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OT: Corvallis, Eugene, Ashland or anywhere in Oregon


Dave Ferris

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I know there are a few Oregonians on the forum. Wanted to get a general idea on the living quality in places like Corvallis, Eugene, Ashland - or possibly some other cities to consider.

 

Not so much from a music standpoint - if we check out of LA I probably won't be interested in playing that much , just practicing at home. I would like there to be a good piano tech/tuner in the area though if possible.

 

But I'm most concerned about cost of living and housing prices. I've been checking things out on Zillow and am surprised to see the prices have risenprobably like "anywhere nice/desirable USA". ;)

 

Other major considerations are the traffic, density of people, best city for close proximity to trails (dirt or city type trails) for running and biking, and how the climate/rainfall differs that much between the cities.

 

We've spent some time in Portland and while it's seems like a nice city, at least to visit - it's a still a "big city'. And something I pretty much want to be away from. Would possibly look into some of the burbs around Portland - Beaverton ? We checked out homes in Lake Oswego about 7 years ago. It seemed pricey back then and just left us with general ho-hum feeling about the area..

 

Don't think a place like Bend would be for us. In spite of all the outdoor stuff. It seems pretty expensiveplus anything trendy I want to stay away from. Have had enough of that after 38 years in LA. ;)

 

Basically I think we're looking for something on a small city scale but not too far out of the way. A place where you could still have a Trader Joes , decent general shopping and good quality medical/healthcare Doctors and facilities.

 

I welcome the cooler weather, the cloudy skies and rain. I've had enough heat, sun and drought conditions to last me two lifetimes after 38 years in LA.

 

And yes I've done searches on "best places in Oregon to live" . etc. etc. but it would be nice to hear some general thoughts by long time Oregonians. Thanks. :)

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Hi Dave. I'd suggest expanding your search to include the Columbia River Gorge. Things get real small town once you get out of Portland if that appeals to you. I recently relocated to The Dalles and love it. Downtown Portland is less than an hour and a half away, the malls of Gresham and Troutdale about an hour - but it's a straight shot in without the traffic of the corridor. It's even closer if you consider Cascade Locks or Hood River. Housing gets very reasonable the further east you go.

 

Hikes in the area are spectacular and very easy to get to - one of my passions now that I'm not running anymore. But I see trail runners on the trails all the time... the one up to Angel's Rest is famous for it's grueling intensity. That's one that I walk... at a leisurely pace ;) Bike trails mostly follow the Columbia River, but there's one between Hood River and Mosier that's paved and up in the Gorge somewhat.

 

Gigs are practically non-existent out here if that's a criterion.

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Hi Dave

 

I've lived in the Portland area for ~ 20 years now.

 

As Bill H. notes, the Gorge is truly beautiful.

 

Portland is getting bigger, for sure, with traffic being the most visible indicator. Also houses are no longer cheap, at all.

 

The east side of Portland does still have some groovy spots - old neighborhoods gentrifying. Many are within walking distances to grocery stores/shops, so that mitigates the traffic somewhat. Neighborhoods to consider are Hawthorne, Belmont, Division, Hollywood, Laurelhurst, or farther south, Sellwood or Milwaukie.

 

Of the three you mentioned, for what you seem to want, I would rank them Ashland > Eugene > Corvallis.

 

Ashland is a very nice town, Shakespeare festival, nice shops, a bit gentrified and trendy though, like Bend. Being close to the California border, I think Ashland gets significantly less rainfall than the others, which would be nice. Same with Bend.

 

Eugene is a nice college town, but still has a bit of a 60's throwback (which can be both great and annoying, depending).

 

Corvalis is also nice, college town (Oregon State), but less funky than Eugene.

 

You should consider Salem and Springfield as well, smaller cities, relatively close to Portland.

 

If I were to relocate (and it has crossed my mind), Ashland would probably be on the top of the list for the reason listed above, as well as Salem (state Capital, relatively close to Portland).

