Author Topic: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks  (Read 16986 times)

trollwithamustache

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #50 on: February 27, 2018, 01:12:32 PM »
People you are all missing it.

You can't pump your own gas in Oregon cities.  WTF?

FINate

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #51 on: February 27, 2018, 01:16:52 PM »
Thanks everyone for all the other city recommendations. Using these to form the rough contours of a future road trip, including a foray into ID. Being FIRE means we can easily hit the road for a month when school isn't in session :)

On Subarus and million dollar houses - same in Santa Cruz. I even had a Forester for a time, don't understand the allure. Maybe it's because I'm 6'6" and those things just are not designed for people my size. Can always tell when the Banff Film Festival is in town...Subarus with roof racks up and down every street near the venue. I can live with the faux outdoorsy thing because it means less people where I'm going.

Hood River looks interesting. Small, but like I mentioned upthread, we'll probably have to compromise on some things. But why not live across the border in White Salmon, WA and save on the income taxes and shop in Hood River, like the Vancouver/Portland play?

For those who love and/or live in Bend, I hope you don't take exception to this thread or my inflammatory clickbait topic. Not trying to bash Bend, just trying to get info on the potential downsides ('cause every place has 'em) to watch out for before we get too far in along in the process.

 
« Last Edit: February 27, 2018, 01:19:02 PM by FINate »

Trifele

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #52 on: February 27, 2018, 01:32:23 PM »
People you are all missing it.

You can't pump your own gas in Oregon cities.  WTF?

Haha -- you can't pump your own gas, but you can legally smoke pot.

pdxvandal

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #53 on: February 27, 2018, 01:44:55 PM »
Oregon recently passed a law where you can pump your own gas in rural towns. I think Hood River may qualify. Portland/Eugene/Salem don't. I would much prefer to pump my own gas.

To the OP, White Salmon could be an interesting play. Beautiful, better views of Mt. Hood and no income tax.

People you are all missing it.

You can't pump your own gas in Oregon cities.  WTF?

Scrapr

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #54 on: February 27, 2018, 01:46:11 PM »
After buying a vacation home in Bend 13 years ago we downsized from Portland to Bend 2 years ago.

Some of the bad

Hospital system. Don't get sick! They have a stranglehold on the area. Only one hospital system. They are the most expensive system in the state. And outcomes are not that great. We have had 2 interactions and 2 difficult outcomes. They have killed a few patients. Nurses say they are overworked. We walked out of ER and drove 3 hours to Portland for care.

Weather
Last winter was a bit of an anomoly. Lots of snow collapsing buildings (flat roofs). I think I had base layer on from December to April. This am 10 degrees. South of town -9 degrees. Then in summer was the wild fires. Air quality was very very poor. As in dangerous. We installed an air filter system for Mrs Scrapr allergies. Which was just in time for the wild fires. This also affected the trails up in the high lakes area. Many areas were closed.

Construction
Trade base is way overwhelmed. Things take a long time to get built. Which leads to every pickup harry getting into business as a GC. One small townhouse project has been under construction for over a year. In Portland this would be 6-8 months. I'd be very very careful about buying a home.

Summer season
shorter than you think. Up in the high lakes is where many go to hike/kayak/camp. The road up there is closed during Winter. ODOT tries to have it open by Memorial Day. Last Winter was June 15th or so. Figure closing about Oct 15th or so. We have been snowed on in September. Even if the road is open there would still be snow on the trails.

Park & Rec
They seem to get whatever they request. They are rolling in money. While the City street fund is under funded. The Park & Rec can do silly stuff like reroute the Deshutes to make a wave machine. Silly. They are supposed to be going to the voters for another bond soon. There are lots of neighborhood parks though. Which is nice

There is a lot to like.  Our moods are really affected positively by the sun. The health care may make us move though

v8rx7guy

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #55 on: February 27, 2018, 02:08:55 PM »
Love this thread! Seems like my family isn't the only ones with Bend on the list.  We are definitely more than 1-2 years out from leaving the Bay but this is good information.

Not to hijack FINate's thread too much but we are interested in Spanish immersion K-5/8 schools. Do any of the noted communities offer that?  I think I saw that Bellingham had one.  I guess that plays a lot into the lack of diversity comments.

They do, but it's a Private Christian School, not sure if that's a problem or not.  Evergreen Christian School is the name.

Telecaster

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #56 on: February 27, 2018, 02:43:21 PM »
Oregon recently passed a law where you can pump your own gas in rural towns. I think Hood River may qualify. Portland/Eugene/Salem don't. I would much prefer to pump my own gas.


But you can't pump your own gas in Bend!  I was there last week (actually Redmond, I guess), and tried to pump my own before the nice young gas attendant blocked me. 

Undecided

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #57 on: February 27, 2018, 02:50:16 PM »

Park & Rec
They seem to get whatever they request. They are rolling in money. While the City street fund is under funded. The Park & Rec can do silly stuff like reroute the Deshutes to make a wave machine.


The parks department is esentially a separate taxing authority, so within the existing legal structure, the parks department spending isn't really relevant to things like city roads.

LateStarter1

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #58 on: February 27, 2018, 02:52:07 PM »
Well... I live and work here. Been almost 10 years now.

First and foremost.... I absolutely love living here. Everything is within reach. Coast is not far away, desert is not far, thick forests, waterfalls, surrounded by lakes, mountains, snowboarding, hiking, amazing motorcycle roads, you name it... we pretty much have it.

Touristy stuff.... Yeah. Ive either become immune to it or its just not as bad as most make it out to be... but I dont notice it super bad. I do notice the "fake" feeling some mention.

Yup its white here. There is some diversification but not a lot. I have never seen any white supremacist or racist anything here though.

I grew up in Boise area and I feel both are pretty comparable but Id pick Central Oregon every time.

Home prices and rent are pretty up there here. Redmond and some other surrounding areas are still pretty reasonable and are not far away at all.


I do have one big gripe. DO NOT TELL ANYONE YOU ARE FROM CALIFORNIA IF YOU COME HERE!  As dumb as that sounds, that is the thing I hear day to day. People here HATE Californians. I hear its the same up in Washington and Idaho though.  But its pretty annoying. They blame people from CA for everything here.

We have amazing micro breweries. Best beer. So much of it. Its great. If you dont like beer, well... meh.


Jesstache

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #59 on: February 27, 2018, 04:33:17 PM »
Bend has an elementary school, Bear Creek, which is dual immersion (Spanish).  There is also a preschool with other languages (Japanese, etc) in the northwest crossing area.

Iím not offended by the OP. I know all the downsides.  Many are extremely minor to me or maybe Iím just not as bothered by things as others are and some are positives in my eyes (like the dry/low humidity) .  I think the river wave is cool, there are dudes out there surfing ALL YEAR.  My 4 year old totally digs seeing them in the river with snow. 

On the homeschool front, a friend of my homeschools all 8 of her kids and told me about the state program that pays for all of their community college as part of the homeschooling program, which all of her kids are partaking in.  They ďgraduateĒ high school with associates segeees. 

Cool that there are so many Bend mustachians here.  Itís a great place to live cheaply, if you get housing shored up.

spokey doke

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #60 on: February 28, 2018, 07:55:28 AM »
Love this thread...lot's of spot on analyses.

