Newcomer’s Handbook for Moving to and Living in Portland, Updated for 2015!

Newcomer's Handbook for Moving to and Living in Portland, 3rd EditionThe third edition of the Newcomer’s Handbook® for Moving to and Living in Portland: Including Vancouver, Gresham, Hillsboro, Beaverton, Tigard, and Wilsonville, about 560 pages long, contains detailed information on neighborhoods, getting settled, helpful services, child care and education, cultural life, green living, and much more. Written by Bryan Geon, who has spent over a decade exploring Portland and the surrounding region, both as a long-time resident and serial newcomer, this book, designed especially for individuals who are planning to move to Portland, Oregon, or for those who have just arrived in the Rose City, is the essential guide to Portland and the surrounding communities.

In detailing Portland neighborhoods from Kenton to Multnomah Village and the Pearl District to Montavilla, this volume delineates the character and features of each area as well as the types and availability of housing, plus a list of convenient addresses and web sites. It then goes further afield to describe suburbs in East Multnomah County, Clackamas, Washington, and even Yamhill counties, plus Vancouver and its suburbs in Washington state. This edition also includes photographs illustrating what the neighborhoods and communities actually look like.

Updates to the third edition include the latest on changes in Oregon law (legalized recreational marijuana, phased in starting in mid-2015; reinstatement of legalized same-sex marriage), new sports venue names (Moda Center, Providence Park, Ron Tonkin Stadium), transportation updates (in particular the Tilikum Crossing bridge, opening in the fall of 2015 and designed to serve mass transit, pedestrians and bicyclists, and emergency vehicles; and the new light-rail line to Milwaukie, also scheduled to begin operations in late 2015), and several references to Portlandia (as defined in the Local Lingo section: Portlandia: Popular IFC sketch-comedy show starring Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein that pokes fun at the city’s quirks and foibles; some people refer to it, only half-jokingly, as a documentary).

And best of all, this volume approaches Portland with a sensibility appropriate to the city with humor and a bit of delight in the quirkiness that exemplifies the Rose City. For example, a brief excerpt from the Weather and Natural Disasters chapter:

By now, you’ve probably heard a few not especially funny jokes about Oregon rain. One old saw holds that Oregonians don’t tan, they rust. Another states that Portland’s rainy season only runs from September 1 to August 31. Yet another asks, “What do you call two consecutive days of rain in Portland?” (Answer: the weekend.) Then there’s the story about the hapless fellow waiting to be admitted into hell. He watches anxiously as Satan throws almost every soul in line ahead of him into the fiery pit, but notices that every so often the devil chucks someone off to the side instead. Intrigued, he summons up the courage to peep, “Excuse me, Prince of Darkness, but I notice that you seem to be throwing some people off to the side instead of into the inferno.” “Oh, them,” the devil replies ruefully, “They’re from Portland. They’re too wet to burn.” Har har har. Endless rain. How very droll.

It does rain a lot in Oregon. Rumors of a nine-month deluge, however, are greatly exaggerated. The sun comes out sometimes, even in winter, and summers are typically glorious. And even if the weather’s often wet and gray, it’s somewhat comforting that the region’s best known climatic feature is its drizzle rather than, say, category 5 hurricanes, killer tornadoes, or paralyzing blizzards.

Which is not to say that Portland is not at risk from natural disasters. All that rain sometimes begets mudslides and floods, and the area is subject to earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, forest fires, and the occasional ironic drought. It’s all part of the price you pay for living in a paradise—a soggy, geologically unstable paradise.

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