 

Since you are in California - have you considered Davis? Very mellow town, close to Sacramento, but not too close.

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I've lived in Eugene for 35 years, a transplant from Cleveland (actually Maple Hts), Ohio. I've followed your posts for years, and have your Soundcloud page on my favorites list. I'm a big fan. So...as a payback to listening to your music for free...here's my $.02

 

Definitely some different flavors in the cities you list. Some observations if you will:

 

I've spent a decent amount of time in Corvallis, and some in Ashland, but I know Eugene best. It's a small city with a big city feel. Very progressive, maybe slightly left. Right on I-5 so access to anywhere in the state quickly. Good roads and pretty easy to get around town. There's a huge bike culture here and bike lanes throughout the downtown and in the outlying areas. I'd say the rule of the road here is to give bikes the right of way. Out in the outlying areas....you'd have to watch yourself. The Willamette River runs through town, and there's bike trails that follow it and create loops. Very pretty.

 

I started here in the medical profession, and my wife's been a nurse here since the 70's...don't tell her I said that ;) So I know a bit about the medical establishment. Riverbend, the hospital here, was completed in maybe 06...huge facility, state of the art. Pretty much all specialties are provided. It's robust medical community that offers pretty much all you'd need.

 

There's two malls here, a Trader Joe's and many, many fine places of business that offer the kind of fare you'd find at TJ, including a Saturday Market for fresh produce and the Kiva, offering organic, and green choices....but they are sort of anywhere.. Of course, the Safeways, Albertson's, Market of Choice, Fred Meyer...the list goes on for your shopping needs. The Hult Center for the Performing Arts, Cuthbert Amphitheater, Autzen stadium provide venues for national acts in all genres, and of course....sports.

 

Corvallis is the home of Oregon State U, so it's also a college town. Obviously lots of students during the school year, with the population falling off in the off season. It's off of I-5 maybe 15 min. Hwy. 99 (state 2 lane) runs through it. It has more of a rural/agricultural feel, in both it's setting and demeanor. Good Samaritan hospital is there, a smaller facility where you'd have most of your standard health care met, with some specialized care, and the potential of having to travel to Eugene or Portland for care not available.

 

I don't know of any major malls there, nor have I done a lot of shopping. I'm sure you'd find goods like you'd find at TJs...as that's kind of an Oregon thing. Maybe just not the variety.

 

Corvallis seems to have a more conservative slant to it, both in attitude, culture, and nightlife. I gig there occasionally, and my brother and niece both attended Oregon State, so I've spent enough time there to have a fairly decent impression, but I'd say it's a little sleepy as compared to Eugene. Someone from Corvallis may want to jump in and flesh out what I'm missing, or refute what I'm saying.

 

Ashland is off the beaten path far south of Eugene or Corvallis. It's claim to fame is the Shakespeare festival which draws worldwide. It's a pretty small town, also on Hwy. 99 just off I-5 (10 min.?) south of Medford, not too far from the OR-CA border. It's a beautiful place with a climate different then you'd find in Eugene/Corvallis. Not so much rain. I'd say it's maybe 1/3rd the size of Corvallis, if that. I'm not too familiar with the medical services available there, but can say that many folks needing care come to Eugene. My wife works in "short stay", so sees many out of towners checking in for surgery. She's mentioned folks from Ashland many times. Insofar as malls and shopping places, I'd think it'd be pretty limited unless you went to Medford, which is north maybe 20-25 min.

 

Can't really speak specifically to home prices, especially outside of Eugene, but I'd say as compared to LA....you'd be surprised what your money can buy. I can say the Eugene's home prices have recovered from the 08 debacle, and are starting to climb again, in some areas significantly.

 

Hope this helps somewhat. Certainly, if you get up to Eugene, I'd be more then happy to help in any way I can.

"May you stay...forever young."

 

 

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I've lived in Corvallis since 1980, and I pretty much agree with what Daddyg3042 has to say.

