Introduction to Portland
Introduction to the areas of Portland - how it is put together
Portland has many personalities. It is a pretty old city- compared to most of the west coast. It was incorporated in 1851. It is divided into 4 basic quadrants- first there is the east side.which is on the east side of the Willamette River and is generally flat except for the buttes - like Mt Tabor and Mt Scott- and of course the Cascade Mountains and foothills as you get farther east. Then there is the west side.which is on the west side of the Willamette- and is mostly hills that roll up away from the river.
There are 3 main sections of the city on the east side- north, northeast and southeast. Then there are lots of suburbs like Milwaukie , Oregon City, Canby, Gresham , Troutdale, Corbett etc plus all the countryside between Portland and the Cascade Mountains . The inner east side has a lot of really cool older homes with a lot of character- many of which had been let go for many years and have had their rebirth just in the last 5 years. The streets are mostly flat and straight- a lot of the streets have trees lining the streets, and a lot of the neighborhoods have little commercial districts within walking distance- so you can go out to eat, get a coffee or even pick up some groceries by either walking or riding your bike. The buses and Max are set up to load your bike onto them easily, so you can take your bike with you and get places fast without a car! There are also lots of neighborhood parks all over the city- you can learn about them all by going to http://www.portlandonline.com/parks/
The west side is divided into two main parts- NW Portland which is the northern downtown area and the hills that stretch up and beyond Forest Park to the west until they meet Beaverton. Then there is the southwest, which is the main downtown area, plus John's Landing- and then the southwest hills which go out to meet Tigard. There is also the area along the Willamette and Columbia River along Highway 30- Linton, Sauvies Island and the Industrial area. The suburbs of Lake Oswego, West Linn, Tigard, Beaverton, and Hillsboro Plus all the west countryside that stretches out from Portland to the coast, and also goes along the Columbia River out to Astoria. The inner city on the west side is built on the hills- and most of the homes are older- because they have been there a long time and there just isn't much room for new house..although many of the lots are being divided as you get a little farther out, and houses are being built on the extra space. If you want a newer house, especially in a newer neighborhood, you will have to hit the suburbs! The inner city on the west side is extremely expensive- many of the homes have views of the city lights, the river, the mountains, or the west hills. Forest Park also goes up the NW hills and crawls along the ridge above NW Portland. On the SW side, there is Tryon Creek State Park which gives that area a forested park too- although nowhere near as big as Forest Park .
So there is a lot to learn and understand. I've tried to write a guide that will help give you the flavor of each of these areas- with links, maps, photos and collages that make it easy for you to see what the personality of each area is- and which one will be right for you to live in.
One of the best websites that will help you get aquainted with the city and it's goings on, is the Office of Neighborhood Involvement- or to a web browser, PortlandOnline. It has maps for all the different neighborhoods, has all kinds of information about the neighborhoods-where all the parks are and what they are like, exact neighborhood maps- a lot of things that are more technical than what I've done if you like names and numbers! It also has done a livability study to help you know which neighborhood are rated as most livable in regards to crime, transportation etc
Portland Maps is an awesome tool that gives you all kinds of different maps showing crime..getting down to specifics like what crime happened where. It has plat maps, permit info and all kinds of things. You can just put in an address or intersection and click search- it will bring up the main page for that address with lots of links to help you learn things about it.
News for Neighborhoods has up to date news on what is going on all over the city in the different neighborhoods. It's a cool link to check periodically.
Portland Monthly Magazine is a really cool magazine about Portland . It rates the neighborhoods, the schools, the restaurants, the doctors etc. Each issue addresses a different topic.
The Oregonian is the Portland newspaper. It not only keeps up with the local news, but it also does lots of feature articles that are sometimes several days long- on all kinds of topics that are important to Portlanders. They have an online site that you can go to and get all the news, job ads, home ads etc.
They also have a lot of different local papers for each area- which you can find on their main website. It will help you get aquainted with the different communities around Portland
Here is a cool Green Map of bike trails, parks, public transportation and all kinds of things. I'm really into nature and the outdoors- that is one reason I like Portland so much- so I have a lot about the different parks, trails and natural areas of Portland .
Go through my neighborhood guide and you will find lots more links and maps to all kinds of things that Portland offers! You can also learn a lot more about Portland and the surrounding areas by cruising through my website. We will keep adding to it to make it a really good guide- including the surrounding outdoor areas like the ocean, the desert, the river, the gorge, the mountains, the coast range, the waterfalls etc. My husband, daughters and I are having a lot of fun writing it all- and our whole purpose is to help you to learn more about Portland so that when you decide to buy a house, or move here, or relocate to another part of the metro area, you will have a little guidance that will help you make an informed decision! Please give us a call or email us with questions about anything you have read about..or if you would like help either buying or selling a house! You can read through our Bios and decide which one of us would fit your personality the best- and then let us know how we can help you!
Helen, Wendy, Lisa and Hayley
About Portland Links