I know I seemed pretty definitive about moving in my last post, but the cold, hard reality is a little different, which I already knew in the back of my head. I can only justify it if it ends up being a better deal financially, which it really isn’t. I’d heard tales of crazy Portland rent and scoffed. Obviously, my perspective is now as skewed as the middle-aged librarians I used to work with who owned cars and had $500 rent controlled apartments in Manhattan and couldn’t understand why young people would live in Brooklyn. So, $1,700 for a typical one-bedroom in Portland is laughable considering everyone seems to work in the service industry, if they work at all, and that’s what one bedrooms cost in my my Queens neighborhood and you can still find ones closer to $1,300 in areas like Ridgewood where I lived when I first moved to NYC because I was stupid and where cool kids want to live now. My mortgage is only $830 (too transparent?) and presumably the longer I stay, the more I’ll make when I sell. So, nope, Portland is not going to happen at this rate.
Seattle is not Portland. But one of my big takeaways from last weekend there was that Portland may be where young people go to retire but Seattle is where flabby, 40something men with mohawks thrive. So many bad ‘90s piercings and tattoos (some on humans born in the ‘90s, which I can understand a little more even if still aesthetically displeasing). I couldn’t live there without turning (more) super smug and snide. The irony is that in the late ‘80s, Portland was more podunk, Seattle was the far cooler city, and friends would sometimes drive up and report back on punk rock baseball games and the like with one, the boyfriend of a methy friend, famously bragging, “You can walk around with your dick out” as the pinnacle of said coolness. I saw no dicks in 2016, just a lot of old folks with earlobe plugs–and I was going to say Manic Panic abuse but I have some purples and fuchsias in my possession…so clearly there is still some NW in my blood.