March 31, 2005

The City That Works (in the suburbs)

When I graduated from college and started an internship nearly two years ago, I chose an apartment within walking distance of my new job in Beaverton. The location was perfect, and the walk to work was fairly safe and scenic, despite being along two major roads. Also within walking distance of my apartment were a world-class fitness complex, a Fred Meyer, several restaurants, two bus lines, and the MAX train.

Last September, I changed jobs. The new job is also in Beaverton, but the route is too far to walk, not very safe to bicycle, and the buses only run every half hour. Driving (through suburban congestion and oddly-timed traffic lights) takes 15 minutes, while pedaling to the MAX and then to work takes 25. It's nice to have so many commuting options, but all the choices are fairly frustrating time-wise.

So, being young, impulsive, and wanting a way to spend much more money on housing, I decided to move to downtown Portland. I'm going to be a part of the McCormick Pier community, a big condo that has generated a lot of buzz (and slick advertising) around town. When I first visited, I immediately dismissed it as too ritzy for me, and out of my price range. Their target demographic seemed to be the 30+ year old upper-middle-class, just itching to fill up an expensive brand-new condo with expensive brand-new stuff. Not my scene. I am into thrift stores, freecycling, and I've been known to discreetly check out a dumpster on occasion.

After looking at dozens of too-expensive or otherwise unsuitable condos in the greater Portland area, and being outbid on two offers, I reconsidered the Pier when one of the units came up for sale in my price range. I went to look at it, and it was far better than any of the others I'd seen. After some thought, I made an offer, and it was accepted! I move into my cool new downtown home on Sunday!

Posted by mara at 1:07 PM