I’ve Been Living In Portland 1 Year Now – Happy Awesome 1-Yr Anniversary To Me!
I moved here end of December of 2014. I stared working beginning of January and the transition was super smooth. I packed my Smart Car with all my stuff along with my folding bike and drove up here. Within a week I shipped my car off to my mom in Stockton and that’s how my Portland adventure started.
Portland is a fantastic place to live in. People don’t try so hard to look like models out of a magazine (ehem, LA!), they have more sincere interactions and appear to have an easier time being themselves. I know this to be true because I myself feel like it’s easier for me to express who I really am without feeling judged (I’m a little insecure about that sometimes).
Cheap delicious food and cheap cocktails
Cost of living here is not that much lower than San Diego (where I moved from) but people live cheaper. Their hobbies are hiking, climbing, skiing and biking. In San Diego people spent more money on socializing, fancy dinners and expensive cocktails. Here people socialize much more than friends I had in SD but they generally are happy with good cheap beer and cocktails which are much cheaper here as well.
Making friends here is stupid easy. I’ll say this, if you can’t make friends here (and actually want to) then you better go see Dr. Phil. People are more nonchalant and when it’s a meetup at a bar or restaurant you’ll stand out if you try to dress too fancy. Talking to a random person sitting next to you isn’t weird at all.
Also, there is no fucking attitude from waiters! OM-to-the-G! I didn’t even realize how bad it was until I left southern Cali. People here actually smile at you genuinely and don’t give you shit… for nothing, they just don’t. I mean they will give you shit if you do something stupid but otherwise there is no side of attitude with your tuna sandwich.
Better food and fewer fancy cars
Food is definitely better. There are a ton of food carts, a ton of restaurants and finding chain restaurants is damn near impossible. So of course these restaurants have to be really good, people here don’t just go spending money on eating out to show off their new clothes or their new Benz, they want something spectacular. Speaking of that, it’s very rare to see uber-fancy cars here. You see the occasional over-the-hill soccer mom who is hanging on to her youth by driving a Mercedes SUV. There is the classic Korean dude with the M3 and maybe 3 Persians with BM-ers.
I have been able to bike everywhere and take the Max train or the bus for everything else. Friends and colleagues have been great about offering me rides because they know I’m car-tarded. There is Relay Rides (now Turo) and Car2go and Zipcar so owning a car is pretty much illogical here unless you have designed your life around your car.
Portland - Diversity Coming Soon!
What else… dating is pretty good. You have the choice of white girls and… white girls. JK! There was 1 Asian girl that I saw online too, well she was half. Okay, she wasn’t actually even half but she had been to Japan (layover) and had a tattoo on her arm in Chinese but she didn’t know what it meant.
The coffee shop scene is big here. Free wi-fi is easy to find at the cafe’s and the coffee is fantastic. Thankfully not a whole lot of Starbucks. Nothing wrong with burnt acidic coffee that must be drowned in a gallon of milk and a block of sugar but I prefer a smooth earthy black drip with a hint of cocoa.
Portland and me - the next few years
I see myself living here for a few years. I don’t know about retiring here. State taxes are too high for me, that’s a 10% chop off my income, automatically. I could move to Washington and have no state income taxes and it’s only 15 miles away. I have also given thought to moving overseas for my retirement, I need to give that more thought still.
Medicine in Portland
Patients are definitely nicer. Not quite as nice as in the southern states but much more respectful and patient than Cali patients. People are healthier so there is a lot (A LOT) less diabetes here. Patients are amazingly open to lifestyle modification instead of medications. However, I actually think people here are even more antibiotic seeking than Cali which is odd. I was told I would see a lot more depression moving here because of the weather… doesn’t seem that way but I haven’t paid too much attention to it. Fewer patients are on antidepressants here than in Cali, that I know.
I also enjoy that doctors here are a little more mellow, nurses aren’t as stressed out and the culture is generally all about calling each other by first names. None of that “Doctor” bullshit even though we’ve been working together every damn day for the past 10 months. So if you prefer to be called “Doctor” because you have an inferiority complex then don’t bother with PDX.
Also, the pharmacist… snap! They are a giant step better than any Cali pharmacist I’ve encountered. Granted, my sample size isn’t that impressive but it’s obvious. I’ve worked at UCLA, Cedar Sinai and Torrance Memorial, Olive View Medical Center, Kaiser and Healthcare Partners (I’ve been around the blocks but I’ve had all my shots). But, just like the rest of the country the pharmacist are worked to death, a very stressed out bunch and there are reasons for that too.
Have you considered a move to another state?
What are your top 3 criteria for your next living destination?