I used to live in Bend many years ago and grew up in OR and identify as an Oregonian. I visit fairly regularly.  I love it, despite the cultural downsides.  The weather is, IMO, nearly perfect.  Mountainbiking is fantastic.  Good water to get on.  OK skiing (but nonetheless, skiing right there...N. Rockies is way better).  Fabulous food/beer/farmers market.  Proximity to the coast without the rain...  It is way up on my list of places to live...

BUT...housing prices are steep for me.  OR tax friendliness in not great.  Skiing is again not that great.  And the cultural part is a bit off-putting.  Still, I'd love to live there.

In my less productive hours of combing places to move to...Hood River/White Salmon is high up there...add in wind-sports to the mix!!!

But I am still partial to the northern rockies for the access to really big wild places and great skiing...although it often comes at the cost of culture and political tension for me.  And if you want a more liberal outdoor town here, it will often cost you to buy into living in those resort towns.

Do travel...lots of fun, and if you are cashing out a place in Santa Cruz, you can easily afford most places.

Undecided

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #61 on: February 28, 2018, 11:23:34 AM »

But I am still partial to the northern rockies for the access to really big wild places and great skiing...although it often comes at the cost of culture and political tension for me.  And if you want a more liberal outdoor town here, it will often cost you to buy into living in those resort towns.


Although I'd like to have my ideal skiing close at hand every winter, pure ski towns tend to suffer from their own issues (that are somewhat, but not entirely, different from the issues described here regarding Bend), and the couple of significantly larger cities that have better skiing have their own (again, different) issues. No place is perfect. Living in one of the places discussed in this thread is fortunate (from my perspective), and having the chance to freely decide which of them you prefer is really fantastic. But no place is perfect (did I say that already?).

Again, I have no interest in defending Bend, but the couple of comments that have been made about "fakeness" are interesting to me. Lots of them from visitors to Bend, and that's not my perspective---I respect that it's their view. It's a comment I think one hears about many of the classic Outside "Best Places to Live." I'm not wholly sure what it means, so I can't pretend that it's wrong. One aspect of it does bug me though, as regards outdoor sports and activities. I think there's a subtext that if one didn't decide early on to abandon other priorities to elevate outdoor pursuits above all else, if one didn't dirt bag it through one's 20s and early 30s, then the interest is somehow fake. I think that's disrespectful to the passion that many people demonstrate by maintaining an interest in and commitment to outdoor pursuits while they climb the professional ladder, raise a family, or take care of whatever else is important. I nursed a couple of pretty serious outdoors interests through lots of education and the early phase of a demanding professional career, and there were certainly times when I wished I could have done a backcountry trip or gone to a remote race, but it wasn't in the cards at work. When i had the chance to use the early phase of my career as a jumping-off point for a phase of my life where I could pursue those passions more freely, with much greater resources and prospects than I would have had if this passions had been my number one priority earlier, I did it (at some sacrifice to future professional and monetary prospects, to be sure). By that point my life was very different than the lives of my peers who had been living the dream for a dozen years (and of course I wish I could have had it all), by my outdoors interests and passions are and always have been real, and I feel like the sacrifices of those (more!) youthful years have paid off for me and my family. But they were sacrifices; I knew I was making them. I don't think that people who made the opposite choices were wrong, but I have trouble seeing how my choices make me fake.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2018, 11:33:18 AM by Undecided »

spokey doke

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #62 on: February 28, 2018, 11:31:57 AM »

But I am still partial to the northern rockies for the access to really big wild places and great skiing...although it often comes at the cost of culture and political tension for me.  And if you want a more liberal outdoor town here, it will often cost you to buy into living in those resort towns.


Although I'd like to have my ideal skiing close at hand every winter, pure ski towns tend to suffer from their own issues (that are somewhat, but not entirely, different from the issued describe here regarding Bend), and the couple of significantly larger cities that have better skiing have their own (again, different) issues. No place is perfect. Living in one of the places discussed in this thread is fortunate (from my perspective), and having the chance to freely decide which of them you prefer is really fantastic. But no place is perfect (did I say that already?).

Again, I have no interest in defending Bend, but the couple of comments that have been made about "fakeness" are interesting to me. Lots of them from visitors to Bend, and that's not my perspective---I respect that it's their view. It's a comment I think one hears about many of the classic Outside[/] "Best Places to Live." I'm not wholly sure what it means, so I can't pretend that it's wrong. One aspect of it does bug me though, as regards outdoor sports and activities. I think there's a subtext that if one didn't decide early on to abandon other priorities to elevate outdoor pursuits above all else, if one didn't dirt bag it through one's 20s and early 30s, then the interest is somehow fake. I think that's disrespectful to the passion that many people demonstrate by maintaining an interest in and commitment to outdoor pursuits while they climb the professional ladder, raise a family, or take care of whatever else is important. I nursed a couple of pretty serious outdoors interests through lots of education and the early phase of a demanding professional career, and there were certainly times when I wished I could have done a backcountry trip or gone to a remote race, but it wasn't in the cards at work. When i had the chance to use the early phase of my career as a jumping-off point for a phase of my life where I could pursue those passions more freely, with much greater resources and prospects than I would have had if this passions had been my number one priority earlier, I did it (at some sacrifice to future professional and monetary prospects, to be sure). By that point my life was very different than the lives of my peers who had been living the dream for a dozen years (and of course I wish I could have had it all), by my outdoors interests and passions are and always have been real, and I feel like the sacrifices of those (more!) youthful years have paid off for me and my family. But they were sacrifices; I knew I was making them. I don't think that people who made the opposite choices were wrong, but I have trouble seeing how my choices make me fake.

Yep...good points...it's all trade-offs (choices of place to live, and other life choices), and a continuum of possibilities (rather than either "real" or "fake"). 

My response is to consider not whether the "fake" issue is fair or well founded, but the fact that it seems to be a fairly common lens that people are using.  And while you can never really escape some sort of scrutiny like that, there are places where such scrutiny, fair or not, is more prominent/palpable.  I like to avoid such places, but as I think you MAY have mentioned, no place is perfect.
« Last Edit: February 28, 2018, 11:38:52 AM by spokey doke »

FINate

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #63 on: February 28, 2018, 11:44:29 AM »

But I am still partial to the northern rockies for the access to really big wild places and great skiing...although it often comes at the cost of culture and political tension for me.  And if you want a more liberal outdoor town here, it will often cost you to buy into living in those resort towns.


Although I'd like to have my ideal skiing close at hand every winter, pure ski towns tend to suffer from their own issues (that are somewhat, but not entirely, different from the issued describe here regarding Bend), and the couple of significantly larger cities that have better skiing have their own (again, different) issues. No place is perfect. Living in one of the places discussed in this thread is fortunate (from my perspective), and having the chance to freely decide which of them you prefer is really fantastic. But no place is perfect (did I say that already?).

