Hey Jason. I've been thinking about where I'd like to move to after I'm done with school and what not, and Portland is one of the higher ups on my list of places. Everything I know about the city is from the show, which could sway ne all on its own to choose there, but what do you love about it?
Just yesterday I was sitting at lunch and discussing with my girlfriend one of the many things that floats around my brain: Are some of the things I like a product of my environment, or do I like my environment because it contains a variety of things I like. What I love about Portland is that its best qualities are all things I value most: it’s relatively small compared to other cities and there’s a premium placed on local companies vs chains. There’s a lot of great local beer, food places, coffee shops, and the general vibe is very laid back. One of the things I hear most often from those visiting is how odd it is that there are no horns honking in the city. It is something I never noticed until it was continually pointed out to me — and it’s completely true — it’s just a different speed here.
I also love how walkable Portland is. I walk virtually everywhere: to the store, to shops, to local breweries, to the book and record store, to grab coffee or to the food carts. Portland is known for its rain and if you move here that’s something you’ll definitely discover in short order. I’ve lived here most of my life and really am used to it. You learn when to make a run for it (the app Dark Sky is pretty invaluable) and what kind of clothes to avoid soaking it all up (I recommend a light waterproof shell — like those from Columbia Sportswear). It’s all worth it though when the rainy fall and winter leads to a pretty spectacular summer and spring. The attitude, overall friendliness, and little quirks are what have kept me in Portland all these years. I don’t know if over the years some of the things Portland is becoming known for (beer, coffee, books) I started loving because I live here, or if I love living here because there’s such an abundance of things I love.
My recommendation would be to visit. If you have the ability, check out the city during a summer and sometime in November when it’s one of the rainy months. Explore the different areas (NW, NE, SW, and SE all have unique things about them) and try to immerse yourself in the local life. And don’t be afraid to ask for suggestions or help — most Portlanders are extremely willing to help point you to anything you need.
Hope this helped to some degree. I’m going to go crack a Ninkasi and read some more of my book.