 

Corvallis is a nice small city. I think we have a pretty great downtown scene of small stores, cafes, and bars, a decent cultural scene for a town our size, low crime, etc. We have a great local food Co-op (disclaimer: my wife is on the board), great farmers market twice a week in the summer/fall, and a lot of great food grown locally. Some really good breweries in town, and you're only about an hour from Yamhill County if you want some of the best wines in the country. There's a few local distilleries opening up, and I've tasted some really good liquor from them.

 

Corvallis is about an hour from the beach (will be less when they finally finish the HWY 20 cutoff they're finally working on), an hour from the mountains, and 90 minutes from Portland, or an hour from Eugene if you want a city vibe. Great local hiking, and extensive bike paths. Also, I guess we have the highest number of off-leash dog parks in the state per capita, if you're a dog owner.

 

There are some very cool local musicians, and a fairly tight music community, if you wanted to play, you would be very welcome here. Hell, if you moved to the area, I'd probably take lessons from you! Venues and gigs are not so great, but we have a few.

 

Home prices are going up, but will still appear cheap to you based on LA prices.

 

If you have any more questions, feel free to post or PM me.

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I have never lived in Oregon, and only visited once. These are only first impressions.

 

Eugene is as the others described above. It was gorgeous, about 50 miles or so from the coast, very literate, and just a cool town.

 

Portland seemed very friendly, and a perfect-sized city, not too large, not too small, and a lot of cool things going on, very easy to get around, comfortable, friendly people.

 

If it weren't for my girlfriend who doesn't feel she can hang with the overcast weather, I would seriously consider moving up to some place around there, getting a nice small place, and just being good and happy. Well, I have a small place now, so I guess I'd get another small place. :D

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I grew up in Oregon, mostly Eugene with a bit of Corvallis thrown in. I live in Moscow Idaho currently, about 6 hours from Portland, which is where we go a few times a year to get our "city fix". I also lived in the Boston area a few years, and frequently travel.

 

I can say without hesitation, Portland is in my top 3 for cities in the world, along with NYC and London. Portland, is probably the most livable of those 3.

 

Anywhere in the Willamette Valley, and beyond down to Ashland, has a lot going for it geographically. An hour to the coast, and an hour from skiing. Wineries abound!

 

Ashland is awesome. Small college town, very large Shakespeare festival that is top notch.

 

Eugene is eclectic, with strong arts, big university, great food. Medium sized town.

 

Corvallis will definitely give more of the small town feel over Eugene, but for some, it's too small. Corvallis is 37 miles north of Eugene, which also puts it closer to Portland. Definitely more conservative than Eugene!

 

Portland is just fantastic with quite a bit of culture in a city that is navigable, but very much more of a city than the previous three.

 

Hood River is my favorite place on the gorge.

 

If you can handle the weather, I'd consider looking at Florence if you want proximity to Eugene, maybe Cannon Beach or Astoria if you want proximity to Portland.

 

Be glad to talk off line if you want, I have over 30 years experience living in Oregon, and continue to visit there several times a year!

 

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I grew up in Salem and lived in SoCal for many years. Many times I would meet people in CA who would tell me about a relative who moved to Oregon. When I asked which city over and over again the answer was invariably Grants Pass. There must be a lot of Californians there by now. I don't know how things are now but in the past a lot of Oregonians had an anti-Californian sentiment. Grants Pass apparently became a haven for Californians relocating to Oregon.

 

Also in southern OR is Medford. I spent a few weeks playing there in the late 80's and visited again about ten years ago. This is a good sized city with all the chain stores and restaurants you expect.

 

I made several visits to Ashland which is about 12 miles south of Medford.

Ashland has a lot of artistic, vegan, survivalist-types. Some live off the grid. Acoustic folk-style music seemed to be popular when I was there last about ten years ago.

 

I have also spent considerable time in Eugene while playing a few weeks in nearby Springfield. If you are an avid bicyclist this is a great place to be. There are bike trails all around the city. Very vegan friendly with organic food available all over. Lots of cultural activities and a large student population. On a trip up from CA about 1975 I visited the Veneta Renaissance Faire just outside Eugene. The Grateful Dead did one of their most legendary concerts on this site in 1972.

