Portland, OR

Now, my first thoughts on Portland… It’s a lovely city, not unlike Austin but without Austin’s heat and humidity. Very biker friendly, and the public transit beats Boston’s hands-down. The TriMet, as they call it, is modern, clean, efficient, and cost-effective. The residents here did a great job investing in communal infrastructure early on. It’s a sprawling city too; according to some who drive around here, it takes about 30 min to drive from one corner of the city’s quadrants to the opposite corner, and that’s taking the highway. Tattoos, alternative music, dark symbolism all seem to be vogue out here. People are laid back, very friendly. There are lots of independent businesses; I don’t see the symptoms of massive commercialization that I see in other big American cities. From talking with locals who are helping with PyCon, there’s a general focus on “the good life”, rather than the focus on “achievement” on the East Coast.

No doubt it’s an attractive for many, but I’m not sure that, given my own personal life history, I would be able to be sane in Portland. Without intending to devalue ‘the good life’, there are some for whom a mission/purpose-driven life matter more than the ‘good life’ that Portland offers. People in Boston give the city a different vibe, one that is nerdier and health-oriented. Knowing that I’m in a place wth lots of really smart and articulate people keeps my natural ego in check as well, something I think can only be beneficial in the long-run. I’m a person excited by the possibilities offered by ideas, and Boston is brimming with them.

Life’s all about tradeoffs, I guess. 🙂