Again, I have no interest in defending Bend, but the couple of comments that have been made about "fakeness" are interesting to me. Lots of them from visitors to Bend, and that's not my perspective---I respect that it's their view. It's a comment I think one hears about many of the classic Outside[/] "Best Places to Live." I'm not wholly sure what it means, so I can't pretend that it's wrong. One aspect of it does bug me though, as regards outdoor sports and activities. I think there's a subtext that if one didn't decide early on to abandon other priorities to elevate outdoor pursuits above all else, if one didn't dirt bag it through one's 20s and early 30s, then the interest is somehow fake. I think that's disrespectful to the passion that many people demonstrate by maintaining an interest in and commitment to outdoor pursuits while they climb the professional ladder, raise a family, or take care of whatever else is important. I nursed a couple of pretty serious outdoors interests through lots of education and the early phase of a demanding professional career, and there were certainly times when I wished I could have done a backcountry trip or gone to a remote race, but it wasn't in the cards at work. When i had the chance to use the early phase of my career as a jumping-off point for a phase of my life where I could pursue those passions more freely, with much greater resources and prospects than I would have had if this passions had been my number one priority earlier, I did it (at some sacrifice to future professional and monetary prospects, to be sure). By that point my life was very different than the lives of my peers who had been living the dream for a dozen years (and of course I wish I could have had it all), by my outdoors interests and passions are and always have been real, and I feel like the sacrifices of those (more!) youthful years have paid off for me and my family. But they were sacrifices; I knew I was making them. I don't think that people who made the opposite choices were wrong, but I have trouble seeing how my choices make me fake.

Yep...good points...it's all trade-offs (choices of place to live, and life choices).

My response is to consider not whether the "fake" issue is fair or well founded, but the fact that it seems to be a fairly common lens that people are using.  And while you can never really escape some sort of scrutiny like that, there are places where such scrutiny, fair or not, is more prominent/palpable.  I like to avoid such places, but as I think you MAY have mentioned, no place is perfect.

+1 to both quoted. @Undecided your journey sounds very similar to mine. I love the outdoors, but decided to focus on education and career early on. Started working in tech at 19, then added FT school (Comp. Sci.), climbed corp ladder then added grad school - two masters degrees while working. After that, kids...I love them to death, but wow does it ever put a damper on anything but the most basic of outdoor pursuits. The kids are just now starting to get the age where we can do more with them, and by the time we relocate we should be full steam ahead getting them into the outdoor life. So yeah, I feel like the sacrifices of my 20s and 30s are now paying dividends.

But, to be fair to those commenting on "fakeness" it's not clear if they're suggesting the people themselves are fake. Some may be, but for others it could have to do with how fast the city has grown and changed, which can make things feel forced rather than "organic."

FINate

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #64 on: February 28, 2018, 12:18:58 PM »
Regarding fakeness: Largely the impression I get here is similar to an area in Silicon Valley called Santana Row. A master planned "upscale" community with a faux European design motif, and a gathering place for the nouveau riche and brogrammers. It feels fake to me, not my favorite place but can appreciate what it has to offer in small doses. If nothing else, it's a fascinating place to people watch.

FireHiker

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #65 on: February 28, 2018, 12:38:30 PM »
After that, kids...I love them to death, but wow does it ever put a damper on anything but the most basic of outdoor pursuits. The kids are just now starting to get the age where we can do more with them, and by the time we relocate we should be full steam ahead getting them into the outdoor life.

I felt the same way as this with my kids, and then I did a google search on backpacking with kids. I came across a family who took their kids, at ages 2, 4, 6, and 8, to backpack the entire Wonderland Trail. While I'm not THAT ambitious with my kids (yet), we have found that they are capable of a lot more than we previously thought. The youngest is 6 now, and we have her skiing blue runs, hiking several miles, backpacking overnight carrying her own pack (started backpacking with them when she was 3.5 years old; we did carry most of her stuff then, but she hiked 6 miles the first day, no trouble), etc. I'm excited to finally be to the point where we can take them to do fun things with us outdoors without it being an absolute chore but we sure have worked up to it. We do have to adapt here and there, but it's well worth it. My oldest goes to college in fall 2019 so we'll be doing a LOT of outdoor adventures for a few years when our cash flow is substantially reduced. Thank goodness for the Sierras when that time comes!

iluvzbeach

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #66 on: March 01, 2018, 06:36:10 PM »
When youíre checking out Ashland/Medford, swing by Jacksonville. Super-quaint town, with lots to do in and around town, including the Britt Music Festival each summer. We stopped in for the first time in 2011 and decided we just had to make it home.

Thanks for the tip! Very interesting. I've heard (and also mentioned on this thread) that Bend has summer wildfires, and I think Ashland/Medford had a bad fire season last summer. What's your view on it?

We were affected by the smoke, poor air quality, for about 3-4 weeks in August, but we were not plagued with fires in and around town. It can get warm in the summer, but doesnít hit 100 more than a handful of times, and itís a dry heat so very comfortable. I read your checklist of wants and stand by my comment that Jacksonville is worth a look. It pretty much checks all your boxes.

FINate

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #67 on: March 01, 2018, 11:43:50 PM »
When youíre checking out Ashland/Medford, swing by Jacksonville. Super-quaint town, with lots to do in and around town, including the Britt Music Festival each summer. We stopped in for the first time in 2011 and decided we just had to make it home.

Thanks for the tip! Very interesting. I've heard (and also mentioned on this thread) that Bend has summer wildfires, and I think Ashland/Medford had a bad fire season last summer. What's your view on it?

We were affected by the smoke, poor air quality, for about 3-4 weeks in August, but we were not plagued with fires in and around town. It can get warm in the summer, but doesnít hit 100 more than a handful of times, and itís a dry heat so very comfortable. I read your checklist of wants and stand by my comment that Jacksonville is worth a look. It pretty much checks all your boxes.

Thanks for the info. Jacksonville (and surrounding area) is on our radar. Plan on checking it out.

mm1970

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #68 on: March 02, 2018, 04:27:42 PM »
GLADLY ;) So, I have spent a ton of time over there in my life, although I'm from the Valley over the mountains. Recently, some family has moved over there, so the past couple years I've been spending even more times over in that area. Also, I worked on a ranch near then as a teen, so I've logged a fair amount of Bend time.

My complaints:
1. This is my main one and is going to be really hard to verbalize. The culture there feels... fake. Like it's a facade, that doesn't actually permeate into people's lives. It comes across cute when you visit, but the day to day life doesn't actually have a city culture like you would expect. It's a cute downtown, but the people that live there don't walk it. There are cute brew pubs, but they aren't actually that good compared to the rest of the PNW, and have very few locals. Everything closes early, people smile but aren't warm, and there isn't the sort of community/cohesive culture that visiting would lead you to believe. There just... isn't the community involvement, spirit, and distinct identity you would expect from that much local business.
2. Tourists. Everywhere. Enough said there I think. But the flip side of this... the locals might seem friendly, but a lot of them resent visitors. They know they rely on their money, and they don't like it. I don't know if this translates to permanent Californian transplants, but it's a time honored tradition elsewhere in Oregon to actively and legitimately dislike Californians and blame them for not being able to afford the life you want. So I would just... wonder, how that would turn out culturally. That said, I think a lot of people do move to Bend from elsewhere, as opposed to being natives. More like Portland in that respect, rather than Salem/Eugene/Ashland/Medford.

3. The urban/rural divide. This characterizes all of Oregon, but Bend really embodies it. Oregon votes blue, yes. But that's because we have dots of bright blue, swimming in a sparsely populated sea of red. This leads to HUGE culture clashes, and this is especially true in Bend. The neighborhood you pick matters. Whether you drive a truck or a Leaf is a MAJOR political statement, and will influence who associates with you. It's way more conservative than the other major cities in Oregon, but a lot of the political decision makers are progressives... leads to a culture clash.
4. The winter is dry as fuckballs. Buy a humidifier, and lotion, and still expect to have bloody noses and cracked knuckles.
5. Wild fire. Blizzards. Lots of natural bullshit that results in you hiking/biking/kayaking/snowboarding less than you actually expect. Also, the mountain is fuck all spendy, so if you like snow sports, I hope you have major cash to throw at it.
6. More on the climate. The numbers *can* be misleading. Snowfall may not *seem* that high, but it stays on the ground, so snow ACCUMULATION is way higher than most people expect.
7. Gardening prospects are shit. The top soil is shit. No water, too much sun burn, too short a season. You really *need* a green house to grow anything.

