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Dh and I have been living in SF for 10 years now, and we both love it. We own a house, but often think about moving somewhere more affordable and family friendly. But I know pretty much nothing about the area so I was wondering if I could get some input. Dh is in high tech (database), so the job market is an issue, although he could keep his current job for awhile as they have a location in Oregon (it's in Boring, we don't need to necessarily be near there). I am a SAHM and really would love to live in an area where there are other families around during the day, especially since we are going to be homeschooling.<br><br>
And we really need to be near civilization! A big, or biggish city is preferable, so I'm assuming Portland? Are there there other very cosmopolitan areas - fine dining, cafes, museums, symphony, etc. that you would recommend? But I also want some land - we even have a vision of getting a bit of land and building a small place for my mom on it. But again, we couldn't be out in the middle of nowhere. If we had to choose I guess my ideal would a house with a decent sized yard very near open space, but still walking distance to a cute fun downtown area.<br><br>
So any thoughts you want to share would be much appreciated. Places you like, places you don't, and why. Things about Oregon in general you don't like, and those you do. Is there another place you'd prefer to be living?
 

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Hi, We moved to Oregon from the North Bay in October of 2004. I live in the town next to Boring. We actually share a school district. (a very poor school district but I see you are homeschooling anyway.) If you are looking for some land, the Boring, Damascas area would be a good place to look, and it is only about 30 minutes from Portland so everything else you are looking for would be just a short drive away.<br><br>
Unlike California, Oregon has a huge homeschool community. If you look up some yahoo groups, try orsig. They are a pretty big homeschooling yahoo group here in Oregon and they can help you with other families in the area and other resourses you might need.<br><br>
Ok now that I read you post again, I am not sure where you can find a decent sized yard within walking distances of a cute, fun downtown area. Hrmmm... Maybe an Oregon Native could answer your question on that one.<br><br>
Good luck, I hope you find what you are looking for
 

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i grew up in the suburbs of NYC and went to college in suburban Boston. i've also visited the Bay Area a couple of times, and I just want to point out that although Portland is a city of about a half a million with a metro area totalling about 1.5 million (including the city), Portland is more like a big town than a cosmopolitan city. we have lived here for almost 9 years now, and yes, we have museums (a wonderful art museum, museum of Oregon history, Oregon Museum of Science & Industry, Childrens' Museum) and we have a symphony, an opera company and a ballet theater, as well as a zoo, one of the largest urban parks in the country, and rich festival life during the summer months, our true downtown area is limited to just one quadrant of the city (the southwest of Portland). we also have lots of wonderful fine dining, including the commonplace "American fare" menu restaurants for those corporate types but also covering all ethnicities and styles of cooking (Italian, Thai, Chinese, Oaxacan, Northwest, etc.) and a myriad of microbreweries and Oregon wineries. Overall, the attitude of the people of Portland is much less cosmopolitan and much more friendly neighbor than anything I experienced in New York or Boston.<br><br>
as for areas where you could find a place with a yard or even some land within walking distance to a fun, downtown area, you may find a yard, even a decent sized one for the kids to run around and play in, but a sizable piece of land within a walking distance is unlikely because Portland and towns surrounding it is very urban growth boundary conscious and into maximizing population within city limits while preserving open areas for agricultural development. the agriculture culture is still prevalent even just 30 miles from the city of Portland, and housing development is guarded closely by city managers and councils as well as residents of those cities. we live in a small town at the very edge of suburban growth (just 1800 residents) and our city just defeated a second referendum on annexing 2 new developments which would have increased the population by 1000 people over the next 10 years, generating the need for another elementary school, increases in police force, increases in fees for fire coverage but also generating income for a full service grocery and other shopping. it was a narrow defeat -- only 51% against the annexation. it has been very divisive for the town. this is only one example of one particularly conservative area, but i know of at least 2 other towns where similar annexations were also defeated in the past year.<br><br>
the high tech industry is alive and well here and recovering from the dot-bust of a half dozen years ago. i suspect that a database job would not be hard to come by in the portland area.<br><br>
Portland is definitely your best bet for a city in Oregon. The other two more liberal cities are Eugene and Salem. Eugene is much smaller and centered around the University of Oregon, and Salem is also smaller than Portland, in the center of agriculture and home to the seat of government as well as near Willamette University and Oregon State University.<br><br>
although I have not lived there, I have heard many people describe Seattle as much more cosmopolitan than Portland. it has a larger population of people but is definitely more city-like in its atmosphere, hilly topography and downtown area. it is also much more spread out than the portland area.<br><br>
hope that helps you out some!<br><br>
if you get a chance, come visit!<br><br>
~claudia
 

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Down here in Eugene we call Portland "LA with rain." There are some great things about Portland. Omsi and the Zoo being two of them, but you give too much for me.<br><br>
Eugene is a smallish city. About 140K, there is a nice preforming arts center. (the Hult center) the science factory for kids. Great restaurants, great summer concerts in the parks, a fantastic outdoor swimming pool, a good indoor pool, Did I mention some fantastic restaurants. Then there are the two malls, but no Nordstrom's (<img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/greensad.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="greensad"> ) There is the U of O, and Eugene is not as liberal as some like to think. The Saturday market is a ball, there is farmer's markets on Tues and Sat during the growing season.<br><br>
I grew up here, moved to Boston to go to school and did not feel too much of a difference. I have also lived in the LA area (again for school) and aside from the weather and traffic, there are very few differences.<br><br>
PLUS you can get a kick arse home and property for about 400K here. <img alt="" class="inlineimg" src="http://www.mothering.com/discussions/images/smilies/thumb.gif" style="border:0px solid;" title="thumbs up">
 
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