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Why Portland Rocks

A recent comment made on the We are Family post made me think not only about the fact that most of the mamas and papas reading this have probably moved here within the past 10 years, but it also started me questioning why I came back to this great hometown of mine.  As a former reporter in both southern Oregon and the Portland area, I got a unique perspective on why people keep moving here, and why so many Oregonians choose to stay. Since there are quite a few families I know who are thinking about moving here and reading this blog, I thought I'd share my top five reasons to raise my family in Portland:

1. The most abundant variety of great beer and wine anywhere on earth. This is the main reason we haven't yet packed up and moved to Paris.

2. The beach is only an hour away, the mountain is 45 minutes away, and the desert is just about three hours away - whatever we're in the mood for, it's close.

3.  Sydney's, Laurelwood and Peanut Butter & Ellie's. Places like this don't exist in most cities, and my pals across the globe are envious. Not to mention, we can take our son to almost any restaurant here (even Olea) and it's ok.

4. Here, everyone is family. We're here for you, always, and we know that you will be there for us when the time comes. It's the Portland way.

5. We get our Christmas tree from our nearby neighbor's tree farm, our organic fruits and veggies from different neighbors' farms down the street, our flowers from the local nursery down the street, and fresh seafood from local fisherman (aka, my dad and his buddies). It's not hard to go local here - it's just a way of life.

The list could stretch for miles, including public transportation, the amount of parks per capita, etc. but that's my top five. Let's help encourage other families thinking about moving here to join our big happy family! What's your top five for being here?

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1) I can walk or ride my bike or pull my son in a wagon on the street and feel safe, and (for the most part) like drivers will give us the right of way
2) Recent shifts notwithstanding, Oregon remains a paragon of sensible planning and land use, and people are for the most part willing to put their money where their mouth is about it
3) People we know live their values in an authentic way
4) Every house on my block is a different color, and a different style
5) No central a/c needed!

I moved from Portland to Denver and right back to Portland again for many, many reasons, here are the first few that pop to mind:

1. The fact that Portland actually sinks some money into its pools and parks. Inner-city playgrounds and pools are really nice and well-maintained here, compared to some other places I've lived.
2. Families live in the city here. There's not so much of the, well, we had kids so now we need to move to a 5-bd McMansion in the burbs mentality. Makes it a much nicer community, I think.
3. Yes, I second and third the amazing cafes around town that you don't need to be afraid to bring your kid to. Another thing that doesn't exist everywhere.
4. Over the last few weeks, my daughter and I have been to a clothing exchange, a Cafe au Play gathering, a messy art class at the community center; etc, etc. All these things were free or at a super-low cost to me. It's just so easy to find free things to do in this town with your child.
5. Apples don't taste like cardboard here.

I could just go on and on...

We love Portland because:
1- Everything they said...
2- Eccletic group of young families with progressive political views.
3- People are laid back - you don't have to being wearing a certain thing or have a certain stroller to feel welcome and like you belong. People are real.
4- No Sales tax (I know you pay for it elsewhere, but it's still not as expensive as CA).
5- Small/big city kind of sophisticated vibe.

Have to give a shout out for the burbs, having just moved to Beaverton from Alberta neighborhood from SF... While, you definetly have to pile in the car more often to do things, there are wonderful down to earth people here, beautiful parks, great community centers, great grocery stores and an easyness that we are really enjoying. Having lived in an urban environment for a long time, we get it, no... our house doesn't have fabulous molding/character, but it's quiet and safe and nice. Nice quality of life.

This blog confirms my decision to move to Portland!! This is everything I've ever wanted from a town!!

All the reasons mentioned and:
The best public libraries! Multnomah County's library system is one of the top in the country, is a leader in serving youth, from early childhood education for parents and care givers to school-age student and teacher support, not to mention great storytimes, free programs and the most successful summer reading program in the country! (Can you tell I am a fan?!) This has also been one of the best places to meet other parents of young children, especially if you are new to Portland. I am a native whose lived other places for a time, but couldn't imagine living anywhere else. Check out what's going on in your neighborhood library: www.multcolib.org (I also think Beaverton library is supposed to be nice, but haven't been there.)

Portland is ravenous about reading. That's why so many support the library's levy each time it comes up... They really do serve all people, equally. Something that I think is a value that many Portlanders and people who move to Portland have.

Everything true and also, Portland is a manageable city. It has art, theatre, music, politics and yet it is also easy and quick to get to most anywhere. Parking can be a problem here and there but only in a few places and the public transportation isn't bad.
Come to see The War Project: 9 Acts of Determination at Sojourn Theatre this weekend. They are offering 2 for 1 tickets if you say the code word Bernays. see wwww.sojourntheatre.org for info.

I enthusiastically agree with all that is said above. Originally from the southeast US, at times I feel like I now live on another planet.. in terms of culture, values, political views. I never want to move!

One thing that I love is that I see people I know ( from close friends to acquaintences to just familiar faces ) almost everywhere I go. It is strange to me that that can happen in a city of 1 million persons.

Another thing I love is the neighborhood structure throughout the city. Each with its own personality, from its inhabitants, shops and restaurants. It has been so fun to explore them all.


1- Life can be carless. Didn't drive all last week & still managed to pick up my kids, fresh baguettes, and groceries.
2- Portland Parks are plentiful and great, the Rec program is full of great, affordable activities for the kids.
3- Farmers markets are in all our neighborhoods.
4- We're ALL family and most of us are connected by three degrees of separation or less.
5- We're about an hour from the coast/beach in one direction and the mountain in the other direction.

We love Portland.

I am from Portland, ME and I am looking to move outward. I hear that Portland, OR is a fantastic place to live, a lot like it's New England relative, just a little less salty.

Is there any water in the city itself? I am a seaside lady and I think I would miss it too much if it was far away.

In answer to your question, Jenn -- yes! Even though it takes us an hour or two to reach the ocean, we have many lakes in town plus good stretches of the Willamette and Columbia Rivers. There are also some lovely beaches just outside the city limits on Sauvie Island, where you can swim, fish or admire passing ships.

This is an old post but I'm thinking about moving to Portland in about a year. I've read about so many great reasons to do so and needless to say I'm very excited. If you have any other information it would be greatly appreciated!

I was going to move to portland a few months ago but I backed out if I thought I had a pretty good here in salt lake city . I hate it here the church runs the state liquor laws suck the beer is only 3.2 percent , the winter sucks even though I do snowboard. There is an endless bowl of smog hovering over the city that does not leave unless an inbound storm blows through .... Salt lake city can kiss my non morman ass , portland is in my sights !!!!

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