So. All that being said. I actually love that area. It's beautiful. It's an amazing place. But it's not the shining gem of perfection a lot of people assume =)
You could have described Santa Barbara!

tungsten

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #69 on: March 02, 2018, 06:44:57 PM »
I have a lot of very close friends in Bend who are the typical outdoorsy type.  I love them, but after spending some time up there, I too, felt that the culture was pretty superficial.  The first thing I noticed, coming from Oakland, Ca was that there were almost no people of color.  It's hard to describe how strange and uncomfortable this made me feel, and I'm white.  I mentioned this to my friend Alan who lives there (brown guy) and he told me to count the number of non-white folks I saw during the week I was there. That number was 5, and there were crowds of people out over the July 4 holiday.  Oakland has it's major problems and inequities, but I realized that art culture and diversity are things that I always very much want to be close to and support.

As far as I could tell, there's no culture of pushing social or cultural boundaries, edgy art or intellectual pursuits..

Mele

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #70 on: March 03, 2018, 07:35:32 AM »
I'm a Boise area Mustachian and think that it might fit you well.  You can be a politically moderate hunter type in Boise without getting scolded.  If a church community is important to you, you will find Boise Vineyard Fellowship to be a real treasure. 

https://vineyardboise.org/

Tons of social justice ministry opportunities (garden, food pantry, feeding homeless, rebuilding Puerto Rico, drilling water well), a real focus on authenticity, not "playing church".  Check out some archived messages, catch the Livestream tomorrow.

Idaho in general is mega-red, but the Boise area is more geared toward moderates.  Hiking, biking, skiing, camping, all right there, with of course a few hour drive to beautiful getaways in the steeper mountains.  Spend the summers floating the river right through town.  It's our favorite thing.

I'm originally from Oregon, and we vacation in Bend from time to time, but for us, it's a bit much.  Feels like everyone is trying too hard to be in an REI ad.

Downfalls:  hot summers.  But, some people love that we have 4 distinct seasons.  But the summers are pretty hot. Great for gardening!

FINate

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #71 on: March 03, 2018, 10:59:18 AM »
I have a lot of very close friends in Bend who are the typical outdoorsy type.  I love them, but after spending some time up there, I too, felt that the culture was pretty superficial.  The first thing I noticed, coming from Oakland, Ca was that there were almost no people of color.  It's hard to describe how strange and uncomfortable this made me feel, and I'm white.  I mentioned this to my friend Alan who lives there (brown guy) and he told me to count the number of non-white folks I saw during the week I was there. That number was 5, and there were crowds of people out over the July 4 holiday.  Oakland has it's major problems and inequities, but I realized that art culture and diversity are things that I always very much want to be close to and support.

As far as I could tell, there's no culture of pushing social or cultural boundaries, edgy art or intellectual pursuits..

Since whiteness has been mentioned several times now: Lack of diversity is not my ideal, but as I stated upthread I know there's no perfect location and will have to give on certain things. I'm looking for a smallish city, specifically not a suburb/bedroom community of a large job center, surrounded by abundant outdoorsy activities. For reasons I don't fully understand this seems to draw more of an affluent white population...hence the jokes about the REI crowd.  E.g. Walla Walla is more diverse, but lacking proximity to the terrain I'm looking for. Wenatchee gets closer in both areas. In the end I'm willing to live with certain tradeoffs.

RE cultural/intellectual pursuits. This is not something I have a strong need for in a city. I get my cultural fix mostly from reading: World history, economics, monetary policy, ancient near east culture, world religions, mythology, science and technology. Willing to travel for quality performing arts and museums. I grew up steeped in "culture" in Santa Cruz/Monterey and I'm kinda over what passes for edgy - a lot of shitty college art (think Portlandia Bad Art Good Walls) and wealthy hobby artists. It's not all bad, there are some real gems but for the most part I'd rather travel a few hours to the nearest big city for a few days of museums and galleries. That, and occasional international travel. So in a culture vs. outdoorsy tradeoff I choose the latter because I mountain bike/hike/hunt/fish/etc. multiple times per week whereas the arts are a several times a year thing.
« Last Edit: March 03, 2018, 12:42:52 PM by FINate »

FINate

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #72 on: March 03, 2018, 11:13:20 AM »
I haven't read all the responses yet but if you are looking for a ski town Park City, Utah is pretty nice and the climate, while dry, doesn't seem as dry as Bend or as hot in.summer. it's expensive but cheaper than coastal Cali and you could like in SLC or any of the near by towns and be very close to all the big ski mountains and outdoor rec but not as isolated as Bend.

Other areas I liked were Whitefish, Montana (close to Missoula), Sand Point and Coure Du Alene, Idaho (Boise is nice but super hot and dry) and Bellingham (favorite place but very wet and gloomy). Tahoe is also on my short list of places to move to. Also a bit isolated but close to Reno and Sac but also dry and expensive. Bend is nice and there's tons of outdoor stuff to do but I think there are better places unless you like the very dry cold/hot and windy high desert type of climate.

ETA I saw some people mention that you'll run into big crowds in places like rivers, skiing, hiking, etc but if you will be RE you'll never have to worry about that again as you can go mid week and generally have even the most crowded places on weekends to yourself. Bliss!

Thread I start awhile ago with lots of good responses. My posts were deleted for privacy reasons so its A little disjointed. Plus I was looking specifically a ski town (as in walk to town and lifts) rather than a city close by.

https://forum.mrmoneymustache.com/ask-a-mustachian/best-(and-cheapest)-mountainski-towns-to-move-to-after-fire/msg1103353/#msg1103353

I would LOVE Park City and drool over it, but DW is not into ID or UT. Hope to convince her otherwise someday but know better than to push it :) Would also put us further away from family that are already in PNW or will be soon.

Don't mind crowds on weekends or in the city. Just want to be able to get away from it, either by driving a bit or timing outings. My issue with Santa Cruz is that we are being enveloped by Silicon Valley. Destinations are super crowded weekends/holidays AND midweek has terrible commute traffic so we're starting to feel trapped in an area with a shrinking radius.

Thanks for the link to the thread. Eagerly digesting it.

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #73 on: March 03, 2018, 11:30:46 AM »
Lot of info already on Bend here in this thread. I dont live there, but have visited and was awestruck as to how great of a place Bend would/could be to live. Aside from dire economic concerns regarding Bend, I would concur that it is dry as FUCK there. This would be a problem for me, especially since a mere 1 hr West of Bend, humidity levels are much friendlier, giving rise to an uber-verdant environment.

Oh, and concur on the "diversity" thing. Which may or may not be an issue for you.

FINate

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #74 on: March 03, 2018, 11:32:35 AM »
I'm a Boise area Mustachian and think that it might fit you well.  You can be a politically moderate hunter type in Boise without getting scolded.  If a church community is important to you, you will find Boise Vineyard Fellowship to be a real treasure. 

https://vineyardboise.org/

Tons of social justice ministry opportunities (garden, food pantry, feeding homeless, rebuilding Puerto Rico, drilling water well), a real focus on authenticity, not "playing church".  Check out some archived messages, catch the Livestream tomorrow.

