Now I am still entirely in love with Portland, but recently I have been thinking about some junk. I was looking back on some things that caught me off-guard about the city after moving here. Stuff I didn’t read about when researching the city. You know, negative stuff? Here are the top three negative surprises for me after moving here:

1. Spiders – I had no clue our yard would be taken over by these freaky little insects in the fall. I am normally a spider hater, but for some reason the spiders are more acceptable here. We lived in harmony. Unless I found one indoors, then its just like the fashion world, “one day your in, the next day your out!”*.

2. Sunrise/Sunset in Winter – I had read about the rain and the lack of sun due to cloud cover, but I had no clue it was like Alaska up here. Going to work in the dark, and coming home in the dark can really be a little depressing. Thanks for the warning!

3. Tornadoes – Dear God, I thought I left these evil beasts behind in Oklahoma. Sure they seem to happen in Vancouver and not Portland and maybe once a year, but hey that’s just a few miles from me, and if I know one thing about tornadoes, they like to roam.

So Portland Alumn, what are some other things I or others looking to visit or move to Portland might expect on the negative side?

*must be read in best/worst Heidi Klum voice.

13 Comments so far

  1. Steve (unregistered) on January 12th, 2008 @ 11:19 am

    You’ll be chastised if you grow to dislike (or never acquire a taste for) pinkie-extended beer and coffee.

    Portlanders don’t tan, they rust.

    You know how you can tell when it’s summer? The rain starts getting warmer. (To be fair, it usually stops altogether around August 1. Then it starts again October 1. And those two months of summer are damn nice.)

    While noted as a culinary center, the table service in most Portland restaurants sucks.

    Portland is one of the whitest cities in the US. Diversity in Portland usually refers to white people with tatoos and those without hanging out at the same Starbucks (or Stumptown) or brew pub.

  2. Beebs (unregistered) on January 12th, 2008 @ 12:00 pm

    On another weather note, you’ll find springtime to be especially interesting. And you’ll hear, “If you don’t like the weather, wait five minutes!” uttered by at least seven people a day. Wind, rain, sun, hail, sleet, rainbows…I guess it’s not entirely negative, but worth preparing for when you leave the house.

  3. jen (unregistered) on January 12th, 2008 @ 1:01 pm

    The spider thing caught me off guard. I’d try to walk down the stairs from my 2nd floor apartment and I’d have to move six or seven webs out of my way. Walk to the grocery store (three or four sidewalk webs) and come back to dismantle the two or three that were rebuilt during the hour I was gone. Ritual repeated when I’d get the mail or do laundry.

    I wasn’t phobic before, but I’ve started to get a bit twitchy. Does this happen everywhere here?

  4. Michael M. (unregistered) on January 12th, 2008 @ 1:10 pm

    It’s a lot more hilly than anyone makes out. I was just watching a 1/2 hour video love letter to Portland posted to Streetfilms.org and was struck by how flat it all looked in comparison to how much ascending and decending I feel like I’m doing when I’m biking (or even walking) around.

    Still, I guess this could be spun into a positive: “Come to Portland and lose weight just trying to get around!”

  5. Dodge Ram (unregistered) on January 12th, 2008 @ 1:52 pm

    Not to put more fear in to you we have like 2-5 volcanoes and volcano vents in the city mostly over here on the east side but where else can you live where you can drive an hour east and play in the snow or drive an hour and a half west the next day and play on the beach.

  6. Steve (unregistered) on January 12th, 2008 @ 1:55 pm

    Oh, and there are earthquakes. The west hills (known to geologists as the Tualatin Mountains) are bracketed by fault lines, and most of the Tualatin valley and downtown Portland are on soil that makes earthquake hazard “extreme.”

    And then there’s the big one, the cascadia subduction zone, 50 miles offshore, where continental plates collide with the potential to produce killer quakes of 9.0 on the Richter scale.

  7. mamababoo (unregistered) on January 12th, 2008 @ 2:26 pm

    Every now and again, when you least expect it, we have a nasty ice storm. Streets and sidewalks freeze over, trees get heavy with ice and drop their limbs, power lines fail. It’s pretty dramatic when it happens, but those of us familiar with the phenomena usually have enough food and layers of clothes on hand to see it through without danger.

  8. McAngryPants (unregistered) on January 12th, 2008 @ 3:32 pm

    volcanoes. LOTS of them. Mt St. Helens…Mt. Hood…Mt XYZ. In fact right here within city limits…Mt. Tabor is a dormant volcano. There is a basketball court at the top that is in the crater thingy.

  9. Steve (unregistered) on January 12th, 2008 @ 4:00 pm

    Tabor is extinct, not dormant.

  10. Dodge Ram (unregistered) on January 13th, 2008 @ 7:47 pm

    Hay mamababoo as far as I can think back wasn’t the last big “ice storm” back in the late 70’s or early 80’s? Can’t remember for sure.

    The spider thing over the last 10 years has been getting a bit worse they might be doing like all the other small criders fallowing the food and warmth.

  11. divebarwife (unregistered) on January 13th, 2008 @ 9:07 pm

    In the summer – your #2 gets reversed and we have sunlight from before 5am until about 10pm.

    The only downside is that you end up being so extremely social and having so much fun that it’s hard to get back up at 5am to go to work after being outside so late the night before.

  12. Dodge Ram (unregistered) on January 14th, 2008 @ 4:09 pm

    Hay Steve, your right the books say that “Tabor is extinct, not dormant” but when has mother nature ever read one of our books “she’ll” do what she wants when she wants and there is nothing we can do about it but hang on.

  13. Dodge Ram (unregistered) on January 15th, 2008 @ 12:13 am

    Dear McAngryPants I have not been up to the top of Mt. Tabor for a long time but the last time I was up there they had for lack of a better description a open air theater up there they had a large part of the cone removed and a chain link fence up so you cant pick at it it’s pumice by the way.

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