 

Portland is a very clean big city and also very bike friendly with vegan restaurants and food co-ops. Close to skiing and water sports. Best music scene in Oregon. Lots of college students and cultural activities. I came up from CA to play extended five night a week gigs at the Thunderbird Inn on a few occasions. The place was destroyed by fire in 2012.

 

On the northwest Oregon coast at the mouth of the Columbia River Astoria is an interesting place with a lot of history. If you like San Francisco Astoria has some of that atmosphere on a much smaller scale. My family used to visit friends there going back to the early 60's. My first club gig after graduating high school was a month-long stay in Astoria. I have visited several times since and always find interesting things to do.

 

Down the coast to the south are Tillamook, Pacific City, Lincoln City, and many other little towns. I probably first saw these places in the 50's on family outings. Pacific City has my all-time favorite beach with spectacular dunes and cliffs. This was a favorite Spring Break destination for many students from Salem. I played in the Dory Day Parade and did a gig there shortly after graduating high school. Oregon has some of the best beaches you'll find anywhere at least in the summer. It can get really stormy there in the winter. I have visited Pacific City a few times over the last ten years and it hasn't changed much from what I remember in the 50's and 60's.

 

Inland, Bend is very popular with sports enthusiasts due to it's many nearby lakes, rivers, and mountains. My family went camping in the vicinity nearly every year in the late 50's and early 60's.

 

Then there are places like Hood River and The Dalles along the Columbia east of Portland that have become big tourist destinations since windsurfing became popular on the river.

 

I've spent a lot of time in Pendleton and have certain fondness for that area. I played extended five night a week gigs there in the early 70's and again in the mid 80's. Very nice in the summer.

 

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Hood River is my favorite place on the gorge.

 

For someone moving cold into the area, I agree. My choice of The Dalles was because I have ties here.

 

I should mention that rainfall is about 30 inches a year in Hood River, and half that by the time you get to The Dalles - considerably less than Western Oregon if clouds and rain are an issue.

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From 1 Californian to another.

 

If you are interested in smaller towns with good restaurants and entertainment, Ashland might be something to explore. try an overnight visit.

 

Climate is very warm- similar to Redding across the CA border.

 

I like Oregon and its a good departure from California. However,the wife and I made an excellent choice here in Discovery Bay/Delta. We figure we are good for 5 years here, maybe longer if there is little change.

Why fit in, when you were born to stand out ?

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Thanks everyone for the detailed responses. Eugene or Corvallis sounds like a real nice change from SoCal. Our season with the constant heat, sun and what seems like these endless fires stretches from March to the middle of November. :(

 

I just ran this morning after having to take a couple days off because of the Santa Clarita fire. It's now at 33,000 acres !!! We're about 30-35 miles from it here in Glendale but down wind. The air quality has been been brutal the last few days. Ours cars are covered in ash. I can only imagine what the people up there are going through. Not to mention the brave fire fighters, police and hospital support.

 

Every area has its plus and minuses but for me personally , I've had it with the drought/heat/sun.

 

Since you are in California - have you considered Davis? Very mellow town, close to Sacramento, but not too close.

 

Hi. Yes we have checked out Davis, Sacramento and surrounding areas, although it was about 12 years ago. For whatever reason that whole area doesn't appeal to us. Probably because it gets so hot.

 

Thanks for the tip on Salem. I have their Zillow page bookmarked.

 

Pretty certain we want to stay away from Portland. Just burnt out out on "big city" and too many people. Definitely need to make a trip to Ashland.

 

I've lived in Eugene for 35 years, a transplant from Cleveland (actually Maple Hts), Ohio. I've followed your posts for years, and have your Soundcloud page on my favorites list. I'm a big fan. So...as a payback to listening to your music for free...here's my $.02

 

Definitely some different flavors in the cities you list. Some observations if you will:.

