What’s Wonderful About Portland!

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We team members at H. Dwayne Davis Group love Portland. Actually, we LOVE Portland, and we want you to feel the same. So many aspects of Portland make it a glorious place to live, and here are a few to start.

DIVERSE NEIGHBORHOODS

In the Portland area you have a choice of a huge variety of neighborhoods and communities. You’ll find your place for sure in one of these areas, with their diversity of socioeconomic ranges, lifestyles, architectural styles, community spirit, and more. There’s something for everyone, and here’s just a taste. For more about neighborhoods, check out the Portland areas section of our website.

  • The Pearl District, with its urban apartment buildings that are tall for Portland (but maybe not for other cities), within blocks of great restaurants, a multiplicity of stores and services, beautiful city parks—including one with a permanent summer wading fountain—and more. Wouldn’t it be nice to step out your door and walk just a few blocks to the completely absorbing, world-famous Powell’s Books?
  • Laurelhurst, Mt. Tabor, and other close-in Southeast and Northeast neighborhoods that center on lovely parks. These areas feature beautiful older homes, mostly bungalows, whose inhabitants are proud of their lush gardens and beautiful landscaping. Neighbors are generally happy to stop and chat with one another as they work in their gardens on summer evenings, their cats and dogs stopping by to kibbitz and say hello.
  • The Northwest, where older homes and apartments mix with newer ones. Two long commercial streets, NW 21st and 23rd Avenues, contain some of Portland’s best restaurants and stores, offering a superb urban walk-and-shop experience. Step off of the avenues, and your walk leads you to quiet residential streets.

TYPICAL LOCAL CUSTOMS AND LINGO

  • Ever heard of sun breaks? It does rain here, and Portlanders love those moments when the clouds part and the sun beams down—our “sun breaks.” There’s beauty in contrast.
  • And in related weather usage, around here it’s partly sunny—never partly cloudy. When it’s clear and you can see Mt. Hood, we say “the mountain is out.”
  • We call neighborhoods near the city center “close-in” (see Laurelhurst and Mt. Tabor above). These neighborhoods, and their homes, are highly valued because of their proximity to downtown, and for the fact that they are less dense, with more room for gardens and outdoor living. The weather here makes it perfect to grow nearly anything—thank that rain!
  • Traffic is more laid back here. Portlanders hate to honk their horns, which is considered quite rude, and often people wait too long at four-way stops in order not be seen as the aggressor making the first move. It’s charmingly polite.
  • Life is more informal than in many cities, without the kinds of class pressure often seen elsewhere. It’s okay to wear a t-shirt, jeans, and tattoos to the opera, where a sweet older woman in a mink stole will be happy to chat with you in the drinks line. Wear anything you want out to dinner. There’s a real lack of pretension.
  •  Summer is truly valued here for its sun and warmth. Many people choose “staycations” so that they can enjoy the beautiful weather, maybe taking day trips or overnighters to the coast, the Columbia Gorge, or the mountains. There’s more beauty to be found up and over Mt. Hood to central and eastern, Oregon, too, and it’s all only a few hours from home.

IS PORTLANDIA REAL?

Well, no and yes. It’s thoroughly based in reality, but enhanced for humor. You’ll definitely meet many types of Portlanders that you’ve seen on TV in Portlandia. You won’t be given a certificate with the name of the chicken you’re eating for dinner, but many fine restaurants will tell you on the menu if it’s an organic or free-range bird, and they’re proud of their sources for their food. And that’s not Portland’s real mayor on Portlandia, but here’s a secret: a former mayor, Sam Adams, plays the mayor’s aide. That’s our town!

PORTLAND TRIVIA

Pronunciations can be tricky. Here are some that will make you sound like a longtime Portlander!

  • Couch Street—pronounced “Cooch.”
  • Glisan Street—pronounced “GLEE-sun.”
  • Willamette River—pronounced “Will-AM-et.”