Moving from Seattle to Portland, I figured everything would be about the same. Swap a sound for a lake, minimize the buildings a bit, and bam! Same city.
Nope. Nope. Nope.
Here are 5 things that have surprised me about Portland
1. Retail People talk to you
This just never happened in Seattle. Checking out at the grocery store was a completely transactional experience. Not so in Portland. Every transaction becomes a relational experience as well.
Are people just nicer in Portland? I think so. There is definitely a “warmer” feel to everyone here, even in a retail setting
2. Not pumping your gas is great, except when it isn’t
You can’t pump your own gas in Oregon. Growing up here I had gotten used to this, but after 7 years in Seattle, pumping my own gas, I had forgetten the convinience of not having to get out of your car.
There are some downsides:
- Less 24 hour gas stations (since they can’t be fully automated)
- Slower in and out time (you have to wait for the gas attendant to start fueling)
3. No Sales Tax Adds Up
I’m already seeing the difference no sales tax has on my budget.
4. Public Transportion Actually Works
I’ve been riding the MAX line from Gresham to downtown, as well as driving it, and it’s nearly just as fast, and sometimes faster to ride MAX than drive. And I can read a book and listen to music while I move!
The streetcar downtown is great, and overall I’ve never been in a city that had better pub trans.
5. What else?
What else should people know about moving to Portland?