 

Thanks for the nice words regarding the music and your generous, detailed post. :) In addition to Eugene, I'm also bookmarking Zillow pages for Veneta, Sweet Home and Springfield. The area sounds like a good compromise between big city services and small town feel. I might be PMing you on additional info if we come up for a visit. Thanks again. :)

 

Corvallis sounds like my kind of place too. :cool: Off the beaten path and less people. Also have their Zillow page bookmarked too. Checking out Mary's peak and other surrounding area trails. It looks like great running and Mtn. biking.

http://www.everytrail.com/best/hiking-corvallis-oregon

 

Ideally I'd like to have some acreage to possibly build or convert an existing structure to a practice studio for my piano. Similar to what I have now. I can't have a 9' piano in the house and subject my wife to me practicing all day. :cry:

 

New & Improv : I might hit you up offline as well if we come up to check things out.

 

This all sounds great for me but for my wife- the rain, cloudy days and colder weather are not so appealing. So for the time being we're probably going to hang here. After 20 years (this Jan.) we still love our older character type home in the beautiful Verdugo Woodlands of Glendale. I have my studio, I know everyone in the neighborhood, it's just a great area if you have to live in LA.. It definitely doesn't feel like LA here. :cool::thu:

 

She has agreed to make another trip up there to check out the Ashland, Eugene, Corvallis areas. However her first choice is to go to Ventura where her brother is. I love it there too and would go in a second but we'd have to do a major downsize in the house. It's super $$$$$$, like anywhere on the coast in Ca.

 

Having a detached structure for the piano would be difficult to pull off in a place like Ventura. I'd probably have to sell my D and get an AvantGrand or something like that. :pop:

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Pretty certain we want to stay away from Portland. Just burnt out out on "big city" and too many people.

 

My feelings on Portland: Nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there :laugh:

 

I'm OMW to Portland today actually... Costco run, furniture shopping, and then catching Star Trek Beyond at the 80' Cinetopia with it's humongous Meyer sound system.

 

Those are the kinds of things Portland is good for.

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Those above are all top-notch suggestions, IMHO. I was born and raised in Oregon City, went to High School in Portland, moved out east for my twenties, and returned when I was about thirty.

 

Honestly, even though I chose to move back to Portland, it's not the same as it was in the 1990s. Traffic, and a bunch of idiots, and forget about live music. The light rail train is good, as is the Portland Streetcar, and there's great urban hiking in Forest Park, but it's expensive, and is a cow-town that thinks it's a "big city." The Portland Opera is good. But, it's like paying big city prices for a place without the amenities of an actual city. PSU is a solid center of engineering-related studies, and Darryl Grant has kind of kept the music department going since Andrew Hill got the ball rolling sometime in the late 1960s.

 

Eugene is nice, actually -- it is, really, a hick town, but it's got the University (not that PSU isn't a real university, just that it's not one with significant resources to offer like a research library, and so forth -- although they do a very good job with their funds), and is walkable.

 

Surprising to some, maybe, but Beaverton is actually a legitimate little city in its own right -- great taco trucks, it's generally more walkable than Portland proper (although the distances are a bit more spread out).

 

Yeah, Portland has its moments if you want to deal with somebody under thirty thinking they're the shit, which is fine, but if you're looking for a place to just chill, do some valid work, I'd be thinking the Dalles/Hood River, or Eugene.

 

Sure, you can walk a lot in Portland, which is what I'm used to, spending my formative adult years in NYC and Paris, but you really need to have a pretty instinctive insider's view to not get lost up in the West Hills. It's essentially a car-town, despite what the press agents or the Portland Business Alliance tries to promote, unless you actually live in downtown, or close-in NW, SE, or NE.

 

In that respect, provided you live in the city's "core," it's much more a city than Seattle, where everything's ridiculously spread out, but then again, it's not nearly as much of a traditional city, culturally, as Seattle. If anything, the traffic is better than in Seattle, but that's not saying much at all :)

 

Oh yeah, don't go Vancouver. Nothing against it, but I don't see any reason to.