Idaho in general is mega-red, but the Boise area is more geared toward moderates.  Hiking, biking, skiing, camping, all right there, with of course a few hour drive to beautiful getaways in the steeper mountains.  Spend the summers floating the river right through town.  It's our favorite thing.

I'm originally from Oregon, and we vacation in Bend from time to time, but for us, it's a bit much.  Feels like everyone is trying too hard to be in an REI ad.

Downfalls:  hot summers.  But, some people love that we have 4 distinct seasons.  But the summers are pretty hot. Great for gardening!

Thanks for the info. Planning a stop in Boise to get a feel for it. Hot summers are fine as long as it cools off overnight, one of the reasons we like a dry climate.

The REI vibe just doesn't bother us. We currently live in an area where people try very hard to embody a surfer/skater lifestyle, lots of "kooks." Grew up near here yet don't understand it or speak the lingo, find it more curious than anything. Life's too short to worry about what image other people are trying to project.


pecunia

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #75 on: March 03, 2018, 01:08:40 PM »
This is an interesting post.  I used to live in the Tri-Cities and used to go down into Oregon quite a lot.  Being from a small town, I would love it.

That being said,.........The area i come from has similarities to rural Oregon.  The climate is worse and the hills are smaller, but it has a lot of outdoor possibilities.  People would move there once in a bit from urban areas.  Many couldn't adapt.  They found they missed the faster pace of the big cities.  They missed the ready availability of multiple restaurants and shops.  It just wasn't right for them.  It didn't match their dream.

I have moved back to Midwest.  I find I miss odd little things about the Pacific Northwest.  Today, I was thinking about Les Schwab tires and free beef.

It probably was mentioned.  No sales tax in Ore.  No income tax in Wash.  I lived in Wash.  I had it very good.

Cressida

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #76 on: March 03, 2018, 01:20:40 PM »
Unfortunately I don't have anything to add to this thread, but it's an interesting conversation and I'd like to hear the rest. Oregon is under consideration for us too.

Penn42

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #77 on: March 03, 2018, 03:11:43 PM »
Haven't read the whole thread, but I don't think I'll be adding much that hasn't already been said.  But since I was born and raised in Bend (haven't lived there since 2010) I figured I'd throw my hat in the ring.

Bend more than doubled in size in the two decades between my birth and departure.  That is to say: Bend is trendy AF right now.  I think that's where the majority of the "fake" feeling comes from.  Everybody and their mother wants a piece of the hip Bend experience complete with overpriced breweries/restaurants and ubiquitous local events.  I think it became that way because of the overwhelming number of world-class outdoor activities within a stones throw of town. 

And the climate is perfect IMO.  However, it is a short summer.  Weather will go warm around May-ish, turn cold in September, then stay that way til May.  Very little precipitation.  3 inches of rain a year is a lot.  Snow is another story, but the ground doesn't stay covered for the season.

There's little bad to say about it apart from the trendiness and year round tourism.  And despite the massive amount of change that's occurred since I left 8 years ago I'd like to get back someday.

Cressida

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #78 on: March 03, 2018, 10:25:04 PM »
Unfortunately I don't have anything to add to this thread, but it's an interesting conversation and I'd like to hear the rest. Oregon is under consideration for us too.

Never mind, maybe I do have something to add. Wikipedia says that Bend typically has a hard frost in every month, even July and August. That seems unbelievable, but if it's true, that would be enough to convince me that Bend, OR sucks.

Trifele

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #79 on: March 04, 2018, 01:45:41 AM »
Unfortunately I don't have anything to add to this thread, but it's an interesting conversation and I'd like to hear the rest. Oregon is under consideration for us too.

Never mind, maybe I do have something to add. Wikipedia says that Bend typically has a hard frost in every month, even July and August. That seems unbelievable, but if it's true, that would be enough to convince me that Bend, OR sucks.

Yeah, the climate in Bend sucks if you want to do any kind of gardening.  We looked hard at moving to Oregon a few years ago, and Bend did not make our short list for that very reason. 

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #80 on: March 04, 2018, 07:34:30 AM »
Unfortunately I don't have anything to add to this thread, but it's an interesting conversation and I'd like to hear the rest. Oregon is under consideration for us too.

Never mind, maybe I do have something to add. Wikipedia says that Bend typically has a hard frost in every month, even July and August. That seems unbelievable, but if it's true, that would be enough to convince me that Bend, OR sucks.

I would believe that, that tallies with my experiences. You absolutely need a green house to do any gardening. If it isn't the cold, it's the sunburn on the plants. If it isn't the sunburn, it's the deer. If not the deer, then never enough water. Etc.

Versus the valley, where I planted a clipping of someone else's oregano over a year ago and it hasn't stopped producing, even over the winter. Majorly different climates.

Penn42

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #81 on: March 04, 2018, 07:39:59 AM »
Unfortunately I don't have anything to add to this thread, but it's an interesting conversation and I'd like to hear the rest. Oregon is under consideration for us too.

Never mind, maybe I do have something to add. Wikipedia says that Bend typically has a hard frost in every month, even July and August. That seems unbelievable, but if it's true, that would be enough to convince me that Bend, OR sucks.
.

Yeah you can't garden without a green house.  It's just not possible.  IIRC the only month on record without an instance if significant snowfall is August.  A few years ago (2011 maybe)I went and visited the folks on the fourth of July weekend.  There was a few inches on the ground that morning.  It was all melted off by noon and the 4th s nice and toasty warm, but it definitely snowed that night.

It's the high dessert.  80-40 swings or more is just how it do.  That's one of my least favorite parts about where I live now, actually. Why does it stay warm at night?  Nighttime is cold time!

FINate

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #82 on: March 04, 2018, 03:10:31 PM »
I spend a lot of time above tree line in the Sierras, very familiar with low humidity, cold nights and warm days. Normal to wake up to frost in July and then hit 90 during the day on sun baked leeward slopes. Family also had a second home in South Lake Tahoe where we spent a good chunk of time, which is also a low humidity climate. We kind of like the dryness, makes the hot/cold more comfortable IMO. We acclimated well to +110F in the desert southwest last summer, but when we got back wow did 90F in Santa Cruz feel uncomfortable. And there's something unusually cold about 40F nights along the coast - the moisture in the air just sucks the heat out. Whereas the cold didn't bother us living in Bavaria during winter, though the humid summer wasn't our favorite (but really not a big deal). But yeah, low humidity may be an issue for long term living, so something to consider.

Big Bear Lake is a great area. We were in that area last summer, just up the hill in one of the primitive campsites in Holcomb Valley. Got chased out by the Holcomb Fire, very exciting. I wouldn't rule the area out, certainly would make a good base for excursions into the southwest and reasonable access to the Eastern Sierras. But the proximity to the LA basin and (I hope this doesn't sound too nitpicky) the smallness of the surrounding wilderness/forests make it less attractive to me.

RE gardening: I do like to grow small vegetable and herb gardens. The herbs would mostly be fine with some overwintering prep. Agree, would need a greenhouse for most other things. Not optimal, but also not a deal breaker.

FINate

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #83 on: May 04, 2018, 11:05:50 AM »
Update: Recently drove up I-5 to visit family in Tacoma. Did the trip in two days with a stop at about the mid-point in the Rouge River Valley area.

