PDX. Stumptown. P-Town. Portland is known by many names. Search for reasons why you should live in Portland and you'll be hard pressed to find a definitive list – more likely it is based on ideals than hard facts. Search for reasons why NOT to live in Portland and you'll find sites with large lists. What gives? If Portland is so great where are all the "100 reasons I love Portland" lists? Perhaps it's because the jaded talk louder? I have down my own bit of extensive searching and have found some humorous sites (mostly reasons against Portland). Here is the list I came up with of Pros, Cons, and On-The-Fence areas. The cons list is compiled from a Reasons Portland Sucks blog and I pulled out my favorites.
Consider this a public server if you are planning on moving to Portland
Gresham Even before moving to Portland I read about Gresham, crime, etc. After living here and driving through Gresham I can tell you first hand there is not much good here. Many people who live in Portland try to pretend it's not really there and if they live near the border of Portland and Gresham they are quick to tell you they live in Portland (even if they are really in Gresham)
Pioneer SquareA central gathering place yes. But not always the type of gathering you want to attend. There are some great events that take place here but when I was commuting via downtown, I always avoiding this area so as to not be constantly hassled by any number of street kids, homeless people, anyone wanting a cigarette, etc.
Depression Most depressed city in the country? Arguable. Portland has held this dubious honor on more than one poll/survey.
Poor Hygiene Homeless person or just Portland city dweller? It's really hard to smell tell sometimes.
Tonya Harding She's from here? Really? Yikes. I'll bet she's from Gresham
Plaid Pantry Take the biggest hole in the wall 7/11 you have seen and make it 10 times worse. Then you have the Plan Pantry and the type of people who visit there.
"Art" at PGE Park Not really sure what this is all about but it creeps me out whenever I see it. Giant faces? Why??
Liquor CommissionOne of 9 states that have this type of control. No hard liquor outside of state run liquor stores and if you need some at 9PM on a Saturday night? You are probably out of luck. Most of their hours suck too.
Strip Clubs More per capita than anywhere (in the world?). Also means lots of strippers and prostitutes. Seriously. I heard Oregon legislated that stripping is protected as an art from – hence all the clubs. Portland should be proud to have more strip clubs per capita than Vegas.
Burnside (downtown) Scary. Grungy. Almost as bad as taking a walk through LA's Skid Row. The section by Powell's is not so bad but it gets ugly the closer to the river you get.
Lack of 24 hour places Aside from the Plain Pantry, not much in Portland is open late or 24 hours for that matter. 3 million people but still a small town feel. I guess that's a good and bad thing.
McMenamin's Service Great beer, great atmosphere, and decent food but service is Sloooooooow!!
Slow DriversSpeaking of slow. Don't be surprised to be driving in the left lane in Portland and seeing many drivers going BELOW the speed limit.
Weather Only 150 days of sunshine all year round. Really? People here will brag about the summer, which can be nice but do we really need 80% of our yearly sunshine over a 90 day period?
Traffic/Roads Traffic is horrible here (says someone who lived in LA). Part of the problem is Portland not wanting to invest in freeways. You are supposed to ride your bike or use public transportation dummy! Portland has also decided to build up and not out over the next 10-20 years with no obvious plans of freeway improvements – but they do have hundreds of millions of $ in bike trails planned.
Lack of diversity- Portland is whiter than any large city, including Salt Lake City. That would explain the lack of good mexican food here. No one even knows what Albondigas is or Chilequiles. Also a lack of Peruvian food among others…
Nike Employee outlet This is amazing if you can get in. 50% off and the store is HUGE! But you need a connection through your company or a friend who works there.
Powell's Books Largest independent bookstore in the world. This place is amazing and if you even like books a little bit you will love to spend a day or night or weekend here. If you are a tech geek they also have ea branch that is ALL tech books. Nice.
Dog friendly Definitely one of the dog friendliest places I've ever been and Portland has won awards to prove it.
