|Downtown Portland-taken from the Portland Aerial Tram|
But today’s post is an overview & all about preliminaries—some of the “facts” here have been mentioned in previous blog posts, but as this is the beginning of the series, I think I may be excused for going over them again. Portland is divided into “quadrants,” as you can see from the graphic. The city is divided into “east” & “west” sections by the Willamette River, & divided into north & south sections by Burnside Street. Therefore, street names typically have the SE, NE, SW or NW tag, & people talk about their neighborhoods as being in “the Southeast,” “the Northwest,” etc. However, as you’ll notice from the map, there are actually five “quadrants,” because there’s also “the North.” & as I can’t seem to help being different, I live in that fifth quadrant.
|Mississippi Studios - North Portland-my neighborhood|
|Portland Streetcar on SW Market in - you guessed it - Southwest Portland|
Each of these quadrants—or for those who insist on mathematical corretness, sections—are divided into a number of neighborhoods, so it seems to me at least that it’s difficult to make sweeping generalizations about any one of the geographical designations—to say, “the Southeast is thus & so” or “the Northwest is like this.” Two things I should state, one a historical fact, the other personal. Portland originated on the west side of the Willamette, so from 1851 until 1891, the city existed solely on land that now falls within the Northwest & Southwest quadrants. In 1891, Portland absorbed Albina, Oregon & East Portland, Oregon, & these brought in parts of the current North, Northeast & Southeast sections; further expansion in 1915 gave the city most of its present-day territory.
|Looking back toward Northwest Portland from the Steel Bridge|
|The Laurelhurst Theater on E. Burnside - the street that divides North & South|
On a personal note? Fact is, I know the east side of Portland better than the west. In my almost 6 months of living here, I’ve been on the east side, & when I used to visit Portland while living in Idaho, I also spent most of the time in the east, & especially the Southeast, because that’s where many of my friends live.
|Quonset Hut Bar - NE Alberta|
|Avalon Theater - SE Belmont|
Other fun facts about Portland? It’s the 29th most populous U.S. city with a 2010 census population of 583,776, & the greater Portland metro area—which includes the city of Vancouver, Washington, as well as other areas in Washington just across the Columbia—numbers around 2,260,000, making it the 23rd most populous metro area. Tho Portland is Oregon’s largest city, both Seattle, Washington & Vancouver, British Columbia are larger cities within the Pacific Northwest. The climate? Per Wikipedia, “Portland experiences a temperate climate that is usually described as oceanic with mild, damp winters and relatively dry, warm summers.” Some might note that “damp” is a relatively mild term, & Portland does get a lot of rain, especially in the late fall thru the winter & into the spring. But as a result of its temperate & damp climate, it’s a great spot for gardening—hence, the nickname “Rose City” or “City of Roses.”
|The Portland Aerial Tram arriving at OHSU with the Willamette River in the background|
Although Portland is a mid-sized city, it truly has a lot to offer, & I’m very happy & grateful to have the opportunity of living here. Also looking forward to sharing it with you readers every Wednesday!