Had limited time to explore, but from what we saw we enjoyed the Medford/Central Point/Jacksonville area. Jacksonville is quaint and attractive but smaller than we're looking for - a good place to visit, but looking for a larger metro that's bikeable/walkable. I think Medford would check this box and would be a reasonable fit for us.

One negative about Medford I noticed, and I realize this is purely anecdotal and not sure how representative: Witnessed several groups of young, able-bodied homeless men roaming about. To be clear I'm not anti-homeless or afraid of homeless, it's just that these guys had a look and behavior about them that I'm all too familiar with. A sense that they are actively looking for their next crime of opportunity - watching, scoping things out, and if you leave your bike or any property unattended for even a moment it's gone. It's sad, and I know it's driven by a sickness (addiction), but kinda over living in an area that should be bikeable yet in practice cannot because of rampant theft.  I could be projecting Santa Cruz's problems onto Medford, but that was the sense I got. Anyone local to the area have any info on if this is actually a problem or to what extent? Wonder if this is a common problem along the most of the I-5 corridor.

The Willamette Valley is stunning, though we didn't have time to explore the cities in the area. Will now be doing more research on this area.

One final note: Was impressed with Tacoma. The climate is too gloomy for us, but the city is very livable and affordable. Great downtown, nice parks. High crime / iffy south of about 6th Ave, but very pleasant elsewhere. The streets going downhill to the Sound look and feel similar to San Francisco. For those who don't mind (or enjoy) the climate it would be a great place.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #84 on: May 04, 2018, 11:16:18 AM »
Update: Recently drove up I-5 to visit family in Tacoma. Did the trip in two days with a stop at about the mid-point in the Rouge River Valley area.

Had limited time to explore, but from what we saw we enjoyed the Medford/Central Point/Jacksonville area. Jacksonville is quaint and attractive but smaller than we're looking for - a good place to visit, but looking for a larger metro that's bikeable/walkable. I think Medford would check this box and would be a reasonable fit for us.

One negative about Medford I noticed, and I realize this is purely anecdotal and not sure how representative: Witnessed several groups of young, able-bodied homeless men roaming about. To be clear I'm not anti-homeless or afraid of homeless, it's just that these guys had a look and behavior about them that I'm all too familiar with. A sense that they are actively looking for their next crime of opportunity - watching, scoping things out, and if you leave your bike or any property unattended for even a moment it's gone. It's sad, and I know it's driven by a sickness (addiction), but kinda over living in an area that should be bikeable yet in practice cannot because of rampant theft.  I could be projecting Santa Cruz's problems onto Medford, but that was the sense I got. Anyone local to the area have any info on if this is actually a problem or to what extent? Wonder if this is a common problem along the most of the I-5 corridor.

The Willamette Valley is stunning, though we didn't have time to explore the cities in the area. Will now be doing more research on this area.

One final note: Was impressed with Tacoma. The climate is too gloomy for us, but the city is very livable and affordable. Great downtown, nice parks. High crime / iffy south of about 6th Ave, but very pleasant elsewhere. The streets going downhill to the Sound look and feel similar to San Francisco. For those who don't mind (or enjoy) the climate it would be a great place.

Well... Oregonians often call it Methford =( Honestly it's kinda mean, cuz pretty much that same level of problem also exists in Eugene, Salem, and Gresham... and any rural areas too, frankly. But yeah, Medford in particular gets a really bad rap for drug use and drug addiction related crimes like property theft.

Here's crime rates by city in Oregon. http://www.oregonlive.com/trending/2017/07/fbis_20_most_dangerous_cities.html Medford is #1. Which, I mean, note that this is relative to other Oregon cities. All and all there really aren't any *dangerous* places to live here. But there is definitely some ever present challenges related to homelessness, drug use, and mental illness (and, of course, the interplay that occurs between the three). Another article on it: http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2017/07/meth_heroin_pose_greatest_drug.html

Maybe I'm jaded being from Oregon, but it seems like this is just a problem in the US anywhere right now. If anyone knows of a state that *isn't* reeling from meth and heroin issues, I'd be all ears to hear about it.

koshtra

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #85 on: May 04, 2018, 11:59:05 AM »
Rural Oregon was in already bad shape because of the collapse of an unsustainable timber industry, when the 2008 financial meltdown dealt them another blow. The relative prosperity of Multnomah County (Portland and its suburbs) has masked statistically just how hard it's been -- especially down south in the Rogue Valley & environs. Hard times and a sense of going downhill. Times are better now but I don't think people are feeling like there's really much of an economic path forward for them.

There' a lot of homelessness everywhere in Oregon, now. Portland has tents and tarps all over the place. Washington State is considerably more prosperous -- you'll notice as soon as you cross the border that the roads are better and pretty much everything looks better-cared-for.

lhamo

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #86 on: May 04, 2018, 12:01:44 PM »
Yes, the problem extends up I-5 all the way to the Canadian border -- we were in Mount Vernon for several days for a court case and it is a big problem in their downtown, and I have seen similar reports from other towns in the corridor.  Some places like Bellevue, WA seem to be better at either keeping it out or keeping it hidden, but with median house values at 1 mill+ those are not typically downsizing locations.

FINate

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #87 on: May 04, 2018, 01:31:06 PM »
Update: Recently drove up I-5 to visit family in Tacoma. Did the trip in two days with a stop at about the mid-point in the Rouge River Valley area.

Had limited time to explore, but from what we saw we enjoyed the Medford/Central Point/Jacksonville area. Jacksonville is quaint and attractive but smaller than we're looking for - a good place to visit, but looking for a larger metro that's bikeable/walkable. I think Medford would check this box and would be a reasonable fit for us.

One negative about Medford I noticed, and I realize this is purely anecdotal and not sure how representative: Witnessed several groups of young, able-bodied homeless men roaming about. To be clear I'm not anti-homeless or afraid of homeless, it's just that these guys had a look and behavior about them that I'm all too familiar with. A sense that they are actively looking for their next crime of opportunity - watching, scoping things out, and if you leave your bike or any property unattended for even a moment it's gone. It's sad, and I know it's driven by a sickness (addiction), but kinda over living in an area that should be bikeable yet in practice cannot because of rampant theft.  I could be projecting Santa Cruz's problems onto Medford, but that was the sense I got. Anyone local to the area have any info on if this is actually a problem or to what extent? Wonder if this is a common problem along the most of the I-5 corridor.

The Willamette Valley is stunning, though we didn't have time to explore the cities in the area. Will now be doing more research on this area.

One final note: Was impressed with Tacoma. The climate is too gloomy for us, but the city is very livable and affordable. Great downtown, nice parks. High crime / iffy south of about 6th Ave, but very pleasant elsewhere. The streets going downhill to the Sound look and feel similar to San Francisco. For those who don't mind (or enjoy) the climate it would be a great place.

Well... Oregonians often call it Methford =( Honestly it's kinda mean, cuz pretty much that same level of problem also exists in Eugene, Salem, and Gresham... and any rural areas too, frankly. But yeah, Medford in particular gets a really bad rap for drug use and drug addiction related crimes like property theft.

Here's crime rates by city in Oregon. http://www.oregonlive.com/trending/2017/07/fbis_20_most_dangerous_cities.html Medford is #1. Which, I mean, note that this is relative to other Oregon cities. All and all there really aren't any *dangerous* places to live here. But there is definitely some ever present challenges related to homelessness, drug use, and mental illness (and, of course, the interplay that occurs between the three). Another article on it: http://www.oregonlive.com/pacific-northwest-news/index.ssf/2017/07/meth_heroin_pose_greatest_drug.html

Maybe I'm jaded being from Oregon, but it seems like this is just a problem in the US anywhere right now. If anyone knows of a state that *isn't* reeling from meth and heroin issues, I'd be all ears to hear about it.