Cool neighborhoods Portland neighborhoods have a lot of character. You can go park your car and walk around one of the many cool areas like Nob Hill, Hawthorne or Belmont. Most of these neighborhoods have everything you need and if you like to live right in the city, then living by one of them would be a good choice.
Wineries (pinot noir) The Willamette Valley is getting much more well known for it's wine. There is quite the nice and beautiful wine region here. Pinot Noirs are the mark of the land and there are some good ones (thought not many that are very cheap)
Architectures (character) & bridges Cool architecture and a million bridges. Well, not a million but they all have their own character and most are very pretty to look at. The city landscape is one of the better ones I've seen
No sales tax What's not to love about this? State income tax is on the high end but it's great to go out to eat or shopping and pay the sticker price and no more. Some people who want to go on really big shopping sprees come to Portland to do so. I've seen it…
Coffee Lots of neat little independent coffee shops, most of them serving delicious home-town Stumptown Coffee. Beat a chain coffee shop any day.
Public transportation One of the better systems in the country that many other sides (LA) strive to copy. Portland has the Public Transportation thing down (guess they would since they focus 10% on road and 90% of public transportation). Just don't ride the train all the way to Gresham
Gorge Running There are some super beautiful trails to run in The Gorge but some of them are off limits in the winter (too much snow) and it's often cold and very windy here. That combination puts me on the fence. Plus it's a 45-90 minute drive from Portland to Gorge trails. You are more likely to find sun in the winter months on the trails that are 90 minutes away if you are up for the drive.
Largest urban park Ahh… Forest Park. The main trail alone (Wildwood) runs for 30 miles through the park. I have mixed feelings about Forest Park because after a while all the trails looks the same here and it's so enclosed it's hard to find any sunshine even on Portland's few sunny days. Still, it's nice to have such close trail running in the city. Maybe I'm spoiled because when I lived in Orange County just ONE of the MANY parks there has the same amount of running trails as Forest Park and they are all pretty close.
Beach + mountains Yes, people say you can go to both very easily. Again, maybe I'm spoiled but a 90 minute drive to either isn't exactly "close". It's not bad mind you, and I like having both nearby but how often do you really go to either with that kind of drive? Not real often from most people I talk to.
Microbrews The microbrew capital of the world. If you like beer this is your nirvana. However, you need to like it hoppy. Most of the craft beers here are bitter and full of hops. I'm not a hoppy fan so many of them don't appeal to me but I have had some of my favorite non-Belgian beers here in Portland.
Springwater corridor 20 some miles of paved bike and running bliss? Well, maybe the outer 10 miles. The first 10 miles wind through some gritty parts of the city and you run past graffiti covered building and people trying to bum cigarettes. Still, a nice place to run if you like pavement, or better yet a good place to bike without worry of cars except in the few road crossings.
Gas stations You can't pump your own gas here. Most of the time this really sucks but on the really cold and rainy days I'm kinda glad I don't have to get out of my warm car.
The people Everyone says the people here are awesome. To some extend that is true. Lots of nice down to earth people here but also some pretentious ones who get all high and might about how green-friendly they are. Also, never have I been in a place where so few people smile back or say hi when I'm out running. Most of them just ignore you.
Mt hood running Same as the Gorge. Actually you can't run on almost any parts of Mount Hood from about October-June. The summer months bring some pretty awesome running though. But how often will you run there if the drive is 90 minutes and the window to run is June-September? (or July/August in some places)
So green Yes it is green here (in more ways than one). But that is because we get drizzle 80% of the time so I'm not sure if the pay off is worth it. Also, in the winter all the trees are barren (except for the pines) so in some areas it actually looks rather ugly in my opinion. But it is super gorgeous from April-September (when it's not cloudy).
Eco Friendly Lots of eco minded people move to Portland because of it's reputation as one of the greenest (eco-wise) cities in the world. I find this to be true but also that people can really look down on you if you don't' drive a Prius, Compost or eat local at every meal.