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Oh yeah, don't go Vancouver. Nothing against it, but I don't see any reason to.

 

One word: Taxes :laugh:

 

Yeah, but at least you can pump your own gas.

 

It's little things, that weirded me out and still do after moving back to Oregon, like, apparently Oregonians don't really do the whole "hey, fuck you buddy, I'm walking here!" or "I'm merging, so grab your balls, you numbnuts," or "hey, how long it takes to get some jackass to pump some fucking gasoline?"

 

And that's just the polite side of my evaluation.

 

No sales tax IS nice -- removes that extra step of calculation when you're buying a pack of donuts or whatever, but the whole taxes thing is probably way OT and I bet the OP already knows.

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Pretty certain we want to stay away from Portland. Just burnt out out on "big city" and too many people.

 

My feelings on Portland: Nice place to visit, but I wouldn't want to live there :laugh:

 

I'm OMW to Portland today actually... Costco run, furniture shopping, and then catching Star Trek Beyond at the 80' Cinetopia with it's humongous Meyer sound system.

 

Those are the kinds of things Portland is good for.

 

When the wife and I were there last year, a few natives politely suggested Portland had too many Californians moving in.

 

We politely stated we were only dropping our C notes there, and did not have any moving

to Portland ideas. :)

Why fit in, when you were born to stand out ?

My Soundcloud with many originals:

[70's Songwriter]

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One thing I really notice when I visit Oregon is that nobody is in a hurry on the freeways. Here in New Jersey people routinely drive 80 mph or more. In Oregon people pretty much drive the speed limit and I felt like a jerk if I passed anybody.
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One thing I really notice when I visit Oregon is that nobody is in a hurry on the freeways. Here in New Jersey people routinely drive 80 mph or more. In Oregon people pretty much drive the speed limit and I felt like a jerk if I passed anybody.

 

I don't know if this is PC or not, but fact of the matter is that people around Portland (a) walk (b) drive like pus****s.

 

Out around the Gorge Highway and such, though, and through I-5, there's a good reason -- all kinds of speed traps and sh**.

 

My last cross-country trip, I managed about 120 mostly from Blue Earth, MN to Butte, MT, but you better believe I stuck to the line once I hit the Oregon Gorge.

 

To be fair, in country-side places, like out around Newberg and stuff, and also out near the coast or over the coast range people tend to drive like regular people. Some a-holes, obviously, but that's just like anywhere.

 

 

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I'm about to konk out for the night so haven't the energy to read others' posts right now, but to the O.P., I know those towns very well due to family and friends that I visited often up until a few years ago (which is when the housing prices started to skyrocket also).

 

Eugene is a college town, of course, but so is Corvallis to some extent. The main industry there was hewlett-packard's printer manufacturing and development facility, but I'm not sure if that is still the case after all the hp restructuring.

 

Not only have I spent a week in Corvallis for a business conference years ago, but just a few years ago I spent a bit of time there visiting my mom's first cousin (since passed, but she lived a good long life). She lived downtown and loved how she could walk everywhere to take care of her basic needs, as well as frequent busses to Salem and other points.

 

The thing about the Willamette Valley is that there's a bunch of small-to-large towns one after the other, with gaps in between, and each is a really pleasant and friendly town that is bike-and-pedestrian-friendly and relatively affordable compared to bigger cities yet with plenty of culture and events.

 

Unfortunately, prices seem to have gone up almost everywhere in the country -- especially in the past year or two. I'm in the same boat with affordability at the moment and have been considering Oregon myself.

 

Gig-wise, my impression has been that the entire area has more to offer for the relative size of each community than most places -- perhaps due to so many colleges. In some ways, comparable to Austin TX and Boston MA.