Thanks for the links. Esp. liked the crime rankings w/ map. I saw one person use the 'Methford' moniker on a local news website and wondered how widely used it was.

Agree that addiction is a blight all across the US and expect to deal with it wherever we end up. However, there's a big difference in how cities and states respond to it. When a city (and/or state) is soft on crime, either because the PD is stretched too thin or because this is what the citizens support, then word gets out that it's favorable for property crimes and other activities that support addition. Not talking about a "war on drugs" but also not rolling out the red carpet. As @lhamo points out, some places have figured out how to manage the problem instead of just giving up.

FINate

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #88 on: May 04, 2018, 01:38:59 PM »
Rural Oregon was in already bad shape because of the collapse of an unsustainable timber industry, when the 2008 financial meltdown dealt them another blow. The relative prosperity of Multnomah County (Portland and its suburbs) has masked statistically just how hard it's been -- especially down south in the Rogue Valley & environs. Hard times and a sense of going downhill. Times are better now but I don't think people are feeling like there's really much of an economic path forward for them.

There' a lot of homelessness everywhere in Oregon, now. Portland has tents and tarps all over the place. Washington State is considerably more prosperous -- you'll notice as soon as you cross the border that the roads are better and pretty much everything looks better-cared-for.

Thanks for the background info, makes sense. FWIW, rural California has the same issues. Outside of the SF Bay Area and LA/SD areas much of the state is still reeling from the financial crisis. Due to onerous regulations and the march to $15 min wage there's an exodus of non-tech industries.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #89 on: May 04, 2018, 01:41:21 PM »
Part of the problem has been that Oregon (Eugene and Portland in particular) were a civil services bastion through the 70's. When other places were criminalizing homelessness and simultaneously doing mass de-institutionalizing of people, we offered services.... and so people came from other states, since we were one of the only ones offering services. This issue persists now (aided by other states literally bussing people to Oregon as their "services" they offer). We also have a climate that supports homelessness year round except for a very few days here and there.

Yep. I will not deny there are problems here. Oregon doesn't exactly have a massive history of prosperity. (Literally, I still have relatives who complain that mismanagement of the BEAVER PELT TRADE led to our family's financial woes. I so deeply wish that were a joke. Don't get me started on people bitching about the timber industry dying). Maybe it's been political mismanagement. Maybe it's been unsustainable economic bases that always lead to poor rural towns emptying out. Either way, it definitely set the stage for a lot of drug problems taking hold here, and a large inadequately addresses problem with homelessness.

All that being said, it's still a beautiful place =) Overall, I'm glad I live here.

MarciaB

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #90 on: May 04, 2018, 04:12:06 PM »
I have an aversion to both Santa Cruz and Bend for many of the reasons outlined above!

For example, Californian's in Santa Cruz might forget that California has lots of mountain passes that can be problematic in winter!  ;) 

As a Californian it's good to be reminded that mountain passes in winter can be problematic, so thanks for that.

Have you thought about Redmond? (Oregon)


I had a college friend that moved to Bend and started a business and family and bought a home.  They seem to love it there.

I spent 2 weeks in McCall, Idaho and thought it was great.  If I was looking at Idaho I would consider it. But mind you, that was 20 years ago.

What about Ashland, Oregon?  I spent a summer outside of town there.  Hip, smallish college town.  The Shakespeare plays bring in lots of culture and out-of-town money.  Skiing nearby.

Ashland/Medford/Grants Pass area is on the shortlist, plan on checking it out. Comparable cost of living, climate is a bit more mild. And lots of great mountain biking, though that's probably true of most small cities in OR. IMO, has more of a Northern California look to it - not a bad thing necessarily, just different.

EDIT: And yes, this lowlander central coast Californian is an ass for assuming that Californians elsewhere in the state don't deal with winter conditions :)

FINate

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #91 on: May 04, 2018, 06:07:57 PM »
We also have a climate that supports homelessness year round except for a very few days here and there.

I feel guilty for thinking this way, but admit that I consider cold winters a positive for this reason. I don't want people to freeze to death, but at the same time I don't like that my city is a year round campground / open air drug bazaar and there is almost zero incentive to get off the streets and into a functional living situation. So people come from all over to "paradise" and kill themselves with drugs while stealing from those trying to eek out a living.

Literally, I still have relatives who complain that mismanagement of the BEAVER PELT TRADE led to our family's financial woes. I so deeply wish that were a joke. Don't get me started on people bitching about the timber industry dying.

Sad, and ridiculous. Was the beaver pelt trade a thing in living memory? Always thought it was more of a 19th century thing.

Assume the timber industry isn't totally dead though probably a fraction of its peak from the "glory days" which is usually around the 1950s or 60s for old white people. Hopefully they are doing some selective harvesting or some other sustainable method to keep fuel loads down.

FINate

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #92 on: May 05, 2018, 11:50:04 PM »
This conversation got me interested in relative crime rates across several cities. Would love a site for plotting these on the same graph, but alas all I can find are graphs for single cities:

https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/ca/santa-cruz/crime
https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/or/eugene/crime
https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/or/medford/crime
https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/or/bend/crime

Medfort slightly edges out Santa Cruz for worse property crime, with about 1:14 odds of becoming a victim vs 1:16. Santa Cruz has worse violent crime. This is probably a deal breaker. Yes, I'm sure the outlying areas/towns are nicer, but looking for a decent size city center w/o an outsized crime issue.

Was surprised by Eugene because it has a reputation for the same problems, yet very w.r.t. violent crime and significantly lower property crime as compared to Medford and Santa Cruz, though still somewhat elevated. Bend and Wenatchee (https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/wa/wenatchee/crime) are both compare favorably on this metric.

Bracken_Joy

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #93 on: May 06, 2018, 08:33:11 AM »
This conversation got me interested in relative crime rates across several cities. Would love a site for plotting these on the same graph, but alas all I can find are graphs for single cities:

https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/ca/santa-cruz/crime
https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/or/eugene/crime
https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/or/medford/crime
https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/or/bend/crime

Medfort slightly edges out Santa Cruz for worse property crime, with about 1:14 odds of becoming a victim vs 1:16. Santa Cruz has worse violent crime. This is probably a deal breaker. Yes, I'm sure the outlying areas/towns are nicer, but looking for a decent size city center w/o an outsized crime issue.

Was surprised by Eugene because it has a reputation for the same problems, yet very w.r.t. violent crime and significantly lower property crime as compared to Medford and Santa Cruz, though still somewhat elevated. Bend and Wenatchee (https://www.neighborhoodscout.com/wa/wenatchee/crime) are both compare favorably on this metric.

Wow. Nowhere on the west coast except some very rich cities in Cali fare well on that, do they? =\ That's super depressing. And the 'safest' list is a lot of CT and UT and IL. Aka, not here.

Knew we had issues with some crimes, didn't realize it was that worse than other areas of the country! Frankly I thought we were kinda keeping pace.

Corvallis was a 17, that was the best Valley city I could find (although I just started my first coffee, so full disclosure: didn't look hard). Ashland was 10, so a little better than Salem or Eugene. Salem is tied with Eugene, which is weird to me- I've always associated Salem as having more crime that Eugene. And Eugene had *more* violent crime. Football games must contribute more to violent crime than prisons, haha.

