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portland move

Jake’s. Image via DG Studios

Things look different before a Portland move.

The Portland move is actually a move to Portland, not the Portland of California, the Portland of the midwest, or the Portland of the South.

Call it the Portland of Portland.

But where do you start with someone else in the car planning a Portland move?


Yes, it’s not a Portland move. Save the map lecture. But Beaverton is big, at least for Oregon.

“Beaverton? There’s a place called Beaverton? Named after beavers?”

“Lots of beavers around here once. If we were in Virginia it would be Beaverville, or Beaverburg.”

“Are there many beavers left?”

“No, but you’ll see plenty of nutria.”

“Nutria sounds like a health food bar.”

More of a big rat with yellow teeth. If they were here before beavers we’d be in Nutriaville, or Nutriaton.”

“These neighborhoods look like tract housing in California.”

Except for the price. These are probably in the mid to high 3’s.

“In LA they’d be a million.”

And they wouldn’t have cedar shake roofs.

I hate cedar shake roofs. Who thought of wooden roofs in rain country, or fire country?

Probably the same people who put in sky lights in rain country to leak on rugs and furniture.

“Sky lights. Don’t get me started. I can’t stand sky lights. Even a window in the car roof seems wrong.”

This is Beaverton, Portland’s biggest suburb. Look across the street and you’ll see Tigard.


“Not much different, are they?”

Tigard’s about half the size. If you plan on moving, cross Beaverton off the list. Highway 26 is the big road from Portland to Beaverton and it’s jammed both ways.

“This is the west side. How about the east side?”

Gresham. The big road in and out is I-84 and it’s jammed all the time.

“So Tigard is it?”

If you want to live in Portland, that’s one thing. Moving around Portland is a traffic choice. I-5 North to Washington is jammed. I-5 South toward Salem is the best choice.

“Towards Tigard?”

Or Tualatin, Wilsonville, Lake Oswego.


“I’ve heard of Lake Oswego. Is there a real lake?”

Yep, a real lake and a few roads in and out. It’s sort of the star of Portland suburbs. When bad things happen in other towns it seems normal. Not in LO. It’s the Hawaii of Oregon where everything is supposed to be better.

“Is it?”

Life goes on there like everywhere else.

“At least they have a lake.”

Not all residents have lake privileges. You need to live near it to launch a boat.

“That’s weird.”

Might be wrong, but since the lake isn’t crowded with boats everyday it seems about right.

“Maybe we should look there.”

This is Lake O right here. Not much different than the rest until you get closer to the water, or up in the hills.

“I couldn’t live with these huge trees dropping stuff on my house.”

Or dropping on your house. We’ll head for the river and take a left, then on to Portland, take the Sellwood Bridge over and see what’s there.


“Will neighborhoods have more centralized shopping and services?”

It’s more city so you won’t have to drive a few miles out of a sub-division to get anywhere.

“This is more like it.”

We’ll aim east to 49th, cut over, then cruise Hawthorne.

“It looks busy for a Tuesday afternoon. Don’t these people have jobs?

Well, they’re not homeless, so they’ve got something going on. All the streets three or four blocks off Hawthorne have become desirable for out of town buyers. They love the mix.

“I can see why.”

There’s downtown Portland right across the river.

“So close.”

Let’s take the Broadway Bridge over to the Pearl where people are discovering their own urban dreams.

“Didn’t you live over here?”

Yes, in Northwest Portland. Back then there was no Pearl. It was a dump. These buildings didn’t exist. I lived on NW 21st and Lovejoy before it transitioned to fancy. Lived in the inner Eastside before it got fancy.

“Now Tigard will get fancy?”

That would be Lake Oswego. Tigard has peaked in fancy, and it’s a relief. This is NW 23rd, a nice shopping street for the West Hills crowds.

“West Hills?”

Rich guys used to build on flat land. Once the city started growing they moved up.

“Like the Hollywood Hills?”

With celebrities and everything. Everclear had a song with the West Hills in it.

“That’s something.”

People love Portland because you can live here with money, and without. Though rent is pushing back on people who want to live cheap. You can still get by, but not for long.

“I’d buy a house here.”

Probably pay in the 700’s.

“That’s an LA $2 million.”

It’s not a dive town anymore, but you can still feel the dive in places.

“Not in my neighborhood.”

Good call. Let’s drop by my favorite brewery before dinner.

portland move

Look it up. Just north of the Rose Garden.

“Is it near by?”

Portland breweries are like Starbucks stores, one on every corner.

“This sounds perfect.”

New adventures should always start that way.

portland move

Close the Portland move at Jake’s.

How do you show new people the Portland move?


About David Gillaspie
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