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Well, I need to chime back in on the notion that Eugene is a college town. The university obviously plays a HUGE role in everything about Eugene. You don't have a 25,000 enrollment in a metro area of 300,000 and not have this be the case. But as someone who has worked in higher education since 1995, in 3 different regions of the country, Eugene is not a college town. Moscow Idaho is definitely a college town. Eugene would obviously suck if it didn't have the UO, but a town like Moscow wouldn't exist without it's university. Eugene has a lot more depth than a college town. It's certainly not a full-fledged metro/city, but it offers a pretty good balance of being smaller but still having some depth.

 

There are a lot of hicks around Eugene to be sure, but they mostly live in Corvallis...I kid. I would actually call Corvallis a college town, student population is about half of the population.

 

All depends on what you want. Unfortunately, you can't choose to live in Portland in the 90's. Portland is by any measure, fantastic in 2016 though!

 

Having lived in the Boston area, I'd also take another point of view on the glory of driving in the northeast.

 

Not being able to pump your own gas, does in fact, suck. ;-)

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Late to the party, as I've been busy moving away from Eugene!

 

There are so many apt comments above that I can confirm from personal experience, but here are a few more, specifically relating to Eugene...

 

Weather: yes, it's frequently gray and rainy, BUT you get pretty much solid sunshine for up to three months in the summer - and it can get hot (maybe around 100 degrees for a couple of weeks). Winter snow is infrequent and rarely sticks around. The worst weather-related phenomena are the inversions which can trap polluted air over the city when heat combines with still air.

 

Cycling: as stated in post above, great in the city, not so good once you're on the county roads - there have been a few deaths and injuries in recent years.

 

Culture: great for artists and musicians, but if you expect to get much beyond tips and appreciation, find somewhere else! The University feeds some great musicians into the mix, and there are some wonderful established players such as Gus Russell (keys) and Paul Biondi (sax/flute etc.).

 

Property market: Eugene has recently rebounded from the recession in a big way. For all the reasons you cite, Dave, Californians and others are frequently choosing Eugene. Outside the city limits, places like Veneta offer more for your money, however, in the case of Veneta, highway 126 hosts many nasty accidents, it's VERY damp there (get a good inspector before buying) and they did have some water quality/supply issues if memory serves. Brownsville is subjectively more pleasant than Sweet Home (IMO). Corvallis is a good compromise and its micro-climate is sometimes a degree or two warmer/dryer than Eugene.

 

I must admit that I miss Eugene quite a bit. People are friendly and there's a lot going on. It's so easy to get out into the mountains or to the coast. Yes, if it weren't for the uni it would be a bit hick - really just a railroad junction and lumber yard - and they did their best to destroy the downtown in the 70s and beyond! But it's a very livable city. It just needs one or two more restaurants that really understand what good food means...

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Double post... But also forgot to mention that the pollen count is not good for allergy sufferers, and the warm, damp climate means viruses etc. thrive. On the plus side, the blossoms and lush foliage lend almost a semi-tropical air to the place.
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I lived in the Portland area from 1990 to 1998 (yes, Portland in the nineties).

 

:laugh:

 

My favorite place was the northwest side and the southeast side. Milwaukie had its own small town feel and felt relaxed. I was not particularly fond of Oregon City. I did live for a while in the core of downtown and enjoyed the endless supply of easy access to public transportation to just about anywhere.

 

The variety of culture in restaurants, music and more is fabulous. You could have a dozen specialty cuisine places within a block or two.

 

As for home buying, the prices to us were outrageous. This is why we ended up coming to Idaho. I do not know how it compares now because my comedy partner still lives there but is an apartment renter. Apartment rents in Tigard, Beaverton, Tualitin, have gone up exponentially within the last couple of years, so thinking home prices have, too. He is thinking of moving to either McMinnville or Wilsonville (I rather liked Wilsonville when we visited there in 2007).

 

Troutdale and Gresham can get more extreme with winter weather due to the fact that they get the winds coming from the gorge. Following the gorge farther east, you are close to Multnomah Falls, Horsetail Falls and other areas that are beautiful to visit in summer.

