Why We Love Portland

My Mom, Mary Jo always called me Lucky Jo. After her father, Joseph Overland aka Lucky Joe. All my life, if there is luck to be had, money to be found, the one open parking spot, I’ll find it. Luck played its hand again this year and helped make a big life decision, much easier.

Reasons to Move to Portland

After a decade in New York City, Bello and I knew it was time to move on. We saved for two years, relocated to New Jersey and began searching for a new place to live.

State after state was slowly ruled out. New Jersey just wasn’t for us. Ohio, despite being my home state and where my parents live, sits land locked. California, too expensive, at least while starting a new business. Florida, also expensive and in my opinion too hot. Portland, time and again kept it’s place at the top of our list.

Portland sits nestled in Oregon, just one hour from one of the most beautiful coastlines in America.

Where to Find the Goonies Beach
Where to Find the Goonies Beach

Mt. Hood two hours drive. Willamette valley puts wine country in day trip territory. 105 local breweries mean excellent craft beer is around every corner.

Hoppy Hour at Laurelwood Brewing Co.
Hoppy Hour at Laurelwood Brewing Co.

Last by not least, the food in Portland is some of the best in America.

Reverend's BBQ Hit's
Reverend’s BBQ Hit’s

Our only hesitation, the rain. Does enjoyable, affordable lifestyle outweigh rainy weather in Portland? Our plan, take two months at the start of rainy season in Portland to see if we could handle the rain.

Cost of Living in Portland is On the Rise

The hitch. Between deciding Portland was our top pick and actually making the move, the great California exeduce began. People are flocking to Portland. Rents in Rose City skyrocketed by 12%. In 2015 Oregon became the most popular moving destination.¹

People are flocking to Portland in droves and it’s irritating the locals. For us personally, it threw a wrench in ourplans. Finding a place to try Portland for two months, was all of the sudden very tricky.

Sellwood is One of Portland’s Many Walkable Neighborhoods

As luck would have it, two weeks before we had to decide where we wanted to go, I spotted a new listing on AirBNB. Knowing nothing about the neighborhood we snapped up a 450 square foot AirBNB in Sellwood. Man did we get lucky too. Turns out, Sellwood is one of Portland’s most charming, walkable neighborhoods. Pure luck!

On September 8th, just two days after Bello’s first successful art show, we packed up our new car Nanty and drove cross country to Portland.

Shoshone National Forest
Shoshone National Forest

After a decade in New York City, we assumed we would need to drive everywhere on arriving in Portland. Wrong! Within a ten minute walk of our Sellwood home, we have a brewery, a Starbucks, countless antique shops, several restaurants, a good grocery store, a nice library and two food truck parks. Score!

Investing In a New Community

Now, as I’ve mentioned, the influx of people is rubbing some folks the wrong way in Portland. Beside us at true local dive bars, there have been a few cold shoulders. Our car window was vandalized a few weeks ago.

Not the rain, a few cold shoulders or even the smashed window has changed our mind. We love Portland. The nature, the beer, the food and yes the people. By in large the people we have met, have been kind, open minded and welcomed our arrival. Come 2017, we’ll be back.

In life, when there is something you really want, you have to work for it. For Portland, I’m ready to work to give back to the community, I want to become a part of.

Bello and I are investing our time and effort in meeting people, photographing and telling local business stories. This week, ALOR will be rolling out a series of articles featuring The Best of Portland.

The Best of Portland

We will be featuring local businesses, business owners and their employees who have already become a part of what we love about Portland.

Tomorrow we start with Old Portland Hardware & Architectural. A decade old business that relocated to Sellwood just before our arrival. Also a business that takes pride in curiosity, purposeful ownership and standing up for the workhorses of American Craftsmanship.

Door Knobs at Old Portland Hardware & Architectural
Door Knobs at Old Portland Hardware & Architectural


What are your thoughts?

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: