus, I'm extremely drunk (so I'm here to tell ya we've got a LOT of good beer and wine around).
... You just want to move to Portland because of that Marijuana Cafe.
Nah, jk. I've never lived in the US before, but I've traveled all over, and Portland seemed really nice.
"PORTLAND, Oregon (Reuters) - The United States' first marijuana cafe opened on Friday, posing an early test of the Obama administration's move to relax policing of medical use of the drug.
The Cannabis Cafe in Portland, Oregon, is the first to give certified medical marijuana users a place to get hold of the drug and smoke it -- as long as they are out of public view -- despite a federal ban.
"This club represents personal freedom, finally, for our members," said Madeline Martinez, Oregon's executive director of NORML, a group pushing for marijuana legalization."
I've been to Portland, it's a great town but I don't like it as much as Seattle. You can always drive to Portland for a weekend if you live in Seattle. It's just about as far away as Vancouver B.C. which is another added bonus of living in Seatown. I've lived in upstate NY, ME, MA (Family in CT and NH), VA, MD, CA, HI, FL, and IL and someone will have to drag me out of Washington kicking and screaming. The summers make up for the rainy season.
Awright, being all sober now, I'll post a quickie bullet pointed list of the benefits of Portland:
*Public transportation. Me and my SO lived on the SE side, Hawthorne on SE 15th and the only time we had to drive was when we went to the gym. Other than that - it's walking, riding your bike or taking the bus/trolly/light rail to get around. We often walked to/from work as we both worked right downtown.
I often catch the train to go to either Portland or Seattle, too - so Amtrak isn't too bad either.
*Location, location, location: There's the Oregon coastline with some quaint and nice beach towns (Newport, Seaside, Cannon Beach, etc.). There's the high desert where there's Bend; there's mountains for hiking, camping and skiing.
*Great neighborhoods. There's the rejuvenated N. Portland and St. Johns area (a few of my artist friends live in St. Johns); there's NW and the Pearl District; SE side has Hawthorne, Division and Belmont; NE you'll find Broadway, Laurelhurst, Alameda, Hollywood <- home to the annual HP Lovecraft Film Festival, btw.
In every single neighborhood you're gonna find fabulous restaurants, cafes and shops. Or a first/last Thursday gallery walk. You know, Portland is a food lover's paradise: someplace great to eat at for any wallet.
*Farmers Markets - got those in spades. Northwest has a smorgasbord of great produce year round.
*Creatives abound. Lots of figure drawing studios in Portland; especially on the east side. There's Hipbone Studio and The Drawing Studio - just to name a couple. I know that Portland State U holds open sessions and that if you're a regular to the Illustrators Open (first Saturday of the month gathering of artists at the Art Institute), you can take part of the Friday figure drawing sessions there.
Lots of artists in Portland, too.
*Small indie theaters - oh boy. If you like film, Portland is a great film town. There's also the infamous theaters that serve wine/beer/food.
*Beer/wine - Oregon is not just a great place for brewpubs/microbrews but also of wine/wineries.
*We're nice. Yes, Oregonians are nice folks. Yes, we are.
*I and a few other CA'ers live in this state; either in Portland or near it.
--That's all I got so far. Hope this helps!
...what Patrica said, and we have no sales tax!
Man. Now I want to move to Oregon. Love the rocky beaches.
It's green in both places. There's a big-ass river in Portland. There's a sound and some big-ass clams up at seattle.
What are you looking for? If it's rain, then you are in business no matter what you decide. (edit: I love rain, as long as the people's central government is clearly in control of it.)
Seattle is expensive. Housing/rent is not as bad up in Snohomish County. A lot of people commute to Seattle from up there.
The "East Side"-- Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond is a lot greener and more suburban than Seattle. But, it is nearly as expensive rent and housing-wise.
The median value of a house in King County is now something like $450,000. And, that doesn't really buy you all that much of a house out here!
Rent? In King County, you'll probably have to pay over $750 a month for a one-bedroom apartment to avoid being in a not-so-nice area. Closer to the urban core of Bellevue or Redmond or Seattle, a (smaller) one-bedroom may well run you $1300-1400.
WA has no State income tax. But, sales tax runs 9 to 10%. Property taxes are probably just going to keep going up-- WA currently has a $10 Billion deficit!
Seattle is awesome - I can't imagine living anywhere else! I've rented in Ballard and the University District, both are great neighborhoods where you can walk to restaurants, bars, grocery stores, etc, and are only 5-10 minutes from downtown. I was paying like $1250 for a 2 bed/1 bath in Ballard, about 900s/f. If you like camping and hiking and stuff you can make day trips into the Cascades or weekend trips out to the Olympics and see the most beautiful places in the country! The Hawks stink this year, though
This thread's great! My wife and I've really been thinking about relocating up to Seattle or Portland, and I'm basically just waiting for a job opportunity to work out before springing out there.
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Portland was way nicer when I visited both cities 2 years ago. The people in Portland won't let big businesses tear down the Victorian architecture, so its a pretty classy place. There were a lot of outdoor cafes..Seattle felt too glass and cement like other large cities.
I've been living in downtown Portland for 4 years, but haven't managed to get to out to the prettier surrounding areas. Portland is sort of a Quasimodo of cities because of the lack of development. I enjoy the wetter and warmer weather as opposed to the Colorado winters I could never get used to.
I don't know much about job prospects. I've been working retail part-time while working on portfolio work.
I know I'll never want to pay sales taxes again.
For a downtown, though? I've honestly not been in a cleaner commercial district in other similar sized cities. Haha, go to downtown LA, for example. The difference is astounding.
That said....there is some merit to some of it. There are definitely a lot of condo companies that are buying up businesses that are dying because of the economy and it's a little sad to see a once nice mom 'n pop cafe turn into a Wallgreens with upstairs condos.
Does Seattle have a Wonder Woman Day? I think not.
**In all seriousness; although, I was being sorta serious about Wonder Woman Day (c'mon - it's Wonder Woman) - in downtown Portland is the Classical Chinese Garden. http://www.portlandchinesegarden.org/ (go to the "History and Culture" page - very interesting stuff). There's also the Japanese Garden: http://www.japanesegarden.com/
Portland Parks & Recreation also hold FREE summer concerts and movies in neighborhood parks. They started doing this after I had moved from Portland, too (grrrrrr).
Last edited by smugbug; November 18th, 2009 at 11:10 PM.
Beacon Hill, 1st Hill, White Center: you're looking at higher crime areas.
Ballard's nice, but it's kind of out of the way from the core of the city.
Fremont: People here ride bicycles, naked, past a statue of Lenin to celebrate the Solstice. . .