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Well here goes...

June 15th, I'll trek out to Seattle for a visit to scope out that city.  Happily, I have a buddy who will put me up for the weekend and show me some of the various 'hoods.  From there, I'll make my way to Portland for more scoping. 

I don't have a job -- unemployed since March -- but have enough funds to stretch it for the next year.  So many questions, of course, about living in either Portland or Seattle (Portland is, in my mind at least, the favored choice).  Eventually I will have to face the reality of making a living; I can certainly live on less than what I made here in NYC.  However, I'm doubling-down on my life changes; in addition to moving from right to left, it's time to find a new career.  And yes, that will, of course, initially come with a reduced income. 

More importantly, I'm curious just how easy it is to become enmeshed in the community.  NYC is a hard place to do that; particularly hard if you didn't grow up in the region, go to school here or -- as in my case -- don't work in the City proper (yes, I made the reverse commute into New Jersey...blech!).  I'm a long-distance motorcycle traveler (plus travel in general), into sci-fi, movies, reading, music (jazz/blue/bluegrass/electronica/etc.etc.) and former flight instructor.  I've dabbled in voice-over acting, plus have taken theater and improv classes.  So...a variety of interests.

I'm still researching neighborhoods; suggestions are most welcome. I like quick access to nature.  Waaaaay back when, at home in San Francisco, I lived in the Outer Richmond with easy access to the GG Bridge and the Marin Headlands.  [Note: I was not and am not now a property owner, so I won't drive your prices up!].  I love coffee shops and bookstores and quaint streets.  I'm not a "suburbs" guy.  Cities, small towns and country living are all preferred.

So -- how to build a life in the community, how to find a way to make a living, how to enjoy everything about the PacNW region.  Those are my concerns.  Oh, yes, and I'm single and would like to, ahem, put down roots.  No plans to have kids, mind you, but I would like to not-too-distantly-in-the-future not be single.  Not sure what the prospects are in the Portland area for meeting like-minded women.

Well, that's it then.  I'd love to get feedback from the site owners and fellow members.

Cheers,

Rick

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Hey, I see that no one has replied to your post and I was hoping somebody would because my questions are much the same as yours. So anywho, its been some months since you posted this and was wondering how your trip went and what you found out. I am a fellow New Yorker...kinda...I'm from central New York (read: CENTRAL NEW YORK, look at a map of NY and look at the center of the state). I'm currently looking at places to relocate and Portland has come up a number of times. However, I unfortunatly don't have any connections in Portland like you do. So, if you still frequent this forum let me know how it went. Thanks.

Yup, I was a bit disappointed that no one responded.  

The trip went very well.  The quick answer is that I fell in love with a tiny town on the Columbia River Gorge -- Stevenson, WA -- that's about 45 minutes or so east of Portland.  I've lived the city life for quite awhile and would love to make a break from that; however, that begs the question of how to earn a living.  Until I can answer that, the decision-making has to be a bit more practical.  That said, I've been looking at the overall job markets between Portland and Seattle, and have to say that the latter offers more.  This depends, of course, entirely on what line of work  you're in.  For now, I'll have to rely on my background in corporate human resources.  Eventually, I'd like to change careers, but that's something else to figure out.  Baby steps.  

So, Seattle is my destination.  More jobs, soft landing since I have friends there and still gets me back to the West.  Oh, and also, there's no state income tax in WA while there's no sales tax in Oregon.  One of the many attractions to living along the Columbia River Gorge would be to take advantage of both those situations. 

As to Portland specifically, it's still as lovely as I remember, though the downtown area seems to be a bit overrun with (fairly aggressive beggers).  San Francisco was the same when I was out there on business last year.  My sense is that with the economic downturn, things have just intensified.  Might even be more people out on the street, what with all the upside down mortgages.  From that standpoint, at least, Seattle felt a little safer/cleaner.  I would say that Portland has a lot more character.  Great and really diverse neighborhoods.  But the city really needs to do something to boost the economy (whatever that might be).  

Hope that helps!

Cheers,

Rick

The soft landing is definitly really a plus. That is something I wish I had but that is what I get for being an introvert I suppose. Coporate human resources sounds like something that could help you out in Seattle with a lot of big tech companies.That is really good information on Portland though, what with the beggers and such. This whole economic downturn thing is really making cities a sort of mecca for pan handling but I suppose it is to be expected. I hope your move goes well and thanks for the timely reply!

-Aaron

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