My family is moving back to Oregon for my husband's job in McMinnville. Trouble is: My part-time job (hopefully, maybe someday, full time job) will be in Beaverton/Hillsboro. My daughter's soccer team will be in Tigard/Beaverton.
And we have oodles of friends/family in Portland. Having just come off a year of having no friends around and living in suburban hell, (one hour and miles of strip malls away from Vancouver, BC) I'm worried about feeling isolated in McMinnville and wishing I just lived in Portland. My husband could commute by bus, there is a frequent bus to McM that picks up at the Tigard Transit center. But I'm nervous about living any deeper in Portland than Tigard because I don't want his commute to be too long.
I'm familiar with the Portland area so it would be fair to say that we are solidly Eastside folk. (The Alberta neighborhood feels like home.) We are vegetarians, never eat at chain restaurants, love our canine mutt, loath strip malls and "cookie-cutter" houses/subdivisions, walk and bike whenever possible, frequent New Seasons and farmers markets, use cloth diapers, breastfeed in public, love the Goodwill, despise Sarah Palin, and don't wash our car very often. (Read: Never.)
So even though Tigard or Tualatin seem like reasonable geographical middle ground, I'm a little worried about feeling like an alien there.
But maybe I'm wrong? I'm only vaguely familiar with these weird suburbs as I haven't lived in Portland for eight years. Are there crunchy neighborhoods for weirdos like us? Are cool young families moving there in exodus for the affordable housing? (Is housing affordable?)
Am I right to feel like living in McMinnville would feel a little isolating and the driving to work/soccer would be horrendous?
Any thoughts on Newberg?
We'd like to live in a neighborhood where people grow their own veggies, raise their own chickens, and their babies play naked in the front yard.
Please tell me what to do.
From what you described, I would choose McMinnville or Newberg over the Tigard or Tualatin any day. I think you would be VERY unhappy in Tigard, or Tualatin. There are perks (the schools), but... I don't want to say bad things about anyone's suburb (or city). From your description, I think that that Tigard would probably be your version of hell. Tigard is very much like Springfield, if that helps. Tualatin is a bit nicer, but still very conservative like Philomom described. McMinnville and Newberg are still both conservative places, but because they're a bit more rural, you'll also find a lot more support for good food and natural living.
If I were in your shoes, I would be looking for a house in the country outside of Newberg, McMinnville, or Dundee. My midwife came from Eugene, and she lives outside of Dundee now. The countryside around those places is just beautiful. You can have space, garden, chickens, etc.
Wife to DH , mom to DS (4/09), and DD (8/11), and crafty and hardworking in my own right! In my parenting journey I've , , , , and. To each family their own!!
"There are words for people like me, but I don't think there are very many."