This is kinda crazy to be honest. Upending some of my dearly held city biases ;)

FINate

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #94 on: May 06, 2018, 02:32:44 PM »
Hard to argue with the data. For years Santa Cruz tried to play it up as more perception than reality... tried to blame it on a small vocal minority making a mountain out of a molehill. Than a few years ago a group of concerned citizens compiled a report on crime from FBI stats and the city leaders, from what I'm told, asked that they please bury the report, which thankfully didn't happen. Now that this stuff is so easily accessible online they're trying to spin it as driven by tourism, yet places like Manhattan NY (very touristy) are way safer.

eostache

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #95 on: May 06, 2018, 08:51:01 PM »
We took a road trip to Oregon in 2016. The main reason for the trip was to do the Ride The Rim ride at Crater Lake, and that was awesome. We couchsurfed in Klamath Falls for a few days and met some great people there.

We live in western Colorado and were considering maybe moving to Oregon someday and wanted to check it out. We weren't interested in western Oregon, we had heard all these great things about Bend and also planned to spend a few days there. We had maps of all the bike paths in town and along the river. We stayed one day. We hated it. The bike path system was not great (compared to the ones we have in Colorado). A lot of the bike paths were crushed gravel (the maps did not specify this), good thing we brought cross bikes and not road bikes on that trip. The urban planning seemed terrible and the traffic was insane every where. I know the Bend area has undergone rapid growth in the past decade or so.

We are both geologists and enjoyed visiting Newberry Crater but we got a bit bored looking at basalt rocks all the time. We headed east through central OR (and into sedimentary rocks) and liked that area better, it looked more like CO!

That trip cured us of thinking of moving to Bend.

fixie

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #96 on: May 07, 2018, 03:11:29 PM »
Happy to elaborate. Some of this may seem familiar as I've adapted some of MMMs ideas.

Size: 50-200k. Fairly large range, just not too small or too large. Doesn't have to be all in one city, e.g. could be a smaller city within a few miles of a larger city or multi-city corridor, though I prefer a compact medium size city over small towns spread out. Want reasonable amenities within a few miles: parks, library, hardware store, groceries, etc. Much fewer than 50k and IMO it gets too sparse. Much larger than 200k and it starts to feel large and sprawling.

Cost of living: Average or somewhat above is fine. Santa Cruz is over 2x the average, with housing 4.4x average :(

Distinctness: Self contained city that is not a bedroom community or suburb of a larger city. Strongly prefer being more than 2+ hours from a large metro area. I don't mind tourists, but don't want to be in an area where a neighboring large city empties into for weekend day trips. Decent downtown, doesn't need to be perfect, just good enough for occasional dates and family nights out. Would continue doing most trips by bike. One of the aspects of WA and OR I find compelling are the urban growth boundaries: Cities are for living, everything else is for agriculture and/or visiting. 

Climate: Prefer drier, colder winter (i.e. snow) over rain. Anything in summer is fine as long as it's not excessively hot (110+. Once in a while is fine, just not weeks on end).

Proximity to outdoor activities: Hiking, backpacking, camping, hunting, fishing, mountain biking, road biking...love it all and want options nearby. Was an avid skier/snowboarder in college and interested in getting back into it, but want to be within an hour. Also interested in getting back into backcountry skiing/snow camping. The winter stuff is simply too much of an ordeal for us right now at 5+ hrs each way. Variety is also important. One of my happy places is near/just above treeline - cold alpine lakes, gnarled wind blown trees, snowy peaks in summer. But also enjoy a hot day at a river or lake at lower elevations and appreciate the stark beauty the high desert.

Culture: Somewhat balanced. Not too hippy-dippy. Nothing against hippies, but interested in more than old run down victorians festooned with prayer flags as far as the eye can see (exaggerating, I know). Also not looking for Trumptown. Specifically, since I enjoy hunting there's a certain type of hunter very annoying. Probably unavoidable, but would like to minimize the loud arrogant type that brags a lot and is more interested in shooting shit and killing things than being in nature appreciating the privilege of harvesting from the land. Also prefer a local political scene that's focused on keeping things running and improvements. In other words, I'd like to pay taxes that go to making the city a great place to live: Clean parks, sewer capacity, water supply, business friendly regulations, redevelopment, urban infill, libraries. We like to read, and learn about nature, but not huge into Art or Performing Arts, so this is more of a bonus than a must have. Fine with occasional travel to a bigger metro for this. A certain amount of social cohesion and town spirit would be nice, yet realize that this can also work against us as 'outsiders' and an area with recent 'transplants' could mean people are a bit more accepting. University is a plus as long as it's not too large relative to the rest of the population.

I don't think there's any perfect utopia out there, and expect we will end up making tradeoffs. Deal breakers would be super extreme political culture (on either end), a city that doesn't invest in itself (either because citizens are anti-tax or anti-change), super extreme climate (though I don't think this is a problem anywhere in PNW), 50% or higher than average cost of living. Oh, and the church thing I mentioned upthread, though that's so personal that it's something we need to explore for ourselves.

Thanks for all the input and ideas. Looking at Ellensburg now :)

Bellingham checks most of those boxes, except for the winter rain thing.  FWIW, predictions for sea level rise and overall habitability in the PNW in general are better than most regions in the US(from a climate destabilization perspective).  Bellingham is a great little city, though there IS some enmity regarding Californication.  I didn't notice your comment on churches, though If you DO like that sort of thing there are plenty, and the town of Lynden just to the North is quite churchy.  You might like Mt. Vernon as well, just to the South of Bham.  Plenty of city deer to harvest.  I once saw one with a broken arrow sticking out of it.  The salmon are slowly going extinct, as are steelhead, sea-run cutthroat etc.  I wouldn't eat any mussels, crabs, or oysters, but that's just because I know more than the average person about local water quality.  Alpine lake fishing can still be rewarding and fun.  Always something going on in Bham, though the downtown has quite a few empty shops right now, for some reason.  Good farmer's market, Alaska ferry, some diversity, close ferries to Olympic Peninsula...  North Cascades is awesome...Pasayten Wilderness for true solo trips.  Local politics is progressive and lively, in general.
-fixie

PDX Citizen

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #97 on: May 08, 2018, 03:45:11 PM »
We were pretty enamored with Bend but decided against it a few years ago for a variety of reasons. From our time there, I get the impression that there are a lot of people who retired or semi-retired with enough money, many from California, who enjoy the combination of outdoor activities, decent food and beer culture, and a dry climate. Totally understandable given the issues that you describe in Santa Cruz, which are probably common in many other places. But, you might also want to consider the likelihood that if you are moving to a place with a lot of retirees, a high quality of life, and expensive housing, then there is going to be a shortage of workers to get things done. Unless you are super self-reliant, you are going to be competing with all those other retirees for people to fix your plumbing, to maintain your roads, to feed you, to take care of you after a knee surgery, etc., etc. Mountain towns all over the west are facing these issues, and it seems like a growing retired population is just going to exacerbate them over time.

Russ

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Re: Convince me that Bend, OR sucks
« Reply #98 on: May 08, 2018, 04:21:07 PM »
Bend doesn't suck too much right now
Californians moving to Bend are the reason it sucks a little more each day
Maybe you're different, but if you're not please stay home

HeadedWest2029

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