 

Also, Gresham had a crime problem back when we lived there.

 

Rain fall is more like drizzle most times than actual down-pour anywhere in that area.

 

From what my comedy partner and friends still living there tell me, unless you are a software engineer, the job market is pretty tight. Most of my friends still there either work at Costco or Wal-Mart.

 

Posting this little video just for fun because Portland in the nineties was mentioned.

 

:D

 

[video:youtube]

 

Edited to add that my favorite places there were the Rose Gardens, Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (leans more towards children now than it used to), the Japanese Gardens and the Rhododendron Gardens with duck ponds.

 

:)

 

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Eugene is not a college town. Moscow Idaho is definitely a college town. Eugene would obviously suck if it didn't have the UO, but a town like Moscow wouldn't exist without it's university.

 

Yeah, I think it's kind of the place where you have to at least visit to know what the culture is. I call it a "hick town," but I don't mean it in a bad way.

 

I'd compare Eugene, OR to Missoula, MT.

 

I happen to get along pretty well with so-called "hicks," and I think Lane County, off top of my head, does pretty good for local taxes and stuff.

 

OTOH, I didn't know about the migrant workers/hipsters from California coming to Eugene -- I always thought that Eugene was more an Oregon place, you know, someplace where locals live or visit on a day trip.

 

Live and learn, I guess.

 

My family has a place up in Rockaway Beach, OR: I'm not allowed to go there without adult supervision, but if you want to buy property and live unmolested, someplace like that or Wheeler.

 

Last I was around there a month ago or so, though, there isn't even a biker bar you could play Steppenwolf covers in, so, don't know about that.

 

Banks is a good little town in OR not far from Hillsboro/Beaverton/PDX, though. I think it's getting priced out/up, though, with mountain bikers and hipsters.

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I was in Portland earlier this year (from So Cal), and was surprised at how expensive it had become. We stayed with a family friend in a nice neighborhood, but nothing spectacular. I was surprised when she told m the value of her home; almost So Cal prices...approaching $500k for a roughly 1200 sq.. ft. home.
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Portland is a big city that is trying to remain a small town...and failing miserably. I love visiting (my wife is from Oregon, and I have criss-crossed the state numerous times), but the traffic is becoming abominable, and just try finding a hotel room there...but in the meantime it is a very cool place with great restaurants, synth and guitar shops, and decent climate. All this without sales taxes.

 

My wife's family owns a ranch along the coast, just north of the CA border. I am trying to convince her that we should get a small place up there for the summer (to escape the AZ heat), but she won't have it no way no how. Oh well....

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I am trying to convince her that we should get a small place up there for the summer (to escape the AZ heat), but she won't have it no way no how. Oh well....

 

She doesn't mind Arizona's sweltering heat and lizards? :laugh:

When an eel hits your eye like a big pizza pie, that's a Moray.
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I have lived in Eugene and Portland and currently am in SALEM.

 

Portland real estate is going sky high. But it is pretty much where the music is. Eugene used to be great, but lately.... I am pretty sure you would have a hard time finding enough to do.

 

The reason I am in Salem is that I am less than an hour away and the real estate until recently has been ridiculously affordable. There are some perks to living here. I am in the north area - closer to Portland and the outlying area is just phenomenal. Silverton is a progressive little place with a lot going on. The Scotts Mills area is outright gorgeous. I love to go out to the small towns, and I am in Portland about once or twice a week.The commute is no big deal.

 

I left Southern Cal because there was NO WAY I was ever going to be able to afford it on a single income. I think I got enough of it, during good time to be there.

 

Moved to Oregon 1994 and visit L.A. occasionally. Haven't looked back.

 

I am VERY familiar with the music situation here in Oregon. But I would shoot for striking distance to Portland, but not live in it. Which is what I do.

 

 

I would NOT be looking at Real estate in Lake Oswego. Maybe Beaverton. If it was me I would be looking at something like Oregon City.... in the country. Then maybe south of there. But Salem works for me.

 

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